Take a look at the calendar. One week from Wednesday begins Movember, an international fundraiser for men’s health issues. Team My Pinnacle Network will once again be looking to raise funds and awareness for men’s health issues such as prostate and testicular cancer, mental health and suicide. Right now, that team consists of yours truly, Joe D’Eramo. But like Italian dinner tables and donuts, there’s always room for more.

What’s involved? Simply go to this link and register. Part of the registration is to select a team. Ours is “My Pinnacle Network”. Once registered, it’s a matter of raising funds and growing a mustache. The latter begins on November 1. Shave your entire face and then commit to growing some kind of mustache during the month.

The fundraising can start as soon as you join. Movember has all sorts of tools to reach out to your network. My Pinnacle Network will help with that effort as well. We will provide updates on your progress via our social media pages and this enewsletter.

Who can join the team? Any My Pinnacle Network member, male or female. That’s right. Ladies can and do participate in Movember efforts. Mo Sistas get involved by:

  • Registering online and raising money
  • Organizing events
  • Making a donation
  • Supporting and showing love for the Mo
  • Purchasing Movember merchandise

So, if you would like to jump into this very worthwhile cause and be part of My Pinnacle Network Movember team, register here.

Whether you can grow a halfway decent mustache or not (I certainly can’t), it’s an extremely worthwhile cause and a great way to celebrate what’s come to be known as gratitude month. We hope you will join the My Pinnacle Network Movember team.

Do you like being sold?

To clarify, let’s say you’re at a networking event. You meet somebody. After you both tell each other a little about what it is you do, you then find yourself in the spin cycle of them telling you why you need their product or service.

So, do you like being sold?

Another example. It’s a day after the networking meeting you get a call from a guest you spoke to for a minute or two after the session. They want to set up an appointment to discuss your (fill in the blank) needs. Whether it’s a product you may or may not need, how do you feel on the call?

Again, do you like being sold?

For most, the answer is “probably not”. For the rest of us, the answer is “hell no!”

Networking works based on the principle that you prefer to do business with people you know beyond a cordial “hello”. Why? When you know somebody, you tend to share information about your business. Things like how your computers are running, whether you’re looking to hire or looking to relocate your business. And if you’re comfortable enough with a business acquaintance to share that information, then you are probably open to hearing the following response:

“I know somebody who does (fill in the blank), would you be open to meeting/talking to them.”

Then, it’s your choice about taking the next step and that’s a huge differentiator than the example at the beginning. Chances are, you will take that next step because you need that product or service and, most importantly, the person was referred by somebody you know and (within reason), trust.

That’s essentially why networking has a much higher percentage of translating to business than cold calling and trying to sell people you just met.

One of the things we emphasize at the beginning of a My Pinnacle Network meeting is that fellow members are not potential customers but your sales force. Your job as a member is to educate them about your business and your offerings. Essentially, you are preparing them for when one of their contacts says one of those key phrases-e.g. I wish I had a better (fill in the blank)-that they are ready to offer an introduction to you.

That’s not to say that My Pinnacle Network members don’t employ the services of other members. They do. But it’s almost always because that member has heard the elevator pitch, has done a one-on-one and thought, “that’s something I can use for my business”.

That’s not to say there’s no place for sales in networking. Far from it. But in a networking group, you really have to be sold on the member every bit as much as their product or service. And that’s the very distinct difference between selling and networking.

How you can help hurricane victims

We typically use this e-newsletter to offer networking tips. My Pinnacle Network is but one small group compared to an even larger group—American residents. A good number of those folks in that network—specifically those in Florida and Texas—have been or are in the process of being pummeled by a hurricane. It’s difficult to discuss networking advice when you know so many people in our greater network are hurting.

You can help by donating to causes that offer relief in the form of food, clothing and supplies. Often, the best way to help those folks is to send cash. Accuweather’s website site offers a number of organization supplying aid to victims of both Harvey and Irma. Please be careful to vet any organization you donate to. You can utilize CharityNavigator.org to get information on the charity you select.

Thank you, in advance, for your help.

It varies from business to business. You don’t want to embarrass your client by asking and potentially burn a bridge. After all, there could be a very reasonable explanation as to why you haven’t been paid

At the same time, there might not be. You’ve done the work, provided a service and now time has gone by and still no payment. And they have stopped returning calls and e-mails.

What now?

Carmella Beroth of Debt Management, Inc. will be speaking at the next My Pinnacle Network-Bourne meeting on Thursday, August 17 at 8am at Murray & MacDonald Insurance, 550 MacArthur Blvd, Bourne. She will be addressing this scenario and other collection issues. Guests are welcome to attend this meeting to learn more about this topic.

My Pinnacle Network is a monthly networking group for B2B professionals. Please contact Joe D’Eramo at jderamo@mypinnaclenetwork.com if you are interested in attending.

August 2017 meetings

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

My Pinnacle Network – Marshfield, Thursday, August 3, from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., 165 Enterprise Drive, Marshfield, MA 02050

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

My Pinnacle Network – Plymouth (Real Estate), Thursday, August 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, August 17, from 7:30 a.m. – 9 a.m. at 100 Grandview Road, 3rd Floor Conference Room, Braintree, MA 02184.

My Pinnacle Network – Bourne, Thursday, August 17, from 8:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m., 550 MacArthur Blvd. (Route 28), Bourne, MA 02532.

As previously announced, the Networking Ninja Awards will be given out on Tuesday, March 21 at a networking event at the Cask & Flagon at 804 Plain Street in Marshfield. The event, which will be part of the South Shore Networking Professionals Group’s monthly networking event, will run from 5:30 to 7:30. Admission is $10 and you can register online or at the door.

Awards will be given out for:

  • Best Connector (helping bring people together);
  • Most Ubiquitous (appears to be at every networking event);
  • Most Altruistic (does most for others);
  • Brightest Beacon (adds energy to networking events).

Winners will receive a trophy and recognition in My Pinnacle Network marketing and PR activities.

In addition to awards, attendees should bring plenty of business cards. The South Shore Networking Professionals Group third Tuesday networking event typically draws around 100 or more.

To register, click here.

The third annual My Pinnacle Network Networking Ninja Awards ceremony will be held on Tuesday, March 21 at 5:30 at the Cask and Flagon, 804 Plain Street, Marshfield. The ceremony will be held as part of the South Shore Networking group’s monthly gathering. Admission to the event is $10, which can be paid at the door. It will include light refreshments and appetizers.

Click here to vote for this year’s Networking Ninja awards.

Be a better networker TODAY

Everyone gets caught up in the craziness of work, family and other commitments. Invariably, some things fall through the cracks. For many, that’s follow-up and follow through with regard to your networking efforts.  If that sounds like you, here’s one piece of advice: today is a new day and it’s not too late to follow up.

As a rule, when you meet somebody at a networking function or conduct a one-on-one, it’s good form to follow up within three days. This may sound like a bit of a formality, but it really is another level of the networking process. Since your meeting, that person may have thought of somebody who might be a lead or referral source for you.  A simple follow-up after your meeting keeps you front-of-mind.

Now, if this is something you have been negligent on in the past, guess what? You can be a better networker today by simply making a phone call or dropping an e-mail to those you did not follow up with. Most people understand that everybody is busy and that some things do slide, particularly during the summer. A belated follow-up might rekindle the networking and lead to new business.

The most important thing about networking is consistency. Attend a certain number of events per month. Conduct X number of one-on-ones per month with people you meet at events or those who are part of your networking group. Then follow up with those individuals within three days. Yet perhaps as important as doing all those things is NOT beating yourself up too badly if you don’t.

It may sound rather Pollyanna, pie-in-the-sky, but today is another day. You can spend that day being ticked off at yourself for not doing your follow-up or setting up one-on-ones or you can send out that follow up note and apologize for not doing so sooner. Better yet, give that person a call. The fact is you can be a better networker today by forgiving yourself for what you should have done and taking action today. Simple as that.

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

My Pinnacle Network – Westborough, Tuesday, October 4, from 8 a.m. – 9:30 a.m at Digital Federal Credit Union, 18 Lyman Street, Westborough, MA 01581.

My Pinnacle Network – Mansfield, Wednesday, October 5, from 8:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m., 20 Cabot Blvd., Suite 300, Mansfield, MA 02048.

My Pinnacle Network – Marshfield, Thursday, October 6, from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., 165 Enterprise Drive, Marshfield, MA 02050.

My Pinnacle Network – Newton, Thursday, October 13, 7:30 a.m. – 9 a.m. at 29 Crafts Street (Aflac offices), Newton, MA 02458.

My Pinnacle Network – Braintree Third Thursday, Thursday, October 20, from 7:30 a.m. – 9 a.m. at 100 Grandview Road, 3rd Floor Conference Room, Braintree, MA 02184.

My Pinnacle Network – Bourne, Thursday, October 27, 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 http://mypinnaclenetwork.com/about/categories.aspx. 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.

The consensus on Windows 10

Last week’s e-mail reached out to our readership regarding the free upgrade to Windows 10 that Microsoft is offering until July 29. Thanks to those who responded.

The consensus is there is no consensus.  But the response provided by Victoria Zaccaria of SMH Electronics and our My Pinnacle Network-Bourne group does share a little insight for those pondering the upgrade:

“It is very different. The interface is somewhat confusing and difficult to manage or configure. Some things that were two clicks to find now may take you five or more to do the same task (kind of like a normal Windows user trying Apple for the first time). 

Now speaking with people who are using it, they have told me that once you get used to it, it’s fine. You can load a program called Classic Shell. This loads a Windows 7 overlay onto your Windows 10 to make it more user-friendly. 

Most software does seem to work. Windows 10 wants you to use Microsoft Edge as the new browser (no toolbars, no words, and difficult to use). And not compatible with everyone’s websites.Windows 10 does have Internet Explorer 11, which is compatible with most websites. Cortana, the search feature, sends demographic and search results back to Microsoft for targeting you with ads and info. You can “turn this off” but it is on by default.

If you have older printers/scanners and want to continue to use them, make sure there are drives available before you upgrade. Not all hardware is compatible.

You can go back, but some stuff will get corrupted in the go back process.  If the computer had scheduled tasks, these will all be corrupted and need to be re-generated.  

According to reports, approximately 25 percent of businesses have adopted Windows 10. Now, it’s  up to you!”

Thanks, Victoria.

Any non-IT folks tried it? We would love to hear from you, too!