Asking For Referrals (2)

Kevin Willett says not to be shy about asking for referrals, but to be respectful when you do.

Asking for referrals is something that I am horrible with. I rarely ever ask anyone to refer me. Often people will attend events and tell me how much they enjoyed the event and the format. Now, I know I should say thank you and ask them to tell their friends about me, but I usually just smile and say thank you for the kind words. I am just too cautious and I do not want to make people feel uncomfortable.

If you simply say ‘if you like the service I provided, can you please tell your friends?’ this is keeping things super casual and most people will tell you that of course they will spread the word.

I have offered to start a referral program with some people and I have received a referral from time to time. However, I have had people get upset with me if I offered them money for their referrals. They said they want to refer me because they like me and do not want my money. So please be careful with this idea. Paying for referrals can have its own set of problems.

Lastly, I am not a big fan of putting pressure on people and asking them to give you the names of five people you can call. With this technique, someone gets a call saying “your friend Kevin bought my product and he said you might want to buy it too?” No one wants this call. No one likes high pressure sales. So please do not put people in that awkward position by asking for lists of people.

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 Say No

Kevin Willett says that saying no, does not have to be unkind.

The simple answer is to say it nicely.

Let me give you two examples. A few years ago I sent an email to a person asking him to attend one of my networking events. He responded by saying he does not want to attend my stupid events and to never email him again. Wow, what a jerk! There was no need for his hostility.

Fast forward a few months, I received another response that said ‘wow thank you for asking me to attend, I really appreciate it, however I just do not have time right now. It is nice that you thought enough about me to invite me.’ Wow, now that is the nicest rejection I have ever seen.

Both of the answers are no, but the second person was smart enough to do it nicely to keep our relationship open. If the second person called and asked for a favor, I would do my best to help him.

In my business I have to reach out to people I do not know and invite them to attend networking events. That is the only way I can host twenty events a month. So please do not be offended when someone reaches out to you with an unsolicited offer. They are simply trying to make a living. Simply and nicely respond that you do not have a need for what they are offering.

You never know when the person you are responding to might turn into a future client simply because you showed them respect.

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 Aware of Cool Kid Syndrome

Kevin Willett says it’s not cool to be disrespectful

Have you ever been at a networking event and the person you are talking to is scanning the room to see who else is there? Have you ever had someone interrupt you in the middle of your conversation to go speak to someone else? I call this Cool Kid Syndrome. Sometimes people will only speak to you until someone cooler comes along. Please don’t do this! It is very disrespectful and it will hurt your brand.  Nobody likes to fee disrespected or uncool.

I sometimes have trouble paying attention to people so I try to position myself so that I am facing the person with a wall behind them so I am not tempted to get distracted. It may seem silly, but it allows me to focus on the person I am speaking to. You should try this approach if you find yourself getting distracted when speaking to people.

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.

Do They Need My Services?

Kevin Willett reminds you not to take a narrow view on networking.

Last week I invited a person to attend my networking events because there were a few people attending that particular event, that work in his industry, who I thought would be good contacts for him. He responded by asking me if they needed his services? I said I am not sure and there is no way to know until you meet them. I reminded him that just because they are in your industry doesn’t mean they will absolutely choose to do business with you. You need to build a relationship with them.

Sadly, I see people make this mistake all the time. Networking is about building relationships with people. Not everybody in your industry will do business with you. They may already have an existing relationship or they simply might not connect with you. Even so, it is good to meet them as you never know what the future may bring.

More importantly, I feel that the person is taking to narrow of a view about networking. Many people focus on the people attending, and only attend the event if they feel those people are good potential clients. Please remember that you want to focus on building relationships so that the person will feel comfortable enough to introduce you to their friends and clients, because that is what will help you grow your business.

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 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.

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.

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.