Networking

Referral Marketing is More Important Than Ever Before

We are all living in very unsettling times right now. Staying connected is more important than ever, as we navigate through the changes that have turned our lives upside down in the past few weeks.

Now, more than ever, referral marketing is going to be a crucial part of everyone’s business.   As New York State opens up from it’s PAUSE, all businesses that have not been able to cold call, while in a state of emergency, are going to be very busy trying to get business.  Do you really wan’t to be one of those people cold calling and hoping for the best?

Or, maybe you’ve gone online with your business, but your friends and family have had enough and are ignoring you.  Worse yet, you’ve been reaching out to every one of your friends on Facebook/social media to only get crickets. Now, you’re left wondering what to do next. Right?

This is where being in a referral networking group, and building those deep meaningful relationships, are going to matter most to help jump start your business. Being in a true referral networking group, with a non-competitive environment, is going to give you a step up on your competition.   By getting warm connections, not just leads, that get you in the door for the meeting, is where it’s at!

The truth is, people do business with people they know, like and trust, or people that their friends know, like and trust.  Think about the last time you asked your friends and family for a referral to a hair stylist or to buy a certain product.  You asked them because you trusted their opinion and wanted to know who they trusted. You were the warm referral that they gave to their hair stylist.

Just to show you what we mean, here’s the stats on referral marketing, before we even entered this uncertain time of business.

According to sharesomefriends.com

  • Referral leads convert 30% better than lead generation from other marketing channels

  • Referred customers have a 16% higher lifetime value

  • People are 4 times more likely to buy when referred by a friend

  • 78% of marketers surveyed agree that referrals are the best leads your business can get

A study by extole.com shows the following for who trusts referral marketing:

Gen Z = 83%
Millennials = 85%
Gen X = 83%
Boomers = 80%
Silent Gen = 79%

  • 28% of millennials say they won’t try a product if their friends don’t approve of it.

  • Word of mouth is the primary factor behind 20-50% of purchasing decisions.

  • Business to business companies with referrals have a 70% higher conversion rate, and they report a 69% faster close time on sales.

As we all get ready to start back to “normal” and resume business as “usual,” referral marketing is what will get you in the door faster and easier than anything else.  Let’s face it – we are ALL in sales in some form.   Whether it is an actual product or a service, we are all selling something.

If you are ready to step into a group of motivated, inspired women who are ready to help you get your business to the next level, be sure to check out our Facebook page for upcoming WINC 101 events where you can learn more about the fastest growing women’s referral networking group in New York State!  We have many chapters and we have a seat waiting for you!

The others focused vibe and non-competitive structure of these groups, are exactly what you need in the coming months to forge ahead and thrive as this PAUSE is lifted.

Let’s Connect!

Cristine & Lisa 

Networking

TOP-7 Tips and Strategies for a Professional Virtual Meeting

We certainly all are living in a different world and adjusting to the new Norm.  The world has thrown us a big curveball.  Wouldn’t you agree?   So, we adjust! 

Women in Networking Connect has been utilizing Zoom for virtual meetings and trainings for a few years now.  We have seen everything from people cooking dinner, to people laying in bed, to no face at all…just a black screen.   Based on our experience, we have put together our recommended

TOP-7 Tips and Strategies for a professional virtual meeting

Virtual meeting stock photo

1) Appearance First and foremost, treat your virtual meetings as if you were face-to-face.  First impressions are everything.  Whether it is the 1st, 5th or 20th time you are meeting.  Did you know 93% of lasting impressions come within the first four minutes of meeting someone and 11 assumptions are made in the first 30 seconds?   We suggest that you “start with the basics.”  Be sure your hair is fixed, apply your makeup and a solid neutral top is always the best bet.  Then, add your jewelry to complete your look and you’re good to go with a polished and pulled together look and a good virtual impression.

2) Practice – If you are using a program that is new to you, be sure to set up a practice run ahead of time.  Be sure you know how to use the virtual software, turn on your camera and microphone, and use any other features you might need to know beforehand.

3) Lighting – So important!  If you can position yourself so that you are facing a window, we prefer natural lighting.  If you cannot get natural light, use a lamp in front of you or a ring light attached to your laptop or tablet for the prefect lighting, especially on dark days or if you cannot position yourself to face a window. 

4) Security Features – There are a few Virtual meeting programs out there.  We are familiar with ZOOM and will discuss the features that Zoom has added to increase security and meeting privacy.  If you are discussing confidential information, these features are definitely a must!  Zoom offers all meeting users the option to password protect their meetings, so that all attendees must enter the correct password to join.  Another great feature is the “Waiting Room.”  This allows participants to wait in the waiting room and be added to the meeting when the administrator accepts them to the meeting.  As the administrator, you can also now “Lock” your virtual meeting by clicking on the security button at the bottom of the page.  This will not allow any further participants in, once the meeting has started.  This is a great feature to minimize untimely attendees and disruptions.

5) Timeliness – We suggest that you arrive to your virtual meeting a few minutes early (even if you have to wait for your host to start) or at the minimum, be right on time.  Treat virtual meetings, the same as you would an in-person meeting.  As a professional, you would not arrive late for an in-person meeting, you shouldn’t be late for a virtual one either.

6) Location – Try to find a quiet, private area to attend the meeting from.  Ask family members to give you time and space for your meeting.  Try to keep pets locked out or in other spaces so they do not interrupt and let family members know this is a LIVE meeting with audio and video.

7) Prepare – Before you join the virtual meeting, be sure that you have a pen and paper to take notes, all the files and paperwork you may need, a drink, login in information,  etc..  You should be just as prepared for a virtual meeting as you would for an in-person meeting.

~Cristine DiCaprio & Lisa Boucher
Networking

Top 6 Networking Tips

meeting
1.  Perfect your elevator pitch! ~ You have 60 seconds to make a lasting impression and one that leaves them wanting to know more. Having your elevator pitch ready to go, makes all the difference in the world.  Remember, this is information that you would share with a perfect stranger, when you first meet them.  Keep it short, concise and pique their interest to want to know more and ask questions.
2.  Join a referral group ~ Exclusive referral networking groups give you the opportunity to make true connection with build deep relationships. It’s like having a best friend in business and hiring a team or outside sales force to represent you in the community.  These are the people we call on when we need help or a connection.
3.  Be intentional with open networking events ~ When going to an open networking event, don’t just throw around as many business cards as you can and hope to get business. Target 5 quality contacts and connections to start a conversation.  Then take it to the next step by following up and getting together at another time.
4.  Build Relationships ~ People do business with who they know, like, and trust. This is a proven fact.  We all refer to a great restaurant or the amazing hair stylist.  Building those relationships by getting to know each other is crucial in trusting to refer business, you want to be sure your referral is well taken care of.  Take the time to get to know each and find out what a good referral would be for each other, otherwise you could be sending each other the wrong clients.
5.  Appearance does matter ~ We’ve all heard the saying, “Dress for the position you want, not the one you have.” There are 11 common assumptions most people make within the first 30-seconds of meeting someone and 93% of first impressions are made in the first 4 minutes; 7% from verbal interactions, 38% from your tone of voice and 55% from your appearance.   Making a good first impression is so important, if you want to be taken seriously.
6.  Listen ~ You’ve heard the saying, “You have two ears and one mouth.” Use them proportionately.  Don’t hijack the conversation.  The conversation should not be all about you and what you want.  It should almost be a mini interview.  Show true genuine interest in OTHERS and find out how you can help them in business.  They will certainly return the favor!

 

Let’s Connect!
Cristine DiCaprio
Women in Networking Connect, Inc.

www.womeninnetworkingconnect.com

Networking

Perfecting your Elevator Pitch

Your elevator pitch is a brief description of your product or service, usually 30-60 seconds long, the time it takes you to ride the elevator with someone new.  You should pick one thing that you do and focus on that.  Remember, your elevator pitch is for your customers, investors or potential employers and what you will use in business networking.  Your elevator pitch should not be confused with a sales pitch, but should capture the person’s attention to want to know more.

Some important questions to ask yourself when perfecting your elevator pitch: 

~  What is my product or service and what problem do I solve?

~  Why should my listener care?

~  What am I good at?  We are all experts in our fields, convey what you are good at.

~  Keep it simple, not drawn out.

~  Don’t try to impress the listener

~  Focus on the benefits that you provide your customers.  This will pique their curiosity and prompt them to ask for more.  Tell me more!

~  Always look at your audience when conveying your message.

 

In Summary your perfect captivating Elevator Pitch should:

1)  Tell a Fact or start with a shocking starter

2)  Convey a story or paint a picture

3)  Provide a solution for their experience with you

4)  Format should hook the listener to want to know or hear more.

5)  Ask a question or provide an invitation.

 

For example: 

One thing we know for sure is, there are more women in business today than ever in the history of our country and more and more women are becoming entrepreneurs every day.  It’s the love for independence, financial freedom and pursuing their passion that women are looking for.  Women love supporting women and referring their friends in business and are looking for an environment to connect, share and grow.  My name is Cristine DiCaprio and I am the Founder, Co-Owner and President of Women in Networking Connect.  WINC is empowering and connecting women in business to build their client and referral base through chapter memberships where women hold an exclusive referral seat for their profession.  Have you ever heard of us or do you know someone that is interested in referrals to grow her business?

 

Financial  Planning Services example:

I know this young family that lost everything including their savings, their credit and unfortunately their home. They were out of work and out of money.  This was a young family of five that had no other option than to sell what little they had left, including their wedding rings, in order to keep a roof over their heads and food on the table.

But, It didn’t have to be this way.  In fact, if this family had (name of your product), it wouldn’t have been this way at all. My name is Jane Doe, and I protect young families from financial disaster.  For more than 15 years, I’ve been protecting families from financial disasters such as this, because you never know when life is going to throw you a curveball.  Are you prepared for life’s unexpected moments?  I invite you to schedule a complimentary 15-minute consultation with me to find out.

Networking Blog

FIVE STRATEGIES TO NETWORKING THAT BENEFIT WOMEN IN BUSINESS

Have you been thinking you need to network but are not quite sure how? How many of you think that you are actually good at networking? Let’s talk about why networking is important for women and touch on a few reasons why networking can help your business.

First we must know why networking is important. Do you know why? Because networking leads to job offers, networking leads to industry knowledge, networking leads to new sales and new clients and networking builds lasting relationships. When we don’t extend ourselves and reach for new opportunities, our existence withers. Women tend to understand networking better when we refer to it as “Helping.” Do you all know how to help others? Yes, we all know how to help others! Basically, networking is helping. So let’s look at how we can help others and how by doing so, we are helping ourselves as well.

Here are the top 5 networking strategies that can benefit your business!

1. We all know that women are nurturers by nature. We like to empower and help others succeed. Helping others succeed at their business, will ultimately help you succeed at your business. Start by helping and introducing as many people as you can to one another. Be a Connector!

2. Are you living in your comfort zone? Is it nice and cushy there? Are you afraid to step out? This is not going to help your business and in fact it will ultimately hurt your business. Start by taking baby steps outside of your comfort zone. Invite others to connect with you, attend events you normally would not attend, introduce yourself to people you do not know. When you actively build new relationships, inevitably your network and career will grow.

3. Sometimes in the business world, women are not asked about their career as often as men are. We are more likely to be asked about our family first. Value other women in business by asking them what they do for a living. Show your interest in learning more about what she does for a living so that you can best refer her in business when out and about in the community. Becoming “others focused” will always reap huge rewards down the road as women naturally desire to pay it forward.

4. Women in business must be an open-source to other women in business, but we must also pay close attention and work smart at the same time. Do remember the old saying, “One hand washes the other.” Don’t repeatedly ask for favors without giving back at least as much as you get.

5. Women are encouragers. Encourage other women to network. Share discussions on how networking and different strategies have worked for you. This is always very uplifting and positive and allows you to celebrate your “Wins” together!

Remember that people do business with who they know, like and trust. Connecting, sharing and building lasting relationships will lead to more referrals for your business. Plus, we all know the best marketing tool of all is the everyday word-of-mouth referral from family and friends!

We challenge you to look at your calendar and see how many networking events you have planned for the future and aim to add at least one more each month over the next 6 months. Focus on building relationships and connecting with others by implementing the above into your networking strategy. There are many networking events to choose from, be sure the events you choose align with who you are and how you want to build your business. Don’t worry about how many business cards you hand out or contacts you make. It’s not about quantity, but more about the quality of contacts you make and how you plan to follow up to build those relationships.