When I started networking the right way I really understood the importance and impact of a well-crafted elevator pitch (aka, me in 30 seconds, etc.). The question this answers is “what do you do,” or “tell me about yourself,” or something like that.
It was really hard for me to answer with something really concise, targeted, full of information, and leaving you with a desire to learn more about me
I eventually got comfortable with my response… but there was “that other” hard question… “How can I help you?”
Last week I was asked, in an e-mail, from one of the most connected people on the planet “how can I help you?”
I had to swallow my pride, which usually wants me to say “oh, I’m ok, but thanks for offering!”
You see, in the real spirit of networking, Vincent wants to help. And he usually can. So here was my response (in e-mail):
How you can help me… always a funny question. Let me lay out what my goals are for this year:
1. Get 73 more coach/resume writer partners.
2. Get more associations using JJ like IEEE-USA is (recognize this cool stuff: http://careers.ieeeusa.org/ ?)
3. Get some partnerships with outplacement firms nailed down.
4. Get more users on JibberJobber.
5. Get more PR. I just interviewed with NPR today (Vincent, this was a CT station: http://www.cpbn.org/wnpr-programming-schedule (some Sunday (Iâ€™m not sure which one) at 3pm)), which was awesome. Iâ€™ll be on NPR in SF in Februaryâ€¦ and would love to get more radio interviews. Also, newspaper coverage, especially the kind that would make people turn their heads (WSJ, NYT, etc.).
Of course, this is all pie in the sky (know that Iâ€™ll work my tail off to achieve it this year), so if nothing else, just getting Mr. T to do a 3 minute video where he says JibberJobber instead of JibberJabber would be great
It wasn’t easy to lay all of these out (and less easy to put it here, as now I’m making my path public), but I’ve come to realize that people want to help, and they can help, but they need to know what we need. Check out Vincent’s response, which blew me away:
I’m actually on the phone with someone who knows Mr. T. She says she’ll call him tomorrow.
There’s more to the story, as this e-mail went to two people (it was a virtual introduction). The other person, Bill Sobel, probably knows half of the who’s-who in NYC, and he replied back with a virtual introduction to a vice president of one of the three largest outplacement firms in the world.
Just knowing how to answer, with SPECIFICS, was the key.
So let’s assume you know how to respond to the question “tell me about yourself,” how exactly would you respond to the question “what can I/we do for you?” Put it in the comment box below!