At the end of September, Kobe Bryant and Arianna Huffington got together for lunch with Philip Galanes of the New York Times.
While Galanes’ coverage of their meet-up portrayed the effortless, familiar nature of their friendship, it didn’t start out this organically. In fact, the pair met when Bryant sent Huffington an email out of the blue just to get to know her.
As both a successful basketball player and businessman, Bryant believes there’s a lot to learn from other successful people. And what better way than to just ask them?
“I’m known for sending out cold emails,” he told the Times. “I love learning from people who take on giants and slay them. I wanted to know how Arianna did what she did, and why.”
Huffington wasn’t Bryant’s first cold email. He’s also reached out to Oprah Winfrey, Nike CEO Mark Parker, and Apple’s Jony Ive, according to Bloomberg. “I want to learn more about how they build their business or how they run their companies,” he told Bloomberg Television.
As a networking strategy, Bryant’s cold-calling approach works — even if you aren’t a celebrity. When done well, it connects you with successful people in your industry, allowing you to form valuable contacts and relationships.
“People are always impressed with initiative, and cold emailing is a way to build a network without relying on friends, family, or their acquaintances,” writes career expert Frances Bridges.
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