Last week I had a call with two of my clients. One mentioned their current struggle is having meetings with people who want to get into the same industry as my client. You’re right, I did just write about this last month. So we won’t rehash that. But as I was talking to them the other client mentioned “if only I can get my friends to stop taking advantage of my knowledge!”
What a great point – are you the friend taking advantage of your pal’s knowledge? I love helping my friends out – I just talked about this last week on the blog. But are you taking advantage of your friend’s knowledge when your friend would rather talk about ANYTHING but work at the moment?
Quick Test to see if you’re guilty:
1. If you think you are bothering your friend or contact, then you probably aren’t. You’re aware of it, and you can mention it to your friend. But if you think you’re bothering them, my guess is you’re doing all the right things to make sure you aren’t.
2. If you KNOW your friend doesn’t mind, that’s what she’s there for, she loves talking about work at 9 pm while you’re driving home from happy hour and she’s sitting on the couch with her dog watching TV after a busy day. YOU are taking advantage of your friend.
So how do you fix this? Easy: schedule time. Shoot your friend a note, “I’m excited we’re getting together for lunch next week, I have a couple of questions about my business I wanted to run by you, can we chat at lunch or would you rather set up another time?” Offer an out. Don’t call when it’s convenient for you, call when it’s convenient for them. Your friend is an expert in their field, and people pay for that expertise. Make sure you are offering to pay for the time, or pick up the tab at lunch, or offer your service back to them as appropriate.
And when your friend starts to ignore your calls? You’ll know you’re doing it wrong.
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