How to get in touch with influential people

by Steli Efti

Want to reach out to “important” people (I don’t mean the really important people like family and friends, but big shot investors, well-known entrepreneurs, celebrities, highly desirable prospects)? Here’s a simple hack that has worked very well for me in the past, and that you can use to get in contact with pretty much anybody if you put in enough work.

Influential people shield themselves from requests

First of all, it’s very difficult to reach out directly to the person you want to get in touch with. They usually have systems and people in place to shield themselves from the avalanche of messages people send their way.

John Paul DeJoria, for example, mentioned how his last bastion of defense from crazy request letters and phone calls is his trusted executive assistant.

Who has access to them, but is a level below them?

A much more achievable goal is to reach out to people the “important” person has helped, or worked with, in the past.

You could, for example, find a small company DeJoria has invested in, and reach out to the founders of that company.

Even though they’re most likely busy like most founders are, they’ll also be empathic to your request, and remember times when others have helped them out in the past.

Make a small ask

Ask them for ten minutes of their time, invite them for a coffee, make sure that you actually value their time and that it means a lot to you.

When you meet, make them trust, like and respect you. This is best done by demonstrating that you know your craft and putting in the work.

Then ask them for an introduction to the important person you want to reach out to.

I’ve often used this approach in the past, and keep using it whenever I want to get in contact with a big shot. It’s not a quick hack—but if you persist, it almost always works. It has never failed me.