07/11/2011 09:46 EDT | Updated 09/10/2011 05:12 EDT

Email Time Travel

Sometimes our best intentions to build relationships and effectively connect fall by the wayside. We get distracted by bright and shiny things and other stuff just takes up all our time.

But that doesn't just happen to you -- it happens to everyone and believe it or not, many of your past contacts become embarrassed by how much time has passed since they last reached out to you.

These are people who, perhaps, were interested, but at that time, months ago, it wasn't happening. Maybe they didn't have the budget or couldn't get it cleared by their bosses. Now, though, they feel it would almost be rude to come back to you as they have been so quiet... for so long.

This is where you come in -- you should never be the sort of strategic communicator to allow the passage of time to hinder your potential. It's time to get into your email 'Time Machine' (Look, capitals -- it must be important!).
Go to your inbox, click on the scroll bar on the right hand side and swipe it down -- fast. Travel back four, seven even nine months and then just stop. You are suddenly back in November 2010. Oh, things were so different then!

Start checking through your email correspondence of that time, what was looking good? Where was the potential? Who have you totally forgotten about?

Pick three or four people and reach out. Put yourself back on their radar.

You should apologize for "being out of touch," after all you've been "crazy busy" and instead of asking for business or suggesting you pick up where you left off, send them an interesting article from some cool website -- maybe the latest iPad or cat video or something about their industry. In fact, the more relevant to your target you can make that offering, the more 'points' you win!

More often than not, they are so relieved that you have reached out, you will not only get a response, but it may well include the golden words: "Actually we were just thinking about you and were wondering if you could come in and help with a project..."

They really weren't "just thinking about you," but your message jogs their memory, makes it safe and rekindles the interest.

Don't forget to return to the present day though -- time travel can be a challenging mission, after all you don't want to stop yourself from ever being born!