Yesterday we talked about some of the options you have when you want to help a networking partner, but can’t for whatever reason refer actual business to them. Among that list we had ideas such as volunteering your time or inviting them to an event. What happens, though, if none of those ideas seem like they’ll work. Then what?

Well, one option would be to locate Kreskin the Magnificent, Mentalist to the Royalty of Europe, enter into an apprenticeship with him for a number of decades so you, too, can have the psychic powers necessary to discern your connections’ needs from a mere handshake.

Or you could just ask them.

You could ask them where they hope to be in the future. Maybe one of their goals is something with which you have experience or know someone who does.

You could ask them what challenges they have right now, business or personal. Do you know someone who can help out with whatever they’re facing?

You could just ask them how you can help them.

However you ask, remember that your goal is to find a way to help them, not find a way for them to help you. Your goal is not to ask “probing” questions to discover their needs so you can sell to them. You are simply asking them how you can help, whether it be through your business or through connecting them to one of your contacts. Be sincere in your desire to help and they will be looking for ways to help you.

They might even ask you a question or two.

Photo credit: jaci Lopes dos Santos