7 STEPS FOR HIGHLY EFFECTIVE NETWORKING

The following networking ideas come from my friend and fellow professional speaker, Judy Suke.  (Judy is not only funny, but she is an excellent networker)

http://www.triangleseminars.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1&Itemid=51

7 STEPS FOR HIGHLY EFFECTIVE NETWORKING

1. Have a polished infomercial and know exactly who you want to target. (Talk to SUCCESSFUL people in your business and ask who the IDEAL CLIENT IS … do some research … put some time in)

2. Learn how to small talk and show genuine interest in people. DON’T BE LOOKING OFF IN THE DISTANCE to see who ELSE is there. Look them in the eye and FOCUS ON THEM DON’T PREJUDGE ANYONE …. Sports equipment … CATERER YOU SHOULD BE ACTING LIKE A HOST – NOT A GUEST

3. Never try to sell to the people at a networking event. Build relationships. – networking events are not for showing product. TIME IS PRECIOUS and people WANT TO and NEED to CIRCULATE. 10 minutes or less 60 seconds to describe product or service

4. Go with a GOAL of the number of IDEAL people you want to connect with.

5. Follow-up with good leads within 48 hours. Let the person who gave you the lead know that you followed up. THANK THEM.

6. Decide how much time per month you want to spend networking.

7. Track success patterns and establish a system to sustain your business.

This will be the toughest sale you will ever make!!!

 “The toughest sale you will ever make is to sell yourself on how good you really are.– Richard Elmes

Not believing in yourself, your skills and your talents will effect your career more than any other factor. And many people fall victim to the “Justa Syndrome,” where they feel that they are justa technician, justa clerk, justa manager etc. By discounting the value we bring to our organizations we are not only doing ourselves a disservice, but we are cheating our company as well.

So how can you raise our self-esteem and avoid this affliction?

1. Discover where you fit:

Every position makes a difference to the success of the organization. If it didn’t the position wouldn’t exist. Discovering who relies on you, whether it is your clients or other employees, will help you realize that what you do matters.

2. Determine what your Distinctive Values are: What are the distinctive skills, talents and attributes? What do you do better than other people? Find out what that those are so you can focus on your strengths rather than on your growth points. Enhancing your strengths and minimizing you weaknesses, will not only help you stand out, but it will also help you feel better about yourself.

3. Define your personal Values:

Defining what you believe and what you are willing to do or not do in order to get what you want and still be able to look yourself in the mirror and like who you see is a key factor to your self-esteem. Because if you cross that line and go against your values a small piece of yourself deep within your soul dies. And you can’t ever get that back. And unfortunately sometimes you may be asked to do something that violates your personal values and if you know what they are with crystal clarity, you can stand your ground and say, ‘no’. Because you know the repercussions of crossing that line, are far worse than the repercussions of saying no.

4. Practice continuous attitude maintenance

Just like the food we take into our body effects our physical health, what we take into our mind effects our mental health. Be careful to take in more positive messages than negative messages. One of biggest contributors to this negative ingestion is your own self-talk. The person you will listen to the most in your life is you. So be gentle with yourself and realize that we are all flawed in one way or another. You don’t have to be perfect. I know many people who have the perception that everyone else has it all figured out. This simply is not true. Keeping a record of your successes in a journal is another good way to give your esteem a much needed boost when you are down.

5. Build your Network

The key to networking success is not to ask what your network can do for you, instead ask what you can do for your network. Taking the attitude of helping others without the thought of what you will get in return will also separate you from the crowd, impress others and help you feel good in the process. The rewards of taking this approach far outweigh the I’ll scratch your back only if you scratch mine approach.

6. Discover your bosses Love Language:

Connecting is the key to effective communication. By discovering your bosses Love Language or preferred communication style, you will connect more often. The rewards will be fewer misunderstandings and a better relationship.

7. Discover the critical 20% of your job:

20 % of your efforts will drive 80% of your results. Discovering which 4 or 5 critical tasks are that 20%, and then delivering on those tasks will not only help you succeed in your job, but it will also get noticed by your peers and your superiors.

By using these tips you will not only be helping you sell yourself on how good you are, but you will be selling other on that fact as well.

How to create Powerful Introductions

I asked him, “So what do you do?” and he replied, “I sell insurance.”

How boring!! In a previous post (you can check it out here https://relmes.wordpress.com/2008/03/06/how-to-become-more-effective-at-networking-events-part-9/ ) I wrote about how to develop your audio-business card and why doing so in a way that differentiates you from your competition can positively impact how you are perceived.

Remember, “Your customer’s perception is your reality.”

I am currently reading an excellent book titled: Becoming Preferred – How to Outsell your Competition by Michael Vickers. http://www.michaelvickers.com/ 

Here is what her wrote (I love, this section) about Creating your Introduction.

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Your Introduction

The most important thing you can do in formulating a powerful introduction is to first define the benefits of what you do rather than simply describing what you do. For example, let us say that I sell insurance. You meet me at a local watering hole and during the course of our conversation you ask me what I do for a living. I reply,

“I sell insurance.”

Do you need any more information?

Do you feel like introducing me to all of your friends?

Do you get an overwhelming urge to invite me home for dinner and develop a relationship with me?

I don’t think so. Let’s face it, there is nothing wrong with selling insurance, it is just that you have been there and done that! Saying you sell insurance does not create excitement not does it create interest.

A number of years ago i was in a golf tournament. During the course of the tournament I struck up a conversation with a professional looking gentleman whom I had not met before.

The initial conversation was polite and then I asked him what he did for a living. He replied,

“I am a golf fund specialist”

That caught my curiousity and I replied, “What do you mean a golf fund specialist?” “Well, ” he said, “I help executives enjoy the game of Golf today and well into their retirement.” “How do you do that?” I asked, He then stated, “I would love to show your how I do it. If you give me your business card I will be happy to give you a call and perhaps we can continue this conversation over coffee.”

Am I interested in meeting with this person? Absolutely.

Guess what he does for a living?

He sells insurance!

The products he sells are financial products, but the benefit of what he sells is financial security. His marketing target is the business professional who golfs.

The market has thousands of insurance agents and financial planners, but how many “golf fund specialists” do you know?

“It is not what you do that counts, but the benefit of what you do.” – Michael Vickers

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Now that is what I call a sexy introduction!!!

The number one characteristic of a great sales leader

The following question was recently posed on LindedIn by  Jaime Davis-Thomas,  Director of Research & Publications at EcSELL Institute http://ecsellinstitute.net/:

What are the characteristics of a great sales leader?

Here was my answer:

Hi Jaime,

The number one characteristic of a great sales leader is that they care.

They care about helping solve their customer’s problems,
They care about building their business,
They care about supporting their family
and they care about doing it the right way.

Making a difference,

Richard Elmes CSP
The Sales Dating Guy
www.RichardElmes.com

Enlisting your pit crew: The secret strategy that will help you get people to help you with your career

In a previous post I talked about the benefits of having people in your life that can help your career. I called them your pit crew. 

Today I will share with you some secrets on how to get people to help you.

1. Take Inventory: You have some people in your pit crew already. Make a list of the different people  that may be able to help you. Divide these people into three categories. Core friends, Inner circle and network.

  • Core Friends: These are your best friends. The people that you can be completely open and honest with and trust that they will still stick with you. They have seen your flaws and still like you anyway. You can tell them anything and not feel that it will go any further.  
  • Inner Circle: These are friends that you can moderately relax with. They usually know about a part of your life, but they may not know the whole story. They only know what you are willing to show them. You enjoy each others company.
  • Network: These are people that you know and they know you. You enjoy each other when you are together, but you only know one part of each others life. You may know them in a certain situation , such as work.

When you are looking for help, you want to look first at your core friends, then your Inner Circle and then your network. The reason you do it in this order is because the closer they are to you, the more you trust them, and trust that they want to help you.

2. Exploration: Ask, “Who has the skills and talents that would help me the most?”, “Who has done what I want to do before?” and “Who would benefit from helping me achieve my vision?” (What’s in it for them?)

3. Approach: Then approach the people that you believe can help you and ask how you can help them.

“The key to networking success is not to ask what your network can do for you, but instead ask what you can do for your network.” – Richard Elmes

If you add value to them in their journey, then they will in-turn want to help you in yours. This is called the law of reciprocity. I have personally used this approach many times in order to connect with some fantastic (and helpful) people.

So, now that you know my secret way of building my pitcrew, the question is what are you going to do with it? Are you going to say to yourself, “That was interesting” and then forget it or are you going to grab some paper and start with step 1, Taking an inventory.

After reading this send me an email at richard@richardelmes.com and let me know how this strategy has help you in your career.

 

How to become more effective at Networking Events – Part 16

Be Interesting

Imagine attending a networking event where you meet a lot of people. Some are dressed nice, some have interesting offers and some have interesting perspectives, but most of the people you meet quickly fade from your memory. These corportate clones sink into the sea of sameness.

Then you spot her from across the room. She is the one holding court with the crowd around her hanging on her every word.

You ask yourself, “Why are so many people attracted to her?” (remember this is a business blog)

You ask yourself, “What makes her so interesting?”

And more importantly you ask yourself, “How can I become that interesting?”

You think about how knowing those secrets would

help you meet new prospects…

help you make more connections…

and help you generate more business.

After thinking to yourself for a moment you decide that you have to meet her and ask her what her secrets to attracting people are.

After taking a sip of your drink and mustering up some courage, you approach the crowd and the first thing you notice is…

To be continued….

How to become more effective at Networking Events – Part 15

Be Proud of what you do

When you attend a networking event it is important to remember what you are really selling. What is the benefit that you bring to the table for your customers. It is important to keep this top of mind. Other wise you may feel like you are selling at people instead of helping your customers buy. (Big difference)

Focus on the benefits.

Your job is to look for people that can use those benefits and communicate them in a compelling way, so they want to explore how you can help them further.

And if you don’t see how the benefits that you bring to the table help others, my advice would be to find something else to do. Instead of trying to sell something you don’t believe in, invest the time to find something you do believe in. Not only will selling become easier, but your life will become more fulfilling.