Category Archives: Planning

The Power of Networking

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Some feel that networking is a waste of time….and really I have one comment for those people.  You are doing it wrong!

Networking is not a time to get free drinks and food.  Networking is not a time be the cool kid in school.  Networking is not just showing up.  Networking is not just joining a group.

The first step is to make the effort to go.  Don’t worry if you don’t know anyone.  You are networking to meet people!  Don’t give yourself 10 excuses as to why you shouldn’t go. It’s always easier to tell yourself why you shouldn’t go, but guess what the people that decided an extra hour after work was worth it just increased their network.  What did you do?

If you decide to go to a Networking event…..and you should decide to GO! Go prepared.  Take business cards.  Be ready to give that 30 second elevator speech on who you are and what you do.  Don’t be scared to meet new people…chances are the people you meet are going to be relieved to have someone to speak with.

Be open to talk to everyone!  Find out what others do in your industry and outside of your industry.  When you least expect it the person that you would have never imagined to have a need for your services turns out to be the greatest contact you made all year.  If people are at a networking event and they are treating it like a high school dance then chances are they probably won’t be someone that adds much value to your business.  The same is true for you.  Do not discount people or undervalue them as a contact.  Find out what they do and listen to how they do it.  Chances are you will learn something.

Networking is not a Frat Party.  Well that seems like a basic concept, and you would think most people get this.  Give yourself one too many drinks and then you might forget the purpose of networking.  If you know that two drinks is all it takes for you to start rambling chances are you should have one drink and then stick to water.  Yes, it’s an informal event and everyone is having fun….guess what it’s still better to have control.

Networking is not limited to after work events.  Network with social media.  Read blogs and comment on blogs.  Reach out to business and personal acquaintances for breakfast, lunch and coffee.  It’s great to have one on one conversations to see what your network is working on.  Help promote each other.  Join associations and get involved on committees.  Just joining and sitting in the background is a start but really get involved.  You will be surprised how much more it helps your business.

Practice networking.  The more you network the easier it becomes.  You feel less awkward walking up strangers and introducing yourself.  You realize you have nothing to lose.  Start going to events with people you know and have them introduce you to people and do the same for them.  Eventually you won’t mind going by yourself.

Networking is a great tool when used effectively! Good luck and go meet some new people!

 

 

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Goals vs Plans

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Do you set plans or goals?  Are plans the same as goals?  For me they are very different.  I set goals and make plans.  Plans help me reach my goals.  My goals are commitments that I will do everything in my control to achieve.  Plans are something I make along the way.  I am typically okay if I have to reroute my plans to achieve my goals but I am not happy if I have to sacrifice my goals for a plan.

Each week I set one or two goals that I plan to accomplish throughout the week.  I generally have a plan on how I am going to achieve the goals but most of the time I have to divert from the plan.  It’s important that even when things arise and I have to make a change I still work hard to achieve the goals.  If you have to say no to certain plans because you need to reach a goal you should not feel guilty.  Goals are things that are important to you.  They are the big picture.  So that doesn’t mean you set 20 goals for the week.  Find big picture goals to accomplish.  For example, I want to run a 1/2 marathon this year.  So that does not mean that I need to run 13.1 miles this week.  I do however need to pick a race, plan times when I can run, and make sure I have proper gear to reach my goal.  If I miss running a few times a week I still stay on target and reach my goal.

So are you setting goals or just plans?

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How Do Sales Add Up?

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Sales is basic math.  Some people think it’s about having a charming personality or being in the right place at the right time, or being pushy but it’s none of those things.  From time to time a mediocre or bad sales person will get lucky because of those traits but really being charming, pushy, or having good timing don’t make you a successful person in sales.

So what is the key to being a successful salesperson?  It’s simple math!

High Activity + Positive Attitude = High Results

Give yourself activity goals to reach daily.  If your boss says you need to make 50 phone calls today make 70, and do it with a smile.  People are more willing to engage with someone that is in a good positive mood than a person that is just going through the motions.  Once you hit your goals you will see that you have created opportunities for proposals, and proposals turn into wins.  Don’t ever count on that one call or that one opportunity….always be filling your basket with more goals and opportunities.

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Labor Day…dedicated to the workaholics!

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As we approach this holiday weekend it’s always good to remind ourselves why we are celebrating.  What is Labor Day?  You hear people around labor day make the comment “don’t labor on Labor Day”….but really that’s the point. Take a break from your hard work!

Many us work way over 40 hours to reach our goals.  We all work for different reasons…some work because they feel that they must do this daunting task to pay their bills, some work because they really love their work, some work to fill their time, some work because they were told they had to, and some work because they fell into something that became habit.  At the end of the day working comes back to most people as something they have to do, but there is a good percentage of people out there that really have love and for some even an addiction to their work.

For anyone that knows me it is no secret as to why I work.  I work because I like to.  Of course I have bills to pay and I like to buy things….but I went to college because I knew that one day I wanted to find work that I was really going to enjoy.  That doesn’t mean that you have to go to college to find a job or career you like but for me that was the path that made most sense.  It’s a blessing that early on I decided to make work something good and positive in my life.  I don’t look at Monday’s as the worst day of the week and I don’t look at Friday’s as a huge relief.  This does not mean that I don’t get excited for Saturday and Sunday, and it doesn’t even mean that I don’t sometimes work on the weekends.

Work is good and good work ethic is even better but remember this labor day that even if you love your job it’s healthy to enjoy life outside of work.

Celebrate your labor day by enjoying a healthy work life balance!

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Plan for Success

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To be successful you need a plan, right?  So to make the most of each day, week, month, and year  you should have a plan.   You are so busy keeping up with the day to day task, meetings, phone calls, proposals etc when do you make time to write your next plan?  Do you plan out your future or wait for it to happen?  I’m not sure about you but every time I wait for something to happen it’s generally not in my favor.  If I was waiting to close a deal I never marketed it’s probably not going to happen.

I suggest using your Sunday evenings and weeknights or early mornings.  By setting a plan for the week on Sunday evenings you are gearing yourself up for the week.  Making your plan during off hours helps to reduce other distractions, and you know what is on your plate at that moment.   Of course you should always strive for a balanced life that is not completely focused on work, so don’t use your whole Sunday to make a plan or cut into dinner time.  Take anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour to write down an agenda for your upcoming week or day and review your calendar.   If it’s too hard to make a plan for the next day at the end of your day, try to wake up an extra hour early.  Drink a cup of coffee or tea and do your planning.   You will be shocked that by using this time on “off” hours you will actually have more time.  Your days will flow better and you when you stick to your plans you will have a great sense of accomplishment.

Success doesn’t punch a clock, and success doesn’t have to work around the clock, but success does have to beat the clock.  Some of my favorite old sayings are time is money and money is time.  Work smarter not harder.

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