Now you should have a list of sites to contact for possible links -
1) Review their site for how to link - many of them will include clear instructions - ie how to link, who to contact, if you qualify for the link etc.... by the way - you need to make sure you have this included on your site, it will make your life much easier.
2) Contact them using the information they provide in #1. Make sure to chart on your spreadsheet when you contacted them, put their link up, when they put yours up, etc.
If they don't provide that information -
1) Contact them using a contact form or email address - make sure to
a)Address them by name if possible.
b) Explain how / where you will link them.
c) Mention something about their site that lets them know you visited.
d) Include your - link information, how to contact you, what to do if they have questions.
Then do it - it's not fun, it will take a while, but it does help.