Thursday, 12 November 2009

Don't forget to listen to the feedback

I've been really lucky this week to have had some positive feedback on some of the stuff that I've done and ,equally, some feedback where people didn't think I'd got something quite right. In one case someone said they wanted to tell me "as a friend".

I've got to be honest and tell you that I didn't take it well at first. I'm not that thick skinned and it felt like criticism. But I thought about it overnight and used what they had said to slightly change my approach with someone. The results were spectacular and they had proved themselves a real friend by telling me.

When you're in business for yourself it's too easy to believe that you're right and everyone else is wrong. If people aren't buying it's because they're not the right customers, you need bigger businesses, you're in the wrong network; if people aren't coming to your seminars it's because of 'the recession'. The hard truth is that I've had to learn is to listen to the people who give me feedback. Sometimes I don't like it but, if I want to take the business and my life forward, it's worth listening.

I've got any feedback about the blog - let me know @stefnet on Twitter.

Monday, 2 November 2009

I've posted on business forums, but nobody ever takes any notice

This was another 'business forums don't work for my business' conversation I've had in the last few weeks. Turns out someone posts ads but nobody ever reads them and by the end of the day, they've sunk to the bottom of the page.

I know I've said the same thing in different ways several times, but posting ads for your business, if that's all you post, simply will not work.

When I walk post the Post Office in the village, I'm aware that there are postcards on a board, advertising stuff for sale. And I'm also aware that there are ads on business forums. If an ad is posted by someone I know, I will take a look. If in an ad title, there is a service I really want that week, I'll take a look. Otherwise I won't bother, and I suspect most people are the same.

Take the time to make yourself an active member of the forum community, in whichever way suits you. People often tell me they're too busy to do so, just as I'm too busy to read ads from people I don't know, for services I'm probably not interested in.

Join up your communities, make sure your Twitter followers know when you've posted an ad on a forum, tell your Facebook friends about it too.

These days, with Sky+, I hardly ever watch the ads on telly, I suspect a lot of people are the same. People also switch off, unfollow, ignore and don't read, people who only ever post ads. Join in first, the rest will follow.

Sunday, 1 November 2009

What DON'T you like about business networking?

I guess because I've used business networking so much and, allegedly, so successfully, that I don't quite get it when other people claim that it won't work for them or that they just don't see the value in it enough to even try it.

So today, an open question. What don't you like about business networking? What is stopping you going to business networking meetings or, if you do attend, what is stopping you doing more of it? Do you feel you're getting enough value from the groups and meetings you attend and, if not, why not?

What would you like to see more of? Or less of? What would be the IDEAL business networking format for you?

I'm genuinely interested and in will help me to understand what else I can offer that might help. Comment on here, or @ me on Twitter - @stefnet

I don't have all the answers, but if there's anything you reckon you could do better at networking events, let me know that as well.

Have a good Sunday :-)