Smart Networking Tips that Actually Improve Your Results

Group Networking Meetings2

Note: This is a 2-part article. This week we will focus on getting the most out of group networking meetings. Next week we will focus on how to conduct effective 1:1 networking meetings.

 

Smart networking is a must for every business professional.  It helps you attract and keep customers. Stay up-to-date in your industry, profession and business. And, provide invaluable opportunities.

Smart networking activities build relationships. When done right, networking uncovers hidden or unknown opportunities. It also provides invaluable insights about a company’s (or person’s) challenges.

What is networking? Networking is a marketing process designed to help you conduct research. Network meetings are not designed for selling. Selling becomes easier and more effective when you’ve taken the time to learn about the person and/or company through networking.

Joining industry, trade, professional and/or paid business networking groups is smart. Some of these groups will meet once or twice a month, while others meet weekly. Some groups have membership fees, while others are free. It’s important to understand the “group rules” before joining.

Remember, your time and money are important. Choose well, then, commit to attending.

Joe decided to join a general business network group. The group met twice per month and only one person per profession attended. However, he failed to attend on a consistent basis. He used the excuse his clients had to talk with him at the same time, instead of scheduling them for a different time. Also, he failed to setup 1:1 meetings. He lack curiosity about others, and wasn’t interested in helping them succeed. After several months, his boss asked him if he was getting anything out of this group. Joe responded, “NO!” There was no commitment.

8 Important Tips to Achieve Results from Group Network Meetings

  1. Choose one or two groups that resonate with you. Be clear. What is your purpose? Is it to build your business contacts? Is it to have someone to eat lunch with? What do you want or need to get out of it? Are members B2C or B2B, or a mix? Does the group provide referrals (warm introductions to others)? Or, only leads (ideas for cold calls)? How can you help members be successful?
  1. You have less than 30 seconds to make a positive impression. Dress appropriately and learn how to shake hands. Be prepared with your quick introduction of 20 words or less (review the 5 simple steps in It’s Time to Brag! Business Edition). Remember, people today have very short attention spans. Also, don’t use canned or generic intro’s. These do not differentiate you from others selling similar products or services.
  1. Keep every conversation simple and on-point. Plan to meet as many people as possible, even if you believe you are an introvert. This is not an opportunity to speak up about political or religious topics. Don’t talk about the benefits of your products or services, unless, someone asks.
  1. Put away your phone and other electronic distractions. Listening requires paying 100% attention to the person speaking. If you don’t, you’re telling others you don’t value them. A University of Michigan study showed that laptops (and phone apps) are also a distraction. Use paper and pen to jot down notes.

A woman had a new business venture and attended a group network meeting to generate interest. Instead of listening, she spent the meeting responding to her texts and FB postings. This behavior told everyone that she believed she was important and they were not. Needless to say, no one was interested in talking with her. Sadly, It was a lost opportunity for her new business.

  1. Don’t thrust your biz card in someone’s hand and say “Call me!” Instead, have a short conversation and determine if there is mutual interest to meet and talk further. If you have something specific to discuss, share that with them. That way they are more likely to take your call and respond to your emails.
  1. Build Your Network One Person at a Time. Group meetings are not designed to build good 1:1 business relationships. These only occur after having longer conversations, over a period of time.
  • -Within 24 to 48 hours send an email or call to setup a 1:1 meeting
  • -Don’t wait for others to ask you, even if they promised to do so
  • -Respond to all requests from others to connect … you can learn something from everyone
  • -Schedule meetings within a couple of weeks, preferably face-to-face
  1. Don’t add people to your email blasts without their permission. Do not become a spammer. Giving you their card is not giving you permission. Honor their, “no.”
  1. Make a commitment to attend … and honor that commitment. Your actions speak louder than words. We all have those times when we don’t want to go. Instead of falling into the “excuse trap,” show up with a smile and a positive attitude. You will never know what you are going to get out of your network meetings. If you don’t go, you won’t get anything!

Remember, Joe? He was not committed. Use these 8 tips to demonstrate your commitment and watch your networking results improve.

©Jeannette Seibly, 2018

Jeannette Seibly has been recognized as a catalyst and leadership expert for the past 26 years. As an executive coach and speaker, she provides straight talk with dynamic results. Networking can be frustrating and isn’t always an easy process. Like any skill, smart networking requires commitment and practice. To improve your results, grab your copy of “It’s Time to Brag! Business Edition.Contact Jeannette for a preliminary confidential conversation.

 

26 Years … WoW!

Celebrating-26-YearsI still remember October 7, 1992. On that fateful day, I was sitting in my newly created home office in Livonia, Michigan. I asked myself, what do I need to do to become successful? Because of the tough challenges I experienced in corporate America, I had learned a lot. But, how does that help me as a new business owner?

At that moment, I made a commitment: Success will be measured my ability to use what I’ve learned and help others succeed!

The results from the past 26 years? I’m an award winning executive coach, speaker, author and Authorized PXT Select Partner.

We All Have Dreams and Goals

Today, I’m sitting in my office in the metro Denver area smiling. 15 years ago I pursued one of my long-time dreams of moving to Colorado. My goal: enjoy the sun, drier climate and Rocky Mountains. Earlier this summer, a long-time mentor, Leslie Charles, interviewed me about my journey to fulfill this dream. Her “groundbreaking” book on how to fulfill your dreams will be released in Fall, 2019.

So what’s next? I want to travel, speak, coach and write more, buy a home and adopt a dog (I’ve always adopted cats). And, I’d like to become a bestselling author. Thanks to the guidance from Judith Briles and other authors this could become a reality in the future. In Judith’s newest book, I’m featured in Chapter 3, “How to Create a $1,000,000 Speech”.

Many of you have dreams and goals too. Some are in hot pursuit. Some of you have given up after experiencing setbacks and uncertainties.

And, many of you are waiting until the “right time.” Some of you are making decisions based on your feelings or gut reactions. While some believe their situation is the best it can ever be. And, many of you have given up on believing in yourself and your abilities!

My Journey is No Different than Yours

We all have successes. And, we all have failures. Lamenting about the past doesn’t move anyone forward into the future or allow you to create new possibilities.

I, like many of you, have experienced failures. I’ve learned how to learn from them and move forward. You can too.

The secret is to hire a coach … but beware, it’s critical that the coach you hire is the right coach for you.

Here’s What I Know … Achieving Your Dreams Requires Hiring a Coach and Doing the Work

This is what doing the work looks like: Recently I worked with a young man who had a goal of getting any job. After our first coaching call, he committed himself to a true goal. He wanted to become an executive director for a not-for-profit. First step, we took the time required to understand his strengths and weaknesses for that job. Then, he created his brags. He believed he was ready to network to uncover opportunities. The problem was after several weeks, he still wasn’t winning the interviews or job offers. Next, we uncovered several facts. When sharing his experiences, he failed to share his numbers. In his interviews, he didn’t talk about the organization’s mission and goals. He failed mention his ability to build a quality team. In just one targeted coaching session, he recommitted to his goal and completed the additional work required to achieve his goal. The result? He’s contemplating which executive director position to accept.

My Biggest Brag This Year!

The amazing results attendees gained from my “Get Your Brag On!” presentations. These interactive workshops touched my heart when participants shared their “brags!” They awakened their ability to speak up with confidence, “I did this …” “I achieved this …” “I matter.” In Jim Pawlak’s syndicated column, BizBooks, he was written a review of my book. Grab your copy of the book at It’s Time to Brag! Business Edition.

My Philosophy Remains the Same

I’m committed to the success of every person I work with.

My trademark is being a catalyst and leadership expert. I have an uncanny ability to help business owners, executives and entrepreneurs identify hidden roadblocks. I help them blast through their barriers and leverage their achievements. They become winners and great communicators, team members, bosses and leaders!

So, What’s Next for You and Me?

The simple answer is, achieve our dreams and goals for Q4 and 2019. If you’re committed like I am, let’s get started now!

©Jeannette Seibly, 2018

How to Provide Practical Feedback for Success Today

Leader comm“Leadership success requires giving practical real-time feedback.”

Many employees, teams and companies fail due to lack of real-time, practical feedback. Bosses wait until annual performance review time, bringing up issues from months ago. Managers fear saying anything negative because it would reduce their likability. Most lack experience on how to turn feedback into a positive process and instead wait until it is unavoidable.

The good news is providing real-time, practical feedback is a skill that can be learned. Good leaders check on progress to provide timely feedback. They are proactive about resolving issues and not waiting until there is a crisis. Plus, they demonstrate by example how to offer and receive feedback in a constructive manner.

5 Feedback Tips for Success

  1. Do It Now. Have a conversation after a quick and thorough investigation into the complaint. Talk with all people directly involved. Listen for the core issue. Then, build an agreement with everyone involved on how to proceed forward.
  2. Build Good Working Relationships. Develop good relationships with all of your employees: full-time, part-time, contract or temporary. This builds trust and makes it easier to provide needed feedback in the future.  It also makes it easier to communicate tough decisions. Employees value well-delivered feedback from someone they know is committed to their success.
  3. Use Sandwich Approach. Here’s the formula: 2 positives to begin + 2 factual and specific concerns + 2 positives to end = positive feedback. This basic outline provides effective feedback in a manner that employees can hear. Don’t forget to listen to their POV. There will always be more than one side to any story or problem.
  4. Provide Training. Provide training on how to use persuasive listening skills to offer good feedback. Using scientifically validated job fit tools will uncover misconceptions employees have about one another … and provide invaluable laser-like coaching. This allows you to turn around tough issue easier, faster and more productively.
  5. Use 360-degree Feedback. Real-time, critical feedback can be difficult to get. Use scientifically validated 360-degree tools quarterly, not annually. Quarter reviews will provide far more powerful feedback than annual performance reviews! These tools keep individual responses confidential and encourage truthfulness. Work with your executive coach to review the results. Then, share key results with others and listen to their feedback on how to improve.

©Jeannette Seibly, 2018

Jeannette Seibly has been recognized as a catalyst and leadership expert for the past 25 years. As an executive coach, speaker and author, she provides straight talk with dynamic results. Feedback after the fact is useless. Feedback provided in real-time is invaluable. What do you need to be able to deliver and listen to feedback now? Contact Jeannette for a preliminary confidential conversation. Do it now.

7 Bad Habits that Get in the Way of Results

Bad Boss Habits.2

Today’s podcasts and articles focus on motivating your employees to achieve amazing results. But, for many bosses, there are times it seems like a difficult, never-ending challenge.

It can be difficult to motivate others with four generations in today’s workplace. To add to the challenge, many bosses have not been well trained. Sometimes it’s the bad habits bosses learned from their own bosses that get in the way. Other times, they fail to upgrade how they talk and manage their employees.

If you have any of these 7 bad habits, get a coach and transform into a great boss.

  1. Violating Confidentiality. Transparency doesn’t mean sharing private conversations. Instead, share numbers. Share good tactical and strategic methods. Never call people out on their stuff in public. Only do it behind closed doors.
  2. Treating Experienced People Like Rookies. Talking down to people or micromanaging them won’t motivate them to do better. Instead, it can create a backlash of negativity. Talk in a respectful manner and talk straight when there is an issue. Be specific in the feedback. Listen and find value in their experiences.
  3. Threatening Jobs. Putting fear into employees rarely achieves positive results. It will also impact your relationships with clients. Job fit is the #1 reason people excel in their jobs. By using qualified job fit assessments, you will clarify “why” they are and are not successful. These tools will also improve your hiring, coaching, managing and training style.
  4. Being a Friend First. This bad habit impacts your ability to make decisions, give assignments and coach others. If you were a team member and are now the boss, have conversations with each team member to discuss the change. Boss first, and a friend second.
  5. Treating Them as Children. Too often we fail to talk and treat our employees as adults. Micromanaging their activities and insisting everything must have your approval, is demoralizing. Instead … trust them.
  6. Changing Expectations. Every employee needs consistent goals, policies and expectations to succeed. Constant changes negatively impacts employee morale. They give up, become apathetic and develop a why bother attitude. Be consistent and stay the course.
  7. Lacking Awareness. Even the best bosses value scientifically validated 360-degree feedback tools. These tools improve management styles because individual responses are confidential and encourage truthfulness. Hire a coach to review the results with you to increase your awareness as a boss. Then, share key results with employees and listen to their feedback on how you can improve.

©Jeannette Seibly, 2018

Jeannette Seibly has been recognized as a catalyst and leadership expert for the past 25 years. As an executive coach, speaker and author, she provides straight talk with dynamic results. Are your bad habits demotivating your team and negatively impacting your results? Ready to make needed changes? Don’t wait! Contact Jeannette now for a preliminary confidential conversation.