helping in business networking

When Networking, Ask “How Can I Help?”

Wherever you live in the world, Givers Gain® is the Number 1 rule to remember when networking. Always be thinking, “How can I help this person?” 

After all, business networking is about building relationships, and helping others is absolutely the best way to begin the relationship-building process.

Where to Begin?

In most social interactions, the common question is usually, “How’s everything going?” The typical response is often something like, “Great, things couldn’t be better.” This standard answer is often given as a gesture of courtesy because most people are aware that sharing their troubles might not be suitable for casual conversations. However, this automatic response seldom reveals the entire picture.

In reality, there is always room for improvement, and there are many ways that you can extend a helping hand. However, most individuals are reluctant to delve into specifics or disclose their challenges, particularly at social or networking events. To unveil genuine insights, avoid generalities like, “How are things?” Instead, ask more specific questions that dig a bit deeper.

For instance, if someone tells you things are going great, perhaps sharing that their business is thriving and surpassing their expectations, you can ask, “Are you successfully meeting all of your goals?” Even if the response is affirmative, this is still a big opportunity to help.

Consider this: It’s a business that is expanding faster than the owner had projected.
What potential support might it need?

By going beyond surface-level exchanges and genuinely understanding someone’s unique needs, you gain the ability to identify introductions that could prove beneficial for them and their situation. However, you can only figure out what introductions to make after getting past the generalities and finding out their specific needs.

Ways to Help Others

While many people think of networking solely as a channel for acquiring clients, embracing the Givers Gain mindset redefines it as a powerful tool for establishing relationships. The act of extending help introduces an avenue for building meaningful connections. Your assistance can come in a variety of ways. Here are some examples:
Making Introductions
Linking someone to individuals within your network can lead to profound outcomes. These connections can foster mutual appreciation and open doors for potential collaborations.

Sharing Knowledge
Providing industry insights, articles relevant to their business, or valuable resources underscores your willingness to contribute to someone else’s growth. Perhaps you can share something from your profession, such as an upcoming change in procedures that will affect them.

Skill Exchange
Sharing your areas of expertise or skills can be an impactful contribution to the success of others. Often, what may seem like a small thing to give can be of huge significance to the receiver.

Problem Solving
Helping someone in the resolution of business challenges they are experiencing demonstrates your ability to navigate complex issues. This can include giving tips on how to initiate the changes they will need to make to resolve the situation.

Mentorship
Offering guidance and mentorship can be invaluable to someone’s personal and professional development, including your own. I have found that every time I was a mentor to someone, it was also a learning experience for me, and I realized that I was improving myself while helping them.

Helping Builds Trust

When you embrace the Givers Gain philosophy, networking can go beyond transactional exchanges that are focused solely on getting a new customer. Instead, it becomes a way to build authentic and meaningful business relationships.

When you help someone in any way that serves their needs, you will begin a professional relationship with them, and creating a relationship helps build trust. Trust is the cornerstone of effective networking. When you practice Givers Gain often enough, you will be on the road to a powerful personal network predicated on trust that is built through helping someone else.

By genuinely aiming to assist others, you solidify a reputation as a valuable resource and a trusted collaborator. This embodies the true essence of business networking: fostering connections that enrich the lives of all parties involved.

The Number 1 networking rule, maintaining an attitude of, “How can I help this person?”, is the most effective way to build mutually beneficial relationships. Simply put, helping equals opportunity.

4 thoughts on “When Networking, Ask “How Can I Help?”

  1. This is very insightful article for persons like me who have just joined BNI (just 2 weeks ago). I am ready to gain knowledge and above all learning about “GIVERS GAIN” Philosophy and knowing about its outcome and how beneficial it is for social and network meetings had started to change me.

    Thanks a Ton

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