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

Who Should I Connect With?

Kevin Willett says to make connections with not only the present but the future in mind.

The short answer to this question is everyone. Let me tell you about my experiences. I was working as CFO of a bank many years ago and as social media grew, my connections increased. The problem, I was only connecting with people in the banking industry. Fast Forward to me starting my own business, The Friends of Kevin Networking Group. My connections now changed, and I was focusing on connecting with small business, non-profits etc, skipping people who did not fit the business to consumer requests I was getting. Soon I was getting a lot of inquiries into why I did not service the B2B market. Hmmm, OK, now New England B2B Networking Group was born and the people I did not think I should connect with were all now potential new clients. I wish I had made all those connections through all those years. I let my focus on one sector hold me back. The bottom line is you never know where your business will take you. Be ready, be open to all connections and be prepared to 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

What Should I Talk About?

Kevin Willett says not to be intimidated by social media, post to make connections

One of the common reasons my friends do not post on social media is because they do not know what they should talk about.

For me I talk about three topics: How bad I eat, networking advice and my family. What I have found is that each one of these topics allows me to connect with a different group of my followers. When I talk about eating cookies and pizza, people will suggest new places to try or ask me if I want to meet up for pizza. When I talk about my family, my friends comment on how many nieces and nephews I have and how they are always my favorite on their birthdays. When I share networking tips, I am growing my influence with my business friends. As you can see each topic has some overlap but also helps me connect with a different segment of my followers.

I try to use my social media accounts to show my personality and to come across as a real person.

I personally try to stay away from anything that can be controversial. I just do not feel a need to upset potential clients. I am always reminding my friends that yes; they do have a right to their opinions and people have a right to be offended by your opinions and not do business with you. I think each person must make that decision for themselves.

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

Are you using me?

Kevin Willett says to be respectful when asking for advice from professionals

I was speaking to my friend, who is a Financial Planner, and he was upset because he has a few people who constantly call him for free advice, and he is not sure how to handle this situation. Sadly, this happens all the time.

For me the rule is simple, if you are asking for common knowledge advice, like how much money can I add to my IRA each year, then in most cases that is probably OK. If you are asking what investments to select to invest your IRA in, then you have crossed the line.

Please be respectful to your friends and business contacts. If the information is something that they charge their clients for then please do not expect them to share that advice with you for free.

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 Takes Time To Build Your Dream

Kevin Willett says connections are a two way street and cannot be made on a drive by.

I had someone call me the other day because a friend of theirs said they should speak to me about my networking events. This person says to me “Just to be clear, I have tried events in the past and have never received even one referral from the people at the event.” When she said this I just chuckled. I hear this comment a lot and my response is always the same; How many of those people did you do business with or try to help out? The answer is typically none or maybe one of them. So why did you expect them ALL to do business with you?

Please remember is takes time to build your dream. My friend just celebrated his one-year anniversary in business, and he said all the networking he has done is just starting to pay off for him. Most people give up way too easily. It takes time for people to get to know you and learn if they like and trust you.

What I call drive-by-networking simply doesn’t work. You need to consistently attend events to build relationship with clients and potential referral partners. So please be patient and do your best to build that trust by sharing your knowledge and contacts freely. Help and work with others as much as you want them to help and work with you.

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 The Right Thing For The Right Reasons

Kevin Willett says that when you expect nothing in return for helping others, you may be surprised.

When someone takes the time to comment on my videos I try my best to send them a message thanking them and asking if there is anything I can do to help them.  Last week I thanked a woman from New York City and when I asked her how I could help, she said she needed help finding a job. Now it would have been super easy to say ‘I am sorry but I don’t know anyone in New York City’. Instead I said lets schedule a call to see what we can do. During the call she told me that she is starting a business to help people impacted by cancer. She told me her story about being a survivor. We spent the next thirty minutes brain storming about her idea. I was impressed with her passion for helping people and it made me want to help her.

One of the challenges we have as business owners is trying to manage our time. People will often ask me ‘why should I meet with people who do not need my services?’  The simple answer is because you are not trying to sell to them you are trying to connect with their network. I have a number of people who are not my clients who refer people to me all the time simply because I spent the time to meet with them and tried to help them.

Do the right thing for the right reason, while expecting nothing in return, and you might be surprised with the way things turn out.

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 Need Business Cards?

Kevin Willett says that business cards are not out of style in today’s online universe

Do you still need business cards? The short answer is yes, you do.

I am seeing many people request that you just connect with them on social media rather than exchanging business cards. The challenge with this idea is many people are simply not active on social media, so connecting with them will not help you build a relationship with them.

I am also seeing people use fancy business card apps to download people’s information into their phone. This is a cool idea; however, not everyone uses these types of apps. Even if you do use these apps, you still need to have business cards for them to take a picture of and then download.

I think that it is important to remember that some people still want your business card and you have to respect that. Be sure to carry some cards with you at all times, to make sure you are not missing out on potential business opportunities.

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 Importance of Taking the Time to Nurture Our Business Relationships

Kevin Willett talks about the importance of not letting connections fall by the wayside.

Yesterday I was having coffee with a friend and she asked me for a referral for a service she needed. I smiled and said yes I have the perfect person for you, let me check with her to make sure it’s a match and I will introduce you by email.

When I called this person to offer her the referral, I realized I hadn’t spoken to her in three years. She hadn’t kept in touch. Now luckily for her I like her and know she does great work, so I had no trouble referring her, but it made me think about how often we take our networking connections for granted. Most of us have said something like ‘he knows me; he will call me if he needs me’. Really are you sure? In most cases this simply isn’t true. If you don’t take the time to nurture the relationship then sadly they are probably sending their referrals to someone else, someone who spent the time getting to know them better, someone who kept in touch.

Today I want you to take the time to follow up with the people that you met at the last networking event you attended. Connect with them on social media and if it makes sense, schedule a call or coffee meeting. You may be surprised by the impact it has on your networking activities and your referral rate.

Watch my YouTube Channel for more on this Business Networking Tip

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.