in order to be helped, help first

Handshake


I spent about an hour on the phone yesterday with a real estate agent in Florida, where we hope to move.
He’s a neighbor of a work contact of mine, who referred me to him.  I didn’t know him, and spoke to him solely based on my work contact’s recommendation – and my work contact was just a loose networking connection, too.

If you try to network thinking of how other people can help YOU, you will not be a successful networker. You have to become useful to others.  This real estate agent – I’ll call him Fred – reminded me of that today.  With little investment other than spending time talking to me today, he converted me from someone who’s looking for help into someone who’s looking to do a favor.  He spent a long time (over an hour) answering every question I had.  He sent me emails and gave me other real estate agents’ numbers.   He helped even knowing that I was looking to rent rather than buy.

What he did was convert me from someone who wanted something into someone who felt like he wanted to help him. Faced with a half dozen agents in my future hometown, I’d rather give Fred my business.  He helped me without asking for anything in return.  I know that he considered the fact that I’d appreciate his help, but that kind of thinking can drive you crazy – you can’t always assume that you’ve been helped because of an ulterior motive, despite what Adam Smith said.

The attempt to help others simply because it’s good business, good politics and … quaint as it may seem … just GOOD, is admirable. I’m reminded on a daily basis that offering to help someone without expectation of reward is infinitely rewarding.  You can gain personally; you can gain good karma, if you belive in that.  I’m enough of a believer in “karma” or “mojo” or “The Force” that I do believe that efforts on behalf of others do return, directly or indirectly, good things to you.   So remember the next time that you’re asked for help – or you feel inclined to offer it – that the effort it takes to assist in lieu of compensation is a precious gift, and none of us are too poor to give it.

photo credit: mujitra (´・ω・)

12 comments

  • Good thoughts on networking. I'm a motivational speaker for teenagers and on a regular basis, I get contacted by new speakers interested in asking me questions. I know some speakers who completely blow these rookies off, but I know when I was in their shoes, someone helped me. So I take the time to help them and although they may not be able to do anything for me right now, they'll remember who helped them out when they're further down the road!

  • It's like Miracle on 34th Street. If we don't have it at Macy's let the customer know what store they can find it.

    It builds trust between the store and the customer. You don't feel like you are getting swindled. I appreciate it when a salesperson says they don't know or they don't carry something try that place. I was looking at blutooth earpieces at a store recently and a salesperson walked up and asked if I needed help. I asked what the difference was between the different versions. She responded that of course the expensive ones were better. I walked out.

    Help me and even if I don't buy now I'll probably be back next time I'm looking for something

  • yes. the art of networking is figuring out how to help others.

  • That's the way it should be, and in the web 2.0 era we live in now, that's how it should be done. You will not be remembered if you cannot help someone else out. Everyone likes to be helped out a bit and if you provide the necessary help, it will come back. Good karma does work.

  • What goes around comes around! I got a job for my friend because I could not take it myself (the position was for a guy who could handle some heavy boxes). He was thrilled to get a job at a bank. I had no hidden hope that he would help me later. But I was pleasantly surprised when a position became available at the same bank but different department and I was the first one he called. I was very touched. I got the job and it was my big break in my College years.

  • What goes around comes around! I got a job for my friend because I could not take it myself (the position was for a guy who could handle some heavy boxes). He was thrilled to get a job at a bank. I had no hidden hope that he would help me later. But I was pleasantly surprised when a position became available at the same bank but different department and I was the first one he called. I was very touched. I got the job and it was my big break in my College years.

  • That's the way it should be, and in the web 2.0 era we live in now, that's how it should be done. You will not be remembered if you cannot help someone else out. Everyone likes to be helped out a bit and if you provide the necessary help, it will come back. Good karma does work.

  • What goes around comes around! I got a job for my friend because I could not take it myself (the position was for a guy who could handle some heavy boxes). He was thrilled to get a job at a bank. I had no hidden hope that he would help me later. But I was pleasantly surprised when a position became available at the same bank but different department and I was the first one he called. I was very touched. I got the job and it was my big break in my College years.

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