Monday, February 5, 2007

National Networking Week


International Networking Week*

I attended a seminar and had the great pleasure of hearing Brian Tracy speak. I was quite happy to hear him say that everyone in business needs to spend 80% of their time prospecting. As I attend numerous networking meetings, I had sometimes wondered if it was a good use of my time. I also had the privilege of hearing John Maxwell speak in and had a definite 'aha' moment. He said that just because we are busy does not mean we are being effective. So what does all this mean? Going to networking meetings will certainly keep us busy, however it's what we do when we're there and the follow-up that is the real value.

Is networking effective? You betcha! When I took early retirement from my corporate job and decided to work my part-time passion full time, I did an analysis of my current client list to see from where my clients had evolved. I found that 80% of them had come from the one networking group that I had been a member of for eight years. That told me that networking does work!

There is value in networking, however it's like taking a bath, 'you can't just attend just one meeting and expect to receive a pile of leads.' Networking works if you work it. Most people do business with someone they trust. Someone they have built a relationship with. Most people are not going to give you their business or a referral the first time they meet you. You have to build trust and a relationship by showing up again and again. That says that you are a hardworking, reliable, trust-worthy person. Participating actively and adding value helps to also build the relationship.

Here are some tips to further accelerate the networking process:
  • Present the right image. Be dressed professional or what is appropriate for the group, i.e. if you know most of the people will be business casual, then business casual is appropriate.
  • Always wear a name tag and wear it on your right shoulder
  • Have plenty of business cards that are distinctive, colorful, and legible
  • Approach people you already know so that they can introduce you to others. This is a good strategy for you also. Introduce those that could benefit from each other's services. (i.e. Like a real estate person and a mortgage person)
  • Ask questions about their business so that you are clear on good leads for them. Listen carefully. Remember, you are NOT there to sell, but meet others and establish relationships.
  • Mingle, Mingle, Mingle - Step out of your comfort zone. Look for the person who looks lost (usually first timers) introduce yourself and ask questions.
  • Position yourself in the room near the food and/or drinks in order to be more visible and meet more people
  • Always remember WIIFM (What's In It For Me) - This is what most people are thinking about. So be able to describe your business or product in terms of the benefit to the potential client. Does your product or service save time and/or money? Also, be able to describe your perfect client.
  • Offer to get together for coffee or lunch with those that could be good business alliances Follow up with a note or phone call and if possible offer something of value like another networking group or meeting that might be of interest to them. Or perhaps send a promotional item the person would keep and use. 
  • Keep your name in front of them. If you have a newsletter or ezine you publish, ask if you may add them to your distribution list
  • Send Congratulatory cards and letters. If you see their name in the paper for an accomplishment and/or promotion, call or send a note.
  • Pass well qualified referrals and ask that they use your name.
  • When you get a referral, even if you don't get the sale, Always thank the person who gave you the lead.
  • Donate door prizes others will want and remember
  • Be involved with 4 networking groups 1 closed, 2 open, and 1 volunteer.
  • Take advantage of daily opportunities to meet people.
  • Treat everyone you meet with equal consideration. When you're networking your way to the top, it pays to stay in everyone's good graces. Apply the Golden Rule to all of your networking relationships. Brain Tracy also said 'Good comes from Everything.'
Happy Networking!
Virtual Assistant Specializing in Relationship Marketing
"Helping You and Your Business Look Good"

Thursday, February 1, 2007

No One Needs to Give Me a Reason to Wear Redd

No one needs to give me a reason to wear Red. I love the color. My nickname is Redd. My car is red. My vanity plates says REDDS. But for those that may need a reason, here is a very good one.

´National Wear Red Day´
Friday, February 2nd
Everyone (including men!) can support the fight against heart disease in women by wearing red on National Wear Red Day — this Friday, February 2nd.
It's a simple yet powerful way to raise awareness of heart disease and stroke. By wearing red, you'll help The American Heart Association ( support ongoing research and education about women and heart disease.

On Friday, February 2, you'll be a "Fashion DO" -- as long as you're wearing RED. Women are urged to wear red on Friday, February 2nd for "National Wear Red Day," an initiative spearheaded the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), the American Heart Association (AHA), and WomenHeart, to raise awareness of the number one killer of American women: heart disease.

GLAMOUR recently named women's heart health as the magazine's official cause since more women die each day of cardiovascular conditions than any other disease -- yet many women are unaware of this danger In October 2003, GLAMOUR partnered with the groundbreaking "Red Dress Project," an on-going health initiative led by First Lady Laura Bush and the NHLBI. Co-sponsors of the campaign are the AHA, the Department of Health and Human Services, and WomenHeart, the only national group for women with heart disease. "The Red Dress" is the new symbol for women and heart disease. Like the pink ribbon of breast cancer, this icon was created to call attention to this deadly yet often preventable illness.

Heart Disease Doesn't Care What You Wear—It's the #1 Killer of Women. Every woman can take steps to lower her risk of developing heart disease. It's never too early or too late to improve heart health—even for those who have already had a heart attack. Whatever a woman's age, she needs to take action to protect her heart health.

For more information log onto

Celebrate National Wear Red Day — this Friday, February 2nd

Whether you plan to wear red this Friday or would like some advice on how to wear red more effectively throughout the year, here are some quick tips to consider:
#1 Know Your Destination. No other color is charged with as much energy, emotion or passion as red. Its popularity in clothing is universal, spanning all ages, professions and cultures. Used wisely in business settings, it can enhance communication and create excitement for your ideas. Why do you think the red “power tie” is so popular. Yes, red is appropriate for the office when it is presented professionally.

#2 Choose Your Shoes Carefully. Black shoes are usually your best bet when wearing red clothing, especially in the winter months. We love red shoes too. However, they are best when used as an accent with base neutral colors in your wardrobe. See tip #4 below for more about red shoes.

#3 Put Your Best Leg Forward. Nine out of ten times, black stockings will appear too harsh when worn during the daytime with a solid red outfit. Sheer, nude hosiery will often create a softer daytime look. If you prefer to wear black stockings or black tights in the cooler months because of the extra coverage they provide for your legs, do so strategically. For instance, change the buttons on a red suit or sweater to black so they connect nicely to black hosiery and shoes while working to lessen the severity of the combination. A black turtleneck worn with a red wool skirt, black tights and black suede pumps or dress boots can also help you achieve a well-balanced and figure flattering appearance.
#4 Use Red as an Accent. Adding five red pieces to your wardrobe in the same hue can punch up your wardrobe, giving you endless options with many of the base neutral colors (i.e. black, gray, navy, chocolate and camel) already in your wardrobe. Once you have decided on the shade that best compliments your skin tone and personality, versatile pieces to add include a red top, a red bag, red shoes, red shawl or scarf and red jewelry. Remember; don’t wear these pieces all at the same time unless you are looking for a citation from the fashion police!

#5 Spring Forward. Nautical looks are everywhere for spring 2007, with navy, red and white combinations taking center stage. Many of the red accents that work in the winter months can easily translate for spring. Red silk shells, red leather belts and red shoes purchased on the winter clearance racks now will be an easy way to update your spring wardrobe when the weather changes.

#6 Anyone Can Wear Red. Yes – even Natural Redheads. It depends on the hue of the red. Not all “reds” are the same. Cool blue reds look best on most of the population. Tomato reds look great on a Natural Redhead.

Excerpts from Dressing Well Tip of the Week

For more tips on image for business, log onto "Helping You and Your Business Look Good"

Until the next time I feel inspired.

The Painted Lady known to some as "Redd"


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