Back To School And Back To Work

Kevin Willett says vacations are nice, but you may need help getting back in the groove after

I saw a friend last week that I hadn’t seen in a while. When he saw me, he smiled and said; I have taken the whole summer off from networking for my business and I am struggling to get reestablished. I smiled back and said that this issue is super common and that I have seen it repeatedly. The key is to get back to work as soon as you can, because if you don’t, it will soon be Thanksgiving and then you will tell yourself that you might as well wait until the new year to start. But of course, then it will be cold and snowy so you might as well wait for spring and the next thing you know you have let a year go by.

If you watch my videos, you know that I am a big believer in balance. I am always talking about finding balance in your life, which is a lot harder than it seems. In my friends’ case he decided that he wanted to spend the summer making memories with his children.

Please reach out to me if you are struggling with restarting your business and your networking efforts after taking the Summer off so that I can help you get reestablished. I have some simple advice to help get you going again.

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

It Takes Time To Build Your Dream

Kevin Willett says connections are a two way street and cannot be made on a drive by.

I had someone call me the other day because a friend of theirs said they should speak to me about my networking events. This person says to me “Just to be clear, I have tried events in the past and have never received even one referral from the people at the event.” When she said this I just chuckled. I hear this comment a lot and my response is always the same; How many of those people did you do business with or try to help out? The answer is typically none or maybe one of them. So why did you expect them ALL to do business with you?

Please remember is takes time to build your dream. My friend just celebrated his one-year anniversary in business, and he said all the networking he has done is just starting to pay off for him. Most people give up way too easily. It takes time for people to get to know you and learn if they like and trust you.

What I call drive-by-networking simply doesn’t work. You need to consistently attend events to build relationship with clients and potential referral partners. So please be patient and do your best to build that trust by sharing your knowledge and contacts freely. Help and work with others as much as you want them to help and work with 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

When is the Best Time to Network?

Kevin Willett says keep the momentum going

My answer to this question may surprise you. I think you should network when you are busy. I find many people stop attending events when they get busy because they tell me they do not have time. When I ask them why they are so busy, they often tell me that its from meeting people at networking events or from referrals from attending events. If that is the case, why would you stop?

Now I understand you may have to be more selective about the events you attend, but you should continue to attend events to keep your pipeline active and avoid an eventual decrease in your business.

I see a lot of people only attend events when things slow down. The challenge with doing this is it takes time to build and rebuild those connections. It is super easy for people to forget about you when the don’t see you. That is why I believe you should network when you are busy.

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 Am Going to Ignore You and Hope You Go Away

Kevin Willett says you are never too busy for a quick phone call or email

One of the common frustrations I hear from my friends is that they meet people at events who say they are interested in learning more about them, and then never return their calls or emails. Please stop doing this. Please stop ghosting people.

I understand that sometimes your priorities change and if they have simply tell the person who is trying to contact you. On the other end, if you ask someone for a quote, you owe them as yes or a no answer. I have been in the situation where I have asked someone for a quote and found out the cost is more than I wanted to spend on the project. Please take the time to reach out to the person and tell them your thoughts on the pricing or that you cannot hire them at this time. Now I know that this can be super awkward, but the person will respect you for being honest. When you ignore them you are killing your brand. What is the chance they will ever refer you? I say it is less than zero, meaning not only will they not refer you, they will talk badly about you. Don’t let this happen. All it takes is a phone call or quick email.

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 Happens the First Time That You Go to a Networking Event

Kevin Willett says not to expect clients or business growth after one networking event.

Often the first time that you go to a networking event nothing happens regarding finding new clients to grow your business. This will often discourage people and make them want to stop attending networking events.

Please understand that it takes time to build relationships and get people to know, like and trust you.  I find that most people want to get to know you before they are willing to connect you with their friends and clients.

We have worked hard to build our business and when we recommend you to our clients, we are saying that we trust you and that they should too. If something goes wrong, it may harm my relationship with my client, so I am careful about whom I want to recommend.

To me there are two types of referrals. The first is when you know someone is looking for a service and you say; I met Kevin at a networking event once, he seems ok, you should call him he might be able to help. That, my friends, is a super weak referral. The chance of that person calling is pretty low. With the second type, you reach out and tell the person how great I am and send my number to them and send their information to me, so that I can also call them. In the second case, you are telling them that you are personally recommending me and taking the steps to connect us to try your best to help both of us. This is the type of referral that most of us want.

By only attending once, you are failing to build a relationship and making a huge assumption that the person will remember you sometime in the future when they need your services. Take the time to let everyone know, like and trust 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

Look for a Common Bond

Kevin Willett says a common bond can be a valuable business asset.

Most of my best clients have come to me because we share a common bond. It might be something as simple as our professions, our love of a sport or activity, or our belief in the importance of fighting hunger in our community. Always look to find that common bond to connect with people on a personal level. As we’ve discussed many times, we do business with people we know, like, and trust. Please understand that we may not do business right away. It takes time to build and go through the Know, Like and Trust phases. Sometimes only weeks or maybe years. People I served on boards with or met years ago have reconnected with me to get involved in my networking groups all because we have the same passions.

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

Who Do You Use?

Kevin Willett has many reasons for referring different people, whether he personally has used them or not.

My friend is a CPA and he told me that one of his networking challenges is when people ask ‘who do you use’? He feels that it can be challenging to refer someone if he himself isn’t personally using them. That is a great point. Here are a few reasons you might want to recommend someone, even though you personally may not be using them.

  1. Location – I have friends who prefer to use businesses located in their town to support their fellow business owners.
  2. Needs – Not everyone needs a CPA to do their taxes. If you are a high school student working a summer job scooping ice cream, you may be fine using a local tax preparer to do your return. This goes for other industries as well. There are different levels of expertise in a lot of fields.
  3. Price – Many people are price conscious, so that will often be a factor.
  4. Risk tolerance – I am friends with a few CPA’s who are super aggressive about deductions. If that bothers you then they may not be a match for you. Again, likewise in other professions as well, styles can vary.
  5. Personality – Personality plays a big role in who I do business with. I like people who give me straight answers in a timely fashion.

As you can see there are many reasons you may recommend someone besides who you personally use. I think it is important that you explain who you are recommending and why, so that people don’t feel like they are just getting a generic referral from your networking group.

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.

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.

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.