Wednesday, November 13, 2013

How many networkers really try to help those who help them?

Each day I get a few emails or phone calls from people I may know, or more likely, have been referred to me by someone I know. Usually, they are asking for two or so hours of my time to meet and make introductions as they job hunt. Often they offer to buy me a cup of coffee or lunch. The reason it takes two hours is that I will have to drive to meet them and then drive back, rarely less than an hour, often more. The reality is that while I am happy to help people, I feel that they are not being considerate of my time. If I accepted every request, I would spend all my time helping job or business seekers. One way they can make it worth my time is to reciprocate.

Yesterday, I met with someone for over an hour, but not once during that time did she ask me how she could help me. Even those who do ask the question, will rarely dig deep enough to really help. If someone genuinely wants to reciprocate and help those whom they ask for help, they will try to understand you as much as they can. They will try to learn what you do and test out if introductions will help by making a few suggestions and asking how they are on or off target. They will regard helping you as an obligation on their part.

Test yourself and think back to the last time you asked someone else for help. How much help did you give them?