30-Second Commercials: Part 1 of 8

Essentially, networking is about you creating a series of relationships (also known as a network). The end game for you is to get the network to help you. To get this, three things need to happen … Your network needs to KNOW you … Your network needs to LIKE you … And, your network needs to TRUST you.

Now, in establishing this KNOW, LIKE & TRUST, those you hope to add to your network NEED (not just WANT, but NEED) to have a firm sense as to…

• WHO you are (name, business name, basic product/service) …

• WHAT you do (along with when you do it) …

• WHY they should do business with you or WHY they should refer you as opposed to other options

• And, HOW they can help you (Who are people you want to be referred to? … Who do you want to meet? … What information do you need?).

In a networking sense, the primary limitation to communicating all this (especially amongst people you are meeting for the first time) is simply ATTENTION SPAN.

In somewhere around 30 seconds, you need to effectively communicate all these things or lose (or at least risk losing) their minds to something (or someone) else. For more, see Part 2.

I’m In A Conversation. Now What?

As wonderful as chatting with a connection at a networking event is, do not burn out the conversation. This is not to say that you need to use the event to get out handfuls of your business cards and collect handfuls in return. That is not productive either.

It just says that you should attempt to connect enough with the person so that you are both comfortable continuing the conversation another time. Perhaps that is at the next event. Perhaps that is over coffee the next week. Whatever the case, talk for 15-20 minutes, get their contact information and pledge to get back to them.

This will allow you the opportunity to meet and connect with other people. To this end, when you find a lull in the conversation, simply suggest to them:

“I would love to keep talking, but …

… I don’t want to occupy your whole time …
… There are a couple people I need to connect with before the event is over; or,
… I promised myself that I would meet three new, great contacts today … you make one and now I need to find two others.

If you do not mind, however, I would like to reach out to you later this week (early next week) and arrange a time where we can continue this conversation.”

LinkedIn Active Use #4 of 4

The final active use of LinkedIn is taking advantage of the “Share An Update” feature, where you can report what you are doing, what’s on your mind or what you would like others to know.

Found on your home page of LinkedIn, this is an underutilized feature that can be used in one of three general ways.

• Mini Press Release: Imagine having a publicist. Someone who tracked your every move and reported it to the world like some Hollywood star. Well, with LinkedIn, you can. Using the Share An Update feature you can share on your profile the things you are doing. This can enlighten others on your activity (personally or professionally) … Who you know … What you are working on.

• Add Value: As we discussed earlier, adding value is important whether you are networking in a traditional manner or via LinkedIn. People simply want to associate with those that have something to offer – it is purely human nature. Using the Share An Update, you can provide value to your LinkedIn network by offering information, sharing insight or simply making alerts.

• Evoke Discussion: Finally, just like contributing content, you can use the Share An Update feature to gain information quickly or simply engage your network. This activity creates interaction and interaction generally leads to value. So think about engaging your online network by asking a question, soliciting feedback, or creating a forum for discussion.

H (Diagram 2)

Creating A Referral Machine 3 of 7

The important first step to creating a referral machine is establishing relationships. This all begs two important questions: (1) WITH WHOM should I establish these relationships? And then even more importantly, (2) HOW do I go about establishing these relationships?

As to WITH WHOM you should establish relationships, there is no magic or secrets. They are all around you. First, start with the people you already know. Why? The people you already know, presumably already know, like and trust you. Far too often, when people embark on creating a referral machine, they become fixated on people they have never met before.

keep the gears

Think about it. You know tons of people right now – friends from the community or school, former colleagues, existing or past clients. This represents a treasure trove of raw materials with which to work.

Second, develop a list of strategic partners. Ask yourself this, we are the people that do not compete with you, but run in the circles as you would like to be running? What is the profile of a good potential client for you and who might be servicing them?

Third, everyone is connected. Everyone knows someone who might be a good potential referral for you (they may or may not realize it). This is not to say that you need to establish a relationship with everyone. What it does say, though, do not dismiss anyone. Give everyone attention and respect.

As to HOW, we cover that in Part 4.

I’m In A Conversation. Now What?

As wonderful as chatting with a connection at a networking event is, do not burn out the conversation. This is not to say that you need to use the event to get out handfuls of your business cards and collect handfuls in return. That is not productive either.

It just says that you should attempt to connect enough with the person so that you are both comfortable continuing the conversation another time. Perhaps that is at the next event. Perhaps that is over coffee the next week. Whatever the case, talk for 15 to 20 minutes, get their contact information and pledge to get back to them.

This will allow you the opportunity to meet and connect with other people. To this end, when you find a lull in the conversation, simply suggest to them:

“I would love to keep talking, but …

  • “I don’t want to occupy your whole time …”
  • “There are a couple people I need to connect with before the event is over;” or
  • “I promised myself that I would meet three new, great contacts today … you make one and now I need to find two others.”

“If you do not mind, however, I would like to reach out to you later this week (early next week) and arrange a time where we can continue this conversation.”

Bus Meeting Smiling

Member Featured In Business First Cover Story

Adam McCampbell, member of AmSpirit Business Connections was recently featured in a cover story in Columbus Business First. The article is about turning millennial, known to be lazy, balanced, flaky, fun into leaders. McCampbell was featured as a millennial that proved his responsibility and leadership skills landing him as the co-founder and managing partner of VisionSpark.

platinum_star

Beyond Initiate Contact

P (Name Badge)

After initiating contact at a networking event (that is after making eye contact, smiling, and saying hello) one of two things will happen.

1) Nothing will happen, as they will just move along. So what? Don’t take it personal. There could be a dozen or more reasons why they did not stop and none of them related to you.

2) They stop and are open to expanding the mere contact into a more meaningful connection.

When this happens, ensure to do these three things…

1) Handshake … Offer your hand in anticipation of a handshake, the true first impression. The handshake should be firm, intersecting your thumb web with theirs. Do not make your handshake too hard – a bone crushing that might serve to imply dominance. Moreover, do not make your handshake too soft – a limp fish that might serve to imply disinterest. Make that handshake firm, but nothing spectacular. Remember, you are best to not be remembered for your handshake as opposed to being remembered for a bad one.

2) Offer Your Name … As you shake hands, offer your name. In so doing, be sure to enunciate you first name clearly. In addition, to further the connection, there are two other reasons as to why this is important. First, unless they are someone you know well, by offering your name you serve to eliminate any potential embarrassment to them for not remembering your name from an earlier encounter. Second, when you offer your name, they are likely to offer theirs in return.

3) Clarify Their Name … When you offer your name, if they do not recite theirs, ask them, “What is your name?” Whatever the case, if they offer their name (whether they did it initially or you had to prompt them), clarify their name aloud. For example,

“Hello, my name is Susan.”
“Great to meet you, Susan. Correct?”

You might also consider clarifying what they prefer to be called (e.g., Do you go by Susan, Sue, or either or?”). These steps will help you better remember their name. In addition, it will subtly imply that their name is important to you.

 

Member’s Office Selected For 2014 Best Columbus Awards for Health & Medical Services

Kyle Seymour member of the North Outerbelt Chapter is proud to announce his office Comfort Keepers was selected as a 2014 Best Columbus Award for Health & Medical Services. Once a year local Columbus businesses are chosen to be apart of the Best of Columbus awards based on the best businesses in Columbus, often they are chosen for their efforts in customer service and community involvement.

platinum_star