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Saturday, July 20, 2019

Why I've Shifted My Focus from Mostly Networking to Building Relationships

Why I’ve Changed My Focus to
 Building Relationship!

What Networking has Meant to Me

To me, networking is reaching out to people, B2B and B2C so they become aware of my existence. Why? Because no one will patronize my business if they are not aware of its existence.

My Networking Experience

So, I began networking, with business cards in-hand, so people could discover my company’s obvious value. 

I quickly learned that there are many, many varied networking styles and group techniques. Some groups occur weekly. Other groups have scheduled presentations or, focus on a ‘speed dating’ format. Some networking groups are free while others charge a fee. Some have a defined membership theme while others are open to the public. Of course, this is just a sampling of networking groups and styles.





Why I Think Networking is Important

I’ve found the core theme of most groups is to enhance people-people connectivity, designed to provide a competitive advantage in their industry. 

Yes, I understand the philosophy and, appreciate the value of networking. However, I (too) often have found myself going to networking events, cards in-hand, with the primary intent to gain new clients. I’d accommodate their ‘pitch’ long enough for the opportunity to share my ‘pitch’. 

I’ve often watched in awe those networkers who avidly networked by the clock. If no clear commitment to ‘close’ within 2 minutes (much like the speed-dating format), they quickly move on to the next potential client. Although I respect those who adhere to the volume-based connection, As an introvert, I’ve never been artful with this technique.

Why I’ve Converted from Networking to Building Relationships

However, a recent One-One meeting has accelerated my evolving approach to networking. It really is about building relationships, instead of just grabbing for the ‘sale’.

Here’s my story

I recently decided to reach out to a business owner that I’d crossed paths with at several networking events. Eventually, we began acknowledging each other with eye contact and an occasional verbal encounter. I never considered her as any mutual value because her business is in cosmetics (after all, I am a guy).

However, our brief engagements were always pleasant and professional and, she clearly had a sharp mind. I decided to request an Eye-Eye, adhering to the principal that the purpose of networking is to build relationships. I attended this meeting without any intention to make a ‘sale’ or avoiding the risk of being ‘sold’.

Because my sole expectation was to build a new relationship, the entire encounter turned out to be a novel and enriching experience.

Relationships Designed to Build Value

Too often I’ve experienced the other networking contact telling to meet near their office, regardless of how far apart we might be based, while also designating a day and time to meet. Clearly, I’ve been slotted to maximize their efficiency. Efficient for them as they’ve apparently decided that their time/effort was much more valuable than mine. 

However, (I’ll call her) Sue and I spent much of our pre-meeting dialogue trying to accommodate the time-value of each other, regarding our location, day and time. At our actual meeting, we were focused on learning about each other, our journey, our mission and our projections. Our talk was anything but about our business. Again, I’m a guy and cosmetics talk just doesn’t grab me.

Our conversation was engaging and expansive as we learned more about each other. The most amazing part was our realization that we shared almost identical values of service, quality and work ethic. We decided to enter into a mutual business venture that will likely provide us a significant advantage in the designated market.

My New Focus– It’s all about Building Relationships!

Joseph Wesley
JNL Creative Tours LLC

Once Your Brand-Value is Clear,
The Sale is Done!


Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Creating a Solid Brand-Value is a Series of Creating Great Partnerships



It is a fact that as you create your Brand-Value, you are also defining your market, the people, the businesses who will choose your products and services over the competition.

Part of your Brand-Value is inferred by those who you choose to associate with you and your business. Although Fran Tarkenton's article, 'Don't Make the Wrong Partnership: Assume Nothing' focuses on the importance of 'correct' partnership, his advice is also highly relevant to how clients will perceive your company's Brand-Value.

Your style, your methods and your integrity-level all tend to attract like-minded associates and clients. A too-often overlooked advantage is that your associates and clients will choose more on your perceived value and less on your competitor's  price.

Joseph Wesley
JNL Creative Tours LLC
www.jnlcreativetours.com
Once Your Brand-Value is Clear, the Sale is Done!

Monday, December 3, 2018

Competitive Immunity for Your Business

7 Trust Building Tips for your Business!

Virtually every business owner I've met clearly states that they are the best in product/service/value/cost. However, they then complain that the 3rd question usually asked by a prospect after, (1) what's their business and (2) for how long in business is, (3) how much? Generating trust in your business is a key element for a strong Brand-Value, that's an excellent buffer against the third question.

Creating a strong Brand-Value reduces price-comparison pressures on your business, now appreciated as providing a valued service instead of being treated as simply another negotiable commodity. Here are 7 trust-building tips for your business.


Joseph Wesley, president of JNL Creative Tours LLC, Once Your Brand-Value is Clear, the Sale is Done! 

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Let's Face It!

Six reasons why a Strong Brand is Important for business success. http://bit.ly/2QCU5k0 

Once you Brand-Value is Clear, the Sale is Done, JNL Creative Tours LLC, https://youtu.be/X2uuL9Ja_OE

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

JNL Creative Tours LLC, providing even Better Value for your Business, as a recent FastTrac® participant

Joe Wesley, Sandra Holtzman at FastTrac ceremony
Joseph Wesley and Sandra Holtman

I'm proud to announce that I recently completed a FastTrac® Growth Venture™ program. I shared this experience with a group of female co-participants who each brought an exceptional entrepreneurial legacy with them to the FastTrac® 10-week course. I found FastTrac® to be demanding, aggravating, challenging, exhilarating, insightful, motivating and, very productive and rewarding. 

I shared this experience with a group of female co-participants who each brought an exceptional entrepreneurial legacy with them to the FastTrac® course. Under the direction of Sandra Holtzman, a FastTrac Certified Facilitator, their unique insights nicely rounded out the ‘real life’ aspects of the challenges and successes of creating and running a viable business.

Sandra Holtzman’s gruff exterior poorly concealed her inner warmth, sharp mind and commitment to our successful course completion was contagious. She’s absolutely a rich cornucopia of insightful business experience and expertise, along with a vast pool of valuable resources and referrals.

My journey began with a recommendation from MRCC (Meadowlands Regional Chamber of Commerce) made to WCEC. WCEC then conducted a rigorous interview process prior to my acceptance into the FastTrac® program.

WCEC’s http://www.wcecnj.org, mission is to ‘provide the tools for women to successfully own, operate and grow their small businesses, thereby investing financially, intellectually and emotionally in their community’. Fortunately for me, they also will include some men into their program.

The Kauffman FastTrac®’s mission is to ‘equip aspiring entrepreneurs with the business skills and insights, tools, resources, and peer networks necessary to start and grow successful businesses’, https://fasttrac.org/.

My accumulation of business savvy, resources and newly formed networking associates has provided extraordinary value for me, my company, and most importantly for my clients. I highly recommend you contact WCEC to learn more about their mission and programs, including FastTrac®.

Joseph Wesley
JNL Creative Tours LLC
Generating Prospects to Strengthen your Company’s Bottom Line, through Creative Tour Events