Are You Top-O-Mind with Your Customers, Clients and Contacts?


Are You Top-O-Mind with Your Customers, Clients and Contacts?

There is no question a great profile is important; we hear it all the time. And while this is true; it’s simply not enough!

In addition to the great profile, website, Facebook Page or other landing site; you want to be Top-O-Mind! You want your contacts thinking about you when they need the services or skills you offer for themselves or for opportunities they learn or hear about. You want to be the first person or organization to come to mind. If you are not Top-O-Mind; you have work to do!

Why Top-O-Mind Is Important

Chances are there are new people requiring your skill set or services every day and your contacts know of the need; but can they connect the dots? The question is do you come to mind when they hear of these opportunities? If not you are not doing YOUR job! You must have a presence reminding your contacts who you are, what you do and the skills or products you offer; if you don’t the opportunities will pass you by!

Top-O-Mind is the process of establishing your brand. Was William Colgate always the leader in toothpaste? No, first he had to establish his company. He had to build the brand. You must do the same thing; you must build your brand or your company’s brand.

Becoming Top-O-Mind

To become Top-O-Mind your contacts must know you. It’s not who you know or how many you know; it’s all about Who Knows You! When your connections know you, what you have to offer and some of your story of achievement; they can connect the dots from opportunities back to you. If you haven’t taken the time to tell them about you and what you have to offer; they cannot help.

Becoming Top-O-Mind means you are educating your contacts. You are frequently providing insights into

  • Who you are;
  • your capabilities;
  • Your skills;
  • your products or services;
  • your reliability;
  • your perseverance;
  • your organizational skills;
  • Your values;
  • Your interests;
  • etc.

As you describe each of these characteristics use examples through short stories of what you accomplished or the benefits provided.

How to Find Out if You Are Top-O-Mind

Are you Top-O-Mind? As you position yourself you must be able to measure where you are now and know where you want to go. If you can’t measure you will never know how far you have to go or when you reach your objective. Peter Drucker told us time and again; the ability to measure is the key indicator of the success of your activities.

The way to find out is to ask! Ask some of your contacts (friends, family, current and former co-workers), people who you know well and will tell you the truth and have them describe to you what they believe to be your capabilities. How do they see you? What value proposition do they believe you offer? If their description doesn’t match what you want to be or perceive yourself to be; you need to ask why the discrepancy. Is it your message? Is it a lack of knowledge on their part pertaining to you? You need to know where the confusion comes in; maybe you are not what you think you are. You need to know!
To reiterate being Top-O-Mind is your goal. You want people thinking of you, your organization, your services or your products first when they hear of opportunities. If that’s not happening, then you need to change what you are doing until you get what you want!

——————————————————————

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. 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!

Advertisements

Your Network – Are You A Collector or a CONNECTOR?


Networking is more than a collection of names and addresses.

Sadly most people feel that they are networking when they simply add someone to their list of contacts or connections. This is not connecting; this is collecting. If that is your intent then your time would be better spent collecting coins, stamps, sports cards, or some other true collectible. There is much more satisfaction to be gained spending your time in this manner!

Today’s Social Media tools allow you the opportunity to easily go beyond the mere process of collecting. If you are not taking advantage of these tools; the only difference between collecting business cards and shoving them into a drawer, a card file, or a Rolodex is your storage media.

True Networkers Understand that Networking Is More then Collecting

True networkers understand and value relationships. They recognize that there are different levels of relationships and that all relationships start out as a simple connection. They also realize that the depth of a relationship develops over time.

True networkers understand that networking is a give and take process and an exchange of value. Networking is not the act of accumulating names in the event that you may need something in the future. True networking means that you are intent upon offering value to your network hopefully in exchange for value being returned; value that may be received now or sometime in the future. The when is not important!

How to Move from Collector to Connector

If you are involved in any Social Media the process of providing value is simple and does not require large amounts of time. Here are examples of easy ways to provide value:

  • Share articles you find interesting;
  • Provide relevant comment on posts made by members of your network;
  • Like posts made by members of your network;
  • Thank people that invite you into their network;
  • Thank your new connections when they accept your invitation to network;
  • Add new people to your network; which indirectly expands the networks of your connections;
  • Share your expertise when members of your network have questions;
  • Congratulate members of your network when they receive promotions or accept a new job;
  • Comment on the status updates of your connections; or
  • Help your connections make new connections.

In my unscientific observations I find that the simple act of being grateful and thanking someone for connecting sets you apart from over 97% and more likely 99% of the networking population!

The truth is that most people feel that simply accepting or making a connection validates their networking but that’s not true. That is just a start to the relationship; if you want to be a successful networker you must be reaching out and adding value to the relationship.

Conclusion

If you want to be an effective networker; don’t get caught up in this idea that by having a large number of connections will somehow make you a great networker. It doesn’t! A great networker is someone that regularly adds value to their network and cares about their connections.

________________

Do you approach things with an UPPROACH? With the idea that when you make a change; it shouldn’t just be a change – rather it should be a change for the better. This was the premise that caused UPPROACH to be born. The idea of don’t just do it; do it better!

Tom Staskiewicz speaks, coaches, and consults on Professional and Business Networking and how Social Media is a tool in that process. He helps businesses, organizations, and individuals understand the power of networking and recognize that networking is a tool for giving.

Tom believes that when you give value to your network; your network will give value back to you. Using today’s Social Media tools makes Professional and Business Networking more efficient, improves decisions, and enables you to respond more effectively to your audiences.

Do you want to be more effective with your Professional and Business Networking? Would you like to be making more “warm” contacts instead of “cold” calls? Contact Tom to learn more about how he can help you and/or your organization reach your networking goals.

Who Got You Here; Won’t Get You There


In my last post I talked about the importance of having an Operational Network. In this post I will continue the discussion of Operational Networks and the fact that they are not static; Operational Networks must change as you and your business or organization change.

John’s Story

John was very successful in his previous position; everyone in the business could easily recognize the value he added. As would be expected John’s performance caught the eye of his managers and, sooner rather than later, John was promoted.

The Peter Principle at Work

As in so many cases, however, John did not achieve the same level of success in this new position; in fact, many of those that had been around for a long time recalled the book “The Peter Principle” and how businesses and organizations promote people until they reach their level of incompetence and then leave them there. That was how management was beginning to look at John; was the position bigger than his skill set?

Is John Incompetent?

Was this truly incompetence on the part of John? Was John really out of his league in this new position?

Can a Person Go from a Tremendous Success to an Utter Failure?

Can a person go from a tremendous success in one position to an utter failure in the next. The answer is obviously yes; but the problem is usually something other than incompetence.

Quite often the problem is really one of support or better said “lack of support”. No, it’s not that the people around this person want to see failure; it’s that this person was successful because of the Operational Network they had in the old position; but failed to create in the new position.

Marshall Goldsmith wrote a book a few years ago “What Got You Here; Won’t Get You There”. The premise of the book is that the skills that got people’s attention and caused your promotion are not the skills that you need to succeed at the next level.

New Positions Require New Skills

Often times we go from a position requiring hard technical skills to one that now requires the some or several of the soft managerial skills and people are challenged to adapt to the new requirements.

New Positions Require New Members of Your Operational Network

With a slight modification to Goldsmith’s book title I give you “Who Got You Here; Won’t Get You There” or “You Changed So Now Your Operational Network Must Change”.

Here’s the deal in John’s last position he was incredibly successful. He knew what was going on and how to get things done. He knew who to call if he needed something expedited. He knew the resources that would help him answer a question, get product data, or any number of other of tasks that he or his team must complete.

When someone takes a new position, as John did, the Operational Network must change as well. The group of individuals and the required skills to be successful at this level is typically different, even in the same company. When you are promoted you must be ready to change your circle of friends that have the ability and resources necessary to achieve success in this new role.

People Fail for More Reasons than Lack of Competence

Many people fail, not only because they must now use a new skill set (soft versus hard), but also because they need to change the people with whom they associate.

Many organizations are reluctant or even have policies that prevent a person from being promoted to a management position within their current group. The oft quoted reason is that it is difficult to manage those who were previously your peers. Although true, it is also important that the new manager change the members of their support group and that is difficult if they are staying in the same work group.

Using LinkedIn for Your Operational Network

LinkedIn can be an awesome tool for developing and nurturing your Operational Network. Using the tools for categorizing your contacts enables you to “tag” those individuals that can help with the day-to-day tasks makes the communication process easier. You simply go to the “tag” group, select them, and send a message.

You can achieve even greater efficiency through the creation of a LinkedIn group where you and members of the group can post messages for all to see and the collaborative process can blossom.
_____________________________

Tom Staskiewicz speaks and coaches on Professional and Business Networking and how Social Media is a tool in that process. He helps businesses, organizations, and individuals understand the power of networking and recognize that networking is a tool for giving.

Tom believes that when you give value to your network; your network will give value back to you. Using today’s Social Media tools makes Professional and Business Networking more efficient, improves decisions, and enables you to respond more effectively to your audiences.

Do you want to be more effective with your Professional and Business Networking? Would you like to be making more “warm” contacts instead of “cold” calls? Contact Tom to learn more about how he can help you and/or your organization reach your networking goals.

I Found Her on LinkedIn: All I Knew Was Her First Name and She Worked for Coca Cola


The Power of LinkedIn

A few weeks ago I was with a client at his restaurant doing some LinkedIn training over lunch and in walks this couple. I look up and at first I’m thinking that I recognize the woman so I wave. She stops and says; “Do we know each other?” I take a closer look and embarrassingly say no, I thought you were someone else. My client, however, says you’re Irene. He’s correct; she’s wearing a name tag!

Everyone laughs, somewhere along the line she mentions something about working for Coca Cola and they proceeded to go place their order and my client and I went back to our LinkedIn training. As they are leaving they say goodbye and we jokingly say goodbye Irene.

Is Irene on LinkedIn

At that point I say to my client; “Let’s see if we can find Irene on LinkedIn.” His question is, understandably, how? So we proceed.

I start by doing a people search for Irene, Coca Cola. It’s somewhat of a random process, but what the heck; we want to test the power of LinkedIn.

I start the search and we get a bunch of hits, but nothing that appears even vaguely close. So I start refining the search. First we narrow it to the United States and that reduces the number of results. Next I select working for Coca Cola, then I choose current employees, and all of a sudden up pops one result for an “Account Development Manager” at Coca Cola in Portland Oregon. Because I am searching for Irene; it is safe to say that this “Account Development Manager” with Coca Cola is named Irene or at least Irene is somewhere in the profile.

I Think I Found Her

This person is on LinkedIn, but not in my network. I can see the individual I found has only eight connections, so this is not someone that is active on LinkedIn. With a premium account I could send an In-Mail. If Irene was more active on LinkedIn; I would investigate further.

How Does This Apply to You?

Have you ever wanted to connect with someone and just couldn’t figure out how to make it happen? Have you ever met someone and just felt like you should get to know them? Maybe you have a name but you don’t remember the last name, but you remember the company. This example shows you that all is not lost; there is tremendous power in LinkedIn and as new people join every day; the potential for finding the person you want gets better and better.

Taking the time to understand how LinkedIn works is critical. Yes, it does take time, but like anything else; once you understand the technology it will not only save you time – you will complete tasks that you would have previously deemed impossible! Get my free white paper “5 Tips to Connect on LinkedIn”.

LinkedIn can help you make things happen!

———-

Tom Staskiewicz speaks and coaches on Professional and Business Networking and how Social Media is a tool in that process. He helps businesses, organizations, and individuals understand the power of networking and recognize that networking is a tool for giving.

When you give value to your network; your network will give value back to you. Using today’s Social Media tools makes Professional and Business Networking more efficient, improves decisions, and enables you to respond more effectively to your audiences.

Do you want to be more effective with your Professional and Business Networking? Would you like to be making more “warm” contacts instead of “cold” calls? Contact Tom to learn more about how he can help you and/or your organization reach your networking goals.

Is a LinkedIn Premium Account Valuable – an UPPROACH Study


Do you need a LinkedIn Premium Account?

I have always been reluctant to get the Premium Account; what with all the benefits of the free account – why bother?

Recently I received a promotion from LinkedIn offering a free 30-day trial. I had received them before and acted too late, so I finally relented today and signed up.

Immediate Benefit

The first benefit I immediately jumped on was the ability to see more detail on the search terms that have been causing my profile to show up in the search results. It wasn’t what I expected.

I’m showing up frequently, but there are very few people actually viewing my information. Why is that; I’m using the wrong search terms! I have nothing relevant to offer the searcher when I show up in their search results.

What I Did Wrong!

When I created my profile I did some things that I thought were quite creative, the problem was they worked, but there was no traction with those doing the search.

I do a lot of reading and what I did was include the author’s names in my profile. Sure enough when someone searches on the author’s name; I’m in the results, but does the person searching really care? Not on your life; I’m totally irrelevant to what they want.

As an example if they are searching for Guy Kawasaki – they find Guy and they find me; they really have no interest in me and there is nothing in my profile that would create interest. Had I worked with Guy; it may have been different, but even that could be a stretch. So it is a wasted search result.

Are There Other Benefits?

I’m not sure about any other benefits at this point, but this one is huge. Does it warrant keeping a Premium Account all the time; I don’t know. I could just do this periodically, checking the search words, and making adjustments then jumping out of the program and watching the statistics, but that is still to be determined.

Regardless, I’m going to keep exploring the benefits of the account and I will periodically post my findings to this Blog.

—————

Tom Staskiewicz consults with organizations on understanding Social Media and how it can be applied within the organization. Tom has MBAs in Marketing and Management to go along with his 30+ years developing and implementing IT solutions.

If you are looking for innovative ideas on how you can implement and apply Social Media within your organization you can email Tom or call him at (971) 678-8181.

Putting Power into Your Reviews and Testimonials


Negating the Negatives

Negative Internet Reviews

If you are like many businesses today you have experienced the negative review on Google, CitySearch, Yelp, or a plethora of other sites. In the process you have most likely noticed that these reviews hide behind an alias. The reality is that they, the reviewers, are cowards or even worse competitors.

To top it off Google, CitySearch, and the others make it difficult and costly to respond. This may be a good thing, because your immediate response would be a “knee-jerk” reaction and probably end up hurting your more than helping. You must remember that you are in the age of the Internet and the person who wrote the review will NOT be the only one reading your response. In your attempt to respond you may end up hurting future business from the eves droppers.

What Do You Do

One of the best ways to counteract a negative review is to get a good review; but not just any good review. Get one where the individual writing the review is willing to give their name and their city and state. You want credibility behind the review!

Get Credible Reviews

When you have credible reviews and someone points to Google, CitySearch, or whomever and it is a review that hides behind an alias; you can point to your reviews (good, just okay, or even bad) and say that YOUR reviews have quality. You can say that these are people you can talk to and they will answer your questions honestly. These are people that have nothing to hide.

You can, with the writer’s permission, use these reviews in your marketing and sales materials as testimonials of the work that you do and they way your customers/clients/patients feel about you, your business, your products, and your services.

———-

Tom Staskiewicz speaks and coaches on Social Media/Social Networking topics helping businesses, organizations, and individuals establish and manage their Social Media presence. Your Social Media presence doesn’t just happen and will not take care of itself. Tom helps you with those processes so your Social Media efforts will work for you.

What Are Your 2011 Networking Goals?


It Is That Time of Year Again

We may reflect on the goals we set for 2010 and we are going to make our 2011 New Year’s resolutions for many aspects of our life. Another year has passed and it is time to ask not only whether you achieved your networking goals for 2010, but did you even have networking goals in 2010? Or were you like most people and just left the process to fate?

It's Time to Make Your Networking Resolution

I’m afraid that far too many left it to fate and fate did not shine kindly upon their efforts. Networking is a process that requires goals and a strategy. Without these two components your networking has no focus. Without a focus it is difficult to find a reason to network and most end up not networking or they end up connecting simply because they want something.

 

Networking Is More than Seeing Who Can Give You What

I recently wrote another article on networking and one of the responses that I received raised the issue that people only network with their own needs in mind. I think this is true, but not for the reason that others may believe. To me the issue is that we were never trained in the art of networking and therefore do not know what to do or how to network properly.

Networking is a give and take activity and it starts with the give portion. When you network it should be a win-win situation for both parties. If only one person is a winner; that is not networking. If you enter a networking situation with only your interests in mind; you will not be successful engaging the other person or at least not for the long-term.

Your 2011 Goals

For 2011 it is time to try something new: networking with a purpose. Having goals and a purpose as part of your networking allows you to monitor and measure your progress.

  1. What is your purpose for networking?
  2. What do you want to accomplish with your networking efforts?
  3. What is the value that you bring to the relationship?
  4. Who do you want in your network and why?
  5. How are you going to communicate with your network and what is the frequency of those communications?

For more ideas check out our free report to learn more about Networking with a Purpose.

———-

Tom Staskiewicz is a Social Media/Social Networking Coach helping businesses, organizations, and individuals to establish and manage their Social Media presence. Your Social Media presence doesn’t just happen and will not take care of itself. Tom helps you with those processes so your Social Media efforts will work for you.