Think about it, next time that you’re out at a networking event instead of just greeting people in the usual way or manner, try saying, “How can I help you?” Most people at a networking event know that people are there to:
1) to sell them something
2) to use them as a contact and then sell their company something
3) to get a job
4) to get a date
Instead of being like everyone else, differentiate yourself. Make yourself stand out and look good at the same time.
Ask these five simple words – “How can I help you?” And do it in a sincere manner. Then watch what happens. Even the best guarded defense will come down because of these five simple uttered words. How on earth can someone be rude or indifferent to someone that truly wants to help them? It’s impossible.
The added bonus here is that they may just open up and tell you of some difficulties they are experiencing in their line of work. Guess what? Difficulties are opportunities in disguise. Let me say that again because it’s that important –
Difficulties are opportunities in disguise
Not each person’s difficulties are different, but you may now find out that they’re having problems attaining or retaining good employees. Maybe they’re having a problem with a particular application related to SharePoint. Maybe they have a project that is beyond the scope or capabilities of their current staff. Whatever the difficulty is, by asking those five words – five very simple words at that:
How can I help you?
You just got a lot further than anyone else in the networking event ever could have. You also now know what difficulties they may be facing. You are probably also having a better conversation then if you would’ve just greeted them in the usual manner – How are you, I’m Jeff and I’m a salesman, programmer, accountant, etc…
The people that you want to talk to and that have the most for you to gain from are the same target for everybody else. Don’t be like everyone else. Instead, disarm them by asking how you can help them. Then watch what happens. Watch what doors of opportunity open for you.
But one word of caution, do not do this if your heart is not in it. Do not do this with false intent. This will only backfire on you then horribly. In networking, your character is a part of your personal reference. Business people are always talking to other business people in their same niche. The last thing you want them to pass round is that you are a fraud, liar or up to no good.
But if you do this because you care and you truly care and you truly want to help people, then sit back and watch the doors of opportunity that will open for you.
This is another great tip from DavidMaillie.com