Top 3 Business Networking Mistakes and How to Fix It

Networking is a crucial skill every entrepreneur should develop that can help you grow your business. But, many small business owners avoid networking thinking it requires schmoozing and slick selling. Successful networking is actually the opposite.

Here is what I have found to be the top three business networking mistakes. And, don’t feel bad if you’ve made any of these mistakes. Many of us have once made these same mistakes too. Let’s just focus on which one might be hurting your business and get to work on fixing them to start seeing positive results from your business networking.

Networking Mistakes #1. Using your 30 ­second commercial to recite a long list of all your services.

How do you answer the question, what do you do?

I’ve watched people’s eyes glaze over many times as they try to process the long list of services the business owner is rattling off. Here are a couple examples:

BEFORE Example 1:

“I am the owner of ABC Natural Healing Center. We offer: acupuncture, chiropractic care, Myofascial release, NAET, Neuro Emotional Technique, Pulsed Electromagnetic Field Therapy, Reiki and yoga classes. Come in for an appointment at our offices in Anytown.”

Yikes! Most people probably don’t even know what half those things are!

How about this example:

BEFORE Example 2:

“I am a business coach. I offer personal one on one phone coaching, group coaching, training courses, mastermind programs, marketing consulting and speaking engagements. I also have a free newsletter and I offer free webinars and business coaching discovery consultations.”

Why this does not work effectively.

People tune out on the PROCESS you use. But, people tune in on the PROBLEMS you solve. Share on X
Solution: Tell people who you help and what specific problems you solve.

AFTER Example 1:

“I am the owner of ABC Natural Healing Center. We help kids and adults recover quickly from sports injuries, back pain, headaches, insomnia, anxiety and many other chronic symptoms without using pharmaceutical drugs or surgery.”

My Own AFTER Example 2:
“I am a business growth expert. I help solo entrepreneurs and small business owners recover quickly from sales slumps, scattered focus and overwhelm. I can help you create and hit the right business goals in 90 days or less.”

Networking Mistakes #2. Focusing on converting customers at networking events.

If you evaluate whether a particular networking event was a good or bad use of your time based on whether you made a sale or picked up an immediate referral you are probably focused on the wrong goal. Objectives for networking events are different than for trade shows.

First, understand It’s not your fault.

  • It’s only natural as a business owner to want to see immediate results from your networking efforts. After all, much of your success was due to your unbridled commitment to being results focused.
  • You invested several hours to attend the networking event, so of course you feel as if you should get something from your time.

Why is this a networking mistake? … Because that’s not how people buy.

People don’t buy from companies. People buy from people they know, like and trust. Share on X

Solution: Focus on making new friends not just new clients.

Since you are networking to grow your business, it might feel contrarian to NOT focus on getting new clients out of it. But, if you’re trying too hard it shows. People can feel when someone is looking at them as just their next sale.

In order for networking to be successful, you do need to connect with people. Be genuine and sincere in making new friends. That’s not to say you should be passive and avoid talking about your business at all. But, first, focus on just being yourself, and not just you the “company” or you the “sales­ person”.

Years ago I attended an evening networking event for coaches. I was taken aback by a woman who sharply interrupted a conversation I was having with another attendee. Without any announcement or waiting for a pause for permission she shoved a flyer in our hands and told us to sign up for her certification training today because the $2,000 price expires tomorrow.

Here are key reasons why this tactic doesn’t work:

  • Her sale offer was to spend $2,000 today, but $2,000 is not an impulse­ buy price point.
  • The problem wasn’t so much that she handed me a flyer. The problem was how clear she made it she was on a mission to leave with lots of sales.

There were about 80 people at the event. Instead of leaving with 1 or 2 sales, she could have easily left with 50­ to 70 new subscribers, especially because this was such a targeted group of people. Over time, she could convert 25­ to 45 new customers which is far more valuable to her business than the immediate 1 or 2 sales.

This is a much easier networking strategy, but it does require having a list building system.

Networking Mistakes #3. Not having a list building system.

What is a list?

  • This is an email list of people who are potential customers and clients who are subscribed to be on your email list.
  • You can not simply take the email addresses off of business cards or directories of people you met and put them on your list. That is actually against the CAN­SPAM laws.

Why have an email list?

You may have heard the expression, the “fortune is in the follow up.”

The problem is it’s really hard to keep up with the follow up when you’re taking the manual approach of sending one email at a time. A list building system makes follow up a cinch.

What is a list building system?

  • It starts with having an irresistible, free lead magnet.
  • A lead magnet is a free offer people receive instantly when they opt in with their email address.
  • You let subscribers know they will also receive more tips from you through email.
  • You stay top of mind and convert more clients over time when you follow up with valuable tips you deliver through your email system.

Remember, 10 new subscribers is worth far more to your business than 1 new sale.

SOLUTION: Shift your focus from getting more sales to getting a more subscribers.

It takes time to build trust and confidence. When you have a subscriber list you can scale building a relationship with your group of prospects.

Networking is one of multiple marketing tactics you need to have included in your marketing plan today. Be sure to grab my free printable MARKETING CHECKLIST to develop your winning marketing plan today.

Marketing Checklist for Service Based Businesses

QUESTION: Share your comments. What is getting in your way of creating a list building system for your business and networking?

© Copyright 2022

Strategies for Building High Performing Sales Teams – Luminary Interview with Yoon Cannon

Strategies for Building High Performing Sales Teams – Luminary Interview with Yoon Cannon

Sales teams are at the heart of growing your business at every stage from startup to main street to middle market. How do you create the right sales systems? Find top sales talent? Clone yourself?

Steve Dailey from Entrepreneur Excellence interviews Business Growth Expert, Yoon Cannon where we discuss actionable strategies for growing your sales teams, cloning yourself as the CEO, strategic planning and more.

Here’s an overview of the sales team questions Steve asks Yoon Cannon. Scroll below to watch the video of the full interview.

Question 1 02:58 

  • You know I’d like to invite you to share with us some of the common frustrations that you see small business owners bumping into when it comes time to duplicate themselves through other people as the sales engine.

Question 2  07:12  

  • So how do you begin to formulate a selling system that can be translated or taught to somebody else? 
  • What are the important components of that?

 

Question 3 11:35 

  • So you mentioned Sandler there and and you know we can go out into the, you know onto the internet or into a, you know, on Amazon or into a bookstore and and get just fire host with all kinds of sales, books, techniques, you know, tactics and strategies and all this kind of stuff. Where does that stuff fit in to creating a winning hand off to a new sales team? 
  • Do you do that stuff? Do you adopt it? Do you introduce it? 
  • What’s your feeling about that? 

Question 4 15:36 

  • Would you say that bringing in new people to enhance, accelerate, expand our sales efforts, is that, is that a good time to introduce new ideas that we might have been thinking of or is it better to, to just bring people in to what we’ve done and, and what we know is good business and then build the new things in as we go, when is the best time to think about that?

Question 5 25:55

  • So I know that you’ve got all kinds of formulas and check sheets and things that people might find useful. Tell us how to get more information about how to figure out this sales puzzle and duplicate ourselves in the marketplace

Do You Need Help Growing Your Sales Team? 

Whether you’re interviewing for a VP of Sales, a Fractional Chief Sales Officer, a Sales Growth Advisor or you’d just need clarity what the best next steps look like for you to take your company to the next level …

I invite you to book a complimentary discovery call with me here:

https://www.paramountbusinesscoach.com/coaching/coaching-call-sign-up/

QUESTION: What is one important question you’d like to ask about this topic? Please share your comments and question below.

Driving Business Growth Through Strong Leadership [UPDATED]

6 Powerful Leadership Principles to Bring Out the Best in Your People

leadershipAs a business growth coach I am often asked the question, “What’s your advice on achieving fast business growth?”

My one line response, “Never try to do it alone.”

Whether you are the CEO or a key manager, the quickest road to fast business growth is through having a team of committed people. Strong development is what will allow you to laser focus on your core areas of competencies and not fall into the trap of wearing too many hats, which will only slow you down. (more…)

How to Find Right Virtual Assistants

Need to Find Right Virtual Assistants?

Signs you need to find right virtual assistants: You’re drowning in an endless to-do list … you feel overwhelmed all the time … you always feel behind in hitting your goals … you’re stuck spinning your wheels … you’re exhausted and feeling burned out …  you wear every hat in your business.

If any of those sound like you, then it’s definitely time to hire help!

Oh, and by the way, in case you’re not familiar with the term “virtual assistant” it’s just someone you hire who works virtually. So, they can work from their home and you don’t need to dedicate a full office space to bring on more help.

So, this week’s Q&A episode I answer Morgan Robinson’s question about how to find right virtual assistants.  You’ll discover key tips on how to figure out what type of VA you need, best places to find right virtual assistants, my simple process for determining the right and wrong hires and how to set yourself up for success working with a new virtual assistant.

NOTE: If you prefer to hire someone to work at your physical location, these same tips actually apply to both scenarios.

I also shared different answers on this similar topic in this previous episode. Listen to Hiring Tips here

This week’s Q&A episode is for you if:

  • you’re ready to hire your first virtual assistant, but you don’t know how to start
  • you’ve tried hiring people before with frustrating results
  • you know you just can’t do it all by yourselfOk, now let’s dive into this week’s Q&A episode.Grab a pen and paper and get ready to take some notes. Then be sure to share your comments and questions below. I’d love to know your greatest take-aways or specific points you’d like to get more clarity on.

Click the play button below to listen to the

AUDIO BLOG on How to Find Right Virtual Assistants:

 

Watch the VLOG on How to Find Right Virtual Assistants Here:

 

Want to have your question featured on future episodes? Just record your voice message here:
https://www.paramountbusinesscoach.com/Ask-Yoon/

Click the image below to grab my free printable Hiring Checklist so you can hire with confidence!

Hiring Checklist for Small Business Employers

QUESTION: Where do you get stuck when hiring a virtual assistant?
Share your comments and questions below. 

Hiring Tips for Small Business Owners – Q&A Episode

Hiring Tips for Small Business Owners

If you’re looking for great hiring tips, sales and marketing strategies then you’re in the right place! Growing a business is always full of new challenges at every stage of growth.  The good news is you don’t need to struggle with these challenges alone.

My Q&A episodes is a free resource I offer to help you get quick wins you need to boost your sales, productivity and profits.

If you’d like to submit your question simply leave me a voice message here.

Here’s what you want to say in your voice or comment message:

1. Your name
2. City and state you’re from.
3. Your question. (what is the result you want to achieve, your challenge?)
4. Your website url (OPTIONAL, but this will help me give you better feedback based on learning what business you’re in)

I’ll share my tips and advice in response. Be sure to share this great free resource with your friends!

This week’s question comes from Jeremy Robinson who asks great questions like:

who to hire?
how to define his company’s organizational structure?
who to hire first?
how to define roles clearly and more.

You may be ready to hire additional full time employees to grow your team, but keep in mind if you are a solopreneur these same hiring tips also apply to you too!  If you’re a self employed business owner, taking your business to the next level needs to include hiring part time or full time freelancers / virtual assistants.

Watch the video episode here:

Listen to the audio here:

 

 

Grab the free resource mentioned in this episode:

Productivity Template

QUESTION: What is one strategy you will commit to implementing that I shared in this Q&A episode? I want to hear from you!  Share your comments and questions below.

Overcoming Employee Resistance to Change, Part 1 – 8 Simple Strategies to Creating Successful Change

The challenge of overcoming employee resistance is a hurdle both small and large business owners face.As your business grows, it has to adapt to changing circumstances. Trends and tastes change, and new challenges emerge; and it’s the most flexible, adaptive businesses that survive. This evolutionary process can be painful – especially when your employees are resistant to change.

From my experience, balancing the needs of the business, and the desires of its employees, is the most common problem facing small business owners and their managers. Implementing structural change in a business has become a dreaded necessity – but it needn’t be.

Here are 8 surefire strategies to overcoming employee resistance; the most effective, efficient and productive ways to create successful change in your business.

#1. Check your attitude.

Addressing your own attitude might sound contrarian, when it’s clearly the employees who have a stubborn attitude – but as a business owner or manager, you have to first put on the mindset that the “buck stops here”.

There’s no need to be a “barker”or a “dictator”if it doesn’t suit your personality – but if employees are resisting change, their lack of cooperation is probably because you’re letting people walk all over you. Check your attitude:

abc   Are you catering to their needs?

abc   Are you caving in to their resistances?

abc   Are you managing conflict, or are you avoiding conflict?

#2. Commit to being the leader.  

If people aren’t listening to you, they’re not following you. People follow leaders.

Eleanore Roosevelt so famously said, “If you have to tell people you’re a lady; you’re not a lady.The same applies to management. If you have to tell your people to listen to you, you’re not a leader — or at least, you’re not acting like a leader.

Overcoming employee resistance starts with committing to be a strong leader.  I often discover that managers and business owners who struggle with overcoming employee resistance hold misconceptions of what a leader is. A leader is not a dictator. A leader is not barker. A leader does not need to strong arm or threaten their people to do what you need them to do.

Reframe your definition of a leader as being more of a coach. If you were the new Head Coach of a football team and you needed to develop a group of underdogs into a championship level team, ask yourself:

abc   Have you cast an exciting, clear vision of where your company (team) is going?

abc   Are you raising the bar on their effort, performance and work ethic?

abc   Are you holding each team player accountable to follow through – or are you letting them slack?

#3. Have clear player POSITIONS.  

One of the biggest hindrances to overcoming employee resistance to change is that employees were never given clear expectations to begin with.

abc   What exactly was each person hired for?

abc   What position are they playing on your team?

If they’re hired to play wide receiver, then clearly define the role of a wide receiver. Don’t confuse and frustrate your players by having them play linebacker, quarterback, defense and wide receiver all in the same game.

People’s reactions are always based on their expectations. If you’re constantly throwing new changes to their job function it’s understandable that employees would grow increasingly frustrated. After all, they’re trying to hit a constantly moving target.

Employees end up thinking “Hey, this is not what I signed up for!–and their motivation plummets.

In order to mitigate that:

#4. Have clear player EXPECTATIONS.  

If you want to stop the reaction of resistance, start by setting clear player expectations.

abc   Do you have a written job description for each player?

abc   Is the language crystal clear in objective terms rather than subjective and open to interpretation?

abc   Does it define performance that meets expectations, falls below expectations or exceeds expectations?

#5. Dont pass the buck

If you don’t have written job descriptions, avoid the temptation to allow people to define their own roles or write their own job descriptions.

Having your employees write their own job description is only valuable as a barometer to assess their expectations of their role within the business; and how they align with your expectations.

I do not recommend taking this approach to let your players write their own player positions and expectations for you. That’s your job. These are decisions that should be made by you.

Ok, now that you’ve read this far, you’re ready to dive into

Part 2 – Overcoming Employee Resistance to Change.

In Part 2, let me share three more tips and techniques for creating successful change in your business; and even explore how you can benefit from them in all areas of your life!

#6. Hold firm expectations.

Once you set your expectations, you need to hold firm to them.People can tell whether you’re firm or fake. They can smell that fear a mile away. Overcoming employee resistance to change will only continue to be a challenge if managers continue to waver on setting clear, firm expectations.

abc   What are the non-negotiable expectations you have for each employee?

abc   What is the language you use to communicate those expectations?

abc   What is the tone you project? What does your non-verbal communication say?

#7. Build relationships.

Overcoming employee resistance to change doesn’t come from focusing on their behavior; but from focusing on your relationship.

Employee resistance occurs when there’s no respect.

There’s no respect because there is no trust.

There’s no trust because there’s no relationship.

There’s no relationship because there is no consistent one-on-one time.

Remember that: relationships are NOT built in groups. Relationships are built one-on-one

abc   How often do you schedule one-on-one time with each of your direct reports?

abc   Do you critique your employees more than you appreciate them?

#8. Find out their WHATand their WHY.

As business owners and managers, we all want a team of players who are highly self-motivated. Self-motivated people are naturally self absorbed. But, in this case, being self absorbed is not a bad thing.

If you want your people to care about what you care about (growing the company), then you need to first care about what they care about.

Why? Because creating success is about creating a win-win situation for everyone.

When you’re struggling with overcoming employee resistance, remember:

“People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.

abc   How much do you know about each employee?

abc   Have you ever asked what motivates them?

abc   Have you ever asked what their goals are, in both their professional and personal lives?

abc   Have you ever asked why? What would achieving that goal allow them to do, be or have, that they don’t have right now?

Benefiting from these skills in all areas of your life

These same strategies for overcoming employee resistance to change can be applied to our personal lives as well.  These leadership skills, coaching skills and management skills are also lasting life skills that you’ll benefit from in all types of relationships.

As a parent, I want to raise my three kids to be highly self-motivated people. Like most parents, I want my kids to dream big and reach their full potential.

Despite this, I started noticing that I was nagging my son, Thomas, to get out there and practice his soccer drills. I was annoyed that I was investing time and money into his soccer training, but he was RESISTING the advice of his coach.

I decided to apply these same strategies at home. When he was around 12 years old, I sat down with my son and asked him: ‘What’s your dream?’

His answer – to become a professional soccer player. 

We talked about his why, and defined what would that allow him to achieve his desires in life. Then, all I had to do was show him what separates the extraordinary soccer players from the less extraordinary soccer players.

We defined what the extraordinary soccer players did to get there —(exceeding expectations)

We defined what lesser soccer players did —(meeting expectations)

We defined what failed soccer players did —(below expectations)

‘Thanks for believing in me

My son Thomas will soon be turning 15, and I’m happy to report that I haven’t had to nag him since that conversation when he was 12. In fact, I truly admire how highly self-motivated he has become. The snow or rain does not stop him from running outside or practicing his shots on net.  He is not only disciplined in his cross training routine at home, he’s also surprisingly disciplined in choosing what he eats as an athlete.

The best part as a parent was the day my son took me aside and said, “Mom, thanks for believing in me.  Wow! I can last on those 6 words for the next 6 years!

As a business owner or manager, it’s the same thing. When you have an employee who takes the time to say, “Thanks coach, for believing in me.” – that’s the kind of stuff that fuels your tank for many more years to come.

Not only do these strategies help you in overcoming employee resistance to change; they can benefit all areas of your life. Instituting these 8 starter strategies also nurtures fierce loyalty among your employees – creating motivated, productive players that will go over and beyond their call of duty.

QUESTION: What is your biggest challenge when it comes to overcoming employee resistance? Please share your comments in the box below.

You can also download my handy cheat sheet on
Creating High Performing Teams Here.

 

© Copyright 2022