Networking Got You Spooked?

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Have you seen this Ghost at your networking event?

Are you haunted by the thought of running into one of these characters at your next networking event? Here are the warning signs and tools to slay those situations.

The Vampire: Charms all the contacts and advice right out of you – for free – providing no reciprocation.

Slayer: No pointy stick needed. Instead, try this phrase, “Vlad, it’s a real pleasure meeting you. Would love to schedule a call to discuss what you’re looking for and how we can work together. Right now, I’ve got x time and x time open for a phone call. Which works best for you?”

The Zombie: This person doesn’t eat brains, but sure wants to pick your brain. For free. “C’mon. Let’s go for coffee,” they say. And they keep coming back for more free advice. In the meantime, you haven’t earned a dime.

Slayer: Neutralize the brain-picking requests with this killer phrasing, “Zena, thanks so much for your request. I’d love to work with you. Let’s schedule time to discuss your situation over the phone. That saves us both driving time and we can maximize our time on the call. At the end of our call, I’ll recommend some of my services, which could help you turn around that situation fast. Here’s what’s available. What time/date works best for you?” Or “Thanks for asking, I’ve got a great blog post on that. What’s your email, I’ll send you the link.”

The Werewolf: His hair is perfect. You have a nice conversation. You exchange business cards. The next day, you find you’re subscribed to his newsletter and you’ve received several sales pitches from him via all your social media accounts.

Slayer: Your silver bullet: Unsubscribe. And, block, if necessary. Sure, you can try to educate Wolfy on proper social media etiquette, but chances are this Werewolf has bitten before and likely won’t change.

The Mummy: This person is wrapped up in themselves. And their department. They don’t want to share information for fear they’ll be exposed and lose their job or client or whatever else they deem most valuable. (Maybe it’s a red Swingline stapler.)

Slayer: You understand. You can build trust by reassuring Mummy that sharing a little piece of advice won’t jeopardize their career. Instead, it may enhance it because they’ll have a new ally in another department. They can build on this connection, create cross-functional inroads, and get their job done faster. And you benefit because you’ve got a fresh set of eyes on your work situation from an expert with a long history at the organization.

The Ghost: You were having a great conversation. You turn around and poof. They’ve vanished. No exit conversation. No, “let’s get a call on the calendar.” And no contact info. They’ve simply vanished. “Who was that person? Why did they leave? What did I do?” you ask yourself.

Slayer: It might not be about you. It may be the Ghost’s typical behavior because they hate networking events. If, however it is you, examine the conversation. Might you have accidentally shown a few symptoms from the Mummy, Werewolf, Zombie or Vampire? If so, work on improving your networking prowess. Focus on building the business relationship and friendship first, before making an ask. Think about ways you can help your network, whether it’s making a personal introduction to another in your network or sending a helpful link or resource. That way your network will thrive. And you’re less likely to run into these characters or accidentally turn into one of them yourself in the future. I know you’ll slay it at your next event. Drop me a comment and share your networking story.

© 2017 | Wendy Terwelp | All rights reserved.

Wendy Terwelp is an award-winning career expert and personal branding strategist who works with leaders, directors, and high potentials to propel their careers and be rock stars at work. Her private coaching clients win promotions, salary raises, and gigs. A sought-after speaker, Wendy works with organizations who want to smash silos, increase employee engagement, and eliminate people headaches. Book her for your next event: http://www.knocks.com/speaking/ 

Who needs to know about you?

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“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with,” Jim Rohn

As the author of “Rock Your Network®,” I’m often asked  about how to network, how to network while working (aka no time to network), and who should be in your network.

Where do you begin? Begin with your career goals. 

Are you looking for a promotion? New business? More clients? Colleagues and peers to brainstorm ideas?

Knowing  your goals will help you determine who needs to be in your network. And who you may need to prune. There are now five generations in the workplace with the arrival of Generation Z. Therefore, it’s good to diversify your network across generations for lasting career management.

When one of my clients was in the market for a new gig, he tapped his college alumni – those who graduated 10 years ahead of him and those who graduated 10 years after him. This led to several opportunities. And, after he landed his new gig, he maintained those connections throughout his career, rising to his current role: vice president of business development.

Your networking criteria will help you save time because you’ll focus on only those areas relevant to your goals. And you can use your networking criteria online or off. For example, I list my personal criteria for connecting on LinkedIn in my profile under “Advice for contacting Wendy.” In my case, I accept invitations from people I know, met personally or know through another connection I respect.

As your career evolves over time,. your networking criteria evolves with it.

Be sure to nurture your network by regularly communicating with people, providing resources and assistance when they need it. Networking is a two-way street. You’ve got to fuel your network to fire it up!

Coaching Challenge: Write down your own criteria for adding people to your online and offline networks based on your career goals.

Need help with your networking efforts? Check out my networking programs here, including LinkedIn networking.

© 1998 – 2016 Wendy Terwelp | All rights reserved.

What Career Success Really Looks Like

 

Career Success looks like

In today’s world of work, the only guarantee is CHANGE. The old days of staying with one company for decades, working hard, and waiting to get recognized and promoted are gone. Senior leaders have more and more responsibilities – and more and more people reporting to them. They can’t possibly track all the fantastic things you do. Now more than ever, it’s important to take control of your career in order to reach your goals.

Don’t wait for someone to promote you, give you assignments or choose you. Promote yourself through your work ethic, visibility, project contributions, follow through, internal and external networks, and continuing training. Set meetings with your boss to keep them abreast of your contributions and value to the organization.

According to data from a survey by CEB, a management research firm, 6% of Fortune 500 companies have stopped using annual performance reviews and forced rankings in favor of ongoing feedback. In 2015, Deloitte and Accenture also dropped performance reviews in favor of ongoing feedback. This is a trend going forward.

The Bureau of Labor and Statistics shows the average person changes jobs 11.7 times during his/her lifetime via 2015 report. Career changes ranged from 4 to 7 depending on the survey. Now more than ever it is mission critical to take an active role in managing your career and personal brand.

Coaching Challenge: Track your hits. Set a meeting with your boss. Communicate your value. You got this!

© 2016 Wendy Terwelp | All rights reserved.

Revealing Your Personal Power in the Workplace

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1. Brand-Building Treasure Hunt

  • Ask 5 people you trust to tell you what they think your three greatest professional strengths are, and then ask them what three to five words come to mind when they think of you.
  • Choose One Word that best represents you and create a story that demonstrates one of your greatest strengths using this word. This can become a powerful networking tool for you.

2. Develop a “Me File”

  • If you’re employed, track your achievements, kudos from your superiors, projects you’ve worked on, ideas you’ve generated into fruition, programs you’re proud of, employees you’ve developed into leadership roles, and more. This will aid you’re next performance evaluation, next promotion or next career.
  • If you’re not currently employed and want to return to the workforce, track your volunteer achievements, leadership roles, fundraising events, and related activities. These can turn into valuable, marketable skills for your job search.

3. Get Paid What You’re Worth

  • Do your homework on your company.
  • Find out about your company’s competition.
  • Keep track of your achievements, projects, and other “outside the scope” of your job activity.
  • When documenting, be specific. List quantifiable results.
  • When the performance review is set, let your boss talk first.
  • Present your case diplomatically.
  • Don’t take maybe for an answer.
  • When given a time/date for the raise or “consideration” to kick in, follow up.

4. Acknowledge co-workers, customers, etc. positively for their contributions.

  • Go deeper with your compliment, instead of “Great job!” Try, “Your enthusiasm and proactive solutions will be an excellent contribution to our project.”

5. Have solutions prepared BEFORE you talk to your boss about a problem.

6. In staff meetings, actively participate, take notes, listen closely, provide ideas or solutions, and ask questions. Be visible.

7. Build your personal brand and your internal networks.

  • Who needs to know about you? Communicate your value in a positive, authentic way.

8. Smile when you speak on the telephone so the caller can hear the enthusiasm in your voice.

9. Dress professionally and carry yourself with confidence.

10. Develop your own personal sound bite (a 30-second commercial about yourself and/or your business) to use when networking or meeting new people. You can use

11. Always communicate positively, powerfully, clearly, and concisely.


© 2002—2015 Wendy Terwelp | All rights reserved.

Top 10 Secrets to Turn Networking Pain to Career Gain

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It’s not what you know; it’s who you know that gets you hired or promoted. We’ve all heard this phrase so many times our ears are bleeding, right? Here are the facts: more than 70% of people land new jobs through networking. And, according to CareerXroads Source of Hire Study, 41% land through internal promotions or movement. With that in mind, here are 10 secrets to turn your networking pain into career gain:

  1. Know yourself and your personal brand: Are you hip, trendy, and cool? If you are, then the networking group you join should match your style and your attitude. Sure, you want to meet different types of people to successfully manage your career, but you also want them to “get you.” And you want them to be fun to work with, right?
  2. Know what you want: when you attend a networking event, what is it you want from the event? Contacts? Referrals? Ideas? Notice I didn’t say “job.” Unless of course you’re networking at a job fair. The goal for networking is to create relationships that can help you propel your career in the direction of your overall goals.
  3. Know what you bring to the table that no one else does– what makes you or your qualifications unique among your competitors? “I’m a people person” is not a unique skill set.
  4. Know your audience: who needs to know about you to help you reach your goals? Does this networking organization serve your audience? Does it have members who are your audience? If not, it’s probably not the group for you. What groups should you join? Join at least three types groups. 1) A peer group for brainstorming, education, commiserating, and more importantly for creating referral or alliance partners; 2) Prospects: a group that is your ideal target market or knows your ideal target market; 3) professional business group or leads group. Hiring decision-makers often Google your name before meeting with you. A professional organization can boost your online presence as they often have a membership listing on their website.
  5. Know that the more you give, the more you get. It’s not all about you. You’ve got to fuel your network to fire it up!™ How can you help your new contacts?
  6. Know how to start a conversation. Develop at least 3 open-ended questions you can ask a person in your new networking group. And it’s not: “Hey, know anyone who’s hiring?”
  7. If you’re shy, know that it’s A-OK to team up with a friend to attend events and meet new people. Networking becomes easier when you can introduce your friend first and then yourself when meeting new people.
  8. Know when a group’s a great fit for your career goals – and when it is not. When you think about writing off a group, you want to think about how profitable the group is for you. And I don’t necessarily mean in terms of revenue. With some groups you’ll know after the first meeting it’s not a good fit; others take time to gel. For example, if you’re active in the group and meeting the right people, it may be a good fit. The goal is not to collect business cards; the goal is to build relationships that grow with you, your career, and your business. It comes down to this, if you are not building relationships in the group, and you’re just going for the food, it’s not a good fit. Follow up on those business cards.
  9. Know that in order to make the most of a group you’ve got to take an active role. Networking is more than just showing up. Joining a networking group is a commitment.
  10.  Know that networking is simply having a conversation with friends. Following these steps takes away the pain for your career gain.

Keep in mind, networking is a two-way street. A good networker gives to their network, maintains their network, and builds a positive, ongoing business relationship. Enjoy building your network and taking your career to the next level.


© 1998 – 2015 • Wendy J. Terwelp • All rights reserved.
Wendy Terwelp is president of Opportunity Knocks™ of Wisconsin, LLC, a career management and personal branding firm that helps you get hired faster and be a rock star at work. Learn how to rebuild your network 5 minutes a day with Wendy’s book, Rock Your Network® .

Top 10 Tips to Boost Your Business Network

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  1. Know yourself and your brand. Are you hip, trendy, and cool? If you are, then the networking group you join should match your style and your attitude. Sure, you want to meet different types of people for your business, but you also want them to “get you.” And you want them to be fun to work with, right?
  2. Know what you want. When you attend a networking event, what is it you want from the event? Contacts? Referrals? People to brainstorm ideas? One colleague joined a marketing group – to learn about writing marketing copy. Then complained when she did not land new business. New business was not the focus of the group. If you want new business, join a leads group. It’s also important to go into a group with a goal. When attending your next conference who would you most like to meet? Make a plan. 
  3. Know what you bring to the table that no one else does. What makes you or your product unique among your competitors? Don’t tell me it’s your quality, service, and price. Yawn. Since everyone says this, it does not stand out. And, if you’re only competing on price, you’ll lose customers to the next guy who has a lower price than yours.
  4. Know your audience. Who is your target audience? Know that not everyone is your ideal client. At one networking event I attended, a beauty product rep said, “I work with anyone with skin.” People in the group were confused. “Anyone with skin” was too broad and unfocused so they didn’t know how  or who to refer to her. Who is your favorite customer or business and how can you find their clones? Knowing who you want to work with – and who needs to know about you – makes it much easier to attract the right clients for your business. And helps others help you best.
  5. Know that the more you give, the more you get.Networking is not all about you. You’ve got to fuel your network to fire it up!™ Keep others in mind when networking.
  6. Know how to start a conversation. Develop at least three open-ended questions you can ask a person in your new networking group. Here are a few to get you started:
    • What brings you to this conference?
    • How did you get started in your business?
    • What’s the coolest thing that’s happened to you all week?

Keep your questions open and inviting. That way you can start a warm conversation.

7. If you’re shy, know that it’s A-OK to team up with a friend to attend events and meet new people. It’s much easier to introduce your friend to others and then introduce yourself.

8. Know when a group’s a great fit for your business – and when it is not. Join at least three types groups. 1) A Peer group for brainstorming, education, commiserating, and more importantly for creating alliances; 2) Prospects: a group that is your ideal target market or knows your ideal target market; 3) Professional business group or leads group. Joining a peer or professional group can also increase your search engine rankings, your visibility, and your credibility because they often publish a directory of their members on their membership website.

9. Know that in order to make the most of a group you’ve got to take an active role. Networking is more than just showing up.

10. Know that networking is simply having a conversation with friends. A good networker gives to and maintains their network.

© 1993 – 2015 Wendy Terwelp | All rights reserved.

Easy 5-minute Tips to Make Your Network Thrive

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No time to network? Have you got five minutes?

Here are some quick tips to stay top of mind with your network and make it thrive.

1. Get Social: Set a specific purpose and time limit for your social media activities each day. This helps you avoid overwhelm or distraction (hey check out this link, which leads to that link, which leads to …). In your specified time frame, take a moment and tweet a reply to one of your followers. Have you read a great post on LinkedIn or Facebook? Hit the “like” button and share it with your connections.

2. Repurpose: Are you reading a great blog post or article you feel would benefit your network? Tweet a link or post a link to the story with a brief descriptor on LinkedIn or Facebook. Or if it’s relevant to only one or two people in your network versus the entire group, send a link to the story in an email: “Saw this article and thought you might find it helpful.”

3. Align networking with things you’re already doing: Going to a football game? Whether it’s the pros or your kids, game time is a great time to network. You’re sharing a common interest, which makes starting a conversation easy.

4. Make a plan: Going to a networking event or conference? Set a goal to meet at least three new people.

5. Create a dynamic, branded sound bite: Doing so helps you quickly address, “So, what do you do?” Check out chapter 5 of my book, Rock Your Network®, for a quick three-step formula to create a sound bite that helps you network with ease and confidence. Got a business? Shark Tank’s Daymond John says, you better be able to distill your brand down to two to five words. Are you ready for your next big gig?

Now that you have your networking plan, sound bite, and goals, you’re prepared for networking anytime, anywhere, I’d love to hear your networking stories and tips. Feel free to share in the comment section. Go get ’em!

© 1998 – 2014 | Wendy Terwelp . All rights reserved.