Have you experienced a networking “expert” say, “instead of going up to someone, handing them your card and asking ‘What can you do for me?’ instead, Go out there and be a giver”. It is a great concept to ask, “What can I do for you?” or “ How can I help you?”
This seems like a great concept, but actually it causes an awkward challenge if you are a busy entrepreneur, executive or sales rep and you’ve got half a dozen people at a network meeting walking up to you saying, “Hey, what can I do to help you with your business?” That’s a really sweet question. It’s very genuine, it’s very nice per se but the truth is, it’s not very helpful because they didn’t take the time to get to know what you’re up to, they didn’t look for ways where they can really serve you, they didn’t ask questions that help them identify gaps that they can actually step in and help fill. In short… they didn’t do the research.
I remember a long time ago, I spent a few hours hanging out with a guy named James Altucher. He’s got a very interesting blog that he writes and a very interesting podcast. I asked him, “How did you go from struggling to making 10 million dollars on one deal? Losing it all to making $14 million on the next deal? How did you do that?” In his response he taught me a very simple technique of active networking (that’s the term I gave, that’s not what he said)
He said he would go out and look for an opportunity, a person or an organization that he wanted to connect with and he would spend time researching online what’s going on in their world – articles that they would write, blogs they posted, their Instagram, their Twitter. He would just dig into their world and learn about them and educate himself of what they’re up to, what they’re focused on, what they’re talking about, projects they are working on. All the details that they are working on, and he would naturally look for gaps that existed in their plan, in their execution, in their message. He would look for things that he could find that as a consumer, or as someone who really enjoyed receiving content from them, he wished there was more of and he would take notes and say,
“I wish you would cover this topic, I wish you would do it like this, I wish you came into this side, I wish you have this additions to it..”
He would capture all these ideas and he would send it in one email and say, “Listen, I really wanted to connect with you, I think here’s a handful of things I read, saw or experience while working with your team, your site, your material that I think could make better. If you use it, high five! Thanks for viewing one of my ideas as useful. If you don’t, no problem. I just wanted to take a moment to reach out, ask if I could be of service in anyway and offer these simple thoughts and suggestions that might help you do what you do even better. If you have time to reach out, I’d love to connect. If not, take it as a goodwill gesture and hopefully we’ll cross our paths in the future. Now what’s amazing is that this is exactly how he landed a deal, which got him on to a TV show and working with them in building an app that he sold to the TV show host for $10 million! It’s pretty amazing! Not only that, that’s where he got connected with the team at Amazon – because he had gone through their experiences as an author, wrote up a whole list, sent it to someone there, never heard back for 6 months and then 6 months later, he got a call saying, “Hey, we’ve reviewed your email, we’ve implemented a handful of things, we’d like to invite you out and ask you to look around, walk around to see what we’re doing here, see if there is anything else we could improve on. We really enjoy your insights. He hopped on to a flight and got to meet all the execs at Amazon just to see if there is anything else he can help with.”
So, this is for you all networkers out there, all the people we appreciate and get emails from that, say, “Hey Jairek, great to connect with you, what can I do to help your business? What can I do to help you today?” It’s really sweet, I appreciate the gesture. I only recommend doing your homework, getting to know what we’re actually up to and finding ways to fill the gaps, finding ways to help expand it if you are reaching out to us. If you have no care in the world to reach out to us, take this and look for someone you do want to connect with and use the same philosophy.
With this in mind, we’ve created a fun worksheet for you. Download the worksheet at the bottom of the page and all you need to do is drop your name and email. We’ll email it right to you. Use that worksheet as your template on how to go about doing some research, getting to know who you’re trying to reach out to, getting to know what their gaps are, understanding how you can fill those and going out there and really, truly actively network.
Stop being a lazy networker, go out there and make a difference and have some fun doing it. Hope you enjoyed this episode and hope to see you next week for another episode of JRCTv.
To your success,