Which of the following do you find surprising and uncomfortable:
A) Your new neighbour asks to borrow your lawn mower within minutes of meeting;
B) Someone you just met at a networking function asks you to recommend them on LinkedIn;
C) Someone you just met asks you to connect them to your most important connection.
Now, which of the following do you believe:
A) Ask and ye shall receive;
B) If you don’t ask, you don’t get;
C) The early bird gets the worm.
Noticing a disconnect here? Most people would circle all the responses in either parts of this exercise. So here’s the challenge: you find it strange when people you barely know ask you for significant favours. You haven’t had the time to know, like and trust them and at the same time they’re asking for something that requires trust. You’re also programed to “get out there and ask”! In fact I know a lot of business trainers that would tell you to just be courageous and do those things I’ve listed in Part A. Big disconnect!
The fact is, the more important a connection is to you, the more likely you are to feel the desperate need to blurt out your ask for support without taking any time to let them know, like or trust you. Since starting work on the documentary movie we’ve received literally thousands of requests from people we just met to be in the movie. At the same time, we’ve had a handful of influential people call us and highly recommend someone we simply must look at. Which of these do you think more gets our attention?
Those who play the influence game get this relationship. Build relationship with influencers and you can stop working so hard to sell yourself. Others will do it for you. I say this all the time in my courses and training: The currency of influencers is influence. They gift it away freely because they have learned that every bit of influence they give comes back to them with interest. Can you imagine how greatful someone would be in you helped get them a spot in a documentary? Can you imagine what it might do for you to have a famous documentary expert deeply grateful to you for helping get them a spot in a documentary?
It’s really that simple. Stop selling yourself. When you invest in relationships with influencers that you authentically admire, you invest in your own credibility.
Today’s tip? Instead of trying to ‘ask and ye shall receive’, start spending the currency of influence. Start recommending people who deserve it.