There is a critical strategy when reaching out to new people.
Are you implementing it?
If you are trying to reach out to new people and grow your professional network and failing to get responses, read on.
Why Is This Concept Important?
This is the difference between being blown off and actually starting to interact with someone new, someone who you can serve into the future and in turn will serve as an important resource and referral source for you.
Networking effectively to new people and strengthening relationships in your current network takes work. Serving others sincerely and without expectation of reward is the only way to do it right. You’re not in this to land a job. You are in this to build a reputation and a network of friends who gain mutual benefit from being associated with each other.
If you want to see more referrals to work for companies, one of the key concepts to master lay waiting for you below.
Make It Easy
Reaching out to an organization or individual to volunteer this way has a little value, but not much:
“I would like to volunteer for you. Tell me what I can do.”
Wrong! Go directly to jail, do not pass go, do not collect $200.
Think about what you are doing to this poor organization or individual. You are asking them to take time out of their already busy day to go and find something for you to do. If they already have a defined need, it may work out. But more often, it’s just too much to ask for someone to drop all of the other important things on their plate so they can turn attention to you.
And even if they do, how likely is it that they’ll love you for it?
Just Say “Yes”
A much better scenario is the one where you have done all of the legwork to figure out enough about them or their organization to formulate your own volunteer opportunity.
For one example, I wanted to volunteer for a PMI Specific Interest Group (SIG) back before they become the Communities of Practice (COP).
I didn’t go to the board and simply say ?”I would like to volunteer for you. Tell me what I can do.”
Well, that’s not quite true. That’s what I tried first. When I discovered it wasn’t working, I had an idea.
So I looked at their organization and thought of a way I could provide direct benefit to them.
It was their website. It sucked.
So I spent some time and formulated a project charter and initial plan for how to use volunteer members in the group to update the website.
All They Had To Do Was Say “Yes”
And it worked. Not only did they allow me to proceed with the volunteer project eagerly, I was pleasantly surprised when they asked me to join the board.
And that’s how many other experiences I’ve had with this strategy have happened. It’s a ‘surprise’ when something good happens, but only because you go in with a sincere desire to help without expectations of reward.
As soon as you begin following this advice, you will see dramatic changes in your results.