Tuesday, November 29, 2016

7 Steps to Inspirational Conversations (and More Fulfilling Relationships)

 Develop the ability to listen and engage with others in more meaningful ways.

Creating meaningful conversations with others is a powerful skill in today's society. With the rise of emotional intelligence in business, people are starting to note the significance of genuine human connection, and the ability to be attuned to the feelings of others.

Unfortunately, many people struggle with facilitating engaging conversation. They feel awkward, aren't sure how to start conversations, and find themselves sitting with people they care about not saying a word.

Others default to invasive rapid-fire questions that make people feel like they're being interrogated. Another group of people feel forced to stick to safe topics like the weather, and find themselves bored out of their minds.

Instead of continuing these unpleasant interactions, discover the seven ways to facilitate more engaging conversations and create better relationships.

Here are seven ways to have better conversations.

1. Ask questions about a person's interests, not what they do.

Whether it's a family member or someone you're just meeting, take an active role in asking them questions about their interests. Hearing about people's passions gives you the opportunity to learn more meaningful things about who they are, and provides a moment for you to share how you connect to their hobbies.

Asking about interests rather than jobs has an additional benefit--it prevents you from falling into the trap of social scripts. When your questions to acquaintances and loved ones are the standard, "What's new?" "How's it going?" "Hows the job?" or "How's the dog?" it makes it much more difficult for people to tell you what they're really feeling.

Most of us have been taught from a young age how to answer common questions, so we have automated responses. When two two people fall into the trap of talking to each other like robots, they never get to the deeper feelings that make us human, which prevents more gratifying interactions.

2. Ask questions about a person's relationships, not about their partner.

Yes, it's important to mention and attend to significant other's in a person's life.

However, when you focus on the relationship instead of the individual, it provides room to discuss what's been going well, what's an area of growth, what they love about each other, what drives them nuts about their partner, and each of these conversations are richer and more entertaining than hearing about how someone's significant other is "fine."

3. Ask questions about a person's short term and long term goals, instead of their current job.

While asking about a person's job can start a conversation, when you pivot to goals, it gives the person permission to discuss both their current occupation and where they want to go.

Goals, motivation, inspiration, passion, all of these things bring people together in appreciation, love, and the present moment. Focus on topics that elicit that energetic state and your relationships will transform into something beautiful.

4. Share your experience of being with them in this moment.

One great tip from relational psychology is sharing your subjectivity with others. When you're listening to the stories of another person, tell them how it makes you feel to experience their words.

Often, we hold in thoughts about our own thoughts and feelings because they feel too vulnerable. However, when these experiences are shared, it can benefit both parties.

For example, when someone tells you something that makes you feel close to them, it's a great opportunity to say, "I'm feeling close to you right now and that makes me happy. Thank you for sharing that with me."

5. Give compliments and share what's on your mind, even if it's not planned out.

Stop holding yourself back! When you see someone with cool glasses, even if they're a stranger, tell them.

When you run into someone on a regular basis and you find yourself admiring the way they smile, tell them how seeing their happiness improves your mood. The more you give others, the more you will receive.

6. Listen for key words and phrases that invite further questions.

In every sentence there are golden nuggets practically begging for you to inquire further. Practicing the art of listening means refining your ability to search for, identify, and then ask more about the gold you hear.

If someone says, "I've been really stressed at work lately, especially with my new puppy at home," then you have at least three nuggets you could ask about. You could ask more questions about their
stress, their work, or their puppy.

Changing the way you listen to others and refining the questions you ask can transform your interactions.

7. Be attentive to other people's feelings rather than the content of their speech.

Next level tip: instead of getting lost in the details of a person's speech, start becoming more in tune with how they are feeling. Pay attention to tone of voice, volume, and phrasing. Note the subtle emotional shifts you experience while they're talking.

When you're able to be aware of how a person's feeling, understand what they're saying, ask meaningful questions, and be aware of how you're experiencing them in that moment, you will have exceedingly meaningful interactions.

Developing these skills will improve your connection to others, facilitate more meaningful relationships, and learn from every single person you meet--an invaluable skill in today's society.

Image credit: Getty Images
Source: www.inc.com

Westchester Networking for Professionals (WNFP) is a business networking association dedicated to helping small businesses and entrepreneurs develop, expand and grow. We offer affordable opportunities to help create a positive impact and advancement in your business interests and personal quality of life to take you to the next level.
Stay Connected with WNFP!
Join WNFP Communities!

Monday, November 28, 2016

These 10 Networking Mistakes Will Get in the Way of Your Success

 Studies show that 84% of people still prefer in-person meetings, and 85% say that in-person meetings build stronger, more meaningful business relationships

Networking with others is one of the most important ways that we have in business to find new customers and to make connections with others that can lead to our long-term success. While communications technology has taken over many of our business interactions, studies show that 84% of people still prefer in-person meetings, and 85% say that in-person meetings build stronger, more meaningful business relationships.

Unfortunately, many of us under utilize this important resource due to a variety of mistakes we make when it comes to networking. According to career expert Ines Temple, president of LHH-DBM Peru and LHH Chile, these 10 specific networking mistakes can get in the way of your success.

1. "I don't like to make contacts"

Making contacts is "the conscious and voluntary activity of establishing and maintaining genuine and long-term relationships with persons who we appreciate and respect." It's a part of living and interacting within a community and we do it every day.

2. "Contacts are useful only to find work"

It's a fact that 9 out of 10 jobs are landed, whether directly or indirectly, through contacts. But networking is about making those relationships worthwhile, renewing the bond, and mutually redefining our identity, image, and reputation with each interaction. (And asking a contact for a job is a serious mistake!).

3. "I network only when it's convenient for me"

This is tantamount to saying "I remember you only when I need you." Networking solely for your own benefit is self-centered and may be even manipulative. It's the perfect way to destroy a relationship. We can smell manipulation miles away!

4. "I'm too busy"

Although nothing beats face-to-face interactions to build relationships of trust and affection, digital alternatives are effective to prevent us from vanishing from the face of the earth, a deadly sin in the professional world.

5. "It distracts me from serious work"

Networking takes time and energy, but it is key to employability-it is the "salesforce" of our image and reputation. Without contacts, our accomplishments and progress remain unknown and our personal brand ends up being worthless.

6. "I don't like to go to social events"

The professional world also provides alternatives to interact with new and diverse people and expand your thinking patterns. Hanging out with the same people every day shows disregard for others, and we may end up being left behind.

7. "Have you heard the latest rumor?"

Using our contact network to harm reputations or to gossip destroys our credibility and our own reputation as serious or loyal individuals, even if we only become involved by listening. Is it worth it? You never know what tomorrow may bring...

8. "I can only afford to build relationships with important contacts"

It's a serious mistake to think that only high-level contacts are valuable, and look down on others or to be arrogant. All people are worthy regardless of what they work on. There's no such thing as a small contact!

9. "I have very few contacts"

As adults, we usually have 500 to 1,000 friends and acquaintances between school and college classmates, current and former work colleagues, people we know from our club, gym, the neighborhood, church, from our business, and the relatives and acquaintances of all of the above. Suppliers and clients, former suppliers and clients. Parents of our children's friends... Make your list and protect it-ideally, in the cloud.

10. "I must impress my contacts"

The essence of every good relationship is trust, not impressing others. Acting appropriately, and being genuinely warm and authentic opens the doors to trust and credibility. Being polite to everyone and listening to them with a real interest benefits your personal and professional image and reputation. The secret is to inspire others and always leave something valuable for them in every interaction!

Image Credit: Getty images
Source: www.inc.com 

Westchester Networking for Professionals (WNFP) is a business networking association dedicated to helping small businesses and entrepreneurs develop, expand and grow. We offer affordable opportunities to help create a positive impact and advancement in your business interests and personal quality of life to take you to the next level.
Stay Connected with WNFP!
Join WNFP Communities!

Friday, November 25, 2016

Email Marketing at its Best!

Email marketing is one of the most successful options available for us today. It is important to understand that without email marketing you cannot really succeed in the world today. However, some of the standard points to be understood are as follows.

You should make sure that the subject line is catchy and attractive for each and every reader.

If you are targeting a particular category of people, make sure that your title is good enough to attract at least those whom you are targeting. With this being said, your primary focus should be on creating a subject line that is simply perfect for your target audience.

Your content should not be too long.

If your content is extremely long, it is possible that it might exhaust your readers and-and they will possibly switch to another email and even delete your email. In some cases, you can expect the situation to be worse if they think of unsubscribing from your mailers. This is a warning sign, and we hope that you understand this!

Make sure that you post content that is extremely important for them.

If something is important for the readers, it will help you determine the fact that you have an opportunity to express it in your own way. However, your main focus should not be diverted. If you divert from the main point, things will get out of hand and you will face the consequences for the same. We hope that you do not make this mistake and suffer, in this case. To be safe, we request you to create content that is extremely important for your readers.

The budget factor is even important.

With email marketing, you should understand that there will be no easy way out in this case because you will have to sell out money to complete the process. However, an important point to be noted in this case is that you can look for plans and opportunities that can help you promote more at a minimum cost. There are various ways in which you can do so. So make sure that you think of ways in which you can cut down on your budget path without compromising on the quality factor.

Your reach should be on the higher side.

If you are targeting only a few hundreds of people, it is possible that you might have to pay more and the success rate, in that case, would be considerably low. With this being said, you should understand that you should target more people for this activity. After all, this is a promotional strategy and so, your priority should be to reach out to more and more people with this strategy.

It is important for you to understand your product or service property because you need to list out the key points.

Key points or highlights are what people are looking for in your email marketing content. They do not have even 5 minutes to waste reading the theory you are planning to present in front of them. Even if you want to present the theory, people will read it only if they are satisfied with the first look at your presentation and product or service is required for them. This can happen only if you list down the key points or highlights. So, list down the same and flash it at the readers to build interest in their mind.

Pique curiosity because it will help you get their attention in instantly.

There are people who do not opt for this trick because they are free to use bizarre words. This is one of the ways in which you can keep your readers keen to find out more. Don’t think that violating the information cap occasionally is bad for you. With email marketing, FB trick in the book should be considered, and this can help you get readers reading your email.

Make sure that you do not underestimate your readers.

Anything that is unnecessary and foolish might not be accepted by the readers. So, be careful.

Make sure that the content you have posted is interesting and engaging.

In the second. We have noted that your content should not be too long. This is true, but at the same time it is important to be sure that you create content that is interesting and engaging. You can find the number of ways in which you will make your email marketing content interesting but to engage them, you will have to think really hard. Engaging email can be extremely difficult for us if the product or service you are offering has a limited response from people and companies. For example, if you are into the business of animation, and you are promoting a topic like 3D models, you will have to ensure that the content you have created makes sense and engage your riddles in a way that they would not only visit your website and social networking pages but also find a need for it even if it is not really necessary for them at a given point of time.

With this, we are only trying to focus on the fact that engaging content is difficult to create and so you should work really hard for it.

Realize that branding is more important than marketing.

If you simply ask your readers to visit your website and find more about your products and services, your conversion rate will be low. You need to give them the right things that will motivate them to visit your website on their own, and this can be done with the help of branding. Let them know that you have a credible reputation in the market and they can rely on your products or services without thinking twice. Creating this impression in their mind will be difficult for you with the help of an email, but it is possible. So, be positive and keep going till you find success.

Image credit: shutterstock
Source: http://tweakyourbiz.com

Westchester Networking for Professionals (WNFP) is a business networking association dedicated to helping small businesses and entrepreneurs develop, expand and grow. We offer affordable opportunities to help create a positive impact and advancement in your business interests and personal quality of life to take you to the next level.
Stay Connected with WNFP!
Join WNFP Communities!

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Relationships Are What Leverages Hard Work Into Success

Building good connections with clients and employees is important for a business to grow.

Every successful entrepreneur knows that relationships are key. No business is made in a vacuum, and the way you interact with clients, employees, coworkers and other entrepreneurs can give your business life or bring it to its death.

Unfortunately, there’s no perfect how-to on building the right kind of relationships. For example, you could meet someone who could potentially become a huge client for your startup. However, saying the wrong thing at the wrong time, or possibly even having poor body language, can end the relationship before even starts.

Entrepreneurs also have to be concerned about who they’re building relationships with. If your largest client is somebody that you can’t trust, then you need to ask yourself: is our business safe with this person? Putting your faith in the wrong people can put your business in a pretty tough spot.

With all this in mind, there’s little that you’ll get very far without some good connections. You never know what a connection can offer and the bigger your network, the better.

Engaging with others.

One of the first things you’ll need to do after you start a business -- and likely even before you start a business -- is connection building. Finding the right connections can help you and your business succeed. But where do you find these connections, and once you find them, how do you form the relationship?

The best way to find good connections is through networking. There are plenty of ways to approach this -- you could ask your friends and family if they have anyone who could help you, you could research possible connections on your own or you could go to networking events.

If you aren’t good at networking, then don’t let this step deter you. Not many people are born ready to network and building a real business connection with a complete stranger can be a difficult process. But practice makes perfect -- besides, these are connections you’ll need to succeed. You can’t afford to let these people slip away. If you’re quick to adapt, then you’ll quickly learn the ins and outs of networking. If not, there are plenty of helpful guides around the internet that can give you tips.

Sometimes, the networking is the easy part -- but finding the people to network with is difficult. If this is your issue, consider checking out this list of helpful organizations. Not only are they great for networking, but you could also end up learning some other useful skills along the way. Also be sure to check out any local entrepreneurial networking events. They happen all the time, and a quick search online can help you find anything nearby that could help.

Building value.

One tip I can give to those who aren’t the best at networking: Be valuable.

Just take a moment to understand how the entire process of networking works. Normally, it will be you and a complete stranger. There’s a good chance that you want or need something from them or someone they know, which means that they’re valuable to you.

If you walk up to this person and immediately ask them to give something to you, what do you think they’ll say? If they yes, then you’ve found one of the most generous people in the world. If they say no, then you’ve met a rational human being.

When a stranger walks up to you and asks you to listen to their business pitch, asks for the contact of someone you know or asks for funding, your normal response would be “no.” In all honesty, this should be your reaction. After all, you’re not going to give up something important to a stranger just because they asked.

The same works for when you’re networking. Recognize that whoever you want to approach is a person, and you’re a stranger to them. Make yourself valuable. When you approach them, try to build a genuine connection. Ask them about their business and their goals, and if you’re at a networking event, ask them why they came. Everyone who goes to a networking event is looking for something -- if you can help them out, then they’ll be much more likely to help you out.

If they aren’t looking for anything, perhaps they’ll learn something about you during a normal conversation. If you build a connection with them, they’ll be more likely to help you with what you need.

Working with other entrepreneurs.

One of the greatest parts about entrepreneurship is that it’s always changing. This keeps things dynamic, sure, but it also means that the field is constantly innovating -- and innovation is good.

An innovation that I’ve noticed going on in the interconnectivity of entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs are becoming more likely to work with each other instead of against each other.

This is happening because entrepreneurs understand the importance of relationships. Every relationship you build is a connection that could help you down the road. If I were to connect with an entrepreneur who wanted me to help get them exposure, then I’m immediately proving myself valuable to them. This increases the chances of them helping me if I need to tap into their network.

Just remember that you can be valuable to anyone -- you just need to prove it to them. If you want to have someone help you, help them first. The more you do for others, the more they’ll do for you. People are built to work together in a community and a network is no different.

Image credit: Getty Images
Source: www.entrepreneur.com

Westchester Networking for Professionals (WNFP) is a business networking association dedicated to helping small businesses and entrepreneurs develop, expand and grow. We offer affordable opportunities to help create a positive impact and advancement in your business interests and personal quality of life to take you to the next level.
Stay Connected with WNFP!
Join WNFP Communities!

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Offline In The Digital Age: Why Traditional Advertising Isn't Dead

In today’s crowded marketplace, businesses (both B2B and B2C) are fighting to get their brands noticed. Marketers have a plethora of tools to choose from, whether they decide to use a solely digital strategy or incorporate a blend of both traditional and digital tactics. More importantly, brands need to begin thinking like their customer and understand how their target markets are accessing information and consuming content.

Digital marketers are obsessed with pay-per-click models, but that doesn’t mean companies should forget about offline marketing strategies. While it is much more difficult to specifically measure offline marketing such as billboards and paper ads, it is a good way to increase your brand’s awareness, and it brings your brand into the real world.

The challenge many businesses face is finding the creativity to craft compelling ads that not only capture people’s attention but also communicate an informative message in a short amount of time. For example, a billboard advertising a film needs to find space to include the movie title, release date, and a catchy tagline if possible. Such a billboard is likely to be placed along a stretch of road where drivers have only seconds to read and digest the message. And traditional marketing is often a one-way street because advertisers using traditional methods of marketing are making impressions on consumers by talking to, or at them. Contrast this with social media, where marketers can foster a dialogue between brand and consumer through mediums like Facebook and Twitter.

Some businesses are warning against completely writing off traditional advertising. The key is finding ways to incorporate digital tracking methods into offline billboards to verify that the message is effective. Marketers like StickerRide are using mobile apps to track their campaigns and unique domain URLs to measure online impact. “The out-of-home (OOH) advertising market in the United States is $7.3 billion and growing,” says Mikhail Marchenko, CEO and Co-Founder at StickerRide. “Consumers have multiple encounters with OOH advertising every day, so for brands it is important to target in order to receive nationwide coverage and to increase brand awareness.” Drivers sign up to place campaign stickers on their cars and brands can track car-specific metrics to see how their campaigns are doing. Not only does this help a brand get the word out about their campaign, a car-centric campaign also creates brand ambassadors and loyalty. Drivers can pick and choose which campaigns they drive around for, providing an opportunity for fans to connect with their favorite brands.

Another brand, Melissa’s Cupcakes, understands the value offline advertising can bring. With so many marketers focused on creating the ideal digital journey for customers, businesses tend to forget that customers are looking for offline touch points, too. A business like Melissa’s Cupcakes benefits from having a traditional marketing strategy to ensure consumers, both online and offline, are taken on an ideal journey that comes with multiple touch points. And retailers who do have both marketing strategies in place may need to take another look at what types of ads they’re creating. If the offline and online campaigns don’t complement one another, marketers miss the opportunity to educate their customers and create a cohesive experience.

Building a holistic marketing campaign involves finding creative ways to digitally track traditional advertising, which is made all the more possible thanks to smartphones and mobile apps. If you decide to hand out business cards, consider including a QR code that can be easily scanned on a smartphone or has a trackable coupon code. Lyft and Uber are just two companies that distribute thousands of business cards every day with referral codes giving riders money off their first ride, and those coupons are unique and easy to track.

Some people will argue that traditional marketing is dead, but there are several benefits to including offline advertising in your overall marketing campaign. Combining both offline and online campaigns can help boost your brand’s visibility, and help it stand out amongst competitors who may be busy flooding the digital space. And the rapid rise of smartphones and other tracking tools has made it possible for brands to begin tracking various offline campaigns, a feat that was previously unattainable. If the goal of businesses in today’s crowded marketplace is to differentiate and get noticed, it makes sense to use as many channels as possible, both digital and traditional, to attract your target market.

Source: http://www.forbes.com/

Westchester Networking for Professionals (WNFP) is a business networking association dedicated to helping small businesses and entrepreneurs develop, expand and grow. We offer affordable opportunities to help create a positive impact and advancement in your business interests and personal quality of life to take you to the next level.
Stay Connected with WNFP!
Join WNFP Communities!