The Biggest Mistake I Made as an Entrepreneur

One of the biggest mistakes you can make as an entrepreneur is not seeing the big picture. That’s not an easy thing to do when you are trying to start up a business. Not easy, but a must, as you need to have a vision for the future. For me it was not connecting with people who I felt did not fit my model. Five years down the road my model changed and those people I did not bother to connect with I now wanted to know. Those were wasted opportunities. Not connecting with people you don’t think you will do business with has another downside. Maybe they won’t be clients/customers, but they may know someone who can use your services!

So, instead of focusing on who can help your business today and only connecting with those people, focus on the big picture. Be open to everyone and watch your business grow!

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

No Such Thing As A Friendly Ghost

Kevin Willett says Casper notwithstanding, ghosting is anything but friendly

One of the challenges of being a business owner is when people tell you no, they do not want/need your services. It’s tough to handle sometimes. But it is part of business. What is worse than someone telling you no? Someone ghosting you, not getting back to you, ignoring you. This is especially hurtful when you have spoken to someone and they tell you they do want your services. It has happened to me. I’ll invite someone to networking events and they tell me they are excited to attend. I’ll send invites and receive no response. I’ll email and no response. Why didn’t they just say no? They didn’t want to hurt my feelings. Well they have just wasted my time by making me work for them to come to events they had no intention of showing up to. They have wasted their own time by deleting my invites and emails. How does that help either one of us? Just say no! When I receive a straightforward negative response, I always thank the person for their honesty. This sometimes surprises them. “I can’t believe you thanked me for saying I did not want to attend your events!” They have just made my life easier by telling me there was one less email I’ll have to send that I will not get a response to. Of course, I’m thankful you just saved me time and effort!

If there is something or someone you need to say no to, then do it. Do not ghost them. This only causes anger; time wasted and hurts relationships on both sides. You could be viewed as unreliable and hurt your brand. Saying no is hard but is best for everyone. Don’t waste a business owner’s time by having them send emails, prepare quotes, or make calls on your behalf. Saying no hurts now but, be respectful and they will appreciate it and will benefit your brand in the long run.

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

Be A Connector

Kevin Willetts ays being a connector makes you and others happy

I get a great feeling when people reach out to me and ask me for help, they need a referral, who should they use. It’s a great way to help your clients and a great feeling to help solve someone’s issue. We can all be connectors. Have you ever been scrolling through FaceBook and seen someone looking for a suggestion? Do you know someone who could help? Did you take the time to message that person with a suggestion? Most people don’t, they just scroll right by. It only takes a moment to send a private message to that person with some contact info for someone who can help them out. Then just message the business you are referring, to give them a heads up that you have shared their info. Maybe include a brief description of what the person was looking for and now you have made two people happy just by being a connector. You have also made an impression on both parties that may help your business down the road.

Ok, so your saying to yourself that networking is my job, of course I am going to send my clients referrals whenever I can. That is a correct statement. But I also help out people who are not my clients on occasion. There are businesses that are not a client, but I know are good at what they do. I like helping people and it is not always about being paid to do it. Be a connector for the right reasons and not only will you make the people you are connecting happy, but you will be happy as well.

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 Secret to Getting People to Accept Your Calls

Kevin Willett says doing a little bending in your schedule will not break it

What is the answer to this burning question you ask? Simple, be flexible.

The other day I had a call scheduled and the person cancelled on me. I tried to reschedule, and she was busy. She later contacted me with an alternative time, and I was busy. Several emails and phone tag episodes later we still hadn’t figured out when we could chat. This person felt bad that they had to cancel the original call. I told them it was no big deal, that if we were both willing to be flexible with the other’s schedule it would all work out. Hey, it is great that they were so busy, it meant business is good! A similar thing happened to me a few weeks ago. I was at my desk at 5am, as I am on most days, and an email comes through from a gentleman, I had on my calendar for a call later that day. He was going to have to cancel. I emailed him back immediately and said obviously he was awake and so was I, let’s talk now.  Now that is being flexible! We ended up having a great conversation. It all worked out.

On the flip side of this, if you have extra availability, that may not be something to advertise. Some potential clients may be weary if you tell them you are available to talk 24/7 in the upcoming days. They may wonder why you have so much free time. Give them a few options to choose from, making them think the rest was filled in. But again, stay flexible.

Bottom line is you need to service your clients first. If 9 to 5 does not fit for phone calls or video chats, be flexible to a 5:30 conversation. That is 5:30pm not 5:30am like me LOL. Although, if you are both early risers, why not! People who are willing to bend or maneuver their time in order to connect with potential clients are the one who will be successful.

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 To Nurture Business Relationships

Kevin Willett knows many ways to help build and maintain new business connections

I see people struggle with business relationships all the time. When you connect with someone new, you don’t want to seem overbearing or aloof. What is the best way to get to Know, Like and Trust with this new connection? My first piece of advice is to provide value to your new contact. How do you do that? I try to introduce my new contact to some of my old ones. People I think may be able to do business together or help each other out. Secondly, if you see an article or story that you think may help your new connection, let them know about it. Tell them where you saw it or send them a copy. Thirdly, ask to do a video interview with your new connection. You can record the zoom and show it to your friends to let them virtually meet your new contact. Maybe they will connect and do business together. Fourth, I like to share pictures on social media. Post a picture and tag the other person and their business pages. People seeing your post can click on any links you provide and check out the new person for themselves. These are simple ways to add value and show connections you appreciate and want to grow with them. No sales pitches, no pressure, just a slow build to help this person become comfortable with doing business with you and your connections. Of course, always follow up, keep in touch, do what you say you will in a timely manner are also standard ways to build that business relationship.

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 Still Think You Don’t Need to Network?

Kevin Willett says having a strong network will get you through good times and bad

We have had some tough times recently. Businesses and individuals are struggling to stay afloat. I have had several people reach out to me for help with either job searches or business sales. “Kevin do you know anybody who…” is something that I am hearing a lot of. Other than their struggles, the one common thing among these people is that they do not have strong networks. They never felt the need to go to networking events. They never felt they needed to connect outside of their immediate circle. The people who built solid relationships with their clients, the ones who have a strong network behind them are the ones who are surviving and keeping their businesses going. I know as the networking guy, this seems easy for me to say, but it is true. I have had to adapt my business like many others. From this I hope everybody learns the importance of building our networks. Even when business is good you need to keep building your network, keep your network strong. I don’t want to see anybody, when times get tough, wishing they had the connections to see them through. Make those connections when ever you can even if you think you don’t need to! We can’t see into the future and you never know when even one of those connections you have could come in handy. Need help making connections? Not sure where to start? Contact me and I’ll try to get you started!

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

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

Hi Kevin!

Kevin Willett wants to know where you met for the first time.

Three times in the last two weeks I have been in an awkward situation. While I was out and about, someone has come up to me and enthusiastically greeted me “Hi Kevin! How are you doing?” I had no idea who these people were. One lady in particular, was disappointed I didn’t remember her. In my defense, I hadn’t seen her in ten years. I’m supposed to know everybody because I’m the Networking Guy right? Well, if you haven’t been to an event in ten years, I should get a pass. Another guy said hi to me and I asked him to refresh my memory as to how we met? He said we had never met, he just saw my picture in the paper recently. I think I get a pass on that one too. But seriously if you are out and approach somebody you know, if they look puzzled, help them out. Let them know how you know each other! Don’t be offended. It’s not personal. It could be the re-start of a great friendship!

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

You Made The Connection, Now What?

Kevin Willett says finding a common bond and following up are more effective than just being seen.

Friends often tell me they try and get out to as many events as possible, meet as many people as possible, but in the end are not seeing results. The challenge is going from seeing people in a social environment to actually sitting down with them at some point and talking business. We hear all the time we have to “get out there” “put yourself out there” “be seen” this will get you business. Hmmm, I think we are confusing being busy with being productive. Going out to these events may be fun, but at the end of the day, we need to get business done.

Another issue my Friends find is too many people of the same job description going to the same events. When I was in Banking, we went to a lot of events. Unfortunately, so did all the other bankers in town. Now that I run my own business, I have decided to only go to events that I am passionate about, that I may have an interest in beyond finding business and to find connections with similar interests as me. I don’t go just to go and be seen anymore. Of course, for me, it’s a little different since I am a Professional Networker, but for you, my advice is this: Think of the best use of your time, go to events that you really have an interest in, Think about who at the event may be a good connection for you. Once you have done this and made that initial connection, take the next step. Reach out, set up a coffee meeting and talk about how you can work together. Finding a common bond and following up are more effective than just being seen. Once again the old saying of quality over quantity rings true.

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

It’s OK to Have Fun

Kevin Willett says everybody should have a little fun at work

I always talk about the importance of being careful about what you post on social media. Try and stay away from politics, angry rants etc. But sometimes, it’s OK to have a little fun in your posts. The other day I posted a picture of a near empty tin of cookies asking if anyone wanted to refill the tin for me. This post got mixed reactions from people who know, and don’t know about my love of cookies, from ‘dude are you seriously asking people to make you cookies?’ to ‘that post is hilarious!’ The best and most surprising responses were from people I haven’t heard from in a while. Connections responding with a chuckle saying ‘I haven’t talked to you lately, and I happen to be making cookies for the holiday, let’s meet up!’  This was a joking silly post, but it gave me a chance to re-connect with people.  Sometimes when we let a little humor into our professional persona, people can relate to us better. Again, we don’t want to post anything that may harm our brand but being relatable can only help. So, have a little fun occasionally, you may be surprised with the 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