Archives for the month of: November, 2011


To many of us, insurance is pretty snooze inducing. Hey, want to listen to a speech about insurance? No, thanks!

But, wait. Just watch this director of insurance marketing for Commonwealth Financial Network, Brian Harrison. (I have no affiliation with the company. And I want to thank Brad Phillips, president of Phillips Media Relations, who posted this on his blog.

Brian doesn’t start to give a speech. He starts to tell a story. A story that takes several minutes to tell, but that leads his audience right where he wants them: ready to listen to details they wouldn’t have cared about so deeply if he had launched into PowerPoint slides with bullet points.

This is wonderful. And the best part is that it works with just about any topic. The next time you have to present information — especially if it isn’t that exciting — find a story that makes your topic come alive. Start with that. And practice telling it.

Then, watch as they sit up and listen.

Keeping your network fresh maintains not just your contact list but also your business prospects. The effort increases your value and pays dividends when you least expect it.

Here are 9 simple tips for nurturing your network.

1. Send a note when you see, through your LinkedIn updates, that a contact was promoted. If your associate cared enough to update her profile, she will almost certainly appreciate hearing from you.

2. Use the reminder feature of electronic calendars (or Face Book) to mark special days, such as birthdays, for contacts. As for tip #1, your associate wouldn’t have added that information if she didn’t want well wishes. So send them along.

3. If you see a contact quoted in the press, mention it.

4. When you hear a compliment about a colleague, pass it on. We all need that kind of encouragement, and you — as well as the complimenter — will be remembered kindly.

5. When you’re about to badmouth a client or a colleague, remember that saying about what goes around…

6. If you say you’re going to get back to someone, do so. Promptly.

7. Offer to make the introduction. It matters.

8. You really never know when you’re going to run into someone again — and the job title the person will hold when that happens.

9. It’s easier to be civil than to keep a grudge.