The next time you’re looking to meet your dream contact, ditch the cold emails. Instead, use the “give to get” strategy and offer them something of value first--a chance to speak to a crowd. You’ll find it much easier to ask for their time in return and to start the relationship with them on equal footing.
That’s the secret: plan an event that gives your dream contact a chance to speak to a wider audience about something meaningful to them. If you don’t want to plan the event from scratch, line up a gig at an association or a business group in which you’re involved. Make it easy for them to just show up after you’ve planned all the details. Once you’ve facilitated a way to be helpful to them by organizing the event, add a few minutes on to the schedule where they can return the favor and be helpful to you.