Should You Give Your Business Card? (Tool to Use For Profit)

Now after you had a little conversation with someone, asked them what they do and told them a story about your customer’s results you have a reason to ask them for their business card. You simply ask ‘May I have your card?’

Do not offer your card before they ask for it. If you were taught that the more business cards you hand out, the more business you will get – don’t believe it, it’s a lie. The only one who will be making any money is your printer. If you hand out cards without people asking for them, what makes you think you will get business that way?

Remember the last networking event you went to? How many cards did you collect? Aren’t they wrapped by a rubber band and collecting dust in your desk drawer, making no money for those people? What benefit did those people get from giving you their card? There is absolutely no value in giving your business card to someone who did not ask for it. They don’t have place to put it, so it will end up in the their upper left drawer in the dark.

Wendy Kinney has a suggestion, of course. Her book ‘Networking Aerobics’ has much more detail on a lot of things, but here are a couple of tips from her:

After you found out what you have in common, and how you can bring benefit to each other you ask for their card. First you are going to tell them what you will do with it, otherwise they will think that you just want to add them to your Newsletter mailing list. You can say something to the effect of ‘I will set up lunch with a friend of mine, you will enjoy her’, or ‘I will forward the next announcement and we can go together’, or ‘I’d like to stay in touch’.

When you tell them what you are going to do with the card, they will be eager to give it to you and will look forward to the next contact with you. Once you have their card, take it in two hands and make a comment about it. Complement their logo, or tag line, take a look at their name, ask how long they have been with the company. People will start modelling what you do and everyone will be more comfortable because of you.

Of course, because of what I do has to do with snail mail, I always make sure I have people’s mailing address, so I can mail them ‘Nice to Meet You’ card. May be with a coffee shop gift card.

I want them to remember me, like me and call me back.

How to Answer ‘What Do You Do?’ (Tool to Use For Profit)

Be the first one to ask them ‘What do you do?’

Wait until you find out what you have in common with the person you are having conversation with and them be the first to ask ‘So, what do you do?‘ It is the way to be most comfortable, most in control, most appreciated, most interesting and most networked. If you ask first you’ll get valuable information to use in your answer when they ask you.

If you reply by naming your business classification, they will either make a joke about your profession or start naming your competition. It is not possible to make any money when your conversation partner is naming your competition. This is what Wendy Kinney teaches in her book ‘Networking Aerobics’.

Sure, you can try what I have done recently and re-route the conversation: the winner of my give away at a local business association meeting (well, the prize was 2 delicious brownies that can be sent as a gift with a greeting card) said that she is very familiar with my product and tried to remember the name of the person who first mentioned the product to her.

I said, that I am not interested in the name, but very interested to know if she herself has a free account to use the product. I got a commitment to meet with her for a demo, but still, it is better to not risk it. Don’t use your pigeon hole (don’t name your business classification), there is no money in it. Unless you do not want to have a conversation. Pigeon hole = conversation over. Works every time.

Back to be the first to ask – they will answer, and then ask you. You will be able to customize your response (rather than give them cute/nothing or elevator pitch), you will sound like you have been paying attention to them and they will like that about you, because you made them feel good.

Here are some tips to craft a profitable answer. You goal is to make this new acquaintance remember you, right? Tell them a story of how your client had a Problem, you took an Action, and here are your client’s Results. People remember stories. Write down on 3×5 cards 100 stories to fit any situation. And finish your stories with what your prospective client wants (result, that is), so they can refer people to you.

If they don’t ask you what you do, don’t worry – this is just your first contact. You will stay in touch with them, remember the stats – 80% of the time it takes 5 or more contacts before they do business with you or refer to you.

Ready to hear about business cards tomorrow?

How to Have a Little Conversation (Tool to Use for Profit)

Conversation is a layer that will make the other person want to know you. Their interest in you will make you comfortable.

You went to the networking event to meet people and get business and you think business is what you should be talking to people right off the bat. Wrong. Do not do it. The number one reason people do not get business at networking events is because they hand over a business card and talk about what they do before they have a conversation.

The more I read Wendy Kinney’s book (‘Networking Aerobics’), the more I am blown away by how much little things, that many of us do backwards at networking mixers matter.

Listen to this: just like it is important for romantically involved couple to have their first fight and recover from it before they have sex (in that particular order – first fight-recovery-sex, reversing it dooms the relationship), the same way when you first meet people it’s essential to show them, you are interested in them personally as a person, not a prospective paying client, before you give them a card or talk about business.

People do business with people. If you don’t find out what you have in common before you talk about business it dooms the relationship. You will miss a lot of business if you don’t find out what you have in common with the person in front of you first.

Don’t ask questions that are way too personal – even if you think that what you’ve got will help them with whatever issue you think they might have. Stick to ‘have you been to this mixer before?’, ‘are you new in town?’, ‘where are you originally from?’, ask them if they have children and ask questions about children. Ask them about their vacation plans. It is much easier to follow up when you know what you have in common – many times it creates a reason for follow up.

Once you find out at a big sales meeting or a convention for instance (because this technique works everywhere) that your grandparents and the other person’s grandparents where from the same little town, it will be much easier for you to invite them for lunch and start building that relationship even further, wouldn’t it?

If the person you are having a conversation with keeps talking about themselves (way beyond 6 minute max you planned to have per conversation) or if they have nothing to say, stick your hand out, say ‘Nice to meet you’ and go find someone else.

Network. The purpose of a conversation is to find a credible reason to make a second contact. Go for business now and it’s all over. Make a personal connection and you can make money.

It is profitable for you now to ask what they do.

How to Say Your Name (Tool to Use For Profit)

Yes, you read it right – saying your name is a tool to use for your profit. When done properly that is. Everything should work together to ensure that people you meet get to know and like you. When they do, they become open to doing business with you.

Say Your Name.

You can talk while shaking hands with people. The thing to say is your name. Even if you think they know you, say your name. Even if you are wearing a name badge with your first name big, say your name. Most people aren’t good at remembering names, so give them a break. Say your name.

We all have tendency to say our name too quickly. Hearing a name for the first time in a noisy room, one has to make an effort to actually hear it. Make it a memorable introduction. Wendy Kinney in her book Networking Aerobics, talks about a popular way to say a name in the movies – I absolutely loved it – yes, she is referring to James Bond!

I can see myself saying ‘Nichols. Larissa Nichols’. I like that a lot. That is helpful and memorable. Actually, I have been called by my last name before in e-mail follow-ups after networking events. Makes sense now – people simply do not expect to hear a name right away, so when they see my mouth moving, they are a little behind, and hear Nichols only. Not Larissa Nichols. Well, not any more!

Offer words that rhyme with your last name, shortly explain how to spell your name properly. In the choice who should feel uncomfortable, always choose yourself. Make the other person comfortable. People do want to say your name correctly. It’s arrogant to make them think that they should know how without any instruction.

You are at a networking event to meet people who will do business with you, and refer business to you; it’s important for them to know your name. If you hear an unusual name, ask them to tell you the story behind it. It will help you remember that name. The more you know about someone, the easier it is for you to remember their name.

If someone you met before obviously recognizes you but does not remember your name, say it, and remind them where you met. Sales people have to make prospects comfortable, not embarrassed.

Don’t ever walk up to people, hand them your business card and walk away. Walk up to a person, extend your hand, say ‘Hi’ and say your name. The reason you have been hesitant in the past to just walk up and say hi is because you did not know what to do after the hi. Now you do. Say your name, they will feel comfortable around you.

How to Shake Hands (Tool to Use for Profit)

So, we are still talking about Newtworking Aerobics, in terms of how (in what manner that is) we actually need to be doing things we need to be doing at networking events. To have people know and like you by making them comfortable around you.

Handshakes.

There is unwritten rule about handshakes: if you shaking, you are standing. At a sit-down event the standing rule applies. If a person approaching you while you are sitting does not want to shake, there is no need to stand up.

Important handshake rule one: palm flat. All business handshakes use flat palm technique. No exceptions.

Important handshake rule two: thumbs web-to web. That means do not do dead fish (only fingers extended), nor limp wrist (handshake partner stops at their knuckles).

Important handshake rule three: you have to participate. Shaking hands is not a spectator sport. That means your fingers curl.

Your confident professional handshake will make an instant difference in how people will bring you into their conversations, because your handshake tells them about you.

A flat-palm, fingers-curled, three-shakes handshake is one of the tools you can use to remember other people’s names and help them remember yours.

Do not place any emphasis on how you think your hand feels to them – hot, cold, etc. Instead of apologizing for something you have little control over, place you attention on where you have total control: on what you say. You want this brand new acquaintance to remember your name, not your excuse.

Wendy Kinney talks in much more detail on handshakes in her book Networking Aerobics.

Say Your Name is the next tool for tomorrow.

These Are Tools. Use Them to Your Profit.

Methods to the Madness – Networking Aerobics continued.

Today was Labor Day. My additional day off, and Gilbert and I made it a true day off. We decided to go to Helen, GA because it is one of the places we visited together when we just started dating. Back in spring (it was an early one this year and it because hot quick) we decided to go tubing down Chattahoochee river up in Helen. Now the summer is gone and we still did not do it. So, tubing it is!

We called to find out if they still run the tubing this late in season, packed our stuff and off we went. Took 3 tubes (one of the staff thought that one will not be enough for Gil) and went to the launching site. This was my first time tubing, I cannot say that I was watching people to see how they actually got into tubes. I simply put my tube into the water, turned my back to it and fell into my tube butt first. It worked perfect.

Gil fastened two of his tubes together, held on to the handle of one of them and from what it looked like, wanted to put his knee into the tube. I suggested he goes butt first. He did not. The next thing I know Gil is falling into the water back first, his legs are up in the air, his head submerged in the water. ‘I am OK’ was the first thing he said once his head appeared out of the water. ‘Butt first. Got it.’ was the second thing he said. He got up, turned his back to his tube, and went down butt first. It worked perfect.

The same way, there are little tricks to how to do what you know you should do when you are meeting people at a networking mixer. The way you do those things has to make people like you. People like you, when you make them comfortable around you. That is your ticket to developing relationship with them and receiving referrals from them. Wendy Kinney’s book Networking Aerobics is a treasure box full of great tips on that.

Showing Confidence.

No matter what the etiquette tells us, at a networking event the person with the most confidence extends their hand first.

Showing confidence is one of the criteria for success.

Not being confident mind you, just showing confidence for 2 hours. You can do it.

Confident is: eye contact+straight shoulders+a smile. Confident = an answer to a question+a question back.

Confidence makes you appear comfortable. When you are comfortable people around you will relax. Just confidently walk up and offer a handshake.

Below is the rest of the topics I will expand on later:

Handshakes.

Say Your Name.

A Little Conversation.

What Do You Do?

May I Have Your Card?

Future Planning.

The Introduction.

The Exit.

Follow Up.

Rinse and Repeat.

Networking Aerobics: 4. Why Arriving Early is Vitally Important

Refuse to apologize or complain about things you have no control over, like weather; or things that you could reasonably plan for like traffic and directions.

Many people receive respect through time. If you make it clear at the first meeting that you are willing to use things that are known and predictable to give yourself an excuse, they are learning what it would be like if they chose to work with you, or refer you to a client.

Do you feel comfortable when you arrive to a networking event when it is half way through? I did not think so.

Wendy Kinney suggests you arrive 30 minutes early (in her book Networking Aerobics).

When the next person shows up, they have to talk to you because you are the only person there. And when the third person arrives, it is natural for you to say ‘Come join us’. Make sure that you are standing facing the door because you want to see that third person walk in.

When you see the fourth person come in, you leave the second and the third person talking and go greet that fourth person. When the fifth person arrives, you will motion to him to come join you and the fourth person.

You will leave the fifth and the fourth person to go greet the sixth person. If the seventh person comes in asking for the first person, you can walk them to the first person because you know them. Now if the eighth person comes in asking for you, any of the first seven people can introduce you, because they all know you.

This great experience happens due to you being 30 minutes early. If you are the third one to walk in, the first two people will not even notice you because they will be busy talking to one another.

Networking Aerobics: 3. Things Not to Bring and Not to Do

The fortune is in the follow up. I am pretty sure you have heard that. May times.

Here is one really smart way Wendy Kinney uses (I will too, now that I see the brilliant logic of it) to create a follow up sequence.

Yes, this is about what to do and what not to do at a networking event.

Do not bring any stuff. Like brochures about your business and other expensive marketing materials.

You don’t want to see them in trash cans later, do you?

Unless people at the event have an easy way to carry your stuff around, that is exactly where your stuff is going to end up.

Or left on a table, or folded in a pocket.

Here is the catch – listen carefully – not bringing stuff gives you a reason to follow up. Instead of asking people to take flyers off your hands, offer to mail a flyer to them. The ones who are really interested will say yes.

When I saw this in ‘Networking Aerobics’ by Wendy Kinney (look for it in Books on the right, if you are curious), I remembered – that is exactly what happened to me last week at East Andrews MeetUp! I did not bring samples of my greeting cards with me, so I kept offering to mail a card to those I had conversations with – I got about 10 mailing addresses and I mailed them personalized ‘Nice to Meet You’ cards.

Now I can call and offer them to see how I did that. And that is exactly my goal in meeting those people – so I can get together with them and show them what I’ve got. Mission accomplished.

Another thing that you do not bring is your phone. When it rings you answer. The other person thinks about something else. You are busy talking on the phone. When you are done there is no time/topic to continue talking about, it was lost because of the call. Why exactly you are at a networking event? To meet new people and get them to know you and like you, right? Can you accomplish that if you are busy talking on the phone? Well, leave it in the vehicle.

The most important thing to understand and remember about attracting new business by referrals through networking is this: no one is going to buy anything from you at this networking event.

The reason for that is – for every 10 people you meet, 8 will need a minimum of five (5) contacts with you before they decide to buy from you or refer to you. When you meet people for the first time, it is just like cold calling – it works 1% of the time. 80% of the time people will need five or more contacts before they make a decision to buy from you.

The good news is that 48% of your competition will never make a second contact. 25% of your competitors will reach out for a second touch. So if you reach out three times you’ve reduced your competition by 73%. Seventeen percent of people in your industry will follow up three times and then quit because they don’t want to seem too pushy. 80% of all sales happen after the  5th contact.

48+25+17=90

When you contact them a 4th time you leave 90% of your competitors behind. If 80% of your prospects buy after five contacts, 90% of your competitors stop at three, the fortune is definitely in the follow up. All you have to do is stay in touch and you’ll get the business. Do you get now why you should leave your phone in the car?

Because networking event is just the first contact. You are there to meet people; they are not going to buy from you anyway. You want to get their card (with mailing address in my case – they’ve got to see my greeting cards in their mailboxes!) and follow up.

You want them to remember you and know that you like them.

Networking Aerobics: 2. (e. f.) Comfortable, Confident, and Pleasure to be Around

e. Are you so uncomfortable at networking events that your hands get sweaty?

You don’t want to shake someone’s sweaty hands, do you? Of course not.

Wendy Kinney has a trick for this one too!

When you arrive there, go to the bathroom and wash your hands with very hot water and a lot of soap.

Your hands will stay warm and dry for 90 minutes.

f. Next one is your breath. You come to talk to people, face to face right?

And you want them to be comfortable with you, get to know and trust you. Yes, that is the purpose of coming to the networking event.

Find a way to keep your mouth smelling clean and fresh without resorting to methods considered rude when used in public, like chewing gum.

Little toothbrushes Wisp or mint flavored dental floss are good choices. I absolutely loved this paragraph from Wendy Kinney’s book (‘Networking Aerobics’):

“What do I do if the person I’m speaking with has flame-thrower breath? Take out your pack of mints, hold it out and say ‘Would you like a mint?’ And if they say no? Smile, lean forward a bit, and say conspiratorially, ‘Are you sure?’ while you nod. They’ll get the hint.”

They will be embarrassed, but more comfortable after a mint.

Be helpful in general – if it is something that they can fix, let them know – like a tie over the shoulder. If it is an ink stain on their shirt, let it go.

They will like you and trust you.

Networking Aerobics: 2. (c. d.) System for Business Cards and Name Badges

c. Juggling business cards in your hands when you are at a networking event is not fun.

Come up with some system so you don’t make people watch you fish for your own cards in the stack of cards you collect. Those definitely need to be separated – either in different pants pockets (for men), or in different pockets in a business card pouch (for women).

A stash of blank note cards in case you need to write a note, or people’s contact info if they are out of cards, is a great idea too. Seems to be a little thing, yet a system of your own will allow you to feel much more confident and be perceived as such by people you meet at networking events.

d. Do you have your own name badge?

I do – have ordered me one after my first networking event because I want people who are talking to me be comfortable with me. Networking is all about making multiple contacts with people and getting them to know and like you.

They don’t want to feel embarrassed that they don’t remember your name. So be helpful, have a name badge on. They will not hesitate to come up to you and talk. That is exactly what you want them to do right? Make your name appears big so they can see it from across the room, your name badge is a great conversation starter.

Another small, but yet important thing is where you place your name badge – on the right shoulder or on the left? Considering that majority of people are right-handed, it is comfortable for you, as a right-handed person to stick your name badge on your left shoulder.

But this is all about making it comfortable for people you meet with, correct? So, remember, it is more comfortable for them to sneak a peek at your name badge while they shake hands with you if you place your name badge on your right shoulder.

These helpful tid bits came from reading Wendy Kinney’s book ‘Networking Aerobics’.