Charlie Lawson

Being Specific is Easy!

May 29, 2013

Part 1: Business to Business Any good networker will know the importance of being specific when networking – whether in a formal presentation to a networking group, in a 1-1 meeting, or in a general open networking context, being specific will bring more opportunities for referrals and business.

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Do I really want to connect with you?

April 25, 2013

I was chatting with a business owner the other day about online networking.  He said he was getting massively frustrated with Linked In – he understood that it was important that he had a presence on the network – but just found himself inundated with connection requests, and plenty of them were from people he didn’t know. I asked him what he did with all these requests – he replied that he simply clicked ‘ignore’. 

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Would you like to be brilliant at presentations?

April 9, 2013

I was chatting with a BNI member, Alan, recently, and I asked him how his membership was going. ‘Absolutely brilliant’, came his unwavering reply. ‘That’s great – how much business have you generated?’ I asked. ‘Plenty – but that’s not why my membership has been brilliant.’ ‘Really?’ ‘Well, my daughter got married last Saturday, and ever since she was born, 32 years ago, I’d been terrified at the thought of doing a father of the bride speech.  Thanks to speaking every week to my BNI colleagues, my fears were taken away.’

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I’m terrible with names

March 1, 2013

I’m terrible at remembering names.  I always have been – and often, given I run the UK’s biggest referral and networking organisation, this can cause some interesting challenges. ‘Hi Charlie’, someone will say when we meet at an event or function. ‘Hi, how are you?’ will be my slightly stumbled, embarrassed reply.  Now I KNOW that I’ve met the person before (faces I don’t have a problem remembering) – but names – like I said, I’m terrible! If they are wearing a name badge though, a quick glance down, and the reply is a much more satisfactory ‘Hi Tim, how [...]

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Desperate for business?

January 28, 2013

I heard a fascinating story the other day.  At a dinner party, I met a friend of a friend who ran a decorating business.  His frustration was obvious as he was enduring a slow start to 2013 – the phone had just stopped ringing. I asked him what he was doing to promote his business – he’d printed several thousand leaflets and dropped them through letterboxes all around his local area. I asked him how many calls he’d received – from all that effort, he’d received just one call to quote!  However, as it happened, that one call had been [...]

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What are business cards worth?

January 10, 2013

We’ve all done it (or at least I know I have)… we attend a business networking function, collect some business cards and then get back to the office with the intention of following up with the contacts we met. For me, the stack of cards collected is put in the place on my desk that I specifically reserve for matters of high importance: right next to the phone.  I look at them and think “I’ve got to follow up with those contacts today – it’s important”. Then, for whatever reason – perhaps the phone rings, or an email comes in, [...]

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How Rude!

December 10, 2012

At a networking event recently, I bumped into Elizabeth, an old colleague from a previous job.  As it was a busy event, we both agreed that we should sit down for a coffee to have a proper catch up, so we arranged to meet the following week. With the chance to talk properly, it turned out that through our various contacts, we were both in a position to help each other.  I was really excited – her current role was on a project with a client that I’d been interested to get an introduction to, and amongst other things, I’d [...]

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Being Specific – is it a Complete Waste of Time?

November 12, 2012

I was running a training workshop recently, and at the end I facilitated a business generation exercise where all the attendees (about 60 or so) were asked to share their top ‘target’ in terms of who they’d like a referral to. The key to success in this exercise is that it only works if the targets shared are specific – so not only naming a target company, but also the person at the company they’d need to speak to, both in terms of their job title, and their name.

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