Have you ever got a request to help someone? I get, and see, these types of requests regularly. Here’s one I saw on a LinkedIn Group 7 days ago:
Recently downsized, I am experienced in many areas any leads would be appreciated.
This was the ENTIRE message… there was nothing before that and nothing after that. So…
What do you think… can you help this person?
Are you ready and willing to share some leads?
Many of you are open to it, some of you are anxious to help, but first, let me help the person asking this question.
The problem with the question is that no one knows what kinds of leads this person would be most interested in.
Do you want to sell insurance? There are plenty of people on Monster that would love to have you start selling insurance.
On the Group where he asked the question, there were two responses that looked like MLM. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with that, but are you interested in a business ownership, commission and sales role? (based on the person’s LinkedIn Profile, I’d guess he is not too interested in that)
Would you like to work in construction, or at Taco Bell? Want to work as a security guard at night?
There’s nothing wrong with any of these, but the question does not help me understand what this person is looking for.
Let me use imagination and re-write what this message could have been. I’m going to use MYSELF (from six years ago) in the example below… Pass this post along to anyone who has asked you for help… many, many people need to have more clarity in their message.
I was recently downsized from my company where I was the general manager. We provided custom software and networking services for companies in a few different industries.
(these two lines gives you an idea of what I used to do, what my skills and experience have been, and perhaps what my passion has been)
I have a lot of experience with various things including leadership and strategy (which is what I did as a general manager), customer acquisition and account management, and software design and development.
(This line helps the reader/listener understand even more what my specialties are… it is definitely a missing link in the original message)
I would appreciate any leads in the Salt Lake City area.
(that is where I was living when I got laid off, and where I have a house payment, etc. NOTE: after a few months of no success, I opened up my search to anywhere in the U.S. It’s important to let us know if you are open to moving… or if you want to stay in one area!).
I am especially interested in a company that is growing fast and needs strategy and leadership as they grow. I’d love to work at a company that provides software services for other companies. .. I would be open to a large company that has an established IT shop.
(This last line needs work, but the idea is to give me an idea of what kinds of companies I want an introduction to.)
For example, I’d like to work at Zions bank in their IT department, or for ______ company, or for ______ company. I’m open to other similar opportunities, also.
(Now, close it with a question / aka, call to action:)
Do you know anyone I should talk to? They can be at those companies, similar companies, or just in the IT field. If you know someone you can introduce me to, will you send me an email so we can start the introduction? My email is _______.
Contrast the message above to this message (in bold). Very different…. when you ask for help, if you aren’t specific, you risk no one being able to help you. Imagine going to an architect and saying “please design a house for me. I don’t have any specifications… just a house.” They’ll need more to go on, right?
Your friends and family need more to go on, also.