When you have a good career networking meeting/call while you’re on the hunt for a startup job, don’t be afraid to ask the person you met for startup job referrals or an introduction. You should always ask for a referral if your meeting/call went pretty well and you think you’ve developed a rapport with the person you met.
This is an easy and effective way to expand your network AND you will probably get to connect with folks who otherwise would not take a call/meeting with you if you reached out blindly. Using this technique will lead to more and more startup job referrals.
Here’s an example ‘ask’ you can make at the end of your networking / information meeting: “Thanks so much for meeting with me today. Based on what you learned about me and my career goals, do you think I should meet with anyone else in your network?”
One last tip…be sure to make this ‘ask’ at the end of your call or meeting and don’t wait to do it in a follow up email. This gives the person an opportunity to help you right away and then not have to worry about any follow up or back and forth.
I try to practice this technique myself (sending the introduction / follow up email in meeting) when doing informational interviews and meetings with people – but I can’t take credit for the idea as I picked it up from this great Fred Wilson blog post about managing networking meetings. Read his post to see why it’s important to stay focused and make your one important ‘ask’ during an informational interview.