Succeed At Networking Events by Being Generous

Succeed At Networking Events by Being Generous

Attitude and Mindset, Communication, Featured
You're not the only one who walks into a networking mixer full of dread. Before you make a run for the door, try a different approach. Tell yourself that it isn't about you. Instead of trying to meet potential clients, or making another connection that will advance your career, focus exclusively on what you can do for the other attendees. Refrain from telling anyone about your own area of expertise and think about how you can help others in the room. Introduce yourself and immediately ask about them — who they are, why they're there, and what they're looking to achieve that evening. Then think about what connections you can make, what favors you might offer, what introductions you might broker. Not only will the event be more fun but…
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During A Virtual Meeting, Make Sure Everyone Understands The Discussion

During A Virtual Meeting, Make Sure Everyone Understands The Discussion

Communication, Featured
We all know how hard it can be to follow along on a conference call. When facilitating a virtual meeting, it’s your job to make sure everyone fully understands what’s going on. Compensate for any difficulties by acting as a moderator. Try the following: After each comment or question, briefly paraphrase what was said. For example, you might say: “That’s an important question. I agree that the production facility’s capacity is a major risk in this plan. Here’s what we know…” Summarize a comment: “So, in your experience, this research technique requires a lot of resources, maybe more than we have. What does everyone else think about that?” These summaries may slow down your meeting, but making sure everyone understands the discussion will save you time in the long run.
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The Entrepreneur And The Side Hustle

The Entrepreneur And The Side Hustle

Attitude and Mindset, Communication, Featured, Focus, Planning
The gig economy provides new ways for entrepreneurs to enhance their earning and in some cases provide funding for their ventures. A side hustle can be an amazing tool for entrepreneurs. More than money, they can offer new ways to meet people and a way to exercise different skills and abilities. There is, however, a downside. Depending on what your side hustle is, it may impede your ability to establish yourself in your entrepreneurial field. If your side hustle came first, you have (if you've been successful) created a brand for yourself in hat side hustle. You'll need to expand that brand or target a different audience. If you've been selling essential oils, that audience may not accept you as a web designer. Target different markets for each job. If…
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Communicating According To Your Clients Needs

Communicating According To Your Clients Needs

Communication, Featured
Communications is an integral part of your customer relationships. Customers need to feel that you are accessible when they need you. Problems occur when communications preferences get in the way. As a business person, you need to be able to handle whatever your clients prefer. While phone and email have been standard in business for decades, communications has changed as business does. Online companies have stopped providing phone numbers, much to the aggravation of their customers. As millennials entered the workforce, they used text messaging as their primary communications. Even more recently, Facebook Messenger has emerged as a channel for customers trying to reach your business. Your business needs to have communications channels open. You should be ready to add communications channels, but just as important let people know how…
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Listening Is Not Waiting To Speak

Listening Is Not Waiting To Speak

Communication, Featured
There's an old saying that you should listen twice as much as you speak. This assumes you are really listening. Most people, when not talking, are thinking about what they will say next. This is not listening. To be an effective listener, try these tips: Focus on what is being said: Put your focus on the conversation. Try to visualize what is being said. Pick out key ideas as they are presented.Take a minute: When it is your turn to talk, if you need to think about what you want to say take a breath. Pause. You can say something like, "That's very interesting," or "let me think about that for a moment," before jumping in.Don't push your point of view: Obviously you will have your own opinions and point…
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When Talking to Customers, Be Confident and Show Your Expertise

When Talking to Customers, Be Confident and Show Your Expertise

Attitude and Mindset, Communication, Featured
Are you an expert in your field? If not, why should I use your product or service? Customers expect the best and you give the impression that you can't give it, they will go elsewhere. You need to project the image that you are an expert. That requires using the right words, especially since more and more customer interactions take place through writing (email, live chat, even Twitter). Start the conversation by establishing a personal rapport. Show the customer that you’re listening to their problem or complaint, and then shift to a take-charge attitude, using confident, assertive language. Research shows that customer satisfaction is higher when you avoid deferential words (“afraid,” “mistake”) and use dominant language instead (“must,” “confirm,” “action”). In addition, customers will see you as more helpful if…
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Networking Is Not About The Numbers

Networking Is Not About The Numbers

Communication, Featured
If you have been to a networking event, you have probably seen Joe Businesscard. Joe runs around the event giving out his card and collecting as many as possible. He's playing a numbers game. Getting in front of as many people as possible, without actually getting to know anyone or interacting with them. At a networking event I was at a financial advisor came with a friend of his. Instead of talking to people at the cocktail hour that preceded the event, he spoke with his friend. When the event started, he decided to leave, telling people there weren't enough people for him. Had he stayed, he would have learned that two of the attendees were venture capitalists and two others were on corporate boards of directors. These were exactly…
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One Thing That Destroys Your Credibility

One Thing That Destroys Your Credibility

Communication, Featured
You're making a pitch. You have prepared and practiced. You know your information backwards and forwards. As you speak, you do one thing and suddenly you have no credibility. What did you just say? "Uh." That was it. You could have substituted "um" but the result is the same. Say it once and you can probably recover. Repeat it and your toast. You might not even be aware you're saying it, which makes it harder to stop. The problem is that while it may not be noticeable to you as a speaker, it stands out to your audience, especially if you say it often. How often do people say it. One politician gave a three minute speech and said it over 100 times. His approval rating was terrible. He had…
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Get Away From The Edges

Get Away From The Edges

Communication, Featured
When you walk into a room, one thing you should notice is where people are standing in a room. At the edges are people who are more tentative. They appear unsure of themselves. Seasoned networkers tend to be closer to the center of the room. The best networkers not only don't stay at the edges, they actively bring people in from the edges. The idea of networking is to interact. To do this effectively, you need to get in the thick of things. Pull yourself away from the edges. The more you do this, the easier it gets.
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Your Business Needs To Go Organic (and we don’t mean food)

Your Business Needs To Go Organic (and we don’t mean food)

Communication, Featured
Advertising platforms are getting better at targeting audiences, but when it comes to search and social media organic beats paid every time. To be clear, organic search and social means SEO and content marketing rather than paid ads. While paid ads have their place in any marketing campaign, there are several reasons for you to focus more on organic. Ad blockers: Ad blockers are becoming more prevalent. Some browsers are building them into the software. With fewer ads being seen, you need to work around these.The ignore factor: Especially in search results, people are being conditioned to skip the ads at the top of the results and go right to the organic search. When you get to the top of search organically you have more credibility than if you bought…
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