Make Friends, Make Money
By Russ Holdstein
Here’s another good reason not to hole up in your office… meeting people creates support you can’t do without.
Remember the last time someone asked you for advice? Did you feel flattered? Did you feel good about yourself?
Remember the last time someone asked you to buy something or to do them a favor? Did you feel imposed on? Did you feel uncomfortable?
I’ll let you in on an important secret I’ve discovered and employed many times during my career. If you want something – an introduction, a sale, almost anything – ask instead for advice.
The very best way to gain entrée to a busy person, an important person, is to ask for advice. For example, if you want to break into a new market, draw up a list of the ten people you know personally that could be most helpful in getting you into that market. Then call up each of those people and ask them to have breakfast (or lunch or whatever – just get them out of their office, their power center, and into a neutral setting) because you want their advice. Flatter them a little bit, tell them you value their ideas, tell them you think they could help you (it’s true, isn’t it?).
Then get together with each of these people and tell them what your goals are. Get them to critique your plans, ask them your toughest questions. But never, ever ask them for anything else besides the names of other people you should talk to to get additional advice.
Then call these new names (using the name of the person who referred you as a door opener) and repeat the process. Soon you’ll have built a network of the best and brightest people you could ever hope to know. And because they now know you personally (because you have broken bread with them) and because they have an interest in your success (because they have given you advice), they will be interested in your progress. That means you have an opportunity to reconnect with them. When you do reconnect, you can ask for more than advice and introductions. You can ask for just about anything within reason.
Make friends, get great free advice and build a network of plugged in people who want to see you succeed. One of the very best tools I know of to build your business and have fun at the same time!