Asking your connections for help can make some of us hesitate or worse not act on our instincts at all out of fear they might say no to our request. It comes down to being prepared so that we feel confident when we engage both our network as well as new connections we are at ease and comfortable in what we want to say. Senior leaders on this show have shared how their network served them well when faced with a difficult choice or job transition. And let’s face it. Your circle of influence is there for you when you need them and ready for when you aren’t expecting it. If you want tips on how to be prepared for what to say-check out episode 08 with Robyn Sayles and episode 13 with Tara Lynn Foster. This episode is going to go beyond the obvious statement that you need a personal network. And it even past building your personal advisory board as described in episode 41 building your circle of influence. This is what to do once you have people in your corner-one of the things people forget doing is asking their circle of influence to help them in powerful ways. Now I have a question for you-what would you do if…you will fill in the blank: You are standing in line at Starbucks and strike up a friendly conversation with someone-but it’s like the experience on a plane when you meet someone and then never see them again and walk away without sharing information, or you take the conversation further and offer to potentially help that person, become LinkedIn and start a new connection with that person. Maybe you are thinking-I don’t see anyone at Starbucks I would want to know-hey I get it. Sometimes you want your quiet time without interruptions. But, chance doesn’t happen. Opportunities present themselves to you and when you see them-you need to seize that moment. This experience happened to me just this week. I was in Florida and all week, I noticed this Empowering women conference around the hotel. I saw women who looked like business owners, entrepreneurs and one thing they all shared was a confidence about them when they walked by or like this situation-standing at Starbucks. Standing next to a woman in line, we struck up a conversation and I asked: “Are you here for the women’s conference?”. It turned out she was and after a few short moments, we realized that we shared a common passion for empowering women and I offered to make an introduction to one of my guests from this podcast whom I thought shared a common interest and would be helpful to her. Now-you may be thinking- “that never happens to me.” But, I want to challenge you to step outside of your comfort zone and try to meet one person you didn’t know and offer to be of service to them. If you are feeling stuck-don’t work here are five tips to empower you to take action. 5 Ways Tips to Engage Your Connections Decide where you need help. Look at the details of your career and program-there areas of your job that you feel confident and know how to execute. Then there are situations you aren’t sure how to handle-for example how to get executives to be more involved at your biggest show. It may be in your organization that there are several layers between you and the President/CEO. Navigating to that person can be a challenge. Having a senior advocate in your arsenal will not only help give you access, but they can also help you create a plan and deliver a compelling story as to why the President’s participation will help close business. Know what you need before you ask. Request introductions. If you need to engage a leader within your organization but don’t know them-ask someone you know to help-preferably a sponsor or senior advisor. Be of Service to Others. If you are looking to ask a leader for their help-know what is important to them before you ask. For example, if increasing revenues at your face-to-face marketing is important-show how it will be mutually beneficial to collaborate together to have the President attend your next conference and interact with VIP attendees. Follow up on your ask. If you received help, and introduction or other advice, thank the person who provided the assistance. Share the steps you took following your conversation. Share your success. Everyone feels good knowing they helped achieve results. Be sure to not be shy, share how the steps you followed at their recommendation led to exceeding goals and objectives for your program. The most important thing you can do right now is decide where you need help and who can provide you with the assistance you need. Take action today and you will make steps to being noticed and promoted. Please reach out to me with any questions at Rock Your Trade Show I love hearing from you! Credits: Thank you to Christy Haussler at Team Podcast for editing this episode!