Just Ask

My pal, Dave, organizes periodic events whereby he gathers industry leaders to hear from great speakers. People have long marveled at Dave’s ability to recruit these great speakers for his lineup. They wonder, ” How’d you get so-and-so to say ‘yes’?” Dave’s reply, “I asked.”

Have you ever wanted for something like getting a highly sought expert to speak to your team? Perhaps a simple cup of coffee with someone you admire for a 20-minute conversation? Or, maybe an endorsement from a respected person in the community? You know, if you ask, you might just get what you want.

Consider these tips:

  1. Make a List.  Do you have an idea of people you’d like to connect with based on their particular areas of interest or expertise?  Write ‘em down.  Start reaching out.

  2. Be Specific.  You’ll find that people want to help.  Help them help you by being clear about ways that they can be of value to you.  Ask for what you want.  Share your rationale.  No mystery and intrigue needed – be direct… ask and you may receive!

  3. Prepare to Move On.  Almost everyone will say, “Yes!”  Some will say, “No” (some may even say nothing at all…).  If after you’ve tried and tried and tried again with a particular individual, understand that you’re probably asking the wrong person and move on to the next person on your list (see tip #1:  Make a List for ideas).

  4. Pay It Forward.  Don’t forget:  There is someone just like you who needs to connect with someone just like you.  Think of the good feelings you get when someone you’ve reached out to is receptive to your request… if you can make it work, try to be the source of similarly good feelings for someone else when they reach out to you.

  5. Say Thank You.  This is just common, everyday manners… the stuff your mama taught you when you were small:  When someone does you a kindness, express your appreciation with a “thank you!”  Even if they tried… but were unable to meet or accommodate your request, you might still tell them how grateful you are to them for the effort – they will remember your appreciation the next time you ask them for assistance, advice or a favor.

Happy Networking!

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