Credibility: Your Most Important Ability


Do You Have Credibility with Your Network?

You may have many skills and abilities, but if your credibility suffers or you have no credibility: you have a problem! If your credibility is called into question people will not hire you, will not refer you and will do all they can to avoid you.

Your Credibility Is Key to Successful Networking

Whether you are meeting someone face-to-face, through a Social Network or on-line using Skype or Google+; you must be able to quickly begin establishing your credibility. If your new connection doesn’t see you as credible the relationship doesn’t have the necessary foundation to blossom.

Face-To-Face Meetings

If you are meeting face-to-face; you may be able to create credibility by simply being a good listener. Many people like to talk and being a good or great listener can get you far along the path of credibility. Of course, you may leave the conversation with a not-so-great impression of the other person; but you have done your part to sell yourself and that is important!

Meeting Through Social Networking

When you are meeting someone through social networking the content of your profile must carry the load for you and allow people to draw a positive conclusion about who you are and your values. Your profile must establish your credibility!

Your credibility is established with your headline, picture and summary. Your credibility is enhanced by the completeness of your experience, education, skills, interests, recommendations (given and received) and skills.

An incomplete or sketchy profile leaves questions in the mind of the person viewing your profile. Depending upon the reason for the visit a poor profile may cause them to leave and never return. Are you prepared to run the risk?

I have read many profiles where the intent appears to be convincing the reader of the profile owner’s credibility; that’s the wrong way to go about it! You can’t tell people about your credibility; you need to show actions which allow people to come to their own conclusions either on their own or with input from others; if you are depending upon your ability to convince them… Good Luck!

Meeting On-Line

When you are meeting on-line you must be prepared and present yourself properly; again this is your chance to make a great first impression and start establishing your credibility. This is not the time to be in sweats, curlers, pajamas or anything other than business casual to professional attire.

If you are meeting on-line, you also need to ensure all of your technology is working properly and you know how to use it correctly. This is not the time to be learning. I’m speaking somewhat from experience. I was doing an on-line meeting and I wasn’t prepared; fortunately it wasn’t our first meeting so I had been able to build some credibility; it suffered a little from the fiasco, but I was able to eventually recover. These are mistakes you don’t need; especially with a new contact.

Your Focus Must Be on Building Your Credibility and Success Will Follow

When you have credibility you can often overcome missing skills, experience, education and other characteristics. Having all the characteristics, skills, experience and education, however, cannot overcome a lack of credibility!

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The Six Networking Fears You Must Overcome


Facing Your Fear of Networking

Even though we have been introducing ourselves to new people since our early years; many people are more hesitant now, than they were as a child, to meet someone new. The fear associated with networking is almost as debilitating as the fear of speaking in public. And public speaking is another skill we have been perfecting since we were very young. We speak in public every day and we meet new people every day; speaking and networking are natural processes!

The Six Networking Fears

  1. I don’t want them to say no;
  2. What will they expect from me;
  3. What will they think of me;
  4. I don’t have time for the people I currently know;
  5. I’ve seen a lot of pushy people and I don’t want people to think of me that way; and
  6. It’s too cold and impersonal.

I Don’t Want Them to Say No

The fear of rejection is very strong for a lot of people; enough of a fear they will avoid the situation where someone can say no. The better way to think of this is if someone does say no; you really haven’t lost anything because you didn’t have it in the first place.

There are two options either you gain a new connection or you stay in the same place. It’s not a situation where you can go backwards!

What Will They Expect from Me?

This is a great question if you look at networking as a score card. Some people are truly in it for themselves and they are constantly looking for a payback. They give nothing if they do not believe they will be receiving in return. These are not the people you want in your network. Not that you will throw them out, but you won’t spend time nurturing the relationship. You want to spend your time on those who are worthy of your time.

True networking is from the heart and works out of a desire to be helpful to others.

What Will They Think of Me?

The first question is why are you looking to connect with the individual? Are you networking or begging? If you are going to your potential connection with your hand out looking for them to give you something; it will definitely leave a bad taste in their mouth. On the other hand if you are going with a sincere desire to network and interest in the individual; you will be fine.

The simple act of reaching out to connect isn’t going to cause alarm; it’s the intent behind your desires which have the potential to create problems. If you are honest, sincere, caring and genuine; you will have no problem with people thinking poorly of you.

I Don’t Have Time for the People I Currently Know

Our friendships and relationships are constantly evolving. Friends come and friends go; taking the position you don’t have time for new relationships is opportunity limiting. When we keep our circle of friends small or filter out the new relationships; we will only see what we already know. We need the influx of new people to precipitate an influx of new ideas.

I’ve Seen a Lot of Pushy People and I Don’t Want People to Think of Me That Way

Networking doesn’t mean you are trying to force yourself on someone. You’re not trying to be a stalker. There are a lot of pushy, overbearing people out there; however, that doesn’t mean you need to be one of them.

If you are attempting to connect with someone who believes networkers are pushy and overbearing you should be looking for other networking opportunities; chances are high this individual doesn’t have much to offer anyway.

It’s Too Cold and Impersonal

Cold and impersonal describes the person who is out for his or her self. This is the person who starts a discussion, does a quick qualify and, if you don’t measure up, moves on to the next target. I have heard numerous stories like this describing the entertainment industry in Southern California.

Cold and impersonal is a very self-absorbed group who feel you should be honored they gave you a few moments of their time.

If you are sincere in your interest in the individual you are attempting to gain as a connection; you will not be described as cold and impersonal by your connections.

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Remind Me Please; Why Did You Send Me an Invitation on LinkedIn?


Have You Ever Asked Yourself This Question: Why Did This Person Send Me an Invitation on LinkedIn?

Don’t get me wrong I enjoy receiving invitations and connecting on LinkedIn. Most of the time, however, the invitations are disappointing.

When I open the invitation I find the person sending the invitation made no effort to begin a relationship! Most people do not invest the few minutes necessary to actually write a personalized invitation that may open the door to a possible relationship.

Your custom invitation doesn’t need to be elaborate, it should simply give the recipient an idea as to why you want to connect. In fact it can’t be elaborate; you only have 300 characters available so you must be brief, but you can do better than LinkedIn’s default invitation.

Six Reasons Why You Should Customize Your Invitations

  1. To increase the chances your invitation will be accepted and acknowledged;
  2. To begin establishing your credibility and character;
  3. To open a communication channel to the individual;
  4. To show you are more than a numbers person trying to get as many connections as possible;
  5. To start a potential long-term friendship; and
  6. To show you are a member of the top 1% of networkers.

Different Situations Require Different Custom Invitations

Custom invitations are not a one-size fits all solution. Depending upon the situation you need an invitation that makes sense, is relevant to the situation and the individual you are inviting.

You can’t send an invitation saying it is “Great to Reconnect” to a current co-worker or someone you recently met. You will look like an idiot and decrease rather than enhance your credibility.

Some things you can use in your invite:

  1. A reminder of where you met;
  2. A little about the discussion;
  3. A reference to someone you know in common;
  4. A reminder of who you are;
  5. A statement of why you want to connect (don’t be asking for something); or
  6. An edifying, but honest, statement saying why you admire the individual and want to connect.

You can also reach out with an initial message, if the option is offered, or use “LinkedIn InMail”.

How to Customize an Invite

To customize your invitation you must invite from the person’s profile page by clicking connect. I have found some of the other connect buttons will simply send off an invite without the opportunity to customize. Personally I have found the best solution is to work from the profile page to be safe.

When the default invitation comes up; delete the LinkedIn suggestion and start typing your own invitation, thank the person for their consideration and put in your signature. Remember this is all part of your 300 characters even the dash LinkedIn inserts in front of your name.

Do you need some great resources to help your networking? Check out my Amazon Networking Reading List!

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Why You Want to Add the Most Connected People on LinkedIn… to Your Network


Why You Want to Add the Most Connected People on LinkedIn to Your Network

Have you seen those people on LinkedIn bragging about their 20 or 30 THOUSAND connections? Is it a little off-putting and lead you so say so what? We all know there is no way they can know or stay in touch with all these people so what’s the value?

Depending upon what they do there is value to them; but there is also value to you; but only if you are connected!

Grow Your Network Value 1 – Millions of Connections

We can say all we want about these massive connectors and how they can’t do this and they can’t do that; but there is something they can do, which may have massive value to you. They are connectors and because they have 20 or 30 THOUSAND connections; connecting to them will bring 20 or 30 THOUSAND people one degree of separation away from you. It will also bring millions of people just two degrees of separation from you. Do you know of any other way you can get one or two degrees of separation away from millions people?

Grow Your Network Value 2 – Millions of Current Addresses and Contact Information

Have you ever bought a mailing list? If so, you know there can be issues with the accuracy and how current the information. On LinkedIn your connections are responsible for keeping their information current. With mailing lists you are depending upon some organization, which is periodically surveying the people on the list, to get updates. Which do you feel is more reliable?

Grow Your Network Value 3 – Increase the Number of Times You Show Up in Search Results

Although I’m not necessarily big on SEO with LinkedIn; I feel it is important to identify the importance of a large network if you are hoping for SEO results.

I see many “LinkedIn experts” constantly talking about SEO and showing results of how tweaking your profile can improve your search result. I don’t disagree, but when they take these results and try to project them to massive results; I take issue. You can only show up in the search results when it is a first, second or third level connection or someone who is a member of one of your groups. If you have a small network you can spend an eternity improving your search terms, but it won’t make much difference; you will still get limited exposure.

Grow Your Network Value 4 – A Simple Acknowledgement of One of Your Posts or Comments Can Go to Thousands and Potentially Millions

Massively connected people have some or in cases a lot of influence over their networks. It’s like the E.F. Hutton commercials; when the person on TV says, “My Broker is E.F. Hutton and …” Everyone in the picture stops and leans in and then the voice over comes on and says, “when E.F. Hutton talks, everyone listens.” Some of these massively connected individuals have that kind of sway with their audience and it can work to your advantage if your message is GREAT!

Grow Your Network Value 5 – You Can Put Yourself in Front of this Person’s Connections… Frequently!

Would you like to be in front of Brian Tracy’s, Mark Victor Hansen’s, Jack Canfield’s, Les Brown’s, Robert Allen’s, or some celebrity’s audience on a regular basis; it’s possible with LinkedIn and all that’s required is their accepting your LinkedIn invite which, by the way, is not that difficult to get.

Once connected you can get in front of their audience through recommendations, your endorsements of their skills, comments and likes of their posts, birthday wishes, congratulatory notes, etc. The possibilities are endless and the opportunities are great.

Massively connected people can bring you massive exposure. If you have a GREAT message and you can get the attention of a massively connected individual you have the potential to reach a massive audience with their implied endorsement. There is more power in these individuals than any mailing list. Build your network with well connected people and see your sphere of influence grow!

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My name is Tom Staskiewicz and my goal is to help everyone do a little better, get a little further and reach the success they are destined to achieve!

Do you need help with your message? Are you struggling for people to know you and what you have to offer? If so, I can help. My contact information is below or Email  Me Now! and lets get started.

Whatever I can do to help you or anyone to move forward in reaching your goals; I’m all for it. Connect with me on LinkedIn, Like me on Facebook or follow me on Twitter.

Check out the UPPROACH site and sign up for our newsletter of career tips and ideas for job seekers, small and medium business owners, self-employed individuals, contractors, consultants or whatever; anyone wanting to move their career forward!

How to Be a Great Networker and Stay Top-O-Mind


How to Be a Great Networker and Stay Top-O-Mind

The other day I made a profile change adding a current project. It showed up in the news feed of over 1500 people; yet, only 4 people made a comment or clicked “Like”. My issue isn’t wanting more attention. The issue is are you an effective networker. LinkedIn provides you many opportunities, which take a minimal amount of time, to acknowledge members of your network. Don’t miss out on those occasions!

Be Part of the .3%

Have you ever wondered what it takes to stand out with your network? The simple answer is paying attention! The four individuals who responded are .3% (that’s 3 tenths of a %); 99.7% of my network paid no attention!

You want to be part of the .3%; not the neglectful 99.7% and you can stay Top-O-Mind.

Nightly Notices from LinkedIn

These individuals knew I had changed my profile because LinkedIn told them in their nightly update! The update sent directly to your primary email address. It is so easy to be a more effective networker and acknowledge your contacts. Take a chance!

You can be Top-O-Mind with your network and your contacts provide you the opportunity every time they do something on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, or any other Social Media Platform. All you must do is be in tune for the opportunities to acknowledge and stay Top-O-Mind.

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My name is Tom Staskiewicz and my goal is to help everyone do a little better, get a little further and reach the success they are destined to achieve!

Do you need help with your message? Are you struggling for people to know you and what you have to offer? If so, I can help. My contact information is below or Email  Me Now! and lets get started.

Whatever I can do to help you or anyone to move forward in reaching your goals; I’m all for it. Connect with me on LinkedIn, Like me on Facebook or follow me on Twitter.

Check out the UPPROACH site and sign up for our newsletter of career tips and ideas for job seekers, small and medium business owners, self-employed individuals, contractors, consultants or whatever; anyone wanting to move their career forward!

Neglect Is Your Ally!


Neglect Is Your Ally!

Last night I was watching the movie “Monte Christo” and this quote “Neglect is your ally” resonated with me.

  • Does the statement resonate with you?
  • Does it give you any ideas?
  • When is neglect your ally?
  • Is neglect ever your enemy?

When your competitor neglects his customer; his neglect is your ally. However, only if you have prepared the way.

Note: To get the record straight; I am talking about honest and legal activities: nothing illegal or immoral. Don’t go reading between the lines, because nothing is there!

The Context of the Quote

In the movie Edmund Dantes is talking to the old Priest about their prison escape plans when the Priest says, “Neglect is your Ally”. His reference was to the fact only twice each day did the guards come around: breakfast and dinner. The rest of the time the prisoners were left to themselves to do whatever they wanted. In this case what the Priest and, eventually Dantes, wanted was to dig a tunnel to freedom.

Are You Prepared for Neglect to Be Your Ally?

What is the tunnel you want to dig in your life? Where do you want to go? What do you want to do where neglect by another will work to your advantage?

Of course, my reference is to your competitors. When your competitors are neglecting their customers and prospects; it is time for you to act. Your competitors’ neglect can work to your advantage if you are prepared.

Do you have a prospect you want as a customer? Are you prepared for the time when the competitor servicing this prospect fails and you have an opportunity to step in?

Does the prospect know you exist and the services you provide? If not, you won’t be Top-O-Mind when the opportunity arises and you may never know the chance you missed.

Larry’s Story

My friend, Larry, manages a local auto supply store. One day he received a call for a part. Larry didn’t have the part in his store, but he knew the caller and wanted his business.

Larry knew where he could quickly get the part! He told the caller he didn’t have the part but he could have it within a couple of hours. The caller asked where Larry would get the part.

Larry answered and the caller said he had already called the competitor, but they couldn’t meet his schedule: they didn’t have a delivery driver available. Larry said that’s fine I will go pick it up and bring it to you and sell it for the same price.

Larry’s competitor was neglecting his customer and Larry was literally ready to pick up the pieces. He was prepared! Would you be prepared?

What are you doing to stay Top-O-Mind with your prospect?

Are You Allowing Neglect to be Your Enemy?

Conversely what are you doing to ensure you are not guilty of neglect with your customers? Do you take your customers for granted?

We have all heard the old adage it is easier and cheaper to keep a customer than get a new customer. What are you doing to ensure you are keeping your customers happy and to stay Top-O-Mind when they need your products and services?

What are your competitors doing in their attempts to stay Top-O-Mind with your customers when your neglect becomes your enemy and your competitor’s opportunity? You must be ever vigilant about knowing what your competitors are doing!

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My name is Tom Staskiewicz and my goal is to help everyone do a little better, get a little further and reach the success they are destined to achieve!

Do you need help with your message? Are you struggling for people to know you and what you have to offer? If so, I can help. My contact information is below or Email  Me Now! and lets get started.

Whatever I can do to help you or anyone to move forward in reaching your goals; I’m all for it. Connect with me on LinkedIn, Like me on Facebook or follow me on Twitter.

Check out the UPPROACH site and sign up for our newsletter of career tips and ideas for job seekers, small and medium business owners, self-employed individuals, contractors, consultants or whatever; anyone wanting to move their career forward!

Can YOUR Network Get You Where You Want To Go?


Can YOUR Network Get You Where You Want To Go?

YOU CAN GET ANYTHING IN LIFE YOU WANT… IF YOU HELP ENOUGH OTHER PEOPLE GET WHAT THEY WANT!.
… Zig Ziglar

We all have goals. We all want to go or get somewhere? A very few can do it on their own: the majority cannot… they need help!

Help starts with your network. The members of your network can open doors for you and, likewise, you can open doors for them. However, this only works if you have the “right” members, are a participant and you know about the members of your network; and last but most important your network members know about you.

Building the “Right” Network: a Quality Network

Successful networking requires you have the “right” members in your network. The “right” members are those you can help and those who can help you. This is what I refer to as a quality network.

What do I mean by a quality network? I define it as one which offers an equitable value exchange and is comprised of members capable of helping each other. The help can take various forms including information, perspective, guidance and connections. For the purpose of this post I am focusing on connections.

The Importance of Knowing the People in Your Network

For example I recently found someone on LinkedIn I wanted to connect with to discuss career opportunities. This was a second level connection of mine; meaning someone in my network was directly connected to my target. I contacted Ed, the mutual connection, to learn whether he knew my target. It turns out Ed knows the target very well and is happy to make the introduction.

As I talked about my interest in this connection; I also asked Ed about his new business.

Connecting the Dots…

In the process, I realized Ed was working in a similar world with my friend Jake. As I connected the dots it makes sense for Ed to meet Jake to better understand markets, but also to see what synergy exists. From Jake’s perspective his company is always looking for acquisitions which compliment and grow their business; maybe there is an opportunity for the two businesses. I don’t know; I’m just the connector starting the process to see what might develop.

Does this introduction add anything to me; not necessarily, but Ed and Jake may look more favorably upon me as a result and in the future that may be valuable.

This story is an example of a network which can help you get to where you want to go when you have the “right” members. You need to take a critical look at your network to determine whether you have enough knowledge to know what your network offers and whether it can get you to your desired goal. If you don’t know what, if anything, it offers; it’s time to figure it out!

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My name is Tom Staskiewicz and my goal is to help everyone do a little better, get a little further and reach the success they are destined to achieve!

Do you need help with your message? Are you struggling for people to know you and what you have to offer? If so, I can help. My contact information is below or Email  Me Now! and lets get started.

Whatever I can do to help you or anyone to move forward in reaching your goals; I’m all for it. Connect with me on LinkedIn, Like me on Facebook or follow me on Twitter.

Check out our career site and sign up for our newsletter of career tips and ideas for job seekers, small and medium business owners, self-employed individuals, contractors, consultants or whatever; anyone wanting to move their career forward!