Someone’s got to speak up…

As someone who mentors others on how to be memorable for the RIGHT reasons, I’m going to speak up on 2 touchy topics because you don’t want to be one of those who are remembered for the wrong reasons.

Touchy topic #1 – Talking while other people are presenting. I see this happen all too often during business meetings, networking events and even at conferences. It is NEVER OKAY to have a full-fledged conversation in “whisper” mode while someone else is presenting. Period. Either write notes or text but don’t talk. It is SO distracting and flat out disrespectful. You don’t want to be remembered as that person who talked the entire time, do you?

Preventative measure: just don’t do it. DO NOT DO IT. And if you are doing it and someone has the guts to ask you to not talk, please don’t scowl or talk poorly about them. Be a professional and accept that you were being so loud that someone had to say something. It’s not personal.

Touchy topic #2 – This has to be the most uncomfortable thing possible for me to discuss… And that is bad breath. I bet you can think of at least 2 situations recently where you encountered dragon breath. Can you remember the person’s name? What about where you were? I can think of at least FOUR situations over the last 2 months where I had to speak with someone with horrendous breath… This can greatly affect your reputation! I’ve seen 3 of those 4 people since the first incident, 2 of them have chronic bad breath, and now I somewhat avoid them..

Preventative measure: always have gum or mints with you and make sure that YOU are proactive in preventing it. This is VERY important when networking!!!

If you are coffee drinker or a smoker, this ESPECIALLY applies to you.

What are some touchy situations that you’ve had to deal with? Have you ever had to address the above issues with someone? How did you do it and how did it go over?

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How to command attention when introducing yourself.

I was reminded tonight at an event of a simple yet often overlooked way to command attention when introducing yourself…

…Don’t hand someone your card until after you have introduced yourself, shared what you do and hopefully developed some rapport.

If you do, you run the risk of them losing their focus on you, looking at the card and trying to read it while you are starting to speak.

It’s instinctive to want to hand someone our card or brochure when introducing yourself as it reinforces your name and maybe depicts an image of what we do. It’s especially tempting when other people around you are doing that and you are simply going with the trend.

Next time you are introducing yourself to someone, take note :

At what point are you handing out your business card?

Is it at the beginning of the interaction or the end of the interaction?

Are you taking notes on the back of your card? You can provide this to them as a helpful reference about your conversation and make the card exchange more meaningful.

What things have you found worked (or didn’t work) when introducing yourself to keep the other person engaged and actually hear (and understand as well as retain) what you are saying?

The Art of Invisible Networking – Yes, it exists.

Yes, you read that right. I just said invisible and networking in the same sentence. How could that be?

I love to ask about the concept of visibility when talking at events. When the audience is posed with the question of “what is visibility”, naturally, many answer that it’s “being seen” and yes, in a sense it is.. However, visibility is about much more than that.

Merriam-Webster defines visibility as “the capability of being readily noticed”…

Let’s re-read that. It is “the -capability- of being readily noticed.”

Understanding this and applying it was instrumental in me being able to quadruple the size of our previous business through online and offline networking. Why? Because I was intentional in making sure that I was in as many places as I could be both online and offline so that when a prospect was ready to “see” me, I was there.

In fact, it got to a point where people used to say to me “Taryn, I have a referral for you but I knew I would run into you during the week and wanted to give it to you in person.” They knew they would see me and counted on it, why? Because I was intentionally visible.

It is often discussed that consumers buy on their timetable and not on ours… The same applies to business networking and referrals. The trick to capitalize on this is to be everywhere you can so that you are always top of mind so that when the opportunity arises for you to capitalize on a moment, that you are there, ready to be noticed.

That being said, just because you are out networking does not mean that you are capable of being readily noticed. Imagine people who are on Twitter but only update once every few days. Do you think they are demonstrating that they have the capability of being readily noticed?

Do you know that person who goes to a networking event once in a while yet wonders why they can’t get business referrals? Or why it is that they are not often remembered? What about that person who is on Twitter or Facebook and feels that they are pointless and they cannot grow their businesses that way? Consider their posting habits or their event outreach…

Are YOU struggling with some of these concerns? It might be time to look at your own online and offline strategy and ask yourself the question  “am I truly visible?  Am I easily noticable? Am I accessible and memorable?”

If the answers are no, then you too might be inadvertently practicing the art of invisible networking…

Now that you know that, what are you going to do about it?

The Secret to Being Remembered

On Oct 29, I was a speaker at the business meets charity event, “Small Business Giving Big, on “How to attract referrals like a magnet.” In addition to being a speaker, I had the pleasure to sit in on the presentation by Bonnie Ross-Parker, America’s “Connection Diva.” She was talking on pointers for effective networking and she said something that truly resonated with me. I have always applied this to my networking strategy and teach it to my networking coaching clients but she summarized it beautifully and succinctly.

“If you rescue someone, they will love you forever.” Bonnie Ross Parker

Now, I am sure you can see the various ways that this can be applied in life and business… In this instance, she was referring to when you are at an event and you see someone standing alone… There are always people like that at functions… In fact, you might have been one of them at some point.

Her point is that, if you introduce yourself, make them feel welcome and even try to introduce them to some others at the event, you will surely stand out. This will make all the difference in their experience and they will also be open to learning more about you because you went out of your way to make them feel welcome. In addition, there is a great likelihood that they will not forget that experience because of how you went out of your way.

“Why show up [to a networking event] if you don’t want to be remembered?” – Bonnie Ross Parker

Have you ever had an experience where an individual went out of their way to make you feel welcome? Have you ever “rescued” someone?  What were the results of those experiences?

Are you a chronic time waster? 3 easy steps to better time management.

When it comes to growing a business and marketing a business through networking (whether in person or online), time mastery is important. It is simply too easy to waste time driving, checking email, running late, forgetting things, etc etc etc. These are some of the gremlins that even I personally struggle with that eat my time up. I’m all too familiar with it. In fact, I may be genetically pre-disposed to bad time habits because I’m (big shocker here…) Hispanic… and Hispanic’s are notorious for being punctually challenged.

I attended a workshop in Charlottesville, Virginia, taught by David Finkel from the Maui Mastermind Wealth Community on time management… These were the top three takeaways that I had. They are so easy and have had a profound impact on my scheduling already. I am confident they will do the same for you if you are not already doing them.

  • Be Early. Being early causes less stress! In addition, when you are early to appointments, it has been shown that the level of trust between you and the person you are meeting with goes up… If that isn’t the best reason of all, I don’t know what is… Now, early does not mean ON TIME. It means 10-15 minutes before the appointment time.

  • Use your time “waiting” more productively. That means spend less time chatting on the phone or browsing the net and use that time to actually accomplish things or plot out what you need to accomplish. This can also be applied to when you are on HOLD or waiting to receive something, such as a fax (do people still use those), an email, a direct message or a text.

  • Consciously choose your commitments. It’s okay to say NO instead of saying yes and then backing out of something due to over-committing. Your time is very valuable and you need to be aware of how you are sharing your time with others.

Do you have any time mastery tips or time stealing gremlins? Do share!

Lessons from a Hooters Girl…

Kat Cole, VP Of Training and Development for Hooters, Inc.

Kat Cole, VP Of Training and Development for Hooters, Inc.

On Thursday, November 5, the Vice President of Training and Development for Hooters, Inc., Kat Cole, spoke to 40 business women at an a lunch event hosted by my organization, Women Intelligently Networking (WIN!). She started out as a Hooters girl and now runs an enormous division of a company that generates over one billion annually. Suffice to say, if anyone knows something about customer service, motivation, sales, training, stigma and standing apart, it’s her.

Not only is Ms. Cole an incredibly inspiring and entertaining speaker, she is also very business savvy and has her own independent consulting firm that works with CEOs on leadership. There were many practical business tips provided as well as lessons shared from her experiences.

Here are three of the big take-aways that I had:

  • It’s okay to be opportunistic – when opportunity arises, do not feel bad about taking advantage of it.
  • “If no one is creating energy around you, you need to create it yourself,” This was the philosophy of the founders of Hooters who realized that instead of waiting for other people to get excited about Hooters, they had to do it for them and generate the buzz. Instead of waiting for things to happen, make them happen!

What tips do you have for getting ahead in the business world? Do you have any lessons that you wish you would have known when you started your business?

Staying sane on an insane schedule…

My mobile office to maximize productivity... and sanity!!

My mobile office to maximize productivity... and sanity!!

Between September 24 and November 10, I attended 10 conferences/workshops/summits, travelled to 6 states, hosted 4 of my own WIN events, spoke at 3 events and participated in 2 tele-seminars.

And, right now I’m at the airport dealing with a 3 hour flight delay in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Suffice to say, I’ve been busy.

I’ve been getting asked frequently how I manage to get any work done and stay sane. Creature comforts become all the more important when existing outside of your normal elements.

These are a few of the things that help me stay sane.

  • Light laptop – I have a Mac Air. The fact that I can put this thing into my purse and have it not drag me down is glorious. There are things that I miss about heavier units such as having a CD rom but the weight benefit alone while still having a decent size screen makes this baby worthwhile.
  • MobileMe – I simply love this service from Apple. I love the fact that I can log in on the web from any computer, add an event or appointment and it almost instantly updates my phone without the need for physical syncing. However, I am in the process of considering to convert to Google Calendar… but the principle is the same!
  • Virtual Assistant – Kyra Hatter with Virtually Ideal Executive Services is my salvation! She manages my massive voicemail inflow, contact follow up and speaking engagements. If you are struggling with too much to do and not enough time, I highly encourage you to consider a VA.
  • Great Headphones – As you will see in the picture, I don’t mess around when it comes to headphones. Now, these are not the new spiffy ones with noise reduction (though I’d love a pair if anyone has an extra set laying around! 😉 ). These headphones are near and dear to me as I’ve had them since 1998 when I used to DJ. I splurged and they have not let me down yet. I highly encourage everyone to consider getting –serious- headphones if music helps you get to your “happy place”.
  • Ipod – Yes, I’m using an antiquated Ipod mini but I love it. Yes, I have an iphone and a laptop. I could easily consolidate. In fact, I even got a new ipod mini but it was such a nightmare moving the music and playlists over that I let my husband “acquire” the ipod. I have music on here from the last… 6 years and it’s a compilation from my last 4 computers and I simply don’t have the originals from when I burned them.

What things keep you sane?