by Jessica Dahlquist, Director of Operations | Networking
Who’s in your Rolodex (for you millennials, a Rolodex is where we used to keep contact information before cell phones and social media)? Do you know who to call when you are struggling to find a new manufacturer or who can help you redesign your packaging? Connections are everything in the business world, but so many times we aren’t connecting with other peers in the e-commerce space because we are too busy and feel like networking is just another thing on a long list of to-dos. Networking is essential when it comes to growing a successful business and it’s easier than you think. Here are some simple principles we follow when it comes to networking and cultivating business relationships:
Quality Over Quantity
At conferences and networking events, you don’t need to meet everyone in the room. We recommend identifying exactly what you hope to gain from the event before you go and keeping this goal in mind while you’re there. Do you want to connect with someone who can help you with marketing? Is meeting someone who is a target customer and getting your product in their hands your goal? On Episode 3 of the Playbook for Amazon Podcast, we heard Kevin Liang (one of the best networkers we know) talk about how he always focuses on the one type of person he wants to meet at a business event, and is strategic about seeking out that interaction.
Relationships are More Important Than Receipts
Sometimes we are so focused on what we are getting out of someone or something that we neglect to develop positive rapport with others and end up coming off too pushy or salesy. The best partners we have are those with whom we’ve developed genuine friendships. We want people to know we aren’t just in it for what we can get out of a connection, but we genuinely want to add value for others. Plant the seed of trust and friendship and it will sprout into a tree of networking dividends.
Broaden Your Peer Group
In this coming year, make sure to seek out networking events to create new contacts and continue to nurture the ones you already have. You never know when a casual relationship will be the answer you’ve been looking for to grow your business.
Remember, you don’t need to go to an expensive conference across the country to network. Networking can happen anywhere you interact with other! Strike up a conversation with someone in a coffee shop or join a relevant Facebook group and engage with other members. When you open yourself up to positive interactions with your peers, you will find that they really are all around.
Now it’s time to get out there and build those connections! If you are ever in need of an Amazon consultant or you come across someone who is, you can honestly say, “Well I’ve got just the guy for you. Let me introduce you to TurnKey.” We’re happy to help (and have great affiliate programs so you can make some money just by making the intro). Sign up here to become an affiliate.
by Jessica Dahlquist, Director of Operations | Special Events
Who doesn’t love a good conference or networking event? You get the chance to break away from the office, network with like-minded, motivated colleagues, and hopefully learn new tools to level up your business. But on the other side of the coin, you might also feel stressed to break away from your daily responsibilities, overwhelmed by the crowds of people, and leave feeling like you have more to do and no more time to do it. Does this feel familiar? TurnKey attends a lot of conferences and we have three tips for making the most of attending conferences.
Set an intention.
If you go into a conference hoping to get “something” out of it, you’ll probably feel overwhelmed and aimless in your pursuit of the actionable wisdom you were hoping for. Instead, decide ahead of time exactly what you want to get out of the conference. For example:
- Learn more about effective email marketing and make a plan to adjust your emails accordingly,
- Reflect on your “Why” and revisit your mission statement,
- Find a new vendor for my products.
While you’re sure to get more out of the conference than just the one intention you set, by deciding ahead of time what your focus will be, you can make more informed decisions about which talks to attend or which mixers to visit.
Meet one person.
In Episode 3 of the Playbook for Amazon Podcast, Jeff interviews his friend Kevin Liang, who is a MASTER networker. While he shares a lot about his networking tips in the episode, one great takeaway was his recommendation to focus on meeting just one person at an event and to make that interaction count. Whether you have a specific individual in mind or just a type of person you want to connect with, you don’t need to worry about talking to EVERYONE in the room. If you can leave the event having had a meaningful interaction with just ONE person you were successful.
Debrief and go over your notes with someone within a week of attending.
At TurnKey this is our favorite thing to do post-conference! How many notebooks do you have from conferences filled with jumbled notes that you never even go back and read? There is GOLD in those notebooks, but they will NEVER benefit your business if you don’t take action on those takeaways. Our favorite thing to do after attending an event is to immediately go back through the notes and organize them in a more systematic way. If you have a flight home, that is the perfect time to do that. Then, within a week of the event, schedule a time with a team member or colleague, and share your takeaways with them. Verbalizing what you have learned helps those nuggets of wisdom truths sink in so much deeper and makes it more likely that you will act on the information.
So, if you have a conference or networking event coming up, use these three tips to get so much more out of the experience. We promise it’ll make these events more enjoyable and it will make their takeaways so much more impactful!