Jackie Kellso

Posts Tagged ‘networking’

The Entrepreneur’s Fight to Survive As an Army of One

In Army of One, building business, CEO, Connecting, entrepreneur's fight, entrepreuners, experience, Facebook, generate revenue, knowledge, Linked In, networking, social media, Twitter on March 12, 2015 at 8:19 pm

Hello You Army of One.

This morning I found this post on a Business Women’s Facebook page: “Feeling a bit overwhelmed, like I’m an island out in the middle of the ocean all by my self. Trying hard to get some momentum but feel like I’m on a hamster wheel…” –K.

I am relating. I am a savvy, hard-working, devoted entrepreneur using Linked In, Twitter, Facebook, etc…to market myself using social media; promote my unique value proposition, evaluate the results of my marketing, analyze what’s working, what’s not, and reaching out to existing contacts, asking clients for referrals — consistently looking to build a smart, large network of potential connections that will lead to new business.

We ‘Armies of One’ are the CEOs, the executive assistants, the PR people, marketing directors, blog writers, visionaries and designers of products/services; delivering goods to customers in-between all of the other duties that should be delegated to an entire team. And then there’s the networking, networking, networking.

It’s exhausting. Then we see these articles from the rich ‘success’ stories plastered all over the walls of Linked IN with advice on how we too can get rich.  How they did it through passion, belief in themselves, being an expert, having a superior product/service, working and obsessing 30 hours a day 8 days a week.  If only they could tell us what makes us any different. Well, they can’t.

Then we have the specialists for hire who have built their own businesses targeting YOU.  They promise to help you build an audience, generate leads, connect you…people who know how to do all of this better, quicker.  Well, it takes money to hire help. And with so many, whom do you trust with your precious few dollars?

The principles of advertising are to spend in order to generate revenue.  Yeah, take out a second mortgage?  Not eat?  It’s not enough that you are a skilled veteran of knowledge and experience with a phenomenal C.V. and so much value that you can be the go-to-expert of many, if they’d just find you and hire you!

I want proof that I’m on a trajectory that will reach my long-term financial goals and help me see that I am not on a hamster wheel, even if it’s a slow progression.  If only the ebbs were few and the flows were the norm!

An option is to view the bigger picture as a spiritual journey.  We are discovering patience, the limits of our comfort zones and frankly, how much we can tolerate being in a sea of thousands of other entrepreneurs who do what we do, and for those of us who are not Millenials, to progess with technology.   We must still have the courage to believe that abundance is available to all – no one can eclipse us, we will get ours anyway! This isn’t as comforting as we’d like it to feel. We are still overwhelmed, experiencing the agony of possible defeat, isolated and unsure of when the wheel of fortune will bless us because we’ve worked hard enough.

Today I couldn’t think of anything else to write.  I just wanted to talk to you, dear army of one, to say I’m in it too and if in the bigger picture of my life that this moment teaches me that I can get through the day, focus on something productive, breathe, go to the gym, count my blessings, and remain staunchly hopeful, then I am doing what I’ve hired myself to do.

Marching onward,

Jackie

Copyright, PointMaker Communications, Inc., 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jackie Kellso and PointMaker Communications, Inc., with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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Mastering The “60-Second Elevator Pitch”

In assertiveness, business networking, business relationships, career, coaching, communicating, communication, communication skills, effective communicating, executive coaching, executives, interpersonal skills, leadership, networking, people skills, pitches, pitching, presentation skills, presentations, presenting, professional behavior, professional development, public speaking, selling, Uncategorized on January 4, 2012 at 11:33 am

I sometimes attend a women’s networking group where we are given an outline for how to introduce ourselves to other professionals and the opportunity to practice our pitches several times over.  Some people do this well, but for others the pitch and the opportunity to practice it don’t seem to help them master their delivery.

I’ve been watching people struggle with this and have identified two main areas that need improvement:  1. clarifying and communicating one’s uniqueness and 2. overcoming the insecurity about claiming expertise in one’s field.

So, in thinking about how to help those who are still shaky in these two areas, I’ve come up with this outline for creating a solid 60-second pitch:

1. Your name, your company’s name.

2. Your company’s mission (one line about why your company exists).

3. Your credentials ( ie:  accreditations, certificates, licenses, published works).

This helps you substantiate your value in your field of expertise (and sets the stage for  #4).

4. Your unique value proposition (one sentence about what differentiates you from your competition).

What makes me stand out from the competition…

Why I’m the best at what I do….

5. How what you do benefits your listener (one sentence on the strongest value your listener or customer gets from working with you).

I can help you specifically with…

I can provide a solution for….

Practice, Practice Practice!  I bet you make some solid connections.

Happy pitching!

Jackie

Copyright, PointMaker Communications, Inc., 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jackie Kellso and PointMaker Communications, Inc. with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

When Networking for Business, Talk-Up Your Strengths!

In assertiveness, business, business networking, business relationships, career, coaching, communicating, communication, communication skills, executive coaching, executives, leadership, networking, people skills, presentation skills, presentations, presenting, professional behavior, professional development training, public speaking, sales, selling, training, Uncategorized on January 3, 2012 at 9:36 pm

(Except when you are trying to prove that you aren’t inadequate.)

Here’s what I mean:  I went to a networking function recently and met a zealous young man breaking into the coaching business. He was a main presenter for the event and did a fine job, but when we chatted later, he said, “I didn’t do as well today as I normally do — in fact, most of the time I’m the best speaker at these events. I have awards to prove it.”

Bragging is a form of conceit, but more-so, a compensation for feeling less-than-zippy.  I felt compassion for him (because I know what it feels like to under perform), and think he could benefit from learning techniques in one-on-one communicating. Other than that, I don’t want to forge a business connection with him.

The point is this:  you must come from strength in order to communicate your strengths.  It’s okay to want others to think highly of you, but let them make that assessment.  Humility has a far more commanding presence, anyway!  The goal is to be memorable in a positive way, to communicate your strengths quickly and to seek an opportunity for re-connection.

So, here’s how to humbly state and prove your strengths, while making an instant, positive, business connection:

1. Body language first:  stand arms’ length apart, firmly shake (not break) hands, smile and make direct eye contact.  Say, ‘hello!’ with enthusiasm.

2. Introduce yourself:  slowly state your name, your company and your position, audibly enunciating every syllable.

2. Focus on the other person first:  state something positive — comment on something you’ve seen, heard or read about this person’s body of work.  If you know nothing,  ask what he/she does and what his/her strengths are.  You immediately want to show interest; this proves you have good people and networking skills and will get the other person asking all about you.

3. Ask what kind of help you can offer to the other person.  This generosity will quickly make others perceive you as having true value, and create the opportunity to leverage yourself.

3. Now talk about you:  say something to the effect of, “I’m expert in my field with ‘X’ years in the business and have ‘X’ accreditations, awards…”etc.

4. State one or two core strengths:  these are qualities about you that you can back up with evidence.  My example is:  I help people improve their thinking and make positive impact upon others.  My company is PointMaker Communications. I’m a professional development trainer and coach who specializes in both brain-based coaching (to facilitate improved thinking) and skills-based training– the art of interpersonal effectiveness and communication (public speaking, presenting, pitching, networking and one-on-one communicating).  My accreditations come from Dale Carnegie Training and The NeuroLeadership Group (click on About Jackie Kellso to view my resume).

5. Show gratitude:  thank the other person for his/her time, for listening and learning about you.  Then ask to exchange cards and for permission to make contact.

Many people fear stating their strengths because they fear it will come off as bragging. But it isn’t. You have the right to feel good about the results of your hard work and your sharpened skills.  You have the right to tell others that you are good at what you do. Your business depends on your ability to communicate effectively.  And, when you let others discover you, they benefit from knowing you (or at the least know people who could use your services).

So remember — you must come from strength to successfully communicate your strengths.

Humbly yours,

Jackie

Copyright, PointMaker Communications, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jackie Kellso and PointMaker Communications, Inc., with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

What Would Dale Carnegie Think of Humanity in the 21st Century?

In business networking, business relationships, career, coaching, communicating, communication, communication skills, Dale Carnegie, effective communicating, executive coaching, interpersonal skills, leadership, managing, networking, people skills, professional behavior, professional development, public speaking, sales, Uncategorized on January 3, 2012 at 4:07 pm

Dale Carnegie’s 30 Human Relations Principles were available to the world in 1936. They were introduced in his book, “How to Win Friends and Influence People,” which still reigns as the almighty in guiding people to value and act with humanity.  I owe Mr. Carnegie so much personally for how his brand of goodness has changed my life for the better, and will continue to be his champion until I leave the planet.

Not that I can pretend to know if he would have tweaked his principles for a world in which texting has replaced an actual conversation, but I will try to imagine what additional principles he might have added on to include the world we now live in. Assume the first 30 principles are still in tact, as is.

31.  Turn off hand-held devices when in the company of another human being.  Engage!

32. Be respectful, compassionate and responsible in honoring diversity: race, gender, sexual-orientation, ethnicity, culture, religion and politics.

33. Use cell phones in public only for emergencies.  Honor others needs for peace, quiet and space.

34. Ask for help when you don’t understand.  People love feeling that they have something to offer.

35. Offer personal help and support whenever and wherever you can.  You can forever change someone’s life with the smallest action and also become part of the “Pay it Forward” cycle in which someone will come to your aid.

36. Be generous about introducing people to others in your network.

37. When in a conversation, make direct eye contact and listen to understand.

38. Take full responsibility for your own feelings — never blame others for your circumstances.

39. Recognize the greatness in others and allow them to influence you.

40. Apologize, even when you have inadvertently hurt another’s feelings.

41. Build and look to work with teams of smart, devoted, dignified people who have complementary strengths to your own.

42. Say what you mean, be honest, and clear about your intentions.

43. Read the first 30 principles over and over and over.

Happy “Winning Friends and Influencing People,”

Jackie

Copyright, PointMaker Communications, Inc., 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jackie Kellso and PointMaker Communications, Inc., with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Smart Business Networking: Show Interest in Others First

In assertiveness, business networking, business relationships, career, coaching, communicating, communication, communication skills, executive coaching, executives, leadership, networking, people skills, professional behavior, sales, training, Uncategorized on August 1, 2010 at 7:43 pm

I met a professional image consultant recently, who’d had her own successful business for some time. I was eager to discuss the industry and to share experiences with her, thinking I was in for a wonderful conversation!  I enthusiastically asked, “When did you discover that this was your calling?”  She smiled, clearly delighted with the question.  Unfortunately, for the next three to four minutes, she didn’t stop talking about herself — not once — to include me, and went on and on about herself.

Suddenly, she turned her head to the left, then back at me, and said, “You know, I’d like to hear this.” She then turned her body away from me and joined another conversation. Just like that.  A little lack of social grace?  Self-absorption, perhaps? I laughed later that evening; shortly after our encounter I was introduced as the guest speaker of the event.  At the end of my presentation she ran over to me and asked for my business card to talk some ‘alliance we might form.’ It was too late. I simply said, “Sorry, I’m all out of cards.  May I have yours?”

This was probably the rudest situation I’d encountered at a networking function, but the truth is that most people don’t show genuine interest in the people they are meeting.  Their goal is to obtain business cards, which is a backwards pursuit.  I assure you, no one sets-out to be your business connection.  There has to be a perceived pay-off.  So, it’s best to start off on the right foot and make the effort to build new alliances.

Here are some tips to successfully meet and make quality connections:

1. First show curiosity — ask the other person questions about  him/herself before you try and talk about you.

2. Ask meaningful questions that are deeper than just, “Where do you work?”  Find out what motivates, inspires and drives the other person.

3. Offer help and support.  Once you have some information, you might know someone who can assist him/her along the path. This way, you can become a follow-up item on his/her to-do list.  Smart, heh?

Invite people to speak about themselves, first.  Your turn to talk about yourself will come and the wait will be worth it.

Happy networking!

Jackie

Copyright, PointMaker Communications, Inc., 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jackie Kellso and PointMaker Communications, Inc., with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

9 Egregious Communication Errors of Trade Show Exhibitors

In Business Expo, business networking, business relationships, career, coaching, communicating, communication, communication skills, effective communicating, executive coaching, interpersonal skills, leadership, managing, networking, people skills, pitches, pitching, presentation skills, presentations, presenting, professional development, sales, selling, Trade Show Exhibitors, Trade Shows, training, Uncategorized on November 1, 2009 at 9:00 pm

I had decided to attend the recent NY Business Expo held at the Jacob Javits Center here in NYC.  This was my first time at this event, so I was eager to see the exhibitors and hear some of the speakers.  I picked an aisle and started walking into the frenzy.

Suddenly, a man I recognized leapt out at me – he happens to be my neighbor, and asked if I wanted to meet the president of his sales training company – someone for whom he clearly would stand on the firing line.  I said, “Sure!”

My neighbor’s job was to recruit walkers-by and reel them into the exhibit.  The promise was, MEET THE MAN and find out how he can help you increase your business.  This is a smart tactic, but…as I reached over with a smile, said, “Hello,” and gave him a firm handshake, THE MAN took my hand and without ever looking at me, started speaking with the woman behind me.  I stared into his face waiting for him.  But he never even looked or acknowledged my presence.   I felt like I needed a shower.

I let go of his hand seconds later while he continued talking to someone behind me. I told my neighbor that I pity his clients. I walked away.

Egregious error #1 – AVOIDING EYE CONTACT AND UNGRACIOUSLY DISENGAGING FROM YOUR VISITORS

Egregious error #2 – MAKING PEOPLE FEEL THAT YOU’RE LOOKING FOR SOMEONE BETTER OR MORE VALUABLE

So, after that, I decided that my mission was to look for other mistakes exhibitors were making, because I hadn’t considered it going into the ordeal.  I continued walking around to find them.  They were everywhere!

You get hungry walking around a space like the Jacob Javits Center, and I soon noticed huge bowls of candy placed on tables at the front of many vendors’ booths to lure in sugar addicts.  I watched people walk by, grab fistfuls of swirly, little things in plastic, Tootsie Pops, and bite-sized Mary Janes.  Chewing, they continued on their journeys without ever stopping to chat with the vendors themselves.  Of course, the vendors were busy standing at the back of their booths chatting with one another.

Egregious error #3  – THINKING THAT CANDY INSPIRES VISITORS TO STOP AND ASK QUESTIONS ABOUT YOUR BUSINESS

I moved onward without any candy.  Why couldn’t they have bowls of Lindt Truffles anyway?  Next up:  a young man in a t-shirt and worn jeans enthusiastically jumps from behind a table as I walk by, to stop me and say hello.  He got my attention!  Then I shook his hand.  Limp and damp.  I needed another shower.

I looked over to find the name of the company he was representing.  It had a high-tech logo with no distinctive name.  There was no tag line, no explanation of the product or service either visually or in writing.  Just a meaningless logo.  (I soon found out, and only because I had asked — it’s an IT service firm, designed to support small business owners who don’t have their own IT departments.  Hum, I thought.  Could be good for me.   Here’s how the conversation went:

“Hi, I’m Jim.”

“Hi, Jim, I’m Jackie.”

“Um, like, pretty groovy space we’re in, right?”

Suddenly a young woman appeared in my periphery.  She had a name card with a title on it that said, “Director of Marketing and Sales.”  She stood back and listened.

“What do you do for your company, Jim?”

“Oh, I work in the operations department.”

The sales and marketing maven stayed back there while I asked, “ So, Jim, what’s good about your company?”

“You know, like, we …” and he explained the company’s mission.

“Well, Jim, thanks for saying hello – maybe I’ll look on the web and see if your company can meet my needs.”  At that very moment, the Director of Sales and Marketing actually walked behind a desk and picked up her cell phone.

Egregious error #4 – TALKING TO YOUR PROSPECTS LIKE IT’S 1969 AND YOU’RE ALL HANGING OUT AT THE MONTEREY JAZZ FESTIVAL WAITING FOR A FREE PORT-A-POTTY.

Egregious error #5 – HAVING A LIMP HANDSHAKE; NO HANKIE TO DRY YOUR SWEATY PALM

Egregious error #6 – NOT HAVING A BRAND AS RECOGNIZABLE AS COCA-COLA WITHOUT A PROMINENT UNIQUE VALUE PROPOSITION OR TAG LINE THAT CATCHES THE ATTENTION OF PASSERS-BY

Egregious error #7 – LETTING YOUR OPERATIONS GUY MISRESPRESENT YOUR COMPANY WHILE THE DIRECTOR OF SALES AND MARKETING WATCHES THE DISASTER UNFOLD

By this point, I’d had enough. As I was walking out, a very friendly man came up to me and with a firm handshake and great eye-contact asked how I enjoyed the expo.  I thought this was refreshing and told him it was a great experience and asked what he did.  He said, “I’m a real estate broker but I also sell a nutritional product that can guarantee weight loss of up to 10 pounds in the first month.  It can also be a great source of income if you sell the product.”

I said, well good for you, why don’t you give me your card?”  He did.  It was for the real estate business.  He said, “It’s the only one I brought today.”  I took it and told him I help people become effective communicators, networkers, business pitchers and presenters and handed him my card.  We said goodbye.

In thinking that he could be a potential prospect for me, I went to his website, as listed on the card.  There was no such company and he was not anywhere to be found in a Google search.

Egregious error #8 –MAKING A STRANGER FEEL FAT WHILE ATTEMPTING TO ENGAGE HER IN A NETWORK MARKETING SCHEME

Egregious error #9 – GIVING AWAY A BUSINESS CARD OF THE THING YOU AREN’T PROMOTING THAT IS ALSO UNTRACEABLE AND UNVERIFIABLE.

Trade shows are great places to showcase your brand and business, and increase your network of prospects.  Being innovative and standing out from the others seems to be a huge challenge, but slacking on things that are so easily fixable can do a lot of damage.  I’d rather not generate business at all than create a negative first impression.

At trade shows, even bad press isn’t good press.

© Copyright, PointMaker Communications, Inc., 2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jackie Kellso and PointMaker Communications, Inc., with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.