10 New Rules for Sucking Less at Networking

Life becomes less hard when you suck less.

I’ve been coaching/training people on being better at networking for almost 10 years. It dawned on me that perhaps I’ve been looking at it the wrong way. Maybe instead of  helping people be better, maybe I should suggest ways they can simply suck less. To that end, here you go…

1. Must be present to win- I’ve talked about the #1 rule of networking is you have to “show up”. You know what? It’s not enough to show up. You have to be present. And I mean fully present. Not thinking about what’s for lunch or what’s on TV tonight. Put your phone down and pay attention. Opportunities to be of service and to be referred happen quickly at networking events. If you’re not present, you will miss them.

2. Stop bringing “enough cards for everyone”- Look at your desk (or your nightstand or your old shoe box or wherever you stash these things) and count how many cards you haven’t done a thing with. Go ahead. I’ll wait. You done? Right…not even close BUB. Here’s the trick, you don’t need to give your card to everyone you meet. You know why? Because not everyone you meet wants it. And that’s okay. Cards should be passed out and collected sparingly. Speaking of cards…

3.  Ask people for their cards- No. Not everyone. Only the people with whom you want to build a relationship. Here’s the logic. When you pass them your card, you have to wait for them to call you. When you get their card, you can control the follow up.

4. Don’t just talk with people you already know- Networking is about meeting new people as much as it’s about reconnecting with folks you know. You have to have a balance. Make it a point to meet 3-5 new people at every event you attend. 3-5, not 30-50. It’s easier to meet new people at a networking event when you’re not worried about meeting everyone…trust me.

5. Introduce people- Since people are there to meet people, be of service and make some introductions. You don’t have to hold onto your contacts like they’re a Pete Rose rookie card. Share them. Every once in a while you’ll make a very valuable connection and these two people will both be on the lookout for ways to help you.

6. Stop selling us. Seriously. People go to networking events to network. This is very different than a sales meeting. You may get lucky and meet someone who has a need for your offering. Be cool. Setup a time to meet with them outside of the event. Who knows, the next person either of you meet may need those services too. Don’t miss that opportunity by staying in that conversation.

7. Talk less. Listen more. I’ve long said “I’ve never learned anything new with my mouth open”. You already know what you do and what good opportunities are for you. To be effective in networking, you need to learn how to help those in your network. You can’t do that if you’re too busy flapping your gums.

8. Spend more time on the WHY and less on the WHAT- Most people at a networking event knows what a loan officer does. Same is true for an accountant, an attorney and a financial planner. Spend 3 seconds telling us what you do and the rest of the time telling us why you do it. That’s where passion lives. And passion is what engages people. You should also tell us for whom you do it.

9. Have a purpose- Know why you’re going to these events in the first place. Make sure you’re consistent with it. Far too often people want to tell you about their business, their other business, the non-profit they support and sometimes just some silly stuff. Pick one thing and focus on it.

10. Follow up- This is more of an “after the event” thing, but it’s so important. If you tell someone you’re going to follow up with them, do it. Write this down somewhere: DWYSYWD- Do What You Said You Would Do. Be impeccable with your word. If you don’t intend to follow up with someone, don’t tell them you will. It’s that easy.

Follow these 10 rules and not only will you have a better networking experience, so will the people with whom you’re networking.

What ideas would you add to this list?

Our First Impression of Blab

Are birds that social?

My lovely co-host of Business Growth Time, Janet E. Johnson and I do a quick 10 minute review of Blab. We hopped on the platform early last week and had a blast. We talk about some of the features, fun and functionality.

All in all, it’s a very cool platform that when used properly can aid your business. Like all social tools, you can get sucked down a rabbit hole instantly. Be careful blabbing 😉

You can check our show on Business Growth Time our review of Blab. If you like it, be sure to check out our Business Growth Time Facebook Group and our Facebook Business Blabbers group.

Business. Networking. Training.

What’s the best form of Marketing? You know this, you’ve heard it time and time again. It’s word of mouth. A good referral from a trusted source is almost “money in the bank”. Since that’s true isn’t it vitally important to get more referrals? Of course it is!

Many of your best sales pros are probably already doing “some networking” both online and face to face. Are they doing it right? Only your CFO knows for sure.

What about other people in your office. Wouldn’t it be great if they were bringing in business too? They have a network. Why aren’t they? If your company is looking to add revenue, I have some training classes that can help:

The 5 U’s of Networking: This class gives a comprehensive overview on what is needed to Network effectively both online and in the real world. We discuss why Networking works, what you need to know before you begin, how to work an event, what to do after and touches on some crucial online tactics.

Social Media for Business Growth: Companies who have one person responsible for social media are truly missing the golden opportunity. This class goes into the What, Why and a little of the HOW to use sites like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and of course, LinkedIn to grow business.

60+ Things You Need to Know About LinkedIn: Contrary to popular belief, LinkedIn isn’t some infomercial; you can’t just set it and forget. The class moves quickly and even your resident LinkedIn guru will learn dozens of new things on how to use this uber power tool for business.

How Likes, RTs and Shares Grow Business Now: This class takes a detailed look at how to engage others on all the cool social media platforms. We will dive into the  hows of using Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to your businesses advantage.

Content Mastery: While this isn’t necessary for the whole staff, this is a class you’ll want people to take. Ever wonder why some people post and get a bunch of likes and you get crickets? They know how to turn an interesting phrase. And after this class, you will too.

These training classes run for an average of 90 minutes. All classes are tailored to meet your company’s specific objectives and the cost includes a pre-class consultation and post course support for attendees.

Here’s a few recommendations:

“Go out of your way to hear Terry Bean–and then move mountains to get him to your organization/community/business. I don’t often smile with delight at the back of a workshop room but I do when Terry Bean is presenting. I hear a lot of speakers on a variety of topics and Terry is one of the best. Knowledgable, entertaining, personable–Terry is a speaker that creates a relationship with the audience and then takes them to magical place where ideas and information come fast and furious. Great content is delivered on the wings of inspiration. If you appreciate talent, intelligence, creativity and humor–then you’ll appreciate working with Terry Bean.” Penny Shanks Executive Director- Clarkston Chamber of Commerce

“Terry spoke to Michigan Technological University alumni at career networking events recently in Ann Arbor and Sterling Heights, MI. In addition to a motivating (and humorous) presentation on the value of networking, Terry spent considerable time connecting with guests both before and after his talk. He also took the time to research Michigan Tech and incorporated many references to the school in his talk. We will definitely engage Terry again and would not hesitate to recommend him as a speaker to other organizations.” -Brenda Rudinger, Director of Alumni Relations, Michigan Tech University

Here is a link to many endorsements and 70+ recommendations I have on LinkedIn.

Looking for other training? I have extensive knowledge in customer care, communications, sales, marketing and Universal Laws. Additionally, I am one of the most connected people around and am always happy to refer the right connection.

Excited to announce my new business website: uNetworked.com

I’ve long joked that if you ask 10 people what Terry Bean does you will likely get 9 different answers. Hopefully our new website for uNetworked clears up some of the confusion.

I’m still going to speak and coachsult (and you can find details of that here on this site) but when I’m doing that I will be focusing on creating Disruptive Marketing solutions for our clients. I have partnered with one of the best technologists I know, Mike McClintock so we can leverage technology (we specialize in Agile development) and relationships to create real, measurable value for our clients.

We create more than just websites. We create digital experiences that our clients’ prospects and customers will love. We take the time to listen to our customers so we can understand who their target audience is and build technology that will resonate with them. We also understand how Google works well enough to make sure that when your prospects are searching online for you that you show up on page 1.

Understanding the psychology of people and the importance of metrics is what assures our successful campaigns. Another very cool thing about our company is we post our Pricing right on our website so you don’t have to ever wonder about the cost.

Feel free to click on IDEAS to see some of the big ones we’ve delivered so far. Be sure to check back often because this site is BRAND SPANKING NEW and more stuff will be added soon. And we’re quite sure you will love the IONS of digital marketing dominance that we’ve shared too.

If you’re looking for a new web presence, complete with social media, SEO and measurable results, be sure to contact us.

It’s no longer about what you know, or who you know.

Now it’s all about HOW YOU are KNOWN. Who do people in your network think of first when they need a resource that you want to be known for providing? If it’s not you, then you have some work to do. Make sure that you make yourself top-of-mind to your network, so they think of you when that next opportunity comes along.

It’s no longer about what you know or who you know… from Terry Bean on Vimeo.

How to create a magnetic online profile

If you had a nickel for every time someone told you that you HAD to be on this
great networking website, you probably wouldn’t need any more business. It’s
amazing how many sites there are and they all have one thing in common: they
want YOU to fill out your profile or your bio.

Seriously, it has gotten to the point where I have one bio that reads: “If you
found me here you have already read way too many of the bios I have written”.
For the record, I wrote that out of a bit of frustration and DO NOT recommend it
as a best practice 😉

So how do we balance the amount of time this practice takes while showing some
ROI on the time involved? For starters, make sure your profile “attracts” the
type of viewers you want to it.

Talk about “who you are”.

Many of these sites have an area for a “summary”. Most folks summarize their
current work experience and consider this done. Sure that’s a great way to check
off the task, but does it really help? No. This is the area where you want to
engage the person by showing them who you are. What are your values? Share your
thoughts on networking. Tell us about your family. Make this interesting and
personal. It doesn’t have to be long, but it would be great if it made us feel
like we got to know you.

Tell us about “what you do”

This should be an easy one, right? Well, recognize that there are lots of people
who do what you do. How will you make your profile stand out? You need to make
sure you are using KEYWORDS. Keywords are the words that people use when
“searching” online. If you are in the Mortgage business, keywords may include:
real estate, REO, home purchase, buyer, seller, refinance, foreclosure,
property…you get the idea.

An important point to consider- we need to make sure that we are using the
keywords that our industry uses as well as the keywords our clients use.
friend Charlie is in the advertising/marketing business and they do a lot of
“identity” design. He has yet to get a call for identity design, but he sure
gets a lot of people calling because they need a new logo 😉

William Butler Yeats said it best- “think like a wise man, but communicate in
the language of the people”.

Its good to have “past life regressions”

Well, maybe they don’t have to be full on regressions, but it is good for people
to get to know about your past life. Why? Because they may have been a part of
You know I believe that “all business is relationship business”. We have
some really strong relationships with people we are no longer connected to.
Think about that. If you ran into your favorite “cube buddy” from your first
job, your favorite boss from 6 years ago, a college suite mate or whomever, you
would likely be able to pick right up on good conversation. And what’s really
interesting is that some of these folks may be in a position to now do business
with us or our business.

We have some amazingly strong ties in our past. It would be wise to make sure
those folks can find us and possibly help us in our future.

Hobbies and interests are interesting

If all business is relationship business and relationships are built fastest
around commonality, do I need to write more?

Seriously, take the time to share your passions. You would be amazed at what
comes from this simple act. It’s a great conversation starter, it can open doors
that weren’t previously opened and you may just land your next gig because of

I highly endorse being endorsed

Having endorsements show up on your profile page is a great way to have others
feel good about you. If you have earned them, feel great about asking for them.
If there are people you would feel good about writing them for, do so. You never
know, they may write one for you.

Your online profiles are where people go to find out about you in the NOW world.
Whether you are meeting a new client, vendor or potential employer, they are
checking you out online. What impression will they get?

Relationship Marketing Readiness Assessment

You need a clear concept of who your ideal customer is. You need the ability to effectively communicate that to your entire network. You need to fully understand who is in your network. When you have these three things, opportunities to close more business will constantly show up. Businesses THINK they aren’t closing enough business. The truth is there would be a lot more business closed if there were a lot more of the right door opened.

• Do you understand who your IDEAL client is?
• Do you know how to reach more of them with greater frequency?
• Have you ever considered your online and offline business networking strategy?

If you said “NO” to any of these questions, we should talk NOW. I have put together a 130+ question “Relationship Marketing Readiness” assessment that will add tremendous insight to your business. This survey will help small business owners answer these important questions:

• Are you connecting with your ideal audience? Are you sure you even know who they are?
• Are you connected through digital marketing as effectively as you should be?
• Are you connecting to the knowledge you need and attending the events that would most benefit you?
• Are you connected to your past clients, current business partners, vendors and employees in a way that makes them want to refer business to you?

The results of this assessment will be used to assure you’ve identified your target client/business partners, are leveraging online and real world networking effectively and to craft your perfect ASK (if you’re wondering what the ASK is, check out the F/R/E/E download on the homepage of this site).

You will increase the number of QUALITY referrals you receive almost immediately and be able to receive more anytime you want. Even better is that when you execute this system properly you will achieve greater income, with fewer clients in less time.

If that interests you, now would be a great time for us to chat. Pick up the phone and give me a call or use the “contact Terry Bean” function on this site.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Online Networking NOW. Intro-Advanced level social media presentations

I’ve been giving presentations on social media since before they started calling it social media. Whether your audience needs advanced techniques on how to grow business through LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and more or are simply just learning how to fill out a profile, you need to Trybean. His ability to read an audience, answer questions effectively and deliver knowledge in easy to understand language is priceless. Bring Terry in to educate, inspire and entertain your audience now!

Business Power Tools – An introduction to using Linkedin, YouTube, Facebook & Twitter to grow any business NOW

The buzz is everywhere. Business Week, Wall Street Journal and CNN are reporting about it. Oprah, Larry King and Aston Kutcher are chatting about it. Your competitors are doing it.

Whether you call it social media or social networking or web 2.0 or internet marketing, the question on every professional’s mind is this: “Is social media a complete waste of time or an essential power tool for business in a post phonebook world?”

The simple answer is “yes”.

Amid all of the distractions, Linkedin, YouTube, Facebook & Twitter are emerging as the essential tools for marketing your business in a tough market. Join Terry Bean from Motor City Connect for this entertaining and educational seminar as he takes you through the tools and rules of social media. You’ll learn what works, what to avoid and how to use Linkedin, YouTube, Facebook & Twitter to grow your network, engage prospects and generate profit. Get ready to kick your internet marketing presence into gear.

This session can run for as short as 30 minutes and hit the highlights or we can take deep, deep interactive dives that can last as long as 2 days. There is no shortage information and explanations on how you can best use these tools for your businesses’ needs.

Here is one of the 75 plus endorsements that have been written on my behalf:

“Terry spoke to Michigan Technological University alumni at career networking events recently in Ann Arbor and Sterling Heights, MI. In addition to a motivating (and humorous) presentation on the value of networking, Terry spent considerable time connecting with guests both before and after his talk. He also took the time to research Michigan Tech and incorporated many references to the school in his talk. We will definitely engage Terry again and would not hesitate to recommend him as a speaker to other organizations.

Brenda Rudiger
Director of Alumni Relations at Michigan Technological University

5 keys to answering “Where’s your money at?”

My standard answer to any question phrased like this is “it’s at a place that doesn’t end it’s sentences in prepositions”. Not surprisingly English majors and I am the only who finds that chuckle worthy.

Seriously, where is your money at? Do you know?

And let me be clear…I’m not talking about the money you already have. I’m asking about the money you’re about to or hope to receive. Your next money. The real money. The money that is going to help you sustain and enjoy life. From where will it come?

A challenge I see in many small businesses is that they are not only unsure where the next business is coming from, they’re not even sure why they got their last piece of business. It’s kind of like throwing crap on a wall to see what sticks (I’m not sure why this phrase exists, what it truly means of why I am compelled to use it…other than it does illustrate the point). Even if your lucky enough to have it stick, it’s still just a bunch of crap.

As business owners we often take on business we don’t really want because we need the money to grow. That’s fine…for a while. If you’re in the habit of doing that, it ultimately becomes a recipe for disaster. IF you’re good AND lucky, you can make some money for yourself and others prior to disaster striking. If you’re either good OR lucky, you’ll get to stick around for a bit and make some money for yourself or others. If you’re neither good nor lucky, well you can figure that one out.

What if you could simply focus on the sweet spot of your business? You know the part that you LOVE doing and your clients are thrilled with the work you deliver…yeah, that’s the stuff. If you got really clear on your business’s focus and intentions, you would find something very interesting…

Your money is likely in plain view. It’s right in front of you. Perhaps it’s swirling all around you. Are you aware enough to know when to reach out and grab it?

We spend a LOT of time “prospecting” for new business. In my post last week I discussed the importance of going deeper into existing clients and selling more to them. You also need to make sure your network knows exactly how they can do business WITH you and refer more business TO you.

It’s likely that you’ve been doing a good job helping your network. The question is are you doing a good job helping them help you? Are you giving them specific information as it pertains to what your needs are? Are you doing it with enough frequency as to keep them informed but not much as to annoy them? (IF your needs change often or you have a lot of them…don’t feel badly about sharing them often. It’s hearing the same need over and over again that cause question). I believe that you’re very safe posting one of your needs for every eight posts you share that engage others. If you’re adding REAL value (as defined by you and they, not me) you could get away with one out of five. Always remember to give more than you seek. It is important to note that sharing a way others can help you is one form of giving, it’s just not the only one on which you should rely.

The keys to knowing where your money is at are the following:

1. Understand who your ideal clients are
2. Use that knowledge to find good strategic partners
3. Create messaging that speaks represents your brand well and speaks to their needs
4. Share that messaging anyway you can with those who will “hear” it especially your current clients
5. Don’t assume your network knows how to help you. Tell them. Often.

So tell me, where’s your money at??

Prospecting: Why is it “out with the old, in with the new?” aka You CAN sell more to your existing clients •

Do you spend more time courting new prospects or adding more value to existing clients?

One thing I’ve noticed about most businesses is during their first five years the only thing that grows more than their sales is their line card*. It makes natural sense. You do good work for a client and they like both you and the work you did. They ask you if you can handle their next project. Even though it’s outside of your sweet spot, you need the money so of course you say yes. It happens over and over and again. You become an expert in starting new lines of offerings. Sadly most of these are one-offs and the only way the majority of your clients would learn about them is on your “about us” page on your website.

What’s interesting is that if you have a minimum of even a one person sales force, your prospects are hearing about all you offer. Many salespeople are great at telling prospects ALL about your business and your offerings. Great salespeople learn about the prospect’s challenges and do problem solving based on your company’s offerings. Either way, your prospects are learning about this fancy line card you’ve developed.

What about those existing clients? Are you surprised to find out they’re unlikely to spend time on your website? Can you blame them? They are your client after all. They are already getting the best you have to offer, right? The truth is, they are getting the best that you are offering them. The question becomes could you be offering them more? If so, how do you expect them to find out about it?

You have options:

Existing sales team: Can you assign your staff existing accounts to call on? If they sell new products or services they get the same commission as if it were a new client (obviously you don’t want to assign Jimmy’s client to Bobbi Sue if they’re both still employed by you). You could also have a contest. Take a week and have the entire focus be driving new business from existing business. Not only can you likely sell more to your existing clients, you can likely get multiple referrals from them too.

Email- Do a couple of e-mail campaigns that inform your clients of all of your offerings. Give them special pricing or volume discounts. If your services are valuable, you are doing them a disservice by not letting them buy it from you…especially if they are already buying it. There are lots of e-mail management services you can use to accomplish this like constant contact or icontact.

Direct mail- You can send surveys, product announcements, special promotions and more. They can be a postcard or a big fancy envelope with lots of info inside. If you do it right, like my client Continuity Programs** does, be sure to include a tear off pre-paid response card that collects leads for you.

Social media- Perhaps you’ve started a group for just your existing clients. If you haven’t, now wouldn’t be too late to do so. Keep them involved in what’s going on in your world. Give them insight on how to use your products better. Let them know from your perspective how they can work better with you. Add value to them. Always remember that your clients NEED (well, at the very least Want) you to be successful so you can continue servicing them. They are some of your biggest fans. Treat them as such!

Any of these options will work for you. If you did them all, that would work too. The key is to make a choice and then a concerted effort to make it happen. I hope you will implement some of these ideas because I am sure your business will grow.

What suggestions would you share?

*old school term that references ALL of the products and services a business offers.

** Continuity programs offers many lead generation and customer retention services that could be valuable to you. Their website is http://continuityprograms.com and phone # is 800-521-0026.