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.
- 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.
- They need to sell their software or services, and they name the discovery call “pick your brain”.
- 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.
- It the help requires 1:1 conversation and is worth doing — I do it.
- 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.
- It is not something I can help with — I say so.
- 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.