Now I Know Why

Kevin Willett says we can not predict the future so be prepared

We all know connecting with people through networking is important for growing your business. We try to connect with people who meet the criteria of what we are looking for in a client or referral partner. What about the people we meet or see on social media that do not meet the criteria? Should we connect with them too?

One of the mistakes I made when I started my Business Networking Group, Friends of Kevin was only connecting with people who had business to consumer needs. Business to Business type of companies I would pass over as I did not think they were a match. Five years later, I started the New England B2B Networking Group. It would have been a little easier if all those B2B businesspeople I met in the early days I had connected with and stayed in touch with! Same goes for people across the country that tried to connect with me. I thought, we are never going to be able to help each other or do business together. Now it’s 2020 and in person events are on a long hold. Video networking is hot right now. Someone in Texas can do business with someone in Massachusetts very easily.

We should all be a little more open to connections we make. Maybe you will be planning for a future business model you don’t know you are even interested in yet. Now I know why I should have taken a small amount of time to follow up with people who did not fit my immediate business needs. We can not predict the future and don’t know what crazy twists and turns life and business will throw our way.

Watch my YouTube Channel  for more on this and other Business Networking Tips

Kevin Willett is the Author of One Connection How you can grow your business  (and change the world) one connection at a time. The business networking book is available on Amazon. Purchase One Connection on Amazon

Kevin is also the CEO of the Friends of Kevin Networking Group  and the New England B2B Networking Group. Please connect with him on social media to hear about his upcoming business networking events

Free

Kevin Willett says to think about what you are asking for

If you know me, you know I like free swag. I love being a walking billboard for small business. This happened by chance, being a professional networker, people often gave me tee shirts, sweatshirts, hats, etc.  Now if I see a business on social media rocking their company gear, I will tell them to send me something to wear in my next video or online post.  Now, while it may be OK to ask for free swag, it is never OK to ask for free services.

I do a lot of social media promotions for my clients. I have had non-clients ask me to do promotions for them. My clients pay me to promote them, that is how I make money. How can I do that for someone for free? My clients would not like that! I have also had potential clients say they would join my networking group after I got them a few clients. Again, why are you asking me to work for free? I wouldn’t tell my accountant I’ll only pay him if I got a refund. I wouldn’t ask a realtor to sell my house for free because we are friends. If you are asking me to work for you for free, would you work for me for free? Think about that before you ask for free services. It does not come across well for you and may harm your relationship with a potential referral partner.

Watch my YouTube Channel  for more on this and other Business Networking Tips

Kevin Willett is the Author of One Connection How you can grow your business  (and change the world) one connection at a time. The business networking book is available on Amazon. Purchase One Connection on Amazon

Kevin is also the CEO of the Friends of Kevin Networking Group  and the New England B2B Networking Group. Please connect with him on social media to hear about his upcoming business networking events

How Long Does It Take?

Kevin Willett says putting in the effort will lead to results

I recently chatted with a friend of mine who is a member of a couple networking groups. He told me that none of them are really working out for him. When he spoke to the group leaders, they told him to be patient, it takes time. I agree with that 100%. I always say you need to let people get to Know, Like, and Trust you before you will see results. For my Friend however, it has been about a year in these groups and still no results. I think it’s time for him to re-evaluate. Not every group is right for everybody. If you have given it your all and by that I  mean are you active in the group, are you passing referrals and it is still not working, it is OK to say you need to step away.

The same goes for networking events. There are free events and paid events out there. Are you only going to the free events because you don’t want to spend money, and not finding what you are looking for? Sometimes the paid events have a more serious business representation that may be worth your expense. Are you paying a lot of money on events and not finding any leads? Maybe the people you are looking for are at the free events.  Whichever you choose, you have to make sure you are in the right room. What type of people are attending? Do they fit the client type you are looking for? Find out the answers to these questions, if you can, before going to an event. Do your homework, put in the efforts necessary when you find the right place to be and re-evaluate every so often. If you do these things, then in time, yes, you will see results.

Watch my YouTube Channel  for more on this and other Business Networking Tips

Kevin Willett is the Author of One Connection How you can grow your business  (and change the world) one connection at a time. The business networking book is available on Amazon. Purchase One Connection on Amazon

Kevin is also the CEO of the Friends of Kevin Networking Group  and the New England B2B Networking Group. Please connect with him on social media to hear about his upcoming business networking events

Your Word Is Your Word

Kevin Willett says your attitude and reliability are key to your business success

It amazes me how often people say one thing and do another. For example, the B2B Networking Events I host are industry exclusive. So, once you tell me you are coming to an event, I stop inviting people who are in your industry. A day or two goes by and they still have not signed up for the seat. As the event draws near, I try and get confirmation that they are still going to join. Sometimes I don’t hear back, sometimes they say they will sign up soon. The event comes and goes, and they were not there. Why? The excuses are ‘I changed my mind’ ‘I didn’t have time’ etc. I could have sold this seat if they had let me know. When you do something like this, you become someone that is not a good referral partner. How can I recommend you to friends and clients without thinking you may not show up for them? Your word is your word! I understand that things come up last minute, but a quick text or call shows respect and keeps you on the list as an honorable businessperson. Be courteous, be kind, stay referable and grow your business!

Watch my YouTube Channel  for more on this and other Business Networking Tips

Kevin Willett is the Author of One Connection How you can grow your business  (and change the world) one connection at a time. The business networking book is available on Amazon. Purchase One Connection on Amazon

Kevin is also the CEO of the Friends of Kevin Networking Group  and the New England B2B Networking Group. Please connect with him on social media to hear about his upcoming business networking events

The Guilt of Success

Kevin Willett says you should not feel guilty if you are doing the best you can.

Seems like lately things have been going my way. I love my part time teaching gig and apparently, they love me too as I have been offered a few more classes. My business is running smoothly with more people wanting to meet for coffee and discuss how we can work together. Life is good. Along with this success though comes the loss of time. I used to have more time to support other people’s causes, go to their events or just chat on the phone with them for more than 10 minutes. That makes people sad and it makes me feel guilty. No, I haven’t “changed” I am not “blowing you off” I am not whatever else you are thinking. I am balancing as best I can without getting stressed or burning myself out. Because if I am stressed or burnt out, I am no good to anybody. My day still starts at 4am and ends after 7pm. I fit in as much as I can for as many people as I can. My Friends understand this and support it. Those who cannot are probably not friends and are looking for my help without being willing to support me back. Have patience, be flexible, I will be there when I can.

Bottom line is, if you are going through this as I am, remember it is OK to say no. You can’t please everyone. You should not feel guilty if you are doing the best you can. Stay true to who you are and how best you can take care of yourself so you can keep doing what you are doing.  Your true supporters will understand and know you will help when you can.

Watch my YouTube Channel  for more on this and other Business Networking Tips

Kevin Willett is the Author of One Connection How you can grow your business  (and change the world) one connection at a time. The business networking book is available on Amazon. Purchase One Connection on Amazon

Kevin is also the CEO of the Friends of Kevin Networking Group  and the New England B2B Networking Group. Please connect with him on social media to hear about his upcoming business networking events

Why Did You Post That?

Kevin Willett says online outbursts are never a good thing and can hurt your business.

Social Media is a power tool. It is also a great source of information. I was talking with a friend about trying to help struggling job seekers find work. Some of them are struggling because of the posts they do on social media. Posts about controversial topics like drugs, politics etc. could be potentially harmful in their job search. Some people are blatant and feel that they have a right to post whatever they want and anybody who doesn’t like it can stop reading and go away. What if the person that doesn’t like it is a potential employer? Now they have lost a job opportunity.

This works for business owners as well. Just as employers are scanning social media to find out what they can about potential employees, customers/business referral partners may be scanning to find out what they can about you before doing business with you. You may have a pristine business page but post a hateful rant about one topic or another on your personal page. If your personal page is accessible, you may just have hurt your business. Going negative or being controversial does not help your business. Yes, you have a right to your opinion. I believe that 1000%! But others have a right to be offended and choose not to do business with you. My best advice, tone it down on social media. Speak calmly and professionally if you have something you must say. Rants and negativity only come back to hurt you in the end. Need to get something off your chest? Talk to a friend, spouse or associate, not to potential unknown clients via the internet.

Watch my YouTube Channel  for more on this and other Business Networking Tips

Kevin Willett is the Author of One Connection How you can grow your business  (and change the world) one connection at a time. The business networking book is available on Amazon. Purchase One Connection on Amazon

Kevin is also the CEO of the Friends of Kevin Networking Group  and the New England B2B Networking Group. Please connect with him on social media to hear about his upcoming business networking events

How Early Is Too Early

Kevin Willett agrees that a little effort goes a long way

I had a breakfast meeting the other day at 6:30am. That is really early for most folks. Me, I get out of bed at 4:00am every day, so not a big deal. That is when my Friend wanted to meet to discuss business, so I accommodated. One of the challenges I see with business owners is that they are not willing to change up their schedules or be flexible. I host morning networking events that start at 8:00am. Some people won’t come because they think that is too early. 8:30 or 9:00am would be better for them. Seriously? When I counter with the nighttime events from 6:00pm to 8:00pm, that is too late. They like to be home at night and chill in front of the TV. Huh?

Dealing with some businesses lately the topic of conversation is about not reaching their goals. They are wondering why. Well, not putting in the correct effort is part of the problem. If you are not willing to get out of bed a little earlier or stay out one night a month a little later, that could be your issue. You have to put in the effort! If you are not reaching your goals, ask yourself why. You might have to give something up (sleep, reality tv) in order to make it. Think of the connections you can make, the business you can grow and stop wondering why. Start making it happen!

Watch my YouTube Channel  for more on this and other Business Networking Tips

Kevin Willett is the Author of One Connection How you can grow your business  (and change the world) one connection at a time. The business networking book is available on Amazon. Purchase One Connection on Amazon

Kevin is also the CEO of the Friends of Kevin Networking Group  and the New England B2B Networking Group. Please connect with him on social media to hear about his upcoming business networking events

Do You Want Free Publicity?

Kevin Willett says that with free publicity, your profile goes up and so does your sales.

Everybody wants free publicity, right? I thought so, but it amazes me how many opportunities for recognition that business owners pass up. Social media is a great tool for this, yet many business owners aren’t paying attention to their accounts.

I like to document things. I try to “check in” when I visit different places or post a picture of something cool they are selling. I expect the business owner to “like” my post or add a comment to capitalize or just say thanks. Sadly, this doesn’t always happen. That is free publicity lost. That is a mistake. If you are a business with a social media presence, it is not enough to do a post every now and then. You need to be monitoring your accounts for the people who check in or write comments on your wall. It takes just a second to comment or say thanks. Think about not only the people that are following you, but the people that are following the person who checked in. Don’t miss the opportunity to connect with them.

I was at a restaurant the other day. I checked in, posted a picture of my meal and before I was done eating the owner commented on my post. All my followers were able to see that and now might want to check out that restaurant. It also gave the owner a chance to engage with the other people who commented on my post. And so, it grows. I’m not saying you have to stare at your social media pages all day long. Maybe there is an alert you can set up. Maybe you just check it once a day, twice a day or every hour. Whatever timeline works for you, just make sure you are monitoring it and not giving up an opportunity to grow your business.

Watch my YouTube Channel  for more on this and other Business Networking Tips

Kevin Willett is the Author of One Connection How you can grow your business  (and change the world) one connection at a time. The business networking book is available on Amazon. Purchase One Connection on Amazon

Kevin is also the CEO of the Friends of Kevin Networking Group  and the New England B2B Networking Group. Please connect with him on social media to hear about his upcoming business networking events

The Health Club Effect

Kevin Willet knows that old habits die hard and new habits are hard to form in life and in business

I absolutely love January! Not just because it’s my birthday month and I get lots of cake and presents 😊, but because my networking event attendance is off the charts! I call this the health club effect. Just like we resolve to join gyms, get healthier, live a better life; businesspeople resolve to get out there, grow their business, network more. Unfortunately, as with our health resolutions, our business resolutions often go by the wayside. In order for either the gym or networking to be beneficial for you, you have to keep going! Old habits die hard and new habits are hard to form. Stay focused, make realistic expectations, and put it in your calendar. Do whatever it takes to keep going. This is best for you and best for your business. I hope to see all my January friends in March and beyond!

Watch my YouTube Channel  for more on this and other Business Networking Tips

Kevin Willett is the Author of One Connection How you can grow your business  (and change the world) one connection at a time. The business networking book is available on Amazon. Purchase One Connection on Amazon

Kevin is also the CEO of the Friends of Kevin Networking Group  and the New England B2B Networking Group. Please connect with him on social media to hear about his upcoming business networking events

FB Live! The Fear is Real

Kevin Willett says Yes, the fear is real, but it is not forever!

I was talking to a Friend about FB Live videos and wondering why she didn’t do them. She said she felt like people would be watching and judging her. I told her maybe she is just judging herself. Who are the first people to see your videos on FB Live? Your Friends, that’s who. Those people already love and support you, so no judgment there.

The real issue is fear. You have to get over it and do it! The first wave of viewers are your Friends. You should be relaxed with them. The second wave are the people your Friends share the video with. You are off the hook there too because now you are no longer live so no reason for fear. Then guess what, suddenly you are making new connections because you had the courage to share your knowledge on social media. New Connections lead to new business.

Don’t get me wrong, my first several videos, I was scared to death. The more you share; the more people can see you as an expert in your field and the easier it is to do the next video.  Yes, the fear is real, but it is not forever!

Watch my YouTube Channel  for more on this and other Business Networking Tips

Kevin Willett is the Author of One Connection How you can grow your business  (and change the world) one connection at a time. The business networking book is available on Amazon. Purchase One Connection on Amazon

Kevin is also the CEO of the Friends of Kevin Networking Group  and the New England B2B Networking Group. Please connect with him on social media to hear about his upcoming business networking events