If you have seen/read The Secret or have practiced using the law of attraction in any way, you know the first thing they have in common with networking: if you don’t ask, you don’t get. Both networkers and the universe want to give to you. The better you are at asking for what you truly want, the more likely you are to receive it.
Do you know what you want? Is it more clients? Maybe you need more referral partners. Perhaps it’s a new staff member that can take your business to new levels. Whatever it on that list, get clear on it. Prioritize it. Understand who is likely to help you find what you seek. Most importantly, be comfortable asking.
If you are an active networker, you will be meeting lots of people. Some are folks you have known for a while. Others are brand new to you. Hopefully you are taking the time to ask them how you can help them (you are, right?). If you do the work of being interested prior to being interesting, most times they will ask you how they can help you too.
This is your chance to get what you seek. Two things happen when you make your specific asks known. First, as you tell an individual or a group of people what you want, you are actually giving to them. Yes, it’s true. Allowing others the opportunity to help us is an act of giving. Don’t agree? Check out my last piece ( Why Giver’s Gain?) on the concepts of the law of reciprocity and the law of generosity. Hopefully that clears it up.
The second thing that happens when you ask is that you affirm your order with the universe.
So here you are asking people for what you seek. If you know about your audience, you can tailor your ask. Increase the odds of having your ask come to fruition by making it relevant to the people who are there. If you don’t know your audience, (you can have an audience of one) ask for the number one thing on your list. You never know who others know until you ask them.
It’s amazing how powerful having a succinct, specific and relevant ask is when you use it. Try it. Try it often. Watch how people want to help when you let them.
This article originally appeared in The National Network 4/19/09 edition and is reposted here with their consent.