One of my favorite scenes from the movies comes from "Tootsie," which came out in 1982. The movie is about an out of work actor Michael Dorsey, played by Dustin Hoffman. Getting a job as an actor is difficult for him since he is very picky in his roles. He decides to take a risk by impersonating a woman, "Dorothy Michaels," to audition for a part as a hospital administrator in a soap opera "Southwest General." He gets the part, and his role as Emily Kimberly becomes very popular. While working there, Dorothy befriends the lead actress on the soap opera, Julie Nichols, played by Jessica Lange. Michael is attracted to Julie.
When Julie invites Dorothy to her place, Julie, after having a few glasses of wine, tells Dorothy how frustrating it is when it comes to relationships. She confesses she would respect a man if he stopped all the BS and just came out and said:
"Listen... I could lay a big line on you, we could do a lot of role-playing, but the simple truth is, I find you very interesting and I'd really like to make love with you."
Upon hearing that, Dorothy, naturally, starts feeling hot.
Later in the movie, Michael sees Julie at a party standing alone with a drink in her hand. He approaches her and lays the same pick-up line that Julie shared with Dorothy. Julie promptly empties her glass on Michael. Michael learned that what one says in private is BS, especially when one is little tipsy.
Now I don't like to get a drink thrown at my face or worse, get punched, but that pick-up line can be repurposed to network with someone. Let's face it, we meet many people that we would like to network with that rarely gets off the ground.
Why? It is a lot of work on both sides to network effectively. Networking just doesn't happen; you and the other person must make it happen for it to work.
So here is the repurposed line from "Tootsie" on networking that I have come up with. You can tweak it and make it better and post it in the comment section of this post.
Why can't we just stop all the BS and be direct and say:
"Look, I would like to network with you.
We can help each other out.
Let's set up a call ASAP and get to work."
Is it bold? Not really. Will it work? Yes, if someone sees a benefit in networking with me. Will this save me a lot of time? Absolutely. I don't want to network with people who don't know how to network.
As you know well that the half-life of any networking is when you end the conversation. Most of my networking contacts are just that. I am mostly at fault since I have not paid much attention to networking and developed any strategy and action plan. Instead, I spend a lot of time mastering other things and not focusing on networking.
If we want to succeed in anything, we have to focus on networking with a strategy and a plan. It starts with being direct and letting someone know that you take networking seriously. You and the other person have to get to work right away to make it work.
Jay Oza is an author, speaker, executive coach. He makes people thrive on high stakes stage whether it's for a job interview, a sales presentation or a high-stakes speech. He is the author of a practical book Winning Speech Moments: How to Achieve Your Objective with Anyone, Anytime, Anywhere. You can get this book on Amazon for $9.99 for a limited time. Please download the free speech checklist that you can use to help you create a winning speech for any situation.
Please contact him if you would like to discuss how you can work with him even if you are budget constrained due to the pandemic. If you are interested in inviting him to give a Zoom talk on job Interviewing or high-stakes speaking, you can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.