Tag Archives: Philadelphia Small Business Administration

Unintentional Connecting: Networking’s 12 Days of Christmas

During the month of December we attend both business and personal holiday gatherings, but it’s the weekend before Christmas to the weekend after New Years that we tend to focus more on the personal holiday gatherings. This is where unintentional connecting, or as I like to call it, “Unintentional Networking” happens. Why is it “Unintentional Networking” ? Because this is the time that we often don’t look at what we are doing as networking, rather just enjoying the holidays with friends and family, but in actuality these are the closest connections we have, and if paid attention to and approached properly, they can become some of your most valued business connections. Here are 8 suggestions on how to make this time of “Unintentional Networking” work for you.

  1. Always Be Prepared, Carry Business Cards. I know this sounds very elementary, but I cannot tell you how many times I’ve gone to personal functions and have asked for someone’s business card and they did not have one to give. You don’t have to carry a stack, remember this is not a networking event, always have 5-10 cards on hand .
  2. Enjoy Your Time, Without Business in Mind. Hence the term “Unintentional Networking”. Remember you are not there for business, but keep in mind, these are probably people that you do not regularly see and are genuinely interested in what you are doing, as you should be the same with them. Simply catch up and enjoy each other’s company. Ehen the opportunity arises, you will know.
  3. Talk About Them, Ask Questions and Pay Close Attentions. The one thing I’ve learned over my 30 plus years of networking, people’s favorite subject is themselves. All you need to do is ask the questions, let them talk, and most important, pay close attention. People love to talk about their kids and plenty of times there is an opportunity for you to help, so ask about their children and grandchildren. Ask about their home and if they are still living the same place, ask about their careers. You can be the catalyst to get them into full story mode, then just sit back, enjoy the conversation and listen. The one thing that shows right away and is very obvious, is when you are talking to someone and as you are speaking they are either looking over your shoulder or around the room, or trying to formulate what they are about to say as you are speaking. Both of these action have a distinct tell of non-interest and usually felt with disrespect. Do not fall in that category, by listening attentively you will know where and if you will be able to connect professionally with them.
  4. Never Talk Business at a Non-Business Event. Always remember where you are and you will never overstep your bounds. At a family or friend’s gathering you are with family and friends, not business associates, that’s why you don’t talk business. If they do, don’t correct them, let them speak, but when they ask you about business, simply answer very briefly and follow it up with something like, “Hey, I don’t want to bore you with business talk here at a party, let’s get together right after the holidays and see what we can do.” This keeps it social and they will know you are respecting there time as well.
  5. Tying Down A Time To Connect. This literally takes about 1 minute. This is where you ask  “What’s the best way to get in touch with you?”, take out your phone and take their number and email address Then ask 3 simple questions: “What’s the best time to call you, is Monday or Wednesday better? What’s better, Morning Afternoon or Evening? Great is 7:15 good or 8:30 better? Then give them your card and just say, “All my info is right here.” The above days and times of course can be changed to whatever you decide. The reason for breaking it down that way is because when you ask someone when to call, they typically don’t know what to say, by giving them choices, you breakdown the barriers of confusion and they tend to remember you are calling them because they picked their own time to speak to you.
  6. After the Conversation, Scheduling. After you finish your conversation be sure to take out your phone again and put them in your calendar. I like to use Google calendar for this. Add them to your schedule and be sure to add them as a participant so your system will send them an email with your scheduled appointment and also send them a reminder. Remember this is a social function, so they will need to be reminded of your call.
  7. Connect Through Social Media. You would be surprised to find that the people that are close to you, really don’t know exactly what you do. Connecting with them on Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter and other sites will prompt them to get to know you more after the event. Remember, you had them speak more about themselves while you were at the event. After the event  they’ve realized that they don’t know you as much as you know them, you’ve created curiosity and now they want to know you.
  8. Make the Connection On Time. This is where most people fail, Be sure to call them or meet with them at exactly the time you have scheduled them. Understand that you have created curiosity and they are most likely looking forward to your call or meeting. at this point they have probably read your social media profile and they may have came up with a way to work with you. This is really your 1st impression to them, don’t mess it up.

Whether during the holiday season or any time of the year when at a social function. These 8 steps will help you build your network with people you already know and already know and trust you. These are the most valued connections you can ever have.

In the Philadelphia area? I invite you to The Ultimate Networking Group’s 175th Event Since 2009,  the 2015 Season Opener of The Ultimate Networking Event Live at Union Trust Finley Catering, Philadelphia, Pa. Tuesday January 6th 2013, 6pm. Don’t Miss The Event People Will Be Talking About Throughout 2015. $7 Parking at Central Parking Just Around the Corner. Register Now at http://ultimatenetworkingevent.eventbrite.com

Looking forward to seeing you there.

Happy Holidays,

Thomas Camarda

Thomas Camarda is a professional networker and speaks at networking events and seminars nationally. Thomas offers Networking training, both one-on-one or for your Networking Group.

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PLEASE NOTE: All articles and networking tips in this BLOG are written by Thomas Camarda. All reprints in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, e Zines, on the Internet or on your own Website MUST receive the full written and expressed permission by Thomas Camarda. If you would like to request permission to “REPRINT” an article please email Thomas@TheUltimateNetworkingEvent.com with “REPRINT” in the subject line. Please specify which article from “Becoming The Ultimate Networker” you wish to reprint and where you will be reprinting it. If you reprint on a website, please include the URL and the date the reprint will appear. If you reprint in print media, please request the address you will sent the publication to.

CONDITIONS: Once you have obtained permission, articles may be reprinted with the copyright notice, bio and links added at the end of each article as follows:

Copyright © 2014 – Thomas Camarda. Reprinted with permission. This article is adapted from “Becoming The Ultimate Networker” at http://BecomingTheUltimateNetworker.wordpress.com Thomas Camarda is a professional networker and speaks at networking events and seminars nationally. Thomas offers networking coaching, both one-on-one or for your Networking Group. Invite Thomas Camarda to speak to your group. Contact: Thomas CamardaThomas@TheUltimateNetworkingEvent.com 732-744-4719

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10 Reasons to Attend Business Networking Events

Every now and then, when I talk about attending events, I hear “Networking events don’t really work for me.” My reply is simple, “Is your business generated by someone making a decision? If you meet more people that can make decisions can you do more business? If the answers are “Yes”, and they always are, my reply is “Then let me show you a few simple steps you can use to make it work for you.” I can literally think of dozens of reasons to attend Business networking events, here are 10 of the best:

  1. Be Selective. Look at all the events in your selected business area and do your homework. Ask others in your network what events they go to and get their insight. We can always make money, but never make time. Choose what events you will attend wisely and attend them regularly. You cannot build relationships based on a one shot mentality. When you attend an event you will meet new people, when you attend that event again you will cultivate the relationship that started at the last event and build upon it.
  2. Look, Listen and Learn. Be very cognoscente of your surroundings and watch how other professionals handle themselves at each event. Listen carefully as other networkers introduce themselves to you and how they explain what they do and what they are looking to accomplish while they are there. The best and most polished professionals accept the fact that they will never stop learning. Learn from those who are where you want to be in your profession and always be in learning mode.
  3. Master Your Message. A business networking event is a great place to become one with your message and become unconsciously conscience of what you say and do. You have 30 seconds to convey who you are, what you do, what makes you different from others and why someone would want to work with you. That message needs to be the same to all. The more you listen and learn from others and the more you repeat your message, the more refined it becomes and the more polished you become.
  4. Position Yourself as “The Expert” in Your Field. People don’t care what you know until they know that you care. Caring about your industry will show through by your level of knowledge of your industry and its trends. If you were to refer someone to a professional, you would want to know that they will be in good hands, so would others when they refer to you.
  5. Increased Visibility. As the saying goes, ” Out of sight, out of mind.” If you are going to look to establish long lasting business relationships, you first need to establish yourself as a networking professional that others would absolutely want to have in their network, showing up is 80% of the success you will have as a professional business networker. When others see you appear at different business networking events, their acceptance for you grows stronger and you will attract top networkers to you.
  6. New Business Relationships = New Business. Strategic alliances, joint ventures, quality recruiting, and referrals are but only a few of what comes from a new business relationship and new business relationships start very nicely at business networking events. Attending the event itself is very important but only the first step. The fortune is in the follow up. Everything depends on everything you do with your new found business relationship after the event. This will turn your new relationship into new business.
  7. Look to Build on the Tools of Your Trade. Networking events are not only a great way to build upon your business by getting new business, it’s also a great way to find professionals that will help you make your business run smoother. Networking events attract sales professionals, attorneys, accountants, marketing professionals, website developers, promoters and many others that can help you along in making things run smoother in your day to day business. Watch for those people and ask how they can help you.
  8. Building Your Professional Team. In today’s business world it is crucial to have the right people on your team. Networking events also attract people that are looking for new opportunities. In today’s ever changing job market, many professionals have been displaced through downsizing and are looking for a position that will take full advantage of their talents. Here you may, very well, find people that can take your business to the next level
  9. High Touch Meets High Tech. Going out and meeting people face to face and looking them in the eye while shaking their hand triggers a bunch of emotions that compels others to react to you, that is exactly what networking events do. The next step is where high tech comes in. Once you have triggered those emotions connect with each of those professionals in social media on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and other social media outlets. This will give them a chance to keep you in their sights and on the front line of their day to day communication outlets while getting to know you better.
  10. Lie, Cheat and Steal. Lie in bed at night thinking where you want to be in terms of success in your business profession and what you will do to attain that success. Cheat away some precious time from your schedule to attend business networking events every week. Steal the best introduction lines and questions from the best professional networkers you meet and tweak them to make them your own.

In Philadelphia, New Jersey , Delaware area? I invite you to attend The Ultimate Networking Event Live, Philadelphia, South Jersey and Delaware’s Premier Business to Business Networking Event since 2009.

Register Now at http://ultimatenetworkingevent.eventbrite.com

To contact Thomas Camarda fill out the form below:

Thomas Camarda is a professional networker, expert in his field, and speaks at networking events and seminars nationally. Thomas offers Networking training, both one-on-one or for your Networking Group.

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Adding Content to Your Website or Publication is easy!

PLEASE NOTE: All articles and networking tips in this BLOG are written by Thomas Camarda. All reprints in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, e Zines, on the Internet or on your own Website MUST receive the full written and expressed permission by Thomas Camarda. If you would like to request permission to “REPRINT” an article please email Thomas@TheUltimateNetworkingEvent.com with “REPRINT” in the subject line. Please specify which article from “Becoming The Ultimate Networker” you wish to reprint and where you will be reprinting it. If you reprint on a website, please include the URL and the date the reprint will appear. If you reprint in print media, please request the address you will sent the publication to.

CONDITIONS: Once you have obtained permission, articles may be reprinted with the copyright notice, bio and links added at the end of each article as follows:

Copyright © 2014 – Thomas Camarda. Reprinted with permission. This article is adapted from “Becoming The Ultimate Networker” at http://BecomingTheUltimateNetworker.wordpress.com Thomas Camarda is a professional networker and speaks at networking events and seminars nationally. Thomas offers networking coaching, both one-on-one or for your Networking Group. Invite Thomas Camarda to speak to your group.

Contact: Thomas Camarda

Thomas@TheUltimateNetworkingEvent.com

732-744-4719

Add Thomas Camarda to your Social Media :

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5 Ways to Win New Connections and Influence Decisions.

It’s no secret, emotions are powerful factors that play a Influencing Decisionsbig role in the decision making process. Emotions will move people towards or away from you, when choosing who they will do business with. To increase your network, you must appeal to people, to appeal to people you must listen to what it is they want and need.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Why would people want you as a trusted connection in their network?
  • What sets you apart from the rest?
  • What value do you bring to their network?
  • Why do business with you?

These are all questions business people ask themselves when looking to expand their business network. Here are 5 ways to help win new contacts and influence decisions.

  1. Make people feel special. Smile and truly welcome your new contact without going into a hard sell. Your attitude must be one of friendly service, and interest, in them.
  2. Ask people questions that are specific to their  business and personal lives. What do you like best about what you do? What got you started on that path? Who would be the best new contact for you? What is your preferred method of building your network? Are you from the area? Asking these questions will get your new contact talking all about themselves. Pay close attention, and continue to question their comments. Asking questions will move them to ask you, so remember, the questions you ask, are most likely the questions they will ask of you.
  3. Tell a story. People love hearing stories, when asked questions from your new contact, turn your answers into short stories, about how you began your career and what has happened since. Remember, you’re not reading your life story, keep it short and to the point and always bring the focus back to your new contact, for example, So how did you get started?
  4. Make realistic promises. As we all know, first impressions are the most important. When taking the next step with your new contact, be sure not to just tell them what they want to hear in order to get a private meeting with them. When you say, “I definitely can make that happen for you, lets meet Monday and square it all away.” Be sure you can or all you will be looked upon is untrustworthy and  a waste of time to your new contact. If you say you will call them at 3pm tomorrow, put it on your calendar in front of them and be sure to call at 3. Be realistic, and then exceed their expectations!
  5. Provide a high level of service. Show respect for them and for their time by being on time for any appointments you may have set up. If you’re running late, call them to see if that will be ok. Be consistent and keep them well-informed.

All of these techniques lead to building trust, which of course is why, when it is time to make a business decision with you involved, and you have not disappointed them in the past, it will be easier for them to move toward you and refer other to you as well. People expect value from you, and they also want to feel valued by you. It really is not much to ask when doing business properly.

In the Philadelphia area? I invite you to try out these techniques at The Ultimate Networking Party Live, Philadelphia, South Jersey and Delaware’s Premier Business to Business Networking Event since 2009.

Register Now at http://ultimatenetworkingevent.eventbrite.com

Looking forward to seeing you there.

Thomas Camarda

Thomas Camarda is a professional networker and speaks at networking events and seminars nationally. Thomas offers Networking training, both one-on-one or for your Networking Group.

Article Reprinting Instructions

Adding Content to Your Website or Publication is easy!

PLEASE NOTE: All articles and networking tips in this BLOG are written by Thomas Camarda. All reprints in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, e Zines, on the Internet or on your own Website MUST receive the full written and expressed permission by Thomas Camarda. If you would like to request permission to “REPRINT” an article please email Thomas@TheUltimateNetworkingEvent.com with “REPRINT” in the subject line. Please specify which article from “Becoming The Ultimate Networker” you wish to reprint and where you will be reprinting it. If you reprint on a website, please include the URL and the date the reprint will appear. If you reprint in print media, please request the address you will sent the publication to.

CONDITIONS: Once you have obtained permission, articles may be reprinted with the copyright notice, bio and links added at the end of each article as follows:

Copyright © 2014 – Thomas Camarda. Reprinted with permission. This article is adapted from “Becoming The Ultimate Networker” at http://BecomingTheUltimateNetworker.wordpress.com Thomas Camarda is a professional networker and speaks at networking events and seminars nationally. Thomas offers networking coaching, both one-on-one or for your Networking Group. Invite Thomas Camarda to speak to your group.

Contact: Thomas Camarda

Thomas@TheUltimateNetworkingEvent.com

732-744-4719

Add Thomas Camarda to your Social Media :

Facebook http://www.Facebook.com/thomascamarda
Twitter : http://www.Twitter.com/thomascamarda
LinkedIn : http://www.linkedin.com/in/thomascamarda
WordPress: http://BecomingTheUltimateNetworker.wordpress.com

5 Career Networking Steps to Maximize Success

Having a successful career doesn’t come overnight, as a matter of fact, the only overnight success I know worked overnight to get there. Building, creating, and cultivating execs-at-workrelationships is what networking is all about and when building a successful career, communication skills are key. Business networking is not only a great way to build new business, it’s also a great way to build, strengthen and advance your career while strengthening your communication skills and positioning yourself as an expert in your field. Here are 5 steps to help guide you.

  1. To get to the top, learn from the top. It has been said that you become like the 5 people you spend the most time with. Seek out the professionals in your company that you would like to know that have what you would like to have in terms of knowledge, position, and respect from peers and co-workers. Introduce yourself to them and ask them questions about how they got started, what they did to gain their success, and such. Let them know that you strive to be as successful as they are and want to learn from them. I found that inviting someone to lunch is a great way to get to know them and they are very open to helping you. It also gives you exclusive time with them without interruption from work or others. This is where you have the time to ask those important questions and create the business relationship.
  2. Engage in your company’s events. Whether it be business breakfasts, luncheons, dinners, outings, and such. showing up to everything shows you’re serious about excelling in the company you’re in.
  3.  Be the Go-To person amongst your peers and co-workers. If you have the mindset of “I just want to do my job and get out of here” you will just blend in to the majority, and its noticeable to the leaders of the company. Do all you can to do your job well while helping other with their projects. This show leadership and ambition and it also turns the heads of company leadership and gets you noticed.
  4.  Grow your social network with business leaders. LinkedIn is the largest professional social network in the world with thousands and thousands of successful business people in your profession. Find your company and be sure that your profile includes them. Search for your company’s leadership and connect to them. Seek out professionals that can help you grow, and connect to them. Join the groups and follow the influencers that can help you learn more about the industry you’re in. Engage in discussions by commenting and giving your input. Write articles on topics of your expertise. This will help you in positioning yourself as an expert in your field.
  5. Attend Business Networking Events. There are many reasons to attend live networking events. The main reason, which has an effect on everything, is to create and build new business relationships. These relationships not only help you create new business, they also help you know what is happening in your market, help you better understand who your competition is and what they are doing to grow their business. It helps you keep your finger on the pulse of your business and industry. You will meet other professionals that do what you do and call them your competition, but it’s better to have allies than enemies.

Put these valuable tips to good use, at The Ultimate Networking Event Live. Since 2009 The Ultimate Networking Event has connected ten’s of thousands of business professionals. See our events at http://ultimatenetworkingevent.eventbrite.com Please feel free to join my Group on LinkedIn: The Ultimate Networking Event Live – http://tinyurl.com/pg4xqpz Subscribe to my weekly blog:  http://BecomingTheUltimateNetworker.wordpress.com Copyright © 2014 – Thomas Camarda. To contact Thomas Camarda fill out the form below:

Thomas Camarda is a professional networker, expert in his field, and speaks at networking events and seminars nationally. Thomas offers Networking training, both one-on-one or for your Networking Group.

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Adding Content to Your Website or Publication is easy!

PLEASE NOTE: All articles and networking tips in this BLOG are written by Thomas Camarda. All reprints in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, e Zines, on the Internet or on your own Website MUST receive the full written and expressed permission by Thomas Camarda. If you would like to request permission to “REPRINT” an article please email Thomas@TheUltimateNetworkingEvent.com with “REPRINT” in the subject line. Please specify which article from “Becoming The Ultimate Networker” you wish to reprint and where you will be reprinting it. If you reprint on a website, please include the URL and the date the reprint will appear. If you reprint in print media, please request the address you will sent the publication to. CONDITIONS: Once you have obtained permission, articles may be reprinted with the copyright notice, bio and links added at the end of each article as follows: Copyright © 2014 – Thomas Camarda. Reprinted with permission. This article is adapted from “Becoming The Ultimate Networker” at http://BecomingTheUltimateNetworker.wordpress.com Thomas Camarda is a professional networker and speaks at networking events and seminars nationally. Thomas offers networking coaching, both one-on-one or for your Networking Group. Invite Thomas Camarda to speak to your group. Contact: Thomas Camarda – Thomas@TheUltimateNetworkingEvent.com – 732-744-4719 Add Thomas Camarda to your Social Media : LinkedIn : http://www.linkedin.com/in/thomascamarda http://www.Facebook.com/thomascamarda Twitter : http://www.Twitter.com/thomascamarda WordPress: http://BecomingTheUltimateNetworker.wordpress.com

5 Habits of Successful Business Networkers.

It’s not just what you know, it’s who you know, that knows, what you know. Increasing business is the goal of every company, but the fact of the matter is, people do business with people they know, like and trust, not companies. Of course companies get the business, but it’s people who make it happen and business networking connects you with those people. Whatever it is that you need to become the success you want to be, is only one connection away.

Here are 5 habits of highly successful business networkers that will help you build your professional business network.

  1. networkerAlways Keep Your Online Profile Updated. Do an online search of your own name and see what shows up. Would you do business with you? In today’s world it is so important to have an online presence and making sure your profile is up to date at all times. Get a professional head shot and use it in your profile. Update projects you’ve completed, goals you have accomplished, business awards you have won, and educational levels you have achieved.
  2. Always Have Business Cards. Although many people are of the thought that they don’t need business cards because of technology, I believe that as long as the Baby Boomer generation exists, you need legible business cards. They don’t have to be fancy and they don’t have to give your life story. Keep it short, sweet, and simple. A business card is simply your contact information, who you are and how someone can get in touch with you. Name, phone and cell number, physical address (if you work from one and meet clients there), email address, and website, in nothing smaller than 9 point type with no picture behind the type.
  3. Personal Visibility, Business Networking Events. An email or a phone call will never replace the feeling of shaking someone’s hand and looking them in the eye. Emotion is a tremendous part of the decision-making process and you don’t get an emotional response from an email or phone call from someone you don’t know. You do, however, get an emotional response from meeting someone for the first time, looking them in the eye, shaking their hand, and getting to know them. Remember, people like to do business with people they know, get to know people. Schedule at least 1 networking event a week.
  4. Smile, Listen and Learn. It’s been said that people don’t care what you know until they know that you care. It’s also been said that you have one mouth and two ears because you are supposed to listen twice as much as you speak. I say, use your mouth to smile and ask questions. Smiling puts everyone at ease and makes them smile. Questions gives the other person something to talk about and a feeling of control. The funny thing is, is that the questions you ask should guide them to feeling comfortable with you, and to the answers you seek about doing business with them. Smile, speak less and listen attentively, most of the time people will talk themselves into wanting to refer to you and do business with you.
  5. The Fortune is in The Follow Up. Most importantly, make sure to follow-up with everyone you meet within 3 days. The faster you follow-up with them, the more they will remember, so the sooner, the better. This is where you can have more of an opportunity to get to know them and how you can help them grow their business and yours as well with what you have to offer each other. This can be in form of direct business, or referrals, either way, it a Win-Win, and the beginning of a strong business relationship.

I hope this helps you in building a strong professional business network. Happy networking.

Put these valuable habits to good use, at The Ultimate Networking Event Live.
Since 2009 The Ultimate Networking Event has connected ten’s of thousands of business professionals. See our events at http://ultimatenetworkingevent.eventbrite.com

Please feel free to join my Group on LinkedIn:
The Ultimate Networking Event Live – http://tinyurl.com/pg4xqpz

Subscribe to my weekly blog: http://BecomingTheUltimateNetworker.wordpress.com

Copyright © 2014 – Thomas Camarda.

To contact Thomas Camarda fill out the form below:

Thomas Camarda is a professional networker, expert in his field, and speaks at networking events and seminars nationally. Thomas offers Networking training, both one-on-one or for your Networking Group.

Article Reprinting Instructions

Adding Content to Your Website or Publication is easy!

PLEASE NOTE: All articles and networking tips in this BLOG are written by Thomas Camarda. All reprints in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, e Zines, on the Internet or on your own Website MUST receive the full written and expressed permission by Thomas Camarda. If you would like to request permission to “REPRINT” an article please email Thomas@TheUltimateNetworkingEvent.com with “REPRINT” in the subject line. Please specify which article from “Becoming The Ultimate Networker” you wish to reprint and where you will be reprinting it. If you reprint on a website, please include the URL and the date the reprint will appear. If you reprint in print media, please request the address you will sent the publication to.

CONDITIONS: Once you have obtained permission, articles may be reprinted with the copyright notice, bio and links added at the end of each article as follows:

Copyright © 2014 – Thomas Camarda. Reprinted with permission. This article is adapted from “Becoming The Ultimate Networker” at http://BecomingTheUltimateNetworker.wordpress.com

Thomas Camarda is a professional networker and speaks at networking events and seminars nationally. Thomas offers networking coaching, both one-on-one or for your Networking Group. Invite Thomas Camarda to speak to your group. Contact: Thomas Camarda – Thomas@TheUltimateNetworkingEvent.com – 732-744-4719

Add Thomas Camarda to your Social Media :

Facebook http://www.Facebook.com/thomascamarda
Twitter : http://www.Twitter.com/thomascamarda
LinkedIn : http://www.linkedin.com/in/thomascamarda
WordPress: http://BecomingTheUltimateNetworker.wordpress.com

6 Tips For Summer Networking Success.

“Summertime, and the living is easy,” and so is creating new contacts and connections. During the summer months, business networking events seem to cool down, but outdoor social events definitely heat up and everyone loves to have a good time. This is the perfect environment to create and build, long lasting relationships that could very well lead to big business. 6 Tips Summer Whether it’s on the Sports Fields, Play Grounds, Vacation, Theme Parks, Neighborhood Festivals, or BBQ’s you are going to constantly meet new people. This is where “Unintentional Networking” happens. Why is it “Unintentional Networking” ? Because this is the time that we often don’t look at what we are doing as networking, rather just enjoying ourselves with family and friends, but in actuality these are the closest connections we have, and if paid attention to and approached properly, they can become some of your most valued business connections. Here are 6 suggestions on how to make summertime networking work for you.

  1. Always Be Prepared, Carry Business Cards. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve gone to personal functions and have asked for someone’s business card and they did not have one to give. Always have 5-10 cards on hand .
  2. Talk About Them, Ask Questions and Pay Close Attentions. The one thing I’ve learned over my 30 plus years of networking, people’s favorite subject is themselves. All you need to do is ask the questions, let them talk, and most important, pay close attention. People love to talk about their kids, so ask about their children and grandchildren. Ask about their home and if they are still living the same place, ask about their careers. You can be the catalyst to get them into full story mode, then just sit back, enjoy the conversation and listen, by listening attentively you will know if you will be able to connect professionally with them.
  3. Never Talk Business at a Non-Business Event. Always remember where you are and you will never overstep your bounds. Whether at a family or friend’s gathering, or on line at a theme park, remember you are out to have fun enjoying the summer, these are not business associates, that’s why you don’t talk business. If they do, don’t correct them, let them speak, but when they ask you about business, simply answer very briefly and follow it up with something like, “Hey, I don’t want to bore you with business talk here, let’s set a time to get together and see what we can do.” This keeps it social and they will know you are respecting there time as well.
  4. Tying Down A Time To Connect. This literally takes about 1 minute. This is where you ask  “What’s the best way to get in touch with you?”, take out your phone and take their number and email address Then ask 3 simple questions:
  • ” What’s the best time to call you, is ____day or ____day better?
  • “What’s better,  Morning Afternoon or Evening ?
  • “Great is 7:15 good or 8:30 better?

Multiple choice is always easier, having them choose a day and time out of their week is a lot tougher than simply picking one from the choices you’re giving. By giving them choices, you break down the barriers of confusion and they tend to remember you are calling them because they picked their own time to speak to you.

While you have your phone out, put them in your calendar. I like to use Google calendar for this. Add them to your schedule and be sure to add them as a participant so your system will send them an email with your scheduled appointment and also send them a reminder. Remember this is a social function, so they will need to be reminded of your call.

  1. Connect Through Social Media. You would be surprised to find that the people that are close to you, really don’t know exactly what you do. Connecting with them on Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter and other sites will prompt them to get to know you more. Remember, you had them speak more about themselves while and they’ve realized that they don’t know you as much as you know them, you’ve created curiosity and now they want to know you.
  2. Be On Time. This is where most people fail, Be sure to call them or meet with them at exactly the time you have scheduled them. Understand that you have created curiosity and they are most likely looking forward to your call or meeting. At this point they have probably read your social media profile and they may have came up with a way to work with you. This is really your 1st impression to them, don’t mess it up.

The Ultimate Networking Event.  In Philadelphia, New Jersey , Delaware area? I invite you to attend The Ultimate Networking Event Live, Philadelphia, South Jersey and Delaware’s Premier Business to Business Networking Event since 2009. Register Now at http://ultimatenetworkingevent.eventbrite.com To contact Thomas Camarda fill out the form below:

Thomas Camarda is a professional networker, expert in his field, and speaks at networking events and seminars nationally. Thomas offers Networking training, both one-on-one or for your Networking Group. Article Reprinting Instructions Adding Content to Your Website or Publication is easy! PLEASE NOTE: All articles and networking tips in this BLOG are written by Thomas Camarda. All reprints in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, e Zines, on the Internet or on your own Website MUST receive the full written and expressed permission by Thomas Camarda. If you would like to request permission to “REPRINT” an article please email Thomas@TheUltimateNetworkingEvent.com with “REPRINT” in the subject line. Please specify which article from “Becoming The Ultimate Networker” you wish to reprint and where you will be reprinting it. If you reprint on a website, please include the URL and the date the reprint will appear. If you reprint in print media, please request the address you will sent the publication to. CONDITIONS: Once you have obtained permission, articles may be reprinted with the copyright notice, bio and links added at the end of each article as follows: Copyright © 2014 – Thomas Camarda. Reprinted with permission. This article is adapted from “Becoming The Ultimate Networker” at http://BecomingTheUltimateNetworker.wordpress.com Thomas Camarda is a professional networker and speaks at networking events and seminars nationally. Thomas offers networking coaching, both one-on-one or for your Networking Group. Invite Thomas Camarda to speak to your group. Contact: Thomas Camarda Thomas@TheUltimateNetworkingEvent.com 732-744-4719 Add Thomas Camarda to your Social Media : Facebook http://www.Facebook.com/thomascamarda Twitter : http://www.Twitter.com/thomascamarda LinkedIn : http://www.linkedin.com/in/thomascamarda WordPress: http://BecomingTheUltimateNetworker.wordpress.com

12 Networker’s New Year Resolutions.

Setting Your Networking Stage For Success In 2014.

Everyone makes New Year resolutions and seldom stick to them, but what really is a resolution? According to the  Merriam-Webster’s dictionary: res·o·lu·tion noun \ˌre-zəˈlü-shən\ : the act of finding an answer or solution to a conflict, problem, etc., : the act of resolving something, : an answer or solution to something

So in layman’s terms a resolution is setting a goal and resolving to accomplish it. Now is the time to set your networking goals for 2014 and resolve to making this year your most successful networking year ever.

There are 3 parts to a networking event

  1. Preparation,
  2. At the event,
  3. After the Event.

Here are 12 resolution/goal suggestions:

Preparation.

  • Who do you want in your network. Before you venture out into the networking world, think about who you want to meet and what industry you want to build your network in. With so many different events to attend you can easily stray to an event that may not fit your networking profile. It is important to be choosey and pick the ones that fit your networking needs and that align to your goals. Identify your highest-value networking events and attend them , this will allow you to focus more on what matters most to you.
  • Search Your Top Online Connections. Do some research on the people you are connected to online, or the people you want to be connected to. See what events they are going to, even ask them what events they like best. Networkers always like to help other networkers succeed. They will be happy to offer their advice.
  • Dress for Success. First impressions are the most lasting, make them count. At a networking event , dress the way you want to be seen in the business world, and most importantly how you want to be treated. Also pay attention to where the event is being held. If you are going to an event at a ballpark you wouldn’t wear a suit and tie, but if you are going to restaurant or hotel event you may consider wearing business attire. No matter where the event, dress to impress.
  • Business Cards. All to often, I attend events where people do not bring, or say they do not carry business cards. If you drive a car, you must carry your license, and if you are doing business you must have a card. I am not concerned with people getting in touch with me through my business card. I view a business card as a simple tool to allow me to ask for other’s business cards. I know that they may not contact me, but I will certainty contact them. Be sure to bring plenty of cards to every event you attend. Always keep extra in your bag or car, so you do not run out. Also choose a designated place on you that you keep only your cards, and do not mix them with the cards you take. This will stop you from accidentally giving someone the wrong card.

At The Event.

  • Arrive early and stay late. Get to the event about 15 minutes before it begins. This will give you a chance to meet the organizers and key people from that particular network, ask the organizer to introduce you to the key influencer at the event, get some key tips on who you should meet, and ask some questions. Usually, the event is scheduled to end at a certain time, key members of the network will stay and mingle with each other, this is where the magic happens and relationships are built.
  • Don’t stay with people you know. The whole purpose to networking is to create new relationships. That’s not to say you don’t want to briefly say hi and acknowledge them and move on, keeping in mind that they are there for you to introduce to others, what I like to call secondary networking.
  • Find the center of influence. Who, in the room is the most connected person? This is a question you should ask everyone you network with at the event. Once you know the answer, introduce yourself to him/her and congratulate them on their accomplishment. Getting to know the center of influence will help you tremendously in your networking efforts. They may never do business with you, but they will know people that will, and when you build your relationship with him/her, they will be happy to help you.
  • Don’t Answer Questions, Question Answers? All to often people like to introduce themselves, and then proceed to give their life story. Have you ever noticed speaking to someone and they look at their watch or over your shoulder as your speaking? That’s because you are speaking at them, not to them. Everyone’s favorite subject is themselves, and their favorite sound is the sound of their own voice. When meeting someone at a networking event ask questions about them, ask who they most want to meet at the event, about their business, their family, where they like to vacation, and most importantly, do not let your eyes stray from theirs, and listen attentively. You might ask yourself, “So how do I know what to ask?” That’s simple, Question Their Answers. Get to know who they are and the next thing you know they respond with, what I like to call, “Networker’s Gold”; So what is it that you do? Now they start asking about you and they truly want to hear what you have to say.
  • Set a time to call. Because you are at a networking event, the initial contact should take no longer that 8-10 minutes at most. After all, you are there to meet new people and so are they. At that time, even if you haven’t had the chance to talk about yourself, ask if it would be of if you gave them a call. When they say yes, and they always do, take out your smartphone right in front of them and ask, Is tomorrow or the next day better? Morning or Afternoon? If Morning…Great 9:30 or 11:15, Afternoon…2:15 or 3:45. Always set the call at 15 minute intervals, and never on the hour. Doing this infront of them will let them know you are serious about your business. On this call is where you use the information on the back of their card that you wrote down. Your goal here is to make an appointment for a breakfast or lunch meeting. Everyone is always busy, but everyone has to eat.
  • Take notes. This is a very simple task and will be a huge asset to your follow up. When going to a networking event, you are not going to remember every conversation. After each conversation, and when you walk away, on the back of their business card jot down the 3 things most important to them. Example: set of 3 yr old twins, going to Bermuda in March, adding another location this quarter. People don’t care what you know until they know that you care. This information will be used in the follow up and will show how carefully you listened to them.

After The Event

  • Follow Up. This sounds like the easiest part, but all to often missed by many. Be sure to call them exactly at the time you set up. Remember, you never get a second chance to make a first impression. Here your physical first impression was at the event, this is where you are making your business first impression. This will set the stage as to if your new contact will want to do business with you. Tell them you will call them at a certain time and don’t, will lose all credibility you established with them at the event.
  • Strengthen Your Bond With Social Media. Connect on Linked In, Facebook, Twitter and other social media. Not only connect, but also suggest connections to them from your network. Share articles of common interest, invite them to other networking events you are going to. This is a tool that will explode your networking efforts if used properly.

In the Philadelphia area? I invite you to The Ultimate Networking Group’s 142nd Event Since 2009.  The 2014 Season Opener of The Ultimate Networking Event Live at Chima Brazilian Steakhouse, Philadelphia, Pa. Tuesday January 7th 2013, 6pm. Special Guests, LinkedIn Expert, Brynne Tillman, and Philadelphia Small Business Administration Director, David Dickson. Don’t Miss The Event People Will Be Talking About Throughout 2014. $7 Parking at Central Parking Just Around the Corner. Register Now at http://theultimatenetworkingevent.eventbrite.com

Looking forward to seeing you there.

Happy Holidays,

Thomas Camarda

Let Me Know What You Think, Please Send Me Your Feedback for This Article.

Thomas Camarda is a professional networker and speaks at networking events and seminars nationally. Thomas offers Networking training, both one-on-one or for your Networking Group.

Article Reprinting Instructions

Adding Content to Your Website or Publication is easy!

PLEASE NOTE: All articles and networking tips in this BLOG are written by Thomas Camarda. All reprints in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, e Zines, on the Internet or on your own Website MUST receive the full written and expressed permission by Thomas Camarda. If you would like to request permission to “REPRINT” an article please email Thomas@TheUltimateNetworkingEvent.com with “REPRINT” in the subject line. Please specify which article from “Becoming The Ultimate Networker” you wish to reprint and where you will be reprinting it. If you reprint on a website, please include the URL and the date the reprint will appear. If you reprint in print media, please request the address you will sent the publication to.

CONDITIONS: Once you have obtained permission, articles may be reprinted with the copyright notice, bio and links added at the end of each article as follows:

Copyright © 2012 – Thomas Camarda. Reprinted with permission. This article is adapted from “Becoming The Ultimate Networker” at http://BecomingTheUltimateNetworker.wordpress.com Thomas Camarda is a professional networker and speaks at networking events and seminars nationally. Thomas offers networking coaching, both one-on-one or for your Networking Group. Invite Thomas Camarda to speak to your group. Contact: Thomas CamardaThomas@TheUltimateNetworkingEvent.com 732-744-4719

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