Posted by Joe M. Turner | TurnerMagic.com on August 29, 2012
Didn’t get enough last time? Here are a dozen more tips to get you ready to make a good impression when you are out meeting people in professional networking environments.
Your ability to generate good results from networking events is directly tied to your ability to make a positive personal impression on the people around you.
- Nametags are traditionally worn on the right side of the body so that they are most visible during your first handshake. This is a rule of thumb and while you may be coached on this by some networking veterans, don’t sweat this too much.
- The rear-adhesive nametags are notorious for falling off easily. Here’s a handy tip: keep a couple of paper clips in the car. If you affix your tag to a part of your clothing near an edge (lapel, collar, ruffle, etc.) then you can slide the clip on to help it stay in place.
- More experienced networkers have probably moved into having a custom name badge produced, typically with a magnetic clip so that you don’t have to pin through your clothes. Here’s tip: many events feature plastic name badges which have magnetic clips. You can probably keep one from the next event you attend, then create your own custom badge on a printer and just drop it in. Make your name large enough to be seen in a dim room, and include a QR code of your contact information or a link to your social media site of choice.
Food and Beverage
- There are multiple philosophies on eating and drinking at networking events. Some people say you shouldn’t do it at all, while others say it’s no big deal. My view is that it is a function of how productive you want the meeting to be, and whether you already have an established presence at that organization.
- If this is your first visit to that organization and you don’t know many people, I suggest you eat before you arrive or wait until afterward. Spend your time meeting as many people as possible. You want to walk away with at least a dozen people whose businesses you’ve learned something about, who have learned something about your business, and who have given you permission to contact them on social media. You want to make a great impression on these people; crumbs on your tie will not help.
- If you’ve become a regular at the event and already know most folks, then eating is a different consideration. I suggest getting there early and enjoying your snack, then dive in with networking the rest of the time. If you have two free hands while other people have one or none, then you will have the opportunity to be extremely helpful to other people during the event. Maximize this opportunity to make a great impression.
- There is often alcohol available at after-hours events. You don’t need another lecture on the dumb and/or dangerous things that can happen when you drink too much. Make wise choices.
- Choose your attire with some forethought. People will judge your business capabilities by the way you look, the way you talk, the way you behave, and the overall impression you make as a human being. Your business is not a business card or a contract or a corporate seal. It is not even a name or a logo. At a networking event, your business is you, personally. Your face, your hair, your clothes, your hygiene, and your manners.
- Nobody said it was fair or accurate for your entire business to be judged by those things. I’m just telling you that your personal impression is the first experience that people will have with your brand.
- I keep a container of breath mints in my car, as well as nail clippers, a hairbrush, some tweezers, a lint brush, and skin moisturizer. In some cases, I may even bring my electric shaver with me so that I can clean up before an after-hours event.
- The business impact is both immediate and long-lasting. If you have created an impressive personal and professional image – one with which others would be proud to be associated – then you can charge more for your services. Furthermore, the perceived value of what you do will increase. Here’s a lesson to remember: if the audience perceives your value is higher, then your REAL value to your client is higher. I regularly get paid to do the very same events that others would have to do for free “for the exposure.” This is not by accident.
- Don’t look like a rumpled slob when you go out to network or get in front of people at a leads meeting or other meeting. Clean up. You may not need to wear a suit and tie, but you need to present yourself in a way consistent with the value you propose to deliver.
If you engage in professional networking, people will talk about you later. Hopefully they will be talking about the great impression you made and how you have an amazing way of presenting your business. Don’t distract them from that task by giving them negative things to talk about in terms of your personal and professional appearance, your etiquette, or your ability to be heard and understood.
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Posted by Joe M. Turner | TurnerMagic.com on August 8, 2012
There are a variety of networking meetings and events where people can go to increase visibility, meet potential customers, and grow their networks. Here are some tips that will help you avoid looking like you have no idea what you’re doing in a meeting of professionals.
When you attend professional networking events or meetings, remember that your business will be judged based on your ability to make a good impression.
Etiquette and Elevator Speeches
- When you go to a networking event, remember that the people at the event are not your prospects. They are your gatekeepers. You are not there to make them into your customers; you are there to transform them into your sales force.
- Don’t go in looking to sell to the people around you. Think about the kinds of people they may know or interact with. Who might be on their email list? Sure, you’ll do some business with the people you meet, but your goal is to create business for them and for yourself by putting your networks together.
- Here’s the real truth: most people at a professional networking meeting do not actually care about your product or service no matter how revolutionary it is. This goes for your pill, dietary supplement, exercise program, amazing card trick, electric skin zapper, fruit juice, health product, or any other cool thing that you have or do. They care about THEIR cool things that they have or do. You have to break through this by being clear, specific, and interesting.
- If you get a chance to make a 30 or 60 second speech, make it pithy, memorable, and focused on helping attendees connect you to other people they know. Don’t tell the people in the room how long you’ve been in business. Don’t tell them why you think they should buy your product or why they should even be excited about it. Don’t say your target market is “everyone” or “anyone.” In your short speech, tell them who you are and what you do. Tell them the specific types of clients that you are looking to meet – describe your best clients in the last 6-12 months. And tell them how you would want them to describe your business if telling others about it. Be charming, grateful, confident, and bold. Speak up so you can be heard.
- Set your phone on vibrate or turn it off. When it rings and you reach down to turn it off, most people will politely say, “Oh, that’s okay.” They are lying. It is not okay – everyone there is, in fact, disturbed that your phone went off and interrupted whomever was speaking at that moment. Even if their own phone rang earlier, they are still ticked at you. Put your phone on vibrate or turn it off. Keep it off the table where it will rattle the whole table. Put it in a pocket, hold it in your lap, put it in your purse, or just turn it off. You may need to be contacted during the meeting – that’s fine. Your task as a competent, considerate networker is to find a way to be discreet.
- If you must take a call, don’t answer it until you are out of the room. If your phone does go off and you must take the call, don’t answer it as you are standing up to exit. Yes, it is 10% considerate of you to excuse yourself to take the call, but it is 90% inconsiderate of you to begin it with “Hello? Uh, I’m in a meeting – let me step out” as you step over and around and through chairs to get to the door. If you don’t want to drop the call, click the answer button on the way out, but don’t speak until you have actually left the room. They’ll hear that you’re moving and wonder what is going on, but you don’t say a word. If they hang up before you can answer or speak, you can call them back in the hallway.
- If there is a microphone, use it. Yes, use it even if you don’t want to. Yes, use it even if you have a loud voice and you think it carries well. Yes, use it even if for your whole life, everyone has told you that you don’t need it. They are wrong. If there is a microphone there and it’s working, you need to use it. It makes weaker voices strong enough to be heard. It makes stronger voices even more understandable. It helps to give your voice authority and pop that help people to pay attention. If others are using it and you don’t, then the whole feel of the meeting changes unnecessarily. Most people don’t use a microphone because they are afraid of what their voice sounds like when amplified. Get over it. Use the microphone.
- Hold the microphone closer to your mouth. Just because you are holding it doesn’t magically make you heard. You can’t hold it at your chest or a foot away from your mouth – you actually have to speak into it for it to work properly. Hold the microphone about 5 inches from your mouth and speak into it. It’s okay if you’re louder than the person before you. He didn’t know how to use it properly and now you do. Don’t gesture with it, point at other things with it, or wave it at other people. If you need to gesture, use your other hand.
- Don’t grip the microphone at the very bottom. Many wireless microphones have their transmitting hardware in that area. Grasp the microphone around the middle of the barrel.
Stay tuned for more tips in the next post!
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Posted by Joe M. Turner | TurnerMagic.com on August 6, 2012
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Turner Magic & Keynotes Receives 2012 Best of Atlanta Award
Atlanta Award Program Honors the Achievement
ATLANTA July 30, 2012 — Turner Magic & Keynotes has been selected for the 2012 Best of Atlanta Award in the Party Planning & Event Consultants category by the Atlanta Award Program.
Turner Magic & Keynotes has received the 2012 Best of Atlanta award for the second consecutive year.
Each year, the Atlanta Award Program identifies companies that we believe have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. These are local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and our community. These exceptional companies help make the Atlanta area a great place to live, work and play.
Various sources of information were gathered and analyzed to choose the winners in each category. The 2012 Atlanta Award Program focuses on quality, not quantity. Winners are determined based on the information gathered both internally by the Atlanta Award Program and data provided by third parties.
About Atlanta Award Program
The Atlanta Award Program is an annual awards program honoring the achievements and accomplishments of local businesses throughout the Atlanta area. Recognition is given to those companies that have shown the ability to use their best practices and implemented programs to generate competitive advantages and long-term value.
The Atlanta Award Program was established to recognize the best of local businesses in our community. Our organization works exclusively with local business owners, trade groups, professional associations and other business advertising and marketing groups. Our mission is to recognize the small business community’s contributions to the U.S. economy.
SOURCE: Atlanta Award Program
Atlanta Award Program
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