How to Prepare yourself for Business Networking? (BFM interview 1/4)

1. ____________ where you should network.

  • Not All venues are right for all people.
  • Do your research and find the venues that make sense for your business.

2. Make a decision about which ___________________

  • You should join and which you don’t have to join in order to gain value from their events. For example, does it make sense to join a local chamber of commerce, or just go to the events that sound interesting and will most likely include people you should meet?
  • What are some of the business networks and associations do you know?
    • ________________________________________________________
    • ________________________________________________________

3. Register (RSVP) for the event and ___________ it like a meeting.

  • Many people either don’t sign up for events or sign up for them and then forget to go.

4. Determine how __________  you should be networking in a given week, month or quarter. This will help you narrow down where you should be going.

5. Develop _______________ questions you can use to ignite a conversation.

  • Try to find unique questions; don’t ask the same old “So, what do you do?” if you can help it.
  • What open ended questions can you think of?
    • _________________________________________________________
    • _________________________________________________________

6. Attend events with a plan to _________ something new. This will keep you from talking too much about yourself and your business.

7. Prepare yourself physically and mentally for the event.

  • Dress appropriately.
  • Bring business cards.
  • Turn your phone off or set it to vibrate
  • _________________________________
  • _________________________________

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Andrew Mason has “X” Factor!

Do you know who Andrew Mason is?

You have probably never heard of this guy right? Well here is his claim to fame:

  • He graduated Northwestern University in 2003 with a music degree
  • He had a delivery service called Bagel Express
  • He was a failed webdesigner who returned to being an engineer in a recording studio

Oh and by the way – He’s the Entrepreneur and Founder behind Groupon (a group buying company), which started in November 2008 and in less than two years was turning over $800m and is currently valued at around $12 Billion

So what did Mason have?

One thing for sure – initially not that many business skills – but a good idea and the ‘X’ factor.

There has been a global recession for the past two years, but even so luxury car sales are showing an increase in numerous markets. There is new wealth out there. New business success – WHY?

Here are three simple tips from some people I respect about ‘quantum business success’.

  1. No one who is a great entrepreneur has all the answers, but what they do have is seriously brilliant questions and a very good network of people to ask them to. Do you?
  2. By year three in university 50% of what you learnt in year one is obsolete. Awesome entrepreneurs constantly keep up to date with new trends and education in business and wealth creation.
  3. It’s no longer good enough to be great at what you do and how you do it. Business now wants you to be incredible at why you do it. That’s what causes all the attraction.

If you want to be up to date – at the cutting edge of what is going on in 2012 then I recommend you click on the following link. This is ‘not’ something I am hosting. It is a superb event being put together by international experts and an organisation committed to creating a new wave of really successful entrepreneurs and wealth creators. It’s fully designed to share with you what the ‘X’ factor of people like Andrew Mason is:

Click here and find out if you have the ‘X’ factor Use the discount code XFACTOR059 when booking and you will be pleasantly surprised. I have organised an incredible discount and some excellent bonuses for you.

I love to be entertained, enlightened, learn new things that I can apply immediately and be ahead of the competition. By attending this event, that’s exactly what I expect and what you should expect as well – profound new wisdom and techniques for 2012 and beyond that is cutting edge ‘X’ factor material.

Here is what one of the international serial entrepreneurs that will be at ‘X’ factor has to say:

“Teenagers don’t wait for anything these days – why should we? It takes people years to get a degree and sometimes tens of thousands of dollars. What we share at The ‘X’ Factor – Quantum Business School will cut through the fog and bring you wonderful new information that will fast track you to a greater level of success in 2012. Why wait – I won’t” – Mike Handcock (Award winning speaker and international best selling author)

Click here and find out if you have the ‘X’ factor Use the discount code XFACTOR059 when booking and you will be pleasantly surprised. I have organised an incredible discount and some excellent bonuses for you.

OK if you haven’t realised this is something you absolutely should attend and cancel whatever else is on – at least thanks for reading this far.

OH – and there are just a handful of VIP tickets which gives you lunch with all he experts.

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Council spot-on about leadership renewal

Council spot-on about leadership renewal

Published on Mar 31, 2012

I SUPPORT the Singapore Sports Council’s move to encourage succession planning in organisations (‘Outgoing shooting chief takes aim at Sports Council’; Sunday).

Some office bearers spend far too much time cementing their positions over a lengthy period, and for a variety of reasons.

They refuse to accept new ways of achieving goals, and spend inordinate amounts of energy shooting down good people who would otherwise be seen as ‘new blood’.

I find it ironic that some who have spoken up against the council’s rules are business people who do not seem to appreciate the value of succession planning. What’s more, the new rules do not forbid volunteers from continuing to serve in other ways on the committee, or elsewhere in the sport.

An example of good practice can be seen in the Asia Professional Speakers Singapore, an association I am active in.

Each president serves one term, and takes under his wing a vice-president who is shown the ropes and who builds his own network of people to carry on the work of the organisation the following year.

The underlying assumption is that all serving are successful people who have no time to play politics at the expense of the welfare of the members.

The vice-president still has to run for election at the end of the year, but few stand against him as he would have amassed significant goodwill and expertise. The outgoing president then serves on the exco as the immediate past president, with a much lesser role, together with some of the present exco members.

This develops a leadership culture acceptable to all, retains the expertise of some veterans, but allows the new leadership to press on with major tasks.

We still experience a ‘battle for ideas’ at times, but this is far removed from some of the despotic control some officers in Singapore associations have exercised.

If current incumbents cannot find suitable candidates, it speaks volumes about where their energy has been going instead.

If some think they are indispensable, they are probably legends in their own minds. The sooner this hubris ends, the better for sporting Singapore.

David Lim

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Passion l Purpose l Progress : APSS Annual Convention 2012

 

7-8 May 2012 l Marina Mandarin Hotel, Singapore

Asia Professional Speakers Singapore are looking forward to the main event of their year on 7-8 May 2012. Their Annual Convention is set to be one of the biggest and best ever, with the list of speakers looking like a list of Who’s Who in the speaking business.

Monday 7 May (1900 to 2200)

This Pre-convention Dinner, Entertainment and Networking event will be a special evening of celebration and sharing, during which all delegates will get to spend time networking with all the world-class international speakers.

With a special address from Janelle Barlow, President of the Global Speakers Federation, entertainment from Jana Stanfield (International singer-songwriter and humorist) plus a sumptuous international dinner buffet, this is sure to be and evening of inspiration, fun, entertainment, and some surprises too!

Tuesday 8 May (0830 to 1730)

Some of the biggest names in the international speaking business will be in Singapore for this powerful one-day convention.

Whether you are a professional speaker, trainer, coach, facilitator, or an aspiring speaker, this event is for you! It’s also for you if you are a corporate trainer, or if you do presentations in your job, whether it’s to one or many. This inspiring team of experts (from America, Canada, Australia, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia and Singapore) will show delegates how to grow our speaking business, develop our craft, present more powerfully, and create more value for our clients.

APSS President, Shirley Taylor, says: “We are all very excited about our May convention, and hope to see you there so we can share our Passion and our Purpose, and to help us all to Progress!”

Check out the APSS Annual Convention here: http://www.asiaspeakers.org/convention2012/outline.html

To register please email: admin@asiaspeakers.org
Telephone enquiries: 6449 3744

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How do I know if my company is ready for social media?

There are 8 key categories of concern for all company to be assessed before embarking on social media journey.

1.      Their Senior Management must be interested in leveraging Social Media as a new marketing channel and  understands that Social Media is a long term priority

 2.      Social Media Knowledge Level of the Company which includes understanding which social media channels are available and which are the best fit for their organization

3.      Determine the Customer Engagement Level. They should have their company profile on Social Media networking sites such as LinkedIn company page and Facebook fan page.

 4.      Study their Competitive Insight Analysis. Every company should have audited our top competitors online strategy, evaluated their maturity and have a basic idea of what they are doing with Social Media

5.       Plan for Staff and Resources Allocation. Every company must have defined roles and responsibilities for people in their organization who are involved with Social Media

6.    Develop a clear Plan and Channel Selection. Have the company created and presented a social media channel map which highlights how we will use Social Media

7.     Ensure Process Documentation which incorporated and integrated Social Media into their normal marketing mix (product launches, marketing plans, customer service, etc.)

8.     Governance Measurement. A company which are on social media must have a policy to govern the use of Social Media with our employees, contractors, prospects and customers

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Why companies are not adopting social media?

There are 10 main reasons why many companies are not embracing social media as part of their business strategy. Interestingly, they all begin with the letters which form the word SOCIAL MEDIA

S – Strategy. Companies do not have a clear game plan, not sure of their target audience and objectives of being on social media..

O – Organisation. Organising themselves internally and integrate other marketing, communications and publicity efforts require more than a change of standard operating procedure, it requires a change of mindset and culture.

C – Channels. Most corporate are clueless as to which platforms are suitable for their business especially when it is a B2B scenario.

I – Investment. Social Media platforms may be free but not for training, consultation, content preparation, measurement, etc..

A – Authenticity. Many corporate are too used to using “We”, “us” instead of “I”. People like to connect with people not organisation.

L – Listening. Most corporate do not really listen to their customers in the first place. When you have active listening, you will get a feel of brand sentiment in the social circles

M – Moderation. On social media, there is really no moderator. Unless you create a social networking within your web 2.0 environment, you will need to accept the good with the bad.

E – Engagement. Engagement is a BIG word. Everyone talks about it but few understand the commitment behind active engagement.

D – Direction. As a corporate entity, many other functions will need to be re-aligned if social media strategy is deployed.

I – Infrastructure – Monitoring benchmark and systems must be set to measure Key Performance Index. Best practices for sales, marketing, branding and other department must be continuously built upon in the Knowledge Base.

A – Analytics – Do corporate know what are they measuring? How do you utilise certain data to improve on product and service? How does trend and research affect decision making and resource allocation?

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Social Media adds value in Customer Relations Management

Social Media adds value in Customer Relations Management

You get customer sentiment about your latest policy within days and able to make adjustment very quickly if needed. (chat)

Customers and prospects can sign up your mailing list with just their Facebook account and you get more information automatically than just a name / email. (Open ID)

To use social media for customer service, a change of business mind-set is needed.

Social Media won’t be a one-size-fit-all business strategy, it is not a special channel to reach out to the younger customers.

It is simply a new way of operating your business socially.

Think Content instead of beating Competition.

Think Conversation instead of just rolling out Campaigns.

Think Community instead of small groups of Company.

To have great Content, you need Creativity.

To have great Conversation, you need Continuity.

To have great Community, you need good Collaboration

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Social Media as a Marketing Channel

  • Social Media marketing is about marketing your products and services in a social manner.
  • Increasingly, more people will be buying from you because 4 out of 5 of their friends have said you are reliable and enjoyed a great experience with your brand. They help you to sell by giving you their “likes” and “recommendation”
  • If you require new insight about your market and target audience, your market survey can be created easily and shared to millions of people. The insight can be obtained within a very short period for you to position yourself much better than before.  A poll can be easily done through social media-ready platforms like www.feedbackfarm.com
  • Social media Celebrities with huge following can become your brand ambassadors by sharing about your products and service through their blogs which may enjoy tens of thousands of page views daily.
  • Printing new brochure can be a challenging task. On social media, your brochures are viewed and downloaded on a server, shared by many who do not even know you from platforms like  Slideshare
  • Professional corporate video can be created within minutes with just photographs, royalty-free soundtrack and good script, disturbed on the 2nd most popular search site in the world from platforms like Animoto.
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