Chief Executive Officer Cheeky Scientist
Join Isaiah as he reviews the levels of professional intimacy and the question you should ask to turn a networking conversation into a referral
Here’s a quick rundown of this week’s episode…
- First, Isaiah presents the first level of professional intimacy, topical intimacy
- Next, Isaiah presents the second and third levels of professional intimacy, challenge and how-to intimacy
- Finally, Isaiah presents the fourth and final level of professional intimacy, advice intimacy
From This Week’s Show…
To turn a networking conversation into a referral, you have to gently guide the conversation to deeper and deeper levels of professional intimacy. This is the only way to get someone you barely know to spend any effort on you whatsoever, let alone trust you enough to recommend you to their company.
The first level of professional intimacy when talking about networking and informational interviews is termed “Topical Intimacy.”
The best question to ask a networking contact to get them to this level of intimacy after they reply to your initial connection request is: “What are you currently working on that you’re excited about?”
People enjoy talking about positive, topical experiences, especially when they’re related to their favorite thing in the world: them and their life. No matter who you are talking to, they will enjoy talking about what excites them.
Challenge And How-To Intimacy
The second level of professional intimacy is termed “Challenge Intimacy.” The perfect question to ask a networking contact to get them to this level of intimacy is: “What are some of the challenges associated with your role?”
While this question is an extension of the first question, it will allow you to go a bit deeper into the other person’s professional life and get to know both their personality and mindset better.
The third level of professional intimacy is termed “How-To Intimacy.” The ideal question to ask at this level is: “How did you get hired into your role in the first place?”
Pivoting to this third level of intimacy is crucial as it will change the context of the conversation from general life and career questions and answers to job search questions and answers.
The fourth and final level of professional intimacy is termed “Advice Intimacy.” The best question to ask here is: “Which roles are about to open up in your company’s pipeline?”
In this final level of professional intimacy, you very subtly shift the conversation to you by asking for advice—advice that will ideally lead to a referral by prompting the other person to ask how they can help you.
Since you showed interest in them at the beginning of your connection, they are much more likely to show interest in you, and since you behaved professionally and appropriately, they will know you are a serious candidate who is deserving of a referral.
If you’re ready to start your transition into industry, you can apply to book a free Transition Call with our founder Isaiah Hankel, PhD or one of our Transition Specialists. Apply to book a Transition Call here.