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Lisbeth Calandrino
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My friend Candy Marrero is in the health insurance business. She is pleasant, fun and very outgoing. Despite these traits, Candy says she has trouble meeting people. Cold calling isn’t that much fun, in fact. It can be depressing. With that in mind, Candy decided to start her own networking group. Instead of going out to meet people, she decided to bring people to her. Not just one networking group, but presently she has at least four. She works hard at it, sends out notices and stays in touch. Her group is called the Professional Networking Group.

I bring this up, because it takes a lot of work to bring people together and even more work if you’re doing this regularly. I’m a member of one of her groups, and what makes it different is that the group is all about the quality of the interaction. We have speakers in our group who share information that help the members, and Candy invites speakers from the community. Paying it forward seems to be Candy’s motto. Giving people what they need is what customer service is all about.

You may not want to start your own networking group, but you might find other ways to bring ‘like’ people together. Start your own mastermind group or invite a group of people to your house to meet on a monthly basis. Find ways to get to know people you feel can help you do business.

Around 2009, I found a remarkable slowdown in business. I saw it coming, but I thought it would get better. I had no evidence that it would get better; I just didn’t know how to deal with it. It wasn’t getting better, and I found myself with a dramatic cut in my income. I had to find a way to meet people in my city; a place where I lived but had never done business. I decided to learn about social media, work on a book and find ways to speak to groups. I didn’t care what groups, or if I got paid; I knew people had to experience my product. I also knew that business would not occur in my living room. I started to meet people through social media and met people who were experiencing similar problems. We decided to help each other and learn new skills. It was fun and scary at the same time. This experience taught me several things. Stay tuned for Part 2 to find out what they are!

Filed under: Business Practices

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