6 Keys to Good Networking

MP900382854Regardless of business endeavor, meeting people and making new acquaintances is an increasingly important job skill.  Good networking forges relationships that are mutually helpful and beneficial whether or not one is involved in market research, market planning, public relations, advertising, sales or any other related activity that involves meeting people and expanding business contacts.

Despite its obvious importance, it is often the least well-implemented tool in a marketer’s kit.  Reasons for that vary, but experts say many people simply find it difficult to meet strangers and “ask for the sale” – whether that be a referral, recommendation, direction – or the actual sale.

Numerous sales training professionals have programs and methods to help people develop better networking skills, and nearly all have some elements in common.  Here are six basic keys to better networking:

Be Precise & Have an Objective

Ask for the result you want.  Don’t leave it to chance that a contact is going to surmise your need – and willingly provide exactly what you need.  Of course you don’t ask for something that’s beyond what someone you’ve just met will provide, but ask yourself: “Why are you networking and what would you like to achieve?”

Keep it simple.  You’re meeting people for the first time, so keep it light but focused.  If you have a typical profile in mind – then seek it.  If there’s a particular company exec you would like to meet – then seek contacts who can facilitate that eventual meeting.

Determine Who Can Help

Who can help you with your objective?  Does the person have the ability to make the connection, or can he or she lead to someone who can?  Are they willing to do so?

A common mistake people make is to exceed the capacity of a new contact’s willingness to help – or “over-ask.”  So don’t.  Instead, get to know the person.  Ask questions about them, their interests, and if they know anyone else at the event.

Align Your “Ask” to Their Capability

If the person can’t directly lead you to your objective, determine what they CAN lead you to.  Remember you’re networking – so network.  A new contact might not be able to help you today – but perhaps they can tomorrow.

You should also be contacting regularly – and a person who might not be able to help you just might be in a position to assist someone you know, or vice-versa.  Networking is a 2-way street, so good networkers look for opportunities to help others.

Ask for What You Need

At this point, you’ve learned a little about them.  Now, find out about their needs.  Offer any suggestions and / or display a willingness to assist them.  Typically, people will respond in kind and ask how they might assist you.

If they don’t, let them know by offering the same kind of information they provided in response to your casual questions about their needs.

Be considerate

In an appropriate way, show appreciation for the effort or help a contact has provided.  This is dependent on your personal style and the level of support provided.  A simple email or phone call will often suffice – but whatever you do, be sincere.

Maintain the Connection

Contacts are valuable – so keep in touch with the people you meet.  Remember – you’re building a network.  Maintain contact through an occasional email, phone call, or get-together for coffee or lunch.  As hard as it often is to network and build contacts – make an effort to keep them.

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Claim the Premium Position

MP900398869 (1) 20 percentIncreased competition and consolidations among component manufacturers in the North American automotive replacement parts market have created an urgent need to maintain a market leadership position among customers.

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Once a company decides this is the proper direction for a brand, claiming the premium position should be backed up with all company communications to the market including advertising, marketing, public relations, sales force, web site, even business cards.  Once a brand has been established as the lead, it becomes difficult for other companies to dispute.

Claim your position today.

What’s Old is New – or “The More Things Change, the More They Stay the Same . . . “

j0438755 Today more than ever, marketers are overwhelmed by a wave of new techniques and things to make us faster, better, more responsive and more efficient.  Today’s buzzword is forgotten history tomorrow as we’re bombarded by a constant stream of “new.”  That’s a universal and timeless trend that in 2013 is on steroids because of the technology-driven speed at which it transitions.

While technologies change and our capabilities are enhanced – underlying fundamentals of marketing remain the same.  Consider today’s hot buzzword – “content.”

It’s one we feel very strongly about and whether it’s content marketing, branded content, email marketing, social media content marketing, digital content marketing, or something else – we think it’s a good thing, but like many “new” things – not really new.

Were one to listen to the pundits and numerous “digital agency experts” adept at naming things they’ve just realized, one would get the impression that the numerous content-related techniques and topics are distinct areas the savvy marketer must master in order to succeed.  Like many other things, that depends on perspective.

The universal truth about “content”

The main consideration for good content is no different than it was for Franklin and his printing press.  Quality writing that provides something of value to an audience is – or should be – the foundation of all marketing communications.  Strip away the various adjectives dropped in front of the word “content,” and the core should be well-crafted and engaging, with a message that’s articulate, clear and matched to its intended audience.  That’s as old as written language but something many either forgot or never learned as they worked to master technologies and new software.

The message and it relevance to the intended audience is the key to effectiveness.  The idea is to articulately make a case that resonates with readers, viewers and listeners.  The means of delivery: email, direct outreach, eNewsletter, blog entry, Facebook page or all of the above — is an important element, but secondary.  Delivery vehicles enhance receptiveness, but message carries the day.

Just as traditional marketers need to adapt to the digital landscape in order to reach audiences; many new marketers need to value and deliver a quality message that’s of interest in order to engage their audience and be effective.  A wonderfully crafted message in the wrong medium is the same as a poor content sent to someone who opted-in to your data base: both are discarded.

On the other hand, a single well-produced article can have as much of an impact as dozens of keyword optimized back-page articles or hundreds of poorly targeted eBlasts.  Getting your message in front of a decision-maker or landing a thought-provoking, branded piece on the front page of a key publication can be time-consuming, but the exposure and credibility are worth the effort.

So, while many of today’s marketing buzzwords are new, incorporate a technical term and can be confusing, the reality is that the fundamentals remain the same.  “Digital content” still depends on writing quality, targeted message, clarity and an articulate discussion for success.  These fundamentals are too-often forgotten or overlooked in our race to embrace the latest technique – and present opportunity.  Savvy marketers who differentiate their efforts through quality writing will break through the cacophony of online marketing communications – and connect with their audiences!

Updated P2R Associates Web Site Coming Soon

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We’re busy designing and developing a new web site to better serve our customers. Look for exciting new “Marketing Toolbox” items like:

  • P2R webVids Web-Enhanced Videos
  • Mobile App Design & Development
  • Web Site Design & Development
  • And more . . .

We look forward to working with you soon.  If you can’t wait, contact us today at: info@p2rassociates.com or call us at 1-248-348-2464.

Changes Coming to P2R Marketing Outreach

What’s New @P2R Associates?

We’re both streamlining and expanding our marketing structure to better serve our clients . .

  • Redesigning our P2R web site
  • Redesigning the P2R Perspectives Newsletter and expanding our industry sector newsletters to include: Aerospace & Defense, Non-Profit, Economic Development and Automotive Aftermarket.  All will be available as a subscription e-blast or downloaded from the new P2R web site.
  • Launching P2R web-optimized video production capability
  • Launching P2R mobile app development capability

P2R won six more marketing industry awards in 2012, including awards for:

  • Print advertising
  • Company launch communication planning
  • Radio advertising campaign
  • Special event planning and implementation
  • Media relations (2)

What have you done in 2013? Let P2R Associates help you to Evaluate / Engage / Empower your company to greater heights.

Why should companies add video to their existing marketing toolbox?

Short, concise videos designed and optimized to support a company’s on-line  activities are easily combined with traditional PR tools such as press releases and presentations.  Videos add immediacy and impact to otherwise static information.

Multiple uses for videos:

  • marketing
  • eBlasts
  • updates
  • web / micro sites
  • tech sheets
  • announcements

 Multiple reasons for videos:

  • People like to watch videos
  • Videos get to the point
  • Videos are cheap
  • Google loves videos

The use of online video is exploding as a medium for businesses to market and share their products and services.  Videos with compelling content can help businesses to build brand trust and effectively spread their products and messages.

http://www.p2rassociates.com/video

 

 

Our Man in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia – Headed Home

Ron Peterson, P2R Account Director and published author, has embarked on a trip of a lifetime. Ron was a Peace Corps. volunteer more than 30 years ago assigned to assist in Peace Corps support efforts in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

This is an official “reunion-type” trip sponsored by the Peace Corps and the Ethiopian government. Ron left on his journey on September 22 and will be in Addis and other cities through October 8. He is the author of A Time to . . . A Baby Boomer’s Spiritual Adventures.

P2R will be posting his updates to this blog as we receive them.

Our Man in Ethiopia – Oct. 7

Hi:

My flight back to the USA is tonight, after flying into Addis from Dire Dawa and having a farewell dinner with the Peace Corps group along with Alemu and his wife Maletu. It will be an emotional time because we may not ever return to Ethiopia again. It would be nice if the water project Alemu and I will be proposing materializes because it could mean another return visit for me. I will also be contacting the foreign ministry and the Ethiopian embassy in Washington DC  to followup on my conversation about promoting Ethiopia in the States to encourage investment and tourism.

Ethiopia has experience explosive development in the past 10 years and appears to be ready for more in the coming decade. It is a different country than the one I left 37 years ago in many ways: development, population, education, standard of living, business and politically. All of it good.

The highlights of my time in Harrar and Dire Dawa include visiting the museum that was the home where Haile Selassie grew up, the house of the French Poet Arthur Rimbaud, the feed of the hyena’s, the amazing rock formations outside of Harrar, the baboons and camels feeding among the rock formations, and the old train station in Dire Dawa built by the French in 1902.

I have so much to share and will do so by producing a video of all the places I visited which will show so much.

I fly into Detroit tomorrow (Monday) at about 2 p.m. local time and will probably take a nap to recuperate from the long flight.

Ron

Our Man in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

 

 

 

Ron Peterson, P2R Account Director and published author, has embarked on a trip of a lifetime. Ron was a Peace Corps. volunteer more than 30 years ago assigned to assist in Peace Corps support efforts in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

This is an official “reunion-type” trip sponsored by the Peace Corps and the Ethiopian government. Ron left on his journey on September 22 and will be in Addis and other cities through October 8. He is the author of A Time to . . . A Baby Boomer’s Spiritual Adventures.

P2R will be posting his updates to this blog as we receive them.

Our Man in Ethiopia – Oct. 4

Hi:

The stone-carved churches of Lalibela (“Honey  Eater”) were spectacular. There are 12 of them, in two groups, connected by underground tunnels. A few of them stand close to 100 feet tall. I have great video of them, including a worship service with scores of priests chanting and hundreds of people attending. In the northern region of Ethiopia there are about 120 stone-carved churches that date back between 600-800 years old.

We also traveled to a 1,000-year-old church and small palace that were built-in a large cave in the side of a mountain. The remains of more than 5,000 pilgrims, from as far away as Yemen and The Sudan, lay in a pile in the rear of the cave. Many of them starved themselves to death after being blessed by the king/head priest.

These churches are all located in the SemienMountains, which must be seen to be believed with their high peaks and lush landscapes of rolling hills and valleys. I have great video of them.

Yesterday in Axum, the first Ethiopian kingdom some 3,000 years ago and home of The Queen of Sheba, we toured the remains of her palace, saw the tallest obelisk in the world at about 30 meters, stood outside the church which houses the Ark of the Covenant and visited inside the new, large circular church Haile Selassie built to serve the area.

It is hard to put into words how all these places inspire one regarding the power of faith in the lives of Ethiopians. I have also purchased a book with photos to learn more about these churches.

I will leave soon for dinner with |Alemu and his family and will take video of the traditional dancing and music that the restaurant provides.

Tomorrow, I’m off to Dire Dawa and Harar to see more of Ethiopia’s historic places.

Ron

Our Man in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Ron Peterson, P2R Account Director and published author, has embarked on a trip of a lifetime. Ron was a Peace Corps. volunteer more than 30 years ago assigned to assist in Peace Corps support efforts in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

This is an official “reunion-type” trip sponsored by the Peace Corps and the Ethiopian government. Ron left on his journey on September 22 and will be in Addis and other cities through October 8. He is the author of A Time to . . . A Baby Boomer’s Spiritual Adventures.

P2R will be posting his updates to this blog as we receive them.

Our Man in Ethiopia – Oct. 1

Hi:

We’re in Lalibela this morning after leaving on a plane for a 30-minute flight from Gondar. On the flight, I sat next to a 32-year-old Ethiopian shopkeeper who was on his way to visit a sick relative in Axum, where we will be flying to on Wednesday. He was giving me lessons in Amharic to help expand my vocabulary. We had a good time chatting.

Gondar was great. We spent most of the day visiting the castles of the Ethiopians kings and their families that were completed in 1682 and occupied by the royal family for about 200 years. The 5 castles are side-by-side in a compound. I took lots of video, including a wedding ceremony of an Ethiopian couple who were dressed in western clothes. As we watched, a musician played the traditional Ethiopian, one-string guitar, and a woman danced a traditional dance. She invited several of our group, including me to dance with her. The dancing was primarily a matter shaking one’s arms and shoulders to the rhythm of the music while she sang. I hope to get a still photo of me from one of the group. I was also pulled into a group dance of Ethiopian women at the restaurant where we ate last night. I was exhausted after that and ready for bed.

Gondar was the capitol city of Ethiopia for many years and is now a regional capitol. It has many new, tall buildings, with many more under construction. It is undergoing great growth.

We also visited a church with many famous paintings that fill the walls and ceilings. I took lots of video of the church and the castles.

Today we visit some of Lalibela’s churches which were carved out of solid stone about 900 years ago. They will be great to see. Tomorrow we will see more of the same.

The weather is sunny and about 70 degrees.

As you can see, Internet is available just about everywhere we’ve been.

Bye for now.

Ron

Our Man in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Ron Peterson, P2R Account Director and published author, has embarked on a trip of a lifetime. Ron was a Peace Corps. volunteer more than 30 years ago assigned to assist in Peace Corps support efforts in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

This is an official “reunion-type” trip sponsored by the Peace Corps and the Ethiopian government. Ron left on his journey on September 22 and will be in Addis and other cities through October 8. He is the author of A Time to . . . A Baby Boomer’s Spiritual Adventures.

P2R will be posting his updates to this blog as we receive them.

Our Man in Ethiopia – Sept. 29

Hi: 

We were on the road for 14 hours yesterday back to Addis so I had no time to email. Other than the long trip it was a good ride with lots of good conversation among the 10 people in the minibus and beautiful scenery that I captured on video. When we arrived at Alemu’s home at 10 pm, his wife, Maletu (“Rising Sun”) had dinner waiting and his daughter Andenet (“Unity”) had some pastry she bought for me because she knew I liked it. She told us about the 5-minute radio report discussing Alemu’s reunion with me and the Peace Corps 50th anniversary. We have become famous. Alemu also had a great idea about the two of us proposing a water project at the school where we met and we will be begin thinking about how we can make this happen. 

Alemu and I were up early (4:30 am) today to be picked up for my ride to the airport for my 9-day historic tour of the northern cities: Baher Dar, Gondar, Lalibella, Axum. I’m about to go to bed now after spending the day at the Blue Nile falls and on Lake Tana to visit a 16-century church on one of its islands. Words are hard to find to express the beauty of both the Blue Nile falls and its surrounding area. It’s a good thing that I caputured it all on video. It was a hike up a small mountain to get there but a most memorable experience. 

The boat ride on Lake Tana was peaceful and the walk up the mountain trail to the church was a little hike. I bought a few things to remember both places. 

Our hotel rooms here in Baher Dar make up for the ones in Nekemte, which were subpar because of the plumbing problems.   The rooms are new and beautiful with great amenities like a multihead shower (with hot water) and an in-shower radio. 

We’re up early tomorrow for a 3-hour drive to Gondar where we will visit the ancient castles of the old kings. 

I hope you are all well and will report again tomorrow if I can. 

Ron