I Think You Are Cool

Kevin Willett says that similar traits in personality make for great business partners

Last week I texted one of my friends to tell her that I wanted to introduce her to someone. When she asked why, I explained that they are focusing on the same types of clients and I think that both of them are cool.

People never seem to know how to respond when I tell them that they are cool or that they ‘get it’. Coolness plays a big role in what I do and people often miss this concept.

Let me give you an example, just because you are a realtor and I am a mortgage person does not mean we will automatically do business together. We have to have some type of connection for us to want to do business together. When possible we do business with people we like. I try to connect you with people I think you would like, might get along with, or could be friends with. If I think you are both cool, then that is a match! 🙂 So now you know my secret sauce for connecting people.

Is there someone I know that you want to meet? Send me a message and I will do my best to connect you with them.

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

Summer Time Networking

Kevin Willett believes vacation time is needed, but not the whole summer!

I find that many people take the summer off from networking. I may be biased because I do run two networking groups, but I will do my best to convince you that it is a really bad idea. If you disappear for three or four months it is only natural that people may believe that you went out of business, especially if you are a new business owner. Also you have been working really hard to build relationships through networking and when you take months off from events it can feel like you are starting over again. I suggest that you find time to attend one or two events per month that you really like and find valuable to keep your name out there. If you find that you simply cannot attend events please make sure you are staying in touch with your connections through your newsletter or by emailing them.

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 Really All Set?

Kevin Willett reminds you that the person you are speaking with may not be a potential client , but may have connections that could be.

My friend tried to start a conversation this week with one of his referral partners at a networking event and the person told him ‘thanks, but I am all set. I am happy with the person I am working with’. We all have business relationships that we are happy with, but when you say you are all set, it hurts your chance to develop a referral relationship with the person you are speaking with. This happens all the time.

Rather than just saying I am all set, how about saying something like ‘that is not a match for me, but tell me more about what you are doing in case I meet someone who needs your services’. This simple approach will help you to build a relationship with that person.

It is important to remember that when we are networking we are selling through the person, not to them. Using myself as an example, I don’t have a lot of needs but I do have a good size network of people that I can introduce you to.

I have many friends who are not members of my networking group, but they have introduced me to many people who have become clients. Please give some thoughts to this next time you are tempted to say I am all set.

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.

Will You Marry Me?

Kevin Willett reminds you not to skip the initial phases of building your business relationships.

If a stranger walked up to you and asked you to marry them, I am guessing that you would say no, simply because you do not know anything about them, they are a stranger. Most people would not walk up to a stranger and ask them to get married.

However, many of us do this in business all the time. We connect with someone on social media and then immediately ask them to do business with us, skipping the whole building a relationship part and the getting them to know, like and trust us.

Last week I had a person connect with me on social media. I asked them if they would like to attend networking events and they said they were not interested. I asked them why they chose to connect with me and they laughed and said ‘you know it’s a numbers game, you need to connect with everyone hoping that they will need your goods or services’. I emailed them back and asked how this approach was working for them and of course they said badly. Please remember for the most part you cannot skip the whole know like and trust part of the relationship. This is extremely important!

Social media has been awesome for me. It has allowed me to grow the attendance at my networking events and make great connections. I have noticed that my relationships grow stronger after I have met people a few times and worked on building a rapport with them.

So please remember that it takes time to build relationships. Try to do your best to strengthen your online relationships by actually meeting the person in real life. Let them get to know, like and trust you and you might be surprised by how it changes 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.

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.

Ask Open-Ended Questions

Kevin Willett says to engage someone by not letting them use a yes or no answer.

Many people don’t like to network because they’re just not comfortable with small talk. We’ve all had those painful conversations where we exchange one-word answers. When I’m talking with someone, I always try to find at least one question that will make the person smile and open up to me.

Let me give you an example. I was talking with a CPA at a networking event and, my friends, it was painful. I asked him three questions and he answered each with only one or two words. So finally, I asked him if he ever uncovered anyone stealing. Oh my God, his eyes almost jumped out his head and he went into this rather long and involved story about how he figured out a bookkeeper had been stealing money for years from her employer. I’ve been friends with him ever since, because I invested the time to connect with him. I could have just walked away, saying to myself, this guy has no personality. But I would have missed an opportunity to make a great friendship.

So when you meet people, ask yourself one question: What would be important to this person? Then ask them about that. If you’re not sure what to ask, simply ask what they feel is their biggest accomplishment. You’ll learn a lot about someone from the answer.

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 Adding Value to Your Connections?

Kevin Willett says just a few minutes of your time may pay benefits for years.

I have learned that the best way to stand out at a networking event is to try to add value to every person I meet by offering to introduce them to someone I know or by sharing knowledge I have that they may benefit from.  I have been able to build some great relationships by focusing on helping the person rather than trying to sell them anything.

Here are a few additional things you can do after the event to add value:

  1. Subscribe to their newsletter – I try to subscribe to newsletters and then send them an email with a positive comment.
  2. Comment on their social media posts – how often do you take the time to post a meaningful comment on a social media post? For most of us the answer is rarely. Stop and take the time to comment on their videos or blog posts, it’s a great way to stay in touch and build that relationship.
  3. Email them and offer to help – I emailed someone last week to check in and asked if I could do anything to help them. As luck would have it they were looking for a second opinion on a business issue that I was able to help with.

These ideas will only take a few minutes of your time, and they will go a long way towards helping you build relationships.

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.

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.

The Check is NOT in the Mail

Kevin Willett explains that when is comes to money and business, honesty really is the best policy.

Have you ever told someone that their check was in the mail when it wasn’t? My question to you is why did you lie about it? Why didn’t you simply tell them the truth that you were waiting on some checks to come in, and as soon as they did you would email them and let them know that you have sent them their payment?  When you lie about simple things like this, it makes it really hard to trust you and refer you to others. Sometimes it is not just the lie. What if the company you hadn’t paid yet was relying on that money to meet their own bills, or to hit a budget goal? Being able to know that it wasn’t actually on the way may have helped them make other plans. Please remember this tip next time you are tempted to lie to your business partners. Honesty really is the best policy in 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.