I suppose it’s a bit like Father Christmas….. "He’s making a list, he’s checking it twice"… and that’s where the similarity stops, with me that is.
For every event, we/I have a check list:
And so it goes on… and this gets checked as the items are brought out and as they are assembled prior to loading a vehicle/leaving the office
Except for my recent trip to the Make It Happen Conference in Marbella, Spain.
I won’t bore you with the reasons why this happened, but it was an essential item for me to run the speednetworking session at the Make It Happen Conference.
On arriving at my hotel I set off in hot pursuit of a replacement (“hot” being the operative word, since it was an 80o day) - not even unpacking my case - no time, as it was just 2.5 hrs to the networking party that evening, and the Conference was the following day with 7.30 am start!!!!
Thinks…. There’s a primary school nearby, I wonder if they have a bicycle with said horn on that I could borrow? Just for a day. Seemed inspirational! Now you need to know that my Spanish is non-existent… well, I can say “please” and “thank you” and order chicken and chips – that’s just about it, oh and sparkling water.
I will leave it to your imagination as to how the conversation went with the teaching staff, suffice to say I came away empty handed, and they wondering who this totally insane English woman was!
So a quick phone call to Ali for shop suggestions, 1 hour later proved unfruitful. Must have lost some weight though in the hot running around - so a positive there! Dear Patrick (Ali’s OH) came to the rescue and saved the day with a choice of 2 hooters.
And I think you can say that the Speednetworking was a success!
No, really… I’m not, honestly…… I mean it….. I’m NOT!
Sometimes I get asked why I don’t give a 1-minute talk at the 1230 The Women’s Company business meetings.
As the MD of 1230 The Women's Company, I'm always delighted to attend many of the business networking meetings, particularly where, with a whoop and a holler, the 1230 TWC Host will have introduced me at the beginning of the meeting and, to quote the wonderful Caroline Hewitt, “bigged me up!” Some attendees will already know me, some not.
Remember…. I‘m NOT precious. But that introduction gives me a warm glow, because it introduces me to so many awesome business women.
Attending so many meetings in different locations, enables me to cross-refer attendees. Notice I say "attendees"? Yes, of course, our Members always get preferential treatment, but if I can see a connection for anyone attending 1230 TWC meetings, I will make that connection for them.
As 1230 TWC is my business, I can give a talk at any meeting for 1 minute, 2 minutes, 20 minutes, 2 hours – however long I like – remember, I’m not precious.
The opportunity to give a 1 minute talk at 1230 TWC meetings is
YOUR moment to shine;
YOUR moment in the spotlight,
YOUR moment to let everyone know about what
YOU and YOUR business offer.
I’m not precious about me, but my business and those who attend are precious and YOU are precious. And I’m delighted to know you all.
I'm not precious
YOU - ARE!
I have a new, beautiful leather handbag, a Roanne Tote bag to be precise, to be even more precise – a handbag from the Shona Easton Design Studio! You can tell I’m delighted with it, can’t you?
It’s a practical size, made in grainy calf leather in a fabulous pink colour – of course, and is much admired wherever I go. So what can I get inside, quite a lot actually. Mobile phone, which slips nicely into its own pocket, keys have their own secure clip, my purse also has its own pocket, I use the zip pocket for make-uppy bits, tablets, couple of pens and there are 2 large slip pockets – all in a beautiful deep rose taffeta lining. Those of you who know me well, know that I’m a belt and braces person, so my Filofax goes in as well, notebook, 1230 TWC business cards, currently promo cards for Business Women in Action Conference and 1230 TWC Note Cards. I can tuck all my bits and pieces safely inside and zip everything in with a secure zip with lock and key fastening. Also, I can conveniently carry the bag, handbag style, or slip it over my shoulder.
The designer (or Bag Lady, as she is affectionately known), Shona Easton tends to float between the Guildford and London 1230 TWC meetings, that's when she's not designing or visiting her overseas manufacturers. So why not come along and find out what else she has to offer. Shona is also speaking at the Business Women in Action Conference on 4 November.
Just check out the video to see where we've been together!
This time last week I was really out of my comfort zone! I’d anticipated that this would happen, but what I hadn’t anticipated was the invaluable critique from The Red Carpet Academy super star – Leah Charles King! I knew it would be a worthwhile day, but how worthwhile was yet to be seen.
So, where was I? At The Red Carpet Academy 1 Day Intensive Training with Leah Charles King and her team in London, and some super other women – all being put through our paces to “face the camera!” Although I’ve spoken in public on many occasions, both as a speaker and as a trainer and sat in front of my PC/laptop talking to the world – this was something different.
Each stage of our packed training day was critiqued by Leah, gently (but accurately) pointing our little foibles and making constructive, invaluable – yes I know I keep using that word – but it truly was – invaluable – constructive criticism.
So here I am with the delightful Leah, my certificate and “the bag” (that’s another story).
Would I recommend The Red Carpet Academy? You bet!!! So if you’re looking to improve your public speaking and improve in front of camera, check out The Red Carpet Academy web site and book your session.
Lights, Camera, Action!
Most businesses start out with a dash of inspiration, a dream and that is where it ends. Even the most innovative businesses can wind up closing their doors because a good action plan, a focused timeline and a lack of connections were not thought out or put in place at conception.
There are many benefits to creating your business action plan and online business timeline. When you have an action plan put into place and follow it regularly and continue to focus on your business timeline, things will run much more smoothly for your new business, your employees, and your customers.
And finally, no matter how good your planning and implementing is, you will crave the company of others, often in a similar position as you are. You’ll meet and grow connections over lunch when you join us!
It’s not what you know, it’s who you know is the old adage, and it’s not wrong. Networking has always been the best way to find a job, get recommendations, and increase the buzz about any business. Networking has been going on long before the advent of computers and social networking sites.
After-hours business functions, lunches, school runs and more have always been the traditional ways in which business women get together to be social and get to know each other. It’s a great way to build relationships outside of the business but in a way that nurtures their business.
Through business networking you can increase your business opportunities in many ways, and in this post I’ll share 8 ways with you.
A referral is considered a “hot” lead. This is someone who has already likely been sold on your business products and or services. All you have to do is provide the referral with the information they want, follow up, and close the deal.
Trust is one of the foundations of business. People are more likely to want to do business with someone they trust. Networking events give others an opportunity to see you outside of your element and in a new way. Seeing you as a human being will build the trust, as you work toward building relationships that last regardless of what they can do for you.
A well-honed networker has higher word-of-mouth buzz than others because they have demonstrated, through their actions, that they are a resource to others. It doesn’t matter what you sell; if you are vocal about your business, but also helpful and provide advice freely, you’ll be the first person people think about when they need to offer someone a referral.
When you are happier, it shows when you present your opportunity to others. If you are not happy and don’t understand why you are doing something, it shows too. By practicing presenting your ideas and business to others at networking events, online and off, you will gain confidence in your abilities and it will shine through.
When you are more knowledgeable about your market, you will create more opportunities for yourself and your business. Networking with peers is great for referrals and comrades, but networking with your audience also provides an education in your market that you cannot get any other way, if you’re listening.
The more you network with others, the better you’ll get at communicating with others. The better you are at communicating, the more people will like and trust you. The more people like and trust you, the busier your business will be.
Just the act of going to a networking event pushes you out of your comfort zone and makes you study your business, your audience, and understand what type of education you need to succeed. It gets you outside of your bubble in a way that nothing else can.
When you network with honest people, especially your peers, you can try out ideas before putting them into practice. You can see what their reaction is before you waste too much time and money. These valuable insights will increase the profitability of your business!
Business Networking is one of the best ways to increase opportunities for you and your business. Fancy joining us at a business networking meeting for women?
You’re at a business networking event. You’ve mastered your body language, you’ve read all the business networking books you can get your hands on and now it’s time to actually talk to people at a business networking event. And that means starting a conversation that’s meaningful and not a half-hearted:
What can you say that generates a conversation and makes you both look interesting? And it cannot be run of the mill conversations like “What do you do for a living”. You need nice, open-ended questions that enable a business conversation without sounding like an interrogation. You could also ask how they heard about the event.
Well don’t panic, 1230 TWC have got your back. Here are 10 conversation generators that will get the conversation flowing nicely, but obviously you don’t need to ask them all at once!
The first question is a great one because it enables you to think about who you can connect to the person you’re networking with, when you follow it up with question two, you’re clarifying exactly who they love to work with. Question three enables you to identify who can help from your own network, if help is desired of course. These three questions alone will enable you to build your network and make attractive introductions.
That’s 10 conversations starters! What about three more to really get your conversations going? Try:
I recommend you ask the last three when you have built up a rapport with the networker. To ask them straight away will make it look like you’re assessing their value to your network, and it’s based on their response!
The simplest, I find most effective is “Tell me about you.”
Wishing you many happy business networking conversations
PS What questions would you add to the list?
New to business networking? First of all, subscribe to our 7-day business networking boost, you’ll love it. Secondly, check out this top 11 of business networking books. Although this is in no particular order, there is the perfect book for you, no matter what type of business networking you are looking to succeed with.
What are your favourite business networking books?
From Amazon: You’ve probably heard the expression “It’s not what you know, its who you know.” Well, there’s a lot of truth to it. Of course you always need to work hard at your endeavor of choice (“what you know”). Your value in the business world depends on what you can do for people. Therefore, you must have a skill, information or expertise that others will consume that people will pay for. BUT, having that skill, information or expertise is often not enough to maximize your potential. You need people a network to help you distribute your skills. You need people to help you find a job, a loan, customers, or the right partner. The Skinny on Networking: Maximizing the Power of Numbers is about creating and maintaining your network. Illustrated, narrative and easily read in about one hour, this book condenses the thinking of experts, authors and celebrities alike and presents them in an entertaining and engaging format. In The Skinny on Networking you will learn how to: maximize your reach on the internet; get to the people you need; create networking gravity; employ the principle of weak ties; think like a boomerang; expand your social capital; build a reciprocity field; utilize connectors; move beyond your comfort zone; cold call; leverage initial meeting.
From Amazon: Virtually all job hunting experts agree that networking is the best way to find a great job. But most people don’t have connections to the decision makers who do the hiring. And “networking” books, which are mostly written by and for salespeople, suggest aggressive tactics, often confusing these with real networking. They focus on building a powerful network over the course of a lifetime. But when you need a new job, you don’t have time to build a huge, powerful network. You’ve got to use the network you already have. Orville Pierson, a top expert in job hunting, tells you how to succeed by effectively using your current circle of contacts. He cuts through the myths and misunderstandings to show you how millions of job hunters have networked their way to great new jobs. Highly Effective Networking empowers you to: * Use a small network to reach dozens of insiders and decision makers. * Get the right message to the right people, even if you have never met them. * Create a project plan to organize your networking efforts. * Speak effectively and comfortably with your networking contacts. * Talk to decision makers before the job opening is announced. Networking in job hunting is different than other networking. You don’t have to hobnob with the rich and famous. There’s no need for aggressive sales tactics. You just need to understand how real networking fits into your job search, and then be systematic about doing it.
From Amazon: Packed with valuable insights from 100 of today’s top networkers, and with proven examples from many businesses and professions, this exciting book shows why networking is the most effective marketing tool today.
From Amazon: Make Your Contacts Count is a practical, step-by-step guide for creating, cultivating, and capitalizing on networking relationships and opportunities. Packed with valuable tools, the book offers a field-tested “Hello to Goodbye” system that takes readers from entering a room, to making conversations flow, to following up. Updated from its first edition, the book now includes expanded advice on building social capital at work and in job hunting, as well as new case studies, examples, checklists, and questionnaires. Readers will discover how to:
Job-seekers, career-changers, entrepreneurs, and others will find all the networking help they need to supercharge their careers and boost their bottom lines
From Amazon: In many ways, success at networking is the uncommon application of common knowledge. Most people understand that networking is important to their success?they just lack a step-by-step process to get the results they want. Almost no one really implements a comprehensive methodology that will build a business through networking. Thus, the need to network is “common knowledge,” and the development of the methodology required to be successful at it is the “uncommon application.”
By reading this book, you will experience the true essence and meaning of networking. The 29% Solution gives you the answers to two conflicting questions that a business owner or salesperson faces every day: How can I tend to my existing clients while at the same time network for new business? and, Should I place higher value on my current clients or on new clients?
From Amazon: With over 100,000 copies sold, this is one of the most popular business- and sales-boosting guides ever written. This new edition offers successful entrepreneur and speaker Bob Burg’s proven relationship-building system that thousands of professionals and entrepreneurs have used to turn casual contacts into solid sales opportunities. In Endless Referrals, he shows you how to:
From Amazon: Bestselling author Harvey Mackay reveals his techniques for the most essential tool in business–networking, the indispensable art of building contacts.
Now in paperback, Dig Your Well Before You’re Thirsty is Harvey Mackay’s last word on how to get what you want from the world through networking. For everyone from the sales rep facing a career-making deal to the entrepreneur in search of capital, Dig Your Well explains how meeting these needs should be no more than a few calls away. This shrewdly practical book distills Mackay’s wisdom gleaned from years of “swimming with sharks,” including:
From Amazon: Network marketing is a burgeoning field, and it can be a frustrating and difficult experience. There are many who have achieved minimal success, and many more who have made no money at all. With these discouraging figures, how can one become a member of the successful elite? Millions agree that the best way to do this is to spend some time with The Greatest Networker in the World.
John Milton Fogg’s extended parable is the story of a young man on the verge of quitting the multilevel marketing business. As he prepares to give his final opportunity meeting, he meets the individual everyone refers to as The Greatest Networker in the World. This warm and wise man takes in his young counterpart and shows him the trade secrets so he too can become a successful network marketer.
The young man soon learns that the trade secrets have very little to do with conventional marketing techniques. In fact, he has to unlearn everything he thought he knew about business. “The paradigm of network marketing is so fundamentally different and distinct from all other paradigms of business, that it requires a pretty complete shift from the way we normally view business to appreciate and understand it.”
The new paradigm is built around one’s habits of thought and discovering that the secrets to network marketing success are within oneself. The values of responsibility, team building, and caring for one’s downline play a much more important role than competitive promotion and advertising.
A critical skill for all marketers is the ability to teach people to teach others. Once one has mastered the new paradigm of multilevel marketing, he needs to not only show his downline how to master it, but also how to teach those techniques to others. This leads to greater leadership within the organization, more stability, improved productivity, and as a result, long-lasting success.
From Amazon: The key to unlimited opportunities for your business starts with Smart Networking. This is the essential guidebook for building business relationships in a wired world. Business strategist Liz Lynch demystifies the process and puts strategic systems in place that build connections worldwide and attract opportunities 24/7.
Packed with powerful strategies tested by years of experience, as well as real-life stories from the field,Smart Networking describes how to integrate face-to-face techniques with a strong online presence. You’ll get low-cost marketing tools that are designed to expand your professional circle exponentially. Lynch will also help you to:
From Amazon: Devora Zack, an avowed introvert and a successful consultant who speaks to thousands of people every year, found that most networking advice books assume that to succeed you have to become an extrovert. Or at least learn how to fake it. Not at all. There is another way.
This book shatters stereotypes about people who dislike networking. They’re not shy or misanthropic. Rather, they tend to be reflective—they think before they talk. They focus intensely on a few things rather than broadly on a lot of things. And they need time alone to recharge. Because they’ve been told networking is all about small talk, big numbers and constant contact, they assume it’s not for them.
But it is! Zack politely examines and then smashes to tiny fragments the “dusty old rules” of standard networking advice. She shows how the very traits that ordinarily make people networking-averse can be harnessed to forge an approach that is just as effective as more traditional approaches, if not better. And she applies it to all kinds of situations, not just formal networking events. After all, as she says, life is just one big networking opportunity—a notion readers can now embrace.
In 1984 a New York Times Survey on Social Anxiety placed death third in the list of people’s biggest fears. The top two responses were walking into a room full of strangers and speaking in public.
Facing these two fears head on, ‘…and death came third!’ rocketed straight to Number Two on the Amazon UK bestseller lists on publication of its First Edition in 2006. Since then thousands of people have turned to its pages to help them network and present with much more confidence.
Written by the renowned networker and connector Andy Lopata.
Whether you’re a networking superstar already, or aspire to be one, this infographic will remind you of the 10 basic business networking tips.
What would you add? Leave a comment and tell us.
If you like this infographic, please pin it onto your business networking tips board on Pinterest.
One of the first things people are going to do when you are business networking is check out your social media profiles. Therefore, it’s important to make sure you are providing a consistent image, current information and you at least look a bit like your LinkedIn photo!
To make sure your profiles are professional and are portraying the image you want, include all the following elements:
Never leave the generic, faceless shadow on your profile. People are much more likely to connect with you when there’s a face put to the name. Also, many people will ONLY connect with you if they can see your face. Cartoons are fine if you’re self-conscious, but people will only take you seriously when they look into your eyes.
Most social sites have a space for a brief “tag line” where you can state your title, business, or other statement that describes you in just a few words. Make sure this pithy sentence is geared for your target prospects. Using keywords will also help people find you.
Include more detailed information about your skills, background, experience, etc. in the appropriate places in your profile. This is your opportunity to explain that tag line and show off a bit, so make the most of it. In some sites, like LinkedIn, you can even add media to your profiles, such as videos and slideshare presentations.
Don’t forget to include information on how people can get in touch with you. Include your preferred contact methods, such as phone, email, website, Skype, address, etc. If you have both a professional and personal blog, you can include both so that people can learn more about you.
If you have contact preferences, state those to. No one wishes to get off on the wrong foot when making contact with you, so make sure you express how you like to be contacted.
If you’re using a network like LinkedIn, take advantage of their Recommendations and Endorsements features. Ask a few select customers and colleagues to write short recommendations for you. Give them a little guidance on what type of recommendation you need so that they have some ideas. It will make it easier for them to write it, and you’re more likely to get a recommendation that will help your networking goals.
Review all your major social media profiles on a regular basis to keep them up to date and consistent. This is especially important if you change jobs or start a new business. It’s also important to keep an up to date photo, so if yours is 10 years old, it’s time to take a new one!