It is a fact that most business professionals prefer a face to face meeting. Hubsot found that nearly 100% of people say face-to-face meetings are essential for long-term business relationships. But how many people can you realistically meet face to face in a week? Even speed networking events you may meet a couple dozen at the most. That’s where technology tries to fill the gap, the ability to meet more people and filter through networks more efficiently. It is the age of information and there are websites and apps just waiting for us to utilize in our networking. Here is a list of networking apps to help you along. Seventy-two percent of people say their impressions are impacted by how someone appears and their handshake so face to face networking isn’t going away soon, but these apps will help give you access to a wider networking base.
Great, you are all fired up to do some networking but you don’t know where to begin. Fortunately, Networking can be done anywhere. Standing in line at the store (don’t be annoying about it), waiting for your car at the lube shop (they are bored as well, start a conversation) and anywhere else there is a gathering of people. In these situations, the way to network without becoming annoying is to focus on the other person and not on your own needs. Most people will talk about their work and the company they own or work for. Don’t push sales in these situations and be very reluctant to push solutions. This is about meeting people and adding to your network. Here is a list of 10 more places to network to get you started. Remember, this is the tip of the iceberg. Anywhere people gather, even in small numbers, is a networking opportunity.
You only have one chance to make a first impression and that impression is formed in the first seven seconds. That’s why when you’re networking you shouldn’t leave your introduction to chance, it should be a tightly scripted and carefully cultivated statement about you and your business. Included is a handy guide to building your introduction that helps bring those impressions around in your favor and start generating more leads and more business. Here are a few more tips to make these introductions shine.
- Use power questions when you can. A power question hits on a pain point you are trying to solve with your business “Do you struggle with your social media marketing?”
- Finish with a call to action. This lets the potential customer know what they need to do next to get the solutions you are offering. “Here is the link to download our handy guide to Social Media greatness.”
- Practice until you remember, then practice until you can’t forget. Sometimes you get distracted or nervous when networking. Practicing until you can’t forget is the key to overcoming this. Practice out loud and exactly the tone and tempo you intend to use.
Everyone knows that one person who is super valuable to them in the business world, their most valuable resource (MVR). They seem to know everyone and can get you connected with anything if you ask. Here’s the secret, they aren’t naturally connected to everyone, they worked at it. But how do you build a network from nothing? By giving and not keeping score. If you make a commitment to giving out one good lead every day your network will grow and become a powerful force in your life. It will move with you from one job or business venture to the next and from one phase of life to the next. Give out good leads and you will get good leads. People like to reciprocate when they get something valuable from you. Maybe not everyone will send you leads but with time enough people will send business your way you may have to slow down your marketing or expand your business, and that’s a problem we all would like to deal with.
Here is a handy infographic discussing what is a good lead to pass off to your networking contacts.
For those who interact with me personally, it will come as no surprise that 90% of my business comes from networking. I attend as many networking events as I can, I meet as many people as possible and I collect a lot of information about who they are and what they do which I then pass along to other networking contacts. This week we will be talking about networking again because I believe it is one of the most useful skills you can have as a business owner and one of the easiest things you can do to get more business. Every day we will talk about one aspect of networking as well as practical tips to becoming a master networker. Remeber the saying “It isn’t who you are, it’s who you know”. Make networking a habit. Your bonus tip for today is to devote 5 minutes every day to building your network and see how it grows.
Star power was in full swing in the Superbowl ads this year and at least one of them got it right. Did Alexa Lose Her Voice? This ad was funny, charming and leveraged star power to the max. People love when Gordon Ramsey makes fun of food and when Rebel Wilson goes over the top to be funny. The premise was simple and relatable but put some fan favorites at the center doing what they do best.
You don’t have to have a famous celebrity to draw in the power of a star. Use popular microbloggers or a locally famous person to draw eyes to your brand or product. Star power isn’t always the most efficient use of resources but it can be used to draw attention if it’s used carefully.
Need help leveraging star power? Give me a call (435) 554-8209
Now let’s talk about one of the Super Bowl ad losers, Ram. There was a commercial that showed trucks as a Martin Luther King Jr speech was going on. Poor taste. I certainly hope his family wasn’t involved in the decision. I don’t recall Dr. King shilling trucks so I am not sure what the point of the ad was. If you want to do public service type ads then tag your name at the end, go for it. If you are selling me a truck, go for it but this type of ad is disingenuous at best and I feel is misleading. It really was poorly executed.
The lesson is to make sure your image, lesson, and intent are all in sync or you create an uncomfortable dissonance with your audience. It does your brand no favors and could result in a backlash as is being seen with this current Ram ad.