In today’s podcast episode, we give you some bite-sized bit of wisdom perfect for this time of year: what are you gonna do to network around the holidays?

NO BETTER TIME THAN THE HOLIDAYS

Let’s put one old really bad myth to rest – and that is the holiday is a bad time to market your business. Actually let’s face it, the holidays are the best  time to market your business – especially if you are a professional service business owner. Why? Because even though networking is a good thing to do the rest of the year, it’s really absolutely natural over the holidays.

Below are a couple of tips to take advantage of holiday networking:

  1. ACCEPT ALL INVITATIONS. Remember that this opportunity to meet with so many people won’t come around again for another 12 months. Look around for holiday events at your professional organization, chamber of commerce, networking groups or any another local business groups that you can actually get involved with.
  1. GO TO THE PARTY PREPARED. Bring lots and lots of business cards and a pen. Make it a goal to make at least one substantial connection preferably with at least half a dozen or even a dozen people of possible. A substantial is a one-on-one talk that’s at least 10 minutes long or more or a solid talk with which you are gonna catch up with later.
  1. TWO TYPES OF PEOPLE YOU CONNECT WITH. There’s the people you know and people you don’t know. Now for those who you know, ask sincerely how they’re doing, how their business has been for this year. For those that you meet that you don’t know, be prepared with your 30 second elevator pitch or informercial. Make sure that you make yourself distinctive.
  2. ASK QUESTIONS AND LISTEN. Now there’S nothing sweeter to a person’s ear than their own name and voice. Ask  them things like “How has business been going? How have the changes in the economy affected their businesses? What are their plans for growth in 2016? What kinds of clients are you looking for these days?” Shut up and let your prospect do the talking.
  1. STAY IN TOUCH. Nobody wants you to fall into the rut of suggesting that you should get together for lunch sometime and never following up for that.
  1. FOLLOW UP STRAIGHT AFTER THE PARTY. If some topics come up that indicate that there’s a reason for you to talk further, give them a call within the first day or two with a very specific purpose: you might say something like “Hey Jenny! At the party you talked about some of the challenges in getting some of your  projects completed within a budget in a time frame. I’ve actually some ideas that you might find useful.” People love it when you find a solution for them.
  1. KEEP AN OPEN MIND. If you’re in the right place at the right time, you could make some very profitable business connections. If nothing happens right now, at least you’ve sowed some seeds for the future that you can follow up.

Always keep in mind that the holiday season is just that –  it’s a “season.” It’s gonna be over like all other seasons are. Ask your prospect that you meet during this holiday season what they’ll be thinking about during the holidays. Will they be considering expanding their business at all? Are they leveraging more effective time management? Expanding/reducing their team? Are they Streamlining their expenses? Improving their cashflow? I want you to ask them this and a great many things, more so you can get together with them and have a real deep connection that’s starts during your holiday season .

RESOURCES MENTIONED

CEO on Demand website – www.ceo-ondemand.com.au

More Profit Less Time website – www.moreprofitlesstime.com

THANKS FOR LISTENING!

Thanks so much for joining us on this episode! Don’t forget to subscribe to the show on iTunes and Stitcher to get automatic updates and leave an awesome review!

Until next time!

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TRANSCRIPT: PODCAST EPISODE 33

Title: Are You Holiday Networking?

Date Published: December 21, 2015

Running Time: 07:31 minutes

Good day jetsetters! This is John Millar, I’m the Naked Business Coach, bringing you another bite size bit of wisdom – and particularly partnered this time of the year! I want you to think about the subject of what you’re gonna do to network around the holidays?

Now, as the holiday period is upon us, many of you are wondering if this is a good time to market your business. After all, isn’t everyone preoccupied with shopping and waiting until next year to make business decisions?

Now, I have to agree that they may make their decisions next year, but now is a great time to market and to network. Let’s put one old really bad myth to rest: and that is the holiday is a bad time to market your business. Actually let’s face it, the holidays are the best  time to market your business – especially if you are a professional service business owner. Why? Because even though networking is a good thing to do the rest of the year, it’s really absolutely natural over the holidays.

So I want you to ask yourself, how can you take advantage of holiday networking? Let me give you a couple of tips:

  1. Accept all invitations. Remember that this opportunity to meet with so many people won’t come around again for another 12 months. Also, I want you to look around for holiday events at your professional organization, chamber of commerce, networking groups or any another local business groups that you can actually get involved with.
  1. Make sure that you go to the party prepared. Bring lots and lots of business cards and a pen. Now I’ve got a bit of a saying, “I’ts not the business cards I hand out, it’s a business cards that I receive”. Might think of actually a little bit of both. Make it a goal to make at least one substantial connection preferably with at least half a dozen or even a dozen people of possible. What’s a substantial connection you might ask? I reckon it’s a one-on-one talk that’s at least 10 minutes long or more. Or one that you have a solid talk with that you are gonna catch up with later.
  1. Let’s face it there are going to be two types of people that you’ll connect with at a party. People you know and people you don’t know. Now for those who you know, ask sincerely how they’re doing, how their business has been for this year. For those that you meet that you don’t know, be prepared with your 30 second elevator pitch or informercial, what you wana have so you’re gonna explain the people “I help business owners attain success in their businesses.” However, let them define they’re success as those who were stressed out because they’ve more to do with fewer resources” Just dont label yourself. Make sure that you make yourself distinctive.
  2. Spend more time asking questions and listening than talking.  Now there are two things that are nothing sweeter the sound than in somebody’s ear. It’s their name and their voice. Not yours, not your name. Asked them things like “How has business been going? How have the changes in the economy affected their businesses? What are their plans for growth in 2016? What kinds of clients are you looking for these days?” There are the sort of things you’re gonna ask questions. Shut up, and let someone tell you all about it, make sure before you go to these you got number
  1. Which is a strategy for staying in touch. Nobody wants you to fall into the rut of suggesting that you should get together for lunch sometime and never following up for that. Now I am sure that I’ve got few people that are listening to this that actually fall into that category. I gotta tell you as one of those people who gets promise much in deliver a little and disregard , its really get’s disappointing. For those who do follow through, let me tell you they got a lot – some branding points. What I want you to say is,“You know, I have sometime coming up and I really love to spend some time with. I’ve put together a new article entitled ‘Ten Ways to Improve Productivity in Tight Times.’ Let me send you a copy.” That way you’ve been able to email them something, keep in touch with them and then, if you truly get into lunch and catch up with them, do it.
  1. Follow-up with your new prospects straight  after the party. If some topics come up that indicated there’s a reason for you to talk further, give them a call within the first day or two with a very specific purpose: you might say something like “Hey Jenny! At the party you talked about some of the challenges in getting some of your  projects completed within a budget in a time frame. I’ve actually some ideas that you might find useful.” This are great strategy to show people that you’ve listen that you’ve care about them and that you can actually follow the man on those things. People love it when you find a solution for them.
  1. I want you tokeep an open mind. If you’re in the right place at the right time, you could make some very profitable business connections. If nothing happens right now, at least you’ve sowed some seeds for the future that you can follow up. A lot of people are “waiting until after Christmas.”  Let them wait? Hold on, is that what a real  professional would do?

Ask them what their plans are for 2016. Advise them to take time with their families and enjoy their holidays, and remind them that the holiday will be over. Then what? The answer is unique straight to the individual that you’re talking to. Get people to start thinking about the future. Do they see it as bright? Which is fantastic! Working with you can make it even brighter.  If it’s not bright, then they probably need your expertise.

Always keep in mind that the holiday season is just that –  it’s a “season.” It’s gonna be over like all other seasons are. I want you to ask your prospect that you meet during this holiday season what they’ll be thinking about during the holidays. Will they be considering expanding their business at all? Are they leveraging more effective time management? Expanding/reducing their team? Are they Streamlining their expenses? Improving their cashflow? I want you to ask them this and a great many things, more so you can get together with them and have a real deep connection that’s starts during your holiday season .

This has been John Millar, the naked business coach bringing you another bite size tip and set of wisdom. If you like what you heard I want you to go to our website moreprofitlesstime.com  or ceo-ondemand.com.au . You’ll find this and this and more episodes on itunes on stitcher and our blogs. We got so many more things we can give you for free. I hope this has been some help and I look forward in seeing you outside the holiday season have a fabulous 2016 .

John Millar

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