Category Archives: referrals

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?

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What are you saying before you speak?

First impressions are formed within the first few seconds of meeting someone… SECONDS. That means that in the time it took to read the first sentence, if you had met someone face to face, they already sized you up based on your demeanor, facial expressions and attire.

Like it or not, what you wear says alot about you and how seriously you take your business, product, service or blog…

When you are out “networking,” what are you wearing? Jeans? T-shirts? Sneakers? For women, are you wearing the right make-up? For gentleman, are your shirts tucked in neatly? You often don’t get a second chance at a first impression… are YOU putting your best businesss image forward?

Here is a big secret for you – I love jeans and would live in them if I could. But after 7 years of non-stop networking for visibility, business growth, exposure and credibilty, one thing stands true – when networking, you need to walk the walk and talk the talk. If you want people to remember you and want to make a good first impresssion, you need to stand out and do things that not everyone does.. That includes what you wear.

Have you considered that what you are wearing does not lend itself to optimal visual credibility? This is often one of the biggest reasons people do not earn trust and get beyond their first encounter. This can also affect the ability to earn referrals and invitations to attend other events from people in their network because it not yet apparent if they truly take their business, product, service or blog seriously.

In short… have you even considered what you and your image is saying before you speak?

A perfect example of how NOT to get referrals… Post 1 of 3.

I’m not sure if it’s a result of the dog-eat-dog society we are in but I’ve had several experiences recently that are perfect examples of how NOT to get business referrals..

Example 1 – Person that I had met BRIEFLY… in APRIL… calls me out of the blue in August, and calls and calls and calls… And starts leaving messages on my voicemail point blank asking me to promote her services to my business woman’s group… She continued to call over the next week until she caught me on the phone. I politely let her know that there were already several people in my network that provided the same services and that if I was going to refer anyone for that, it would be to them..

And then, she had the nerve to try to convince me why she was the better candidate to give the referrals to.

Now, this woman has never attended one of our meetings, never made an effort to get to know me or minimally ask me how could SHE help me… and was very offensive in that she had horrible breath and terrible gas when I sat next to her…

Morals of the story:

1 – PERSONAL HYGIENE is not optional – I meet WAY too many people with breath issues in networking. Let me tell you , I never forget it and have a hard time getting over it.

2 – Before having the gall to try to flat out solicit business referrals from someone, at least make SOME sort of an effort to get to know them… Minimally ask them what kind of referrals are they looking for and try to engage them before expecting them to refer you.

3 – Never try to convince someone to refer you when they have been so blunt as to say that they have other people they will refer to. It’s just rude and comes across as inconsiderate and desperate.

I have several other true shocking referral-solicitation examples to share so stay tuned for the next post on Monday!

Have you ever experienced something like this?

Neglect Networking at your own peril…

To network or not to network… That is the question!

It has been shown that people will buy based on word of mouth referrals or personal recommendations approximately 80% of the time.

There are various ways of getting your message out there to ideally cultivate referrals. How do YOU get your message out there? Aside from traditional marketing and online marketing, if you are not networking, you are missing out on an enormous and potentially FREE marketing opportunity…

On a daily basis, I hear woes of businesses losing market share, reporting losses, struggling and unsure as to how they are going to stay in business. When asked about their networking efforts, they reply with “I don’t have time to network.”

NO TIME TO NETWORK? Networking is easily the lowest cost, highest form of marketing available.

If you are choosing to bypass networking opportunities, you’re making a choice to not try and grow your business thereby  reducing your potential for success in this economy.

During these challenging times, many are finding themselves with more time and less money… Take advantage of the many networking opportunities available and make a decision to take control of your business NOW. Get out there, plant the seeds for your business today and cultivate those relationships for business in the future.

What are YOU doing to grow your business as a result of the challenges the economy has posed?

(This post was also a guest blog on the High Velocity Blog)