I Hate Networking Events! interview with Kevin Jordan

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The I Hate Networking Events! interview with Kevin Jordan of Redpoint Marketing Consultants

  I had the pleasure this week to talk with marketing expert Kevin Jordan of Redpoint Marketing Consultants on his blog show. This is the perfect blog for the busy business owner as it is short, powerful, and to the point. Kudos to Kevin! (He's got some cool and FREE e-books, too)   I drew from my networking experiences and my networking manual I Hate Networking Events! to touch upon two hot topics:  
  • the 3 ACTIONS a business owner can take to get better results before, during, and after his or her networking event of choice
  • the 2 BIGGEST mistakes business owners can make when at a networking event
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You can listen to the podcast here. And while you're there, look around and subscribe to Kevin's awesome blog!   I was inspired to write my book because I wanted to share the unique (and, oftentimes, unbelievably hilarious) experiences throughout my 20 years of networking and building various businesses. Over the years, when I would mention business networking to people, they would reply, "I HATE Networking Events!".   Hence the title!!   Like Kevin Jordan's blog posts and podcasts, my networking manual is concise and action step driven. It's designed to be a comprehensive networking plan (along with the free workbook found on my website AllThingsDavidWilson.com) that you can apply to get better results from your networking experience.   So, you might be thinking, "Yeah, well, all authors say that about their stuff!"   Well, don't just take my word for it!   Here is what "The Father of Modern Networking" Dr. Ivan Misner (Founder of BNI Website) says about I Hate Networking Events!   "I Hate Networking Events! is the ultimate blueprint for networking success whether you're a networking novice who feels like a fish out of water at networking functions, or a seasoned networker needing to revamp your networking strategy.  The easy-to-read, condensed format of this book will not only help newbies to develop a simple, highly effective process for networking at events, it will also help the seasoned networker to refocus their approach through quantifiable networking goals.  If your aim is to develop a straight-forward, measurable networking strategy that will produce powerful results, this book is a must read!"   So, if you're looking to give your networking a super powerful jolt, buy I Hate Networking Events! to connect with the right people to grow your business!  

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Yoga prepares us for entrepreneurship? You bet!

  Namaste!   I started very seriously practicing yoga about 2 years ago, about 6 years into my business. I am usually on my mat 2-4 times a week in between weight training sessions. In the beginning, I was in the group that snickered at yoga!   "I can't sit still long enough to participate in yoga class!"   "Yoga is boring."   "Yoga  won't make me any stronger!"   You've heard these before, I'm sure, if you are a yogi. That said, I chose to shift my paradigm.   I started with gentle yoga and realized the mental challenge. I tried vinyasa yoga and discovered quickly (VERY QUICKLY) that I wasn't nearly as strong as I thought I was. But I kept going! As I built my strength I ventured into power yoga, which is an advanced version combining high level poses and sickening core strengthening moves. Two years later, I have lost almost 60 pounds (258 lbs to 203 lbs), lowered my blood pressure (from 190/90 to 117/72), reduced my resting heart rate (from 80 to 54!), and created about 5 unalterable or tailorable suits!   So, while yoga didn't do it alone, yoga was a huge part!   That said, HOW DOES YOGA PREPARE US FOR ENTREPRENEURSHIP? Well, here's how it's helped me with my business.  

Yoga forces us to be comfortable with discomfort

  One of the cornerstones to a successful yoga practice is breath control. Oftentimes, I find myself in a challenging pose, straining and shaking. I must remain calm even though I am uncomfortable, twisted up, and constricted. How often do we face that in the business world?  

Yoga helps us deal with stress gracefully

  Stress is normal. How we deal with that stress is the key. I can't tell you how many times while facing a business challenge I have "found my breath" and calmed my mind, only to find the solution to the problem within.  

Yoga forces us to face our fears

yoga standing half moon Here is a picture of a standing half moon. There was a time I would not have even attempted this pose (and believe me, this is NOT the most challenging pose out there). However, as I advanced in my practice and got mentally and physically stronger, I gained more and more confidence to face the fear. Facing our fears of prospecting, speaking in public, and networking lead to business growth.  

Yoga makes us fit and resilient

  The fitness I've gained from my practice makes the long hours and ups & downs much more tolerable. I feel prepared to face any challenge any day!   So, give yoga a try. Start small and progress. Challenge yourself. You might soon find yourself enrolled in business school!  

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Always Be Closing

One of the cult classic salesperson movies is Glengarry Glen Ross, the story of a four person real estate sales team in Chicago desperate to sell to any buyer at any cost. One of the most quoted mantras emerging from that movie came from Blake, the hot shot from Downtown (played by Alec Baldwin), who harangued the struggling team with "ABC--Always Be Closing, ALWAYS BE CLOSING!"   Many in sales carry this attitude with them daily, ready to pounce on any and every opportunity. Now, for those in in-home or one-call-close situations, yes, this will apply. However, for the majority of sales and business people, it is more about finding opportunities that need cultivation and letting the world know they can help. This leads us to ABM--Always Be Marketing!   Isn't that really the answer? If you have identified your target prospects and marketed successfully to your list, you should gain enough traction and spark up enough interest (if you have a viable solution) to always be closing--that is, always be showing your prospect how you can help, that they NEED your help, and what BENEFIT they'll gain from your help. The mistake we sometimes make is honing those sales closing skills without pinpointing how we are going to let this group know about us. Always Be Closing So, figure out the best ways to reach your target. Email? Direct mail? Walk in? Video conference? And then execute the plan with an effective and concise message. And by keeping this message in front of decision makers in your target market segment, you will make Blake proud. You will always be closing!   What do you think? What do you do to always be marketing? And, yes, feel free to post your favorite line from the movie!

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What can Columbo teach us about sales and networking?

We are all familiar with the loveable and inquisitive detective Columbo. The TV audience watches a seemingly well-orchestrated crime take place, only to later witness Columbo wander onto the scene, put all the pieces together, and solve the caper. In the end, the perpetrator is always amazed that Old Columbo figured it out. But how did he do it every week? And what on earth does Columbo have to do with sales and networking?   Well, Columbo is a master of three things. columbo picture First, he has perfected the art of asking questions ("Oh, one more thing...). Some of the questions he asks seem silly, but they are all designed to gather information to move the crime solving process to the next step. That is what we should be doing when we're out networking or out selling. We ask questions to gather information to see if it makes sense to move the process further.   Second, Columbo is a master listener. Not only does he ask the questions, but he also listens intently to the answers. Seems simple enough, but how often have we heard of the sales guy just throwing up all over a prospect or new networking partner talking just about himself  (I talk about how to disengage from folks like this in my book)   Third, Columbo takes notes so he doesn't forget what people say. This also gives the impression to those around him that he's paying attention. In the sales and networking space, we can take a note on the back of a business card ("call tomorrow for a meeting" or "send a brochure") to remind us what to do next or we can take notes in our CRM system to keep us more organized with our follow through.   So, next time you're our networking or selling, think of these points by our good friend Columbo although I wouldn't recommend wearing a rain coat if it's not raining! What are some of the favorite questions you ask to keep the sales or networking process moving forward?

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How Can We Learn About Productivity from an Airplane?

I consider myself pretty techie.  And I think I have a pretty hi-tech smartphone. That said, I am due for an upgrade in the next week or so, so I'll have the absolute latest and greatest in smartphone technology (well, at least for a few days!).  The thing I really love about my device and smart devices in general, though, is how they increase our productivity.  We can get emails on the fly, transfer and share files, and enter leads into mobile CRM systems like Zoho.  As a result, we are  always connected.   But that can surely be distracting, as most of us actually have to get things done.  And if you're anything like me, my smartphone has negatively affected my productivity.  I have spurts of being very, VERY busy checking stuff, responding to stuff, sending stuff, and watching stuff.  However, at the end of some of these days, I found myself looking back and asking myself, "What in the world did I get done today?" productivity So, why does that happen?   Being the highly distractible, undiagnosed, but self diagnosed ADD-type (don't laugh, I'm not the only one!), I would take action every single time my device shook, lit up, moved, beeped, dinged or whatever (we all know that eCoupon for the fruit cake would be just in time for the holidays--AND IT'S URGENT).  I tried putting my phone on silent or vibrate, but I would start sweating, wondering what I was missing.  This went on intermittently throughout my smartphone experience until I discovered how to experience true productivity.  And it was so simple.   The airplane.   Maybe you're way more in the know than I am, but I was only recently introduced to AIRPLANE MODE!!!!  Wow!  By setting my smartphone to AIRPLANE, all the stuff is shut off, but the device stays on.  No dings, beeps, buzzes, or vibrates.  Furthermore, there was something psychological about the two-step process of setting my phone to this mode that prevented me from constantly reaching for it to turn it back on.  In my mind, this is the time to GET THINGS DONE! With my device in AIRPLANE, my productivity went through the roof!  I was able to work in blocks of time until I completed important tasks.   And I got two rewards!  One was the satisfaction of completing a task, and the other was the excitement of seeing what would ding and beep and light up what I turned my device back on.  You see, all that stuff is still happening behind the scenes. And guess what?  When I switched back to full service, EVERYTHING WAS STILL THERE!   Try it.  And share how the AIRPLANE helps you crush your productivity.  

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Fear of Success Can't Be for Real! Or Can It?

  Picture it!  Standing atop the podium excitedly awaiting the wrestling official to place the first place gold medal around your neck.   Being admired by your business peers as you receive the plaque declaring you the BNI Networker of the Year.   Watching Amazon sales skyrocket as the book you have worked so hard to complete soars into the stratosphere!   I'm sure you can (and probably already have) filled in your own success blank by now. We all have them! We all can picture our successes.  However, we sometimes (or, dare I say, oftentimes) insert mental roadblocks that keep us from the success that's rightfully ours. But how?   I think we're all familiar with the fear of failure--the procrastination that sets in and keeps us from doing the things we need to do to experience success. We see it all the time.  Typically, we are attempting to avoid a thing we perceive as uncomfortable.  
  • The rejection that comes from being told "NO" by a prospect
  • The terror that comes from attending a networking function to try to meet new referral partners
  • The shame when that book just doesn't sell
  • The sadness when the business doors slam shut as a result of very few, if any, sales
  The key to the fear of failure is the word FAILURE!! And after all, it sort of makes sense to avoid failure (sort of!!! I'll write about that one later).   But the Fear of Success????   This makes absolutely no logical sense!  If everyone wants success (and everyone sure says they do), why would anyone fear it.  And success is positive, right (not like "failure")?  Well, consider these "little voices" that may change your mind:  
  • "If I double my income next month, they'll expect me to now do that EVERY MONTH!"
  • "If I launch this business idea and it actually DOES work, I'll be working WAY more hours."
  • "If I make more money, I'll have to pay more TAXES!" (I just love that one!)
  • "If I experience success, my friends and family will think I THINK I am better than they are." (I'll lose my friends and family)
  • "If I am successful working out and I lose weight, I'll have to spend SO MUCH MONEY on new clothes."
  As you can see, the list can go on and on and on.  

Now can you see the similarities between the fears of failure and success?  We actually ARE--in both cases--fearing something NEGATIVE. Our actions are leading us to avoid the False Events Appearing Real (I've been hearing this acronym all my life, and I don't claim to have made it up. But let me know IF YOU KNOW who actually came up with it!) to protect ourselves. So, whichever we are fearing--failure or success--the psychology behind the fear is the same.

 

Have you been experiencing the fear of success?  Is there something you REALLY WANT, but you just can't seem to escape the bane of procrastination?  The one thing that has helped me most to conquer this fear is a tip I got from Susan Jeffers, author of Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway.

  Whatever happens, I'll handle it.   If we focus on the things we can control, and let go of the things we cannot, we find peace (The Serenity Prayer). And SUCCESS!  

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