A clump is a knot or tight cluster of people or things. It’s a natural tendency in humans to want to stay in groups with whom they feel comfortable – either people you already know or those with whom you share similar interests.
There are times when staying within your clumps or tight cluster may not be a good idea. Business events like large training groups, business functions and local networking events usually create opportunities for exposure, networking, building connections and, of course, taking advantage of learning opportunities from others.
If you congregate with just your known circle, you are not allowing yourself to make (more…)
In my previous post I revealed 7 principles that I got from a review of Chapters 1-5 of The Mary Kay Way: Timeless Principles From America’s Greatest Woman entrepreneur.” Today my review continues with timeless principles that can benefit small business owners, leaders in direct sales, entrepreneurs who outsource tasks, and every thought-leader who works with people; all from Chapters 6-12.
1. Giving criticism: Criticism will most likely be made at some point but Mary Kay felt that a good manager should direct criticism to what’s wrong; not who’s wrong.
Managers must be strong and speak in a straightforward way, but should sandwich that criticism between praise – before and after. Doing so lessens anger on the part of the recipient. When people (more…)
In Part I of this topic I introduced the bumblebee as well as featured one of it’s characteristic: it’s wings in relation to it’s body. You may read Part I on how home-based businesses can benefit from the bumble bee by clicking on this link.
Another characteristic of the bumblebee is that it’s a “social insect.” Like honeybees they form colonies, only smaller. Their colonies typically have anywhere from 50 to 200 bees at the max.
How can entrepreneurs who work from home in offline businesses be part of a colony or group? Like the bumblebee, entrepreneurs need the association and support of like-minded groups. In fact, groups do not have to be like-minded because these can open horizons and provide a different perspective on your business, therefore enhancing your current business and introducing other opportunities.
Even in small towns there are business groups like the Chamber of Commerce, Rotary Clubs, the Jaycees, Business Network International (BNI), one of the most supportive business networking groups. There are also other local networking groups, which are not to be confused with meetings for a particular MLM or direct sales group. These are meetings attended by entrepreneurs and small business people (more…)
A short while ago someone made the comment to me that she could never work from home as she would find it boring. Asking questions made me realize that what she would find boring is not being able to interact with people of a regular basis.
Many people love working alone. Others hate it! They miss the rapport with co-workers, the watercooler chit-chats and jokes, and face-to-face interactions with people. Depending on the type of business you’re pursuing, you may not necessarily have regular interaction with people face-to-face and on a one-on-one basis.
If you work with clients/customers mainly on the telephone, why not arrange to meet them in person from time to time? If there are networking events in your area, why not make arrangements so you can attend one or two each month?
Online forums in your niche are great places to interact with like-minded people. Over the past 16 days over 200 people have become part of a 30-day blog challenge (#blog30 on Twitter) and it has been interesting to see the level of interaction and support among participants as we visit each others blogs, leave comments, and promote each other on the social networks.
Perhaps like me, your spiritual activities also allow you to interact with another level of like-minded people. When it’s all added together I never have time to be bored and feel isolated, but this is not the case with some persons.
How about you? If you work from home, do you feel isolated, and how do you deal with isolation? Please share your thoughts in the Comments.
This is a guest post by Barbara Lopez, the Elevator Pitch Coach, of Brightfarm Introductions. Many of us struggle with our introductions when attending networking events; and most of us get tired of hearing, “My name is…and I am a ……of XYZ Company…” There is a more effective way and Barbara taught me how to create an effective elevator pitch. Enjoy reading her Elevator Pitch Mistake #3:
Focusing on your COMPANY, rather than YOURSELF
One of the easiest things you can do in your elevator pitch to separate yourself from your competition is to make your commercial about YOU, rather than just your business or company. Next time you listen to a roomful of introductions, listen to how many of them are about a business or a company as a whole – and NOT about what that PERSON can or will do for you.
When you’re attending a networking function, you’re there to do what – make contacts and build relationships, right? Yes, you’re representing your business and quite possibly the best company in your field, but in an introduction it is more effective to concentrate on who YOU are, and what YOU can do to serve their needs.
Let’s say you focus your pitch all about your company, something like “I’m Barbara with ABC Company and WE do this, and WE do that”…you’re only introducing the COMPANY, and not establishing yourself as the PERSON to go to…the PERSON who can solve a problem that they may currently be struggling with. People aren’t attending networking events to connect with companies, they’re there to connect with PEOPLE.
How can you avoid this mistake?
Easily – by making sure you’re talking about what YOU do. Replace the word “we” with “I”.
When you introduce yourself for the very first time, people are automatically sizing YOU up, not your company. In the flash of 30-seconds, they are determining in their minds if you are:
Professional: Are you serious about who you are and what you have to offer, or are you a fly-by-night business person? Able to articulate clearly what you do: Can they understand the problem that you can solve for them and how you can help them? Good at what you do: Can they tell that you are skilled and knowledgeable in your field? Are you positioning yourself as an expert or leader in your industry? Approachable: If they determine they have the problem you can solve for them, do they feel comfortable approaching you to help them solve it?
Yes, they are sizing you up in all of these areas in your first 30-second introduction, which is why it is so important to introduce yourself, and not just talk up your company.
Keep in mind: Your company is the vehicle that provides the solution to someone’s problem, but YOU are the driver! And people really want to get to know the driver.
Missed any previous mistakes? Go to Mistake #1 and Mistake #2.
Barbara Lopez, “The Elevator Pitch Coach” with Brightfarm Introductions, teaches business professionals a simple 4-step process on how to introduce themselves with high impact so that they stand out and are remembered. Everything in business starts with a BRIGHT introduction. If you’re ready to learn how to introduce yourself and your business professionally and comfortably, visit Barbara at www.brightfarm.com.
Do you remember the proverb, “Birds of a feather, flock together?” It is a natural tendency in humans to want to stay in groups with others with whom we feel comfortable – either people we already know or those we share similar interests with.
When it comes to business events like large training groups, business functions and networking events staying within your groups or your clumps may not be a good idea. What’s usually your main reason for attending these events? Would it be for exposure? To get away from your home office, to learn from others, or to interact with peers? Even if your goal is ‘only’ to learn, these are opportunities to get to know other coaches, marketers, direct sellers, etc.
There is always a certain level of comfort when you attend events, especially large ones, with someone with whom you are already familiar. However, if you congregate with just your known circle, you are not allowing yourself to make meaningful connections and possibly reach new people and companies that you’d like to do business with. YOU may also have the personality or type of business someone else needs. Would it be fair to deprive others of getting to know you?
Breaking out of your clumps or clusters and making connections may be challenging, but it can be done. Develop the mindset of a host who has to circulate among everyone in the room just to be sure they are comfortable. This could mean asking yourself, Who can I help to establish new contacts? Which two people can I introduce to each other whose businesses could support each others? Which speaker impacted me that I can give a sincere compliment.
A point to keep in mind is that while you may be nervous, force yourself not to talk too much. Make brief comments then ask questions that will elicit positive responses. I once heard a speaker say that you should not talk for longer than 60 seconds without asking a question. Applying this method you could take the pressure off yourself, and the person to whom you’re speaking will be thrilled at your level of interest in what he or she has to say.
I invite you to post your comments and share your experience on this topic.
This post was written by Barbara Lopez of Brightfarm Introductions. I felt it was a really great article to make networking and connecting people through e-mails a more effective process and wanted to share it with my readers.
In your daily travels, you'll often times meet people who you think should meet someone else in your network. Sometimes
it's someone who shares a need that you think someone you know can fill
for them, and sometimes it's a connection based on some sort of common
interest – people that have a complimentary type of business or
service, or even just a common personal interest.
is a quick and easy way to make that connection happen. Below are some
tips on how make an email introduction as effective as possible.
the purpose of this tip, I'm going to create a made-up example so that
you can see how to use this type of flow for your introduction.
Use both names in the subject line: Quickly identify that the purpose of the email is to make an introduction. Mine usually look like this:
Introducing Sally Smith & Ted Jones
[Introduction] Sally Smith & Ted Jones
will be extremely helpful for both Sally and Ted when they are
referring back to the email introduction – it will be much easier for
them to locate.
Greet BOTH parties in the opening: Rather
than just starting with "Dear Sally, I'd like you to meet Ted"…greet
them both so that they both have equal footing and feel like you're
making a personal, beneficial connection to both:
Dear Sally and Ted,
State why you're making the introduction right off the bat and include YOUR relationship to each other: Get right to the point of the introduction:
hope that you are both doing well. The purpose of this email is to
introduce the both of you to each other. Sally is a client of mine who
is new to the area and is looking for a handyman who can help her with
some fix-it-up projects around her house. Ted is a fellow member of my
local networking group, and offers handyman services in our area.
Tell them why you think they'd be a good fit: You've
worked hard to build a solid network, foster that network by sharing
why you are introducing them (spread the love!). Sharing a bit of
information that will help them to know a bit more about each other
should they pursue the introduction is helpful:
a hairsylist, and her beautiful family (husband Tom and 3 children)
live in the (Name of) neighborhood, and are in the process of
renovating their home a bit, and need some additional help.
has been a local handyman for over 10 years, and is widely known for
his outstanding customer service and his ability to fix just about
anything. He's amazing!
Give ways to get more information, along with contact information: You
can warm up the introduction by providing additional ways for people to
"research" each other before the official introduction:
works at ABC Salon, and the best time and place to reach her is during
the day at work. Her contact info: (phone, website, email)
has a great list of services up on his website, but is also happy to
discuss other needs you might have. His contact info: (phone, website,
email, LinkedIn profile)
Encourage the introduction to go further:
Don't just send the introduction and hope for the best, encourage them
to take the introduction further, and offer to follow up:
sure that the two of you will enjoy connecting and seeing if you are a
good fit for Sally's home project needs. Please do take an opportunity
to connect. If I can do anything to assist, please let me know. I'd
be happy to follow up to see if the introduction was a success.
Don't put too much pressure on the two, make the introduction light
enough that they are simply receiving contact information and a
recommendation (as in "connect and SEE if you're a good fit for your
If you think an introduction would be more appropriate in person,
offer to meet the parties for coffee or for a visit at one of their
offices. If you do make this offer, arrive to make the introduction,
stay for a bit to get the conversation going, and then excuse yourself
once they are up and running - don't become involved in the business
at hand unless they ask for your input.
If you offer to follow up, be SURE to follow up – this would be
best by phone to both Sally and Ted after an appropriate length of
time. If they haven't made the introduction, ask if you can help
If the parties decide NOT to take the introduction further, don't
sweat it. Not everyone will be a match made in heaven, so don't probe
any further as to why, simply respect their decision.
can you connect today? Have a purposeful reason for the connection,
and the parties involved will be delighted that you thought of them and
their interests/needs. Happy connecting!
Barbara Lopez, "The Elevator Pitch
Coach" with Brightfarm Introductions, helps business professionals
introduce themselves with high impact. Everything in business starts with
an introduction. If you're ready to learn how to introduce yourself and
your business professionally and comfortably, visit Barbara at www.brightfarm.com.
Networking events are great meeting places and provide venues to work within groups – usually of professionals. Like any other successful marketing strategy, there is an art to networking that involves many areas, but we'll focus on just one for now. Your Goal!What is your goal when you attend networking events? Is it to quickly tell everyone who you are, what you do, hand out as many cards as possible, then leave?
If your goal is to get your card into the hands of as many people as possible without taking the time to find out who they are, what they do and how you can help them, then your purpose for attending would have failed. It's important to remember that networking is about building relationships and to achieve this it is important to be others focused. Get to know people by asking questions about them. Ask simple conversation starters like: What do you do? You can follow with questions like, How long have you been in business or working this particular business? Who is your target market? How can I help YOU?
Someone may say that if all they're to be concerned about is the other person, what's the point in attending these events? The point is that this is a marketing strategy that works! When you show that you care about others, they begin to build a measure of trust in you. People are so accustomed to being pitched to, when you display the opposite behavior this breaks down some of the defensive wall they surround themselves with and will be more receptive to you. Go with a mindset to GIVE, and you'll be pleasantly surprised how much you GET.
I invite you to click here to learn more about a web-based greeting card system that allows you to follow-up quickly after networking events with the people with whom you made a connection.
You will also receive tips from my Report, “One Dozen Reasons to Send a Follow-up Card.”