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Do You Ask For What You Want?

askforwhatyouwantIt really makes no difference at all what business you are in – you must be comfortable when you are networking.  Let’s begin this conversation by discussing what is networking?  It is anytime – let me repeat this – It is anytime – you are out and about with the opportunity to meet people?  Anytime, anywhere?  Yes, that is correct.

More formal and obvious networking is when you attend an event or a meeting designed for the express purpose of networking.  Less obvious and more casual would be when you are waiting on line to enter the movie theater or waiting on line at the Apple store.

Either way these are networking opportunities.

The goal of the first time meeting with someone from networking with them is to set up a one-on-one meeting. If you are both at a more formal networking meeting, this is not the place to have a lengthy conversation about each of your businesses. The goal is to first meet and connect. If this happens and seems to be good, agree to book a date, time and location for a meeting. The point is to begin to establish a trusting relationship with this person. How long this takes is generally up to the personalities and the interactions between the two parties.

Let’s assume you have established the trust and earned the respect of your networking friend. You know they want to help you. You know what you want are referrals for your business. Do you directly ask the question? “I would appreciate a referral or two from you for my business”. Are you asking for what you want?  Now it should go without stating it you will be there for your networking friend to provide them with referrals or what they need. It is possible they would like to have some assistance and they are seeking a really good website to be created for them and would like a name of someone.

If you actually want referrals given to you for your business you need to ask for them. The person or the group you are networking with are not mind readers. Similarly the person assisting you needs to communicate to you what they are seeking too. For all you know there is a belief that your business is doing so well and you are so booked up, that there is not a single spare moment and therefore you could not possibly need a referral.  How do you know what others are thinking about you and your business?

Mitch Tublin is an advanced certified executive and personal coach who resides in Stamford, CT.


  1. Mitch, networking is SO important to not only business, but one’s personal life as well. Thanks for the reminder and a quick and easy “How To…”

  2. I agree that it’s a good practice to get used to asking for what you want – not demanding, but asking. It’s a great business skill.

  3. I agree that it’s important to ask for referrals. I also think it’s great to ask how you can help the other person

  4. I always ask for something the person can say “yes” to. I put myself in their shoes, before asking, and think, “At this point in our relationship, is this something he/she can say yes to?” That said, there is always something I can ask for no matter how well I know the person.

  5. Heidi Alexandra says

    Its important to remember that ‘Networking’ is not “not working’
    Building relationships can start anywhere – I am still in contact with many people I have sat next to on long haul flights

  6. I agree networking is huge. Getting to know people is so important — building that network a step at a time. Not just for what they can do for you, but what you can do for them. Part of my business is having at my fingertips other professionals I can share with my clients (like personal chefs, etc).

    And when it comes to asking for referrals from your network that means knowing what a good referral is for you. It helps you both to be successful.

  7. Mitch,
    Connecting and asking for what we want is vital to business success.
    One of my favorite books on this topic is “The Aladdin Factor”.
    The truth is, when we ask for what we need, regardless of the answer, “yes or no”,we are no better or worse off than we were before we asked. My point is, we have to ask for what we want and be clear in our communications to move forward.
    Write on!~
    Lisa Manyon

  8. Mitch that is a really good point to ask for referrals.

  9. Failing to ask for the sale is a common problem I see with websites too! Site owners focus so much on education and providing content and being of service, that they forget a call to action! They forget to ever ask for the sale! It’s amazing the change in results you’ll see when you make the ask!