Even though I have 2 degrees from Boston University and live 15 minutes from campus, I’m not a big BU alumni. Maybe it’s because there wasn’t a big fraternity scene or football tailgating parties. For me, it was the city of Boston itself that’s the attraction. Since BU is 1 mile long and a block wide, the campus really becomes the city itself. So I’ve ignored BU attempts at bringing me back.
The one sport BU is good at is hockey and they’ve been ranked #1 most of this year and are going to the Frozen Four next week. Watching hockey on HD with the boys is almost as good as watching the games live so I’ve been caught up in the BU spirit. And then BU got me at a weak moment and I said, “Yes” to attending a BU Engineering industry night last week.
I’m back on campus, walking thru the student union and knowing that I can’t even pass for a grad student getting their PhD. Obviously not a professor, maybe the parent of one of these kids. Go into the dining room where they’re hosting the event and take a big breath.
The room is full of engineering seniors wanting to mingle with alumni and ask what’s it’s like in the real world. No speeches, just a quick intro and then mingle the crowd so that the kids could ask us questions one-on-one. I told the crowd, “I don’t know why BU ENG asked me to attend as I got out of engineering and into sales within 2 years of graduating BU.” Of all the other alumni, only 1 other wasn’t still in engineering and he was a patent attorney. I figured I’d be left alone for the next 2 hours, scorned for going to the dark side of sales.
Instead, I was mobbed. And I really enjoyed talking with them and was glad I attended. Why? Because I can remember being in their place and knowing I had spent so many hours studying to be an engineer, hours that my English and Business major friends were spending in the bars downtown. I can remember that eager but tight feeling of, “I have to get a Engineering job right now” without realizing that working for the next 40 years is what’s ahead of me. After all, I thought 30 year olds were due Social Security benefits when I was graduating BU. Just no concept of 4 years of school vs 40 years of working.
What these kids wanted to hear from me that it’s OK not to do the expected and get the obligatory engineering job right away. So I told them it’s OK. Be a (gasp) sales person. Join the Peace Corp, get a teaching job, be a bartender or ski instructor, travel the world if you can. Take some time to discover what you love to do. That job will be waiting when you’re ready.
I wrote about NetParty‘s Business Networking event last August 2008. Well, they’re back and hosting a new party in Boston on Tuesday, March 24th. Their parties combine Business with Social Networking. First h0ur or so is business networking with just light music in the background. Then the social networking kicks off and the music gets turned up.
Will you attend? Get your free invite here by March 23rd.
Boston not local to you? They have other cities to choose from. Wonder what the party in Buenos Aires looks like?
We had a great turnout to Friday Feb 20th’s Executive Club of Boston event hosted on BlitzTime. I was invited to talk on integrating your online networking with your in-person networking efforts. While the audience on the 20th couldn’t see the attached presentation, it’s what I used to prompt me during my speech.
Brent is a member of Inquisix and runs a “speed” networking event every Friday. The concept is pretty cool, I’ve attended a bunch of his meetings. Instead of meeting face-to-face every Friday, he’s using a technology from BlitzTime that allows participants to connect via phone with up to 6 other executives, all in 45 minutes. Each week, Brent invites an expert to talk and then the participants get connected with each other to talk for 6 minutes. After your 6 minutes is up, you are connected with another participant. Hence, the “speed” in his networking.
Jill’s discussion was very interesting. While she admitted that much of what she wanted to talk about was in her book, it was beneficial to get the synopsis.
Her main point is that the corporate decision makers use the delete key first. When listening to your voice mail, their finger is on the *3 or whatever key combination they use to delete your voice mail and email. Their preference is to delete, not listen. So if you are not relevant, your message is deleted immediately.
That means that you don’t have 30 or even 10 seconds to get your point across. You have 5 seconds to be relevant. Her studies have shown that corporate decision makers also believe that it’s your responsibility as the sales rep to call them back. Jill says that you’re their conscience.
Being relevant means you can’t be consultative. No more, “Hi, this is Jill and I’d like to understand more about your business issues so that we can find a solution for you.” Corporate decision makers don’t have the time or desire to educate you. Jill says that you must be assumptive in your belief that they have a pressing problem and that you can solve it.
Jill says that the corporate decision makers will review 3 things in their head as their finger is poised over the delete key.
Are you relevant?
Is this an urgent problem?
Are you credible, ie are you the one to solve this problem?
I found what she said very timely and very interesting. Thanks, Jill for your insight. And thanks to Nigel for hosting!
There’s a little more than one week left to take advantage of the Referral Expo 2008. We’re in the last stretch of 2008: Gain insight, expertise, new ideas, and power yourself through this these challenging economic times.
The Referral Expo is a virtual event, conducted over the phone. It’s free to attend, but registration is limited:
Breathe new life into your business
Generate more referrals
Find better quality referrals
Get new, innovative ideas! Bolster yourself against the economy. The Referral Expo 2008: Register now.
In times like these, building relationships and creating referrals are the keys to success. By attending this virtual expo, you’ll get loads of innovative ideas and strategies for generating referrals – all from the comfort of your home or office.
The Referral Expo 2008
Tap into 15 world-class marketing experts as they share their best referral strategies. I’m honored to be included in the team presenting at this year’s Referral Expo.
What: Referral Expo 2008 When: Now through October 10th
Each 1-hour presentation will be conducted over the phone on successive weekday evenings.
Monday – Friday at 5:00pm Pacific / 6:00pm Mountain / 7:00pm Central / 8:00pm Eastern
During our beta period we’ve supported members in the United States and Canada. However, based on overwhelming demand (especially from Ireland), we’ve added support for the following English-speaking countries:
* New Zealand
* South Africa
* United Kingdom
* United States
** Just added Singapore to the list of supported countries at the request of members **
We’ve also increased the capacity of our servers as traffic has been doubling on the site.
Inquisix becomes more valuable to you the more you use it to manage your referral-based business. Are you ready to get a referral on the site? Have you provided a referral to another member?
I was invited to a local business networking party. It’s only for “…young business professionals…” so I’m not sure I qualify anymore! The events are hosted by NetParty and they promise (and I quote):
The first two hours of our events are like an extended “cocktail hour” with passed hors d’oeuvres at many events, drink specials, and low music conducive to business networking and making new connections.
Later, our events take on a more social atmosphere, with great music, dancing and conversation.
Our events are held at the hippest and most interesting venues. However, the music is never so loud that you cannot talk and our crowd is generally comprised entirely of young professionals.
We do request “business” or “business casual” dress for our events. With that and a fun spirit, you’re good to go
Well, I wonder how much networking will be business and how much will be social. Guess I’ll have to go! If you’re interested in the Boston Event, it’s next Tue August 26th at The Estate in Boston.
Here’s a free invitation. They also hold networking events across the United States so check out the location near you. If you’re coming to the Boston event, come say, “Hi!” But find me early, I’m not much of a dancer!