February 2

How to reach out and connect with someone for the first time


Imagine for a second that you’ve identified someone you’d love to reach out and connect with because you’d like them to be part of your network – the question is how?

How do you reach out in a way that is more than a “let’s connect” click? In a way that is respectful and maximises the chances of a reply versus you disappearing into the ether of invisibility?

I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve been asked, ‘How do I approach (insert name)? What do I say?

Clients talk to me about a lack of confidence, a fear of rejection, and worry about being judged. They are concerned about being interesting enough and mention the battle with their inner voice that plants the seeds of doubt with, ‘Why would X person care about me?

And so instead of reaching out and building their network, clients let their fear, lack of confidence, and worry about what to say and how to say it get in the way of taking action.

Any of this sound familiar?

When I get asked, ‘How do I approach (insert name)? What do I say?’, my answer is always the same:

If you only had 5 minutes with X person, what would you ask them and why does it matter? Get clear on the one question you want to ask.
Ask them the question!

Seriously, it’s as simple as that.

The one question is so important (and always overlooked).

We ultimately have to respect other people’s time. So, don’t just superficially click connect or ask them for ‘a coffee to pick their brain’. Don’t just ask them to be ‘part of your network’. And whatever you do, don’t send them a long list of questions via LinkedIn (ugh).

Be direct, be thoughtful about what you’re seeking.

If you really value someone’s opinion and advice, then invest your time first to get clear on what help you need. Get specific in your request and I guarantee most people will be willing to help, and if they can’t, they’re very likely to respond with an explanation or even introduce you to someone who would be better at helping with said advice.

As opposed to ‘Can I meet you for a coffee?’ (which is a sure-fire sign that you’re going to chew up their precious time) say, ‘I’d like to chat with you about the three key things you did to grow your career to becoming a partner’ or ‘I’m looking to expand into China and noticed you had managed to do so successfully. I’d really appreciate it if you could share your three key insights’ or ‘I’ve been following you on social media and love what you’re doing. What is the one key tip you would share?’

Show you’re interested.

Show you care.

Show that you’ve invested your own time thinking about the key question or piece of advice you want to ask.

In summary:

Identify WHO you want to connect with.

Identify WHY connecting with this person matters to you.

Identify WHAT you want to ask.


Own it. Be curious. Be brave. Reach out—and don’t forget to expect the unexpected.

Until next week.

Janine Garner




Whenever You’re Ready

Whenever you’re ready here are 4 ways I can help you right now:

  1. The NETWORKINGMATRIX facebook group – a place where we’re all about developing networking and connection skills for entrepreneurs and business owners. Here I share everything I know, have learnt and teach. I don’t want to keep this stuff to myself because I know that not one of us can be successful alone and learning to network with confidence really is your game changer to doubling the impact of your business. JOIN HERE   
  2. The NETWORKING MATRIX Program – 7-weeks to learn how to network the right way.  Build the strategic partnerships to scale your business and achieve financial freedom.  If you want to commit to your personal and business growth the first thing you need to do is look at the people you surround yourself with. Are these people that push you, who care about you, who teach you, who promote you? Are these the people that are going to help you succeed? We often have these people in our personal life but have a hard time connecting authentically in our professional life. Whether you are lacking confidence, hate networking, or are convinced you can do it all on your own, I have created this program to help make networking easy. No more feeling like a sleazy car salesman, you will be creating real connections and I promise there are no cheesy elevator pitches involved. If you’re still wondering if you can do it… I’m your classic introvert and I now love networking. If you want to know more simply reply to this email with “NETWORK” or message me and I’ll see if you’d be a good fit for the program.
  3. Podcast Listen in to my UNLEASHING BRILLIANCE podcast – interviews and learnings from some of the smartest business leaders on the planet.
  4. Buy a copy of my best-selling books:
    1. It’s Who You Know – how a network of 12 key people can fast-track your success
    2. Be Brilliant – how to lead a life of influence
    3. From Me To Who – Why collaboration will future-proof business, leaders and personal success

Got a question about how I may be able to help? Email me or TEXT me +61 (0) 418 297 712 with your name and question and let’s get chatting (yes that is my personal number so please respect it)

Keynote and Corporate Training – Want to explore how I can help? Let’s jump on the phone and discuss some ideas. Email me at [email protected] so we can lock in a time to chat.


be brilliant, core four, it's who you know, Janine Garner, networking, networking for success, Success, the networking matrix, who you need to know

You may also like

The Lesson of Patience

The Lesson of Patience

Is it a Hell Yeah or a Hell No?

Is it a Hell Yeah or a Hell No?
{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

Get in touch

0 of 350