Be Conscious of the Amount of Time Spent with Someone at an Event

Kevin Willett says to mingle more for new contacts

Have you ever gone to a networking event and spent the whole night talking to one person? I see this happen all the time, and the person is usually a friend. This is a balancing act. It’s important to catch up with old friends, but please say hello, keep it brief, and make plans to meet for coffee at a later date. This will give you time to meet new people. I do my best to connect with a few people at each event. If the conversation is going well, I ask them if we can meet for coffee so I can learn more about them. You may meet people who are fascinating to you, but they may not feel the same way. Asking them to meet you for coffee gives them and you a chance to meet other people at the event. I’ve had the unpleasant experience of having people talk to me all night because they simply didn’t know anyone else there. I did feel bad for them, but there were other people at the event I wanted to say hello to, so please don’t be that clingy person. Also from the host standpoint it can be very challenging when people hang out in a group talking all night. This makes it challenging for the new people attending to get a chance to meet you, and people will say I don’t go to their events because they are very clicky.

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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.

Attend Networking Events

Kevin Willett wants you stick to your New Year’s Resolution of being a better networker

Attending networking events is simply the most affordable way to grow your business. I love January because it’s my birthday month and my networking events are always well attended. I call it the health club effect. We all need to exercise more and network more, so in January we resolve to do that. Sadly most of the New Year resolution people stop going to the gym and to networking events by March. Please don’t let this happen to you. I do understand that networking is not a natural skill and some people would rather go to the dentist for a root canal then attend a networking event, but I can assure you that it gets easier each time you attend. If you want to attend events but you are hesitant please reach out to me so I can help you by answering your questions and mentoring you through your next event.

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.

What is your Email Address?

Kevin Willett wants you to know that simple really is best.

This morning I was trying to email someone my email kicked back twice because I typed in the numbers wrong. Their email address was the person’s three initials and five random numbers.  Please remember when you are choosing an email address that you want it to be easy for people to remember. The best would be email addresses with the domain name the same as your business. If you feel that your business name is too long for a domain name, you should make sure your abbreviation seems natural and obvious. This holds for the beginning of the email address the part that comes before the @ sign. It too should be natural and obvious. The best thing to use is your first name. Save the random numbers and cryptic lettering for your passwords. Make your email address a statement on your business, effective and confusion free. Most people won’t take the time to email you twice if their email to you bounces back.

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.

Why You Should Be Active on LinkedIn

Kevin Willett says LinkedIn connections can create great opportunities.

I’m constantly amazed by how many networkers aren’t active on LinkedIn. I see people spending a lot of money to join various networking groups, but never taking the time to connect with their fellow group members on LinkedIn. For me, LinkedIn is essential to my success. Whenever I’m considering hosting an event in a new area, I use LinkedIn to reach out to people in the networking groups in that area, to see if they’d like to attend. I’m stunned at how many of these people aren’t on LinkedIn, or if they are, they haven’t bothered to connect with the other group members.

My friends, if you fail to do this, you’re missing out on an incredible opportunity. By connecting with the people you know, you have a chance to see their connections and to link up with these new people as well. Now, I’m not saying just log on and connect with everyone your friends are connected to. If you see someone on LinkedIn who may be able to help you grow your business or vice versa, ask your common friend for an introduction through messaging. It’s quick and simple. So this week, take the time to work on your LinkedIn profile and connect with your friends and business associates to help you expand your network. Also please make time each week to monitor your LinkedIn account. This week I received a confirmation that someone had accepted my invitation to connect and I couldn’t remember who the person was because I had sent the invite over 3 months ago. I have many friends say “I am on LinkedIn but I never check it” please don’t make this mistake you may be missing out on great opportunities.

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.

Sometimes There is Road Construction

Kevin Willett says do not let road blocks prevent you from taking your business to the next level.

I was heading to a networking event last week and when I arrived at the venue the road to enter the parking garage was blocked off because of road construction. I have to admit that I totally panicked and thought oh my God this is going to totally wreck the event because people won’t be able to park.  The only person who had trouble parking was me.

It made me think about how often we face obstacles in life and panic thinking I will never be able to get this done. I have learned that if something is important to me I will go around, over or through that proverbial road block. If it’s not important, I will use it as an excuse to give up. So next time you face the proverbial road block, take a deep breath and ask yourself, is this important to me? And if it is, then do what it takes to beat the road block because that is how you become successful.

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.

Be Consistent

Kevin Willett agrees with the old quote “Consistency is the Key to Success”.

My friends, networking is not something you only do when you need new clients. You must be consistent about attending events. I have a few friends who network like crazy when their sales pipeline is dry, then stop networking so they can meet up with all the people they met at the events. And then they start the cycle all over again by networking like crazy to meet more people. I think it makes much more sense to attend one or two events a week to keep people in your sales pipeline, rather than trying to attend five events in one week and then not show up anywhere for another month. You never want to disappear and make people wonder where you are.

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.

Be Approachable and Smile

Kevin Willett says that inviting newcomers into your conversations can lead to great things.

Have you ever walked into a networking event and nobody in the room would make eye contact with you? That has to be one of the most awkward feelings in the world. People want to feel welcomed when they arrive. So smile at them and say hello and welcome them into your conversation. I’ve made some great contacts just by being approachable and being the first person to talk to somebody new at a networking event. I have a friend who always talks about how I stopped in the middle of a story at an event and waved him over to listen and meet my friends because I knew he was new. We became friends that night because I showed him some love.

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.

Be An Advocate

Kevin Willett tells how being an advocate is a powerful referral tool.

People love to use me as their reference. I always go out of my way to be their advocate and tell a story about why people should do business with them. Be an advocate for your clients. It will go a long way towards building your relationships with them. When I meet people, I tell them I run this awesome networking group, but it’s much more powerful when my friends tell them the group is good and they should get involved. We all need advocates, so be one for your clients.

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.

Be First

Kevin Willett says don’t wait for other to give you what you want, make it happen.

When I was a little boy, I used to go to boxing matches. I’d always hear the expression “Be first,” which means punch first. I just realized that this applies to networking also. People often tell me they’re in a referral-based networking group, but they don’t receive referrals from certain members of the group. My first question is, “Have you ever passed them a referral?” Typically, the answer is, “No, I haven’t met anyone who needs their services.” I always encourage them to do three things:

  • First, search hard for a referral for them or introduce them to someone who may be a great referral partner (referral partners are people who can consistently pass references to each other, like a realtor and a mortgage broker).
  • Second, do coffee meetings with those people to educate them about your business and help them find referrals for you. One common answer I get is, “But Kevin, I’m a realtor. Everyone knows what I do.” Not true, my friends. Most of my realtor friends have niches they specialize in. There’s something unique about every business owner, so take the time to meet with those members and educate them about what’s unique about you.
  • Third, don’t be shy about asking for referrals. If you have clients who are happy with your work, ask them to introduce you to their friends who may need your services. I can often be shy about asking for referrals. But think about it. If I meet you, of course I’m going to tell you my networking group is great. What am I supposed to tell you, that it stinks? It’s so much more powerful when members of my group tell you that it’s great. Eighty-five percent of my clients come from referrals from existing clients. Now do you understand why you should ask your clients for referrals?

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.

Be Able to Clearly State What You Do and Who a Good Referral is forYou

Kevin Willett says the more specific you are the more business you can get.

This sounds pretty easy and straight forward, but often when I ask someone who a great referral would be for them, they tell me anyone with a pulse. My friends, we’re back in the epic fail category. If you tell me financial planners and CPAs are great contacts for you, I can start helping you right away. There’s an expression in networking that “everyone turns into no one simply because people don’t know where to start.” Here’s an example. If you’re a CPA and you tell me everyone is a potential client, I’ll agree with you, but I probably won’t ever give you a referral. If you tell me you specialize in helping people and businesses that have tax issues, then I’ll know to refer you whenever I hear of someone with that issue. Remember, the more specific you are, the easier it is to refer you. I have a friend who’s a painter. If you ask who a good referral is, he’ll tell you the exact size and type of the house he wants to paint, including how many windows the house has. His description makes you visualize this house. If he said anyone who needs painting done, would that make you visualize anything? If it would, it’s probably not too pretty.

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.