Today we’re going to be diving into one of my favorite topics because it’s the most heavily asked thing that people come to me about is networking.
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I am Dr. Nell with American Acupuncture Council, and welcome to another episode of To The Point. Let’s go to the slides. Today we’re going to be diving into one of my favorite topics because it’s the most heavily asked thing that people come to me about is networking. And we’re gonna go specifically over things that you do not want to say when you’re networking.
Things that could be damaging could prevent you from accomplishing what you wanna accomplish when you’re either . Networking with other providers, trying to get referrals, trying to build more people in your community. And so we wanna make sure that we’re not doing these three things that we’re gonna go over today to get the most value out of that experience.
First, let’s just address something real quick. Why do we get this wrong? Those harsh truths when it comes to why are we saying potentially the wrong things when we’re engaging in something like networking? First of all, we’re human, so let’s acknowledge that we’re not gonna get things right every single time.
But a lot of times when it comes to networking in general, the issue is we’re so focused on our needs and not about providing value for the person that we’re talking to. So we can be selfish by nature. A lot of times when people think about going to a networking event, they’re thinking, oh I’m going here so I can get more patients or, so I can find more referrals or, so I can meet somebody who’s gonna be part of my care team.
. A lot of times we’re focused on, yeah, what is the bottom line for us, rather than what is the value that we can provide? And then of course there’s a fear component, right? Again, that goes back to we’re all human. Fear of, I don’t know exactly what to say if I’m too forthcoming with why I’m going to this networking event, how is that gonna come off?
Am I ? Going to feel confident enough to accomplish my goals when it comes to talking to complete strangers, that’s not an easy thing to do by any means, and it’s something that does require a little bit of practice. So what I wanted to do with this presentation really nice and quick today and value driven is just go over.
The commonly heard things that don’t provide a lot of value for people. The biggest one that I hear, and I’m gonna put it first, is people say, I want to pick your brain. This is one of the most. Common things that will come out of somebody’s mouth when they go to an event. When they call up somebody as a follow-up.
I get this all the time, people I know a lot or don’t know very well. Now granted, if you know somebody really well, you have an established relationship with them. Let’s say you’re a former student of mine that I’ve met several times, I don’t mind someone saying, I wanna pick your brain. The mistake that gets made however, is, we are excited to meet someone.
We admire that person. We feel like they would provide a lot of value for us, and then we shoot them an email to try to set up a meeting and we say, I wanna pick your brain. The reason that this is problematic is, First of all, there’s an assumption here that person values their ego more than their time, right?
So you’re telling them, oh, they have something to offer, and just assuming that they’re gonna give up their time in order to share that with you. So it’s not a value driven statement to make. So we wanna do something else. We wanna shift the focus so it’s more value driven for them, something that we can provide, something that we wanna share.
Being more specific about what we wanna talk about, saying to them. You know that they’re the person who could answer X question for you and you’re going to do X, Y, and Z. That doesn’t mean that everything has to be transactional. Really, though, we just wanna make sure that we’re providing value anytime we speak to somebody.
And so you never wanna say to a perfect stranger, oh hey, I wanna pick your brain, and just assume that they’re going to be able to make time for that or want to make time for that. The second thing that I hear a lot is whenever you have time, This goes a little bit into that third piece, that fear component that someone would say no to us.
Not wanna hop on a call with us, not wanna have a follow-up conversation to one that we had when we are unspecific like this and say whenever you have time Everybody feels like they’re busy and they don’t have time. So we wanna shift this a little bit to say when you can make time, when it’s convenient for you give them specific times in the next week or so.
I’m available Tuesday through Thursday at these times. People do need guidance and you wanna make this process as . Easy for someone as possible. So if I get an email from someone and they say, Hey, I wanna pick your brain whenever you have time. To me that ends up being a lower value email. It’s one of the last things I’m gonna get back to because I have all of these more specific requests from people.
I think generally people do wanna help. They do wanna engage, they want to cultivate community and cultivate relationships. But it can be really difficult in the society that we live in the day and age that we live in where people are generally very busy and they need a little bit more specificity and a little more guidance as to what that ask is.
And this one I put in very specific for our industry because as much as . I love the acupuncture community. I love our profession. We have a tendency to engage in medical jargon. And when I say medical jargon, part of that tradition that we hold so dear in our medicine, things like. Chi Blood Yin.
We’re so eager to talk about how we can help people. We’re so eager to educate about how incredible and effective our medicine is that sometimes we tend to. Overwhelm people with information and overwhelm people with information that is not particularly valuable to them or relevant to them at face value.
So if I’m someone who’s never heard of this medicine before and you’re talking to me about chi or blood, I might have an idea of what I think blood is. And that’s very different than what we mean about blood from a clinical perspective. So when we’re trying to . Cultivate a relationship with someone or provide value to someone.
We wanna make sure that we’re meeting them where they’re at. So if someone is a very busy, stressed out business person and we’re talking about how we can provide them value rather than talking about cheese stagnation that they may be having, we wanna talk about stress relief better sleep, things that are gonna be a little bit more relatable to them.
So at the end of the day, the things we wanna remember, ’cause we’re going back to the don’ts. Why we don’t do this right all the time. Yes, we’re all human. So that is the truth. Whether, we’re saying something like, I wanna pick your brain. Just think if you would wanna hear something like that.
Or whenever you have time. . Not specific enough for me or the person that I’m talking to. So you wanna remember that? Yes, we’re all human, but you wanna first and foremost focus on the needs of the person that you’re trying to reach, that you want to take time out of their day to have a conversation with you, to network with you, to build a relationship with you and.
Let’s get rid of the fears because if you are coming from a good wholehearted place, if you’re coming from a place of wanting to provide value, there is never any reason to fear that connection with someone, that conversation, or that desire to build your network. So again, I told you it was gonna be nice and quick and value driven.
If you have any questions for me, you can always reach out. I’m at the American Acupuncture Council and be sure to tune in next week for another episode of To the Point. .