First, he read everything the author had published—in this case, two books.
Second, he listened to every podcast interview with that author that he could find.
Third, he took a specific problem he was having and sent the author an email asking for advice.
That quick, concise, thoughtfully worded email showed he had done his research.
And, most importantly, it was something the author could answer very quickly.
Fourth, the author almost immediately responded with a short email, answering his specific question and giving a bit of advice.
Fifth, my friend immediately dropped everything and implemented that advice.
He then fired back an email the following day, describing the results and asking a short follow-up question.
Sixth, the author sent my friend his personal phone number and told him to give him a call.