Monday, January 26, 2015

He LIstened!

As a networker, I always keep a bunch of pens in my purse.  Or maybe it is better said, I just keep a bunch of pens in my purse!  They are ones that I collect along the way from various businesses that use them for promotional purposes.

I was using one such pen at my Board of Action meeting.  For those of you who are saying what the heck is a Board of Action (BOA) it is a group of grads of my class that want to help the grad community to grow and be prosperous.  Sort of like a Board of Adviser on steroids.  One of my very loyal members, Rick Reichow, an newly independent insurance agent, noticed that I was using a pen of his competitor.  Being the smart aleck that I am I told him that the pen he had given me would not work.  He said that he would take care of it!

Being even more of a brat, I said that I liked blue ink, too!  (With me you don't need enemies!)

So yesterday, Rick came up to me at our BNI meeting and gave me a Martin Lark Insurance Agency pen.  And it wasn't your old run of the mill pen.  It is a gorgeous green, with a little penlight feature AND IT HAS BLUE INK!  That pen is not your 89 cent variety, but probably didn't cost $10 either.  All I know is that it was not about the pen, but about the thoughtfulness of Rick.  He made my day.

Who has made your day recently?

Friday, January 23, 2015

Please Train Your Brothers or Sisters!

This post is targeted to all the wonderful sales managers out there who understand that networking is not a sales opportunity but a relationship building exercise that will lead to future sales.

I want to thank you for being so enlightened!

Thank you for:

1.  Not telling your sales team to give out as many business cards as possible.

2.  Not telling them to collect as many business cards as possible

3.  Not asking them how many sales they made at an event

4.  Not asking how many prospects they sold to during an event

5.  For encouraging your team members to sit at different tables at a sit-down networking event

I appreciate that you understand the concepts of networking and share them with your team.

Now can you do me a favor?  Will you educate the other sales managers of the world?????

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Does That Visitor Know?

Almost a month in to the new year -- I've already had a couple experiences that help me to think about being ready for networking.

Here is one step that I'm going to implement.  I'm always going to have my introduction (commercial or whatever you want to call it) ready so that a visitor or someone in the audience who has never heard of me, will at least have a figment of an idea of what I offer!

I came to this AHA moment recently when I visited a local BNI chapter to help them get started with the Fast Track program.  Of course, I got to hear all their weekly presentations.  One member delivered a commercial that was three true or false statements that did not guide me by telling what he did nor what he wanted.  This member had been in my BNI Advanced Training for creating such introductions, so I really thought that I had failed as a trainer.

I thought I would find out more so I called him and scheduled a one-to-one meeting.  What I found out was that the chapter president had asked the members to create commercials using true/false statements several weeks previously, but had not asked them to use them.  So my new friend figured he might as well put this introduction to good use at another time....the very time I visited.

Because of that, I left the meeting having no idea of what or how I might even think about helping him.  And actually at our one-to-one I figured out several ways I could help.

With that knowledge, I have made a commitment to myself that I am always going to assume that there is a visitor in the group that doesn't know what I do.  I will have to be really clear with my message and even more specific at what I want. 

Not rocket science, but a good slap to the forehead!

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Naked Networking

OK, here's a new way to network.  After all, we want to be the best we can be at networking, right?

So a friend of mine, knows another person who networks in the sauna at the "tony" downtown club.  He's very successful at getting clients this way.  I guess if everyone is naked there is no opportunity for pretense.

My mind got to thinking about this.  What would happen to all the rules of networking without clothes in the equation?

Would the handshake change?  You certainly wouldn't want to miss the person's hand!  That could be a bit awkward.

And what about networking body language? Would you come from the side of a new person, not making a full frontal approach?  After all you don't know them that well.

And the big question of the day is where in the heck would you store your business cards?  I don't even want to go too much further with that.

With all these thoughts running around in my head, I think that I will not adopt the skin-free approach to networking.

Anyone else dare to weigh into this?????

Friday, January 02, 2015

First Book of the Year

It's already time for another fun-to-read book report from CN Grad, Don Kardux, Business Navigators.  This one is really fun, so don't miss it!And here it is:


Over two years ago my dear friend, the lovely Debby Peters, said to me, “Don, you read a lot of books and you always share what you think of them with a few of us. Would you be willing to share with the entire Connext Nation Community?”
 I said, “Connect to a larger audience? That’s not like me.”
 

This is the twenty-fourth book I am reviewing for CN and next month will start my third year.


Debby thanks for the opportunity! (You are so very welcome, Don!)


I reviewed my reviews and found a most important book missing.


You see, as I graduated from teaching English and Drama and entered into the world of sales (Territory Manager for Lennox Industries 1980 to 1990) I decided I better learn about business and goals and managing myself.


Ken Blanchard and Spencer Johnson’s runaway best seller came out in 1982. I read it and applied the principles first to myself and later to my clients.


It’s a short book.


In one hundred and six pages three core behaviors can change people and ultimately organizations.


At the time the book came out there was a major division in the approach used to manage business.

“Tough"managers who like these words: autocratic, bottom line, hard-nosed, realistic, profit minded.

“Nice” managers who like these words: democratic, supportive, considerate, and humanistic.


Blanchard likes to write in short story form and so begins the book this way.

“Once there was a bright young man who was looking for an effective manager.

            He wanted to work for one. He wanted to become one.      

            His search had taken him over many years to the far corners of the 
            world.”



The ‘bright young man’ finds the ‘One Minute Manager’ and discovers that he is not just a blend of “Tough and Nice” but has significant differences with each.



On the nineteenth page of the book is the core statement and the rest of the book tells us how it can be achieved.

People Who Feel

Good About

Themselves



Produce

Good Results



There are only three tools that are used but, it is essential that you read and understand them.


1.      One Minute Goals

2.      One Minute Praising

3.      One Minute Reprimands


The concepts in this book began what has become the philosophy of our company, Business Navigators.


Of course, I think you should read ( and for many of use) re-read, The One Minute Manager.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Watching the Signs

Have you ever wondered if you are doing all the right "stuff" when it comes to networking.  Perhaps a networking evaluation would help you to decide!

Some questions you might ask are:

1.  How often do I need to attend networking events?
2.  What types of events do I need to attend?
3.  What goals should I have for each event?

4.  What is my follow up procedure for each event?
5.  How much money should I budget for my networking activities?
6.  Is there a different model of networking that works better for me?
7.  How will I measure the results?

These seven questions will give you a great start at figuring out if you are on the networking path to success or if you have found a dead-end.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

A Well Taught Lesson

What can I learn from an orange cat?  Many things, especially in the networking world!

You see, last winter, that ferocious winter, all of a sudden an orange tabby appeared on our doorstep.  When I opened the door the first time, he walked right in.  I put him out because my hubby said that he didn't want the cat inside.  Of course, we had the slobbery dog in, but that is a different story.

So the feline stayed out ALL winter.  I guess with all the snow, he must have created an warm little igloo under the front porch, because that seemed to be his home.  I did decide to feed him, figuring that if his tummy was full, he would stay warm.

He stayed around all summer, coming to sit with me when I sat on either of the two porches.  He let me know that he was happy to be around.

Let me make this long story, short!  He is now inside.  Hubby changed his mind.  "Kitty" is the nicest cat I have ever had.  He is very loving, well-behaved and still likes to earn his keep by heading out to catch a mouse or two.

What's this have to do with networking?  Well, think about it.  He stayed around and developed a relationship over the long term.  He won me over pretty early on, but the big challenge was Steve.  That's the same as connecting with someone in the human world and then continuing to connect!  Some networkers think that if they just see a person one time, then the relationship should be profitable.  If it is not they are not willing to put in any extra time.

They could take a lesson from "Kitty."