Wednesday, June 06, 2007

A New Way of Asking

Little Black Book of ConnectionsFrom my Certified Networker training, I know that the best way to succeed in business is to be willing to help others first. In fact, in the CN training course, there is a whole chapter on possible ways you can help other people other than just passing them business. After all, you'd like to be able to help people right away, but it's kind of hard to pass them business when you don't know them at all yet, right?

So one of the challenges I've run into, especially when I first meet with people, is asking the question "How can I help you?". OK, just to be clear, for those of you who, like my good buddy Dan, enjoy interpreting things literally just to get my goat, I am capable of vocalizing the question and, in fact, have no moral or ethical qualms about asking it. The problem is that I am perpetually misunderstood.

Everyone assumes I am asking "Do you have work for me?"

Today, over lunch, I was reading Jeffrey Gitomer's "The Little Black Book of Connections" and came across a better way to say this simple phrase: "What are your needs in the coming year?" (which, of course, could be followed up with "How can I help you with them?").

I'll be attending a few Chamber networking events in the coming weeks. I'm looking forward to trying out this new approach.

I'll let you know how it goes.

How would you ask this question?


Anonymous said...

"What do you want?"

Anonymous said...

Why are you here?