Effective networkers GIVE FIRST and are always alert for opportunities to HELP their fellow colleagues, friends, business relationships, etc.
If you've consisently made a practice and habit of GIVING first (and giving often), it makes it much easier and much more comfortable for you to then ASK FOR SOMETHING from your network when the time comes.
In those situations, where you intend to ASK a network member for something, it's still a great idea to "Sandwich" your ask between two GIFTS.
Try this process, the next time you intend to ask for something (or for help):
- Step 1 - Give First, right away in the conversation. Offer something, share something, give them a tip or timely information about something that may be important to THEM. Other ideas:
- Offer to send them a book you mention in the conversation
- Send them a link to a article that will interest them or help them in some way
- Review your notes from your last conversation and look for an opportunity to offer something useful they mentioned last time
- Congratulate them on a recent achievement or accomplishment; encourage them to TELL you about it
- Step 2 - Ask. Make your request and tell them CLEARLY and EXACTLY HOW they can help you -- Give them ALL the information they need to enable them to BEST help you with your request. The easier you make it for them and the more information you provide them, the better they'll be enabled to help you.
- Step 3 - Give Again. ALWAYS ask these three questions:
- Is there ANYTHING I can help you with right now?
- Is there a particular type of resource you're looking for?
- Take a look at my LinkedIn and Facebook network, and please let me know if there is ANYONE I can introduce you to?
- Anybody else I can connect you with?
Finally, after the "Give, Ask, Give" Sandwich -- Give them dessert in the form of a final Gift -- Send them a thank you note, a hand-written card, a recent coupon (e.g., Living Social, etc.) you received, etc. Something small but thoughtful.
Do this EVERY TIME .... then watch the magic happen...
Co-host, Career Success Radio Show
A leading authority on career success; 15-year executive coaching veteran
Contact: Andy@CRGLeaders.com, 239-285-5575