Last night I attended a workshop on Nonviolent Communication, you can read more about it here. A point was made to always request/state your needs when in a conversation. Our words are often mis-understood.
I got to thinking how this could be applied when networking for our businesses. Do you let potential clients know your needs? Do you ask for the sale? They may not know you want to work with them or even have thought about the fact that you might be able to help them. Next time you are talking with a potential client try saying, "I'd really like to talk with you more about your business and ways I might be able to help you. Can we get together for coffee on Tuesday? or Can I call you on Monday to set up a phone meeting?" Now your potential client knows you are interested in them and they know you want to meet with them. I mean seriously, what is the worst thing that can happen? They might say they are busy or not interested. That's fine, now think about the best thing that can happen: you might get a new client or a great referral!