"I've exhausted my network. There's nothing out there for me."
This one comes up all the time.
"When you say you've exhausted your network, what does that mean? What specific outreach efforts have you done?" I ask.
"I've probably sent out 40-50 emails and made at least a dozen calls to people I know," the prospective client shares. The numbers are usually a little inflated.
"Over what period of time?" I continue.
"The last 3 months since I was downsized," he says.
I do some quick math. "So, in a 90 day period you've sent out 50 emails and made 12 phone calls," I say. Then I pause for a few seconds for effect. "That's less than 1 outreach effort per day."
It begins to sink in. It's a slow process, though. "So, what should I do?"
"Have you reached out to these same people again?" I ask.
"Yes, a few of them," he replies. "I don't want to pester them, though."
He hasn't come anywhere close to pestering anyone yet. Many of them didn't even see that he reached out. Most did, but had 10 things more urgent they needed to address at the moment. They meant to reply but promptly forgot.
Time to get out of our own heads and into theirs.