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Dale Hammernik On How To Get Help From Smart People

I’m loving the spring here in the Milwaukee & Waukesha Counties area — it always feels like it’s the perfect time to get a fresh start on new initiatives and ideas that have been on the backburner for our Milwaukee & Waukesha Counties tax accounting firm, but which can now be brought to the front.

Especially, might I add, when it’s after April 15th! We are taking some time around here at Team Dale Hammernik to rest up a bit, and think a little bigger — as we like to do every year after the dust of tax season settles down.

I always like to take some time to dream and work on new things during this season; it matches the season around us somehow, I’ve found.

And this is also the time that, when doing so, I like to seek out specific people, whether locally here in Milwaukee & Waukesha Counties or nationally, and pick their brain on these ideas, and get help.

I’ve picked up some tricks along the way, in so doing, and thought I’d put them together for you here.

Dale Hammernik On How To Get Help From Smart People
“Even if you are on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.” – Will Rogers

Successful people rarely reach the top without a lot of help along the way. The ability — and willingness — to ask for help is one trait that really stands out among those who are truly committed to success.

Personally, I’ve been approached a number of times by “up-and-comers” here in Milwaukee & Waukesha Counties and have seen this done the right way … and the wrong way. Whether it’s your boss or another entrepreneur, here are some tips for seeking advice from the experts:

• Please don’t waste their time. Once they’ve agreed to help, get to the point quickly. Don’t go through your life story in excruciating detail, nor spend an hour explaining your business plan or the plot of your novel. Plan what you want to ask so you can make a clear, succinct request.

• Get specific. Don’t just ask, “What should I do?” Imagine you can ask only one question (because that may be the case). Identify the most important issue you’re facing that your expert is qualified to address, and build your question around that. You may get a chance to ask a follow-up, or move on to another subject, so be prepared, but don’t assume you’ll have all the time in the world to get to what you need.

• Save one general question for the end. The corollary to the rule above is to save a few minutes to ask something like, “Is there anything else you’d recommend?” once you’ve gotten the answer to your essential question. This gives the expert a chance to expand on whatever information he or she has shared, and provides the opportunity to start building more of a relationship than a one-time transaction.

• Offer something in return. You’re asking for a favor. Be ready to trade services, buy lunch, offer your own expertise, or some other form of reciprocation. This demonstrates your professionalism and commitment to building relationships,
not just grabbing information and leaving right away.

Would you forward this article to a Milwaukee & Waukesha Counties business associate or client you know who could benefit from our assistance — or simply send them our way? While these particular articles usually relate to business strategy, as you know, we specialize in tax preparation and planning for Milwaukee & Waukesha Counties families and business owners. And we always make room for referrals from trusted sources like you.

Warmly (and until next week),

Dale Hammernik
(414) 545-1890