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Traditional Marketing: Business Networking Can Benefit Your Online Business

By: Yvonne A Jones Category: business networking

Is traditional marketing dead?  Despite the fact that social media provide tremendous opportunities to reach a wider audience in your target market, there is still a place in the life of the small business owners or entrepreneur for  traditional marketing strategies like business networking.

Attending networking events by the  Chamber of Commerce, Kiwanis, Business Network International (BNI) and other events put on by local groups  provide opportunities to meet people and get to know people in your area of expertise.  Like any other successful marketing strategy, there is an art to networking.

In the book, Make Your Contacts Count: Networking Know-How for Business and Career Success, Anne Baber and Lynn Waymon note: (more…)

Attend Business Networking Events to Build Relationships

By: Yvonne A Jones Category: relationship marketing

The term “networking” is often confused with Network Marketing but they are totally different.  The root of networking is to build mutually beneficial relationships that can lead to personal and professional success.

Misconceptions About Networking

Many people cringe at the idea of attending networking events because they associate it with “putting on a face” and “schmoozing” with people you don’t know.  On the other hand, there are people who see networking as an opportunity to hand out as many of your own business cards as possible in a short time.  These concepts will prevent you from taking advantage of the opportunities networking offers and may require a change (more…)

Breaking Out of “Clumps” at Offline Events Can Expand Your Business

By: Yvonne A Jones Category: Entrepreneur - Network Marketing, goal setting, Mindset

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…)

Elevator Pitch Mistake – Focusing on Your Company Rather than Yourself

By: Yvonne A Jones Category: Business - Entrepreneur, Entrepreneur - Network Marketing

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.


Making Connections at Networking Events

By: Yvonne A Jones Category: Business - Entrepreneur, Business - Home-Based Business, Direct Sales, Entrepreneur - Network Marketing

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.