Are You A Confident Networker?

Would you describe yourself as a “confident networker”? Are you someone who looks forward to going to networking meetings, or do they fill you with dread? Just like Sales or Marketing, Networking is a skill you can learn, refine and upgrade throughout your career. At Focus Guru, I work with business owners and employees, teaching key networking skills that make a real difference.

Be a confident networker online or off line
Be a confident networker online or off line

Most people have been to a face-to-face networking meeting at some point. Whether it was through choice or recommended by the boss, you might have found yourself attending a sitting down breakfast meeting or a “mix and mingle” walk around the room meeting. While sitting and standing networking have pros and cons the key networking skills remain the same.

In my Focus Guru Power Hours I cover the key networking skills in more detail, however these are my Top 5 Tips for building confidence when attending online or offline networking meetings.

5 tips to being a confident networker

Tip 1 – Know Your Product Inside Out

It might seem obvious but having detailed knowledge of your product or service is essential to ward off difficult questions or embarrassing pauses. If you are asked something unusual, a tip is to thank the person for their question, say you’ll need to research the answer, make a note so you remember after the meeting, and send them the answer at the next available opportunity. It can also help to have a handful of “set phrases” you can reel off to answer common questions.

Tip 2 – Stand Tall And Project Your Voice

If you’re sitting down, stand up when it’s time to deliver your 40 seconds introduction, and speak a little slower and a little louder. This makes sure you have everyone’s attention. It also helps those who are hard of hearing or lip reading. If there are other conversations going on, it ensures your message gets through. In online meetings, it pays to do a sound check on your microphone before the meeting starts and always remember to unmute yourself before you speak.

Tip 3 – Smile And Be The Positive Person

A genuine smile goes a long way in networking circles. Being known as a positive person goes even further. Life is tough and running a business can be even tougher, but if you can share a good news story, find something cheerful to say, make a compliment, or even deliver a “good morning” with a smile, you’ll find people are drawn to you. This forms the “Meet” and “Like” in the 4Networking mantra “Meet, Like, Know, Trust”, the foundation of friendships and business relationships.

Tip 4 – Involve Others, Even Your Competition

A confident networker isn’t scared of the competition. Even if you’re a travel agent and there are three other travel agents in the room, it’s not a problem. The confident networker sees the competition as an opportunity for collaboration, outsourcing surplus work and taking on new clients. You might want to mention another networker in your introduction, someone you’ve helped or who’s helped you. It shows you are a well-connected person, a “go-to” person, which again draws people towards you.

Tip 5 – Look For Your Target Customers

While you’re waiting to talk about your business, listen carefully to how the other networkers introduce themselves. Is there an opportunity lurking in their 40 seconds? I recommend making plenty of notes about who you’d like to speak with, either in the meeting or afterwards. If you sell books to children, who are the parents in the room? If you deep clean houses, who are the estate agents or landlords in the room? If you’re an accountant, how many people will need to submit tax returns this month? From working with clients in different industries over the years, I know this tip alone has brought in many new opportunities for them.

Bonus Tip – Follow Up

I cannot recommend following up enough. It’s the key to forging friendships and the foundation of business relationships. A simple email after the meeting, a text message or a phone call, is all it takes. If you would like help organising a structure to your follow-ups, installing a CRM system, or simply having an Accountability Partner to make sure you do your follow-ups, please contact me and I’d be happy to help.

I offer a free 15-minute chat to talk about what you want to achieve from networking with the opportunity to follow this up with a Focus Guru Power Hour tailored to your needs.

Book your Focus Guru Power Hour now and let’s get started.

Rachael Chiverton, Focus Guru – Giving You Your Time, Your Way with no Squirrels

New Year, New Start – What Are You Changing?

There’s something about the new calendar year that triggers a sudden flurry of activity. It doesn’t matter how hard you worked until the end of the previous year. You quickly forget how many sleepless nights you spent worrying about your work, family or health. As the clock strikes midnight on the 31st of December it’s as though the slate is wiped clean and a new year brings a fresh new start.

What are you changing for 2021?
What are you changing for 2021?

The 1st week of January is the perfect time to announce your “New Year, New Start”. By letting others know what you intend to do, you make yourself accountable to them and to yourself. Writing down your targets and the steps to reach them re-enforces your good intentions and makes your goals much more likely to happen.

So, my “New Year, New Start” question to you is:

What are you changing?

Is it something at work? Or at home? Do you want to expand your business? Or plan a holiday?

Everyone has a different goal, but many goals have similar skills you’ll need to achieve them. I can help you discover your hidden strengths and use proven strategies to motivate you to finish the variety of projects you’ve started.

I’ve changed and launched my power hours.

I do this through my Focus Guru Power Hours. These are sixty minutes of targeted business focussed knowledge, systems, processes and skills that will fit into any part of your day.

Rachael’s understanding of my needs and concerns gave me the support I needed to overcome my blocks.” – Elissa Dobson

How does it work?

Your Focus Guru Power Hour begins with a straightforward, no nonsense conversation. You don’t need to prepare anything and there’s no need to take notes as I’ll send a report with action steps afterwards.

You can choose which Focus Guru Power Hour suits you best or combine Power Hours to sharpen multiple skills. For example, you might choose the Focus Guru “Outstanding Content” Power Hour alongside the “Hootsuite” and/or “Mailchimp” Power Hours.

Or if you’re struggling with overwork or overwhelm, the Focus Guru “Time Management” and “Overwhelm” Power Hours could be for you.

Rachael has been amazing helping me set up mailing campaigns for my Sammy Rambles books and dragons! I feel confident I can send my own mailshots after my Focus Guru Power Hour.” – Jenny Leggott

The first step is to choose your Power Hours and you’ll see areas from social media, technology, general business and niche areas. Each Power Hour is 121 via Zoom and available for you or a member of your team to participate.

Focus Guru Power Hours:

  • Streamyard
  • Calend.ly
  • YouTube
  • Hootsuite
  • Mailchimp
  • Time Management
  • Procrastination
  • Overwhelm
  • New Business
  • Zoom
  • Outstanding Content
  • Follow Up
  • General Networking
  • Track Your Finances

Remember, you can combine Focus Guru Power Hours. Would you like to improve your Zoom or Streamyard knowledge? Maybe you’d like to combine this with a General Networking Power Hour or New Business Power Hour?

Focus Guru Power Hours will help you learn a new skill or enhance your existing knowledge in a variety of business sectors. To book your Focus Guru Power Hour, please arrange a free 15 minute call and let’s get started.

How Making A Cup Of Tea Can Improve Your Organisation Skills

When was the last time you stopped to make a cup of tea? Was it just before reading this? Or will you make yourself a drink in a few minutes? Stopping for a quick tea break actually has more benefits than you might think.

  1. Stopping for a drink helps your brain process your recent activities.
  2. The act of making a cup of tea has sequential actions which must be followed.
  3. Rehydrating regularly throughout the day is proven to enhance your productivity.
  4. Taking a break is a great way to come up with new and innovative ideas.
How can making a cup of tea help you get organised?
How can making a cup of tea help you get organised?

The human brain is said to process around 30,000 decisions each and every day. This starts from the moment you wake up, perhaps the alarm has gone off and you decide whether to switch it off and get up or hit “snooze” and have another ten minutes in bed. The decisions continue as you decide what to wear, which shirt, blouse, skirt, trousers, shoes, bag, jewellery is right for the day’s activities.

Each item you choose to wear becomes a decision and each decision can have a consequence on the next decision.

It’s the same when making a cup of tea. We all know the ingredients, the teabag, the milk, perhaps a spoonful of sugar, the water, the cup, the kettle, the electricity, and we make plenty of cups of tea each day on auto-pilot.

Our brains know what to do and when, in order to achieve the intended result.

50 Steps To Make Your Cup Of Tea

If something goes wrong, perhaps the milk has gone stale, the teabag splits or there’s a power cut, our brains are creative and there will be a workaround. It might surprise you to learn there are approximately 50 steps to making a cup of tea. That’s around 50 decisions your brain is making. It’s 50 things to keep track of, and that’s where your organisation skills are essential.

For example, there’s no point trying to boil an empty kettle. There’s no point trying to stir the tea without a spoon. From lifting the kettle lid, turning on the tap, allowing the water inside, turning the tap off, closing the lid, turning on the electric, putting the kettle back on the base, pressing the switch, waiting for the water to boil…you get the idea. There are lots of steps!

Using Your Time Twice

As humans we’re great at concurrent activity. We can do two things at the same time. I call it “using your time twice”. While the kettle is boiling the water, you’re probably opening the cupboard door, choosing your cup, closing the cupboard door, going to the fridge, opening the fridge door, picking up the milk, closing the fridge door…going back to the cup and the kettle, opening the milk carton, pouring in the milk, closing the milk carton, retracing your steps to the fridge. More steps!

I hope you can see how quickly the number of steps add up. You can see all the micro-decisions taking place. All to make a simple cup of tea.

Improving Your Organisation Skills

In this example I’ve shown how these micro-decisions become the jigsaw pieces to build the complete picture. If you feel you’re lacking organisation skills, perhaps you’re the person who runs out of milk, or doesn’t have a clean cup to drink from, I can help you change into the person who has everything under control.

Organisation skills are simply habits which can be learned and improved on at any stage of life and applied in business and at home. I can help you become the person who’s prepared for many eventualities, simply by becoming more organised.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to boil the kettle! I can easily make two cups of tea, so if you fancy a chat to see how you can improve your organisation skills, please contact me.

I offer a free 30-minute consultation to find out more about you and your business. This can lead on to working together to identify areas in your business or personal life where a little extra organisation will free up your time to enjoy the things you want to do.

Please contact me on 07756 772950 or drop a message in the comments and let’s get started!

Rachael Chiverton, Focus Guru – Giving You Your Time, Your Way

www.getfocus.guru