Advisors · Contact management

When to try and contact a potential adviser a second time?

Jacob Crittenden

March 12th, 2015

I've recently reached out to a potential adviser that could be of great help. It's been a week since first contact with no reply. I have noticed that he has been viewing my linkedin profile. I'm nervous because I feel it is not the best representation of my skills due to most of it involving my family business. How long should I wait before attempting second contact? Also what is a basic outline of what should be included in that email?  

Eric Wold

March 12th, 2015

Come up with something that is a good example of the work you can do, and then... 
"Dear name, I want to thank you for considering my request for your expert advice. I hope we can have a brief chat about why I think your help would make a difference and I'm certainly hoping I can make it worth your time. In the meantime, plyou might like to see a bit more of my work here..."

Rodrigo Vaca Product & Marketing

March 12th, 2015

Jacob -

This is how I'd think about it:
- If he didn't like you because of your profile, well, too late, and contacting him again NOW is not really going to cause any damage.
- If he is on the fence, maybe he'll appreciate the interest and follow-up, so contact him again now.
- If he already likes you and is interested, I doubt a follow-up email is going to change his mind.

Call me an optimist - but I think if you strongly feel that this individual could have an impact in your future, then you owe it to yourself to try again.

I don't know what you said on your first approach, so w/o that it is hard to craft a second one. But in general, I'd say something along the lines: "I wanted to follow-up to my previous message... I'm very interested in chatting with you.... Here are the X things that I'd like to pick your brain about, etc..."

good luck!


Jessica Alter Entrepreneur & Advisor

March 12th, 2015

If he didn't respond after looking at your profile he's probably on the fence or not interested. The #1 thing when you reach out to and advisor (or anyone) is explaining why them.  A template email never ever ever works. IF you haven't done that, you should - not 3 paragraphs, a couple lines. busy ppl rarely read long emails. Make it clear you're interested in talking, you don't ask someone to be an advisor on email #1.

Julia Levy Head of Employer Branding and digital and social media, Terra Firma Associates

March 12th, 2015

Another thing that can help (for the future), is to indicate in your first message a timeline when you will follow-up again. That way, you are only doing what you said you would do anyway. Something like "I will be in touch/call you next week to follow-up." I also agree with the other comments about keeping things personal.  Meanwhile, have you thought about doing a bit of work on your LinkedIn profile? There is plenty of scope to tweak profiles e.g. writing what you are planning to do in your Summary. Too many people think of LinkedIn as "just" an online CV when it can be so much more than that.  Good luck!

Steve Simitzis Founder and CEO at Treat

March 13th, 2015

Agreed with the above posts. To answer your question of when to attempt your next contact:

Do you know this potential advisor personally? If not, try and find a mutual contact to give you a warm info. You'll be more likely to get a response.

If you already know them personally, then send your next contact first thing tomorrow morning. 

George Lambert Interim CTO - CTO's for Hire

March 13th, 2015

Different people have different styles of communication.  

In your initial introduction did your request have 

a) a clear request for assistance? 
b) a clear understanding of why you believe that they would be a good advisor? 
c) a clear motivation for them to assist you?  
d) a clear set of expectations as to the best methods for communication and frequency expected? 
e) a method for them to ask you questions about the role?   


March 13th, 2015

I do not know this adviser personally. I also have very little in the way of common contacts with potential advisers. This problem is what brought me to this site. It's potential to help an ill connected dreamer such as myself. If I'm going by the list above my initial contact included A through E, with C and D not being as solid as I would now like them to be. 

Mogens Thomsen Entrepreneurship expert, author and digital publisher of startup information on web and apps

Last updated on October 22nd, 2018

My experience is that very few react on an e-mailfrom a strangerthe first time. No matter how well it is composed the recipient must be helped to answer. Forward it again and again or better make a call.

If you have made a proper and personal e-mail to a stranger I think he or she must have the courtesy to answer. Just a Yes or No will be fine. I therefor think it is OK to push them for an answer.

Fred Pierce "Helping to build great hire at a time since 1985."™

March 13th, 2015

It wasn't clear to me whether he has viewed your LinkedIn profile once or has viewed it several would make a difference in your next action step.  You might send him a note, mentioning you noticed him reviewing your LinkedIn info then ask permission to: 1.) call and ask when is a good time for him to take your call, or, 2.) send him information, etc.  I have found that if someone is offered a choice between the two options instead of one they will frequently choose what is most convenient for them...and the point is you have a response.  If he fails to respond it's probably time to set him aside for now and focus on others. 

I might circle back to him after a little time passes and send another message/email and acknowledge his passing on you and ask him if he would mind sharing with you why he passed...pointing out his feedback would be invaluable in understanding how to better proceed in the future, etc.

Fred Pierce "Helping to build great hire at a time since 1985."™

March 13th, 2015