It’s the day after Father’s Day. For those lucky enough to still have their dads, we hope you got a chance to spend some time with him. If you have children, again, hope you spent some time on a beautiful day to do something together. If you didn’t, there’s always today, right? And tomorrow or the next day. In fact, you could argue that it’s more important to reach out to your dad on those days. Networking meetings have that same quality.

Yes, the monthly meeting is very important. Similar to a holiday, it brings us all together. Yet the success of a networking group and how it can best benefit you individually happens in the days after the meeting.

For example, you may have heard something in the elevator pitch of one of your fellow members or guests that made you think of one of your connections. It’s very important to follow up on that within a day or so of the meeting while it’s still fresh in your mind.

The same goes for one-on-ones, the lifeline of any networking organization. You should try to set up the one-on-one right after the meeting. Yet that’s not always easy to do as some people may have to leave right after the meeting. Anecdotally speaking, one-on-ones are more likely to happen if you set them up within 48 hours of the meeting. Otherwise, the idea of setting up a meeting takes its place among the many other things you need to do during the course of your busy work schedule.

So, you see, you can and probably should call Dad today. Just to say “hi” and thank him again for all he means to you. If your children did something special for, an extra hug the day after means just as much. And if there’s somebody you have meant to set up a one-on-one with and haven’t, here’s a reminder to put hat back to the front of your mind.

Happy Day After to all our Fathers out there!

My Pinnacle Network recently announced a full slate of business-to-business networking meetings for June. My Pinnacle Network meetings are as follows:

My Pinnacle Network – Westborough, Tuesday, June 5, from 8 a.m. – 9:30 a.m at Digital Federal Credit Union, 18 Lyman Street, Westborough, MA 01581.

My Pinnacle Network – Mansfield, Wednesday, June 6, from 8:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m., Mansfield BioIncubator, 241 Francis Avenue, Mansfield, MA 02048.

My Pinnacle Network – Pembroke, Thursday, June 7, from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., ACTSmart Training Center, 70 Corporate Park Drive, Suite 1225, Pembroke, MA 02359.

My Pinnacle Network – Needham/Newton, Thursday, June 14, 7:30 a.m. – 9 a.m. at Bullfinch Group, 160 Gould Street, Needham, MA 02494.

My Pinnacle Network – Plymouth (Real Estate), Thursday, June 14, from 7:30 a.m. to 9:00 a.m., Keller Williams training room, 91 Carver Road, Plymouth, MA  02360 (Ocean State Job Lot Plaza)

My Pinnacle Network – Braintree Third Thursday, Thursday, June 21, from 7:30 a.m. – 9 a.m. at 100 Grandview Road, 3rd Floor Conference Room, Braintree, MA 02184.

Only one B2B professional will be selected for each category. Those categories can be found at bottom of http://www.mypinnaclenetwork.com. Prospective members are encouraged to attend a My Pinnacle Network meeting before committing to join.

If you are interested in attending a meeting in your area, please contact Steven V. Dubin at SDubin@MyPinnacleNetwork.com or 781-582-1061 to RSVP. There is no charge to visit a My Pinnacle Network meeting.

My Pinnacle Network recently announced a full slate of business-to-business networking meetings for May. My Pinnacle Network meetings are as follows:

My Pinnacle Network – Westborough, Tuesday, May 1, from 8 a.m. – 9:30 a.m at Digital Federal Credit Union, 18 Lyman Street, Westborough, MA 01581.

My Pinnacle Network – Mansfield, Wednesday, May 2, from 8:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m., 20 Cabot Blvd., Suite 300, Mansfield, MA 02048.

My Pinnacle Network – Pembroke, Thursday, May 3, from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., ACTSmart Training Center, 70 Corporate Park Drive, Suite 1225, Pembroke, MA 02359.

My Pinnacle Network – Needham/Newton, Thursday, May 10, 7:30 a.m. – 9 a.m. at Bullfinch Group, 160 Gould Street, Needham, MA 02494.

My Pinnacle Network – Plymouth (Real Estate), Thursday, May 10, from 7:30 a.m. to 9:00 a.m., Keller Williams training room, 91 Carver Road, Plymouth, MA  02360 (Ocean State Job Lot Plaza)

My Pinnacle Network – Braintree Third Thursday, Thursday, May 17, from 7:30 a.m. – 9 a.m. at 100 Grandview Road, 3rd Floor Conference Room, Braintree, MA 02184.

Only one B2B professional will be selected for each category. Those categories can be found at bottom of http://www.mypinnaclenetwork.com. Prospective members are encouraged to attend a My Pinnacle Network meeting before committing to join.

If you are interested in attending a meeting in your area, please contact Steven V. Dubin at SDubin@MyPinnacleNetwork.com or 781-582-1061 to RSVP. There is no charge to visit a My Pinnacle Network meeting.

photo of Steve Dubin, founder of b2b networking organization My Pinnacle NetworkMy Pinnacle Network recently announced its business-to-business networking meeting in Marshfield will move to a new location in Pembroke for its May 3 meeting. The new meeting location will be the ACTSmart Training Center located at 70 Corporate Park Drive, Suite 1225, Pembroke, MA 02359.

ACTSmart will be the new permanent home for the meeting, which takes place on the first Thursday of the month. The will also now be referred to as My Pinnacle Network-Pembroke.

“We’re very grateful to our host of the past six years Gatehouse Media in Marshfield. Our group has grown over the years and the new location, which is a short distance from the old site will be able to accommodate the current size of the group and future growth,” said My Pinnacle Network Founder Steve Dubin. “We thank David and Pam Snell, owners of ACTSmart, for hosting the meeting.”

Directions to the new location can be found on ACTSmart’s website at http://actsmartit.com/directions/.

My Pinnacle Network runs five monthly networking meetings for B2B professionals and business owners in the towns of Braintree, Needham, Mansfield, Pembroke, and Westborough. A sixth group, My Pinnacle Network-Plymouth, is tailored toward businesses in the real estate industry.

For the complete calendar of meeting for all My Pinnacle Network groups, visit www.mypinnaclenetwork.com.

B2B professionals looking to visit or join a group can apply directly by going to www.mypinnaclenetwork.com. Only one B2B professional will be selected for each category. Those categories can be found on the site’s home page. Prospective members are encouraged to attend a My Pinnacle Network meeting before committing to join.

If you are interested in attending a meeting in your area, please contact Steven V. Dubin at SDubin@MyPinnacleNetwork.com or 781-582-1061 to RSVP. There is no charge to visit a My Pinnacle Network meeting.

 

Does this guy seem introverted?

Having run networking meetings for quite some time, we often hear people describe better networkers as “born networkers”. That could be true. Some people are blessed with the gift of gab while starting and sustaining a conversation can be a real chore for some. Yet that doesn’t exclude introverts from being good networkers. It just means you may need to take a different path.

Take My Pinnacle Network Founder Steve Dubin. Please. Seriously though, Steve thinks of himself as an introvert. If you have met him, this may surprise you a little. Yet Steve learned how to overcome his shyness in networking situations by using skills he developed as reporter. Namely, asking questions.

When Steve meets people at a networking event, he reverts to a list of questions he has memorized. The questions are a little less cliché than “what’s your business?”. Typically, it’s about the event or something of the sort. Since many people are more comfortable answering a question rather than starting a conversation, guess what? A conversation ensues.

This technique often gives Steve the opportunity to learn more about the people he meets. This in turn makes it easier for him to connect the people he meets with people in his network. And we all know that giving is the key to receiving in networking.

Okay, so maybe you’re not a former reporter. It doesn’t prevent you from creating a list of questions to have for when you go to events. Fortunately, networking is much more about what happens outside networking events. And that’s where introverts can be very successful if you choose to be.

How?

Ask any great networker what the key to networking success is and most will say it’s follow up. Much of follow up today can be done online. So, if you meet somebody at a networking event, be sure to follow up afterwards with a little note via e-mail. Better yet, check out their LinkedIn profile and connect.

If this contact is somebody you want to get to know better, set up a one-on-one. If you’re not sure, perhaps you start a virtual dialogue that includes some additional questions. Like who in your network would they like to meet? Conversely, you could ask if they know anybody in an area that’s of interest to your business.

This is but one way for introverts to break out of their shell and get into the networking game. Check out our ebook, 15 Keep-it-Simple Tips for B2B Networkers, for more pointers.

Many professionals regard the e-mail signature as an obligation. You know you should have one and provide all your content information. For many of us, we get hung up on titles and making sure every website and social media link is included. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with doing that. But did you ever think of upping the ante and adding part of your messaging?

That could be a tagline (e.g. PR Works. When done correctly, PR Works). Or you could take it up a notch and make it more specific (e.g. PR Works—Press releases and content that tell your company’s story).

See the difference?

You could also take it up even further and add a link to your lead magnet or, even better, a picture of your lead magnet that links to a free download (the MPN lead magnet is pictured above). Or maybe, if you don’t have a lead magnet, you could link to your latest blog post with a teaser (e.g. check out our latest blog post on our newest product/service).

Now, you’re probably thinking, “It’s an e-mail signature, will I really get business from it?” Maybe, maybe not. But you have to remember that new business is about touches. Generally, it takes seven or more. If you are regularly e-mailing a prospect or someone in your network, they see your e-mail signature with every exchange. Whether they realize it or not, that puts you front of mind, even for a very short period of time. On some level that will register with the person you’re exchanging e-mail with. Who knows who they will be speaking with who might need that service?

The best part of being more specific with your e-mail signature—it’s very little work. Change it up every couple of weeks. See what happens. Honestly, you have very little to lose—you’re going to have an e-mail signature to share your contact info anyway, right—and much to gain.

Al Gore strikes again. When researching a topic for this week’s newsletters yours truly came across an article listing movies that best explain networking newbies. Movies about networking? Really? Then, when you really put some thought to it, there are many movies with a networking element.

The most obvious networking film is The Godfather. Sure, we hear the cliched “it’s just business, nothing personal”. Of course, that’s not really true in the movie. Even in real life, we do tend to want to do business with people we like versus we don’t.

Ground Hog Day was an interesting mention. Bill Murray’s character can try out any number of “verbal brands” or “elevator pitches” and know that if one doesn’t work out, he will have the same opportunity tomorrow. That’s not always true in business. Yet if you are in a networking group and you come with the same verbal brand every time, folks may start to tune you out. That’s why mixing it up with a client success story to back up your verbal brand is so critical.

Other movies mentioned include: One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, The Social Network, Gone in 60 Seconds. For the complete list, click here.

Are you tired of opening with “What’s your business?” as an opening line at networking events? Or the ever so popular, “who’s your best customer?”. While those are perfectly valid questions, it sets the stage for a canned conversation that probably doesn’t flow naturally. As an alternative, why not ask something like:

How did you land your first client?

This question will catch them off-guard at first. But typically people don’t forget their first client. Usually, there’s a story of some kind with it. If it’s a business that’s been around a while, it may even make that person nostalgic and proud about how far the business has come since it’s humble beginnings.

Or they may not remember at all.

If they don’t remember, ask how they landed their last client. Or last five clients. Usually, there’s a straightforward answer to these questions that don’t require much rehearsing. So people can answer without a lot of thought and it’s a more natural conversation.

If these questions fail to inspire a conversation, you have two options: tell them how you landed your first client or customer; or bail. You can use your judgment on that one. But if you’re having difficulty getting somebody to talk about their business, it’s probably a good sign to choose the latter and move on.

The point of any networking activity is to learn about other people and their business so you can be a connector. Hearing the story of their beginning can jump-start a conversation and provide you enough information so you can think about who in your network might travel the same traffic lanes as your new acquaintance.

Give it a try at your next networking event.