Business Etiquette Practices and Tools to Connect

Practices that will keep you connected in the right ways with your market!

Are you a Social Media Stalker? January 21, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kay Wallace @ 3:52 am

So you go to networking events and meet people throughout your day that you want to stay in touch with and try to build a relationship in hopes to create ongoing business. You’re connected on facebook, twitter or LinkedIn and want to get your message heard.  Remember, every time you post a comment or respond to someone’s elses post you are creating an impression. What impression are you leaving? Are you a “social media stalker” or a “vomiting Vera”? I have had a few connections on facebook that consistently comment on everything, and I mean everything  just so they can be visible. Their comments are not always applicable to the online conversation and quite often focuses on themselves instead of adding value. You can be viewed as a stalker if you are constantly posting comments on someone’s updates and if you only post things about your business you could be considered a vomiting vera and look desperate. People are not attracted to either. 

Social Media is a platform to build relationships over time not to make a one time sale.  Ask yourself  before you post, comment or reach out to someone “what are my intentions?” Your goal should be to build relationships and the best way to do that is to NOT sell or be pushy. I like to call it “Drip Marketing”. Be subtle and genuine and people will want to do business with you if they get to know the real you.

When you connect with someone online, check out their profile and information.  You will be able to learn a lot about a person by reviewing their social media profiles. They could be someone you don’t want to do business with. There is nothing wrong with being selective about your business relationships.

I would love to hear you stalking and vomiting Vera stories if you have experienced them. Please don’t post names.

 

New Year New Attitude January 4, 2010

With all of the New Year Resolutions you set, how is your attitude to go with them? Have you ever heard the expression “attitude is everything”? Well, it most definitely is!  If your business is not reaching the results you want and people are not responding to you in a positive way, maybe it’s not your business model. What you express to others is generally what you receive in return. Over the holidays, I experienced numerous people complaining, whining and just down right negative about their business and life in 2009. Even though I listened and was empathetic, I’m not sure I will hire them for any future projects or purchase their products. Face it, most of us are facing the same struggles so what is the difference in our success and failures? In my opinion, it is the attitude on which we face them. There are all kinds of expressions I can give you: “If life gives you lemons, make lemonade” or  “Fake it til you make it” but my all time favorite is “If you don’t like something change it; if you can’t change it, change the way you think about it”.

Challenge yourself for a week to look at everything with a positive spin and see what you get back. Even if you think you are positive in public, do you have the same attitude in private? Let me know what your results are after one week of this challenge.

I truly wish you all a Happy New Year and hope all your obstacles are turned into successes.

 

Would you network with you? November 23, 2009

Filed under: Better Business Practices,Networking,Uncategorized — Kay Wallace @ 4:19 am
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Have you ever asked yourself the question “Would I network with me?”. I am making the assumption that you understand the importance of networking  for your business.  Every networking event I attend I meet at least one person that I have no intention of building a relationship with and here’s why.

Which networker are you?

Talker or Listener? I am a huge talker and am always one of the most visible at an event. I do that by design because visibility attracts business. However, when I meet someone new I make sure the conversation is completely focused on them. I use the 80%/20% rule. I listen 80% and I talk only 20%. My goal is to learn more about them than I tell about me. I am actually testing them on how they handle our first encounter. If they are more focused on handing me their card and being a “Vomiting Vera” about their business then I will probably trash their card and not follow-up. I want to connect with people who I can build a mutually beneficial relationship with.

Dress up or Dress down? There is some leeway on this subject depending on the type of event you are attending BUT consider branding yourself by what you wear. I see a lot of the same people at events and I identify them as professionals because they are always dressed for business. Of course, there are typically a few dressed in jogging suits, baseball caps and baggy jeans. These are people I would probably not do business with or refer to my clients. Consider standing out at these events with your attire. I have a business associate that attends every networking event with a fedora type hat. He is in the promotional products industry but can be identified across the room. As for myself, I wear bright colors because that makes me easily identifiable.

Eye contact or eye wanderer? Making eye contact during your conversations indicate you are focused on what that person is saying. There is nothing wrong in looking around the room but keep it to only 20% of the time. Concentrate 80% of your attention on the person or group you are speaking with.

Stander or Mover? You may not have an outgoing personality but don’t stand in a corner or sit in one spot and wait for people to come to you. Moving and working the room allows you more visibility and the ability to end a conversation more gracefully when it is time to move on. Moving helps you meet more people. If you want to be a stander then stand by the food table because everyone will coming to that area eventually. The idea is to keep the flow of people going.

Next time you attend a networking event, ask yourself “Would I network with me?”

 

Are You Respectful of Others Knowledge? October 20, 2009

What do I mean by that? Call it knowedge, training or just plain business know how. We all know doctors, lawyers and other professionals that have spent years earning their credentials. When we use or hire these professionals we expect to be charged for their services. If you met a doctor at a party or event, would you ask them for medical advice on the spot or would you mention your concern about a particular issue you are having and ask if it is something you should make an appointment for? As a general rule, we are respectful of their time and knowledge as we should be.

On the other hand, what if you met an author, business coach, trainer or another professional that has knowledge that was helpful to you? If you have questions for a business coach that you just met , would you ask for an appointment and pay for their time or would you  ask as many questions as you could get answers to? From my experience, people will attempt to gain as much information as possible with no respect for that person’s experience. Why do we have a tendency to take advantage of these professionals? For those of us that are not “certified” or “degreed” in our professional fields, does that make what we do any less valuable? Next time you meet someone that is knowledgable in a field that interests you, respect their time and intellect. I’m not saying you can’t have valuable conversations about your businesses; just be respectful of others knowledge.

My challenge to you is this: when you meet a professional and want to pick their brain, tell them you respect their time and knowledge and would like to know if you cross the line from conversation to business. We all want to learn as much as possible to help our businesses that we sometimes forget to set boundaries for ourselves as well as others.