This is genius. We all struggle with the reality that those in our lives who could help connect us to new business opportunities often never send the desired referrals. It is not that they do not want to spark our success, but rather that they do not know how to describe us to others. People make quick assumptions about who we are based on what they think we do for a living, and that lack of understanding often keeps them from taking action.
Social friends overlook the services we offer professionally because we have never told them what we do in our day jobs. They see us as friends, not for what we do in business.
But even those we know in the business world miss the mark. Last week I had a business associate, whom I know well and who I am connected with through social media, ask me how things were going at vcfo? I was laid off from that job in April 2009, and for the past 27 months I have been working for myself. He had not realized that change had occurred, and for some reason had thought I was a partial owner in my former employer's business (I was not). I have seen him ten times in the past two years, and he did not know what I do for a living. He had me in a box that was connected to my former career.
We all need to make the effort to inform others on how to connect us to those who can use our services. If we make it easy, they are more likely to follow through. I am convinced that most people want to help us succeed. However, people are busy, get focused on their own projects, and many simply do not have "Follow Through DNA". Thus if we can clearly explain to them what we do, and for whom we provided products and services, they just might take action.
Professional speakers (who are not celebrities) and corporate trainers find most of their business through referrals. No experienced meeting planner or business manager would take out a phone book or search blindly online to find someone to address their audience. A speaker sets the tone for the whole event, and therefore it is important that they are connected through someone who has seen the speaker present and / or is confident in their abilities.
If you want to assist me in making the type of connections that can lead to new business, you only need to look for companies and other organizations that host multi-day meetings. This can be internal meetings, or client focused gatherings, where there will be an educational and motivational component to the event.
I speak at large industry conventions, association meetings, customer / users conferences, and internal meetings for companies of all sizes. While my topics are well received by all industries, I have a specialty for the "left-brained professionals: - lawyers, accountants, bankers, real estate, technology, finance, IT, etc....
My experience working for large and small companies and law firms has allowed me to create a variety of business development, sales and marketing presentations that inspire people to take action to integrate their visibility as individuals and as a company.
Nobody wants to be told whom to hire to speak at their event. Many people already have ideas about what will make the "right" type of presentation, and therefore just saying you know a speaker or trainer may not resonate.
I set the tone when I speak to an audience and transform the energy which impacts the attendee participation. This goes beyond "networking" and creates an atmosphere where people take real actions to interact with each other. When they have better conversations and really connect, they have more positive feelings about the whole event.
Too often people will say I speak on "networking". While this is an important part to corporate success, the word has too many misconceptions, and allows people to assume they know what they might hear from me. The reality is that my talks are described by those who see them as something more unique and meaningful.
Suggesting that someone add me to their "short list" of potential speakers, and encouraging them to have a conversation to learn more about my "Conference Catalyst Program" (or other presentations) is the ideal way to facilitate an introduction. An email introduction where I am cc'd is sometimes the best way to help start a discussion.
I have delivered over 300 formal business presentations in my career and am an avid student of the meetings industry. While I am not the right match for every event, my commitment to the business of professional speaking and my experience is an added benefit for many of my clients. Since I have witnessed and participated in many programs, I am an excellent sounding board for those who want to find new ways to create a unique experience.
My involvement with an event is usually more than just "speak and leave" (I find too many speakers run to the airport immediately after their talk), but instead I am engaged with the client and their audience before, during, and after the event.
Discovering how to work with new clients is often an ongoing process, and I try to keep those who refer me to opportunities aware of the progress. I know that people only refer those whom they trust will make them look good, and thus I never forget who sent me to a specific opportunity.
Have A Great Day