It all starts with a conversation! @lindasztanko . linda@lindasztanko.com . 905.359.3204

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My BIG Lesson On Overwhelm In Networking!

networking Mar 17, 2017

Have you ever been in unfamiliar territory when you are networking? I'm sure most of you have been, at one time or another, in a crowd where you don't know anyone and you feel completely out of place.  I admit, in my career as a networking specialist, I no longer get blindsided with not knowing what to say or how to approach people. Well, I had that exact experience recently when I was digital media conference with my Mastermind Inner Circle Group The Mastermind City.

I was among 4,000+ people where the topics of technology weren't completely in my comfort zone. All kinds of uncomfortable fears and confidence issues began to bubble up and for the first time, in a very long time, I was able to re-identify and connect with the very issues that people hire me to help them with.

I am someone who thrives on networking, lives for the connecting and building relationships, I found myself in an arena of highly intellectual individuals who were focused...

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Lose The Elevator Pitch: "Introduce" Yourself

I love to network. I love meeting people, finding out about what they do, who they are, what interests they have. I love to know about their families, their business, who they can help, why they love what they do and why they chose to do what they do. What I don't love... is "the"  PITCH! That moment when you know someone really has no interest in getting to know you, but only there to sell you. What's interesting is the majority of people I network with or talk about networking to... don't love it either!  

According to Webster dictionary, the term "sales pitch" means a speech that is given in order to "persuade" someone to buy something.  Since I could not find a definition in Webster for "elevator pitch", Wikipedia states it reflects the idea that it should be possible to deliver the summary in the time span of an elevator ride, or approximately thirty seconds to two minutes.  

In my opinion, there is...

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I Do Believe It's Called NETWORKING ...Not SELL-WORKING!

networking Jan 18, 2017

Networking today is not the Networking of Yesterday. Networking decades ago consisted of a small group of entrepreneurs and their followers who understood the value of true relationship building.  Zig Ziglar, Dale Carnegie, John Maxwell, Jim Rohn, Tony Robbins, even Oprah, are just a few of the greats that focused on relationship building and have grown some of the biggest networks and businesses in the world.

They were and are the true greats…

OLD School Networking was smooshing for business. The old boys club style networking that were exclusive and had the philosophy of “I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine”. Much of the time, those were the days of only doing business with someone who gave you their business first.

There are still some networking groups that have that philosophy of industry exclusive networking. I believe they do still have their place. This type of networking, in my opinion, is great for brick and mortar businesses and...

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Why Don't People Network Properly?

networking Dec 03, 2016

Why don't people network properly?  An interesting question that was posed to me today. So I am going to give you "my" take on the answer.  As a networking & follow-up expert (and the two go very much hand in hand), my opinion is that people are still going into networking events with the intention to "SELL" to the people at the event.  WRONG!  That is not why you go to networking events. 

Unfortunately, Networking events often become a Pitch-fest event. Everyone is telling each other what they can do for them and they may not even know that person "officially". This is not the way to build a network.

When you go to a networking event with the intention to gain business for the people at that event you are most likely going to come home very disappointed.  WHY? Because people at networking events are most likely NOT your target market. They are there for the same reason you are... To Get Business.

Selling people in the room is not the way to go...

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Who You Network With is NOT Always Your Target Market!

entrepreneurs networking Apr 04, 2016

t's Networking Day! You are headed to a promising networking event! You walk into a room armed and ready!  You are in "networking mode". You have your elevator pitch down pat! You have done your mantras, your visualization for success and you have enough business cards to hand out to everyone in the room.

You arrive, you smile and have some great introductions, you hand out "ALL" those business cards, you head home after a fabulous event and.......... nothing! WHAT THE HECK!?!

Welcome... to the reality of networking. 

One of the biggest misconceptions entrepreneurs have is that who they network with will be who does business with them. WRONG! Oh, you will get the small percentage of people you meet at a networking event that may purchase your product, or sign up for your service, but those people were already looking for your product or service and you just happened to be at the right networking event at the right time.

Ask yourself this question. WHY do I go to...

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Network Your Event... Find the MAGIC In It!

follow-up networking Mar 19, 2016

Have you ever noticed how the famous magician, David Copperfield, draws his audience in. He doesnt just stand up there on the stage doing trick after trick expecting the audience to be mesmorized with the tricks.  He draws the audience in so they become mesmorized with HIM.  

He courts them; he uses his eyes, his hands, his tone, the music to "date" the audience. He has the ability to make the audience feel like they are part of the moment and become part of his world.  

That is exactly how you need to make people feel at a networking event. You need to court them, make them feel welcome, relaxed and intriqued enough with you so they want to stay and continue the conversation.

One of the things I find most intriguing is how many business professionals loose the opportunity to find the magic while they are out making important connections.

WHY?  Because they leave before the magic happens.

Does this sound familiar? Do you leave directly after a...

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Are You Connecting Or Just Collecting Business Cards?

When is the last time you went to a networking event and actually had a meaningful conversation with someone.  All too often, people go to a networking event, with the intention of “getting” business and NOT making Connections.  I too have been at fault of this myself.

When I first started networking, my perception of what networking meant, was to get my business cards into the hands of every person attending that event. I would walk in armed with 2-300 business cards.  I’m not joking.  If that didn’t work I made sure I took as many business cards as I could from those that were there.   How naive I was!

Networking, by traditional definition is

“to interact with other people to exchange information and develop contacts, especially to further one's career”. 
However, we don’t live in a traditional environment today and the thinking of the “old boy’s club” is diminishing.  People are and...

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What Opportunities Are You Missing?

You have a networking event to go to and you know you need to be networking to meet new people, to continue building those business relationships and that networking is key to building your business.   And there you are: not wanting to go! 

I love to network. I love to meet people.  I love to connect people.  That is the reason why I started a networking coaching business.  Yet, even as an expert networker,  I have those rare times when I feel like staying home.  I just feel like cuddling up on the couch to watch an episode of Suits on Netflix.  

Don't beat yourself up if that urge to skip an event flashes through your mind.  Do, however, make sure you don't let that urge win.  Take charge of your thoughts.   Give your head a shake and think for a moment what opportunity you might be missing out on if you don't go to that event. 

This it exactly what happened to me this week.   I was getting ready to go out...

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Are You Hiding In A Room Full Of People?

It takes great courage to walk into a room full of people. It takes even more courage when it's a room full of strangers.  How do you handle it? Do you sit in the corner? Do you wait until people notice you? How long do you wait? 

The reason I ask is this…

I was at several networking events over the past couple of weeks and while I was at one of them, I noticed this woman across the other side of this large room, sitting very quietly on a chair.  

As I watched her, I noticed her posture was very prim and proper. I noticed how she fidgeted with the stem of her wine glass. I noticed how her eyes were focused only on the floor AND, I noticed all the people around her who didn’t even realize she was there!   

There was probably close to a hundred people in the room. I watched for about 5 minutes, thinking surely someone would reach out to this poor woman and make her feel at ease.   Nothing.

So, I went over and introduced myself. I casually...

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NETWORKING: Are You In It To WIN ... OR Just Practicing?

It's amazing to me how many people "think" they are networking? It's even more amazing to me how many people are actually not engaging with their networks!

Some of you will think this blog is a little harsh. That's Ok! I don't mind. If it shakes some people up to get them engaging more with their networks, so they see growth in their business, then I am only too happy to take a little heat from those who may get their feelings wounded. And I'm Ok with it because I believe this message is THAT important. Important for you and for your business.

 As a networking coach, it's my role to help the client shift their strategies and their perspectives. Simply put - sometimes it's my role to make the client feel a little uncomfortable. Sometimes it's my role to get the client stirred up.  WHY?  Because most times people need a shake up to MOVE in a different direction.

 I am speaking from experience. I am currently working with a business coach and am part of a mastermind...

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