Quit fooling around with your business networking!

Archive for June, 2014

It’s the right thing to do…Is it Effective?

You know you should, but do you? You know you can, so… why won’t you?

Listen Up: Business doesn’t stop when you’re ready to relax. Sometimes, you’ve got to keep on, keeping on, getting your business done.

Of course, you’ve got to have balance with your family, spouse, kids, grand kids, fishing, life and work! Sometimes, you’ve just got to let the pendulum swing in your favor.

Remember the old saying, “Strike while the iron is hot!” From the website www.Phrases.org:

THE Meaning:

Image

Act decisively and take your opportunities when they arise.

This old proverb clearly alludes to the imagery of the blacksmith or farrier at his forge. If he delays in shaping the iron when it is hot a pliable the metal soon cools and hardens and the opportunity is lost.

Sometimes, an “After Hours” type of event or other networking event simply must be attended. Sometimes the connections you meet could (hopefully) develop into deep strategic alliances to bring even more business to you and your company.

Here is the pitfall: You make those networking events, even those which aren’t producing results, the mainstay and primary focus of your personal efforts to grow your business.

I’m pretty sure you’ve heard it. “I go to 4 to 7 networking meetings every week! Man! I’m doing it!” If you asked if all that networking works, you might be surprised with an honest answer!

I know one guy that prides himself in the fact he attends 3-4 “business networking” meetings every day! Every day. He’s divorced, late 50’s – early 60’s, and broke most of the time. Seems that for him, business is never “good enough.

Do what works, and do it effectively.

If you could replace almost all of your “events” with one single networking group that actually wanted to give you referrals – qualified, ready to do business referrals – would you be interested? You’d be silly not to at least investigate!

Look around for exclusive industry groups, chapters or Clubs that have your industry’s slot open. Gold Star Clubs offer them. So do BNI, LeTip, some Chamber groups, etc. If there isn’t one available, you might need to consider starting your own. Again, Gold Star Clubs can help there, too.

Get more information here: http://bit.ly/1klBGoB

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How do I know you? 4 Tips for Recommendations on LinkedIn – Basic Business Networking

I get it. Sort of.

We connected on LinkedIn a couple of weeks ago after you sent me an invitation. No worries.  I read your profile and at the time, it seemed like you and I could possibly develop a mutually beneficial relationship.Clueless

Then, WHAMO! Out of the blue, you send me a request for a business recommendation. As I had no contact information for you, my response was: “I don’t know you well enough to recommend you… Maybe after I know you better, I’d be happy to give you one.”

4 Tips for LinkedIn Basic Business Networking

1) Don’t ask for a recommendation from anyone you don’t really know. In fact, someone you know fairly well. Instead of asking for a recommendation out of the blue, consider asking for permission to get to know your connection better, first. Whether over a cup of coffee or a short visit to their office, find out about them, their business, their hobbies, their families, whatever is important to them.

Get the ball rolling with, “Hey Bill, we bumped into each other at the Chamber (Lion”s Club,  networking event or wherever).  Your business sounded very interesting. Can I ask, would you be open to meeting with me for 10 to 15 minutes, I’d like to learn more about it. And, to be sure, this is not a sales call.” If you’re hoping to develop a business customer, don’t try to sell anything at this “get to know you” meeting. It is, just that. Don’t have an agenda with the focus on you, make it all about them. Build the relationship.

2) Write your recommendation, first. No one responds faster to you than by sending them an unsolicited recommendation. I did this for my insurance man. I mentioned that he and his office were great, have done business with them for years, and would highly recommend him.

The recommendation I sent was late Friday afternoon, and by my first glance at email on Monday, there was his! Neither were asked for, both were highly appreciated. Of course, if you get one, don’t wait to send one back. Be honest. Be sincere. And above all, be able to stand by your recommendation because you actually know the individual. Endorsements on LinkedIn mean virtually nothing to sincere networking, since they are so easy to get. Push a button and “poof”, 4 endorsements done. Personally, I don’t endorse someone if I don’t know them, or for things I’m unsure they do, either.

3) Be polite, in all that you link in. I was a little short when asked for the unsolicited recommendation. That was many years ago, and I’ve learned a few things since. If you post on a blog, discussion or comment, thank the writer for sharing. Even if you don’t agree 100%, it was their idea to get the conversation started, so be respectful. “Thanks, Bill for your thought that went into this. If I could offer a slightly different…” and fill in your thoughts.

4) Thank everyone that comments. It’s all about engagement. The conversations. The relationships you build. If someone comments on anything you post…Thank them! “Bill, thanks for your thoughts and comments. They differ from mine, however, I appreciate you stepping in and being heard on the subject.”

If you haven’t already, please join my LinkedIn Group, The Art of Business Networking. Tips, techniques and strategies to help you connect, build, and get more business.

If you’re looking for a great referral group, check out: GoldStarClubs.com. If you’re looking for a group, can’t find one or your industry is locked out, please visit: http://bit.ly/gsreferrals and I’ll get you details about starting your own referral group! #goldstarclubs

 

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