Posts Tagged 'Terry Bean'

#WorkFromHomeDads Fail Faster

Some of the best advice I ever read…

Seriously, you’re gonna fail, that is unless you’re not really trying. Since it’s bound to happen get it over with as quickly as possible so you can get back to the good stuff.

#workfromhomedads Law of Attraction Intro

Had a discussion the Law of Attraction (LOA) at the most recent Motor City Connect meeting at the end of June. I liked it so much, I decided it should be a topic here. It’s been something I’ve discussed, followed and enacted for a long time. I just listened to this video 3 times and am looking forward to putting this powerful force into full effect in my life again.

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??

Excited to Announce the Website for Real Detroit Test Drive

Real Detroit Test Drive Logo

Real Detroit Test Drive Logo

I needed a cool and interesting way to help sell cars with Click Click Car. I knew there was little chance of me talking about features and benefits of vehicles all day, so I came up with a better way.

Real Detroit Test Drive exists to share the stories of people who are doing great things that have a positive impact on the Detroit area.  We wanted to do this in a way that showcased the city as well. What better way to accomplish both than while riding in cars?

The goal is to launch a new one every week to 10 days. We’ve got 5 of them loaded up for you on Real Detroit Test Drive. They’re easy to find as they’re sitting right there on the home page (although not necessarily in this order).

The first video features Terry Bean driving in a 2014 GMC Terrain through Indian Village (awesome neighborhood in Detroit) explaining what Real Detroit Test Drive is all about.

The next video in the series features John George of Blightbusters. We do a quick tour in a Jeep Cherokee through Brightmoor (an area that needs a lot of clean up that John and his crew have been working on for 26 years) as John explains the improvements that are coming as well as the ones they’ve made.

The third video features Menachem Kniespeck of Operation: Kid Equip and a whole lot of books.  Menachem’s organization provides backpacks full of school supplies to needy children in 3 Southeastern Michigan counties and provides FREE books for children anywhere in the state of Michigan.  You should really check out their website. We did drive in a GMC Acadia there and spent a little time in it as you can see.

The fourth video is about Scott Fader and Suits for Soldiers. Scott and his organization have helped over 100 veterans find jobs, over 10,000 with their resumes and have given away over 5,000 suits since July, 2013. If you know a veteran in need, they should speak with Scott.  Scott and I roll through East Village in a Buick LaCrosse.

The fifth video features Sola Obayan of Pavo and Social Media Association of Michigan. Sola shares her passion for small business and social media. We also discuss how Pavo is in beta phase and looking for early adopters who want to connect their businesses with people who are passionate about it. We tore up the Midtown area in a Jeep Grand Cherokee.

We’ve had a blast making these and are looking forward to continuing to do so. We sure hope you enjoy the ride.

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?