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Mary Biever | One Writing Mother | Tag Archive | business networking
Tag Archive - business networking

Santa’s Naughty & Nice List for Business Networkers

Santa Claus is making a list, checking it twice, seeing who’s naughty and who has been nice at your local business networking function.

We all know the ones on the nice list get the coolest toys, or in the case of business networking, more business referrals.

So….what puts you on the naughty list or the nice list?

Nice List:

  • Make referrals to others in the networking group.
  • Do a good job on follow up on referrals you receive.
  • Listen more than you talk.
  • Observe the group’s structure and rules. Some groups welcome guests; others have a procedure. Show respect for other group members by honoring their structure.
  • If you don’t fit with a group’s structure, leave. Don’t fight and cause division. There are plenty of other networking opportunities which might better fit your style.
  • Follow time guidelines and meeting agendas.
  • Tell the truth at all times.
  • Encourage other group members at all opportunities.
  • Make a point to attend regularly.

Naughty List:

  • Don’t refer to others in the group.
  • Drop the ball on referrals you receive. Don’t call back, do shoddy work, or don’t finish the job.
  • If you hire someone in the group, fail to pay them. Ask them to give you their work for free.
  • Ignore the group’s structure and rules. Those guidelines are for other people, not you.
  • Sow seeds of discord to get your way. Pit people against one another. If there is conflict, dig in your heels and do what it takes to reach your end goal. The end justifies the means.
  • Ignore time guidelines and agendas and talk as long as you please. But insist others follow time guidelines.
  • Go after the target markets of other members of the networking group. Cut down their product and announce you’ll do work better than they do.
  • Consider the truth a guideline goal to be pushed aside when things need to happen to get your way.

You will get out of business networking what you put into it. If you follow the points of the nice list, good things will come your way.

If you instead follow the naughty list, you won’t get a bundle of switches in your stocking. However, over time, you will get fewer referrals and less business.

Hang your stockings and work your business networking with equal care for the future.

People, Profits, and Facebook

My social Network on Flickr, Facebook, Twitter and MyblogLogphoto © 2007 Luc Legay | more info (via: Wylio)
The new business owner walks into the biggest social hour party of the year. Everyone has told him – “You’ll get business if you attend.” So he goes to the party, sits, waits for customers to hire him, and none come. They are too busy talking to people to notice him. He leaves the party in disgust, saying he won’t go back and they offered him false hopes.

The party wasn’t wrong, but his approach to it was. You can’t show up and business will come to your doorstep.

Ditto for Facebook. You can’t build your Facebook business page and wait for the customers to buy your product.

You, or if you’re big enough to have employees, will need to talk with your friends, customers, and potential customers to get to know each other better. Build real relationships with real people, and profits are more likely to happen.

The following are ways I have found Facebook to help me boost profits by building relationships:

  1. Referrals - my friends who know what I do introduce me to their friends or people who might one day hire me. They also recommend our services – computer coaching, social media training, and digital graphics. And I refer my friends.
  2. New Potentials – when friends learn what our business is, they hire us for jobs. As I meet new people, I also hire them.
  3. Reconnections with Past Friends – when I meet friends from the past and we connect, it can result in business opportunities for us both.
  4. Current clients – as I get to know our clients better, we become better friends and find new ways to work together.

Nowhere in this list is there a hard sell. Let’s go back to the party.

An entrepreneur is also at that party, talking with friends and meeting new people. Some conversations are more substantive than others. People talk of family, vacations, homes, and upcoming events – not business deals. They aren’t waving their business cards and shouting their sales like a carney at the fair. Those who do scream business, buy me are ignored and not invited back.

After the party is over, the smart entrepreneur reviews those relationships, seeks some strategic partnerships, and thinks of ways to build business with others. The call to action must be savvy and well timed.

Facebook is no more of a quick fix than that party. It’s a place to meet and talk with people to build stronger relationships. Facebook is a perpetual hotseat where your friends get to know you better and see who you really are. And you do the same with them.

Real relationships build real networks – online or in real life –  that with effort can result in business profit over time.

Grab Your Dream Builders

Plunge!  The water feels cold when you grab your new business (your life preserver) and leap into the entrepreneurship ocean.

I knew the water would be cold but!

After you make the leap and start kicking your business across the ocean, prepping to build your boat, be on guard.

People may tell you what to do. As they talk, decide whether they are Dream Builders or Dream Snatchers. What’s the difference?

Dream Builders

  • Offer constructive, achievable solutions
  • Share strategies that worked for them
  • Scout their view of the ocean for tools or clients that might help
  • Cheer victories
  • Encourage you to learn from failures and try again
  • Hold you accountable in a positive way

Dream Snatchers

  • Talk problems, nothing but the problems – the water is cold, your life preserver is tattered on one side, why do you kick THAT way, ride on someone else’s fishing boat instead
  • Suggest you wait till the perfect time when the preserver is perfect and the ocean is warm (ain’t gonna happen – we don’t live in a perfect world)
  • Distract you by demanding you listen to their problems and fix their situations
  • Ignore your victories and ridicule your defeats

After you take the plunge, surround yourself with a smart support team who will help you build your dreams.

Dream builders help you make it happen.

Spend too much time with dream snatchers, and you will fail.

After a lifetime of helping family and friends reach for their dreams, I’m taking my shot at going for my own as a computer coach. Yesterday at a business networking luncheon icebreaker, I sat with a group of other female entrepreneurs. 

They were dream builders. We worked through the icebreaker, gave each other suggestions, and more. I walked out of the meeting ready to kick a little harder and smarter, with new ideas of things to try.

Thanks to the ladies at my table – Brenda Hughes of Evansville Home Staging & Redesign; Penelope Pennington of Milestone Investments; and  Cheryl Mochau, a personal chef and author.

Gotta go – it’s nearly dawn, and I’ve miles to kick before I sleep…

If I kick  well, my clients will leap tough spreadsheets with a single bound, create documents faster than a speeding word processor, tweet like a bird, soar social media like a plane, and become super computer users.