Just how often are you asked that question? Weekly? Daily? Several times a day? And how often do you respond with more than a cursory “It’s OK”, “Busy” or similarly vague response?
We have opportunities, or even invitations, to educate our network about what we do and the types of introduction we’re looking for on a frequent basis. Yet we dismiss so many of them without a second thought. For many people this is a natural response, after all we naturally like to maintain a healthy divide between our business and professional networks (particularly if you’re English!) and we wouldn’t want to be impolite or bore people about our work.
Who is to say that you’re boring people though? After all, they’ve asked the question, why be so dismissive so easily?
As I explain in this video, I’m not suggesting giving people chapter and verse about your week. But expanding your respond from a short grunt to a more eloquent sentence will open the door to a wider conversation if the other person is genuinely interested.
In many of my presentations and workshops I ask participants to score the people in their network (both personal and professional) for how well they would understand what they do for a living. Following the nervous laughter, most people score the knowledge of their friends, family and peers very low.
That’s potentially very costly. While you’re reading this blog and watching the video, how many people in your network are sat in front of the person who you’d most like to hear about you? A potential client, employer or someone else who could have a major stake in your success.
If your friend or colleague fails to recognise the connection, that’s another opportunity missed. How many of us can afford to keep on passing on potential openings, simply because we want to be polite or don’t want to bore people?