Wisdom for Work

The Simple Networking Question That Gets You More Contacts


Networking. I’m sure you’d agree the the most successful professionals are very good at it.

But, given you’re busy, how do you keep networking over time so you end up knowing more people and, more importantly, more people end up knowing you.

How can you do that easily?

First, let me share a brief story from my own experience.

In 1997, when I first relocated from a provincial city to the much larger city of Auckland, I knew very few people. I was previously a professional broadcaster and wanted to completely change careers in order to do something different, and earn a lot more money.

My challenge was that I just didn’t know many people who weren’t in radio.

There’s one thing I did that opened up my network of contacts quite rapidly, but I’ll get to that in a moment.

What I did to develop my network

First, I began with the few people I knew living in Auckland. One of them was my sister. I met her and explained that I wanted to meet new people so I could find out what options there were for someone like me. Of course, she was very helpful and so was everyone I approached. People like to help people.

Next, I would make contact with those people, mentioning my sister as a reference. No one turned me down. I had many great conversations with people I had previously never met. My network soon began to build.

But, you only know who you know. How do you break out of the immediate circle?

The One Question That Got Me More Contacts

Here’s the one thing I did to rapidly expand my new network:

I always finished by asking the new person “And who else could you suggest I might talk to?”

This simple leveraging question opened doors I never knew existed.

The person always came up with a name, I always thanked them, and then got in touch with the new recommendation.

In this way I was able to rapidly expand my network which eventually got me into the kind of work I’ve now been doing for the past 18 years.

Try asking this question of existing contacts when you meet them.

I’ve found that people are almost always willing to help, and it’ll help you get more contacts.

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