Articles Tagged ‘Small business networking tips’

ARE YOU A LAZY NETWORKER? 6 THINGS YOU SHOULD DO

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012

Are you a lazy networker? I find that most people who are networking for the purpose of getting referrals are actually pretty lazy. Few people do any real homework on their target market, have no clue who they want to do business with or be connected to, have no systems for tracking, and most never even bother to follow-up.

There are so many things that you have to do to get good referrals, but somehow there is a belief that if you run around and spew enough knowledge about what you do, then people will trust you and send you business. It is lazy person networking.

Here is a list of things you must do to be able to get quality referrals from your network.

1. You must know your Target Market. If you do not know who you want to do business with then you cannot expect others to know either, most of my clients find this the hardest thing to come up with. Anybody who needs, is not a target market. Hire a professional to help you
2. You must be willing to go out and find referrals for your network. Everyone I meet just wants to spend all their time talking about themselves and their business. It’s easier to talk about me than it is to learn enough from my network members and talk about them.
3. Track your activities, your time, your money, and your results. If you don’t track how will you know what is working and what is not. Who is giving you referrals, when was the last time that you talked to your network members, how many referrals have you passed to your network? All of these are very important things for you to know about your activities.
4. You might have to make it to meetings, some in the morning, afternoon or evening. So many people do not want regular appointments just in case they don’t feel like getting up and going. Heck it is easier to sit at home and network online, I can do that in my jammies after all.
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HE WANTS TO KNOW WHAT – SHE WANTS TO KNOW WHO

Tuesday, May 1st, 2012

Women do not like to talk about their accomplishments, they feel that it is bragging which is unlady like and impolite. Ladies, there is a big difference between “bragging” and sharing your accomplishments, and the latter is important if you are going to network effectively with men. Listen to men talk to one another when they are networking and you will hear them tell each other about what they do, who they know, what schools they have gone to, what deals they have closed, even what things they have accomplished. Here is a comment left in our survey;

#280 When I meet with women to network and discuss business I find we spend about 90% of the time getting to know each other, we discuss family, who we are, our backgrounds , etc. then we spend about 10% of time talking about business. When meeting with men I find we spend 10% of our time getting to know each other and 90% of our time talking about business. Both approaches are effective, but I enjoy networking with women more.

When women hear men talking they often think they are egotistical and bragging. The reality is they are building credibility with one another, when they are duly impressed they go off and do business with each other.

Women on the other hand speak to relate to each other, they are looking to learn more about the person, who are they, what do they have in common, do they like each other, do they want to help one another? When they feel they have a connection they go forward and build a relationship of support.

#220 In my experience, women tend to network intuitively, but they tend to focus on relationship issues. Men tend to network by design, and they tend to focus on business issues.

#178 I find that most women who network are definitely more interested in developing a relationship and then business later. Most men get right into the conversation of ”so what do you do?”

Now, put a man and a woman together at a networking event and you will find they completely miss the mark when they are communicating to one another. He is telling her all about his accomplishments while she is trying to find a way to relate, he walks a way wondering why women cannot just talk about business, and she is wondering why they have to be so egotistical! They have missed the connection.
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10 Ways to Leverage Strategic Partnerships

Tuesday, February 21st, 2012

Here are 10 simple ways that you can leverage a strategic partners relationships with your target market.

– 1. Logo on Website – Put your logo on a partners website and their logo on yours. Be sure that the logo will click through to your site, you track the amount of traffic that comes from that referer, and know how much of that traffic has converted to revenue.

– 2. Receipt Stapler – If you own a retail store (or send invoices to B2B clients), include a promotion from a strategic partner with the receipt to every one of your clients.

– 3, Logo Items as Gifts – Every time one of your strategic partners’ clients buys from them, make sure that they get a fun and usable chochkey from you that includes your logo.

– 4. Banner in Store – Is your message inside your partners sales materials, retail store, and office? If not, it should be!

– 5. Product Placement – Where can you creatively place your products inside of your partners’ product offering? Is it a pop-up standee in the corner of the conference room? Will your product fit well as an accessory in the bathroom? Get creative and put your product everywhere!

– 6. Bag Coupons – If your strategic partner has contact with your target customer, get your coupons inside of every transaction – invoice stuffers, and bag stuffers rock!
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3 THINGS FOR MEN TO KNOW WHEN NETWORKING WITH WOMEN

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012

Women business owners have reason to feel good. According to a survey, in the most recent 10-year period, the number of women-owned businesses in the U.S. grew by 44 percent (twice as fast as men-owned firms) and, women-owned firms added 500,000 new jobs.

Women are growing business twice as fast as men, they are employing thousands of people. It is crazy for men to neglect this market when they are hitting the networking circuit. It is not that men do not network with women, they just don’t do it well. Not that they really don’t want to and not that they don’t try, there are just little things that cause the connections to go south.

Here are 3 things that men can do to make their chances of connecting with women better.

When opening a conversation with a woman, don’t go straight to business. Ask them to tell you something about themselves. Women are looking for ways to connect, some common ground that will allow for a relational conversation.

Listen to the women that you meet at networking event. Yes women talk more than men, they have deeper conversations that men do, often sharing a great deal of information in a very storytelling way. Men can learn a great deal by asking questions and just listening.
Never underestimate how serious a woman takes her business. Just because she may be selling a product or a service that seems soft and fluff, like cosmetics, clothing, child care or any other personal service, does not mean she does not take her business as serious as any man may take his.

Women are creating business, they have a need for services, they know other women who need products and services but they are not going to share that information with someone whom they do not have a trusting relationship with. Building those relationships will take time and work, but if you are willing to invest both, men and women can connect and refer to one another very successfully.

Hazel Walker
Referral Institute, llc
BNI
hazel@bni.com

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