In 2007 Bob Burg and John David Mann co-authored the New York Times and Wall Street Journal best-Selling smash hit, “The Go-Giver”.
Imparted with wit and grace, The Go-Giver is a heartwarming and inspiring tale that brings new relevance to the old proverb “Give and you shall receive.”
A book no doubt created to empower anyone who consumes it, to develop wealth and abundance using the act of giving.
If you haven’t read, listened or felt via braille yet, I can highly recommend it. In fact, it’s brilliant.
Mr Burg, a recent guest of the #BecomeyourownSuperhero podcast, recently shared some insights from the book.
“How to get a mentor” being one main topic of conversation. An invaluable skill, if you ask anyone who’s achieved any success at all!
“First, I would never recommend just asking someone to be your mentor, because the chances are if you want them to be your mentor, there’s a whole number of other people who want them to be their mentor, so there’s nothing that really distinguishes you in that way” Bob says.
“What we have to understand is a mentor-protege relationship is just that… it’s a relationship, and it takes time to build”.
“And if we say, will you be my mentor, it’s sort of like saying, Hey, will you share your 30 years of experience with me, even though you don’t know me from a hole in the wall ?”
Akin to asking a stranger to marry you, instead of maybe just asking them out a date!
Bob suggests this approach instead.
“I’m wondering if I could ask you one or two very specific questions?” Now, we’ve said something that greatly increases the odds of engagement.
Using this strategy rather than “can I pick your brain?” is highly recommended. Can I pick your brain says the following: “I don’t really have anything in particular in mind, I just want to ask a bunch of questions.”
On the other hand, now you’re communicating that, “this is going to be short, it’s going to be sweet, I will not take up a lot of your time”.
They also understand that you know what you need to ask? So in that person’s mind, it’s “Wow, this is a serious person, they know what they need.”
Most people, when you approach them like that, will be very agreeable to a conversation.
Another powerful thought, and this will truly distinguish you from most others who approach them, is to first assure them by saying, “if you don’t have time to do this, or it’s simply something that for any reason you’d rather not do, please know I’ll completely understand.”
This is what Bob calls giving them the “out” or “backdoor” that allows them to, rather than feel pressured, to understand that you totally respect their time as well as the process itself. People who do this are much more likely to obtain a positive response from their potential new mentor.
To learn more about what else works in this space, check out the full fascinating chat here below…