One of the most popular pointers ever run in this space had to do with observing the habits and practices of the best networker you know. While that pointer was written with people in your business circles in mind, you could probably find the best networker you know in your personal life. Namely, your mother.

Think about when you were growing up. Who got you to all those practices, games, rehearsals, recitals, field trips, scout meetings, etc.? Was it Mom or Dad? Maybe, for the most part. But if you really think about it, Mom probably looked to her network for help.

Think about that for a second. Who was part of your parents’ network? How did they meet and where? For many, it probably involved having a child around the same age and involved in the same activity. Yet there were other folks in their network that might have come from other walks of life.

Being in business gives you something in common with virtually everybody you meet in b2b circles. The real task of networkers is finding that commonality beyond that where you can enjoy a mutually beneficial relationship. For Mom (or Dad), it probably started with an offer to drive and/or pickup. That goodwill gesture usually resulted in the other parent offering for the next time. From there, the connection organically grew.

This is not to suggest you develop car pools to networking events-though that’s not a terrible idea. But growing your network can be as simple as looking for commonality with others in the business world and making that first step of introduction.

They say it takes a village to raise a child. Your Mom probably knew that. Consider your business your child. Nurture it and be willing to accept the help of others in the village. Then, watch that child grow.

My Pinnacle Network has a full slate of networking meetings for b2b professionals:

My Pinnacle Network – Westborough, Tuesday, May 2, 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 3, from 8:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m., 20 Cabot Blvd., Suite 300, Mansfield, MA 02048.

My Pinnacle Network – Marshfield, Thursday, May 4, from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., 165 Enterprise Drive, Marshfield, MA 02050.

My Pinnacle Network – Newton, Thursday, May 11, 7:30 a.m. – 9 a.m. at 160 Gould Street, Needham, MA 02494 (either in the conference room of the Bullfinch Group or the Cafe in the same building).

My Pinnacle Network – Braintree Third Thursday, Thursday, May 18, from 7:30 a.m. – 9 a.m. at 100 Grandview Road, 3rd Floor Conference Room, Braintree, MA 02184.

NEW TIME – My Pinnacle Network – Bourne, Thursday, May 18, from 8:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m., 550 MacArthur Blvd. (Route 28), Bourne, MA 02532.

Photo of Steve Dubin, founder of b2b networking group My Pinnacle NetworkMy 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 2, 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 3, from 8:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m., 20 Cabot Blvd., Suite 300, Mansfield, MA 02048.

My Pinnacle Network – Marshfield, Thursday, May 4, from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., 165 Enterprise Drive, Marshfield, MA 02050

My Pinnacle Network – Newton, Thursday, May 11, 7:30 a.m. – 9 a.m. at Social Restaurant at the Crown Plaza Hotel, 320 Washington Street, Newton, MA 02458. Social is on the ground floor; parking available at the hotel garage.

My Pinnacle Network – Braintree Third Thursday, Thursday, May 18, from 7:30 a.m. – 9 a.m. at 100 Grandview Road, 3rd Floor Conference Room, Braintree, MA 02184.

NEW TIME – My Pinnacle Network – Bourne, Thursday, May 18, from 8:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m., 550 MacArthur Blvd. (Route 28), Bourne, MA 02532.

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.

In the real estate-related world, it is all about WHO you know. And we want to know YOU!

Starting in June, My Pinnacle Network will launch a Real Estate only group that will meet on the second Thursday in Plymouth. The first meeting is on Thursday, June 8, 7:30am to 9am at the Keller Williams training room, 91 Carver Road, Plymouth, MA (Exit 6, the Plaza includes such other illustrious tenants as Job Lot and Papa Gino’s).

The focus of this group is strictly professionals in the real estate industry. Some of those are b2c, which is why we created this special group. Membership is $250 for the year ($20.83 / month via PayPal recurring payment system).

To apply for membership, go to the Visit a Network page and fill out an application. Select “Plymouth” as the group you want to join. For a list of available categories, see list below:

Accountant
Advertising Agency
Advertising Specialties
Architect
Asbestos Removal
Bank
Beverage/Water Cooler Services
Bookkeeper
Cabinetry
CFO (for hire)
Chimney Sweep
Cleaning Services
Closets
Coffee
Contractor – Builder
Contractor – Remodeler
Custom Home Builder
Digital Media
Driveway/ Paving
Dry Basement
Electrical Contractor
Employee Benefits
Estate Sale Business
Fencing
Financial Planning
Financing – HECM
Financing – Private
Flooring
Fuel Provider
Furniture
General Contractor
Graphic Design
Handy Man Services
Hardscape/Mason
Home Inspection
Insulation Services
Insurance/Aflac
Insurance/Benefits
Insurance/P&C
Interior Design – Staging
Internet Services
Irrigation Services
IT Services
Landscape Contractor
Legal – business attorney
Legal – estate planning
Legal – real estate
Long Distance carriers
Marble & Granite
Mold Remediation
Mortgage broker
Mortgage – Reverse
Mover
Oil
Organizer
Painting Contractor
Payroll
Personal Project Manager
Pest Control
Plumbing/HVAC
Photographer
Printer
Property Management
Public Relations
Radon Remdeiation
RE Agent
RE Agent, Commercial
Retirement Consulting
Roofer
Security – Alarm Systems
Solar Design/Installation
SEO
Siding
Signage
Social Media
Storage
Title Search
Travel Agency
Tree Surgeon
Truck Rental
Waste Management
Web Development
Window Replacement

What’s on your Kindle?

Next time you’re at a networking event, try starting a conversation with that very question.

“Hi, I’m Steve Dubin of PR Works. What’s on your Kindle?”

Most likely whomever you ask that question will be stopped dead in their tracks. After all, you’re at a networking event. People don’t want to know that. It’s all about what do you do, here’s what I do, can we help each other, right?

Yes and no.

Ultimately, that’s what it comes down to, but what you really to get out of a networking event is a connection, not just a business card. To connect, it’s important for you to make an impression, AKA to be memorable. Is your opening line currently achieving that objective?

This not to cast aspersions on anybody. The vast majority of us go to networking events and start a conversation with “What’s your business?”. Sometimes that may work out. More likely, you will be just one of many said person meets that day. Chances are, however, if you have a memorable starter that’s a little different, you become more memorable and so does your business.

And if you don’t have a Kindle, there are plenty of other ways to start a conversation without going down the “What’s your business?” path. Here’s an article that offers a few suggestions.

Networking isn’t rocket science. It’s common sense, common courtesy and bit of effort.

To get the most of any networking effort, you should:

  • Show up early. Get there 15 minutes prior to start time. Show commitment and have a chance to connect with other early birds before the whirlwind of the meeting begins.
  • Tune in. Turn off your cell phone. Turn on your focus. Takes notes on how you can help others.
  • Your turn to speak – differentiate. Client stories are more memorable and compelling than a punch list of your services.  Tell a recent client story that underscores what you do well.
  • “How you can help me” – When it’s your turn to speak, include key phrases to listen for, the specific niche and demographic of your best prospects, best referral sources for you, the best way to introduce you.
  • Be genuine. Don’t overstate your capabilities. Don’t overpromise next steps.
  • Be a connecter – Be the reference desk.  Every connection has a ripple effect. Ripples lead to waves.
  • Keep your antenna up? Look for opportunities for others. Listen for “hot buttons” for your colleagues.
  • Recruit members to strengthen the group – Who could add more energy and introductions to the group? Who do you know that seems to be everywhere, knows everyone? Encourage them to check out the group.
  • One on One meetings – Try to meet with each member of the group to create a more personal link and to better understand their business. Prepare for this meeting. See if you can bring one introduction to the meeting.
  • Make it a “Rolodex” meeting. Bring your smartphone, laptop or tablet with your personal database information – conversation may lead to an immediate introduction.
  • Follow up, follow through. Respond to introductions within 3 working days. Show a sense of urgency and sincere interest.
  • Keep in touch. Make sure all group members are on your e-newsletter list, Holiday list, business event/seminar list, etc.

My Pinnacle Network-Bourne is hosting a mixer this Tuesday, March 7. 3 at 5pm in the bar at Mezza Luna, 253 Main Street, Buzzards Bay. This is a very informal gathering for members of My Pinnacle Network-Bourne to get together, share some beverages, food and laughs—and perhaps work in some networking. We welcome other b2b networkers and members of other networking organizations. Please feel free to invite other businesses as well.

You can bring business cards and collaterals if you want. Mostly, bring a fun attitude as we are really looking to have a very informal, fun time.

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

My Pinnacle Network – Mansfield, Wednesday, February 1, from 8:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m., 20 Cabot Blvd., Suite 300, Mansfield, MA 02048.

My Pinnacle Network – Marshfield, Thursday, February 2, from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., 165 Enterprise Drive, Marshfield, MA 02050

My Pinnacle Network – Westborough, Tuesday, February 7, from 8 a.m. – 9:30 a.m at Digital Federal Credit Union, 18 Lyman Street, Westborough, MA 01581.

My Pinnacle Network – Newton, Thursday, February 9, 7:30 a.m. – 9 a.m. at Social Restaurant at the Crown Plaza Hotel, 320 Washington Street, Newton, MA 02458. Social is on the ground floor; parking available at the hotel garage.

My Pinnacle Network – Braintree Third Thursday, Thursday, February 16, from 7:30 a.m. – 9 a.m. at 100 Grandview Road, 3rd Floor Conference Room, Braintree, MA 02184.

My Pinnacle Network – Bourne, Thursday, February 16, from 7:30 a.m. – 9 a.m., 550 MacArthur Blvd. (Route 28), Bourne, MA 02532.

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.

New My Pinnacle Network members

A hearty welcome to the following My Pinnacle Network members:

My Pinnacle Network-Braintree

Chris Ernest

Blum Shapiro

 

My Pinnacle Network – Mansfield

Ben Hall

Overview Consulting

Beth Davis

Learning for Leaders

 

My Pinnacle Network-Marshfield

Jennifer Anderson

Cohesion

 

My Pinnacle Network-Newton

Paul Crossman

Professional Business Coaches

Great networkers don’t follow the same path. Some seem to know everybody and connect you at the drop of a dime. Others seemingly make it to every networking event within a 50-mile radius. And then there are those who uplift everybody in the room by their energy and propensity to connect and help others. These are the types of people who should be nominated for My Pinnacle Network’s third annual Networking Ninja awards.

For the third annual awards, My Pinnacle Network is seeking nominees in the following categories: Best Connector (helping bring people together); Most Ubiquitous (appears to be at every networking event); Most Altruistic (does most for others); and Brightest Beacon (adds energy to networking events).

You can vote for your favorite networker here or by clicking on the link in the My Pinnacle Network home page.

Voting began last week and will end on February 28. Nominees must be B2B professionals or small business owners whose customers are other businesses. Non-My Pinnacle Network members are also eligible.

Winners will receive a customized trophy, in addition to recognition at a My Pinnacle Network event and promotional materials.

Last year’s winners were:Greg DeSimone, owner of Catapult Advisory Group located in Mansfield, MA took home the honors as Best Connector; Mitchell Zucker of ConnectPay based in Concord, MA won the Most Ubiquitous Networking Ninja Award; David Allen, owner of Balance Wealth Advisors situated in Wellesley, MA won the Most Altruistic Networking Ninja Award; and Nicole Connolly of PhotoFabulousYou based in Westborough, MA won the Brightest Beacon honors for the second consecutive year.

“Networking, sharing information and opportunity, is what makes the world go round,” noted Steven V. Dubin, one of the founders of My Pinnacle Network.  He continued, “The Networking Ninja Awards recognize the contributions of our areas best connectors, best networkers and encourages everyone to open their doors and databases to help each other.  Both whimsical and pragmatic, these awards will provide recognition for many who typically do great deeds and humbly hang is the shadows.”

Click here to vote for your choices for the best networkers in the area.