Author Archives: Brian Covault

Drip

Remember to always “Drip” on your networking contacts. Keeping in touch, even if only by email, is a great way to not miss out on an opportunity. What do I mean by opportunity?
It can be the opportunity to give a referral AND receive a referral!

Get in the Game!

In football, you can’t score if you are sitting on the bench looking on from the sidelines.  You MUST get in the game and on the playing field to score!

It’s the same in business. You can’t grow your company when you are absent from activities that create opportunities for you to grow. Get off the bench and on the field so you can score more referrals. Attending networking functions is a great way to improve your chances of putting points on the scoreboard! So, attend as many of your TCRN functions as often as you can.

If you have any questions or would like some help to become a better Networking teammate, please don’t hesitate to contact us!

Are You a Farmer?

Are you a Farmer may sound like a silly question at first. But if you are a Business Owner, then a Farmer you should be.

It’s quite simple. Farmers first pick a plot of land and PLANT their seeds. Once planted, they must WATER and CARE for those seeds to grow. If the seeds are watered and cared for in a nurturing manner then they are able to harvest a healthy CROP. As a result, that crop can either be sold or consumed to sustain their well being.

Effective business networking requires all of the same steps. Business owners must pick a place to network and Plant relational seeds, connecting with others. Then, they too must nurture and cultivate those planted connections so they develop in to relationships. If the first two steps are done properly and effective, you are able to harvest a referral source. Referrals generate business and allow a company to thrive.

So ask yourself these questions. Are you a farmer? Where do you plant your seeds? How often do you plant seeds and how many do you currently have planted? Do you care for your seeds and water them consistently? The answers to these questions will determine the type of harvest you will have. But, you must first be a farmer.

Be Open

Showing up at a Networking Event is easy to do. If you have the date, time and location you show up, Check. But there is a lot more to it than just showing up. Showing up does not mean that your “Relationship Bank Account” is going to benefit from multiple deposits. Once there, you must be open to meeting others and must engage in conversations. Although, showing up is certainly step 1, because you at least have the opportunity to make connections BUT you must actually “network” once you are there.

When at a networking event it is important to be accessible for others to approach you. In other words, don’t sit at the end of the bar or off in the corner of the room avoiding eye contact with others so you will be less likely to be approached. Be open to increasing your relational opportunities. Move around the room, make eye contact. If attendees are wearing name tags, look at the types of business they are a part of so you can strategically approach someone that may have some common ground with you and your business.

You should always focus on making at least three or four good connections at each networking event (then there are other articles on the Blog section of www.tcrn.com for other tips and strategies to follow after you make a connection). A great strategy is to find opportunities where you can engage in a conversation with multiple persons. Here, you can leverage more connections at once incorporating the same conversation.

Your goal is to make deposits in your “Relationship Bank Account” so they can yield “interest” over time. If you fly around the room as fast as you can trying to meet as many people as you can; all you will have is a bunch of names without any value behind the introductions. Remember, quality trumps quantity in the Networking World.

Smile!

As business owners, operators or sales professionals you are always networking. Even when you don’t think you are networking, you’re networking. Everyone you meet is a chance to network and every day you are out and about interacting with others. It may be at the check out line or at church. Regardless, you are constantly around people. Some instances have bigger opportunities than others, but you never know when you will encounter someone that you can have an impact on or they can have an impact on you.

Because of your ongoing and daily networking, it is important to always smile. A smile can have a simple yet powerful effect on those that you meet. When you smile you project positive energy. People prefer positive energy over negative energy. As a result, a smile can be the prelude to new possibilities.

Networking by definition is connecting with others and discovering opportunities to develop relationships. The relationships are where the possibility of one or both parties helping the other comes in to play. Everyone has bad days and life will continually throws challenges in your path, but smiling is a great way to combat the woes that you face. You never know when an amazing opportunity will come your way. So SMILE at every chance you get.

Turn the Lights On

Relationships, of all kind, effect our lives each and every day. They can be good, bad or just kind of there without substance. Obviously the best kind of relationships to have are the good ones. Unfortunately the good ones are the ones that take the most time to develop.

When networking, we must realize that relationships are not like a light switch. You can’t just flip a switch and have a strong relationship that provides trust and referrals. It is more like a slow dimmer dial. The relationships that produce the most value is a gradual process. Little by little the relationship gets stronger and in time can be an enriched friendship.

I’ll have more Networking Notes next week. Until then…Happy Networking!

Business Card Followup Part 3

Ok…today we will wrap up our Business Card Follow Up series. Last week I provided a sample of what a Follow Up email should look like, once you have met someone new. The key is to keep it brief and to the point.

Once you send the email, then what do you do? Well, that depends on the circumstances. The nature of your interaction will vary with different people at different times. Here are some examples.

  • Casual Interaction: Email once a month to stay in touch and see what happens.
  • General Interaction: Email after two weeks if there is a possibility of further interaction.
  • Specific Interaction: Email later that week to reference the action steps related to their needs or your needs based on the specifics discussed when you met.
  • Immediate Interaction: Call a day or two later after the Follow Up email to schedule an appointment regarding the nature of the immediate call to action from when you met.

At the end of the day, the quality of your relationships will be a direct result of your professional follow up and your willingness to help others selflessly. When this is done, you will find others reaching out to you. Others will be helping you. Others will be referring you. Provide others with your help and the help will be returned generating profits for you. This lends to a phrase I like to use: “Providers Profit”.

I’ll have more Networking Notes next week. Until then…Happy Networking!

Business Card Follow Up Part 2

Here’s today’s Networking Notes.

Last week we highlighted the importance of emailing your new contact the next business day…or at least within two.  But, what should be in your email and how should it look Remember, all of this is based on you following the process we’ve been covering these past weeks, step by step. Below is a sample.

Dear Joe Public,

It was a pleasure to meet you yesterday at (whatever the function was) and I enjoyed our visit. If I run across someone looking for a (their type of business) I will certainly suggest they get in contact with you.

Don’t hesitate to call if I can help you.  Have a great day.

Sincerely,

Your Name

Did you notice that the email is very brief?  You want to keep it short and simple.  The purpose of the email is to reinforce your genuine sincerity and to be professional.

Next week we’ll cover a couple of different circumstances that will determine what you do after your Follow Up email.  Until then…Happy Networking!

Business Card Follow Up Part 1

I hope you enjoyed the Business Card Dilemma series the past three weeks.  Now, let’s address the “what” to do once you’ve met, connected and have their card.

FOLLOW UP:

What is the purpose of a business card?  It has contact information on it, right?  So, a business card is primarily intended to have someone be able to contact and communicate with the other.  As this is the case, now you are at the point to where you “follow up” with the person(s) you just connected with.

The day after you meet them, send a brief email.  Email though, don’t call….unless of course there was a request on their part to do so, then of course you want to comply in a timely fashion.  You want to be sure to do it the following day because it will accomplish three things:  1. It will help distinguish you from the others they met, 2. It will prompt them to remember you and 3. It will reinforce your sincerity as an individual.

Next week we will outline how your follow up email should be structured.  Until then…Happy Networking!

Business Card Dilemma Part 3

Let’s wrap up the Business Card Dilemma this week and get to the part where you ask for their card.

Once you have had the opportunity to learn more about the person you’ve just met including details of their business, you can ask for their business card.  But do not ask until you have been able to establish rapport and you have displayed a genuine interest in learning about them.  Then, and only then is it ok to ask for their business card.

As we discussed in Part I, after you ask for their card their natural response will be to ask you for your business card.  If you have followed all of the steps: introduction, ask questions (learn about the person and their business), display a genuine interest in them, then ask for their business card…they will undoubtedly ask you for your card too.  Now, a connection has been made and the start of a possible relationship.

When you follow the process outlined in all three parts of The Business Card Dilemma series, you will find networking to be easier and more effective.  Until next week…Happy Networking!