When networking it is not only important to give, but also to ask questions and ask for help to other people. Why? Because you give the other person the opportunity to build a relationship with you!
I already discussed parts of this in previous posts:
– How do you feel making a request
– Ask for what you want, it won’t happen automatically
Keith Ferrazzi also posted in his blog about this this week: Do a friend a favor and ask for help.
However, most people don’t know how to start. In order to help them I post this small part out of my network book Let’s Connect.
“Before asking a question it is always good to check if the person has time for you. Contrary to what most people belief, it is OK to directly say what you are calling for. I used to say “Am I disturbing you?”, which already indicated that I didn’t find my question important enough or valued the other person’s time more important than mine. But with my weak opener I already opened the gate to “failure”.
In her book “Selling with Integrity”, Sharon Drew Morgen gives examples of how to avoid this. She advices sales people to use these words: “This is Sharon Drew Morgen speaking. This is a sales call. Is this a good time for you to talk?” When I first read this, I couldn’t believe this would work, but when I
tried it myself, I couldn’t believe the results. People were surprised by my honesty and no one ever told me that he/she was not interested. If it was not a good time for them, they gave me another time to call them back.
“But I’m not a sales person” you probably think. Then this also applies to you. I use variants of this sentence in all my communication, personal or professional. “Hi mom, I’m just calling to say hello. Is it a good time for you to talk?” or “Hi business partner X, I’m calling about the contract. Is this a good time for you to discuss this?” By using this phrase you show that you are confident about what you want and respect other people’s time. Just try it!”
To your success !