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Dear %FIRSTNAME%,

Thank you for subscribing to this newsletter. We hope that you will find a lot of value from it and be sure to forward it to your friends and colleagues.

 

This month's newsletter focuses on networking as this is important for any career level as we continue increasing our client’s social capital. As always I hope you find these tips useful and continue to let us know your thoughts.

With best regards,

Derek Bbanga


Never Eat Alone (Ever)

Many think networking means wearing a cute outfit, engaging in some idle chatter with strangers and then exchanging business cards with a casual mention of services they offer. That is not networking. That's socializing, and it’s about as strategic as calling everyone in the phone book.

In an age where all newbies need references and most career switchers rely on a connection to make the change, a strong network is critical. Arguably most important, you need to find the delicate balance between under-utilizing your connections and abusing them. Regardless of where you are in your career, networking is an absolute must. So, let's figure out how you can network efficiently and effectively.

Three things that are critical to networking:

  1. Having access to people, which is something you build over time;
  2. Performance during and after each interaction, meaning you get back to the person and do what you can to help them out; be responsive; and
  3. Consistency  in each interaction with the person, you are consistent in your actions.

 

Real networking starts with being aware of what my body language, attire, and handshake say about me before I even speak. All three of these silent  cues have to communicate professionalism and confidence
Appropriate behavior involves creating a professional aura and presence beginning with how you walk into a room, stand, shake hands, create and maintain eye contact and express your facial and other gestures. Hone up on power handshakes as a poor, weak one can immediately diminish the effect of your professional clothing and posture.

Take sufficient business cards. No one, whether employed or in transition, ever attends a business event without one. Never run the risk of meeting someone who is interested in talking further … and then your having to write your information on the back of her/his card or horror of horrors on a napkin.

Spend most of your time finding out what you can do for others rather than concentrating on your needs, i.e., listen well and respond to what they are sharing. Master networkers realize that when you give you get and usually in far greater proportion. If you are conversing with master networkers, they will appreciate your listening skills and provide you the opportunity to talk about your needs as well.

Effective networking also includes crafting a Verbal Business Card. This is a three-sentence personal pitch that should contain an action verb describing what I do and how that benefits the other person. “I am a writer” is not a verbal business card. Think of it as the front end of your elevator pitch laden with benefits and as necessary as the tines on a fork. Populate it with words that describe your expertise.

Networking is often seen as distasteful because many think it is all about putting yourself first to get ahead. However, I urge you to carefully consider your network and how you can strategically strengthen your connections to form beneficial two-way relationships. Regardless of where you are in your career, networking is an absolute must.

Whom We've Worked With This Month

  • Catholic University of Eastern Africa
  • Jaffery Academy
  • British American
  • Dolphin Consultants  

We are currently running a series of one-on-one trainings on the weekends at our offices on our various modules. If interested kindly contact us.

We've added a new member to the Public Image team. Joyce Muthoni joins us as partner and associate trainer. Joyce is also the founder and managing director of Proteque Consulting.

In both companies she has been instrumental in helping numerous clients transit from ordinary self presentation to having extra ordinary personal brands through her unique, in-depth and humorous delivery style. She has appeared on Radio and Television shows answering questions on Image, Etiquette and Dining skills. She is also the author of the book, Manners at the table, targeted to young children, encouraging them to learn table manners from early on in their lives, and has featuredarticlesin magazines. Joyce has been able to work with leading brands and companies such as Safaricom, Path finder International, National Security Intelligence Service to name a few. Her in-depth insight on customer service skills, image, etiquette and personal branding has enabled many to boost their self esteem, confidence and levels of professionalism.

 

About Public Image

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Public Image has a unique approach to building individual and corporate achievement. Business etiquette, creating a positive image though posture and dress, soft skills, communication proficiency, personal branding and networking expertise are key elements in the Public Image approach to developing professional skills.

Projecting a positive image for business will give you an edge in today's competitive market

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The Verbal Business Card

Most people are familiar with a standard, business card and use it regularly in their job search and at networking events. However, if you haven’t heard of a verbal business card, you have missed out on 50% of your networking effectiveness. You need to create a verbal sound-bite!

As a professional you need to differentiate yourself from the competition, by being: more prepared, more polished and more succinct.

We exchange thousands of business cards, yet we use our verbal business card 22 more times than our paper card. How much blood, sweat, and tears went into designing that paper card? How much time have you spent designing what you say to people in the first 30 seconds, which has an infinitely greater selling power? If you lose someone's attention in those first few seconds, it takes three times as long to get it back.

Our attention span drifts in and out of the conversation about every seven seconds, which is a normal process. Furthermore, we are all wary of being sold. That's why you need a subliminal smart bomb of a message. Your information needs to contain an emotional trigger that will go under the intellectual radar of your listener. If your message contains emotion, it will trigger a different part of the brain, the limbic system, create a different type of memory, and stay there longer. That's how you stay top-of-mind in your prospective listener. Emotion sells.

Data doesn't. Another barrier to being heard is that most of us like to tell our "story" — that's the how, why, and what of our business. Your 30-second message is a hook, not a description it's about the results you can produce for them. Its sole purpose is to provoke a call to action. When done correctly, it makes people want to do something — ask for your card, question you more closely, call you up.

If you keep your conversation solely on your clients and in the third person, you will not sound "salesy" but confident. Pick a verb that sets you apart from the competition. Use numbers to raise curiosity. Figure out which deep need your business satisfies in your clients and describe how you answer that need. When they ask you for more information, resist the urge to tell your story. Keep hooking your listeners with headlines about your business such as a brief testimonial, a range of your results, or a one sentence success story. Above all, make sure your message is not about you but about the results you can produce for them.

Use simple language and avoid buzzwords such as "synergy," and "uniquely positioned." Everyone has heard just how "customer-focused" everyone else is before. Remember, this is not just a verbal pitch, it's a first impression – and being authentic and human is as helpful to your cause as getting across your professional message.

Here are a few tips to keep in mind as you craft your verbal card.

  • Keep it short
  • Have a memory hook
  • Test it out aloud
  • Practice
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Is your company planning a training event, a sales retreat, or team building? Contact Public Image for a keynote speaker www.publicimageafrica.com or derek.bbanga@publicimageafrica.com

Are you looking for a Corporate Emcee for your event – do get in touch.

Office location: 1st Floor at Luther Plaza, Nyerere Rd.

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Public Image Inc. - Nairobi, Kenya. Ph +254 724 416 442