For years now, I’ve promoted the idea of collaborative networking. Rather than walking up to people at a networking group, business card in hand, and trying to describe your business, approach people with the question, “What are you working on and how can I help?”
This approach works wonders and it follows the classic Zig Ziglar quote… “You will get all you want in life if you help enough other people get what they want.”
Zig nailed it. There’s an added benefit here for shy people. Many people, myself included, are shy about approaching strangers and introducing ourselves. It may seem contradictory coming from a public speaker but it’s true. And, by the way, being a speaker actually is a way of working around that because when you come off stage, people generally approach you.
But who would turn their back on someone that approaches offering to help? It’s unlikely anyone would and if they did, you don’t want to do business with them anyway.
The next time you’re in a networking situation, try asking, “What are you working on and how can I help?”
Got a tip you’d like to share? Leave a comment below.
Misty Khan says
Great tip, Bill! The BNI saying is “givers gain” which is along the same lines. Also, if you start out by asking questions and discussing your networking partner’s challenges then you immediately establish yourself more as a consultant than a sales person.
Bill Hibbler says
Excellent point, especially for sales people and consultants, Misty.