MGS Designz is all about sharing the good business advice and inspiring you to become GREAT at what you do! Today we’re going to share another great blog post from Angela Patterson from Anderson Patterson Cremation & Funeral Services! We help Angie put together her blog and newsletter every few months and we’d love to help you! Please contact us for more information!
Before anything else, preparation is the key to success. – Alexander Graham Bell
Anyone who has ever wondered how successful people achieve their goals has quickly discovered that preparation was the key and the main difference between those who win and those who fail in life. I wonder how something so simple and obvious can be so complicated and difficult for so many people. If you want to arrive from point A to point B you get a map and take the quickest and safest route possible. If you want to learn a new trade you research, study and plan out your goals and then walk in that direction. If you want to be happy in life you stop doing the things that make you unhappy and start doing the things that make you happy. Sounds simple enough doesn’t it? Well it is!
I’ve come to understand that the problem most people have in life isn’t necessarily in failing to take the steps they need for success but rather in not knowing what they want to begin with. Most people tend to go through life wandering aimlessly… searching without a clear direction of where they are headed. Sadly they have no idea what they are actually looking for. They don’t have a list of goals and they don’t even have a map. They haven’t searched within to understand who they are and what they really want out of life. They lose their faith and forget to call on God for guidance. Then the years go by and time takes its toll and life passes them by. They waste their youth trying to be someone they aren’t and then they waste their adult life trying to buy back their youth. They live a lie and they don’t even know it. They are lost and they can’t even see it. They struggle just trying to keep up with the Jones’s or in wanting to have it all while in truth they had nothing at all because they lost themselves in the process.
My last blog was about the importance of pre-planning for your death and enjoying the peace of mind that your family will not be burdened with the details of your funeral. Click here if you missed it, it’s important! And while I feel it is very important to take the time to plan out the details of your end of life I feel compelled at this moment to urge you to plan for LIVING now, before it’s too late and your time has run out. Being in the funeral business here in Southwest FL I have seen more grief and regret than any person needs to see in a lifetime. The purpose of this blog and maybe my purpose for being here at this moment, writing for you, is so that I can inspire you to look within and discover who you are and what your own purpose is.
The only way for you to plan your life and really enjoy each day God grants you is to know who you are, what your purpose is and how you’re going to achieve it. I invite you to search for your personal map so that you can find that quickest route to your own personal happiness. Write down your goals and start walking in that direction now, today… there’s no need to wait until Monday or next year. Life is shorter than you realize and sometimes the things you think are important really aren’t that important at all.
This brings me to something I read in a book recently and I’d like to share it with you now: Nothing in life can take the place of knowing your purpose. If you dont’ try to discover your purpose, you’re likely to spend your life doing the wrong things. As psychologist Viktor Frankl said, “Everyone has his own specific vocation or mission in life. Everyone must carry out a concrete assignment that demands fulfillment. Therein he cannot be replaced, nor can his life be repeated. Thus everyone’s task is unique as his specific opportunity to implement it.” Each of us has a purpose for which we were created. Our responsibility – and our joy – is to identify it. – Taken from: Leadership Promsises for Every Day by John C. Maxwell.
You have a purpose and only you can discover what that purpose is. My goal today was to inspire you to live life in a manner that can bring you happiness, joy and peace now and all the days to come. In my next blog I’ll get back to more benefits of pre-planning for your funeral so stay tuned.
Anderson Patterson Cremation and Funeral Services is here to help you find Peace of Mind today knowing you have taken care of all of the important details ahead of time. We have experts waiting to answer all of your questions and help you pre-plan your funeral. Please feel free to contact us at (239) 694-4121 or (239) 368-7080 or visit our website at www.AndersonPatterson.com.
MGS Designz is all about sharing the good business advice and inspiring you to become GREAT at what you do! Today we’re going to share another great blog post from Maryanne Preston and Hiring Solutions! We help Maryanne put together her blog and newsletter every few months and we’d love to help you! Please contact us for more information!
Persistence – How to Hire Great People
It’s no secret that hiring is one of the biggest challenges of managing and growing a productive team. So why do we chronically underestimate the time and energy that we need to dedicate to this crucial task? Business owners frequently minimize the importance of hiring. It’s a “tertiary task” superficially unrelated to client work, and often triggered under duress: a huge new client project to ramp up for, the opening of a new office, or the exodus of a few great employees. For this reason, hiring often takes on a stressful tone and is executed hastily. Yet no decision can have a bigger impact on the direction of your work and the long-term success of your business.
Hiring exceptional people allows a leader to set strategic direction and then hand over incremental decisions to smart, capable team members. Letting people in the organization use their judgment turns out to be faster and cheaper – but only if you hire the right people and reward them for having the right attitude.
The trick is uncovering those talented and trustworthy people – and knowing what they look like when you find them. Here are a handful of tips:
1. You cannot clone yourself. One of the first obstacles in expanding your team is re-wiring your brain. Subconsciously or not, you may be fixated on looking for someone with the skills, mannerisms, single-minded passion, and other useful qualities that mimic your own. Instead, look for a cocktail of complementary skills to balance your weaknesses. Seek a foundation of rudiments and a likeable and hard-working personality. There is no one who loves your work more than you.
2. Persistence is golden. There’s a rule of thumb called The Rule of 100. Assume you’ll need to make contact with 100 people in order to find 10 prospects to narrow to a pool of 3 great matches. Sometimes this is an overestimation, but the point is that finding the right person is usually a matter of persistence. Don’t stop looking if you’re having trouble finding the right fit, just keep looking.
3. The best resource is your personal network. Hands down the best source for locating a person that fits you and your company is your circle of contacts. It’s your job to communicate effectively to your network by being clear about what you’re looking for and the context of the hire. It helps to be specific when approaching your network to give them information that’s easy to act on.
4. But… don’t forget to look beyond your network. It is a common strategy (and a common mistake) to stick to your personal network to find quality people. Go beyond your circle of contacts. Make a list of people and companies you respect or admire and reach out to them for assistance. Always ask who you should speak to next to continue to expand your network concentrically outward.
5. The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior… but it’s not always obvious. Often a person’s interests are found in the seams of their resume or professional trajectory. Find out about hobbies, art projects or groups they started outside of work. This type of initiative will provide insight into how well a person works independently and if they’re prone to turning ideas action.
6. Use “critical incident interviewing.” This is an interview model that queries specific past events as a basis for discerning a person’s capabilities. It’s all about cascading questions. Start by asking about an incident, then peeling back the layers to evaluate the person’s thought process, judgment, and how he or she deals with a situation.
- “Tell me about a time you disagreed with your supervisor on a creative issue.”
- “Walk me through the problem.”“What did you do about it?”
- “What led to that decision?”
- “Why do you think that was effective?”
- “What was the outcome?”
7. Assign homework. After a series of interviews, it is common practice for companies to assign a phantom project or problem to solve. Some even hand off a client assignment and compensate potential employees for their work. There’s no better way to predict performance than by having the opportunity to evaluate the work directly and get a feel for a prospect’s style and habits.
8. Do great work and make great stuff… so the best people find you. It’s no surprise that the best companies always have the easiest time hiring. That’s because people are clamoring to work for them. Strive to do mind-bendingly great work and the hiring will take care of itself!
MGS Designz is all about sharing the positive and inspiring you to become GREAT at what you do! Today we’re going to share another great blog post from Lee Knapp! We help Lee put togehter her blog and newsletter every month and we’d love to help you! Please contact us for more information!
YOU CAN’T PLEASE YOUR CUSTOMERS UNLESS YOU KNOW THEM!
Customer Service is a big part of every business and unfortunately it’s one that often gets forgotten. Every year business owners spend hundreds and thousands of dollars in advertising, marketing, getting the best packaging for their product, securing the perfec t location, etc… – it’s all a part of doing business, right? So why doesn’t it always work? Well often times they are missing a really big element – Customer Service! In this new blog series we’re going to review several tips, tricks and ideas on how you can become a successful business person by improving your customer service skills! If you missed it, click here to read Part 1.
Part 2 of “THE FOUR CRITICAL STEPS TO CUSTOMER LOYALTY”
2. KNOW YOUR CUSTOMER!
If we take a look at the big business successes of the past it’s not that difficult to see that the leader or person in charge of that company or business had a pretty good idea of what the end-user wanted and was then able to fill the need in a manner that made the client happy. Take Steve Jobs for example – he was able to take Apple from a dream idea to a household name with products that everyone doesn’t just want but HAS to have and right now… how? He had a knack for knowing what people wanted. Even when everyone else around him said it was crazy, impossible or a waste of time, he not only made it happen but he created a success out of it.
Now I know we all can’t be Steve Jobs and we certainly don’t have crystal ball or magic powers to see what our potential customers want but there are plenty of fundamental and basic tips to great customer service. There is a lot that you can do as a provider of a product or service to research and learn more about your customers and what they need. Below are just a few tips to help you get started!
- Know their timing needs.
- Try to anticipate their needs in advance.
- Be able to ‘READ” their attitude.
- Practice skillful listening with care.
- Create two-way dialog.
Knapp Consultants has been offering Customer Service Training for over 23 years! Please contact Lee Knapp to find out how she can help you and your employees increase your sales and improve your customer satisfaction. (239) 481-8557 or visit www.LeeKnapp.com for more details!
MGS Designz & More is all about helping you succeed in your business and we know that sometimes that success starts in how you live your personal life. Today we’d like to bring you another great article from the Bridge Business View – today’s article is focused on health and hygene. The Bridge Business View is full of wonderful content – every now and then we’ll share some of that content here with you. If you’re looking for a place to network – check out The Bridge Networking Group today!
After doing our research we’ve come up with the following: Using an air dryer after you wash your hands is NOT cleaner than paper towels.
- The bacteria living in your skin is brought to surface when wet hands are rubbed together under a hot dryer.
- Hand dryer filters must be cleaned weekly, if not, germs, bacteria, and viruses grow on the filter and will blow on your hands.
Do you really think local businesses are cleaning the filters on a regular basis? The sad truth is that not washing your hands after using the restroom may be “cleaner” than using a hand dryer. How safe is your food at restaurants if employees are using the hand dryer before touching your food? You could get Ecoli or other deadly bacteria or virus just by eating at restaurant with only hand dryers. Next time you are at a restaurant, check out the restrooms for hand dryers before you order.
Here is a good question, is the board of health checking the hand dryers at restaurants during inspections? If you would like to subscribe to the Bridge Business View or submit an article for the next edition – please contact Michele Andre by clicking here.
The Bridge Networking Group, Inc. – is committed to helping people get to
where they want to be in business and life. We are a Southwest FL based, no
membership networking group with an online newspaper and business directory.
MGS Designz & More is all about helping you succeed in your business and we know that sometimes that success starts in how you live your personal life. Today we’d like to bring you another great article focused on getting you on the path to success from the Bridge Business View. The Bridge Business View is full of wonderful content – every now and then we’ll share some of that content here with you. If you’re looking for a place to network – check out The Bridge Networking Group today!
Taking Charge of Your Life – Ten Steps to Getting Back on Track!
Have you been experiencing that there are times when life just seems to get away from us? We seem to have many distractions that are pulling us in several different directions at once. We seem to be pressured to be perfect at everything we do, pressured to produce, to perform to the standards that others have set for us but we accept as our own. We have work pressures, family pressures, societal pressures and financial pressures. This has become our norm so much to the point that we do not even realize that we are pressured. It can get very overwhelming. We, without realizing it, just react to what is going on in our lives.
The good news is there is something we can do about this in order to take charge of our lives. Life does not have to be this way. We can change it. You can change it! You can change anything and take charge of your own life.
These are just a few gentle reminders of what you can do when you find yourself having an
experience that seems to be pulling you in a direction that you do not want to go in.
- Be responsible – take responsibility for your life. It is your life, own it!
- Choose wisely – you can make different choices that you are currently making.
- Define your desires – what it is that you want out of life?
- Quit the Blame Game – it is very easy to blame others when things do not go our way.
- Follow Your Heart – Listen to your inner voice and follow it, trust it.
- Stay Focused – do not lose sight of what it is you desire
- Be who you really are – Be the real you, not the you others think you should be
- Do not let others control you – Others will try to control you, do not let
them. Stay away from them if you have to.
- Take time for yourself – make it a point to take time for yourself and do something that is pleasing to you.
- Act not react – Do not just react to what you are experiencing, take a step back,
process it and then decide how are you going to act, what action are you going to take.
In The Spirit Coaching provides personal coaching services to individuals and groups so that you may experience greater happiness in your personal and or professional life.
We at ITSC can help you get more out of life than you are currently experiencing. We
facilitate a process that will lead you to having the life that you desire. All along the way we incorporate guidance, support and encouragement.
Get on the path to a better, happier, healthier life! Call 239-303-7756 to schedule your appointment today!
MGS Designz is all about sharing the positive and inspiring you to become GREAT at what you do! Today we’re going to share another great blog post from Lee Knapp! We help Lee put togehter her blog and newsletter every month and we’d love to help you! Please contact us for more information!
So this month Lee’s Success Blog has been focusing on Gratitude! First we talked about having an attitude of Gratitude and how gratitude is a state of being that can bring you closer to the success you desire in life. Then we discussed the POWER of Gratitude and how it can really transform your life and the lives of those that you come in contact with on a daily basis. Today’s blog continues the topic…
Give thanks – show your attitude in word or deed. “Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.” William A. Ward
So now you might be asking OK – all that sounds great, but how can I stay focused and LIVE in gratitude on a daily basis? Well – here are five easy steps to LIVING in Gratitude:
1.) Gratitude Journal – A journal is a wonderful way to notice all the things in your day that you have to be grateful for. Sometimes we tend to take for granted all the great things that life offers us. So I suggest you write them down, every day! Even if it is only 5 things a day – just jot them down! Soon you will start to notice your life transforming and more beautiful unexpected surprises coming into your life because you are not only taking note but you are feeling grateful for them as well.
2.) Gratitude Stone – Sometimes we just need a reminder to stop and give thanks to our creator for all the many blessings we receive on a daily basis so I suggest a Gratitude Stone! Find a smooth, soft stone and make it your special rock – then place it your pocket, on your dresser, on your desk or in the kitchen. Place it anywhere that when you feel it or see it, you are reminded to name your list of gratitude. Why the stone? Because it is a concrete reminder of expressing your gratitude.
3.) Vision Board – What better way to be grateful than to show gratitude with a collage of all the things you are grateful for and what you want to draw into your life and visualize on a daily basis. That’s what a Vision Board is – a place to showcase your dreams and pause every now and then to connect to them and just give thanks!
4.) Visualization – There is no right or wrong way to use this technique, however, having a quiet, serene “time out” from the distractions of the world is helpful in really focusing on what you are grateful for and what you want to draw into your life in the future. Seeing a mental movie of all you desire or using Visualization is a powerful tool in attracting good and in living in gratitude.
5.) Meditation – They say prayer is talking to God but Meditation is Listening to God speak to you. Connecting with God, the universe, your source – this is meditation. Turn off the noise and the distraction and just BE for a few minutes. Spend some quiet time connecting, listening and recharging your energies while filling yourself with gratitude and love.
Count your blessings. Name them, list them, draw them, but count them. To truly feel gratitude as part of a lifestyle of a grateful heart, you have to acknowledge your blessings. “The hardest arithmetic to master is that which enables us to count our blessings.” Eric Hoffer
Business Consultant & Motivational Speaker Lee Knapp’s goal: “We help our clients gain, train and retain satisfied customers and employees.” As the President of Knapp Consultants, for over 20 years, Lee has been inspiring people to raise the bar and exceed their greatest expectations. Our mission is to “Provide high-energy, educational and motivational programs to assist clients in achieving results”.
We thank you for sharing a few minutes of your time with us to read our blog and learn more about gratitude. Now we invite you to share your gratitude stories with us in the comments below, we love hearing from you! Don’t forget to subscribe to our blog if you haven’t already done so – you will automatically be entered into a drawing to win an autographed book by Lee Knapp – Discover your Inner Strength.
Do you ever wonder why certain people never get past the “I’m gonna” stage in whatever new and fascinating idea they happen to conjure up in their minds on any given week or year for that matter? Now I’m not talking about the reoccurring New Year’s resolution to lose ten pounds that never, ever comes to pass or the inevitable battle with the never-ending laundry pile or forever growing number of emails in your inbox. We all have an ever-present TO DO list that starts to get done but doesn’t because life gets in the way. Those are the ongoing everyday life challenges that we humans must endure on a regular basis that just keep us, well human for crying out loud!
Today, I’m actually talking about a yearning from within or what can be described as deep-rooted desires or much-needed life changes. These yearnings seem to sometimes grow on us like the weeds in our yard… slowly but surely and one day we just notice they really are there and we should do something about them! Sometimes they hit us upside the head like a coconut falling from a palm tree or overcome us unexpectedly like a wave of hot wind on a mid summers day. But once you open your eyes and really notice them there’s no going back because you can’t shut out awareness. You can’t just magically close your eyes again or pretend you don’t hear your heart calling you to something greater than what you have in front of you. In that moment you know you “should” take action and follow that path into the unknown and see what’s on the other side… if for nothing else other than for shit’s and giggles.
Yes, I’m talking about an “aha” moment that inspires you to walk in the direction of greatness with only hope at your side and faith to guide you. I’m talking about that yearning deep within you to change your career, learn a new trade, move to a different state, learn a new language, end a relationship, meet someone new, move on with your life, start your own business, publish your book or just adopt a new lifestyle change. The key word here being “change”… nothing more feared or more needed by the human race!
Sometimes these “aha” moments of inspiration come to us unexpectedly from the strangest of places or sometimes they reach us from exactly when and where they need to reach us and at the precise moment in which we needed to hear it. That life defining moment could be from a book or blog we just read, a comment on Facebook, a tweet on twitter, a heart wrenching moment on Oprah, a song on the radio, a memory from long ago or an honest friend gently holding up a mirror in front of us saying “Hey, when are you going to realize you have egg on your face!” This, my friends, is the fork in the road that defines our future because we make the choice to grab inspiration by the hand and embrace change bravely or we close the door of our hearts in denial and fear and let the voice of spirit disappear in the evening wind.
Now let me ask you this… Have you ever met someone and ten years later you run into them again and they are in the exact same miserable spot they were in back when you both hung out to complain about life over a cold beer or a cheap glass of wine… just wishing you could magically change the people, places or things in your life that you just didn’t like but you didn’t know where to begin? And here they are all these years later only now with ten more pounds and even more wrinkles still saying they’re “gonna” do this or “wanna” do that. Everyone knows at least one and sadly some have to admit being that person, stuck in their own reality, a victim of their own doing or actually their own NOT doing.
If you really think about it we all have 24 hours in a day, we all pretty much go to bed and get up the next day in just about the same way, slight variances I’m sure but with the same basic concept. We all put our pants on one foot first and then the other… we all intake food and output waste, we all breathe in air and drink water and if you’re reading this you too have a computer, just like me. If you really stop to think about it a little longer you just might realize that if you take it all into consideration: blood type, religion, race, color, creed, nationality and belief systems most of us are more alike than we are different. Like my friend Barb’s dad used to say, “If you put five men into a room and strip them off all their belongings, name, social status, bank accounts, etc… What do you have?” Well, you have just five men in their birthday suits, nothing more and nothing less.
So what makes one person different from the other? What makes one man get up one day and realize his dreams while the other finds himself ten years later still wishing they had another man’s life or wife for that matter? Why is it easier for some of us to embrace and accept change while other’s hold on to the familiar for dear life, however unsatisfying and distasteful that reality may be?
I’m sure everyone has their very personal and intimate reasons for not following their dreams but my first instinct is to respond with this: FEAR. I say this because fear seems to be the strongest, most powerful emotion out there next to Love, of course. Fear of the unknown, fear of failure, fear of success, fear of not being good enough, fear of ridicule, fear of falling down, fear of pain and then there’s just plain, old, boring fear. The irony is that there is nothing REAL about fear, it’s all in our heads and 99.9% of what we fear never really comes to pass. As Dr. Wayne Dyers says; “Fear is nothing more than False Evidence Appearing Real” and I believe that the only purpose of fear in our lives is for us to learn to overcome it and become better people for having done so.
But fear is very real for some and very paralyzing in the lives of many and it is for the most part this unseen fear that keeps people stuck in the “I’m gonna” and never allows them to reach the goals they have set before them. I myself happen to be one of those people who you’ll never hear say “I’m gonna” do this or “I’m gonna” do that, other than laundry, of course! I’m one of those people who once I make up my mind I jump in head first, shoes on and don’t think twice about it. You’ll probably look up one day and find that I already did it because once I set my mind to something Nothing and I mean No THING stops me from accomplishing it.
Now this isn’t to say that I recommend this technique to everyone… some of my biggest life disasters have been due to my impulsive nature to jump in without thinking, asking questions or looking both ways before crossing. But no one can take away the learning that came from these choices or the woman I have become because of the experience that came with it so in the end I look back with no regrets and am at peace with my past or most of it anyway. I also believe that some of the greatest challenges I have accomplished in my life are due in part because I didn’t stop to ponder what it would take or how long it would take me to get it done. I just had this crazy blind faith that I could do it and so I did.
And this is by no means a proclamation to perfection because I am still very human and I do battle with my very “real” fears on a regular basis, I just don’t let them dominate my life. Some of my fears I have made more progress with than others but I can easily say I see progress every time I say NO to fear and YES to faith. Now, having said that, I have to admit I have more than ten pounds I currently need to shed and I have yet to publish my book that’s still in the “making”. But these things haven’t come to pass because they haven’t been my focus and not because fear has stopped me from realizing them.
I look over the last ten years and I see myself climbing those stairs in life, setting one goal after another and walking in the direction of my dreams. I listened to the voice of spirit and I embraced faith, I’ve pushed away fear and asked God to guide me into a better tomorrow. Every time I have fallen wasn’t a failure but rather a lesson in life on how to get back up again, reinvent myself and just keep on going. I chose persistence over procrastination and even to this day, as I set new goals before me, I continue to choose change over the familiar every time I get that sour taste in my mouth or that wave of inspiration showing me what could come to pass if I only wanted it bad enough.
Today I’d like to challenge you to take just one of your dreams and start turning it into reality. Don’t think about all the many reasons why you can’t do it and just decide that no matter what, you’re going to find a way to get it done. How? Simple! Take a piece of paper, YES right now, and write down your goal. Now take ten minutes and write a plan, it doesn’t matter if you have to revise it tomorrow, put it down in black and white. Now take positive action today and walk in the direction of your goal. All you have to do is stick to it for 28 days until it becomes a habit and don’t give up. And finally, a week from now, a month from now or a year from now, it doesn’t matter when – celebrate your accomplishment!
MGS Designz & More is now celebrating 9 years in business! We are dedicated to growing your business and getting you noticed! We gladly customize our services to fit your specific needs and meet your specific goals. We help you take your marketing campaign to the next level so you can stand out from the crowd. We believe in creating unique and memorable marketing pieces that will help you reach your potential clients and make them yours. If you’re tired of ordinary marketing then you need to be calling MGS Designz!
Monica Garcia Saenz
MGS Designz & More…
MGS Designz is all about bringing you the GOOD STUFF! Every time we have the opportunity to showcase an article on our blog you know it’s going to have good, positive and valuable content. The below is from a good friend and client who has dedicated her life to inspiring others to find success and be the very best they can be.
Today we’re happy to introduce you to Lee Knapp from Knapp Consultants, please read on! MGS Designz proudly works with Lee on all her blogs and email marketing campaigns. Please let us know if we can ever be of service to you!
Knapp Consultants would like to take this opportunity to Thank You for taking the time out of your busy day to share a few moments with us.
Here at Knapp Consultants, we understand that the level of success we have in our business and in our lives can be directly measured by the level of gratitude we have in our daily life. On this note we’d like to share a few thoughts on gratitude with you today and in the days to come.
Think about this … what if you took just ten minutes each morning to focus on your “attitude of gratitude?” What do you have to be grateful for?
Gratitude is best reflected in how you act toward and respond to others.
Create your culture of being grateful. How can you be more gracious with you’re your family and your customers?
Are you anticipating the needs of people you care about?
It’s within the smallest details where we uncover the greatest opportunities.
Gratitude is a state of being.
You only live once – but if you work it right, once is enough
JOE E. LEWIS
For more information, please feel free to visit our website at http://www.leeknapp.com or call (239) 481-8557. Take advantage of our Sales Power Boot Camp – sign up today!
Do you have any Sales Training Questions? Click Here to ASK LEE!
MGS Designz & More is all about helping you succeed in your business. We’ve aligned ourselves with some really talented people that help us bring you some exciting and useful tips and information that will definitely put you on the path to success. Today we’d like to bring you some important Networking Tips brought to you by the Bridge Business View. The Bridge Business View is full of wonderful content – every now and then we’ll share some of that content here with you. If you’re looking for a place to network – check out The Bridge Networking Group today!
12 Tips for Getting the MOST out of Networking – by Sam Black
- DO attend lots of networking events each month. The more you attend, the more opportunities you have to meet that person who needs your product or service. Make it a point to attend at least one a week… and more is better. Go to several different Chamber events within a 30 minute drive each month – breakfasts, lunches and dinner programs are available to meet every busy schedule. No excuses! Also attend meetings of relevant professional associations and groups and Rotary or Toastmasters. Networking is like dating – you won’t find that match if you are sitting in your office. Plus, networking is so much more fun and productive than COLD calling. It allows you to make a WARM call to a prospect you met at an event and might even get you some HOT referrals if you do it right! Referrals are good!
- DON’T go with a friend or business associate to stand or sit with that person during the socializing time and/or meal time. Your goal is to meet new people. And, when you sit with people from your company, you not only limit the number of new people you will meet but you also limit the new prospects the other table members will meet. That’s not fair to them. They came to meet people from many companies, not just your company. I see this so often and am puzzled. Five sales reps from the same printing company sat at the same table – even after I jokingly said while on the check-in line “you all are sitting at different tables, right?” It would have been much better for that company to come back with 5 x 7 = 35 possible printing connections instead of only the 3 they got! I also watched bank managers do the same at a different event, all four from the same bank at one table – why?
- DO come prepared with a sufficient number of your business cards (please, never run out of them), your 30-second powerful “elevator” introduction, and 3-4 open-ended key questions you want to ask anyone you meet. These are questions about THEIR business that show you are interested, give you information about what they do and need, and might give you insights on how you could help them. People like to talk about themselves and these questions help you get the conversation going. Some suggestions -“How did you get into this business?” “What are some projects you are working on right now?” “How are you planning on building your business this year?” “What key challenges do you face trying to build your business?”
- DON’T talk about yourself – it’s NOT about what you need – it’s about what they may need from you…or from the people you know who you can direct them to for assistance or solutions. Its building relationships and their confidence in you as a resource – the business you want from them will come because they will view you as that “go-to” person.
- DO pay attention to what they are saying, and make appropriate notes on the back of their business card so later you can think about resources for them. In fact, as you enter them into your database later that evening, you’ll probably think of several other people in your database that you can connect them with to help with a need they may have verbalized that day. Shoot off an email with those contacts “Great to meet you. I thought about what you told me today – here are some people that you might want to talk with about the ______ you mentioned today…” A good networker should be able to send that type of email out to at least 2-3 people after each networking event. Think of all the good will and credibility you build as a resource when you do this!
- DON’T let your eyes wander looking for other people in the room. For stand-up networking, the person in front of you is the most important person in the room for the next 3-5 minutes. You may break away graciously to meet someone else after you have made your connection and followed #9 below (if applicable.) Then, simply say “I’ve enjoyed meeting you. Let me let you circulate some more so you can meet a few more people and make other connections. (I will call you _______.).”
- DO ask, “what type of help can I give you to be successful in your business?” You never know what resources you have in your mental rolodex right then and there that will be perfect for their needs.
- DON’T transact business or try to sell during a social networking event. It’s a time to make connections and start relationships, not promote and close on a product or service you want to sell.
- DO ask for either a firm appointment later in the week or for the best time to call to schedule that time to meet. If you believe this person and you can help each other, make this time valuable by verbalizing that feeling so the individual will be eager to schedule the appointment when you call (and know that it will be a two-way street.) “I think I might have some ideas to help you, and I suspect you might know someone who needs my product/service or you yourself might benefit from my product/service. Let’s get together for a coffee to discuss how we can help each other build our businesses. I’ll call you on _______ to schedule it, OK?” In addition to at least one networking event each week, DO schedule at least one networking follow-up “coffee” meeting a week. That’s where substantial value comes from your social networking event.
- DON’T monopolize the table conversation if it is a sit-down event.
- DO, however, initiate introductions and conversations if you are at a quiet table. The participants will appreciate your effort and you will earn a reputation as someone who makes the table interesting and fun. Bring everyone out of their shell!
- DON’T go to the networking event expecting immediate business! You will be disappointed. So many people tell me they don’t go to networking events because “I never get any business out of them; they are a waste of my time.” Please change your view of networking! Networking is the start of a process, the beginning of relationship building. If you avoid networking you will be missing a viable way of building your connections in your business community. If you are nervous about doing it, the more you do it the more comfortable you will get. Practice makes perfect! Most successful business people – owners and sales reps – will tell you that networking has been an integral part of their marketing model. Remember, networking leads to WARM or HOT calls…and those are the ones we want!
See you next week at a networking event!
Do you want more out of your internet presence? Are you interested in improving your Google listings? Do you wish you had more control over your website? Are you tired of paying those outrageous monthly fees?
If you said YES to any of these questions, this article is for YOU!
It’s safe to say that advertising isn’t what it used to be and the yellow pages just aren’t enough anymore. In today’s challenging economy we have to make sure we do everything necessary to stay above the competition and put our name and logo in front of our clients and potential clients on a regular basis in order to keep our business alive. Studies show that more and more people are looking online for their products and service than anywhere else. This is why you should have a website that really represents you and your business in the best way possible.
We are now a fast moving society that has become accustomed to marketing that speaks to us, jumps out at us and even grabs us! Black and white, plain, old, drab and boring is definitely a thing of the past! Your website is your 24 hour salesperson and should represent you well.
A good website should be attractive to the eye, professional looking, free of clutter and easy to navigate. There should be an even balance of text and images and your clients or potential clients should be able to understand what you offer without having to read too much. Your content should be simple, clear, short, sweet and to the point with options to click here for more in depth information. Your contact information should be readily available and you should offer the option for them to email you directly from the website on your contact us page. If you have a storefront, I recommend a Google map for clients to click on and find you with easy.
Your logo, graphics and images should be clear and never blurry; they should be colorful and well balanced. The overall look should be professional and top quality, not something you threw together on your spare time with a “Do It Yourself” web template designer. Your text should be large enough to read without having to be a strain on the eye. Dark text on light background is always easier to read than light text on dark background.
The Google map I suggested earlier will help you improve your search engine listings, make sure your website is linked on your Google location map. You can also title your pages with your important key words and location to help you come up higher in the searches. Getting on The Bridge Directory, BBV, The Florida Wellness Network or other website directories that link back to your website will also improve your searches. We also recommend you check out Quality Service Pros, CapeCoral.com, What’s Up SWFL? and SWFL Naturally – each of these offers a great opporutnity for putting your business out there. Social Media Marketing is another route you can take to improve your search engine optimization. Creating a Facebook, Linked in, Twitter or professional blog that links back to your website creates valid connections that the search engines look for to know you are real and improve your placement in their listings.
With today’s internet technology you have many options for web hosting and management. MGS Designz & More offers you the opportunity to manage and control your own website in an easy to use program that give you all the control at a very low monthly rate. You can have the website you want at a price you can afford and update your website at your convenience whenever you want!
If you are ready to take your marketing to the next level and explore your internet options, please feel free to give us a call at (239) 282-2869 or (954) 326-5366 and we’ll give you a FREE one hour phone consultation. Our website packages are affordable, convenient and flexible! Let help you get noticed today!