Why ask others for help and what do you gain from it?
What does asking for help have to do with creating business relationships and making announcements? It has everything to do with it. You have made announcements, donated items, created an awareness of who you are and what you do. You are now in the position of getting more business than you can handle, or worse, not getting enough business in the community. You should then be able to call on prospective customers and ask for their time to help you solve a particular problem. The problem must be one that they will be able to help you solve before you ask for their time. For example, you could call a business and ask them if they could help you answer some questions about handling a situation you have and that you know they have handled well in the past. You will almost always get a yes to setting the meeting.
You should never hesitate in asking others for advice or help on something you say they do well. The person you talk to is impressed and their ego is stroked in a way that is positive. It is a good basis to form a great business relationship. On the negative side, however, you should never come across as being too needy. The needier you seem, the more it will turn off the relationship. You will also find that there are a number of groups in your community that support businesses, such as TEC or the Alliance of CEOs; you should look into other ways to solve problems and gain contacts at the same time.
Gaining outside insights will also put you a leg up when being sought out as a business partner for a project. If you have a give and take rapport with your business relationships, then you will have a great foundation for being accepted and being in the position of being recommended to others. You are, after all, in a big race to win the business.
Bette Daoust, Ph.D. has been networking with others since leaving high school years ago. Realizing that no one really cared about what she did in life unless she had someone to tell and excite, She decided to find the best ways to get people's attention, be creative in how she presented herself and products, getting people to know who she was, and being visible all the time. Her friends and colleagues have often dubbed her the "Networking Queen".
Blueprint for Networking Success: 150 ways to promote yourself is the first in this series. Blueprint for Branding Yourself: Another 150 ways to promote yourself is planned for release in June 2005. For more information visit http://BlueprintBooks.com