For those of us that have spent some time networking, we realize how important it is to have a specific “ask.” Being specific with what you are looking for helps the other party recall people they can connect us to. If you haven’t done this, try it. For example, ask for a connection to a dentist versus “anyone that is a business owner.” You will see the results of how many dentists people will recommend over “anyone that is a business owner.”
For those of you that have been practicing this networking approach for a while, I trust that you are enjoying the results that it produces. I have another strategy to suggest. It has been producing even better and more exciting results than having a vague “ask.” Compile a list of your ideal prospects. The list should include the names of the companies and the key decision makers. Carry the hotlist with you everywhere you go. Now, when you meet someone that “gets” networking and they say, “How can I help you,” you have a list that makes it easy for them to glance through and tell you exactly what they can do to help you. It is amazing to see how many people respond to the hotlist by saying things like:
- “Oh, I went to high school with her.”
- “He was my neighbor back in the day.”
- “My brother works there.”
Those responses are perfect, and they really only work when we are specific enough to trigger that recall factor in someone’s brain.
Create your hotlist of twenty ideal prospects. Take it with you to every meeting this week and measure your pipeline development progress this week versus last. Start today!