Monday, April 30, 2007

Scarcity Thinking

"I don't have enough, so I want everything."

That is scarcity thinking.

Those being this way demonstrate to the rest of the world that they are DESPERATE.

Recently I met with a young networker, who was complaining because she wasn't getting the referrals she wanted from her referral sources. This young woman is a member of a referral group that meets weekly.

Even though the group meets weekly, she has been in attendance just half the time.

Would you refer to her?

Not only does she want to gain referrals in her area of expertise, but she also wants to gather in referrals from the fringes of her business line where she has no experience.

Would you refer to her?

She has given plenty of referrals to her members, but none have turned into business.

Maybe this is not entirely her fault, but I'm guessing that she is just giving anything that remotely sounds like a referral to try to make it look like she's doing something.

Would you refer to her?

She's received referrals, but did not follow up on these referrals in a timely manner.

Would you give her more?

The important question is: Is there any wonder why she is not getting all she wants?

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Camp CEO, Part III

Last weekend at Camp CEO, (by the way, CEO stands for Career Exploration Opportunity) the 16 women who knew they would be mentoring 16 young women got a big SURPRISE when they arrived on Saturday morning. (Read Part I and Part II)

You see the girls had arrived at Camp Libby on Friday night. They learned the new cup stacking game that is sweeping the nation called Speed Stacks. There was even a recent world championship held.

The SURPRISE the women found out about Saturday morning, was that they were going to be mentored first, by the girls teaching us to play the game. There were some of us who knocked more cups on the floor than others, but we had a good time. The young woman I was paired with for the weekend, Tara Patel, was encouraging and kept telling me how good I was doing, even when I wasn't. THANKS TARA!

Once we learned the game, then we had to relearn as a team, with each of us only using one hand. That takes coordination. I think because of being left handed that Tara and I did have a little advantage. The picture at the left shows CPA, Darlene Robinson with her teammate, Alyssa Baz.

At the timed team competition Sunday morning, we managed to come in 4th. Not bad, but we had hoped for first.

Networking has some similarities to all this. Sometimes it can be a little awkward learning all the proper ins and outs of the "game," but if we have someone helping us, the learning curve is not so steep. Also, if we partner with a friend at an event, introducing people to each other, we may win more in our team effort than if we'd just gone it alone.

Have you tried Speed Stacks yet?

Friday, April 27, 2007

Camp CEO, Part II

It important to know all the rules!

My friend, Lori Cannon and I learned the Girl Scout rule about backing our car into the parking space at Camp Libby in the winter when we provided a presentation skills training for a group of girls. Our friend, Angela Tennaro, Program Director for the Maumee Valley Girl Scout Council kidded us because we had not noticed that we were the only car "headed' in. They park backwards because if there is an emergency, it is easier just to jump in the car and drive.

Makes sense.

So we knew that rule!

When we arrived at camp for the Camp CEO (read part I) weekend, a car was there before us, parked frontwards. It was Theresa's red SUV. She soon came up from the cabin to greet us and of course with all our knowledge about the proper way to park we were giving her grief her about her parking skills. She laughed and said, "Well, I've already been busted for my shoes!" Open toe shoes are a no-no at camp.
Knowing the rules is so important not only at camp but especially when you visit a networking group. Unintentionally breaking a rule, making that awful faux pas, will make you memorable.

Unfortunately, it might not be the type of memory you want!

Ask your friend who has invited you to the event, what you need to know before you go. It will help you to look like you belong!

What rules did you find out after the fact?

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Camping for Big Girls

Camp CEO! Sounds like a high level boot camp, right?

Actually, part of that desciption is right, the high level part.

Boot camp, NO!

Last weekend, I spent a two glorious, blue sky days at Camp Libby, a Girl Scout camp in Defiance, Ohio. Talk about beautiful. The camp buildings are all painted a very earthy dark brown, and the style of architecture fits in with all the mature trees.

But what is Camp CEO?

This is a new Girl Scout project. We have brought it to Ohio. We means, my friend, Lori Cannon, who gets me into this kind of stuff. She introduced me to Angela Tennaro, the program director for the Girl Scouts of Maumee Valley Council in this area. We also brought on Meredith Delman, Nicole Minadeo and Theresa Emrick to put this project together.

16 women were paired with 16 young women in grades 10-12. The whole weekend was devoted to mentoring with a focus on business. Sometimes the girls mentored us, and sometimes we gave in return.

My mentee (or protege as they are sometimes called) was Tara Patel, a junior at Sylvania Northview High School. I feel very lucky to have made this acquaintance. She is smart, energetic, a take charge kind of gal, petite, and beautiful. She writes for her school newspaper and shared that she had written an editorial asking why the school encourages being environmentally conscious, including having classes in the topic, when in fact, the school did not recycle. She said that as a result of the editorial the school is starting to recycle paper.

More about Camp CEO tomorrow. But in the meantime, what are your mentoring experiences?

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Mutally Beneficial

You know what's really refreshing?

It's to meet with someone in a one-to-one appointment where that person works to help me just as much as I'm trying to figure out the same for them.

Doesn't happen often.

When it does, the appointment goes to a whole new level. Ruth White, who sells Reverse Mortgages for Wells Fargo, did that today.

I met Ruth first in a BNI training session. Then several weeks later she was at the same WEN meeting I was attending. At that WEN brainstorming session, she asked us to help her with the challenge of how the less than savory lending practices (which are now causing people to lose their homes,) are creating industry misconceptions about the Reverse Mortgage product.

We decided that it would be good for us to meet.

Ruth showed that she truly is a people helper. She ACTIVELY tried to figure out how to help me and made commitments as to what she is going to do.


When was the last time you were WOW'd in a one-to-one appointment?

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Pink Tonka Trucks

Somebody asked me tonight about how I keep all the networking information straight in my head, so that when someone says that they are interested in trucking, I remember others that also have the same focus. I had to reply truthfully that I really didn't know the answer and probably I'm really not that good at it.

What stood out for me in the example I gave, trucking, is that of the four or five people who have mentioned that they are focusing on the trucking industry, all of them are women. Now, I'm all for women doing any job. I do have to admit that because of the gender involved, it became a memorable, top-of-mind piece of information for me.

What can we learn from that?

If we're unique in some way, we will be top-of-mind.

There are plenty of people who tell me that they're target market is small business owners. I can tell you that they are a blur in my mind. The description is way too general for me to remember. They are blah.

How do you remember who to connect with whom? What is your system?

Monday, April 16, 2007

Networking Drag Race

Today I met with a student from one of our Certified Networker classes. He is a financial planner -- one who has retired from a successful career in corporate America. This is a tough transition.

His confusion was with the lack of excitement on the part of an attorney that he offered to "be a resource" to. He said, I just don't understand why he doesn't want to have me be part of his team. I'm not selling anything to him."

I asked him the level of relationship he had with said lawyer. The answer was "very early stages of relationship."

I sat back and said, "Well, let me get this straight. Someone is going to risk his reputation with his clients with someone he doesn't even know?"

I have to give credit to my student. The light bulb went on. Even though in the strict sense of the word, he was not selling, he realized that he really was. And because he hadn't done any credibility building, there was no trust factor to enable the attorney to say yes.

Additionally, the attorney had no idea what my student would do for him in return, except take profits from his client. My student was rushing the relationship. Seth Godin talked about this in a post about political campaigns and access to email. He says, "Political campaigns extinguish plenty of goodwill because they instantly move from 0 to 60 miles per hour."

Have you been "rushed?" How did you feel about the person who was doing the rushing?

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Outta Here Networking

This post was originally scheduled for Friday of this past week. My friend Lynda Goodremont needed to be acknowledged on that day. Instead you are seeing this post now.

Last Thursday was a networking delicious day.

As I mentioned in Thursday's post, I arranged to meet Aaron Stykemain at the open house that Ohio Rehabilitation Services Commission had in Toledo. My contact, Annie Hawley, is a very smart young business woman. She is in the right business, because she truly knows how to help people.

She introduced me to her boss, Bob Wegman. I in turn intro'd him to Aaron, explaining to Bob that Aaron was thinking about starting a wheelchair repair business and didn't know if it would be a viable business.

Bob engaged with Aaron immediately. He mentioned several people that he would introduce Aaron to next week, gave him several other ideas of types of people to talk to and generally put himself out to be of assistance. When Aaron and I walked into another room, Aaron stopped in awe and said, "That was amazing."

Yeah, when people think about others first, just like Bob did, it stops people in their tracks.

Bob, thank you for being such an alright guy Thursday. You made my day.

Who has made your day recently?

Friday, April 13, 2007

A Friend Moves On

I am sad.

Lynda is gone.

Let me tell you about my friend, Lynda Goodremont.

She made everyone feel special. She made me feel brilliant and wonderful when I was around her.

That was a reflection coming away from Lynda.

Goodbye, Lynda.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Wheelchair Repair

Yesterday was a great day!

The WEN morning meeting was fun -- no one has won the money yet from the 50/50 raffle and it is up to almost $1500. It is now down to one in five chances for drawing the queen of hearts, but she certainly does remain elusive.

What was really great about the morning was that I clicked with so many people in being able to help them in some way. That makes my day, when I can further someone along their chosen track. I know it all comes back to me in the future, but that's not what it's about for me.

For instance, guest, Aaron Stykemain, is thinking of starting a business to repair wheelchairs. He repairs his wife's chair now. I have been invited to an open house for Ohio Department of Rehabilitation tomorrow. Aaron is going to meet me there so I can introduce him to the rehab people. I'm sure their clients need repairs on their chairs from time to time. I am so glad that I met Aaron yesterday, so I can make those intros today!
Ya' know life is just good!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Time Robber

My time is the most valuable asset I have -- or at least that's what it feels like.

Today, I had a luncheon appointment. Or I thought I did.

When I make any appointments these days, I always say, "May I have the number where I might reach you in case something happens that I'm not able to keep our appointment?" After I get that number, I enter it right beside the name of the person. I also offer my cell phone number, saying, "Here is my number in the event that your schedule changes so you can let me know."

You know the rest. I left my office at 8:00 this morning and had back to back appointments all morning. Drove across town to the restaurant. No person after five minutes. Called to make sure I was at the right place. Receptionist asked who was calling. I gave my name. She said, "Oh, I am so glad you called, _____ can't make lunch today. What would work for her is next Monday or Tuesday."

I'm not available.

When I got back to my office later today, my lunch appointment had left a message on my office phone at 9 AM this morning. Now, I don't have a secretary. I have a cell phone! That's why I include that number in my office voice mail and also give it out freely.

I know, I know, at least they tried. Yeah, right.

Networking etiquette has many dos and don'ts. Being considerate of my time is a do.

What is a do for you?

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Business Card Push

Yesterday, I was involved in a discussion about networking at events. The question that was posed was that if you ask someone for their business card, but they don't ask for yours in return, should you give it to them anyway?

Several said, "No."

A couple said, "Yes."

The yes people's argument was, that you go to networking events to meet people, so if they don't get your card, how are they going to remember you?

Here's my take on that.

If the only way you are going to be remembered is because you gave someone your card, you need to work on your people skills. Networking events can be frustrating because so many people are only out to help themselves. True networkers, don't worry about whether they get their card into a person's hands that they have just met. Instead, they focus on getting to know that person and figuring out how to help them, maybe with an introduction.

If you have the person's card, you can get back to him/her later. Believe me, I will remember you a hundred times over if you call me after an event and ask to meet because I made an impression on you. The little square of cardboard, that you might push my way, does not tell me who you are or why I should connect with you. It does nothing but lay there on my desk.

In fact, because it was pushed my way, might make me run away from you.

How do you weigh in on this topic?

Friday, April 06, 2007

Guy's Advice

Okay, I'm frustrated. I still can't trackback to make comments. Okay, I have that out of my system.

I just read Guy Kawasaki's most recent post about getting the attention of venture capitalists.


The advice Guy gives can be used in most sales situations, especially where the sales person is trying to get an audience with those in power of a large company. Just as the inventor is wanting the venture capitalist to invest their money in an idea, the sales person is trying to get the purchasing agent to invest the money in the product or service of the the company she represents.

Guy's information is brilliantly simple: introductions, introductions, introductions. And please make the introduction a first-generation introduction. So if you don't know the people you need to know, then work on that first!

I don't want to paraphrase what Guy has already written, just go there and read it for yourself.

Then come back and tell me how you will adapt his stuff for your career.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Nomination Series #3

When nominating someone for an award, you'll want to read the application to be sure your nominee fits all required criteria. Some of those that might trip you up are a residency requirement, or is there a certain period of time that the person needs to have lived in the area. Has this person demonstrated qualities that are a fit for the award? If not, find a different recognition for this person.

Set a meeting time with your friend to get the information needed. Ask the questions and take notes of what he says. We are all schooled to not brag, but this is the time to help him to do so. Draw more out of him. Ask him to tell you a story. Don't worry about the length of your answers now, just get as much information as possible.

Most selection committees don't want generalities for answers. "He's a wonderful business person," doesn't help them or your friend. Instead a statement similar to, "He has acted as a mentor to five business people to help them start and maintain ongoing businesses in our community. Combined they employ a total of 26 people," gives the committee an idea of this person's accomplishments.

During this process I promise you that you will find out really interesting and surprising information about your friend.

What's the most interesting thing you found out about a friend?

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Walk the Talk

Yesterday I visited with a doctor who shall remain nameless. He was interested in how to take his practice to the next level with networking. But his take on networking was that it would provide a quick fix. His thoughts are more in line with "what's in it for me, now" rather than "how can I develop relationships." It's not his fault, I guess, cause I'm sure he didn't learn about relationship development in med school.

He kept saying how different his practice is from a regular medical practice, and what he stated as the variables did not sound very different to me. Additionally, when I arrived at his office, I entered a rather nicely decorated waiting room. What struck me, though, were a couple handwritten signs posted on the closed window of the reception area.

One said, "Do NOT knock on the window, nor shout hello. Just sign in and we'll get to you soon." H-m-m-m, rather an interesting welcome. No one opened the window for several minutes.

The other sign said, "Absolutely no cell phone usage in the office." I could understand that one because perhaps they do testing that the usage of the phones would disrupt.

What was the extra hit, was a little sign on the sign-in clip board. On a piece of masking tape was a message for all to read, "There are no phones for public usage in this office."

I don't know what you think, but I thought it was all rather unfriendly. I wonder if he changed some of this signage if his practice would grow more easily. Notice I said change the signs, not change the rules.

What is your experience, either good or bad, with the medical offices you have visited?

Monday, April 02, 2007

Unexpected Motivator

My friend, Deanna Tucci Schmitt, Executive Director of BNI of Western PA, and I host a podcast presentation on the last Thursday of the month at 5 PM EDT on with the topic being something to do with networking. The first one in February was called Networking on the Chin, because of the content, but then because it is such a weird name, we decided to keep it as the series name.

With we can invite guests to listen and participate in the podcast. It is also recorded while we are talking so that it can be downloaded for listening later.

Last week both of us were faced with our scheduled podcast without time to prepare. Should we just not do it? I said that we should go ahead and that I would be the person asking questions of Deanna, the expert. The topic was, Why Should I Network."

When doing a talkcast, I can see from my screen if there are other people participating. In fact, if I could learn to multi-task, I could react to the questions each person types. But of course, I'm not that good yet and managed to mistakely mute one of the typers last Thursday.

After the recording was complete, Deanna and I stayed on the line talking over a few logistical issues with being able to link episodes together. We didn't think anyone else was one the line. Because we didn't feel like this second episode was all that good, we were talking about going back and linking all future episodes to the first one. At that point, the listener that I had muted (so that he could not type any additional comments) entered the verbal conversation. Travis thanked us for a great talkcast. He said that he could tell that it was scripted. (Please don't tell him the truth!) and that he really got a lot out of the podcast.

Wow! What a boost. We chatted with him for several minutes. Found out that he is starting a business to be a financial coach. Little does he know that his input gives us the fuel to move forward and produce more of these networking podcasts, which we look at as a way to continue our branding as networking experts.

Thank you Travis for taking the initiative and the time to help us feel successful!

When did some like Travis move you forward?