Are Your Dreams Big Enough?

Kevin Willett reminds you that your dreams are important.

I have been working on some new ideas for networking events, such as Speed Networking. I am amazed by how many people tell me “nobody wants to attend speed networking events, it is a horrible idea”. What I have found is, if someone does not like my idea, they will expand their opinion from they do not want to attend to nobody wants to attend.  Well, the first two speed networking events have sold out. So far, so good.

When someone offers me an opinion, I typically listen to it and then ask myself do they have any valid points? Just because someone does not like your idea does not mean that it is not a good idea.

I learned this lesson teaching entrepreneurship this semester. A student would tell me their idea and right away I would hear another student say ‘no, that is never going to work’. But they said it because; they personally, don’t need or wouldn’t use the idea. Please remember not everyone is going to like or need your idea. So don’t be discouraged when someone jumps in right away and puts it down.

I think there are two parts to this tip. First, please do not let people discourage your ideas simply because they don’t like your idea. Secondly, be careful with your words. Please do not discourage people. When someone tells me an idea they have for a product or service, I try to start with why I like the idea and then I mention concerns I have about it, to see if they have considered them. In some cases they have considered these concerns and do not feel it will be an issue. In other cases they have not, so we talk about how we can make sure their ideas will be successful. No matter what, keep dreaming.

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.

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.

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.

Do You Have a Business Card?

Kevin Willett says the condition of your business cards matters.

I found myself in an interesting position this weekend. I was at the grocery store and I ran into a friend who told me he was trying to get his friend to join my networking group. He asked me for a business card so he could have his friend contact me. Sadly, I had three cards in my jacket pocket and all of them were badly damaged. One actually had a piece of hard candy stuck to it! Luckily I had cards in the car so I was able to solve the problem.  Unfortunately, I see people pass out damaged cards all the time. Please think about the messages you may be sending. When I get a damaged card I think this person doesn’t pay attention to details and they are pretty frugal if they think it’s ok to pass out a business card that had a piece of hard candy stuck to it. Is that really the image that you want to provide?

Simple solution is to purchase a few business cards holders so that your cards always look good. Now please take a moment to look at the business cards in your wallet, pocket, purse or wherever and throw them away if they don’t look good.

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.

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.

Did You Ask for Help Today?

Kevin Willett agrees with the song that says “we get by with a little help from our friends”

I find many business owners are often hesitant to ask for help and waste a lot of time and energy trying to figure out things that our friends could help us with. Or worse, we simply don’t do things to grow our business because we don’t know how and we are too embarrassed to ask. One thing I have learned is, if you want to grow your business, as some point in time, you will need to ask for help. You must accept that you are not an expert in all areas of business. There is nothing wrong with seeking consultants or turning to successful business people and asking them for help. Some of my best ideas have come from my friends. Also, my friends have helped me not make mistakes when I think I have a great idea and I really don’t.

I often struggle with asking my clients for introductions to their friends. If someone is happy with your services there is nothing wrong with asking them to tell their friends about you. I always ask my clients to introduce me to their friends by email if they are interested in networking so that I can follow up with them. I have found this method to work best for me. Personally, I am not a fan of asking my clients to give me three people to contact who may want to come to events. I have been on the receiving end of these calls, and they are often very awkward when I have to tell the person I have no interest in their services.

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.

How to Improve the Results of Your Networking Activities

Kevin Willett says that doing your homework before and event, can really make you stand out.

It amazes me how few people take the time to research event attendees before going to a networking event.  This one simple tip can greatly improve your results.

A few weeks ago I went to a networking event at a school and each one of the employees had taken the time to research me. They asked me about my networking groups, my book, my radio and TV show. It was very impressive and made me feel special.

I have a friend who calls me before every networking event he attends and we discuss each attendee and the possibility of them doing business together. When he arrives at the event, I introduce him to the people that we decided on who may be a good fit for him. He takes the time to review their social media accounts and website before he attends so that he can comment on their business and experience. Because so few people do this, you will really stand out at the event.

Wouldn’t you prefer someone walk up to you at an event and address you by your name and comment on your business and achievements? I think we all would, so take the time to be that person.

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.

Is It Really Good Enough?

Kevin Willett says never stop doing the things necessary to grow your business.

I was speaking with a friend this morning and she told me that her son was disappointed because he didn’t make the traveling all star team. When I asked her what happened, she said he thought he was good enough to make the team so he stopped practicing.

That made me think about how easy it is to say things are ‘good enough’. It happened to me last week. My goal was to make 10 calls for the day and I only made 8 and I said “it’s ok, it’s good enough”.  But is it really? Now some days the answer is yes, it really is good enough for a variety reasons. However, when you start settling for less than you are capable of your business may start to struggle.

I encourage you to continue to do the things necessary to grow your business and when you hear yourself say its good enough please think of this tip and ask yourself: is it really?

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.