The best question in networking

April 17, 2005

What do you do when you have a network of people?

You help them and ask to be helped.

We already read in a previous post that it is important to ask for help from your network to keep the network engine running.

However, many people have difficulties asking questions.

One of the most important difficulties people face is the fear of asking a direct question. What can you do about this?

For example, instead of asking: “Will you hire me as a human resources assistant?” you can ask: “Do you know anyone that is looking for a new human resources assistant?”

If this person is looking for a new human resources assistant himself, he will tell you that. If not, you have triggered his mind to think of other people who might help you.

This indirect question is already a huge step in the right direction. But my golden tip would be: “Who do you think I should contact when looking for a new job as human resources assistant?”

In this way you don’t only ask an indirect question, but you also have the possibility to receive a whole list of good contacts that may refer you to people from their network. And that is the power of networking !

Success !

Jan

PS: in real life situations it is very important to make your question more specific than the question from the example. The more specific your question, the more chance for a positive response !


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