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.

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.

The Difference Between No Problem and You’re Welcome

Kevin Willett says small words can change the message you send

Last week I posted a video reminding people to say please and thank you. I had someone post a comment saying please remember there is a difference between you’re welcome and no problem. When I first saw this comment, I thought “it is just semantics” it’s no big deal. But after I thought about it for a bit, I realized that there is a big difference between the two.

When I hear no worries or no problem I feel like the person is saying that what I asked them to do wasn’t a big inconvenience, so they helped me. When I hear someone say you are welcome it makes me feel that they value my friendship and wanted to help me because they respect me. You’re welcome is definitely a more positive response.

What message do you want to send? I helped you, no big deal? Or I was happy to help 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.

Are You Giving Up Too Easily?

Kevin Willett not to assume you know the answers when you haven’t asked the questions

Sadly for me the answer to this question is often yes. I was reminded of this fact yesterday. I was going through some contacts, to invite them to events, and I came across two people. The first one I had invited to events about six months ago and the second one was a former client. When I saw their names I said to myself, I really don’t think they are interested. I was tempted to skip over them but I caught myself and said ‘stop making decisions for people, reach out to them and ask’. Of course the first person said they wanted to come to events and the second person said they wanted to renew their membership. Now if I didn’t take the time to reach out I would have missed out on the opportunity. So next time you are tempted to make decisions for people and not ask them to do business with you, please catch yourself and ask them! You never know what can happen.

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.

Did You Really Want to Meet Me?

Kevin Willett says that when you have an opportunity, you should take it.

I have been using a networking app that is very similar to a dating app to grow my network.  Every day the app shows me 20 people that I can network with. If we both say we want to meet, then the app sends us a message telling us that we are a match. I will then reach out to the person saying I would love to chat with them by phone to learn how I can help them. Sadly, many people never respond and simply let the opportunity to connect pass by, which defeats the purpose of using the app.

I also see this happen at networking events. You meet a great potential client or referral partner and you both agree to meet but then you wait for the other person to reach out. Or when they do reach out, you don’t take the time to respond, which of course ends the potential business opportunity.  Please make sure that you follow through because failure to do so will hurt your brand.

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 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.

What Does Thumbs Up Mean?

Kevin Willett says that business and emoji’s do not mix.

Last week I sent a message to a person on social media asking them if they were interested in attending networking events. He responded with a thumbs up emoji, which of course I thought meant that he was interested. When I later sent him further information, he responded by saying he was not interested. I encourage you to not respond to a message with a thumbs up or a ‘K’ or any other emoji’s. If you are busy, please wait until you have time to respond properly to make sure you are communicating the right message. Follow the same advice I give to my 3 year old nephew and use your words.

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.