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How I met Rashmi Bansal through TheRodinhoods

One fine day, I wrote a book, Seven Conversations

Another fine day, I posted a long rant on TRH forum.

This was read by fellow rodinhooder Imran Patel who helped me connect to the amazing author, Rashmi Bansal – who I am sure everyone knows here. We exchanged few emails and I met her when she was visiting my hometown. She was very down to earth and gave me lot of insights about another book I am working on. We talked about a lot of things which, if turns to anything interesting, I will share here. For now, I just want to send a big hug and thanks to Imran. 

Would just want to share few thoughts I think are important when you meet people like Rashmi who are obviously busy and get a lot of queries from strangers-

1. Don’t ask for favors – I never asked her to endorse my book or anything. I sent her a copy, if she likes it, she will mention it. Pestering her to read it and give feedback does not make sense. Put yourself in their shoes and ask if you would be happy doing what you are asking them to.

2. Instead of focusing on yourself, focus on what you can offer first. By asking for their time, you are asking something they are very short of. So, make it worth their time. Find out what kind of assistance or feedback or anything you can offer. If done genuinely, nothing is too small. I shared some ideas for Rashmi’s website and other stuff. It turned into a longer discussion.

3. Make it easier for them to help you – reduce the back and forth, keep it short and straight forward.

4. Listen to their advice instead of tooting your horn. Show them you can do instead of talk. 

5. Be a pleasant person to talk to if you want to convert a phone call to a longer relation.

I would like to keep spreading the good karma Imran and Asha have sent by way by being so helpful here. If I can be of any help to anyone (in field of books, publishing, content marketing, networking), I will do my best 🙂

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5 Comments

  1. nice! am glad this worked out!

    we all met ashwin sanghi on saturday and i can not tell you how awesome he is!! do watch the video on authorpreneurship 🙂

    thank you imran for being so awesome!!

    i’d like to add one small point here nistha…

    i’ve noticed what works very well is always always sending folks who read or who help you in the smallest ways possible, a book. no one will think you are forcing them to say good things about it. no one feels pressurised at all! 

    my sister is the author of 3 books and we have always gifted book lovers, friends, well wishers, fellow bloggers/writers her books just as a token of appreciation for the amazing stuff they do. many great things have happened owing to this!! i’ve made many new friends in the industry and she got more traction. whether someone wrote a book review or not, doesn’t really matter. what’s imp is to just get your book out there and let it be read by people.

  2. ps: imran the rh tee was for this 🙂

  3. Thanks again, Asha, for your nuggets of advice and everything 🙂

    I am very much looking fwd to the video and of course reading more about the Open House.

  4. While I agree with everything, I also realized sometimes you have to be specific about your ask (favor) even with people you know/get introduced to. To be noted often it is also cultural and situational.

    e.g., Might not be the perfect example, but there’s a big difference in expected outcomes between the following two cases…

    Case A: “Do you know someone who can help me with X?”

    vs.

    Case B: “I think person A in your network can help me with X. Would you be comfortable introducing me to A?”

  5. Thanks for bringing the specific point. I understand what you are saying. Yes, keeping it focused and short helps. I was emphasizing on building longer term relations because I notice many people only reach out when they want something and directly expect favors. Once you have established the trust, you can get warm introductions which are always better than a cold reference.

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