Networking Mistakes to Avoid

Entrepreneurs and business professionals often attend networking events throughout their careers.  But if they go to these events without being prepared, they will fail. How do you handle networking events?  Do you feel successful when you leave? Here are a few mistakes you should avoid when networking: 1 – Not having a strategy.  Do you have this?  Are you using it at these events?  What is your purpose for attending?  What are you looking to get out of it?  If you do your research and land yourself at the perfect event, with your perfect target audience, if you don’t have a plan you won’t walk away a success. 2 – Focusing on selling only.  Many professionals just throw out sales pitches.  People come to these events to relax, socialize, and create relationships.  Ask questions instead.  Learn about them.  Find out their needs.  Don’t throw your business in their face. 3 – Not following-up after the events.  If you receive phone numbers or email addresses, that is great.  These contacts should be very valuable to you.  If you follow through with a short email or a quick call, you’re telling your new contacts they mean something to you.  They’ll remember you because of your efforts. Stand out above the crowd, and make a lasting impression.  You will succeed! rsz_2018-headshotActionCoach-logo
If you would like further information or you have any questions about this blog, you can email me at pjweiland@actioncoach.com or call 847-739-3079.
Build a Business image 3 (small title) To register for our complimentary workshop, How to Build a Business you can Sell, visit www.actioncoach.com/pjweiland. Let’s work together to help your business grow.

Can you sell open opportunities to top-talent job seekers?

If you’re looking for top talent for your company, you will need to stand out from your competition and make a great first impression.  In most cases, you have a limited amount of time to sell your opportunity to a job seeker, so how can you entice someone to join your team? Have an elevator pitch prepared.  That’s right, it’s not just for job seekers.  It’s also for employers who need to impress quality workers.  Your pitch should be no longer than 1-minute in length. Focus on the top selling points to keep job seekers engaged and excited. Here are a few things to add to your pitch:
  • Share any career growth opportunities.  What does that look like at your company? Many job seekers don’t have a way to grow within their current companies, so they look elsewhere.  Tell them how you invest in your employees.
  • Explain your employee benefits.  Share information about healthcare, vacation time, employer-provided education benefits, and any other benefits that might put your company first on their list.
  • Brag about your company culture.  If you have an amazing culture and positive employee morale, brag about it.  Share stories of past parties or upcoming events that will make the job seeker want to be a part of your company.
Have your elevator pitch ready at all times.  You never know when you might run into someone who’s perfect for your company.  Maybe even have it typed up in a one-page document that you can share via text or email.  When you hire the right individuals, your business will improve productivity and profitability. rsz_2018-headshotActionCoach-logo
If you would like further information or you have any questions about this blog, you can email me at pjweiland@actioncoach.com or call 847-739-3079.
Build a Business image 3 (small title) To register for our complimentary workshop, How to Build a Business you can Sell, visit www.actioncoach.com/pjweiland. Let’s work together to help your business grow.

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How to Become a Better Networker

All business owners interact with other professionals to exchange information and develop some kind of working relationship.  But, if you’re always stressed and feel insecure or uncomfortable in networking situations, then I have some tips to help. Always Show Up Make sure you show up, even if you don’t want to.  You’d be surprised at how many people are motivated to meet you and share valuable info about themselves. Think Strategy Try and seek out who’s attending, and then plan to meet that person about 5 mins before lunch, or dinner (if it’s an evening event).  More often than not, he/she will ask you to sit with them.  Here’s your opportunity!! Have business cards ready to share! Be Confident Always enter a room smiling and ready to have a good time.  Put your phone away.  Stand up straight.  Look friendly and eager to connect. And wear your name tag on your right shoulder to it’s easy to see when shaking hands. Mingle Around Food Food and conversation go hand-in-hand.  Hold your drink with your left hand so you’re right hand is free for handshakes.  Don’t go to the event overly-hungry.  And always remember your manners. Care About Others Show how you’re willing to help.  Provide introductions or offer resources.  Follow through on commitments to display trust.  Remember, this is all about building relationships! Follow-Up Make sure you mail a note or email the professionals you received business cards from.  Let them know how much you enjoyed meeting them and that you’re glad they’re part of your network. rsz_2018-headshotActionCoach-logo
If you would like further information or you have any questions about this blog, you can email me at pjweiland@actioncoach.com or call 847-739-3079.
Build a Business image 3 (small title) To register for our complimentary workshop, How to Build a Business you can Sell, visit www.actioncoach.com/pjweiland. Let’s work together to help your business grow.

Effective Communication: Public Speaking

Public speaking is an important skill for career success.  Many entrepreneurs need to give presentations, or want to speak at networking events, or may even decide to host their own live webinars or podcasts.  Public speaking (or fear of) can not only hold professionals back, but can make or break business deals or pitches.

If you want to make yourself heard, follow these steps for effective communication:

  1. Know your audience.  Do your research.  Find out ahead of time what they want and what they need.
  2. Practice. Practice. Practice.  Be prepared. Memorize your speech if you need to. You want your presentation to be automatic, not reading from note cards with your head down the whole time.
  3. Keep it relevant.  Try and focus on one single most important point and make sure you get that point across. Don’t waste people’s time.
  4. Stop and listen. It’s important to listen to your audience. Answer questions. And don’t be afraid to say “I don’t know.”
  5. First impressions matter. Be aware of your own body language. Stand up straight, make eye contact, and smile.

With enough practice, you can improve your communication and presentation skills, and public speaking will just be one more thing you do great to improve your business!

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If you would like further information or you have any questions about this blog, you can email me at pjweiland@actioncoach.com or call 847-739-3079.

For your complimentary business coaching session visit, www.actioncoach.com/pjweiland.

Build a Business image 3 (small title) To register for our complimentary workshop, How to Build a Business you can Sell, visit www.actioncoach.com/pjweiland. Let’s work together to help your business grow.

Powerful Networking

In business, the people you know and the connections you make have a powerful impact on your success.  Your professional and personal network becomes your net worth.  To grow your sales you must work hard at building relationships with your customers. To continuously grow and maintain your network, it’s necessary to attend networking events regularly.  It’s also important to create a plan.  Here are some tips to powerful networking:
  1. Before attending an event, try and get your hands on an attendance list so you can plan to network with the individuals who match your target customers.
  2. Focus on meeting only a handful of qualified contacts so you can successfully follow-up with them after the event.  Keep your goal simple…don’t over network.
  3. When you’re at an event, make sure you actively listen to others.  Plan to listen first and give valuable, relative information second.
  4. After the event, follow-up within 48 hours.  Connect with them on LinkedIn and send them an email.  The follow-up is your fortune!!
Making contacts, assisting others, and establishing relationships is extremely important for any entrepreneur. They’re all a form of networking and they all play an important role in growing your business! PJ's New Pic (smaller) ActionCoach-logo
YOUR CHALLENGE:  Attend 1 (ONE) networking event before the end of the year, as practice.  Start 2017 with a new networking plan for your business! If you would like further information or you have any questions about this blog, you can email me at pjweiland@actioncoach.com or call 847-739-3079.
For your complimentary business coaching session visit, www.actioncoach.com/pjweiland. Build a Business image 3 (small title) To register for our complimentary workshop, How to Build a Business you can Sell, visit www.actioncoach.com/pjweiland. Let’s work together to help your business grow.

4 Tips to Become an Active Listener

If you want to build meaningful relationships and advance your career, you will need to become an active listener.  Listening shows respect for others, letting them know you really care about their interests.  Here are 4 tips to help you master the skill of active listening. #1.  Being Present.  Don’t be thinking of something else while “pretending” to listen to what someone else has to say.  Be aware that people do notice if you’re really listening.  Focus and don’t allow your mind to wonder. #2.  Make Eye Contact.  Making eye contact gives the other person a reason for them to believe you are genuinely interested in what they have to say.   #3.  Don’t Interrupt.  Allowing the other person to complete their thoughts shows respect by being patient.  Don’t interrupt them even if you want to respond to something they just told you.  Let them fully complete what they have to say before jumping in.   #4.  Don’t Change the Subject.  Changing the subject within an ongoing conversation only displays a lack of interest and indicates what you have to say is more important.  Wait until the discussion is completely finished before changing the topic.   Most of us can listen well, and instinctively know the correct way to do it.  But, following through with active listening can be very difficult.  It requires a lot of effort and an obvious interest in the people around you.   PJ's New Pic (smaller) ActionCoach-logo
YOUR CHALLENGE:  At your next networking event, practice these 4 tips on someone who are having a conversation with.  Do you notice anything? If you would like further information or you have any questions about this blog, you can email me at pjweiland@actioncoach.com or call 847-739-3079.
For your complimentary business coaching session visit, www.actioncoach.com/pjweiland. Build a Business image 3 (small title) To register for our complimentary workshop, How to Build a Business you can Sell, visit www.actioncoach.com/pjweiland. Let’s work together to help your business grow.

The Power of Networking

If you share the entrepreneur spirit, you most likely succeed in networking. (2)           Networking is extremely important for entrepreneurs.  Communication is a productive approach to building strong relationships with others.  Networking helps professionals feel inspired and gets them motivated.  Exceptional opportunities can occur if you impress potential business partners.  Networking is powerful! Organized events bring together highly-skilled and talented entrepreneurs who want to unite, share common interests, create and develop ideas, and meet potential clients/investors.  You are all looking for connections, inspiration, advice, and opportunities. Remember, when attending a networking event, you need to be yourself.  Present your company the way you want other people to see it.  Approach networking as any other part of your business.  Create an action plan…with specific goals to accomplish during your networking time.  Since your time is very important, you don’t want to waste it. Be ready to impress…be active and memorable.  Provide value to others.  Make them want to introduce themselves to you and stay in touch with you even after the event. Be remembered! Follow-through with what you get out of the event.  Once you meet others and establish a relationship, make sure you get their business card.  Stay in touch and manage to continue communication outside of the event…this is the foundation for a strong relationship. If you share the entrepreneur spirit, you’ll most likely succeed in networking.  Don’t just show up!  Don’t expect others to come to you!  Be present and use your uniqueness to build a strong network.  Your business will thank you! PJ's New Pic (smaller)  ActionCoach-logo
YOUR CHALLENGE:  Attend at least one local networking event each week for one month.  Does it make a difference in your business? If you would like further information or you have any questions about this blog, you can email me at pjweiland@actioncoach.com or call 847-739-3079.
For your complimentary business coaching session visit, www.bestchicagobusinesscoach.com. Build a Business image 3 (small title) To register for our complimentary workshop, How to Build a Business you can Sell, visit www.workingonthebusiness.com. Let’s work together to help your business grow. 
 

Networking as a Marketing Strategy

Network (all-free-download)
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The #1 reason businesses “network” is to increase leads to the business and make more money. When you ask a business owner where “networking’ ranks in importance in their marketing plans most will always say it’s in the top 3 strategies. So, if the #1 reason businesses join BNI, join a chamber, or other group is for networking and networking is one of the top marketing strategies…then it begs the question: What are you doing, reading, or attending to increase your knowledge and skills in networking? Here are some tips to make your networking an effective marketing strategy… Before you head out the door….
  • Be clear on ideal customers
  • Identify the best networking functions to attend (find out from others where your ideal customer ‘hangs out’)
  • Set goals for how many new prospects you’d like to meet at the event
In the moment….
  • Top 4 things that must exist if someone is going to buy from you: They must like you, believe you, have confidence in you, and trust you (if all four exist, they may buy from you. If any one of the four is missing, they will never buy from you.)
  • Of these four things (like, believe, confidence, and trust), like is the most important. It is the “ticket in the door”. A prospect must like you before they will ever believe you, have confidence or trust you. No one ever says, “I trust that person but I don’t like them…”
  • The “close” in networking is to get an ideal target to agree to a one-on-one follow-up meeting. Get a very specific commitment if possible.
After you connect with someone….
  • Prompt follow-up (Have a system for same day if possible.)
  • Send a personal note by mail! (The average worker in the U.S. gets 52 emails a day and over 50% are deleted without opening. 6 billion individual pieces of mail are delivered each year in the U.S. – 75% are thrown in the trash without opening. But, over 90% of handwritten, hand addressed notes are opened and viewed – which statistic do you choose?)
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YOUR CHALLENGE:  Take a look at the current networking you are doing and look for two ways that you can improve your effectiveness. If you would like further information or you have any questions about this blog, you can email me at pjweiland@actioncoach.com or call 847-739-3079.
For your complimentary business coaching session visit, www.bestchicagobusinesscoach.com. Build a Business image 3 (small title) To register for our complimentary workshop, How to Build a Business you can Sell, visit www.workingonthebusiness.com. Let’s work together to help your business grow. 

Being Understood Starts with Understanding

Being Understood (2) “I just don’t understand why they don’t listen to me!”  Have you ever had that thought? Do you have employees?  Do you network?  Do you go to meetings?  Do you feel as though nobody listens to you? The fact is that people do not listen and understand you because you are not listening to them.  You talk, explain, analyze, preach, propose, and offer advice and instruction.  The reason that they do not listen and understand is because you have not listened and understood them.  You will understand them only when you listen to them. Understanding them leads to you being understood.   First, ask an open-ended question (Who, What, When, Where, and Why).  Then, be present.  Be engaged.  Quietly listen.  Then ask another question.  Feel where they are.  See how they see you.  Then ask another question.  Listen for a long time, without offering your wisdom or giving solutions.  Just listen and UNDERSTAND.  After truly understand them will you be truly understood yourself. When you truly respect and listen, and understand another human being, it opens the possibility for a real conversation.  What they understand is that you care and that you truly understand and respect them.  They might even ask you a question, and seek to understand you.  Now wouldn’t that be an interesting response, that they want to listen to you? If you are ready to be heard.  If you have something valuable to share.  If YOU want to be understood, you have you start with understanding! PJ's Pic  ActionCoach-logo
YOUR CHALLENGE THIS WEEK:  Listen to somebody this week.  Don’t just listen, but fully understand them.  Do they ask you questions in return?  Do you end up being fully understood yourself? If you would like further information or you have any questions about this blog, you can email me at pjweiland@actioncoach.com or call 847-739-3079.
For your complimentary business coaching session visit, www.bestchicagobusinesscoach.com.   Build a Business image 3 (small title) To register for our complimentary workshop, How to Build a Business you can Sell, visit www.workingonthebusiness.com. Let’s work together to help your business grow. 

Referrals Can Work for Your Business

5 In an effort to jump start small businesses – and remind them of the power of a single referral – John Jantsch (author of Duct Tape Marketing) launched Make a Referral Week in March of 2009. The goal of the event was simple: To provide 1,000 referrals to 1,000 deserving small businesses across the country. Referral based businesses can either take a passive role or an active role in generating referrals. Those that take a passive role, create satisfied customers and spend their marketing time and dollars trying to get their message in front of as many potential customers as possible, then they are relegated to waiting and hoping that the phone rings. Those that take an active role, do things a little differently. 1. Give awesome service that creates ‘raving fans’ instead of just satisfied customers. The only reason people talk about a service or product is because it was extremely good or extremely bad – make yours exceptional. 2. Make sure you thank your customers and ask them to tell your friends about you. Think back to the last time you were personally thanked for your business. It doesn’t happen often, so when it does we remember it. 3. Let your customers know up front that you will be asking for referrals later on. Don’t hit them cold – let them know that you are a referral based business and give them the chance to think about whom they want to refer. 4. Making giving a few referrals a condition of doing business with you. If you really want a business that runs on referrals than make it a rule that for people to do business with you, they have to give you referrals. 5. Ask for a referral when people buy from you (or even when they don’t). During the sale customers’ emotions are running high and they are happiest to give them. When customers don’t buy they usually feel a little awkward, and may feel obliged to help you out in a situation like this because they have just said ‘no’ to making a purchase from you. PJ's PicActionCoach-logo
  YOUR CHALLENGE THIS WEEK:  Consider your business approach to referrals and make the commitment to take an active strategy. And remember givers gain. If you would like further information or you have any questions about this blog, you can email me at pjweiland@actioncoach.com or call 847-739-3079. For your complimentary business coaching session visit www.bestchicagobusinesscoach.com. To register for our complimentary workshop, 6 Steps to a Great Business, visit www.workingonthebusiness.com.  Let’s work together to help your business grow.