Posts Tagged ‘Meetings’

meetingOne of the greatest complaints from corporate executives about attending professional networking events is they feel like a target for hungry sales people and job seekers.  One client of mine will not divulge her title and avoids sharing her company name at all costs.  I invited another client to a meeting and they shared with me they received six sales calls the next day, thus to say, they never came back again.    Below are ten best practices for networking, becoming known for what you know, and having your target prospects see you as a valued resource.

10 Best Practices for Network Meetings

  1. Reciprocity is the rule. If the group is one that hosts your typical prospects, get involved and serve.  Remember, give and you shall receive – it works as simple as that. The difference is, it means you have to give your time and energy versus making a quick call to someone who you see as your prospect.  You will meet people in a servant role versus your sales role.
  2. People Watch. Look out for newcomers or introverts.  Introduce yourself to them and others.  Next meeting, they … you got it, will look for you!
  3. Connect through meaningful introductions. Become a connector and when you introduce any two people, create a little 10 second introductory commercial that states a claim about the person. As an example I was introduced recently in a networking setting as “This is Mary Anne, I describe her as the glue that holds the world together”.  She then had a nice statement about the person I was being introduced to.
  4. Do not interrupt two or more parties. If you want to join a conversation, stand behind and find a nice time or place to interject then reach out and make an introduction.
  5. Forget about yourself completely. Ask open ended questions about them, their interests and business.  You can certainly state your 30-second commercial  when asked what you do.  Be sure it is compelling.  As much as possible, keep the conversation on your prospect.
  6. People will lose your card. Networking is not about handing out cards.  I rarely carry them.   I do however ask people for cards and follow up with a signed note and my business card.
  7. Offer value versus follow up. If you learned about their interests, take notes promptly so you do not forget.  Then, instead of calling to “follow up”, send them something they might find of value including information that matches the interests or business they mentioned during your conversation.
  8. Practice networking. If you are introverted, and networking is difficult for you. Make it a point to only meet two or three people.   Twenty or more years ago, I walked into an international meeting for trainers (ATD).  Although an extrovert, I was nervous; my background is sales, these were trainers.  I was a Bostonian, these were Texans.   I got my drink (yes, they served drinks back then), and I hovered in a corner, looking for what to do next. Two women walked up to me, shook my hand and I remained friends with them for many years and am still active in that association.  They later told me, they were “practicing networking.” If they did not introduce themselves, I may not have made it back to the next meeting.
  9. Ask before you spam. Do not add people to your mailing list without their permission.  If you do, they may look at your email promotions and newsletters as spam versus the valuable content it really is.
  10. Use “by the way…” prospecting. If you do all of the above, serve with your heart, make connections to help people; you will know when the time is right to say, “By the way, could I share a bit about our business”. Or to say “By the way, I would like to have a coffee, learn more about what you do, share what I do and see if there is any way to assist one another.”  Going for the appointment without the relationship, more often than not, is a turn off.

Happy Networking!

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meetingDo you often wish your employees would bring you a solution with their problems?  Is innovation key to your competitive edge?  Are employees looking for new approaches to the same old problems? Peak Performance Solutions® is best known for sales and leadership training and keynotes.  Everything DiSC is an engine that drives the results for our continued success.   Our ultimate goal is to improve productivity by helping employees learn to critically solve problems, make discerning decisions and think outside the box when it comes to approaching customary situations that are customary.  If you are looking to improve your innovation and productivity within your organization, consider one of our training courses.

No time for training?  Well, let me ask this question. What is the cost of not training your employees?   Training is in the classroom and also can be integrated into your culture.  Start an employee reading club.  Take a few minutes each week to read a chapter from a great book on these topics or choose to take a few minutes each week to read and pass along a good article?  Here are book suggestions to get you started The Innovative Team: Unleashing Creative Potential for Breakthrough Results by Chris Grivas and  Gerard Puccio or Break From the Pack: How to Compete in a Copycat Economy by Oren Harari.  Or if you want a book to use to get teams in a creative mood at the start of meetings, consider Thinkertoys: A Handbook of Creative-Thinking Techniques by Michael Michalko.  Plus you might want an article suggestion for each topic above which you may want to read and share: Solving the Problem Solving Problem, 5 Tips For Promoting Innovative Thinking, and 10 Steps to Good Decision Making.

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meetingAt Peak Performance Solutions, we have been offering tips on holding effective meetings in our sales and leadership training programs for years.   We have had a few customer requests for short training that focuses specifically on meeting management skills. Our response was to add three new offerings to our training curriculum to meet the needs of administrative staff, teams, and management. If you are looking to improve your meeting management skills or those of your team members, please consider one of these courses.

Can you or your employees not find the hours needed (we offer half-day and full-day versions) to attend a training class right now? If this is so, you should plan do-it-yourself learning by taking a few minutes each day to read key chapters of a meeting management book or make a plan to read a meeting skills article each day to help immediately build your skills.

Here are two book suggestions: R.A!R.A! A Meeting Wizard’s Approach 64-page book by Shirley Fine Lee or How to Make Meetings Work: The New Interaction Method 320-page by Michael Doyle and David Straus

Or you can click here to see a multitude of meeting management articles by the author of the R.A!R.A! book, upon which our new training offerings are based. We give a copy of her book to each training participant in the bottom two courses listed above. In the shorter “minutes” course, participants are provided a handout.

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