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Tips for Mom Entrepreneurs

Tips for Mom Entrepreneurs
Copyright © Craig Warren

As a working mom, you may already feel overwhelmed,
juggling dual responsibilities of work and family. When
it comes to networking yet another task you may feel that
the time I’ve spent at networking has never really paid off.

Creating a personal and professional network is essential
for your work life success. That’s why working moms need to
approach networking with a different paradigm, explained
below as a three-part process.

Relationship Building

Networking isn’t just about collecting business cards
from people you think may help you. It’s about planting
seeds and nurturing long-term relationships that mature
over time.

As a mom, you may understand this process well because it
calls upon the same nurturing skills you already use with
your family.

Empowering Actions

How many times have you attended networking events and seen
others jabber on about themselves and frantically hand out
dozens, if not hundreds, of their cards? This frenetic
approach only makes them look weak. As a working mom, draw
on that Mommy authority to engage in empowering, networking

They include:

* Give Adopt a giving attitude. When you meet someone ask,
How can I help you? Always think, Who could I connect them
with to help them meet their goals? It’s a natural principle:
The more you help others, the more others will help you.

* Ask Be bold. Always think, you never know what will happen
and its worth a try. If you meet a new contact and find you
have an instant connection, don’t be afraid to ask for help.

* Follow up – Getting introduced to the right people is
important, but it’s what you do after the introduction that
really counts. If you’ve felt a connection with a new contact,
phone, email or send a thank-you note within one or two days.
Then, keep in touch periodically, even if just to say, Hi, its
been awhile

Efficient Use of Time

You may be thinking, Id like to stay connected with people,
but I just don’t have the time. Here are three ways to
efficiently find time to network:

* Lunch Hours Ive historically used my lunch hour, a coveted
ME time, to run errands, walk a mile or two or get my hair or
nails done. Yet, many associations and groups schedule
networking meetings during this time. So, I began to add
networking lunches. It’s a great way to preserve early morning
and evening family hours by substituting networking lunches
for breakfast meetings or evening mixers!

* Coffee/lunch over the phone My business partner, Jo Della
Penna, introduced me to the idea of networking by scheduling
coffee over the phone. What a great idea! This is a more
efficient way to meet. Plus, neither party has to invest in
driving time. When you want to spend time with a colleague,
try a relaxing lunch over the phone by scheduling a lunch
appointment, packing a lunch that day and calling at the
appointed time.

* Schedule in advance – Earmark your calendar to remind yourself
to re-connect with a contact periodically. If you meet a new
contact today, schedule the follow-up call for two days later
and plan a check-in email within 60 days.

Remember, the key to networking is building a relationship over
time. By using the steps above you should succeed at establishing
good relationships that empower you and your business, and yet,
don’t use hours and hours of your time.

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The Networking Part of Network Marketing

The Networking Part of Network Marketing
Copyright © Craig Warren

Networking is obviously an essential part of network
marketing. Every successful network marketer knows
this to be true. Although networking is such an
intricate part of network marketing, the two terms
are not synonymous. However there are many
similarities. Both rely heavily on people skills.
Both require people to confront their fear of talking
to other people. Both carry with them the risk of
rejection. Both also carry with them enormous
opportunity. And to some people, both are considered
dirty words.

Of course people who consider networking as something
that is ‘not done’ don’t understand what networking is
really about. The same can be said of people who think
network marketing is something that is beneath them.
Many people think of networking as a way to get
connected solely for their own advancement in life. In
that respect a person might feel that it is unethical or
not noble to network. This line of thinking stems from
the idea that advancement will always come at the expense
of someone else, that success in life is a zero-sum game.
These people often look at network marketing from the same
perspective. They think of profiting from other people’s
efforts as something that is negative and not fair to them.
In reality, successful networkers will tell you that it
doesn’t work that way at all. Networking doesn’t have to be
at anybody’s expense and the business of network marketing
doesn’t reward anyone for taking advantage of others. It
actually rewards people for helping other people to succeed.
In that respect it may very well be the most ethical business
model in the world today.

A lot of the negativity around networking can be explained by
the different types of networkers. Some can be considered
‘hunters’, moving in for a quick kill, after which they move
out again. They often operate without regard of the other
persons interest and because of this they will enjoy the
fruits of success for only a limited period of time. Often it
will not take long before people find out what’s really driving
the hunter. Once they see that he or she is only looking after
his or her own interests, their willingness to interact with
this person will quickly evaporate. By contrast, truly successful
networkers are often ‘farmers’ who spend a lot of time sowing
and nourishing their relationships, instead of just focusing on
reaping. They invest in their network, they energize their network.
They use their network, but they never ever abuse their network!
And their network knows this. A true networker will always keep
the interests of others in mind. That’s why working with a true
networker is so enjoyable. Networkers are often very likeable
and as such people like to interact with them.

Networking is a skill that is essential to all businesses not
just network marketing. Although network marketing differs in
many ways from the more traditional forms of doing business,
the importance of networking is just as prevalent. If not more
so. A network marketer that doesn’t know how to network will
be out of business in no time. Network marketing is first and
foremost a people’s business and this implies that the ability
to effectively work with people is absolutely critical. This is
why successful network marketers are extremely adept at networking.
Many have found out over time that developing this skill can pay
off in many areas outside their network marketing business as well.
Business owners who have started a home based business on the side
often apply their enhanced networking and people’s skills in their
traditional business with great success. For some network marketers
this spin-off has earned them more money than the income from their
network marketing business itself.

So whether you are in network marketing or in a more traditional type
of business, don’t underestimate the importance of becoming an effective
networker. And if you really want to master this skill you may find
there is a lot to learn from good network marketers. So if you happen
to know anybody that fits that description, try to benefit from their
knowledge on the topic. It will surely help you network your way to

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Strategies For Successful Business Networking

Strategies For Successful Business Networking
Copyright © Craig Warren

There are a variety of organizations that run networking
groups across the country. The largest group is probably
BNI, which offers members the chance to attend weekly
meetings and develop new professional relationships to
help them grow their business. some chambers of commerce
are now organizing “leads groups” for their members as
well. These groups are intended to offer members a way
to connect with each other and potentially refer each
other business.

In most “leads groups” each group allows no more than one
representative from any industry, so if the group has a
mortgage broker other mortgage brokers have to join
another group or wait for the seat to open up. The idea
is that by restricting membership, you eliminate
competition within the group.

The agenda at most structured networking meetings is
pretty straightforward. Each member is given an
opportunity to introduce themselves, then there is a
short presentation by one or two members (each member
gets the chance eventually). The meeting ends with
members discussing potential referrals for each other.
This means that most of the members get about one minute
to present who they are and teach the other members of
the group how to refer to them.

Most people do a great job of presenting themselves.
However, most people do not think to ask for referrals.
At most networking events, you are not expected to ask
for a referral or explain what a good referral for you
is. However, at a leads group it is not only acceptable,
it is expected!

I am involved in a number of networking groups and have
used the simple outline below to create my elevator pitch
(quick introduction). When I deliver my elevator pitch to
a leads group, my goal is to educate everyone in the room
about my company and what I do, as well as to teach them
the best way to refer others to me. In addition, I want
to make sure I actually ask for a specific referral. I
will go through each piece of the outline in detail, but
here are the basics.

* Introduction
o Name
o Position company name
o Location of the company
o Overview of services
* Tell a story
* Call to action

The introduction piece of your presentation should stay
the same every time you give it. You might say something
like, “My name is Joe Smith. I am mortgage broker at ABC
mortgages in Anytown, USA. We offer a full line of
residential and commercial mortgage products.” You can
add some additional detail, but you should really focus
on keeping this short and on point.

At each meeting, you will have the chance to differentiate
yourself from the competition by telling a short story
during your presentation. The story can be related to a
specific challenge you helped a client overcome, a unique
feature of your product or service, or you can simply talk
about a new development at your company. Consider writing
out your stories in advance so you know what you are going
to say at each meeting. In addition, you can schedule the
content so that the other members of your group learn more
and more about you at each meeting. You need to focus on
educating your group a little more each week.

The “call to action” is very important and the piece that
most people overlook. You need to tell the other members
of your group exactly what type of referral you are looking
for. For example, our mortgage broker, Joe Smith, might say,
“Today a good referral for me would be a Realtor at XYZ real
estate company.” Joe may also say, “Today a good referral for
me would be anyone who purchased their home more then
10 years ago.”

I always recommend that your “call to action” is as specific as
possible. If Joe stands up and says that a good referral would
be anyone who needs a mortgage, the rest of the group will have
a harder time thinking of people to refer. If Joe asks for an
introduction to a specific person at a specific company,
someone in the group may know that person or know someone at
that company who can facilitate Joe’s introduction. The more
specific the request, the more likely it is to trigger someone
else in the group’s memory.

A last-minute hint:

Keep focused on the networks of the people in the group, not on
the people themselves. In other words, when you are participating
in a networking or leads group, you should not focus on gaining
the business of the people at the table. Instead, you should focus
on gaining their trust so that they will refer you people in their

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