Keep These Strategies in Mind For Your Next Networking Event

Some people think that networking is a waste of time.

However, in actuality, research continues to show that careers and businesses are still being built and expanded as a result of professional relationships. People are continually hiring without posting job announcements widely (and sometimes are not posting job announcements at all), and people are still purchasing from business owners who they know, like, and trust. I honestly believe that one of my business coaching clients was able to more than 10x her revenues based on transforming her networking strategy through our coaching relationship, and I’ve definitely had career coaching clients who received their next opportunity as a result of the work we did to enhance their networking strategy.

Networking can provide you with a priceless opportunity to build relationships…if done well, and if not,… well, it can definitely feel like you’ve wasted gas and time that could have been spent doing something more productive.

Let me tell you why some of my clients and I have struggled with networking in the past, and then I’ll share a few strategies that can guide you towards maximizing the value of your time at your next networking event.

Here are some struggles that my clients and I have faced in networking that maybe you have experienced in the past:

  • Building great relationships at ongoing networking events, but not knowing how to transition those relationships to opportunities.
  • Spending too long speaking with someone where there is no feeling of connection, afraid to cut the conversation short.
  • Not speaking to anyone you don’t know at the networking event (It happens!).
  • Feeling out of place at a networking event, because the individuals there don’t connect to your career or business interests.
  • Attending a conference or other professional development opportunity in hopes of networking, and feeling like you’ve learned a lot, though you haven’t met very many people at all.

The list above has just a few networking “No Nos” and below, find some strategies to keep in mind to make your next networking event a “win” and not a “loss” for you:

  • Pre-Event Research – Should you attend?
    • Research the event, and find out if it’s truly a good fit for you to attend at all.
    • Ask yourself, “What are the top 3 most valuable results that I can get out of attending this event?”
    • Then ask yourself, “Why are those results so important to me?”
    • Most importantly, ask yourself, “How do I need to prepare to get those top 3 most valuable results?”
  • Pre-Event Research – Who will be at the networking event, and how will I connect with them?
    • If you can have a conversation with the event coordinator, do so before the event. Thank them for putting on the event, let them know you’re interested in attending the event, and also let them know that you want to make sure you take as much value as you can from attending. Ask about how many people might be attending the event, what industries they usually represent, what kinds of roles they usually have in those industries, if networking will be structured or unstructured, or any other kind of relevant question you might have. Prepare yourself emotionally to spend much of your time with individuals at the event that you don’t already know.
    • Then, research any specific individuals you know might be at the event that you want to meet. Develop a plan to connect with those specific individuals by the end of the event.
    • Prepare to arrive early and leave late. That’s when some of the most substantial relationships are made. This especially comes in handy at conferences or meetings where a lot of the content is structured. Arriving early and leaving late gives you much more time to go deeper in conversation with fellow attendees.
  • Strategize – Know how to start and end conversations.
    • Have a few conversation starters ready to avoid an awkward conversation. You can always ask someone where they’re from, where they work, why they came to the event, what they think about the event or other questions that are relevant. You can Google “networking conversation starters” and you’ll get some awesome ideas for how to start or carry on conversations.
    • If you’re not connecting very well with someone but have a limited time at the event to meet individuals, it might just be time to move on from that conversation. In that case, you may want to insert yourself and say something like, “I’m so sorry to interrupt, but I wanted to go over and say hello to someone, and I think they’re going to leave. It was really great meeting you.” Or you can make a statement that transitions well to a closing statement, such as, “How long do you think you’ll stay at the event this evening,” or “Do you have a busy week this week at work,” or anything that might be appropriate to say to lead into, “Well, it was really good meeting you. I hope you [enjoy the rest of the evening, or have a great time at this event, etc.]”
  • Strategize – Know how to transition conversations to results and opportunities.
    • If possible, you should definitely have a list of who you want to connect to when at the event. If you don’t have a specific list of who you want to connect with at an event, develop a specific number of people you’d like to connect to at the event. Then, develop a number of people you’d like to arrange a chat with outside of the networking event to get to know them more. If you can meet in person for coffee or lunch, that often works even better to build a substantial professional relationship.
    • If you’re looking for a job or looking for business, only transition to asking about those kinds of opportunities after you’ve developed a rapport with someone and feel like they have developed a positive impression of you.
    • If it’s appropriate, during a 1:1 conversation at the event or after the event, definitely ask the question, “Do you know who else I should speak to who [insert appropriate ask for advice or someone in a field you want to get into or a target market you want to connect with]?” This is how you can exponentially increase your network of relevant contacts, whether you’re asking about who else you should speak to at the event or who else you can connect to even beyond the event.

These are just a few substantial strategies that can work for individuals at all levels of career or business when it comes to truly maximize the value of your time networking. I hope they’re extremely helpful to you and anyone you might share this post with.

Definitely email me at daphne@daphnevalcin.com and let me know if you find the strategies above to be helpful!

Also, if you’re feeling like you could benefit from greater accountability and/or strategy when it comes to moving your career or business forward, definitely comment below or email me at daphne@daphnevalcin.com, so we can talk about how I can support you!

A Few of the Myths and Realities of Entrepreneurship (From My Perspective!)

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Entrepreneurship has been such a blessing to me, even as others still believe it always turns out badly.

Some believe that being an entrepreneur is the wrong move to make because:

  • You’ll mess up your credit score.
  • You won’t be able to make big purchases, like purchasing a home or car.
  • You won’t be able to afford health insurance.
  • You won’t be able to provide for your family.
  • You’ll waste the educational credentials that you spent so much time and energy getting.

I’ve actually found the opposite to be true for me. I’ve strived to be strategic, disciplined, and consistent throughout the 4 years that I’ve been a Leadership and Business Coach, and in full transparency:

✔ My credit score has remained consistently above 800.

✔ We have two homes and are looking to purchase our 3rd property by early next year. My over $40k in student loans is completely paid off.

✔ I’ve been able to afford health insurance or healthcare since I started my business.

✔ I work 20 – 25 hours a week, and had my revenues hit double my husband’s income this year. My two small children stay home with me even as I work with a nanny we’ve hired to watch them.

✔ I have two degrees, including one from an Ivy League University along with certifications in group facilitation and Life Coaching. I totally don’t think any of it was a waste of time, though I also believe we all have different educational paths and we all have value no matter what that educational path looked like. For me, the network and mastery I’ve gained through the schools I attended have added value to those I serve and has allowed me to serve many colleagues I’ve met while obtaining those degrees!

✔ And above all, though entrepreneurship has its challenges, I really and truly love what I do every day, I love my clients, and I’m truly blessed!

If you’re willing to be strategic, disciplined, and consistent, the sky is the limit for you personally, professionally, and entrepreneurially.

And I’m on a mission to share the wealth of knowledge I’ve gained with other entrepreneurs looking to thrive in 2019.

If you could use some help thriving (and not just surviving) as an entrepreneur, drop a comment down below or click on this link so we can set up a time to chat: https://calendly.com/daphnevalcin/discoverycall.

Please feel free to share this post with anyone you think might benefit from it.

Three ways to increase sales for new and repeat business

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One of the questions established business owners often ask themselves is, “What are small, but substantial tweaks that I can make to my sales process to increase sales?”

Here are a few strategies that might help! Let’s call them, “The Three R’s.” Once I started to implement these small strategies in my business more, I definitely noticed an increase in leads that converted to sales, whether those leads came from new or repeat business.

1) Recap

As soon as possible, and definitely within 24 hours after a sales call or sales meeting(if that time-frame is possible within your industry), send an email to recap what you spoke about in your sales conversation and include any estimate or proposal as well if you usually send that to prospects. I used to wait 1 or 2 weeks to send this recap email, because I didn’t prioritize it. Once I did prioritize it, my conversion rates skyrocketed! One of my Business Accountability Coaching clients also credited her revenues growing by 5x partly to drastically decreasing the amount of time it took her to provide quotes to her prospects. The psychology of sales is that people are more likely to take action when their interest and excitement about your product is at it’s highest–during or soon after a sales conversation. If you know that your product or service would truly be a blessing to your prospect, share that recap email with the prospect while your product or service is still a hot topic, even if you’ve already closed the sale within the sales conversation.

PRO TIP: If it’s possible, draft the email you’ll be sending the prospect after your sales call at some point before your sales call and schedule the time for when you’ll be sending your recap email before you have the sales conversation, so that recap email is definitely sent within 24 hours after the sales conversation. If you do in-person sales meetings, you can even complete and send your sales email before you even get home, stopping somewhere to work after you get just a few blocks away from the prospect (Do this especially if you feel like you get caught up in other priorities once you get home or to your office).

2) Resources

Every client acquisition phase is different, but you might be able to shorten the timeline of someone becoming your client to 3 months after you talk versus 7 months or to 1 year after you talk versus 3 years by sending that prospect resources that might be helpful for them from what you know about the prospect. Some examples of resources are:

  • a link to an event that might be of interest to them
  • connecting them to a contact that might be helpful for them
  • a book
  • an email, text, or call with a thought you had about a challenge they might be experiencing
  • “serve calls” instead of “sales calls” where you simply call to check in, see how things are going, and offer quick encouragement or advice

Your being in service to your prospects (including previous customers) will not only keep you top-of-mind for that individual for when they’re thinking about using your service, but also will keep you top-of-mind for prospective referrals they might send your way, and it’s an added benefit that you get to be a blessing to that individual in the process.

PRO TIP: The greatest business people know that people buy from who they trust, know, and like. Great customer service when you’re serving your clients also contributes to repeat business and referrals (and makes you an awesome social change agent if you’re like me, trying to make a positive impact on the world around you!).

3) Remembering

Find ways to remember those things that are significant to your prospect that they share with you. Think beyond birthdays to things that they mention are important to them like: weddings, baby births, graduations, trips, birthdays of those they love, big events happening in their business, and more. You can include content about a personal interest or anecdote from your conversation with the prospect in your recap email, but also reach out to your prospect long after your sales conversation to let them know that you’re thinking of them when it comes to the things they’ve mentioned to you are important to them. There have definitely been times when I have reached out to individuals with resources or to show them I’m thinking of them and in addition to showing genuine care for the individual, have also gained a client in the process. PRO TIP: You could even send something in the mail or via email that shows care, acknowledgment, encouragement, or thoughtfulness. Some simple yet meaningful examples of this are:

  • greeting cards
  • business card holder for a college graduate in their family
  • suitcase tag
  • flowers

I hope you see from above the trend of great sales strategies also allowing you to really be a blessing to your prospects whether they choose to work with you or not. Great business strategies are often also in alignment with simply being amazing to the people you serve.

So, go be amazing!

And definitely comment below to let me know if you think these strategies will be helpful to you and your business, and if you implement any of the above as a result of this post, let me know how it goes!

P.S. *If you’re looking for consistent accountability on the way to growing your client base, feel free to book a free 1-hour consultation and sample coaching call with me to learn more about how I can help: https://my.timetrade.com/book/Y3ZTR

 

Photo credit: Raw Pixel on Unsplash

VIDEO – Four Organizations with Free Tools to Help You Launch or Grow Your Business!

There are some organizations that I really wish that I had known about at the start of launching my business. Not only have these organizations played a significant role in helping people launch their businesses, but a number of these organizations have also played a part in helping businesses get to the 7-figure mark and beyond from my research.

The best part is, these organizations offer many of their resources for FREE!

And so I created a super short video to share these resources with you! 

You can also find out more information on the organizations I mention in the video at the sites below:

1) SCORE: A nonprofit supported by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) that provides free local mentors, e-mentors, resources, and templates

https://www.score.org/ 

2) SBDC (Small Business Development Centers): An organization funded in part by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) that provides aspiring and current small business owners with free consulting and low-cost training services

https://www. .gov/tools/local-assistance/sbdc

3) Apple Business Collection: A series of hands-on sessions for business owners and entrepreneurs to explore business tools and network with fellow colleagues

https://www.apple.com/today/collection/business-collection/

4) Facebook Community Boost: An event happening in major cities across the country featuring free business training and workshops for small businesses

https://www.facebook.com/business/m/community-boost

Please watch, like, and share this video with anyone you think this might be helpful for!

I truly hope that this video is a blessing to you!

Onwards and upwards!

My interview with Marie Denise Simmons on her “Creative Mindset” live show!

I had an amazing interview with Marie Denise Simmons of MD Simmons Productions on her live show, “Creative Mindset.” In it, I highlight a few of my motivations for the excellence I apply to my coaching practice including the spiritual foundations of my coaching practice, and I also tell part of my personal story that influences how I approach life in general!

Click on the image with the play button to watch the recording. I hope you enjoy it!

Coming soon – My 2nd child! + My latest business wins!

To all of my wonderful supporters and followers,

I just wanted to keep you in the loop that my 2nd child will be on the way over the next few weeks, and on top of that, I’m moving from Miami to West Palm Beach, FL towards the end of this month (I know–lots of changes)!!!And what a wonderful ride this pregnancy has been in regards to the blessings that have been happening in my business in the midst of my pregnancy.

Check out some of the business wins that I’ve experienced over the past 9 months:

1) I have increased my monthly revenues to twice as much as they were before Jasmine was born;

2) I have had up to 38 clients at one time, experiencing having a full load of clients for the first time in my business, where for the first time, I had to delay client start dates, pushing new client start dates to after I come back from maternity leave in June; and

3) I have been getting the most consistent, paid inquiries for speaking engagements that I’ve gotten in the life of my business, with paid speaking opportunities to fly out to North Carolina this month and another city in Central Florida next month along with a paid speaking engagement just two days prior to my due date (all that I had to turn down as a result of where I am in my pregnancy, but all that I am extremely grateful for receiving).

I also wanted to loop you in about a few upcoming changes as a result of my maternity leave and second child coming. While I’m committed to the same great work as your leadership and business empowerment specialist even in the midst of my transition, here are some changes that you can expect:

1) I’ll be on maternity leave from 4/30 through 6/16, so this might be one of the last emails you receive leading up to that timeframe until after 6/16;

2) I’ll be moving to hopefully distributing one email newsletter per month after maternity leave and posting Facebook Lives either once a month or once every other month, with my having greater responsibilities outside of work; and

3) I’ll be responding to emails, calls, and texts in a limited fashion during my maternity leave (but still feel free to reach out!).

 

I know that God is doing an awesome work in my life and business, even in the midst of challenges that might come my way, and I’m confident that he’s doing a great work in your life as well! 

Please send your prayers and thoughts my way as I prepare to move into this next wonderful phase of my life. 🙂

Onwards and upwards,

Your leadership and business empowerment specialist,
Daphne L. Valcin

VIDEO: Tips to determine if your next job or entrepreneurial opportunity is right for you – Why I turned down a million-dollar opportunity

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Here is the recording from the Facebook Live that I did a few weeks ago that has almost 1,000 views thus far on Facebook: “Why I Turned Down a Million Dollar Opportunity: A Few Tips to Determine Whether the Next Job or Entrepreneurial Opportunity is Right For You.” 

For those of you who prefer to read a bit of the content-rich detail of what I spoke about, here’s the basic outline of what I covered in this video:

I started out by speaking about the journey of a gentleman who happens to be a senior in age who I spoke to after a goal-setting workshop that I facilitated for him and a few other individuals. After the workshop, he shared with me the significance of him making the right decisions about what to prioritize as his life focus. He felt as if this was extremely critical with these possibly being the last years of his life. His story made me think about why we don’t all have the perspective of living our best lives now, especially since, whether we would like to admit it or not, none of us are guaranteed many years of life from this point forward (though I hope we all have an abundance of years moving forward!).

I then went on to give a few major tips on how to determine if your next job or entrepreneurial opportunity is right for you. Here are a few things I covered that we should all think about when it comes to our next opportunities:

1) What do you want from this season in your life?
More time with family?
More balance?
More of a focus on building wealth?/ Paying off debt?
More time?
Action: Write it down – What do you want and why in every area of your life? Does your dream or opportunity currently fit into these desires? 

2) What might others feel like they need from you in this season?
What might your spouse or family desire from you?
What is your child or husband’s love language, and are you able to fulfill that love language while pursuing a specific opportunity?
Do you have a sick parent or family member that you need to take care of while pursuing your next opportunity?
Is there debt that needs to be paid off in your family that you need to address as soon as possible?
Action: Talk to your loved ones before making huge decisions. Have your dream team on board to support you through your dream.

3) Is what you want entrepreneurship or a job?
Are you okay with uncertainty or do you need guaranteed profit?
Are you okay with experiencing failure on occasion that might impact your income or do you need definite additional income?
Action: If you desire to take risks with your next job or entrepreneurial opportunity, take risks at the best possible time. Maybe that means that you take the risk now while you have a full-time job, are single, or have guaranteed retirement. Maybe that time is in the future. If the time is now to take a risk, what will you do to start working towards making that dream happen?

4) Think about if an opportunity will truly make you happy doing the task that you’ll be doing, and if that happiness in doing your work truly matters to you (maybe profitability matters more to you when you explore your heart deeply).
Does happiness matter more than the profit you’ll be making in your next opportunity?
Did you find that you have a degree but are not choosing to do the thing that will bring you wealth? Maybe it’s because happiness in what you’re doing might matter more to you than profit.
If you’re currently in school, do you find that you’re not pursuing a major or degree of study that might not bring you wealth?
Answer the question: Might your happiness be more important than your wealth?
Action: Write down the experiences you’ve had that have truly made you happy. 

5) Think about if you’re honestly satisfied with the status quo (you just might be).
Is outside pressure or popularity forcing you to feel like you need to be wealthy?
Action: Pray, meditate, and determine what you want and why? What do you like about how things are going now? Do you honestly want to change?

After evaluating the above, you should have a number of strategies and tools to feel more confident that your next entrepreneurial or job opportunity is right for you!

If you thought this was helpful, definitely comment below, or as always, feel free to share this post with family and friends who might benefit from this as well!

She Paid Off $20,000 Of Debt In 5 Months

Do you know how it feels to pay off $20k of debt in 5 months? It feels absolutely amazing, and that is exactly what happened to one of my business coaching clients as a result of our coaching relationship. This client was just re-launching her business after our first coaching session. The other day, she texted me stating that she had paid down $20,000 of debt in just 5 months as a result of the work that we’re doing together. I was ecstatic!

So, I know what you’re thinking. What exactly does this have to do with me? Well, let me tell you that no matter if you’re coaching with me or not, that if you put in work towards your vision, if you’re super strategic about your approach, and if you persevere even when it’s not easy, that you might just experience the results you’ve been dreaming of, whether personally or professionally. For some people, those results come very quickly, and for others, it takes time, but research shows that perseverance and grit are the most common attributes of those who are successful. 

My client, who’s now on track for working towards paying off her house (that she recently bought), not only is always hungry for knowledge, but she has a huge focus on mastering her craft when it comes to the service that she provides. Both personally and professionally, she definitely has the perseverance and grit that research cites as being critical for success, and even when things aren’t going perfectly in life or business, she is honest with herself about what’s wrong and pushes forward towards a resolution to do better or be better. And you know what? You don’t have to be exactly like my client, but your character, values, and approach to hard work will be super important on your life’s journey. 

Practice daily the values that you know will get you to where you want to go in every area of your life, and prayerfully, you will see the fruit that produces over time!

I’m rooting for you!

As always, feel free to send me a quick note at daphne@daphnevalcin.com or comment below to let me know if anything I wrote here resonated with you, and of course, feel free to forward to family and friends that might benefit from this post as well.

Schedule “you” time and “dream” time this holiday season

Holiday vacation is right around the corner, and that means that my birthday just passed! It was December 2, and can I tell you, I had a blast, BUT I didn’t take enough time out to do things for me that day, and two weeks later, I’m still striving to make time to get a pedicure—something I do for myself just once or twice a year.

You see, I’m realizing that I need to schedule more “me” time into my calendar to be renewed and to fill my cup so that I can serve others from my overflow. For me, that means bike riding, making fresh tea, getting my nails done, full-blown dance sessions in the house, and watching the cooking channel occasionally among other things that make me feel refreshed. I’m guessing you might be able to use some more “me” time too.  I’m making a commitment to making more “me” time happen during the holiday season when things slow down a bit, and I’m hoping you make the same commitment. Why not go into 2018 feeling rested and relaxed? 

Alternatively, if you’re feeling behind when it comes to laying the foundation for any dreams you might have—whether it’s a course you’ve fallen behind on, a business plan you have yet to complete, or a project you’ve been procrastinating on, make some “dream” time happen for yourself during this holiday break as well. I created my business plan, concept paper, budget, and goals for one of my businesses during one holiday season, simply by being strategic with my time.

While you’re in the mode of serving others and reflecting on the reason for the season, go ahead and schedule in some “you” time and some “dream” time if either or both of those things are important to you. For some of my readers, this holiday break presents a rare opportunity to have a true break, which makes it even more important to maximize this time to feel refreshed after the break has ended. 

Whatever you decide to do with your time this season be intentional, be encouraged, be blessed, and be renewed. I’m sending many blessings your way this holiday season and beyond.

And remember, I believe in you!
If this post was helpful in any way, as always, definitely comment below or email me at daphne@daphnevalcin.com to let me know, and feel free to forward to family or friends who might benefit.

Photo by William Stitt on Unsplash