How To Build an Amazing Business Through Networking That Really Works!

Author : , Date : February 22, 2016

 

Prefer to Listen to the blog?

Download this episode (right click and save)

 

 

This past week I had the opportunity to attend several different events in the Washington, DC area and network with some highly successful entrepreneurs.

Many of these entrepreneurs may be just like you; they are amazing at networking offline but know they are missing opportunities to grow their businesses online.

Because I’ve learned the science and art of networking I was blessed with:

 

  • Over twenty-five business cards from those who want to extend a conversation and want me to contact them.
  • Several new connections with highly influential people in both business and government that have access to the same audience I serve, but in a different way.
  • One business owner who hired me immediately.
  • One business owner who wants to hire me ASAP!
  • An invitation to speak at both free and paid events (which we are confirming in the next two weeks for events as soon as April).

 

I would say that’s a pretty good day of networking and as you can see I’m still not done!

I am successful at networking both offline and online to grow my business and you can be as well.

In this article I’m going to share with you how to network with people you meet offline and connect with them online, earn business immediately or make some amazing connections that can propel your business forever.

 

Networking Smart Before the Networking Actually Begins

 

Networking always starts before the networking actually begins. I know, your first question is probably; “what does that mean?”

Ask any athlete or successful business person and they will tell you that preparation is far more profitable than an event itself.

Networking is not a haphazard thing where you just show up and start mingling.

You’re going to have a lot of opportunities to talk with a lot people in a very short period of time. You must make good use of your opportunities.

That means you have to plan so that you make the best of the networking event.

Your preparation ought to include:

 

  1. Knowing what your message is.
  2. Knowing who your message is for.
  3. Knowing who will be at the event that you want to meet?
  4. Knowing what you want from them before you meet them (that does not mean a sale).
  5. Defining what you want out of the event.

 

Preparation is the key to success when you network. Very rarely do things happen by accident. I’m always looking for that one person in the room I need to meet as fast as possible.

One of the networking events I was invited to was put on by KOBE Government Contractors Alliance in Washington, DC.

These small businesses are government contractors who are seeking more opportunities with the Federal government.

Don-Purdum-and-Antonio-DossThe guest speaker was Antonio Doss.

Mr. Doss is the Washington, DC District Director for the Small Business Administration.

He is also good friends with my mentor and friend, Tim Kerin who was also at this event.

Tim is a successful 25+ year business owner of seven multi-million dollar businesses and he’s also the SBA Emerging Leaders class facilitator for the Washington, DC area and works in this program for Mr. Doss.

By dropping Tim’s name while he was in the room to Mr. Doss I was able to immediately create instant credibility.

The key to great networking is to leverage your message and create opportunities for yourself and others.

As you will learn later in the article, I didn’t just talk with Mr. Dobbs and leave it in the room.

don-purdum-and-george-chunkau-muiI also had the opportunity to meet George Chunkau Mui with the US Department of Commerce and we had a very interesting conversation. So much so that he wanted my business card to learn more about my blog and my message.

Showing up is only one part of networking success. The most influential part is preparing for networking success and knowing what you want and what you will do after the event.

If you don’t know what you want out of the event you’ll leave empty handed.

 

What Business are You “Really” In?

 

So you’ve decided that you know what you want out of the event and now it’s time to make the magic happen when it starts.

I’m not the kind of guy that just sits around and waits for people to come to me. I’m proactive, not reactive.

Never, ever, just go straight to your table, sit down and wait for people to come to you.

Starting the conversation is half the battle, right?

Most events have exhibits, so why not start there.

Many of my conversations start by talking with exhibitors.

It’s amazing how many people stand around and listen to the conversation.

Some who are listening will inevitably start a conversation with me that quickly leads to my favorite question:

 

What do you do?

 

The best thing you can do is to not tell them what you do immediately.

Instead, this is the time to deliver your message to see if you are relevant to them or not and determine if a conversation is worth pursuing.

Time is precious and at these events there is only so much you have. So you have to work smarter, not harder.

Messaging here is everything!

 

When I’m asked; “What do you do?

My answer is always: “I help businesses discover what business they are really in.

 

At this point they are either getting it or they are not.

There is something implied in a response to the question that is relevant to them or it’s not. In either case, I know almost immediately whether to move forward or move on in a respectful manner.

Fortunately, many times I get an excited response from my new friend.

I’m looking for something along these lines:

 

  • That’s exactly what I need.
  • Tell me more.
  • How do you do that?
  • How did you know that’s exactly what I need?

 

They have now invited me to share with them because they are interested.

I have their attention.

The key to getting the attention of those who need you but don’t realize they do is to be prepared with your message.

The struggle is that many business owners and entrepreneurs have is that they have not discovered their message.

Therefore, they are inconsistent in what they share or they are not relevant to whom they are talking with.

The end result at the end of the event is they have:

 

  • No new prospects
  • No new sales
  • No new influential connections

 

It doesn’t have to be that way. You can walk out of any event have something valuable to show for it!

 

Now That They are Interested in What You Do, What’s Next?

 

So now I’ve gotten by the age old question of “what do you do?” and there has to be a next step.

There must be a transition.

They are now curios and they’ve connected with the message and they want to know more.

What do you say next?

I love to ask a simple question that evokes a very strong emotion.

Keep in mind that not once have I yet told them what I do:

 

 

“What is your biggest problem when it comes to marketing your business or earning more sales?”

 

 

One-by-one the theme developed and I heard variations of the following:

 

  • No one seems interested in what I do or what I have to offer.
  • My website stinks and I’m sure it’s costing me money.
  • I would like to be online but I don’t understand it so I ignore being there.
  • I’m casually online, but I don’t ever get any business from it.
  • I’m a government contractor and I don’t any reason for me to be online.

 

At this point, I’m quiet.

I let them do the talking and sharing.

Connecting with someone is 80% listening and 20% talking.

They still don’t know what I do, but they are informing me of how I can become relevant to them.

This allows me to tailor the rest of my message appropriately to their problems, needs, wants or desires without them wanting to run away feeling like they are just being sold.

What I hope you see is that many of us will unload on people and start telling them everything we do and then wonder why they shake our hand and we never hear from them again.

Is it possible that they don’t care what we do until we position what we do as one thing that is relevant to them?

Give the person you’re talking with the opportunity and they will tell you everything you need to know to be compelling so that they can respond to your message.

They will feel that you understand them, have heard them and want to hear from you as well.

 

When to Tell Them What You Do or How You Can Help Them?

 

You can’t rush this; let them invite you to tell them.

Trust me, they will ask you.

The person who bought my one-day bootcamp the other night said to me right before pulling out her credit card;

 

 

Don, my business has been good the last few years but I’m missing something. The second you said you ‘help businesses discover what business you’re really in’ I knew that was the missing piece in my business.

How do you do that?

 

I briefly explained that I help businesses gain clarity and a vibrant message through either a one-day bootcamp or a four to six-week program that answers the following questions:

 

  1. What are the “specific” problems you are passionate about solving?
  2. What are the tangible values your customers experience and how do they feel about the experience?
  3. What are the “specific” problems you solve for each tangible value?
  4. Who are you “specifically” solve each problem for (in detail)?
  5. How are your products or services “a” part of “a” solution?

 

The conversation lasted less than three minutes and her credit card was out of her wallet to purchase the one-day bootcamp.

I had no booth and no official representation.

I was just networking in the room.

In the future, I will likely have those things but it isn’t always necessary.

 

What About Those You’ve Networked with Who Don’t Buy immediately?

 

Networking isn’t about selling, although as you’ve seen that can happen and you want it to happen.

However, networking is about building relationships.

Don’t just get their business card and add them to your CRM and put them in your sales funnel.

Notice I didn’t say don’t do that, I’m saying don’t “just” do that.

You may or may not see this person again and this is where taking them online can build a relationship.

I say never, ever, never miss an opportunity to provide someone value!

 

How Can You Give Someone Value?

 

Here are a few strategies you can use wherever you go to build value and earn opportunities to network deeper or earn business.

 

  1. Always get pictures with people.
  2. If it makes sense, do a video and promote them.
  3. Connect with them on the spot on social media if it’s possible.
  4. Always upload the pictures and videos to social media as-soon-as-possible and tag them.
  5. Always include them with links to their websites in your blog articles when it’s relevant.

 

Here are several examples from Thursday’s events of how you can do this:

 

Rabiah Sutton and Dr. Karen Jacobson

 

Rabiah Sutton is the Washington DC Managing Director for E-Women’s Network and owner of FWD Think. She invited me to attend their monthly meeting Dr. Karen Jacobson presented a message titled “The Secret Language of Success.

Dr. Jacobson’s presentation was powerful and here is the great part; it applies to you as much as it did to me.

Here is a video I shot with her I titled “How to Breakthrough in Your Business through the Power of Words”.

I hope you’ll take a moment and absorb what she has to say in this short video as it has the power to change your business.

 

Check out Dr. Jacobson’s website at http://www.drkarenjacobson.com/ and learn how to become a high performer in your business.

Thank you Rabiah for your friendship and partnership!

If you’re ever want to know how to enter the Federal Contracting marketplace, Rabiah and FWD Think is who you need to talk to.

 

Antonio Doss

 

Don-Purdum-and-Antonio-DossAgain, I had the opportunity to connect with Antonia Doss who is the District Director for the Washington DC office of the Small Business Administration.

As we were talking I shared with him my passion and heart for business ownership as a solution to many of America’s problems. I asked him; why are we telling people to get trained for jobs in a fast changing world where that training will become obsolete quickly over encouraging people to start their own business?

I told him about the podcast I created in April 2015 as the riots in Baltimore were ongoing.

He asked to hear it so I sent them link to the audio Friday morning.

On Sunday he emailed me back after listening to it that he was in agreement with what I said and even validated it with a link to another article.

Here is the audio of the podcast I sent him:

 

 

We have started a great conversation that could lead to many awesome things. It’s the beginning of a relationship and we’ll see where it goes. But, it has to start somewhere!

 

Navteca

Navteca is an amazing company that has already had the privilege of working with NASA, among a number of agencies. They have created an amazing virtual reality application that only requires your phone to operate.

The applications for this product are far reaching and can benefit any business. Be sure to check them out at http://navteca.com/.

 

Here are the co-owners Ramon Linan and Shayna Skolnik with me:

don-purdum-and-ramon-linan-and-shayna-skolnik

 

 

Pictured are me and Rabiah Sutton as I wore one of their virtual reality headsets.

don-purdum-and-rabiah-sutton

 

 

Mary Windham and Occasions, Inc.

 

don-purdum-and-mary-windhamMary Windham is a member of KOBE Government Contracting Alliance and her amazing company Occasions, Inc was responsible for putting on the event last Thursday evening.

Not only was the food FANTASTIC, so was her presentation, quality of speakers and the message of the importance of networking that was backed-up by some great networking.

She personally took me by the hand an introduced me to a number of people. Thank you for the invitation Mary and for all you do!!!

 

Connect with Occasions Inc. on their Facebook page if you’re in the Washington DC area.

 

Tim Kerin and Learning Lessons in Business

 

Don-Purdum-and-Tim-KerinTim Kerin owns Learning Lessons in Business and is my mentor and dear friend.

Over the last six months, Tim has started several “Leaders of the Roundtable” groups with high level entrepreneurs around DC.

His passion is to help entrepreneurs connect together, share their experiences and get the help they need from those who have been there and done that instead of spending tons of money on consultants, accounts and attorneys who can’t really offer them the practical advice they need.

 

If you want to learn more about Leaders of the Roundtable or if you just need an honest and helpful guide to being successful in business, visit Tim’s website at Learning Lessons in Business.

 

 

Wrapping it All Up and Networking for Real Relationships

 

Networking is not about getting a bunch of business cards and adding them to your real or virtual rolodex in hopes of selling something.

Networking is about creating relationships with your target market who:

 

  • Are able, willing and ready to buy either now or in the future
  • Serves the same audience you do but in a different way and create multiple streams opportunity for one another

 

Networking is not about what you can get, it’s about what you can give.

Networking ought to be relevant, meaningful, inspiring and helpful to those you choose to network with.

When you attend networking events, have a plan in mind and know what you want to get out of the events you go to.

Be prepared before you go to any event to:

 

  1. Know what your message is.
  2. Know who your message is for.
  3. Know who will be at the event that you want to meet.
  4. Know what you want from them before you meet them.
  5. Define what you want out of the event.

 

Be prepared to create value for those you want to network with, earn business from or network with.

Never leave an event without creating opportunities and value for both you and those you meet!

That means don’t leave it all offline.

Connect with them online as well.

This article can serve as one example of how to do that by including them in your blog articles.

You can check out my Facebook pages as well for how I network there. Here is both my personal Facebook and my Business Facebook page for examples. Feel free to connect with me either one or both.

 

Your website and social media doesn’t have to be a “dead zone”. It can be a relevant, vibrant and active place where you build competency, credibility and opportunity to network and grow you business.

It all starts with your message and it grows from there.

Don’t leave your networking to just an isolated event.

If you know your audience through your message you can in turn connect online individually with each one, right where they are at (LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook) and continue to deliver value for them.

Don’t stop there… engage with their content.

If they have a blog, engage with them there through the comments and share it to your social media with meaningful introductions to their blog.

Like, comment or Tweet their social posts.

Show them you’re worthy of engaging with them and that you’re relevant to their problems, needs or desires; or with their network’s problems, needs or desires.

Then watch happens when you combine your offline world with your online world.

It may just shock you!

 

If you don’t feel you have a relevant, compelling or meaningful message either in person or on your website or social media…

Learn how you can create one on the Begin Here page of my website.

Or, if you want to contact me directly please feel free to do so at don@unveiltheweb.com. I would love to hear from you!

 

I have one last thing for you if you’re new to my site…

 

For a limited time you can have a FREE copy of my highly popular eBook titled “The Shift – Making the Fast Paced Transition from Mass Marketing to Context Marketing.”

In total, over 1,500 of your peers have the read this book.

Be sure to get it while it’s still free!

Click here or on the image to get your free copy today.

get-your-copy-of-the-shift

 

 

If you feel you learned something valuable in this article or if you have a question, please engage with me below in the comments and let’s discuss.

 


 

I had an amazing time leading a bootcamp with a company in the Washington DC area all day Saturday. In nine hours they learned to see their business through the perspective of those they serve over the processes they use to serve them.

don-leads-messaging-bootcamp

Want to learn more about my one-day messaging bootcamps that can change your business forever?

Click here and visit the One-Day Messaging Bootcamp page and discover What Business You’re “Really” In.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Don Purdum

Don Purdum

Don works with businesses to help them discover who their customers are and what business they are "really" in. He is an award-winning blogger and branding / marketing consultant.
Don Purdum
  • Todd Worley

    Great post done. Looks like you had a blast in D.C this weekend. This is some really great information. I feel like I am always learning something new when I read your blogs. Thanks Don, will be sharing!

  • Hi Todd,

    I did have a blast and I met some amazing people!!!! I appreciate the kind words Todd and that’s always my goal and aim!!!!

    I appreciate your shares and I hope you have an incredible week Todd!

    ~ Don

  • Hey Don,

    What a wonderful example of how to REALLY network.

    I haven’t been to a live networking event in years. I think it’s because I was so horrible at that myself, I was the one that sat at the table although as you know me, I’m a talker. I was out of my element and in all honesty I wasn’t interested in any of those people that I was having conversations with. At that time though I was doing something entirely different than I am now so maybe now it would be a whole new experience after having learned what I have.

    You are just such a pro which is why we enjoy hearing how you do things. I’ve been thinking about attending some meet up groups this year but I still haven’t really found a group that I can get excited about. I’m looking though, I go on there every few months to see what is out there and somewhat near me. I think it’s time for me to expand my network and perhaps try my hand at this. I even think the book that Dr. Jacobson wrote would be very helpful. Great job with that video too Don.

    As always, great lesson you’ve shared and now we all just need to take to heart what you’ve shared and run with it.

    Enjoy your week Don.

    ~Adrienne

  • Hi Don

    Networking rocks!

    And thanks for your mini tutorial on the ‘how-to’s’ of offline networking.

    Because I have been travelling throughout Asia for the last couple of years, I don’t have opportunities to participate in offline networking meetings, but when at home in Australia, I often went to networking events.

    You are right – don’t sell, build relationships and add value instead.

    I remember when I was involved in a local Meetup. There was a requirement for each attendee to stand up and tell the others his/her name and what they did for a living. When it came time for me to get up, I’d say my name and the name of my business, then sat down. Not surprisingly I got a lukewarm response.

    But after I’d attended a couple of these events I decided to change my introduction. I stood up, introduced myself and then said ‘I show people how to generate an income online and travel the world having fun’.

    The difference in response was stark. This time – in the coffee break – people came up to me eager to know more. As a direct result of using the new approach, I got myself some new clients – all because I changed the messaging.

    Over time, I refined my approach further and particularly the way I interacted with people at these events one on one. For example, if someone didn’t have a business card, I’d give them mine then turn it over and ask them to write down their contact details.

    I’m a big fan of Bob Burg’s concept – become the ‘big wheel on campus’. And I can see from this post and others, that you have become your own ‘big wheel’ in your niche.

    Newbie marketers and bloggers should see themselves not just as bloggers and content creators, but networkers who add value by connecting people to the information they need. If someone is not yet an expert, simply connect their audience (no matter how small) with people who are – value will flow back to the originator anyway.

    Thanks for leading the way again, Don

    Fabulous post

    Kim

  • Woo hooo! This is an awesome post Don! Since launching my new brand with YourChicGeek, I cannot tell you how much it has taken off (all in part due to networking more with fellow entrepreneurs online).

    I am learning through Adrienne and you of course how important it is to get out there and network with people…but most importantly have something important to say and a clear message about what I do and how I can help their businesses.

    Looks like you had a blast and made some great connections there in DC. Cheers and wishing you a great week.

  • Hi Adrienne,

    The beautiful thing about networking offline is that gets me from out behind my desk and interacting with people in a totally different way.

    My personality is such that I don’t like sitting behind a desk in front of a screen all the time; and those I’m most passionate about helping are offline businesses who realize they don’t have a message that is relevant to anyone either offline or online.

    I’ve learned how to use my website and blog most effectively; and that is by bringing my offline audience online after I’ve met them.

    There is something about the trust building process that just works for me there faster than those I meet online, as I shared the story in the article. I think that a lot of that has to do with meeting me and then competency is quickly built when they come here to my site and blog. It become the validation and credibility they needed.

    Another thing I’m learning about my core primary audience is that as successful entrepreneurs and business owners many of them are not online looking for solutions. They are networking offline looking for them. That’s more natural to them because it’s how they have been trained and it’s how they do business.

    I really enjoy the blending of these two worlds and networking with people who know other successful people who have the means and are able, willing and ready to buy.

    Thanks so much for your comment Adrienne! My encouragement to you would be to work your way into it if you decide it’s something you would like to do to build your business. The neat thing is it can definitely open you up to an entirely different world with a very different perspective.

    Have an awesome week!

    ~ Don

  • Good Morning Kim,

    Thank you, I appreciate your kind words. I think it’s great that you are doing so well in such a short time. It’s exciting and I’m so happy for you!!!!!!

    As you’ve experienced on both sides of it, if you don’t have a message you’re wasting your time and money. Networking offline isn’t cheap. There are meals, fees and all kinds of other things you have to spend money for (like business cards, flyers and brochures).

    Yet, if you’re proactive the results can be phenomenal!!!!!

    I had an awesome time. I’m looking forward to going to more events and connecting with more people.

    Have a great week Kim and thanks again for your kind words.

    ~ Don

  • Hi Kim,

    Thanks, I definitely enjoy both offline and online networking and bringing those two worlds together. The benefits are staggering!

    It’s all about value, even in the sales arena it’s all about value. Create it, get out of the way and then let them buy.

    Sales is easy and it’s proportionately and directly tied to our messages. If we are messaging well then those who are ready, able and willing to buy will do so. We just have to put ourselves in a position where we can find one another.

    The example you provided is perfect! That’s exactly what I’m talking about. It worked for you beautifully.

    “Big Wheel” – I haven’t heard that one, lol… I’ll look into it.

    I personally think we need a serious re-teaching of business… business isn’t about selling and consuming – it’s about relationships that create value that allow some to buy from us and consume our products or services.

    It’s about people and messaging is all about people. There will be a video and blog article on that topic very soon with real-life examples.

    I appreciate your very kind words Kim! Thank you for the encouragement. It’s much appreciated.

    Have an awesome week!

    ~ Don

  • Hey Don,

    Sounds like you had an amazing time at that networking event.

    An event like that is something I still need to do…as I’ve never been to a networking meeting or a conference. But I have plans to change that very soon.

    But from living through other people’s stories, building relationships is the key thing to type to do at these events. Not selling. I’d imagine that almost nobody is trying to sell anything, am I right?

    I’ve been picking up (buying) a few networking books lately and tying to learn but actually going to a live event and doing is probably the best teacher.

    Wishing you a great rest of the week.

    – Andrew

  • Hi Don

    I wish I would have been there to see so many amazing people who you told us in this post with sharing their pics as well. What a great opportunity an even is if someone really knows how to do networking in events.

    It is an irony of relationship marketing that sometimes people get so focused and so much so they forget the human aspect of building relations with others and sometimes they get so personal and miss the business promotion targets; both are extreme ways and the best one is to make the good mix of both of them.

    It looks quite trivial to talk about the importance of body language, occasional grunts and use of words but all these things matter a lot. Once my teacher told us a good marketer should also know how to keep talking people around him while taking lunch or dinner in an event.

    Many thanks for sharing this very thoughtful post and I love the video both your views and also the background with plying of vehicle but not creating any big noise.

    Have a great rest of the week.

  • Hi Andrew,

    I had a FANTASTIC time. I love going to events of all types. It’s where the magic really happens for me! LOL…

    It’s all about framing a relevant, compelling and inspiring message Andrew. Everything evolves around it!

    Get the message right and you’ll find the people at events who are looking for you, and you for them.

    Best wishes to you. Let me know how it goes as you start getting out there more!

    Have a great week.

    ~ Don

  • Hi Mi,

    Long-time my friend! How are you?

    Networking is so much fun. I have a blast at these events and I love meeting people and hearing their stories.

    You are right, body language and non-verbal communication is vital. Get that wrong and you’ll mess your message. In fact, just like words are a part of our message online, the non-verbal communication is a huge part of in person as well.

    Glad you benefited from the post Mi and it was wonderful to see you here today!

    Have an awesome week my friend!

    ~ Don Purdum

  • Sue Anne Dunlevie

    Hi, Don,

    Looks like you met some amazing people at the networking event. I really appreciate your point that networking starts BEFORE the networking actually begins. I’ve never
    really thought about it in that sense, but you are so right. It’s important to have a plan and be prepared. Thanks for the reminder!

    Thanks,
    Sue

  • Hi Sue,

    I did meet some amazing people and with that comes some incredible opportunities. Growing a business is all about building momentum and since the day I launched in May 2014 momentum has steadily been growing… and now it’s on full throttle.

    Networking is a big part of it; both offline and online; and most importantly with the right people.

    If we are not prepared, if there is no message, then the odds of momentum growing or having success diminishes greatly.

    Thanks for stopping by Sue.

    Have an awesome second half to your week!

    ~ Don

  • Bright Works PR/MRKT

    Good advice – Many times those that tell me networking doesn’t work are the same people who go into networking thinking only of themselves. Giving and helping is the way to win at networking. Thanks for sharing!

  • Thanks so much for taking a moment to stop by and share!

    I’ve heard the same thing over the years. I’ve learned over the years that many don’t do it on purpose. They are just not aware of what they are doing and how it comes across until someone who does know takes under their wings.

    I appreciate you taking a few moments out of your day to read the article and comment!

    ~ Don

  • Bright Works PR/MRKT

    You bet Don, always happy to comment on good content.

    In a group on LinkedIn for my Alma Mater’s Alumni there was a recent discussion about networking. The original poster claimed it just doesn’t work. I was surprised by how many people agreed with him. Over and over the same theme popped up that no one would help these people get ahead. Yet, not a single person complaining was focused on helping other people.

    I’ve found a lot of success with networking, but you have to take the time (like you said in the article) to listen and help.

    – Craig

    P.S. I actually wrote about this in an article on my site if your interested http://www.practicalbusinessgrowth.com/successfulnetworking/

  • Hi Don,

    This post is brilliant! You have squeezed out every networking opportunity possible from that one event. Amazing how you gave each person their own props throughout this, taking the time to get a photo with them, telling their story…what a great example.

    Even including several videos related to your topic. Wow.

    You definitely know how to get leverage a blog for your business. I’m curious how long it takes you to put a post like this together?

    Anyhow, I was in a local networking event before Build Your Own Blog, and once I got into that business exclusively, I let that group go…Your post makes me think I should reconsider that decision. What do you think? (Keep in mind what my business does.)

    Interestingly, a semi friend/acquaintance (falls somewhere in between) instant messaged me last weekend about starting a blog, and I gave him my advice, included a link…well, he asked me to meet him for coffee to talk further. I instantly decided to take the time to do that. For one, I like this person, and two, I figured it would be good networking. I’m not going to our lunch trying to make a sale. I am only going to make a better connection. Build a relationship. Your post has confirmed my decision.

    Looking forward to sharing this, Don!

    Happy Wednesday,

    Matthew

  • Hi Craig,

    I thought your post got right to the point and this line really sums it up well in your article: “Doing things the way they’ve always been done is a good way to get the same results you always get.”

    People always love to complain over find solutions and make it work. If they would prefer to complain then I’m good with it because they are the ones making people like you and me look good! LOL… 🙂

    Thanks so much for sharing your article! I’ll leave a comment later on it.

    ~ Don

  • Hi Matthew,

    I was just sharing with a colleague earlier how you never let a good event go to waste! LOL…

    Never leave these events without connecting people and extending the relationship by providing value. That’s what is so great about the internet… although the event is past, the networking is just beginning!!!!!

    And, by providing value the business opportunities are just ramping up. This post alone has already earned a number of prospects because want to learn how I do it. Isn’t that cool????!!!!!! (I know, I have issues, lol…)

    I was say that once I sat down to write it and upload the videos it took 2 to 3 hours in total. That’s the benefit of knowing my message and being purposeful.

    Regarding your question, I think it depends on how you want to attract your target marketing. Is it better for you to start your own or to join ones where people are already networking?

    Is your audience hanging offline businesses, online businesses or a combination of both?

    If you’re trying to attract offline businesses then yes, it makes absolute sense. The reason is that I know the majority of these business owners are not reading blogs… they are working and spending time building their businesses and they don’t understand how a blog can be dynamic component to achieving their goals.

    In fact, if you say the word “blog” they already have a preconceived notion of what they “believe” it is and many times it’s not positive. I had one business owner tell me recently that he thought blogging was a waste of time until I showed him my blog and how it works to make me money every single day.

    Here is the funny part, that business owner actually came to me through me blog. Incredible, right?

    I will say this in regards to your story, while we are always building value and relationships; there is a time to switch gears appropriately and ask for the sale.

    If they are ready to buy, you they will tell you.

    My favorite question is always; “Don, what’s the next step?”

    I LOVE IT when that happens.

    Thanks for your comment and kind words Matthew!!!! I appreciate you stopping by.

    Have an awesome second half to your week!

    ~ Don

  • Hi Don,

    What a wonderful share. I felt as though I was with you, especially in the video where we met Dr. Jacobson. The two of you were like sitting in my living room with me. This really illustrated how one can network at a live event.

    I haven’t been to one in years, but do remember how much fun the networking was. And of course “Listening” to others and what business they were in was a key factor. When given their card to contact them online, I used to write a little note on the back of it so I wouldn’t forget. Just a few words to remind myself what stuck out with that person. This way when I got back to them, I could mention something that struck me in our conversation.

    Indeed, don’t just sit at that table…get out there and mingle. One doesn’t have to do much talking because the listening part is 80% of the adventure.

    Awesome post and congratulations on your wonderful trip.

    -Donna

  • Hi Don,

    Congrats on your networking this past week!

    If you are unclear on your message, your networking efforts will fall on deaf ears. Because nobody will know what you’re saying and how you can help them. Or, nobody will know how to reference you to their buddies. The referral traffic/business/goodness, that is gold. This morning I finished up an interview with a small biz owner. She and her audience will have no issues knowing what I can do – help you retire to a life of island hopping through smart blogging – because I clearly shared the message and packed some uber positive energy into my delivery. So easy, when you get clear, and your buddies and their buddies and their buddies will freely and easily know what you have to offer them, when you get clear on the message.

    Ryan

  • Hi Donna,

    Thanks so much for sharing your experience of the article and the videos. Dr. Jacobson gave an incredible presentation and it was a delight to share her with you. She is a wealth of information!!!!

    Thanks to the internet networking can go way beyond just a casual encounter or a social connection. There are so many ways to provide value and the majority of people are missing out on incredible opportunities because they are thinking about selling instead of creating value for someone else.

    Listening really is the key to opening the door to value.

    Great tip about how you made notes with your business card. I’ve done that in the past as well.

    Thanks again Donna. I always love your insights!

    Have a great end to your week!

    ~ Don

  • Hi Ryan,

    Thanks, I had a great time and I always enjoy networking offline. I plan on doing a lot more of it in 2016 than I have in the past few years.

    Your opening sentence is spot on! No message = deaf ears. I couldn’t say it better myself.

    Thanks for sharing your experience this morning. That’s gold in itself.

    Clarity, clarity, and more clarity… it’s hard work at first but with each day of growth it not only gets easier – it gets more fruitful.

    Have an awesome end to your week Ryan. Thanks so much for stopping by!

    ~ Don