Like many, I get numerous requests to connect with people on LinkedIn and other social and business networks. I always ask the question – what prompted you to connect and how might I help you?
Now I don’t always get a response which is slightly strange, but that aside my interest is in finding out what they do and what their pain points are. Until I know what challenges people face it’s very difficult to know whether they might be a good match for my services or whether they can help me. Often I can help them indirectly by referring them to others within my extensive network even if I can’t help them myself.
What I find frustrating is the endless times, seemingly professional people invite me to connect then proceed to ram their services and products down my throat without extending the courtesy of understanding whether or not I might be even remotely interested. Just because I operate in the ‘Property’ sector does not mean that every little property related topic is of complete relevance to me or even on my radar!
How different it is when someone suggests we have a chat and discover more about what we each do. Asking questions about each others business and the daily challenges they face. Only by understanding what the problems are can we ever hope to be in a position to provide an appropriate solution.
Asking questions allows us to build a picture of the other persons situation and perspective. The more questions the clearer the picture becomes. So next time someone invites you to connect, start by asking questions, get an understanding of the space they operate in – you will suddenly open up a whole new world that you never knew existed. Your life will be richer in every sense.
I recently met someone at a business breakfast. On first exchange things didn’t look overly promising. He was in the IT industry and was a network specialist. Now I have only a very small idea about what this might involve and I know very little about this world. By asking some more questions and digging deeper – the conversation took a fascinating turn. When he was talking networking he was talking on a GLOBAL scale – using a new technology called Distributed Ledger Technology. Some of you may be familiar with Bitcoin which uses this technology. This guy was at the heart of developing ideas and uses for this technology which was fascinating. I could have just passed over this contact and let it slip, but by asking questions I was privy to a whole new world of possibility.
What questions do you ask and how has it benefited you? Do comment below, thanks.