Recently, I met someone who had undoubtedly had a tough time with work life for the past eighteen months. Although a highly qualified professional, with countless business skills to offer honed by nearly thirty years’ experience, they were convinced that they were not only poorly networked, but that what network they did have could not help them. This is not uncommon and I was pleased to be able to offer these four actions.
We’ve all met thousands of people.
We’ve all met thousands of people over the years. Why not sit and make a list of the people you know, current & ex colleagues, university alumni, fellow club members, family, neighbours and more? It’s easier now with LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter, but even with a pen and paper and just your memory, I guarantee people will come to mind that you’d forgotten and one name will lead to another.
It’s never too late!
It really doesn’t matter how long it is since you last spoke. I recently had a business meeting with someone I hadn’t seen for over thirty years, it was highly engaging, enjoyable and has already led to a further conversation with the possibility of working together. Your first approach only needs to be brief. Simply enquire about them, (it’s never about you) add a little context, make a positive comment about what they’ve achieved or something they did for you in the past and suggest a coffee?
I firmly believe that at heart, pretty much everyone wants to offer help if they can and if the occasional person doesn’t, there’s plenty more who do. Always ask great questions and listen to the answers and when the time is right, suggest something, however simple it is, that you can offer to help them with. By doing this in return they will naturally start to question you, or maybe even offer to help, allowing a natural or relaxed atmosphere for you to mention what you’re doing or need help with.
Lastly - Believe
Above all else believe that if you keep putting great stuff out there, it will always re-visit you in the end and the more you put out the more it repays.
1. Take action – start that list and let the names flow.
2. Get in touch - use social media, email, phone or even write a letter?
3. Always focus on them - do some research and ask good questions.
4. BELIEVE - it may not come gift wrapped, but it will turn up!