Sunday, January 27, 2008

"It's my birthday every day. " Her's a different view from Seth Godin


by Seth Godin

A workaholic lives on fear. It's fear that drives him to show up all the time. The best defense, apparently, is a good attendance record.

A new class of jobs (and workers) is creating a different sort of worker, though. This is the person who works out of passion and curiosity, not fear.

The passionate worker doesn't show up because she's afraid of getting in trouble, she shows up because it's a hobby that pays. The passionate worker is busy blogging on vacation... because posting that thought and seeing the feedback it generates is actually more fun than sitting on the beach for another hour. The passionate worker tweaks a site design after dinner because, hey, it's a lot more fun than watching TV.

It was hard to imagine someone being passionate about mining coal or scrubbing dishes. But the new face of work, at least for some people, opens up the possibility that work is the thing (much of the time) that you'd most like to do. Designing jobs like that is obviously smart. Finding one is brilliant.

Confusious says

Give a person they love and they'll never have to work a day in their life.

You're getting up to work tomorrow; looking forward to it?

"Who's your best mate at work?"

I don't mean a particular person; what I mean is the various departments who work in your business.
The finance dept, I.T. marketing, operations, H.R. production etc. Some of them will be ally's some will be enemies!
Life is easy when you have friends in all those departments. In spite of most companies working in silos ( even fortresses sometimes!) when you understand what is happening in other sections of the business you will reduce your stress levels becuase others will want to support you and your daily challenges.
Guess what? You need to build relationships, i.e. go networking internally. get to know others and the chances are both departments become more sympathetic to each other.
Pick the department you have most trouble with and invite them in with a 'Let's have a cup of coffee to see how we can help your department make life easier?'
When you offer, genuinley, to help others they want to help you? It's human nature.
need some help with internal networking?
Have a look here

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Why oh why do people not know....

the difference between networking and selling. They are like oil and water, they don't mix.
People who network and try to sell more often than not, fail. Networking is simply building relationships, in fact networking is the platform for creating the opportunity to sell but at a much later date.
Don't get me wrong, sometimes we can be very lucky, meet somebody at a party who just happens to need our services and/or product so much that they buy there and then...but this is rare.
Building relationships consist of three key steps:

  • Knowing
  • Liking
  • Trusting

Before we sell anything to anyone, we need to get to know who they are, what their business is all about and what exactly they need. If you approach selling like this, you'll never actually need to sell in the traditional sense.

Build relationships through being interested rather than interesting and asking relevant questions. Doing it like this means that you will spot a possible need leading to a potential opportunity..not an opportunity to sell but an opportunity to fulfil someone's needs.

For lots more free tips why not click here?

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

"Say thank you, please!"

From the day we started to talk we were all told to say 'please' and 'thank you'. Good manners is good business even as we grow into adulthood.
When is it appropriate to say 'thank you'?
1 When we get new work from a new or existing client
2 When our suppliers exceed our expectations
3 When a colleague helps out or goes the extra mile
4 When we receive an email with help or information
5 When we get a referral or introduction
6 When someone tells us something useful
7 When someone sends us something in the post
8 Yes, even when a prospect turns you down.

How should we say thank you?
This depends on how much someone has done for you
1 Pick up the phone
2 Visit with an appropiate gift
3Send an email
4 A typed-written letter
5 A hand-written letter
6 A hand-written card
7 Flowers, chocolates or drink
8 Vouchers for something appropriate to their interests
9 An invitation to an evening out ( watching carefully no third parties will get upset!)
10 A donation to their favourite charity

Old-fashioned courtesy and good manners is becoming so rare; when it happens it's such a nice suprise!
Networking is building relationships. What a good idea to be old-fashioned!
For lots more networking tips view here

Monday, January 21, 2008

"Have you got any children?"

In our networking skills training we suggest the best way to build relationships is to show interest in others by asking questions.
The best way to do this is through small talk. Hobbies, holidays, general interest, business of course, current events and family
Never directly ask anyone
"Are you married?" or
"Have you got any children?"
Only last week I ran a seminar and a delegate wrote to me today to say

On a personal note, I would wholeheartedly endorse your prohibition on questions about family. I have a lovely adopted daughter. However, for many years the question "Do you have children?" was distressing, particularly when followed up by clever comments about being sensible when my response was no. As you say, leaving others to volunteer information about their personal circumstances is much the better approach.

My friend Roger responded recently on a seminar in a similar way when he said after his daughter died it took him 3 years before he went out scared of being asked "Have you got any children?" He said he didn't want to say 2 and ignore his deceased child or say "i have 2 but used to have 3".
By all means mention your family and virtually every time the other person will tell you about theirs. Then you're off on to a great topic to build a relationship

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

"If you're human you make mistakes"

Our company made its biggest mistake in its 7 year history...we didn't turn up at a client to run their training workshop.
I called the client who, when she found out we weren't turning said "Are you aware , we have 29 lawyers waiting for you?"
What do you do? What do you say?
I could have come up with lots of lies, damn lies and half-lies but you know what? I told the truth and said we had got it wrong.
"You mean no-one is coming?" she said.
All I could do is apologise, say I will compensate her and talk tomorrow when emotions have settled down.
What are we going to do?
NO BLAME even though some mis-communication has gone wrong. We need to ensure we put it right with the client and find out why our so called robust sytem broke down.
More to follow.
What would you have done?

Sunday, January 13, 2008

"It's my birthday every day. When's yours?" But.....

I love the work I do and tell people the above. But yesterday the question was posed 'How free are you?' Are you tied to your work? As a self-employed person how many hours a day do you work? I do lots of work related things all the time and love every ( well nearly every) minute of it. Am I free or a slave to my business?
Does it really matter? All I can say is listen to the words of Confucius..
"Give a person a job they love and they'll never have to work a day in their life"

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

"The boom is over, we're in recession..less business

You can do one of 2 things. Accept it and keep relying on referrals and introductions or you can go out and make things happen.
Up your marketing and networking activities and forget about the doom and gloomers.

Join more networking clubs , get up earlier and ensure you increase your share of, what could well be, a smaller pie over the next year or so

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

When did you last scare yourself?

I see myself as a pretty confident person.......but even I can get out of my comfort zone sometime. Because my mouth sometimes goes into gear before the brain I volunteered to help a charity and make some calls to ask friends and strangers for money.
I have felt awful for days and nearly called the Charity to say 'Sorry , too busy.' But I didn't.
I spend my life helping people overcome their fears of working the room and making follow up calls
I literally had to self-coach myself for the 36 hours before making the first call.
I manged to deal with...
"What's the worst that can happen?"
"This is good for you, you need to do something scary every so often"
" You are not asking money for yourself; it's for the under-priviledged childen to help them improve their lives"
" They're not rejecting you, don't take it personally."
" Most people will be polite, even if they don't want to give."
"Just think how good you are going to feel after doing it."

So last night I made the calls and yes, today, I do feel good. No-one was rude, I helped raise some money and I will make more calls soon.

The only place to grow and create opportunities for yourself is outside the comfort zone.

Monday, January 07, 2008

"The very best form of networking is NETWALKING"

networking is building relationships and you won't build better relationships than by going on a day's ( well half a day this time of year!) ramble meeting nice people.
Details here

Your leader for the day is John Thompson...


Pick up from Chorley railway station by arrangement if you would like to avoid the traffic jams? Change at Piccadilly from South Manchester. Direct trains on the Airport & Buxton lines.

Ready to walk at White Coppice at 10.00


M61 junction 8

A674 towards Blackburn

About 1/2 mile pass the Red Cat eating house on the left & soon after turn right into Chapel Lane (signed Heapy)

Follow Chapel Lane for about a mile & it does a sharp right turn & then there is a left into Coppice lane. (Cattery on the right in Coppice lane)

Go straight ahead through a hamlet onto an unmade track when the road bends right up hill. (Children's nursery on left on the track)

Follow the track to the cricket pitch and park there.

I hope to see lots of you there


John Thompson
Utility Warehouse Discount Club
01257 278400
07976 946128

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Networking for women

Women’s Networking Challenge

Networking is now the key method of expanding our business opportunities and widening our scope of contacts. As important as networking is, some women still find it a major hurdle. Right from the start we think we are going to be at a disadvantage!

We know that…

…there is probably going more men than women at any business event; a ratio of 5:1 is common.

…football will probably be the small-talk topic of the day.

…we are going to have to perform as professionally and confidently as our male counterparts if we want to win over business.

Many women attend our ‘Women Only’ Networking Courses with questions and concerns about Networking. We aim to answer the following questions:

How do I join a group and introduce myself when most groups are male and already established?

What do I wear to stand out and make a difference?

Where do I put my business cards?

How do I turn small talk into business?

How do I ditch someone who’s rude?

How do I deal with subjects I’m not interested in?

How do I deal with a person who is becoming too personal?

What’s the fine line between friendly and flirty?”

Often we believe we have to be better than our male counterparts. On the contrary; we just have to be better at being ourselves!

It’s easy to care too much about what we want people to think and say about us on a personal or business level. This affects what we wear, what we do and how we do it. We want to be perceived as confident, professional, knowledgeable and approachable, but what we often do is use inappropriate body language and appear self conscious and out of sorts.

Preparation before the event can be complex. Some image gurus say women should only wear black, brown or navy suits if they want to appear professional. But there is plenty of opportunity for originality and flair!

You should dress how you would like to appear to others: intelligent, confident, warm and friendly. Wear something that makes you feel good about yourself: if you feel good about yourself, you will perform better. But remember professionalism and comfort: too-high heels and over-tight skirts are both impractical for standing around for hours and will not create the right impression.

When you arrive at an event do you walk confidently into the centre of the room and look around, self-assuredly, for a suitable person or group to introduce ourselves to? Or do you avoid entering the room straight away preferring the sanctuary of the ladies loo? Here you can loiter until the main event is just about to start, and perhaps meet up with a like-minded lost soul to hitch on to for the rest of the event.

Being confident means having poise and air of success about you. Try walking 3 paces into the room, pausing and smile while you look around slowly and gracefully. You’ll feel good, in control and the chances are you will have been secretly noticed. When you introduce yourself, be clear and don’t smudge: you want people to hear your name. Use a technique we call ‘pause and effect’. Say your first name, pause, then say your first name again with your surname, boldly. It’s a bit like ‘James… James Bond’. It will ensure you sound confident and prepared. Practice it! It’s worth it.

Business cards are vital for networking. Are you able to confidently produce yours? Or do you root around in your handbag, flustered, hoping that nothing untoward pops out?

Wear trousers with pockets or unpick the pockets of your suit: five business cards are not going to make a difference to the line of the jacket! Remember to keep one pocket for your cards, and another for the cards you have been given by others, so you never have to search through a wad of cards to find the right one.

Body language is also important. Do you stand on crossed legs, high heels poised to slip, your arm across your body to grasp at your handbag strap? This can make you look awkward and out of your depth.

To look poised and confident, you must have an ‘open’ stance: be aware of the space around you, and use all your body language to communicate and listen actively. Openly smiling , being focused, nodding, asking questions and good eye contact will always show you as a “good conversationalist”.

Small talk builds relationships. While men often cut to the chase and discuss business far too early, women are usually brilliant at it. But what if the discussion turns to something you’re not interested in? Do you hope such matters don’t come up? Or do you just say ‘I don’t know much about that, but show an interest by asking questions about it?”

The trick of building rapport is to be INTERESTED rather then INTERESTING. Avoid hijacking the conversation; stay on the other person’s agenda, ask questions and smile. Networking is about getting other people to know, like and trust you.

Remember, women have great networking skills, they are naturals; good listeners, interested, approachable and build strong relationships quickly.

Happy networking!

Written by Sue Tonks is a key presenter and trainer on business networking for Kintish. For the last 3 years she has specialised in developing networking skills, particularly with professional business women.

For lots of free and valuable information visit

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Holidays, people around the world and networking

We have just returned from a great adventure which included trips to the Galapogus islands and Peru whci included their rain forest and the Inca sites
What did I learn, apart from the fact these far away places are literally a world apart from living in the UK?
I learnt people are "nice".
Nice means friendly, approachable, welcoming and helpful. Yes lots are doing it becuase they are suppliers and you are the customer but we met 40 people on the 7 day tour on the Eclipse boat around the Islands. They were fellow passengers and they too were a great bunch of people to live with for a week.
If you are nervous meeting people whether it's in a social or busines arena start with the premise...most people are nice. The tiny minority who aren't should be avoided as soon as possible!
Happy New year.