I am on a tear about prospecting recently as I make connections to grow The Interview Doctor.
Recently I attended a presentation, “Pain-Free Prospecting”, by Dr. Lisa Van Allen that sheds a new light on prospecting or networking for job seekers.
Dr. Lisa offers a quiz to evaluate your prospecting skills. I have adjusted this quiz a little to apply to networking for job seekers. How well prepared on you to network today? Rate yourself on a 1 to 5 scale where 1 is not at all prepared and 5 is very well prepared.
Add up the numbers you circled. If your total is between 28 and 35, you are a networking pro. Please call The Interview Doctor and give us some tips! If your total is between 15 and 27, you have a good start. The items in which you scored 3 or less are the items you should work on. If your score is less than 15 you probably know you are not very comfortable networking. Since networking is the best way to find a job, you could be job search challenged.
Here are some ways Dr. Lisa suggests we use to become better at prospecting networking.
Understand what you have to offer. Dr. Lisa suggests that if you can complete these statements you will understand how to explain what you can offer.
“You know how some people __(explain the problem)_________________________________
And that causes them to __(explain the bad thing that happens due to the problem)________
Well, what I do is __(explain how you can solve the problem)___________________________
And that helps them to__(explain the good thing that happens because you came on the scene)”
This kind of statement might be a little simplistic but you have to be able to explain how you add value in a succinct fashion. Your goal is to build relationships by highlighting how you can help solve an important problem. Try this and see if this makes a difference.
Identify your ideal prospect. I am a strong believer that everyone you meet is a potential lead for prospecting and for networking. In job search some connections are closer to your goal than others. Dr. Lisa suggests we understand our ideal target connections in this way:
- What are my perfect target connection’s attributes?
- What makes my perfect target connection tick?
- Where does my target connection hang out?
- What is it about me that would make me attractive to my target connection?
- What would make me more attractive? What should I highlight when I talk to my target connection?
Once you understand the characteristics of your ideal target connection you can use search techniques to find those people starting with LinkedIn. You can open the conversation with these ideal connections using the statement you created in the previous section.