Networking Tips: Shannon Bednowicz
Shannon Bednowicz is a Partylite & Seacret Direct consultant who is especially talented in networking. She likes to make the most of her time networking to get the greatest value!
Thanks, Shannon, for sharing your networking tips so that we all can make every connection count!
Shannon Bednowicz’s Networking Tips
My upline says not to prejudge…
In direct sales and party plan we are reminded over and over never to pre-judge.
- “You never know who may be your next best hostess of consultant.”
- “Ask everyone.”
So, when it comes to networking and creating your marketing niche, be clear and specific about who you serve and what problem you solve.
That can be difficult to follow if you want to keep in mind the “don’t prejudge rule” also.
I used to struggle with this for 2 reasons:
- What problem does my product solve? If the product is a “luxury” item or a “nice to have” products that no one REALLY needs… how can I come up with a justification on why people “need” it?
- Who do I serve? I have customers from many lifestyles, income levels, men and women, different cities. How can I narrow my focus? Won’t that mean fewer customers and a prejudging?
Make The Most Of Networking Events!
After attending many, many networking events, and hearing other independent business owners explain who they are and what they do, I started to see that if they couldn’t quickly and clearly tell me who they are and who and how they help, I quickly forgot about them.
So, I went back to my parties and started listening, not just for keys that tell me one guest will make a great hostess or another will be a great consultant, but what benefit they receive from my product or from the experience of attending a party.
I noticed that busy professional women are stressed out big time!
They shared that not only does the experience of coming together with their friends reduce their stress, but lighting candles at home also relieves their stress and helps them refuel their energy.
3 Networking Tips
These 3 networking tips will help you to narrow down your niche and also not prejudge so that you get the most for your networking efforts.
- TIP #1 — If you are having trouble identifying a specific problem you solve, think about a specific feeling your customers get from your product or service.
When you attend a networking event, you most likely fall into the mistake that MANY networkers fall into: you think you are there looking for prospects.
You are NOT. You may find prospects, but that is the gravy.
You are there looking for referral partners.
This is why it is SO critical that you are able to clearly and effectively share what you do.
I’ve heard a skin care consultant say: “my best customer is anyone with skin.”
Will that help you to think of that person when you meet someone who would trigger a referral?
Here’s what you want to remember: choosing a niche and focusing on that target market does not mean that you turn away customers or prospects who don’t fit that profile.
It does mean you fine-tune your message to spark the interest of those people.
- TIP #2 — If you are having trouble narrowing your perfect customer profile, think of your best customer or hostess, the one you like to work with most.
You do not have to share every detail of how you do what you do. That happens in the conversation that follows.
You are just generating interest and opening a conversation.
Let them ask probing follow-up questions, and they will, and that is when you share exactly how you do what you do.
I found that if I hold back the name of my company as long as possible, I get people very engaged and interested.
If you work with a well-known company, people may have preconceived ideas about your company and what they do and how they work. They may be ideas that were formed a while back that are no longer accurate.
- TIP #3 — When sharing how you solve this problem, think of a headline in the newspaper.
You want to capture the key points, but not get bogged down with detail.
Here’s how it plays out: networking events are either structured where they go around and everyone gives their “30 second commercial” or they are mixers where you are walking around meeting people conversationally.
You want to be prepared with a scripted version but also to be able to sound off the cuff and casual when you answer the “what do you do?” question.
If you do it right, you’ll see curiosity in their eyes, and in conversation, will be presented with a follow up question about how you do that.
Time Management In Networking
Let’s face it, our time is valuable and we all struggle with time management. Effective networking means that you actually get a return on your efforts!
Like Deb says – share for 10 seconds or less – give them just a bit more information.
Having a list of benefits helps with tidbits you can throw out in a conversation as well.
Here’s a scripted example:
Hi, I’m Shannon Bednowicz. I help busy women who are overwhelmed, overworked and under-appreciated to unwind and relieve stress by teaching them how to create a personal home sanctuary just by adding fragrance, lighting and accents so that they can still reduce their stress level at the end of the day.
Shannon Bednowicz – Wine, Women And Wax
Shannon Bednowicz has been sharing PartyLite since January of 2006, calling her home business Wine, Women And Wax.
She originally started her business alongside a full-time position so that she could support her husband’s career change.
In the first 3 months of business, she was promoted to the first level of leadership and earned the annual incentive trip… very exciting!
Shannon sponsored 21 new consultants in her first year of business and her team continues to grow.