A very powerful networking tip

The more I practice the after you philosophy the more in love with it I fall. It’s so simple and so completely underutilized. People will be surprised you used it and totally glad you did.

“After you” is the most clearly stated and kindly intentioned communications strategy I have seen in a long time. Its as simple as discussing yourself after learning about others.

Here’s why I think its so important:

Listening to others is a tremendous way to honor them. Honoring people is a great way to build solid relationships.

Many people believe that the person talking is controlling the conversation. The truth is the person who is listening actively and asking good questions is really in charge. You can direct the conversation and they feel good about being listened to.

The people with whom you are communicating will think you’re a wonderful conversationalist because you’re paying attention to them.

When you let the other person speak first they won’t be worried about what they will say when its your turn to speak. They will already have said it all.

This assures that not only will they hear your message they will be likely to want to learn more you because you did such a good job of listening to them.

And as an added bonus you really get to learn what type of person you’re dealing with. Imagine going through all of these good communications skills only to find out that the person with whom you are speaking doesn’t want to afford you the same courtesy. Great. Now you know where you stand with them and can save a lot of time on them in the future.

If you happen to be networking with someone who read this same note, simply smile and say “No, really. After you.” HA HA. Seriously, one of you will have to start.

Happy networking!!

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The 6 degrees of connectedness…a talk at TEDx Detroit

The list of cool things I get to do is staggering. Near the top of it is helping to produce TEDx Detroit every year. Honestly, if it weren’t for my good friend Charlie Wollborg, I wouldn’t be involved. Now that I think about it, I wonder how different that event would be if it weren’t for Charlie. His passion for igniting fire in people’s belly’s pairs perfectly with what TED is about. But this post isn’t about Charlie…at least not totally. There are 5 other degrees of connectedness.

Here’s the story:

I got tired of hearing people say “The six degrees of separation”. Separation is an illusion. We as humans are totally connected to one another. More of us would realize that if we were more connected to ourselves. And if we were more connected to ourselves we would realize that there are other things to which we are connected as well. And with that realization much of the pain, suffering, war and other nastiness we know today would cease, almost immediately.

I was fortunate to be able to deliver my Talk, “The 6 degrees of connectedness” at the first ever TEDx Detroit event back in 2009. You can see that video in it’s entirety by clicking the link above or copying this link into your browser: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hsga5za9ilU

This is one of my favorite presentations ever even though I’ve only delivered it once. I think the knowledge shared should become common. Once we all understand these 6 degrees and more importantly that it’s not about us being separate our world will be a much better place.

For the record, the third TEDx Detroit will take place on September 28 at the Max M. Fisher Music Center. The event begins at 8:30 and runs until 6:00. You can apply to attend, speak, be a part of labs and even sponsor by going to the TEDx Detroit website.

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Top 12 things you can do to reach manufacturers via social media

If I’ve heard it once, I’ve heard it 100 times: “people in manufacturing don’t use social media.” Oh REALLY?
Now I will submit that a lot of people in manufacturing don’t, but those are likely the same people you as a business professional aren’t trying to reach anyway. You need to talk to decision makers. Coincidentally, those ARE the same type of manufacturing folks who do use it. Let me give you some examples.

In my 3 minute LinkedIn search I found:

• 12 people with the word “President” in their title (this includes Vice Presidents) at the company Eagle Ottawa.
• 86 people with the word “President” in their title at the company Lear
• 52 at TRW
• 12 at Borg Warner
• 1047 at Ford
• 340 at Toyota

That’s a lot of top dogs. These aren’t line workers. These are folks that head up departments like Human Resources, Finance and Supply Chain…some of them do so this on a global level.

You should be asking yourself 3 questions right now:

1. How the heck is Terry connected to so many of these folks?
2. What can I do to be that well connected?
3. How would I leverage it if I were?

Fortunately for you I’m going to answer all three of those questions in this top 12 list:

1. Grow your network. These tools work best when the quality of your connections work in harmony with the quantity of your connections. Don’t worry so much about only connecting with people you know in real life. It doesn’t serve you.

2. This should actually be 1, but I never claimed these were in order: Update your profile. Fill it out completely. List your past jobs. List where you went to college. LinkedIn will suggest people you know based on this. When filling out the summary, summarize your life, not your current position. There is a space for that under your current position. Be sure to include interests and specialties…they make you relatable and help build common ground.

3. Upload your email address book to LinkedIn (While you can do this on Twitter, Facebook and Google + I am not advocating that here. I have found LinkedIn to be bullet proof, I have not found that with the others). Uploading your address book will allow you to see people you already communicate with who are also using the tool.

4. Invite them to your network. Don’t wait. Do it now.

5. Go through their contacts and see who else you know so you can get connected with them too. Invite them to join your network.

6. As you’re checking out their profiles to see their contacts, make notes of what groups they have joined. If those groups are relevant to you/your business, join them. They are full of people just like your contact.

7. As a member of a group it’s important to comment on posts and even more important to create your own content. This is how people in the group will get to know you. Focus on posts that will position you as an expert and someone they would like to get to know.

8. Learn how to use the “search” function. Without it you won’t be able to find who you seek.

9. Understand who your target market and target business partners are. If you can’t answer this, the time you spend searching will be wasted.

10. Create status updates that add value to both you AND your network. Share links to articles that are interesting. Pontificate on big ideas about your industry. Tell your network specifically how they can help (ie. Who you are looking to meet). Mix it up. Make sure you include info that helps them AND info that helps you.

11. Don’t worry about using the tool to reach the people you need to contact. The truth is not everyone on LinkedIn is on there all that often. Sometimes it’s best to just grab the contact’s name and make the phone call. LinkedIn is a valuable research tool that will help you get past just about any gatekeeper.

12. Set aside time for this. It’s not going to happen if you don’t. I promise it doesn’t take of itself. Don’t say you’ll do it “later”. I have checked your calendar and there is no timeslot label “later”. Budget an hour to fill out your profile properly. Then plan on spending up to 30 minutes at a time two times a week to do the rest. I promise it will be time well spent.

This post focused on one aspect of how to use these tools. You can also be using social media for hiring, customer service, employee retention, branding and more. If you’re interested in more advice on how use social media and relationship marketing to grow your business I suggest you Try Bean by going to http://trybean.com

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How to choose the right social media groups for you

Just being on social media isn’t enough. You have to engage and interact. The best place to do that is inside of groups. How will you know which groups to join?

Watch this quick video on “choosing the right social media groups for you” for several ideas: or you can copy and paste this linke: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YVU0A87C9go

PS, I’m aware it’s sideways. Not sure how to fix that…yet.

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