215) Rainmaker Contacts

It is great to be connected to people who want what you sell here and now. It can, however, be more lucrative long-term to build your network with contacts who can connect you to these clients on a consistent basis.

These are rainmaker contacts and they are vital to ongoing success. Who are they? These are entrepreneurs or professionals who don’t do what you do, but their clientele is virtually identical to yours. For example, a business banker would benefit from meeting a CPA type, as these accountant types can refer their clients.

With this understanding, do three things. One, identify who are the potential rainmaker contacts in your world. Next, find opportunities to interact with these entrepreneurs and professionals. Then, finally, from time to time ask your network to introduce you to them.

These are three important steps as rainmaker contacts represent a treasure trove of new business.


Like what you’ve read? Prefer to hear it as a podcast or daily flash briefing? Subscribe to the Networking Rx Minute podcast here or wherever you get your podcasts.


214) Bonnie Richardson High

In 2009, Rochelle High School won the Texas Class 1A high school girls track and field championship for the second year in a row. No big deal, right? Someone wins the championship every year. And, from time to time a high school will do it back to back.

What made this title unique, however, was that while state track championships are generally a team effort, these championships were the result of one girl’s effort – Bonnie Richardson.

Yes, this one young woman, competing against teams with multiple athletes, did enough to single-handedly win a state track and field championship. She won the high jump. Placed second in the long jump. Finished third in the discus. Won the 200 meter. And took second in the 100 meter.

Life can be like this. Sometimes you don’t have a team to rely upon. Sometimes, if you really want to succeed, it’s just up to you.


Like what you’ve read? Prefer to hear it as a podcast or daily flash briefing? Subscribe to the Networking Rx Minute podcast here or wherever you get your podcasts.


Networking Rx: Helping Others The Option B Way (EPS 126)

Frank Agin, founder and president of AmSpirit Business Connections and host of Networking Rx, shares some insight and advice that Sheryl Sandberg shared in her book, Option B, on how NOT to offer to help others.

http://networkingrx.libsyn.com/helping-others-the-option-b-way-eps-xxx

For more information on AmSpirit Business Connections and its franchise opportunity program, contact Frank Agin at frankagin@amspirit.com or visit http://www.amspirit.com/franchise.php.

213) Trees & Grass

Twentieth-century author Hal Borland once said, “Knowing trees, I understand the meaning of patience. Knowing grass, I can appreciate persistence.”

Be like a tree. You can’t expect to be at your peak potential overnight. Rather, like a tree, you break through as merely a seedling in your chosen field of expertise. Then year after year, you reach and grow … expanding bit by bit. And all along, capitalizing on opportunities to take in the enlightenment of knowledge and experience.

But also, be like grass. You will endure setbacks, figuratively being stepped on and cut down. Whatever the case, just keep going. Be undeterred by challenges. Overcome and continue on. Let no one stop you from achieving what you’re hardwired to achieve.

When things don’t move at the pace you’d like, look up and remember the trees. Adopt their patience. When you encounter that setback, look down at the grass. Take a lesson from it and relentlessly persist.


Like what you’ve read? Prefer to hear it as a podcast or daily flash briefing? Subscribe to the Networking Rx Minute podcast here or wherever you get your podcasts.


212) The Reconnection Call

If you’re like most, your life is littered with relationships with whom you’ve lost touch. No one is to blame. These things happen. For whatever reason, their life and yours have taken different paths.

And while, you may no longer be on the same life path, there is still tremendous value in these contacts. So, you should make an opportunity from time to time to simply reconnect. But how?

Donna Fisher, in her book People Power, has some straightforward advice: Simply call. Labeling this a “Reconnection Call”, Fisher indicates that it is made for the purpose of “re-establishing a relationship.”

Once we have the person on the line, simply acknowledge that it has been a long time, and then express an interest in catching up. Although it may feel awkward at first, remember your old friend is being reconnected too. So, your call will be a welcome benefit to him or her as well.


Like what you’ve read? Prefer to hear it as a podcast or daily flash briefing? Subscribe to the Networking Rx Minute podcast here or wherever you get your podcasts.


211) Shut Up And Listen

Award winning business coach, motivational speaker and author of A Life Best Lived: A Story of Life, Death and Second Chances, Danny Creed has some sage advice for achieving your goals and dreams: Simply serve others around you. Your family. Your friends. Your clients. Your colleagues. Your vendors.

This then begs the question, “How do I best serve others?” He has great advice for that too. It’s simply this: SHUT UP AND LISTEN.

When you do that, you can help others be successful by understanding their own definition of success. To effectively listen, you need to completely focus your attention on the person and be genuinely interested, with an intent to actually learn.

Moreover, don’t interrupt. Don’t argue. Stay off e-mail, text and social media. And, by all mean, lean into the conversation with your body and eye contact.

Coach Creed is right. Success starts by serving others. And serving others starts by shutting up and listening.


Like what you’ve read? Prefer to hear it as a podcast or daily flash briefing? Subscribe to the Networking Rx Minute podcast here or wherever you get your podcasts.


Networking Rx: Michael Rogers, Author, Speaker, Consultant (EPS 125)

Frank Agin, founder and president of AmSpirit Business Connections and host of Networking Rx, talks with Michael Rogers, author of You Are The Team. Together they talk about how serving others is the first and best step towards building a great team, whether it’s a formal or informal one.

http://networkingrx.libsyn.com/michael-roger-builder-of-teams-eps-125

For more information on AmSpirit Business Connections and its franchise opportunity program, contact Frank Agin at frankagin@amspirit.com or visit http://www.amspirit.com/franchise.php.

Tips For Making Small Talk

Tips For Making Small Talk

Here is an important thing to understand: “Small talk” is not about filling idle time with interesting things to say. Rather, “small talk” is about getting the OTHER person to fill idle time with things to say and you genuinely finding interest in it.

The key to success in “small talk” is having a simple, reliable game plan. Try this one:

Step One: Ask A Question … Now remember, the key is to get them talking, so you need to be ready with questions that are open-ended. “Isn’t this weather crazy?” will not cut it. “How does this crazy weather affect you?” just might.

Step Two: Listen … Really Listen … Take an interest in what they have to say, even if the subject is not particularly interesting to you. Why? First, you just might learn something, something that could help you or something that you can use to help them (which ultimately helps you).

Second (and this is counter-intuitive) if you take an interest in them and whatever they have to say, they will find you to be a very interesting person (and they will not know why). It is just human nature. People tend to like people who show a genuine interest in them.

Step Three: Summarize & Share … As a follow-up (to show you are really listening), summarize what you have heard (or at least do the best you can) and then share a little about the subject as it relates to you. “So, as an avid water skier all this hot weather is great but I find that it kills my golf game.”

Finally, just like the instruction on the shampoo bottle – lather, rinse, repeat – ask another question. Perhaps one that’s related to the first question or maybe some other tangent you would like to explore based on what they said in their answer. For example, “So, if hot weather is good, how do you occupy yourself when it is too cold to take to the lake?” Whatever, the case, keep them talking.

210) The Second Arrow

A Buddhist monk once shared with his students, “If a person is struck by an arrow, it is painful. But it is the second arrow that is even more painful.”

He went on to explain that the first arrow represents all the the bad things that might happen to you in life.

The second arrow, however, represents all your negative reactions to the first. For example, if you needlessly blame others for the first arrow or become overly critical of yourself, in a sense you inflict yourself with added pain. And this added pain is generally is much more hurtful than that from the first arrow.

In life, bad things are going to happen. Some are your fault, and some are not. Blaming others won’t take away the sting of the setback. So why do it? And beating yourself up over it takes energy away from moving forward.

So, endure life’s first arrows, but avoid the second ones at all cost.


Like what you’ve read? Prefer to hear it as a podcast or daily flash briefing? Subscribe to the Networking Rx Minute podcast here or wherever you get your podcasts.


209) Was That Networking Event Worthwhile?

Here are questions you likely ponder after most any networking event are: Was it worth the trip? What it worth the time spent mingling? Are the contacts I made worth anything? Was that event worthwhile?

Know this: In reality, the answers to these questions are always a resounding “Absolutely!”

Think about it: Every event offers value. Yes, some events offer more value than others. They all have value, however.

And, yes, the value from some events is more immediate, while the true value of others takes time to develop and fully present itself.

So, certainly assess the value of events as best you can. And certainly, track your results however you deem appropriate.

But before you completely pass judgment on an event, remember this: The benefits of any networking activity may not present themselves for weeks, months, or even years. So be patient. Keep attending those events.


Like what you’ve read? Prefer to hear it as a podcast or daily flash briefing? Subscribe to the Networking Rx Minute podcast here or wherever you get your podcasts.