What if I told you that networking could be a whole lot more fun and a lot easier if you learn to be natural and authentic and show the world just three qualities we are all looking for:  warmth, genuineness and empathy.  Don’t let anyone tell you that you have to work hard at being clever and witty – the simple truth is that positive energy and a friendly approach take away the fear and discomfort you may feel in networking.   Let’s talk about a few tips that will enhance even the lowest level of connecting…

Show Your Enthusiasm

When the first words out of your mouth are either a simple declaration of what you do, or a question about what your new networker does – you are not really inviting someone to make a meaningful connection.  Try to express what you do by showing your passion and purpose in what you do – get them excited with you just by the tone of your voice or the body language you use and make sure to include information about the fun things your day to day activities bring to your life!  Sharing your interests, as well as your career choice, inspires balance in the conversation and in your life and helps you connect with people on a broader level.

Think about it… if you spoke with one dentist and all you got from him was the name of his practice and the school he attended, and then spoke with another one who shared more about the boating he does on the weekends with his family – and you love boating!  Which do you think will have made a more enhanced connection with you.   Which do you think you will more naturally remember – whether he is the better dentist is no longer the issue… it is the natural connection you will have made.

Allow Others Their Moment in the Sun

It is not necessary that you have the floor at all times.  Sometimes you can connect at a much deeper level when you allow others to be all they can be at a networking event.  Sometimes those people give unsolicited advice that you weren’t prepared to receive, but if you do nothing more than make them feel helpful by being appreciative and diplomatic, you will have left a positive impression on what was previously a perfect stranger.  Rather than noting to an excited graphics artist that you already have all your branding under control, and shutting them down, try offering a different type of response, “Thanks for your interesting ideas.  I’ll have to give them some thought.”

There is NO Need to Compete!

You do not attend networking events to be the “best of show!”  Leave that to those who feel compelled to brag – while you engage in the more serious activity of building relationships.  Even if you run into someone who feels inclined to brag – have mercy on them.  Understand that people are there to promote themselves, and if they start bragging – it is a better course of action to understand their need to feel successful and warmly celebrate their success with them.  What an easy way to expand a connection when your response to some bragging is, “That’s has to be exciting for you.  I am impressed.”

Never Feed Into Gossip

The larger the group of people, the more likely you will experience those people who gossip to feel important.  Gossip creates mistrust and you don’t want to spend energy or resources trying to build relationships, only to have them dashed to the ground because someone wonders if you may sometime speak ill of them!  It is easy enough to change the direction of a conversation – and those who see you taking a stand for making that change, will see you as a role model of kindness and integrity; a person with whom they will now trust to connect with.

Dealing With Criticism

Ok, the more you network and the more you connect with people, the more you will be exposed to criticism.  The people who are negative tend to be labeled by others; that is not what you want in your life!  All you have to do to keep this a win/win situation is to share quiet empathy – and in turn allow others to step into a new place… one of being receptive and supportive.  Once again, you get to be the role model – helping those who criticize feel understood and more capable of being empathetic with others.  Those who have watched the interchange will trust you at a deeper level – sensing that if the occasion should ever arise – you would have their back as well.

And,  the most important…

Find some way to remember people’s names!  I have taken a few workshops on this topic – and realize how important it is that you connect the face and the business – only as secondary to the name. There are almost as many “tricks” as there are names to remember so my only suggestion is to find what works for you.  My own is to repeat their names several times during the conversation and when leaving the group, closing my eyes for a second to capture the vision of their face, as I use their name one last time to say my goodbyes.  I have a friend who uses the Cardscan program and frequently will go online and view the photos of a few people he wants to connect with at an upcoming event… just a quick little refresher that does wonders for his ultimate “connecting power.”

I trust these ideas are beneficial to you.  Each little shift we make in our thinking and the way we conduct our networking efforts makes a big shift in the quality of the connections we make at networking events.   Keep in mind… it is all about relationships – go build them!

Jan Vitale… building my business one great connection at a time.

Vital Enterprises, LLC – – where you can always find great tips, tools and resources about nutrition, vital document storage, disaster preparedness, identity theft, network marketing, networking, and travel…

NOTE:  I mentioned CardScan above – it you haven’t tapped into the power of this amazing product in managing your data and keeping your contact information up to date – I want to give you the opportunity to at least make yourself knowledgeable about its benefits.

CardScan Executive Contact Management System


Coffee… you either love it or hate it!  I know of friends who were not allowed to drink coffee as a kid – because her parents believed it stunted growth.  Is this fact or fallacy?  What you can pretty much count on is that from time to time – new studies and new technology will invalidate previous beliefs – and create new ones.  How about a few…

Coffee Consumption Statistics

The National Coffee Association and The Specialty Coffee Association of America conduct annual surveys regarding coffee consumption each year. The gathered data below can be extremely beneficial to anyone wishing to start a business or just have an insight on coffee consumption.

Results of Gathered Data:

  • Nearly 52% of Americans over 18 years of age drink coffee every day.
  • This represents over 100 million daily drinkers.
  • 30 million American adults drink specialty coffee beverages daily; which include a mocha, latte, espresso, café mocha, cappuccino, frozen/iced coffee beverages, etc.

Average Beverage Price:

  • The average price for an espresso based drink is $2.45
  • The average price for brewed coffee is $1.38.

Coffee Cup Consumption per Day:

  • Men drink as much coffee as women; each consuming an average of 1.6 cups per day.
  • Women seem to be more concerned about the price than men.
  • Among coffee drinkers, the average consumption in the United States is 3.2 cups of coffee per day.

Average Cup Size:

  • The average coffee cup size is 9 ounces.
  • 30% of the population drinks coffee occasionally.

Time of day:

  • 65% of all coffee is consumed during breakfast hours
  • 30% between meals
  • 5% with other meals

Preferences:

  • 35% of coffee drinkers prefer black coffee
  • 60% prefer to add sugar and/or cream

Motivations:

  • Women indicated that drinking coffee is a good way to relax.
  • Men indicated that coffee helps them get the job done.

Miscellaneous:

  • The United States imports in excess of $4 Billion worth of coffee per year.
  • Americans consume 400 million cups of coffee per day making the United States the leading consumer of coffee in the world.
  • On an average, 250 Cups of espresso and coffee drinks are sold per day at almost any espresso drive-thru business with a great visible location. (500 cups per day is extraordinary.)
  • Independent coffee shops manage to sell 31% of espresso-based drinks, while the rest is brewed coffee.

There you have it – as a nation we consume more coffee than probably anyone could possibly imagine!  Is coffee your “thing?”  If so, you will want to check out a great gourmet coffee that has been combined with an amazing natural ingredient to create a great-tasting beverage that offers a cleaner, more sustained energy, as well as revitalization for your entire body.
We fittingly call it — Café 2.0!

Jan Vitale,

Vital Enterprises, LLC – – where you can always find great tips, tools and resources about nutrition, vital document storage, disaster preparedness, identity theft, network marketing, networking, and travel…



Success starts with who you know…

Building relationships is an integral part of success in your personal and professional life.  It is essential however that you connect with these people at some point and that happens through some type of networking – whether it is through a professional referral, in attendance at networking events, social engagements, or through the ever-so-popular social media.  You simply cannot grow your business without engaging in the networking process at some level; it is a key strategic development process and the lifeblood of new business.

It is never about you…

If you have been “in the field” for very long, you know that you simply cannot attend any function, collect a handful of cards and go home to wait for the phone to ring.   It just doesn’t work that way!  When you are engaged in meeting new people, keep in mind that your conversation must be focused on them, embracing that your mission is to determine what you can do for them.

Learn to focus on their needs first as you seek to recognize opportunities where you are able to help support their success journey – whether that be in products or services you can provide – or in valuable connections you may be able to make for them in the way of referrals. I have peers I met over ten years ago that I have never done business with, but… I am always mindful of sending along a new product or service I think they would enjoy or a referral of a potential client whose needs I think they can support.  Over the years, their reciprocity has proven that my attention has been recognized and appreciated.

Thank God for technology…

I remember in “the day” when keeping track of networking contacts was a nightmare!  You had hundreds or thousands of cards with all kinds of notes scribbled on them so you could remember important information, and then you had to find a way to catalog and organize them so you could easily retrieve the information when needed.

Computers and the Internet have taken care of that little headache.  Current software enables you to create databases of contacts, helps you manage your communications in multiple ways, and all those little scribbles are easy to add to and retrieve so your client, power partner, or referring person feels that you know them intimately.  Add auto-responders to the power of the database and you have a consistent flow of communication to the most important people in the world – your clients, those who are thinking about using your product or service, and those whose referrals you count on to expand your growing success.

Hang out with the right crowd…

Things aren’t a whole lot different than in grade school when your parents told you to hang out with the right crowd!  In this particular instance, the focus on that statement is that you should join professional organizations which support your target market so you are hanging out with the people who best fit your ideal client.  You will also want to join a few other associations such as the Chamber of Commerce so that your “crowd” will be those other professionals who share a common niche.   For example:  as a Business Strategy Coach, CPA organizations and Banking associations are a perfect place for me to be… I get to refer my clients to them, and they find their clients are better prepared to work with them after a few sessions with me!

Don’t forget the follow-up…

Your efforts in building a large list of followers will be wasted, wasted, wasted if you don’t realize how crucial it is to keep the lines of communication open with the people whose trust you have worked so hard to gain.  I see far too many people placing all their focus on adding new people to their “network” at the risk of losing the ones who are there because they fail to keep the relationship in a “building” mode.  Think of your marketing follow-up as you would dating.  I mean… do you think anyone would go out with you or be interesting in building something more than a casual relationship if you didn’t take the time to connect with some frequency?  Neither would you be inclined to walk up to someone you just met and ask them to marry you… you simply have to get through that courtship period – and it requires connection and communication!

Once you have developed a rapport with a contact, the following rewards come from consistent follow-up:

  1. It helps to build the relationship by establishing a comfort level.  The more you communicate with someone, the more they are open to sharing with you exactly what they need.
  2. When you are privy to those needs, you are in a much better position to provide the support they need, whether directly with your own products and services, or with connections with others in your network who can best handle the job required.
  3. Finally… when you have that rapport that develops because someone knows, likes and trusts you – you are a much better position to not only be helpful to them, but to remind them of your goals as well.

Want some more simple, yet effective tips for succeeding in today’s working world?      Look to the right of the screen and subscribe to my blog!

Jan Vitale

Back to MY ROLODEX


Getting Lucky in Networking Marketing

I cannot begin to tell you how many times I have heard people say they can’t be as successful in their network marketing endeavors as others have been because they just couldn’t possibly be that lucky! I’m sorry, but I just don’t believe that luck is foundational to building any business – and network marketing is just that… building a business!

The harder I work, the luckier I get…

I started reading personal development books in the early 1980’s and although the titles or the authors names did not stick in my mind – the concepts certainly did.  One of those concepts is that no one really walks around with a rabbit’s foot and luck is not some random happenstance that blesses one person or another.  This is followed by that old saying, “The harder I work, the luckier I get!”

What others around you will see as luck will simply be the results of how you apply yourself in the process.  You might even sense that it is not about working harder, but working smarter!  You will appear to be more “lucky” if you learn to:

  1. make a greater number of contacts in life,
  2. build more relationships, and
  3. reach out to help others.

BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS

You will begin to see more results with an increasing number of people willing to support your achievements, to purchase your products and services, and reciprocally participate in the success you desire.

The more relationships you build, the luckier you will get…

It all makes perfect sense – the more contacts you have, the greater the possibility that you will be in the right place at the right time – primarily because someone you know will call you and let you know about an amazing opportunity. Or, someone will refer you to another person because you have the right product or service.  Luck is all about the relationships you build, my friends.

What being lucky comes down to is a unique combination of the quantity and quality of the relationships you establish over the years.  There is no quick and easy way to make that happen; it takes time and effort consistently applied over a long period of time.  Building relationships must become a tangible part of your basic business model.  You have to show up at networking events on those evenings you would rather be watching a good movie; and you have to follow up to develop and maintain relationships with the contacts you make.

Don’t rush the boat; savor the moments…

We have, unfortunately, become a culture of people expecting immediate gratification.  Sometimes that attitude stimulates positive action; sometimes it postures us for failure.  When the focus has to be on long-term gain, rushing the boat to shore just won’t give us the results we want.  There is something to be said about savoring the moments you spend building those relationships that will provide you more long-term, sustainable benefits.

Shaking up your thinking…

How does this short message impact your thinking?  Ask yourself these thought-provoking questions and see if you are open to making a shift in your thinking… and the actions which stem from those thoughts!  Don’t just read through them… take out a pencil and paper and answer them!

  1. Do I believe that other people have been, or will be, luckier than I am in building a successful business?
  2. Can I shift that belief to the knowledge that the degree of “luck” anyone experiences is directly tied to the amount of effort expended in developing a wide range of relationships?
  3. What am I willing to do to start meeting more people and making deeper connections with them so that I can build long-lasting mutually beneficial relationships?
  4. Is my desire for a profitable business large enough that I am willing to enjoy the extended journey that a greater reality than following a “get rich quick” promise someone has inspired me with?

You have a great day, and may you experience long-term, sustainable benefits from your efforts; may you appear lucky to those around you!

Jan Vitale, your Investment Protector