Daily. Seriously, every single day, I receive a message like the following:
“Hi Paul, I’m working on an incredible new project. Can you introduce me to Oprah so I can pitch it to her for funding?”
I wonder do they really expect my reply to be:
“Sure, let me fire-off an email immediately to her and make an introduction.”
Let’s get serious folks!
The biggest problem people have with networking is going in for the “ask” too soon. If your networking strategy is simply about getting what you want, that’s called “using” not “networking”.
Keep in mind the #1 rule of influence is reciprocity. Doing many somethings for the person you’re building with before you make your ask will dramatically increase your ask getting answered.
The most successful relationships I have built are with people I do more for than they do for me. I give, give, give, give, give, then ask.
Sure, networking is about getting what you want but it’s also about making sure the people who are important to you get what they want, too.