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

Top 5 Tips for Successful Networking

Would you like more leads? More enquiries? More sales? To find your next customer you might consider attending a business networking event (nothing to do with computer cabling), where business owners and decision makers get together to talk about products and services. Maybe we’ve already met at a 4Networking face-to-face or online meeting.

Also ask yourself, do people actually know what I do?

When running a business, it’s essential to be able to explain what you do as easily and quickly as possible. Being able to describe your business in 40 seconds in an interesting and engaging way is important, especially when meeting new people at 4Networking meetings.

When you’re in a room with 10, 20, 30, 40 or more people from local, national and International businesses, it can be difficult to stand out. It can be harder to stand out if you are in the same industry as someone else in the room. It’s not uncommon for two web designers to attend the same event, or two electricians, or two accountants.

My top 5 tips are:

Successful Networking – Tip 1 – Be You

It sounds simple doesn’t it? Be You. There’s no need to change who you are and those who do soon get found out. This means don’t over-egg or exaggerate but equally don’t undersell yourself or make light of your achievements. Brad Burton, founder of 4Networking, says: “Be you, because you can’t be anyone else.”

Successful Networking – Tip 2 – Everyone is Nervous

Yes, even that person centre stage talking confidently to anyone and everyone. They were nervous once. It takes practice to be confident at anything and networking is no different. Equally, look for those who seem nervous, speak with them, make them feel comfortable. They’ll thank you for it and could even become your next customer. Also make sure people know what you do. If you are unsure how to do this check out the blog I wrote called ” What Do People Think You Do And Are They Right?”

Successful Networking – Tip 3 – Prepare, Prepare, Prepare

I call this “Know What To Expect”. Anything you can find out in advance about the venue, parking, toilets, coffee station, whether you can bring a roller banner, offer samples or advertise an event is always helpful and these details can usually be obtained from the meeting organiser. Some meetings have a structured format, and you may need to prepare a 40 second introduction or elevator pitch. Arriving in plenty of time is a good way to avoid nerves and help you relax and enjoy the meeting. If you struggle with timings, check out this blog I wrote called, “Squirrel! Squirrel! Squirrel! How to Beat Your Distracting Squirrels

Successful Networking – Tip 4 – Relax, Smile, Enjoy the Meeting

It’s often said that “People Buy From People They Like” and one of the best ways to be approachable is to be relaxed, smiling and welcoming. A friendly “hello” can make a big difference to someone who’s nervous or attending the meeting for the first time. When you’re relaxed it shows in your face and your voice. Take your time delivering your 40 seconds introduction, remember to breathe, speak slowly and clearly and take a sip of water before you start.

If you’re struggling pick up the phone to whoever invited you, explain you feel nervous and they should address you’re concerns.  If even picking the phone up is out of your comfort zone, check out my blog “How you can easily overcome a lack confidence when speaking on the phone.”

Successful Networking – Tip 5 – Don’t Ignore the Follow Up Process

Whether you’re networking online or offline a key part of your networking process to gaining new customers is closing the sale. By this, I mean following up with your potential customer and asking for their business. Unless you’ve made a sale in the room, you’re going to need some sort of follow up process otherwise it can quickly get out of hand. If you attend 4N Online meetings you might meet 20 people in a meeting, perhaps 150 people in a week. How are you going to measure the success of the meeting? How will you know who to contact afterwards? Do you have an effective sales process, a CRM system, or is it all in your head and handwritten notes?

If the answer is “no” please contact me for your free 15 minute chat and find out more about which Focus Guru Power Hours would help your business.

Bonus Tip – Focus on One Thing

Try to focus on one piece of information you want people to remember about you and your business when you deliver your 40 second introduction. It can be hard if you have multiple businesses, have a “side hustle” or “wear many hats”. But, trust me, 40 seconds is just the start of your conversations with people in the room and there will be plenty of time later to let everyone know what you do and why they need your products and services.

I expand on these tips and much more in my Focus Guru Power Hours. For a free 15 minute chat about your business and any areas you’d like to discuss, book your call today.

How Being Consistent On Social Media Is One Of The Keys To Business Success

Nobody says being consistent is easy at first, but I will promise you that it makes a big difference. Just think about the most prominent brands on the market and you’ll spot they all have something in common. They are consistent. They’re always on your social media radar and through Focus Guru I’ll show you how you can do the same for your business too.

Being Consistent brings results
Being Consistent brings results

It doesn’t matter whether you make and sell your own products or services, or if you’re part of a network marketing team selling pre-packaged items, being consistent in your marketing and on social media makes a huge difference. If you’re part of a network marketing team, perhaps with Arbonne, Utility Warehouse, Forever Living, Enjo, PartyLite, or Tropic, you might already be using your company marketing material and upline support.

But do you use your marketing tools consistently?

Are you posting on social media regularly?

Have you made the most of Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Blogs and Email to attract new customers?

If you answered “no” to any of these questions, please contact me. If you would like more sales, please contact me and I can help. To do this, I’m offering a free 15 minute chat for business owners to help uncover anything which may be stopping you from being consistent in your social media.

A quick phone call with Rachael has led to a page of notes with ideas and steps to take to help both of my Wedding and Kids businesses take a step forward!” – Charlotte Elizabeth

The free 15 minute chat may uncover areas in your personal life which are be preventing you spending time on business activities, and vice versa. For example, through the chat we may discover you’re more productive in the morning, perhaps there is less stress or fewer interruptions. It makes sense to keep this time free to complete your core activities, the “big rocks”. Equally, if the chat identifies you’re carrying out the school run ten times a week, don’t count on these hours to write your weekly newsletter.

In the Focus Guru Power Hours I’ll help identify your “best hours”, the times during the day where you can carry out the marketing tasks to propel your business towards a consistent social media presence. I’ll cover how to use Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Blogs and Email consistently, without any stress or overwhelm. Having a consistent approach pays off in many ways.

“Definitely worth a phone call, Rachael had thought of marketing ideas I hadn’t even considered or thought of!” – Charlotte Elizabeth

Building consistency into your marketing has far-reaching and sometimes unexpected results. It can take many contacts with a prospective customer before they are ready to buy from you. Estimates range from two or three contacts to more than twenty times. That means someone may need to see your marketing message twenty times before they buy from you.

I help make the process of being consistent really simple and easy to implement. Taking out a Focus Guru package makes sure your marketing message is delivered on time each day or each week in front of your targeted customers. You can choose exactly when and where your social media marketing is posted and if you need help writing the content, I can arrange this for you too!

To book your Focus Guru Power Hour, please contact me on 07756 772950 and let’s get started.

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

www.getfocus.guru

How Do You Feel When Someone Asks You To Use Their Appointment Scheduler?

Love them or hate them, the use of online diaries and appointment scheduling apps is on the increase. Designed to maximise productivity, these clever apps are running our lives. But how do you feel about appointment scheduling? Does it work? Is it rude? Has it changed your life?

How to use automation to organise meetings
How to use automation to organise meetings

At Focus Guru, I help business owners make the best use of their time, energy and resources. Speaking recently with different clients, I’ve noticed a big change in the way they want to book appointments with prospective customers, organise team meetings and plan their networking follow-up calls.

Using an appointment scheduler, my clients have time to work during the day as well as speaking with their customers, without the time spilling into home life, hobbies and holidays.

A shift towards online calendars

Instead of an old-fashioned paper-based diary, there is a distinct shift towards online calendars and appointment schedulers. Having an electronic diary means appointments and events can be scheduled and shared with colleagues or family members, as and when required.

Your time can be divided into segments, colour-coded and reserved, for example, for meetings, sport or family activities. The time segments can be a five minute slot for a quick check-in at home, or a capped half hour consultation with a prospective client.

Automatic reminders encourage attendance

There’s nothing worse than being ready for a call and the other person fails to show up. How many times has this happened to you? Do you give them a second chance? Or a third?

Appointment schedulers have a great feature where they can be configured to send a reminder about your upcoming meeting. The app can also remind the person you’re speaking with that they have a meeting with you.

This alone is responsible for ensuring both parties are aware of the upcoming meeting and encourages attendance.

Rude and impersonal or does it show you value your time?

When the first person asked you to use their appointment scheduler, how did you feel? Did it feel rude and impersonal? After all, you were just asking for a chat with them. You might have wanted to buy their product or service. Perhaps you met someone at a 4N Online meeting and wanted to carry on your 121 and they asked you to book a time slot.

However, is it any different booking a 3pm to 3.30pm phone call via an appointment scheduler than verbally arranging a time? Does it show you value your time? Is it more reliable than writing the meeting time and date on a scrap of paper?

Would an appointment scheduler work for you?

There are many good reasons to use an appointment scheduler. From your side, you can choose the times you want to be available and when you want to switch off the phone. It can be relaxing to know you have a quiet hour or two to spend with family, to shop, read, or catch up with friends.

You’ll also know in advance who’s calling and can prepare documents or check facts and figures before they call. Having the answers ready and information to hand automatically reduces stress and creates a positive impression.

In my Focus Guru Power Hours, one of the topics I cover is how to choose the right appointment scheduler for your business. There are several to choose from and cater for single users, families, teams and entire organisations.

I’ll make sure you know how to set up appointments, send out professional invitations and organise the times you wish to be available. This will give you the right tools to manage your appointments and increase your working productivity.

To book your Focus Guru Power Hour, please contact book a free discovery call  into my calendar and let’s get started.

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

www.getfocus.guru