How I Qualify a Networking Request

Entrepreneurs and Successful professionals get invites seeking “an hour of your time” or a chance to “pick your brain”. I’ve seen an increase in such invites after lockdown.

I get it all the time. It could be from Linkedin, or a cold email or an intro from someone I know.

The intension behind pick your brain can be a variety of things.

  1. He is got a fantastic app idea, that will be the next unicorn and need help with something. Something can be funding or introductions to investors.
  2. They need to sell their software or services, and they name the discovery call “pick your brain”.
  3. They built the first version of their product and wants feedback.

As your network grows — you’ll start receiving a lot of such requests. Giving time for them is not practical as it will be an unproductive activity.

I love helping people, but not all of them want my help. But how do I handle this without sounding rude?

I send a simple response asking for information on why they want to “pick my brain”. This response produces fantastic results. People share their true intention and then I can try the following things.

  1. It the help requires 1:1 conversation and is worth doing — I do it.
  2. If the problem can be solved by sharing a fantastic resource I have — I share it. I use an app called pocket to save helpful resources.
  3. It is not something I can help with — I say so.
  4. If the request is not worth investing my time into — I just say no.

Every “Pick your brain”, “an hour of your time” request is not worth your time. Have a way to qualify those requests and asking for more information is a great way to qualify networking invites.

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Co-founder of Datahut . Datahut helps companies acquire data from their competitor websites. I’m leading Marketing & Sales Operations.

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Tony Paul

Tony Paul

Co-founder of Datahut . Datahut helps companies acquire data from their competitor websites. I’m leading Marketing & Sales Operations.

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