“David, I need your help!”
NEWSFLASH: if your email, LinkedIn message, Twitter direct message, or voicemail starts with that sentence, I better:
a) know who you are,
b) like you,
c) trust you, and ideally
d) respect you to prioritize you above all else on my plate!
As we embark on the new year, I’m getting the usual requests for introductions, free consulting, and general help with several initiatives. Here are some interesting aspects of each:
Know You – I don’t know who some of these people are! I may have heard their name but can’t recall where or how we met, and I certainly haven’t heard from them in some time. But for some reason, my name pops up in their heads and they assume that I’m going to drop everything else I need to accomplish to help them! Don’t get me wrong, I want to help. But please, read Relationship Economics and invest in people before you ask for a favor you’ve yet to earn! My bank does not let me withdraw $1,000 if I only have $100 in my account! Simple advice: everyone’s favorite subject is themselves. Start and end every conversation about them!
Like You – I don’t know about your parents, but mine drove into me that people will prioritize tasks, functions, favors, etc. for people they like! I’m not advocating for you to become someone you’re not, but are you candidly likable? How do you know? Are you kind, friendly, warm, or welcoming? Do others generally enjoy being around and with you? Are you interesting, engaging, enlightening to speak or visit with? If two people were talking about you today, would they have anything nice to say? I’ve learned that you can’t make everyone happy, but ideally you’re adding value to enough interactions that the favorable comments about you outweigh all the negative ones! Simple advice: Be nice! It doesn’t cost anything and creates a return in folds!
Trust You – Particularly if you’re asking me for an introduction to a trusted relationship, how do I know you won’t do something stupid to leave egg on my face for having introduced you? How do I know you won’t bug this executive if the fit isn’t right? How do I know you’ll deliver on your commitments? A unique aspect of trust that few mention is that it has to be felt not just talked about! I have to feel that you’re credible, sincere, value-focused, and trustworthy to open doors to my most valuable asset: my portfolio of relationships! Simple advice: deliver on the commitments you make, small or large, consistently!
Respect You – I may not know you that well, candidly like you that much, or trust you explicitly, but if I respect your point of view, perspective, body of work, results you’ve created for others, or the fundamental ability, skill, or knowledge to help someone in my portfolio of relationships, good chance I’ll listen, consider referring or introducing you, or including you on a key initiative. For many, this is a long shot but it’s the most impactful of the marketing gravity / pull factors. Simple advice: become an expert in your chosen field and let your body of work, results, impact or otherwise difference, speak for itself!
So, the next time you ask a favor of anyone, ask yourself if you’ve given them a chance to get to know, like, trust, and respect you! If so, proceed cautiously. If not, go back to step number one!
Make it a great week and #NeverStopGrowing.