Networking Fear? Start with GOYA!

No doubt you’ve heard several practices to make networking work for you, but what isn’t addressed is what to do when you the cat has your tongue and your feet are buried in cement. We can make it our goal to attend two or more networking meetings each week, but they aren’t helpful if we can’t get moving and talking.

For years, this was my problem. My pre-networking activities consisted of staring at myself in the mirror, rehearsing my elevator speech and practicing opening lines. Then I’d get in the car and practice more while driving. I would always arrive early, because I needed time for ‘parking lot panic’. However, my pre-networking habits have diminished and I’m more comfortable with networking events (I still sometimes get the jitters, though).

It didn’t take long to realize that if I didn’t get moving and talking, I wasn’t going to reach my goals. I had to make changes and do it fast and it began with GOYA: Get off your Ass!

Here are my GOYA exercises to shake the networking jitters:

Remind yourself: you are not the only one feeling awkward or uncomfortable! Some hide it better than others, but most networking attendees have the jitters. AND, they are looking for ways to start a conversation, too.

In case you haven’t read it already, take a look at another blog I wrote on the benefits of arriving early: The Early Bird Gets the Leads.

If an early arrival isn’t possible, look for people you already know. Walk up to them, and even if they’re engaged in another conversation, it doesn’t hurt to wave and say a quick hello. Most of the time, the friend will introduce you to the new person.

Reach out to those hovering in the corner, near an exit or who are paying a little too much attention to their cell phones. These are classic ‘I’m not sure what to do next’ cues. So many times I have been that person and am building up courage to just say hello. Now I recognize the same behaviors in others and they are the first ones I approach.

Most networking meetings offer food or drinks. If you still have the jitters, stand next to the edibles because everyone comes by to check out the offerings. It’s also a common gathering place for others building up their networking courage—we can look busy and attentive while nibbling on snacks instead of looking lost and awkward standing alone in a large room. Say hello to everyone who approaches. Mention how yummy the dip or the hummus or the punch is. This is the perfect opportunity to add, “What do you do?” In a minute or so, the person will ask about you.

These GOYA exercises have helped me ease the pain of reaching out during events. How do you handle the networking jitters? What networking exercises do you have? Share them in the comments below. (Thanks to Eva from Knews.co for inspiring this topic!)

Happy writing!
Kris the Scribbler

Introvert to Impromptu Presenter: How Do I Do It?

“The secret to life is to put yourself in the right lighting. For some it’s a Broadway spotlight, for others, a lamplit desk.” ~ Susan Cain

What’s it take to run a successful business?

For me, as an introvert, I needed to develop social confidence. That meant attending public events. Lots of them. In my first 3 years of business, I attended 3 to 5 networking events, within a 150 mile radius, per week. When my confidence wanes, or when I get too comfortable, I add more to my agenda.

This week I attended my first Medici Magic Meetup sponsored by the Medici MediaSpace, a new co-working space in St. Louis. Upon entering the room, several pairs of eyes turned to greet me—always an anxiety-inducing situation for an introvert. However, I implemented my GOYA strategy for a successful event, which included the dreaded saying hi to everyone in attendance. Individually.

Next, each of the 15 attendees were offered a moment to introduce themselves. When my turn came, with heart rate and blood pressure soaring, I introduced myself as:

A content development service which attracts clients and guides them through the sales funnel, plus an introvert coach to help introverts achieve their social goals.

Next, we were briefed on Medici’s event format where the audience chooses the discussions. No longer one to let my social fears hold back opportunity, my arm fired into the air, terrifying my brain into whipping up a topic before I was called on: Content Creation: Where are you in the Sales Funnel?

Throughout the first 4 mini-presentations, I listened, participated, while putting together an on-the-spot discussion. With 20 minutes left in the 2 hour meetup, Josh Levey, a co-founder for Medici, pointed to me and said, “I want to say first that you are the most fun introvert that I ever met!” (Thank you, Josh!) I stood, anxiety returning once again, and shared a quick story about being an introvert, my 2-hour parking lot panic and my reward system of chocolate. The crowd enjoyed my story and I noticed a woman, in the back, with a bright smile directed at me. My presentation went well, I received great questions, replied with solutions, and concluded with a call to action.

The result:

  • Several attendees and I had extended conversations
  • It was suggested I do a Ted Talk about my introvert experience—an opportunity that I would never have considered <2 years ago!
  • I arranged an interview for the Missouri SourceLink
  • I’ll be an upcoming guest on the TLC Radio show
  • I provided an introduction for one of the attendees

As I was heading to leave, Theo Clark of TLC Radio, called me aside and introduced me to the woman with the bright smile: Brittany Blount, executive assistant and radio producer with TLC Radio. As a fellow introvert, she was eager to ask me, “How did you do it?”

Again, I was flattered. I shared that I still experience anxiety and it’s an ongoing process to accomplish my goals. Then she asked, “How long did it take you to get over it?”

“It’s not something you’ll be totally rid of nor will you want to,” I explained. “There is strength and joy in solitude, thriving in our own company, and working in a quiet environment.”

With pen and paper ready, Brittany was ready to catch every nugget:

  • Acknowledge and accept your introvert tendencies; that includes the anxiety in social situations. Practice at home, in front of the mirror, and if you are comfortable, in front of family members.
  • Recognize your weakness: which part of a social situation is hardest for you: convincing yourself to attend? Introducing yourself to others? Entering an existing conversation? Exiting a conversation? Once you identify that, ask yourself what it will take to move past the fear.
  • Practice & prepare; have your tagline, elevator speech, and answers to potential questions memorized. Know them so well that you can present without freezing or Filler Words.
  • Go with a goal: what do you wish to accomplish from this event? You are there for a reason, so have your goals memorized so you don’t flee when the discomfort appears.
  • Make the situation about others: start by saying hello and asking them to share what they do. Then listen. But be ready, they’ll ask you the same question.
  • Reward yourself: not before, not during. After! Have that reward waiting for you in the car or at home.
  • Relax: even with your reward and the satisfaction of reaching your goal, you’ll be exhausted. Find a quiet place. Block off noise, people, and distractions. If that’s difficult for your family to understand, let them know you need some undisturbed time alone.

Getting to where I am now isn’t easy and requires ongoing practice, refining, pushing past self-doubt and sometimes tears. What keeps me going is the desire to solve content catastrophes for my clients—making the client my priority. With time, patience, and understanding, you can do it and remain true to yourself.

To learn more about my GOYA Strategy and introvert coaching, call me at 314-856-5747 or write me at kris@kristhescribbler.com

Kristen Edens
An introvert in business

4 Years Strong and 1 Million Cups Continues to Inspire

In 2012, The Kauffman Foundation in Kansas City, Missouri introduced the first 1 Million Cups program. Their mission was to educate, engage, and connect entrepreneurs with their community and resources. In 2013, St. Louis added the event to their entrepreneurial activities.

An entrepreneur myself, I first attended the event December 2014 and attended their 2nd anniversary in 2015 (read my experience here). Now, 2 years later, I have returned from their 4th anniversary with equal inspiration, motivation, and insight.

Similar to their 2nd anniversary, the St. Louis 1 Million Cups invited past presenters back for a session on what they learned, highs and lows, and advice.

When asked how their original 1MC presentation made a difference, the common reply was the unexpected reach their video provided them, archived on the 1MC site. Secondly, their presentation validated their credibility and presence in the entrepreneurial environments.

The advice shared remains consistent from 2015 with some extra considerations:

  • Be persistent; stick to your values and your vision
  • Be humble
  • Maintain your focus; life will be easier!
  • Keep getting out there; entrepreneurs spend a lot of time on the phone or their devices. There is great value in meeting others, getting involved, and reaching out.
  • Surround yourself with a dedicated team
  • Be careful who you trust; not everyone will share your values and may sabotage your efforts
  • You know your business best; stick with your vision to avoid straying too far from it.
  • Apply advice with caution; while peers’ advice is well-meaning, it isn’t always the best advice. Remember that you won’t be able to please everyone.
  • If you build it, they will come; while this is the ‘dream’, it isn’t reality. Apply the wisdom above to attract the audience you desire.

When asked what fears they overcame, here are the replies:

Connie Fry of Pony Pizza Company

  • I dealt with a bug infestation in my product. It was devastating but I regrouped and overcame that issue.

Dawn Manske of Made for Freedom

  • I have a fear of failing so it’s the driving force that keeps me moving forward.

Nick Szabo of Get Swizzle

  • Becoming a new parent and startup founder was frightening. I struggled with how to take care of both simultaneously and emerged with extreme time-management skills.

Ali Ahmadi of AirZaar

  • Quitting my corporate job and the financial burden created fear for me. Also a new father, it was my child that got me through the emotional and mental turmoil.

Andrew Glantz of Gift a Meal

  • I feared my youth would be a deterrent; not having enough experience, not being taken seriously, and letting them down troubled me, but instead became the driving force to accomplish my vision.

Rob Rose of SaniTrace

  • I didn’t know anything about the food market or running a business. I taught myself while building and promoting my business.

In the short time since these entrepreneurs presented at 1MC, they have experienced growth personally and professionally. Ari Ahmadi summarized entrepreneurship best:

“Starting a business is miserable. Get up, get out and learn.”

The presenters, the audience, and I agree with his sentiments. We also agree that there is no greater satisfaction than to know we are helping to solve a problem in the world.

What problem will you solve?
Kristen Edens

Tweet Chats: A Great Resource for Continuing Education and Relationship Building

My first introduction to tweet chats occurred out of desperation. I wanted to attend a blogging conference and couldn’t arrange the time, travel, and expense around my business life and caregiving life. I was rather discouraged that I couldn’t attend and jumped online to research alternatives.

While visiting the blog conference’s twitter page, I noticed a tweet that invited followers to a tweet chat. After a quick search to discover what a ‘tweet chat’ was, I decided to give it a try.

A tweet chat is a live Twitter event, usually moderated and focused around a general topic. To filter all the chatter on Twitter into a single conversation a hashtag is used. A set time is also established so that the moderator, guest or host is available to engage in the conversation.

*Hint for newcomers: high tweet volume is expected. My advice: read fast!*

Even though my meager attempts to reply to an interesting thread were way behind the initial post, I learned A LOT, gained several new followers and have found many more Twitter Chats to enjoy. They have become a weekly source of continuing education, relationship building, online networking, also leading to increased reach and exposure. Another benefit is a crash-course lesson in Twitter. I have almost mastered Tweet Chat (a platform that streams chat feeds in a neat and orderly manner) and recommend you use this or a similar tool to simplify the experience.

Here are my favorite chats to date (February 2017):

#blogchat Sunday 9pmET/6pmPT: founder and moderator Mack Collier introduced this chat to discuss blog-related themes from idea generating, blogging platforms, tools, trends, best practices and much, much more.

#blogelevated Monday 10pmET/7pmPT: Blog Elevated is a chat, conference and Facebook community dedicated to bloggers and influencers.

#blogher17 Tuesday 1pmET/10amPT: is a chat dedicated to women bloggers and the annual BlogHer conference. Their mission is to create opportunities and build exposure. The topics cover issues related to these goals.

#contentchat Monday 3pmET/12pmPT: Erika Heald moderates this chat which brings together content creators and content marketers to share their challenges and best practices.

#cmworld Tuesday at 12pmET/9amPT: sponsored by the Content Marketing Institute, participants discuss the latest trends in content marketing and receive advice from experts.

#smallbizchat Wednesday at 8pmET/5pmPT: Launched by Melissa Emerson, this chat is a peer-to-peer mentoring program to help entrepreneurs get answers to their small business questions.

Watch your Twitter notifications for all the people who commented, retweeted or followed you following the tweet chat. It’s a good place to return after you’ve caught your breath, your heart rate has returned to normal, and you can respond in a calm manner. Here’s a tip: a lot of chat participants will continue to respond over the next 24 hours. You won’t be the only one needing to breathe and catch up!

Each of these chats are focused on my professional interests, but there are hundreds of chats covering an almost endless supply of topics. To view what’s available, Twitter Chat Schedule is an easy way to search.

Just beware: tweet chats are addicting! Do you have a favorite chat? Share it below!

Kristen Edens
Kris the Scribbler

Tag! You’re It. Who’s the First Responder with Email Introductions?

S. Miles hands fdp.netWe love them. We crave them. There’s satisfaction in knowing we help bring two people or organizations together that could benefit each other. There’s joy knowing that someone introducing us to a business peer trusts us enough to connect us with their friends. Now that you’ve got an introduction, however, what’s next?

It seems obvious, but three weeks ago I responded to an introduction and still haven’t received a reply. Similarly, the person who introduced us reached out to me yesterday to ask how it went. I was embarrassed to tell her that the other person had yet to reply. My thoughts were:

  • “Should I try again with this connection?”
  • “Who is the more logical person to reach out—me or the introducer?”
  • “If the third party isn’t interested in responding, should I drop it or try again?”

Once again, I reached out to my connections for feedback. Here are a few replies:

Mike Dunn of Cadence Technology Services doesn’t believe others will take the first step so he responds right away.

Eva Tucker of Knews.co will send a short message to show she is a part of the conversation and to show interest. She’ll wait for the other person to respond to her brief reply before acting further.

Linda Shedlofsky of Radio Arts Foundation feels that introductions are important for any business that wants to grow. Her advice is to not ignore or delay a response.

Cole Jacobs of Cole Social Media believes the lead should be taken by the one who needs it most.

Harriet Schneider of Red Thread Marketing offers excellent advice: “As business owners and business people, we all have our fair share of cold-calling to do. And most of us are not particularly fond of it. So when someone provides me with a ‘warm’ lead by introducing me to a potential client, quick follow-up is key to developing a professional relationship.

Within 24-hours, if I have been given a phone number I will call that person. If I’ve been introduced via e-mail, I will reach out electronically. If I get no reply, the contact goes into my CRM and is attached to an activity series for continued follow-up.

When it comes to follow-ups, there’s a fine line between being persistent and being a pest. Make sure that, as you continue to reach out, you do so with content and information that will be perceived by your contact as valuable.

When I make an introduction, I like to follow up a few weeks later to offer help but to also see if the introduction was helpful. This is also a relationship-building touchpoint that keeps everyone top of mind and may lead to referrals.

What are your thoughts? What are your habits? Do you have a preference? Do you immediately follow, connect, or do you wait? Comment below and share with your connections.

Kris the Scribbler

(photo image courtesy of Stuart Miles of freedigitalphotos.net)

Got Touch points? Here’s Your Starting Block

S. Miles hands fdp.net

Content is one thing to master.
Reaching out to your audience is another.
Touch points are the way to bring it all together–and there are plenty to choose from!

Some are quick and easy and don’t take a lot of effort to implement:

  • e-signature
  • byline
  • tagline
  • text messaging
  • attending networking events
  • 1-to-1 sessions
  • phone calls/skype/hangouts

Others require more time, attention and resources to implement:

  • Blogs
  • Newsletters
  • e-books
  • social media
  • white papers
  • seminars/webinars
  • speaking engagements

So where do you start? The easy answer is to start with the touch points you understand and are most comfortable with. Also consider which touch points your audience would best respond to. If you aren’t sure, ask them. Create a quick survey or ask them through networking events or social media. Experiment with formats, mix it up throughout the year and adapt with your audience and the opportunities.

Every touch point is not needed for your business. First of all, implementing all of them is a sure recipe for burnout. Secondly, it will take a little trial and error to discover what works best for you and your audience. For instance, an attorney or financial advisor may implement a newsletter and signature line. A social media expert would choose social media platforms and blogging. A business coach may find his audience responds best to webinars, speaking, and blogging. A realtor may choose direct mail, a signature line, and events as her top touch points. To find out which would work for your industry, ask your competitors or visit their website and social media sites. You’ll learn a lot from studying other touch point uses.

Experimenting with something out of the norm for your industry could produce interesting results; Gary Vaynerchuk accomplished this well with his WineLibrary.com and his AskGaryVee vlogs. Currently, Periscope (a live-streaming video app) is the hot new touchpoint.

Something to share. Touch points are tough to implement without something to share. At the very minimum, your tagline requires one sentence to get started. More in-depth touch points require 200+ words. That’s when your content creation becomes vital. If you’re groaning, there is good news: it isn’t complicated to get something started. A great, yet often overlooked opportunity begins with your tagline. Here are some easy tagline/touch point ideas to implement today:

  • put your tagline in your e-signature
  • end each blog with your tagline
  • include it as part of your voice message recording
  • include it with your contact info on your business card
  • add it to your LinkedIn profile summary

Once the tagline is making its rounds and you are comfortable with that, then you can implement other touch points into your marketing plan. Master one and the others will fall in place.

Got touchpoint questions? Send me a note and we’ll get you through them. Got comments or suggestions? Share below.

Happy writing!
Kris the Scribbler

(photo credit goes to Stuart Miles of freedigitalphotos.net)

Venture Café: Where Serendipity Really Finds You

Stuart Miles of fdpMy Venture Café number is 16. That’s how many events I’ve attended since December 2014.

I discovered Venture Café when a client suggested I attend one of their events at the Cortex Innovation District in St. Louis. I was hesitant to attend because, well, 5 hours was a huge chunk of my time. And I had work to do. And it was an hour drive, one way. Yea.yea.yea.

But, it was a new networking event and I’m always open to something new.

Upon arriving, I signed in and received a name tag with a large number 1 boldly indicating my attendance virginity. Like most first-timers, I skirted the walls and observed, falling back on some of my introverted habits. Then I kicked in my GOYA and got in gear. I spoke with other virgins and visited as many sessions as possible to absorb the Venture Café atmosphere.

Be prepared: VC first-timers may feel a little overwhelmed. With over 300 weekly attendees, there is a lot happening in those five hours. Plus, this isn’t your typical networking meeting. The idea is more about building relationships and solving problems rather than pushing for a sale.

By the end of my first visit, of which I lasted four hours and had almost lost my voice, I was impressed with Venture Café’s:
• Energy
• Openness
• Enthusiasm
• Variety

And I was hooked. Even though I couldn’t attend every Thursday for the full five hours, I studiously watched my inbox for Travis Sheridan’s event email and scheduled my Thursday accordingly.

Then I learned something: too often we believe we must be invited to speak, present or provide. We wait for something to happen instead of making it happen. The best way to make serendipity happen is to LISTEN:

• Attend a session and listen to what the presenters say.
• Join a conversation and listen to what other attendees discuss.
• Ask a question and listen to responses.

Someone, somewhere is looking for a speaker, a volunteer, a solution or something YOU can provide.

In my 16 visits, here’s how my serendipitous collisions occurred:

Gabriel Feldman of Aegis mentioned his need for Whiteboard Series presenters. I approached him with a plan and presented ‘Deciphering Your Audience’ in April. I had 12 attendees, picked up new LinkedIn and Twitter followers, and one referral. The session was also recorded by Mary Scott of Make Believe TV, LLC, and I now use that video for my newsletter subscribers.

Marc Bowers of St. Louis Makes and ProductCamp spoke about the ProductCamp 2015 event at a 2nd Tuesday Venture Café. Following his presentation, I asked if one of my topics would be of interest. With a little encouragement from Marc, I submitted a topic. The result: my presentation was accepted, I had 26 people in my session and came away with three one-on-one sessions scheduled. I gained 8 new LinkedIn connections and 12 new followers on Twitter.

Kevin Harvell of StL TechTalk offered office hours. Out of curiosity, I signed up to learn about podcasting. The bonus: I got to participate in a 15-minute podcast and received a link to the show (be the first to hear about my new blog & services for senior entrepreneurs!)

As a blogger for Missouri SourceLink, I also found several entrepreneurs to interview for their Entrepreneur in Action series. This included:

Mark Neville of FinVR
Nep Orshiso and Dustin Strashelm of Motavera
Eva Tucker of Knews.co
Ryan Brennel of Gladitood
Eric Stoddard of SYNEK
Maria Frank of Set My Table

Here’s my advice: set some time aside for Venture Café. Listen! Reach out. Then get ready for those ‘serendipitous collisions’.

Happy networking,
Kris the Scribbler

(photo image courtesy of Stuart Miles of freedigitalphotos.net)

Skip’s Tips for Business Success: Be Personable

Stoonn from fdp.netWhat do you do when you’ve had a tough week at work, projects fall through, a client is unhappy or family is driving you nuts? We all have our coping mechanisms and one of mine involves calling my friend Stan ‘Skip’ Jechura of All Safe Inspections in Toledo.

I recently had a week that was testing me in every way possible. After my usual mix of coping skills (chocolate and exercise), I called Stan to vent and, as always, he was a good ear. He listened. He responded when needed. He didn’t pump me full of unwanted advice. In less than thirty minutes, he had me laughing and feeling much better.

After catching up on his latest adventures, I asked him how he does it—how can he take a conversation that was full of anger and discontent and then get the person relaxed so fast. His answer was quick and serious, “I’m personable.” He explained that his father had taught him that people matter and knowing how to talk with them makes living and working with everyone much easier. “Take time to listen. Observe and learn. Then give back what you can see they need.”

Looking back all those years I’ve known Stan, it was true. Stan had always been fun and easy-going, but also shared a wild and crazy lifestyle with my brother. Even though I was the shy and obedient best friend’s sister, Stan knew how to talk to me and relate with me. “I give everyone the same level of time and attention,” he says.

Stan recalled an incident of a young mother selling a house as her four children ran around. “She was struggling to keep things clean and controlled while I inspected the house. I told her some stories about the trouble I caused as a child and despite that, I grew up to own my own business. Soon she was laughing and no longer stressed.” The result: the young mother referred two new clients to Stan.

Another story occurred when Stan visited the home of a disabled elderly man. The man was lonely and desperate to talk to someone. During the visit, Stan learned that the man was having trouble reaching into his chest freezer for food. Once the inspection was completed, Stan rearrange his chest freezer and listened to the man’s stories for another hour. The result: the elderly man contacted the realtor with a rave review. He is now the top inspector for that realtor.

“Everyone, everywhere has struggles. I do my best to keep my clients smiling while things are running rampant around them.”

How do you keep your clients smiling? Remember: you have the solutions to what keeps them up at night and a story or shared experience may be all that’s needed to make a connection.

Happy writing,
Kris the Scribbler

(photo image courtesy of Stoonn at freedigitalphotos.net)

Skip’s Tips: ALWAYS be On Time!

Stuart Miles of freedigitalphotos.net (2)Another great story comes from my friend Stan (Skip) Jechura from All Safe Inspections of Toledo. Like all of us, his clients are top priority for him. Without our clients, none of us would reach our business goals.

As a home inspector, he spends a lot of time traveling to clients’ homes. His vehicle must be ready to go at a moment’s notice and his equipment is always packed in the van. Earlier this month, his good ol’ 2001 Chevy Venture Van was on its last legs. The van had been giving him problems over the years, but this time, the transmission failed on the way to an appointment. Stan explains, “I barely rolled into a used car lot 40 minutes from my appointment and had less than an hour to get there.”

Stan sputtered to a stop next to a 2007 Subaru and was immediately greeted by a salesman. Stan requested a test drive and while the salesman retrieved the keys, he loaded his equipment into the Subaru. Naturally, the salesman was curious about the equipment but Stan replied, “I need to make sure my equipment fits.”

Minutes later, Stan was on his way to the appointment and arrived with one minute to spare. The home inspection went well and he had gained another happy client. However, he returned a little over 3 hours later to a furious salesman. After explaining his situation, he offered to buy the Subaru.

Being consistently on time has been another factor that has contributed to Stan’s business success. “Whatever it takes, never be late. Don’t make excuses for tardiness and give your clients your best service,” Stan says. As a result, he gets excellent reviews and many mention his ability to keep an appointment and arrive on time. “This adds up to many referrals.”

While I don’t know if I could do the same in a similar situation, I do everything I can to be on time. I’m also thankful I haven’t encountered Stan’s situation!

Do you have an interesting story to share? What business success tips do you have? Comment below.

Happy writing!
Kris the Scribbler

photo image courtesy of Stuart Miles of freedigitalphotos.net

 

Skip’s Tips for Business Success: Be Available

freedigitalphotos.net--Danilo RizzutiWhatever business you’re in, you’re going to have competition. Some businesses win the customer by word of mouth, reputation, or being in the right place at the right time. Others, get the business because of one key factor: availability.

A family friend and fellow business owner, Stan (Skip) Jechura often gets clients by simply answering the phone. As owner of All Safe Inspection in Toledo, Ohio, Stan has experience unexpected growth since beginning his business in 2012. When asked what his biggest asset to gaining that growth was, Stan explained, “When people need an inspection, they often need it right now!” Clients are provided a list of home inspectors by their realtor, and it’s the client’s responsibility to make an appointment. Because property sales aren’t final until the inspection report is complete, clients have no time to waste. They’ll forgo research and start calling the names on the list. “Clients will hire the first inspector they reach,” says Stan. “My schedule fills up fast because I answer the phone.” After some inquiries, he found out that he was usually fourth or fifth on the list, but answering the phone got him the job. The result was word of mouth referrals by happy clients and Stan reaching the top of realtors’ lists.

Stan adds, “I carry my phone all the time and avoid voice mail as much as possible.” He tells the story of a recent event in which he received a phone call at 2:45am and still answered, “ASI Toledo, this is Stan, how may I help you?” The potential client laughed, but then stated she just had a question and didn’t expect an answer until several hours later. Because Stan had answered at that hour, she hired him on the spot.

Stan advises business owners to keep business phones separate from personal phones so that you never have to screen calls. Any call that comes on your business phone is a potential client, and that’s a worthwhile return on investment.

What can you do to be more available to clients? Do you have a story to share? Comment below.

Happy writing!
Kris the Scribbler

photo credit goes to Danilo Rizzuti of freedigitalphotos.net