No matter where in life you are in the current moment, networking is vital to success. This comes from both maintaining the key connections made in the past and developing new ones along the way as well. In order to make the most of everyone in your contact listing, work to ensure you've asked these three questions recently to each of them. The circular nature of maintaining your network and building it will soon be obvious when you learn to ask these questions on a regular basis.
1. How Can I Best Help You?
By asking what benefit you can be to someone else, you are more likely to engage them, to teach them your benefits, and be known as someone who will work to add value to their business or lives. Even the librarian could use help carrying a stack of books from time to time, remember. Rather than focusing on what they can do for you, stressing that you want to be able to give back to them promotes you as a generous figure. And generosity is a characteristic that goes far with just about every other human out there. Boom. Serve others first.
2. What Ideas Do You Have for Me?
While this may seem like an open-ended question, the truth of the matter is that you can make it as specific as you like, when relating it to how the conversation has started. Would you like any feedback on what services you have provided for them, ways that you might have been able to improve how you've worked to help them? Perhaps that librarian you just carried books for has a suggestion of which book you should read next in order to learn more about marketing tools. Asking for the person on the other end of the conversation to offer you knowledge and insight shows trust, interest and engagement as well.
3. My Next Step Is... Any Referrals You Recommend?
Networks function best when they are always in a state of growth. Tell your connection what you are doing and what you are planning, and then be open to asking for help. The lead for a new job may be the librarian's best patron, for example, who has recently stated she needs a new Social Media Guru or company. Express the next phase of your plan, and always work to learn about new experts, leads, and general connections in order to make the most of your networking capabilities.
Offering assistance, asking for feedback, and working to constantly meet new people are the keys to building a successful network.
Connect with us to learn more about the ways in which a budding connection might be able to blossom into a fantastic opportunity with enough nourishment from you. And stay tuned for our next posts on how to handshake.