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.

Someday I Will Pay You Back

Kevin Willett says that Networking isn’t about keeping score.

I have a friend who reaches out to me from time to time for help. The last time I helped her she said “someday I am going to pay you back.” This statement made me laugh because I never expect anyone to pay me back. I help her because I think she is a good person.

I see this happen with networking all the time. People try to keep score and they expect to receive a referral back every time they pass one. If you are doing this please stop.

Life simply doesn’t work that way. You are not always going to be able to find referrals for the people that pass one on to you. This is why I focus on what I call the Circle of Love. I simply try to help as many people as I can, knowing that this is building my brand and that good things will come from it. I encourage you to try my approach. I think it will improve the results of your networking activity.

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.

Why I love / Hate Snow Days

Kevin Willett talks about Mother Nature as She relates to business

It has been a tough week. I had to cancel three events because of the blizzard we had. When you run a business networking group, snow and the fear of snow, causes chaos. Nobody wants to register for an event if they think it is going to snow. It has taken me a few years, but I have learned to accept this fact and realize that I may have to work harder that week but, as always, things will work out.

I have learned to use snow days to work on the projects that I keep putting off, to spend some time reading / watching TV and simply relaxing. Snow days are simply the universe’s way of telling me to slow down. Maybe someday I will actually listen.

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.

What to Wear and Not Wear for Your Profile Pictures

Kevin Willett says you should make sure you are sending the right and professional message with your profile pictures

Last week my friend posted a question on social media asking if it was ok to wear sunglasses in your profile picture. For me the answer is a strong no. Some people felt it was ok for a Facebook profile picture and others said it makes them feel like the person has something to hide if they are wearing sunglasses.

My reason for the strong no is that I find it can make it difficult for people to connect with you. When I meet people at networking events I try to connect with them on social media. If I look at your picture and I am not one hundred percent sure that it is you, I will simply skip connecting, rather than risk messaging the wrong person. Why would you risk missing out on connection opportunities?

A few other things to consider: Guys, please put on a shirt. Ladies, please give some thoughts to the top you are wearing. Make sure you are sending the right and professional message with your picture. I always say if you are using the picture on a dating app you shouldn’t be using it on LinkedIn.

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.

I Forgot Your Name

Kevin Willett says remembering someone’s name is a sign of respect and a courtesy.

People often ask me what you should do if you forget someone’s name. I always smile and say I have two strategies. First, if I am standing near someone else, I will introduce them to that person and hope they say their own name so I don’t have to admit that I forgot it. Of course this only works if they say hello my name is Kevin. You can always just be honest and say “I am sorry; I know we have met but I don’t recall your name.” Most people will smile and forgive you.

I do want to take a second to speak about the importance of remembering people’s names. I have friends who say “I am so bad at remembering names”. I have to be honest, I cringe when I hear people say this because it’s like they are accepting this situation, and you really don’t want to do that. If I have met someone 5 or 6 times and they don’t remember my name it makes me feel like they don’t value my relationship with them. Is that really the message you want to send? So please work harder to remember people’s names. It goes a long way to building 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.

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.

Where is the Line?

Kevin Willett wonders where the line is between persistence and annoyance

Yesterday I was having a discussion with a friend about how often you should follow up with people who have expressed an interest in being a client. Where is the line between being persistent and being annoying? I told her that I usually invite people three or four times, and if they don’t respond, then I send them one final note, simply saying ‘please let me know if you are interested in attending events or being a client’. Sadly, this doesn’t always work. People may still not respond and so they get removed from the invite list. Sometimes, I’ll run into them months later and they ask why I haven’t been in touch. I tell them they never got back to me! Often you hear people say it can take between seven and ten touches before someone does business with you.

So my question to you is how often do you follow up with people? I would be interested in your feedback.

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.

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.