Posts Tagged 'networking'

Special Offers to Kick Off 2016

If you’re like most people at the beginning of the year, you’re bush eyed and wide tailed…hmmm, that’s actually more true than we’d want it to be. While I’m not writing about a weight loss program, I am writing about some things that will put some extra pep in your step. Seriously, this message has it all (My way of saying “Man this is long”). It covers some upcoming Motor City Connect events, trainings, a fantastic 50% off offer on a program that WILL change your life, a cool consulting offer and some excellent jobs that could get you a referral fee. Read on!

It’s probable you just saw me speak at one of Keith Stonehouse’s Real Estate Mastermind events on “Raising Your AQ”. Maybe you and I are connected on social media and you saw this link. It’s possible we’re friends in real life too and you’re wondering what Bean is up to. Regardless of why you’re here, know that I’m glad you are and I have some things of value to offer you, your business and possibly someone you know.

Rev Up Your RPM

Oh, you don’t know what your RPM is…Easy, that’s Referral Powered Marketing. I have put together a new offering that will allow you to generate more referrals from your clients, vendors, partners and employees. If you’re looking to generate more leads in 2016, message me with the subject line: “Rev Up My RPM” and I will get you hooked up.

Recruiting with a Referral Twist:

Another gift I have to offer is the opportunity to help yourself, a friend (or 5) and me. I’m doing some recruiting right now and am looking to fill 6 positions: 1 sales guy, 1 I.T. Product Architect, 1, Digital Media Buyer, 1 Business Intelligence Developer and 2 Physical Therapists (downriver). If you may know someone who is a fit, I have a referral fee of $1000.00 if they get the job. Here is a link to a post that contains a video explaining the referral fee and all of the job descriptions.

The 45 Day Challenge

There’s a semi-famous meme going around the Interwebs with the quotation: “It’s not who you are that holds you back it’s who you think you’re not”. Who you are is basically driven by your identity. If you’re not where you want to be in this lifetime, it’s likely based on some level of self-sabotage (sorry, just calling it like it is). Self-sabotage happens less to people with strong identities. Therefore, change your identity, change your life.

The best way I know of to change your identity is through a program developed by Rod Hairston. He is a speaker, a life/business coach and a guy who I instantly recognized as someone who “got it” at a deeper level than anyone I’d ever met in person. In addition to spending 11 years working as a master trainer with Tony Robbins, Rod has put together several transformative programs for some of the most elite organizations in the country; the Navy Seals, CIA, DEA, Quicken Loans, ABC and more. You can check Rod out here.

Because Rod and I are friends, he’s letting me offer this program to you for 50% off the normal cost of $595. This 45 day challenge begins on January 18. You will have an adviser and can create a team of people to go through it with you. Caution: it will change your life. You will see people, opportunities and challenges in a different way. It will be difficult and it WILL BE TOTALLY WORTH IT.

You can use this code to get the discount.

Motor City Connect Events:

Motor City Connect meetings (known as MCC Live) take place on the 4th Tuesday of the month and happen at BDs Mongolian BBQ in Royal Oak. They run from 11:30-1:00. We will be having Tonya Acha of the Referral Institute of Michigan as our speaker on January 26. Our next meetings are February 23 and March 22.

Upcoming Classes:

I am teaching a series of classes with Oakland County. They are at the executive offices in Waterford and run from 9:00-11:30. I promise there will be plenty of learning, laughing and connecting.

Here is a Twitter class on 1/21/16 if you’re interested.

Save the dates if you’re so inclined for these classes:

Thursday, March 17 – LinkedIn

Wednesday, May 18 – Networking

Thursday, July 21 – Twitter

Thursday, September 15 – LinkedIn

Tuesday, November 15 – Networking

Are you still here? Good for you. I’m tired just thinking about all of this reading!

If there is anything I can do for you, please don’t hesitate to call on me. Oh, and do ask me about that RPM offer, that will positively impact your business for sure!

Be great!

9 Ideas to Make Sure Your Elevator Pitch Sucks Less

As part of the “Sucking Less at Networking” Series, I’ve decided to take on one of the most annoying aspects of networking…the Elevator Pitch.

It doesn’t matter if you’re an investor looking to place your $$ with the right company or an avid networker who loves them some weekly meetings, we all have the same enemy…those ridiculously boring elevator pitches aka 30/60 second commercials. But Terry, you’re thinking, How can we make this exciting AND brand ourselves?

I’m so glad you thought to ASK (The ASK is my take on what Elevator Pitches could be. Feel free to download this 7 page whitepaper if you want a much deeper dive to taking this part of your game to the next level). Elevator pitches really shouldn’t be about branding. They should be an invite to get people to learn more about the possibilities you represent.

I’ve come up with 9, easy to follow ideas that you can implement easily. Please, feel free to start using them now. Your network and your wallet will thank you.

1. Make it short and sweet

PLEASE, stop making your 30 second commercial a 50 second commercial and your 60 second commercial a Chrysler Super Bowl Ad. We don’t need to know everything about you and your offering. You haven’t earned our attention… yet. If you feel like you’re monologueing, trust me. You are. Less is so much more. Get us to want to hear more, by telling us just the highlights.

Unlike Syndrome, Your Only Super Power is to Bore People. Don't USE IT!

Unlike Syndrome, Your Only Super Power is to Bore People. DON’T USE IT!

2. Talk about WHY and FOR WHOM more than WHAT

We spend sooo much time telling people what we do. That’s a waste of time. 90% of people do something that a LOT of other people do. You don’t need to explain the mortgage business to us. We get it. Tell us WHY you’re in the mortgage business. The WHY is where passion lives. And Passion is engaging. Also, be sure to tell us who you do your work for as that will help us help you.

3. Think about the pitch from the users perspective
So often we only speak of things from our point of view. When it comes to the elevator pitch you need to answer the ever popular question, What’s In It For Me? If you’re not painting a picture your audience can see themselves in, you need to work on your pitch.

4. Don’t Use Buzz Words or Acronyms

Buzz words and Acronyms may be great to impress your colleagues or show that you’re an expert in your field. HOWEVER, to the layman, they either sound like you’re trying to sound smart or worse, make us feel dumb. Neither scenario works in your favor.

5. Have a point

If you’re not going to take the time to read the info in the ASK (and I understand, you’re busy) make sure you get to your point. And so we’re clear, your point should be letting your audience know how they will recognize a good opportunity for you. Remember, short and sweet. Don’t take too long to get to it.

6. Know your audience

This is much easier to do when you meet with the same group every week or you’re going to a “pitch competition” where you can review the judges before hand. If you’re flying blind, do your best to let others speak first. The more you can tailor your message to your audience, the more likely they are to hear you. If you have no choice but to jump without a net, use your time talking about who you want to meet and why you wish to meet them.

7. Sound excited

Similarly to focusing more on the why than the what, sounding excited allows you to transfer that energy to your audience. Any good presentation, regardless of length, is a lot like a sales pitch. You need to get people emotionally involved. Sounding excited does that.

8. Understand your purpose

It’s to begin a conversation with the people who would be most interested in having it. It’s not your opportunity to explain everything. See point 1.

9. Be authentically you

This is last, but so far from least. The most authentic people are often the ones who enjoy life most. They put themselves out there fully and attract the people who are most likely to like them. They also repel the ones who won’t. Think how much energy they save not wasting time on the wrong folks. As an added bonus, it’s way more fun to Be Who You Are.

What would you add to this post?

What did you not like?

How can I be of service in supporting you and your network? Do let me know!

Why I Decided to Write a Book on Business Networking

 

Business Networking Book

cover of my book on networking

 

Few things are as important* AND misunderstood** in the world of business as Networking is. Even the name is confusing. Are we talking about stringing a bunch of computers together? No. We’re not. And while a bunch of computers strung together now support the largest social networks, it’s still really not the same thing. We are talking about Business Networking. Which I would prefer we re-named “Relationship Marketing” or even better, “magNETworking“, but that’s a different rant.

Networking offers businesses the ability to grow. Often times this can happen with little to no investment outside of time (it’s a trap…networking can take up sooooo much of your most valuable commodity if not done properly). And while a lot of people partake in this activity, it dawned on me that very few do it well. I mean really well. Like at the level EVERYONE would be happy to network with them. Why is that?

That’s because we weren’t taught how to network effectively. And more importantly, the skills that really excellent networkers use aren’t mainstream.  So I wrote a book. One that covers the things that anyone who will ever be networking will find of value. In fact it helps you network in situations that aren’t even about networking. Why? Because when done properly, networking can happen anywhere you are whenever you’re there. 

The book is broken down into 5 main sections:

  1. The reasons why networking works…consider this the Universe’s relationship to networking. Yeah, it’s a little LOA, but so is life.
  2. What you need to do before Networking. This really gives you the game plan that helps you spend your time wisely.
  3. What to do at an actual event. Let’s face it, there are a LOT of ways to screw this up. This book helps you not do that.
  4.  How to network online. It’s more about the how and why then what tools you use. The tools may change, the how and why won’t.
  5. What to do after the networking. This is really just about the importance of follow up. It gives plenty of suggestions for how to make sure you stay top of mind.

Each section has anywhere from 12-25 entries and the longest entry is about a page and a half. It’s a quick read and is jammed full of strategies that you can implement and master immediately.  This is also a great gift for anyone starting a business or entering the work force too.

You can pick up your copy of “Be Connected” here on Amazon. I also tend to have a few copies in my car. If we’re at an event together, ask me for one. I’d be happy to sign it for you 😉

On the off chance I need to defend the importance of networking*, here goes: Ask 10 business owners: “what’s the best form of advertising?” and they will ALL tell you “word of mouth”. Not to suggest networking is merely word of mouth, but that is certainly one very positive outcome of it. If I need to sell you on the idea that it’s misunderstood**, well, just go to your local chamber mixer or read through your Facebook timeline only focused on business development looking posts. Good. I feel like we got that out of the way.

 

 

 

How the 5 W’s and 1 H Can Be Used for a Great Networking Introduction

ImageEveryone is always worried about making that good first impression. And while I will always suggest that letting the other person speak first is the best way to do so, it will become your time to speak…hopefully. (Note even though this post focuses more on “getting from your network”, giving to your network is where the endless supply of opportunities lie).

The key takeaway you’ll want to assure all of your networking partners understand is how to recognize a potential client or business partner for you. Using the journalistic method will help you paint a specific picture that your partner can use to match against their mental Rolodex. Regardless of the picture, be sure to take the order and suggested timing into consideration especially if you’re using the introduction with a group who meets frequently.

1. Why- We start with “WHY” because this is where passion lives. It’s hard not to sound fired up about WHAT you do when you’re talking about WHY you do it. Being on fire for what you do is what attracts other people like a moth to a flame. You need to ALWAYS kick off your introduction with passion, baby! Oh, and if you don’t have passion for WHY you do WHAT you do…it may be time to find something else to do.

2. Who- The WHO is just one of the ways you can separate yourself form other folks at the event. Giving people a specific description of WHO you’re looking to meet gets you that much closer to actually meeting them. Here’s a tip: you don’t really provide services for ANYONE or EVERYBODY. Even if you really, honestly believe that to be true, find a niche and use that. The moment people hear anyone or everybody they tune out. And we networkers don’t have time to be tuned out!

3. What- As counter-intuitive as this may seem, you would be wise to spend FAR less time on the WHAT than you think you should. This is especially true if you are ever at an event where there are people with a similar occupation (mortgage person, financial planner, attorney, accountant…you get the picture). You spend less time here because people already assume they know what you’re going to say about your work. So throw them a curve ball and tell them things they couldn’t possibly know…like WHY or for WHOM and HOW. (<<<IMPORTANT:>>> If yours is the only business that does what you do, you will need to spend time talking about the what. If  you’re having trouble growing your unique business, we should chat about your messaging).

4. How- Next to WHY, HOW is the most important thing on this list. You can use HOW to establish credibility, further separate yourself from the competition and give people a sense of what is expected when working with you. This section should be twice as long as anything else…meaning it actually gets a full sentence MAYBE two, if you’ve got extra time 😉

5. Where- WHERE is quick. Are you city wide, regional, state-wide, multi-state, national or international? The geography is important, especially when it’s local, because that gives the listener another “keyword” to search in their mental Rolodex.

6. When- This is almost a trick W. 9 times out of 10 the answer is going to be “Whenever they’re ready”. And that is the key to success in business. You have to be ready when they are. Much to every salesperson and sales manager’s chagrin, it rarely works the other way.

The number one rule is BE CONCISE. Don’t make this a 60 second commercial. Heck, don’t even make it a 30 second commercial if you can avoid it. When it comes to introductions, people wanting to learn more about you is better than telling them everything there is to know.

AN EXAMPLE

I’m fortunate that I get to do what I love, helping small business owners and people responsible for business development, achieve success in my roles as a speaker and coachsultant (see how I combined my WHY WHO and WHAT in that first sentence). After nearly 20 years of running large business networks and meeting with countless professionals, I’ve observed more good, bad and ugly practices than I can count.  My goal is to bring my knowledge and experience to people you feel are the next generation of business superstars.

This gives you what I do, who I do it for and how I do it. It also includes the audience and narrows that search for them one more time in the last sentence. We all know a lot of folks in business…certainly not all of them are in Next Generation Superstars, right? Oh, and that word “Coachsultant”. Think people may hear that and think “hmmm, what is that?”. or “I could use that”. Let’s hope. BTW, take out your stop watch and read that paragraph (minus the editorial). It’s under 25 seconds. When I read it, it’s 20.  So it’s clear, concise and perhaps it will get me connected with my next client.

Now, how can I help you??

10 New Rules for Sucking Less at Networking

Life becomes less hard when you suck less.

Life becomes less hard when you suck less.

I’ve been coaching/training people on being better at networking for almost 10 years. It dawned on me that perhaps I’ve been looking at it the wrong way. Maybe instead of  helping people be better, maybe I should suggest ways they can simply suck less. To that end, here you go…

1. Must be present to win- I’ve talked about the #1 rule of networking is you have to “show up”. You know what? It’s not enough to show up. You have to be present. And I mean fully present. Not thinking about what’s for lunch or what’s on TV tonight. Put your phone down and pay attention. Opportunities to be of service and to be referred happen quickly at networking events. If you’re not present, you will miss them.

2. Stop bringing “enough cards for everyone”- Look at your desk (or your nightstand or your old shoe box or wherever you stash these things) and count how many cards you haven’t done a thing with. Go ahead. I’ll wait. You done? Right…not even close BUB. Here’s the trick, you don’t need to give your card to everyone you meet. You know why? Because not everyone you meet wants it. And that’s okay. Cards should be passed out and collected sparingly. Speaking of cards…

3.  Ask people for their cards- No. Not everyone. Only the people with whom you want to build a relationship. Here’s the logic. When you pass them your card, you have to wait for them to call you. When you get their card, you can control the follow up.

4. Don’t just talk with people you already know- Networking is about meeting new people as much as it’s about reconnecting with folks you know. You have to have a balance. Make it a point to meet 3-5 new people at every event you attend. 3-5, not 30-50. It’s easier to meet new people at a networking event when you’re not worried about meeting everyone…trust me.

5. Introduce people- Since people are there to meet people, be of service and make some introductions. You don’t have to hold onto your contacts like they’re a Pete Rose rookie card. Share them. Every once in a while you’ll make a very valuable connection and these two people will both be on the lookout for ways to help you.

6. Stop selling us. Seriously. People go to networking events to network. This is very different than a sales meeting. You may get lucky and meet someone who has a need for your offering. Be cool. Setup a time to meet with them outside of the event. Who knows, the next person either of you meet may need those services too. Don’t miss that opportunity by staying in that conversation.

7. Talk less. Listen more. I’ve long said “I’ve never learned anything new with my mouth open”. You already know what you do and what good opportunities are for you. To be effective in networking, you need to learn how to help those in your network. You can’t do that if you’re too busy flapping your gums.

8. Spend more time on the WHY and less on the WHAT- Most people at a networking event knows what a loan officer does. Same is true for an accountant, an attorney and a financial planner. Spend 3 seconds telling us what you do and the rest of the time telling us why you do it. That’s where passion lives. And passion is what engages people. You should also tell us for whom you do it.

9. Have a purpose- Know why you’re going to these events in the first place. Make sure you’re consistent with it. Far too often people want to tell you about their business, their other business, the non-profit they support and sometimes just some silly stuff. Pick one thing and focus on it.

10. Follow up- This is more of an “after the event” thing, but it’s so important. If you tell someone you’re going to follow up with them, do it. Write this down somewhere: DWYSYWD- Do What You Said You Would Do. Be impeccable with your word. If you don’t intend to follow up with someone, don’t tell them you will. It’s that easy.

Follow these 10 rules and not only will you have a better networking experience, so will the people with whom you’re networking.

What ideas would you add to this list?

Networking Your Way Through The Holiday Season

Image

I have come up with a quick list of thoughts pertaining to networking and partying during the holiday season. Consider this a “do or do not” kind of list. Just always remember, “There is no Try” (Benji bet me a dollar I couldn’t get the word Yoda into a post).

So here’s the list:

10. Host your own network gathering- Bring your network to your office, house or favorite joint and introduce them to one another. It’s a great way to help many at once.

9. Learn other culture’s holiday greetings- I speak to a lot of people who miss saying “Merry Christmas”. So say it, but also be able to wish others a “festive holiday” of their choosing too.

8. Setup weekly 4 tops for lunch between now and holidays- This is a great way to bring your network closer together. Look for the synergies and let them happen at the table in front of you.

7. Instead of sending clients cards and gifts, send them referrals…now that’s the gift that keeps on giving.

6. Get the attendee list in advance- You will be able to make the most of your networking time by having this information. Hopefully that adds to your cheer.

5. Use your holiday networking time to help get a jump start on your new year- Start filling up your January calendar with the folks you are meeting now.

4. Don’t be that GUY* at the  party…you know the one who either is throwing their card in everyone’s face or falls down because they drank too much.

3. Know what your follow up plan looks like before needing it- If you know your target client and target business partners, you will know who the people you need to follow up with immediately.

2. Help others connect by introducing them to the people you know they need to meet- Listen. Understand how you can help and make the appropriate connections.  Both parties will appreciate it.

1.5 Ask the host “who are the three people here that I must meet”?- They know everyone so they are in the right space to play matchmaker.

And # 1 on the Networking Your Way Through The Silly Season

…Don’t Network in the Punchbowl!- It’s just bad form

*GUY is an acronym for Gender Undetermined Yet

10 ways to add value to your network

One of the most valuable lessons I teach when it comes to networking is the idea of “staying visible to your network“. Why? Because if you’re not top of mind with them, when an opportunity comes up to refer you, that referral may go to the person who is.

But it’s not enough to just be visible. I mean, you could be doing bad stuff and still be visible, right? So let’s talk about some ways where you can add value to your network. This will give you the positive JUJU you need to get what you want!!

These are in no particular order and many of them can be as valuable to your spouse, business associates and children as they are to your network.

10. Share an Inspirational quotation- This has become so much easier with status updates on social networks and it’s still very powerful. Pick quotations that are business or personal development related and let ’em fly. Want to take it up a notch? Send them a link to a site full of them or even better, buy them a book.

9. Keep them up to date with events that may be of value- There are soooo many things going on every day that we each miss the stuff that may be important. If you see an event that your colleague is likely to enjoy, make sure to share it with them.

8. Give ’em a pat on the back- This sounds so easy and you know what? IT IS!! And that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t happen all the time. People LOVE to feel appreciated. The simple act of saying “I appreciate you” goes a long way.

7. Give the opportunity to help someone else- Sometimes someone in your network is going to need help. Perhaps you aren’t the best person to provide it. Maybe you know who is and maybe you don’t. In either scenario, do your best to give your network a chance to help others in your network. This could be as easy as a Facebook post.

6. Share your specific knowledge- You are an expert in what you do. Think about that. Not many people can claim expertise in what you do (at least not people in your network). Share your knowledge. Share it often. You’ll be amazed at how often you hear “Thanks. I was just thinking about that”.

5. Lend them an ear- Sometimes people just need to be heard. We are all so busy that we forget the importance of simply listening to another. Be there when someone in your network needs a friend.

4. Send a link to a relevant article- Like events, important articles are coming at us fast and furious. Make sure your network knows you’re thinking about them by sending them some relevant stuff. You can do this via social media, e-mail, text or you can kick it old school and actually mail them the physical article (I know, I’m crazy).

3. Introduce them to new people they need to know- The better you become at paying attention to the needs of your network, the more likely you are to find people who they need to meet. Don’t hesitate to make introductions that you know will add value to others.

2. Give what you have to give when asked- Many people are waking up to the idea of giving. As such, they are asking their network to give to what they believe in. They may be asking for time, money, connections or shares. Whatever the case, when your network asks for your assistance, give what you can.

1. A referral- Nothing says “I value you being in my network” quite like giving a referral. The more you can give, the more value you create for those around you.

What do you think of this list?
What would you add?

Thanks for taking a look at it.