Monday, May 18, 2015

Ways to Fail at Networking

I recently watched a friend of mine fail at a public cocktail event that had a lot of prospect business in attendance. I couldn't believe what I was seeing. It was then that I realized, my friend wasn't trying to be bad at networking. She just wasn't a naturally social person and no one had ever taught her how to mix business in a social setting. So, if you can related to my friend- then keep reading. These 5 networking sins are noted to help you learn, grow, and then become a master at networking.

1. It’s all about you….. Well, it’s not. People love to talk about themselves,so let them. I’ve learned to go to these types of events and ask anyone I wanted to meet a simple question… “So, what do you do?” And they’re off. Listening to someone else talk… and I mean really being engaged… will make them like you. They will say they had a great conversation with you— even if it is one-sided. So, instead of pitching yourself, let others pitch you.

2. No follow up. If you leave the event with business cards and wait for the phone to ring, you’re committing a “sin.” Go through the cards and enter them into your mailing list. Then call- yes use the phone, don’t send an email- the contacts you believe can bump up your business and invite the person out for coffee on your tab. Don’t pitch at the coffee meeting either. Instead talk to the person about what they do some more and learn where they can use help.

3. Not offering value. Once you have that coffee meeting and you discover how your potential referral contact can use help, find a way to provide it. Solve their problem for them- no charge- and without pitching yourself. Pretend that you have it all handled and clients are coming through the door. The contact won’t forget this move and YOU will be their number 1 priority when it comes to referring business.

4. Don’t think you’ve failed if none of this works. There are selfish and bad people out there. The system noted above works 95% of the time. Your first time out (maybe first 3 times out) may fall within the other 5%. Keep trying…

5. Stop going to every networking event. You should be selecting your networking events carefully and not by open bar status or what’s on the menu either! If you know a networking event is going to be filled with pediatricians… pass. They may not help your market. If you know an event is going to be filled with people within your industry… go and practice steps 1-4. If you know an event is going to be a mix of professionals you may, one day, sell your services to then go and practice steps 1-4. You may get referral or direct business off of it. Protect your time by picking events that (long-term) can provide you with real ROI. Don’t just network for the sake of meeting people. After all, the goal is to establish your brand and bring in money.

Twyla N. Garrett of IME

Friday, May 15, 2015

Does Your Logo Need Help?

Here is a thought for the weekend- "What has your logo done for you?" Think about it. Think about it for you and your clients. Is your logo really a point of visibility or an eyesore? Most think it is visibility and in reality- it is an eyesore!

A logo has to serve a purpose. It can't just "look cool". The branding has to have a short and concise title and the colors have to appeal to the masses. Plus, it has to be immediately identifiable. Think Starbucks... without the lettering, we still know the woman in green means great coffee that is over priced!

Speaking of green, what colors are you using? Certain colors mean different things from a psychological standpoint. Did you know, for example, that the color yellow equates to childhood memories within people? If someone had a poor childhood, they will not be buying your services if you have a yellow logo. If they had a great childhood- they will be buying for life!

Uniqueness has to play a part too. Compel the viewer, don't hit him or her over the head with the obvious. AT&T doesn't have a logo as part of its logo. Instead, it has a globe. Why? Most people think of phones when the hear about AT&T. Well, the communication company offers services all over the globe, which compels the logo viewer.

So, all this said- look at your logo this weekend. Look at the logos of your clients. Are you being too obvious? Too generic? Using the wrong colors? Chances are- all of the above is true. And if you need a brand overhaul, don't be afraid to reach out to me.

Until Monday,

Twyla N. Garrett

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Greatness Defined...

I was asked recently how a woman could become or be defined as a great leader. Hmm. What does being a woman have to do with leading? No one ever asks a man how he can become a great leader. Why are we women singled out?

The truth is there are plenty of great women leaders out there and there are plenty of great male leaders out there. The test of leadership isn’t found within your DNA and birth sex, but defined by the following skills. Do you have them? If so, you’re a great leader.

1) You don’t care what people say, you have your vision and you are moving forward. This stands true only if your vision is positive, lifts others up and you’ve done research to have such a provocative opinion about your vision.

2) You collaborate, you don’t delegate. Anyone can delegate. Not everyone is humble enough to collaborate. You need collaboration with other people to build your brand, grow your business and improve your networking (in person and online) circle.

3) You are a life-long learner. If you didn’t throw your degree on the wall and announce “I’m done” then you are a life-long learned. Continued education is the key to being able to pivot your company when new technologies or methodologies are introduced.

You don’t have to be one sex or another to lead. You simply have to follow the three steps noted above to success.

Until tomorrow,

Twyla N. Garrett of HireIme.com

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