Tag Archive for: business networking

When you become a Coaching for CEOs client, we will talk about your business and learn all we can to help it grow. The more we know about you and your business, the better position we will be in to help you put together the best board of directors you can.

We will want to know your POS:

  • Production: How many clients do you currently serve?
  • Offering: What services or products do you offer?
  • Sources: Who are your ideal clients?

Without knowing your strengths and weaknesses and what you need to reach your goals, it’s hard for us to help. We will also need a baseline of where your business is now so we can chart a course for you to grow. Your business partners should also know your POS. If not, they won’t know which of their clients and connections are a good fit for you.

With the right knowledge, your business partners will be empowered to help you.


We’d like to know how many clients you have and your capacity to serve more. You may want fewer new clients who buy more from you or you might be better served by diversifying your clients so there are more of them, but they buy less.

How much growth do you want and how fast do you want to grow? Companies can fail because they lack customers or can’t cope with fast growth and their service and reputation suffer. Your competitors could take advantage of the situation and take your unhappy customers away.


No one can help your business if they don’t know what you do. Depending on what you do, one of your possible business partners may be a great match, while another may not be much help. Ideally, you find someone who is well connected to the people or businesses you want to serve but they’re not competing against you.

Your business may be very local, have clients in this region of the country, or nationwide. A business making or selling something fairly simple and inexpensive will have a client base much different than if you are selling a product that is complex and expensive. Do you sell directly to users or through distributors?

Service providers face similar issues. A business selling home cleaning services or lawn maintenance is much different from one offering accounting or legal services to business clients. Is your service limited to a geographic area, or can you provide it anywhere thanks to telephones and the internet?


Your ideal clients could be individuals, small or large businesses, institutions, nonprofits, or government agencies. They might be in the area or within a five-hour drive. You may seek well-off families with considerable disposable income, businesses willing to spend money on you to save more money by cutting one of their costs, religious organizations looking to grow their membership, or car repair shops looking for more customers. There’s no potential customer out of reach with the right board members.

Get the Help Your Business Needs

If you want to learn more about how to leverage your relationships with business partners and grow your business, fill out my contact form and attend one of my online seminars. Let’s start the conversation about how we can help ourselves and others.

Your board of directors is there to help you. Why not return the favor? They’re reaching out to those they know to find opportunities and business connections for you. Are you ready to do the same for them? You never know who you’ll meet, including the biggest customer one of your directors ever got – thanks to you.

Wait? A board of directors for your small business? Yes! We call it a BOD here at Coaching for CEOs. Your BOD is made up of business connections who make a deliberate intent to contribute to the bottom line of your business.  

As the pandemic (hopefully) winds down, friends, family, and other business people will be getting together for the first time in months. We’ll be enjoying that human connection many of us missed living behind our computer screens. What will you talk about?

Small talk is all about asking open-ended questions. Make the other person the focus of the conversation and actively listen to what they’re saying. They’ll probably appreciate the attention and think you’re really smart if you’re interested in them.

Your Board Members May Need Many Things. Might This Person Help?

Keep a mental list of what your partners do and what they’re looking for. Their priority may be increasing sales, finding a supplier, a contractor or investor, or filling job vacancies. Try to figure out how the one you’re talking to, or someone they know, might fill one of these needs.

Come up with questions you can ask those you meet to find details that can help a board member (maybe even more than one). Start very broadly, with open-ended questions, then get more specific. You might find out more about their social circles, who they work for, and whether they might be someone your board members are looking for.

Once you have narrowed down which board member this person might help, they may open up more if you state you are asking for a friend, not for yourself: someone you are connected with who helps you with your business does _____ and is looking for help with _____.

Ask Specific Questions If You Think the Person Might Be a Good Fit

If the person recently got married, got a divorce, had a child, bought a house, or is heavily involved in a charity, your board member-attorney-friend who does estate planning would probably like you to ask if they have a will. If so, you could ask if it’s been updated to reflect their current goals, like making sure their assets will help their child or support that nonprofit. If not, creating one would be a good idea.

Your board member selling life insurance would also probably love to chat with that same person. Someone going through major life changes should review their existing coverage or buy a policy. Proceeds could pay off a mortgage, support a child, or benefit a charity. Tell them a friend sells insurance, and it is something they should think about.

Mortgage interest rates are at historic lows. If your board member works for a mortgage lender, and if the person owns a home, you could ask if they’ve refinanced their mortgage recently. That board member, or the one who is a real estate agent, would like you to ask if they plan on selling their home to buy a new one.

Both those industries are having record years. Maybe these board members need help keeping up and are looking to hire new employees. If you meet someone who doesn’t sound happy with their current job or is actively looking for work, they might be a good fit. Tell them you know someone who is hiring and offer to connect them to your board member.

Speak Up for Your Board Members

Your board members need help too, and reaching on their behalf is a great way to do it. Not only might they link you with possible clients or customers, but they are also a valuable resource who can answer questions or give advice. When you join Coaching for CEOs, you create business connections and have access to business partners who will help you build reciprocal relationships.

Want to learn more about how to leverage your relationships and grow your business? Fill out my contact form and attend one of my online seminars. Let’s start the conversation about how we can help ourselves and others.

Do an online search for articles on “how to business network” and they’ll all give you pretty much the same advice, all of which is a waste of time and almost never works. And I’ll tell you why.

 Networking That Doesn’t Work

They’ll tell you to attend business card exchanges to meet new people. They’ll tell you to go with goals in mind – hand your card to X number of people; make at least one new connection to follow up with; make notes on business cards about your discussion so you can follow up.

Some people even get clever – and deceptive. One person wrote that he makes a mark on the back of every business card so the person thinks he’s going to be remembered. If the person is meaningless to him and he’s going to throw out the card when he gets back to his office, he makes a smiley face on the card, which the other person will obviously think is good. If he wants to get back to the person, he will jot a real note about the conversation.

This example highlights something obvious that most people miss – the vast majority of people you meet at networking events and business card exchanges you’ll never speak to again – which means you’ve wasted your time.

But what about the people you do follow up with? Conventional wisdom tells you to “do lunch” or “grab a cup of coffee together” or “get together to pick your brain.” Again, a total waste of time and money – unless your meal was delicious enough to cost double since you’re paying for your own and your new “contact’s” meal. These meetings may give you another nice or interesting person in your life, but the odds are very low that they will affect your bottom line.

Then there are “exclusive” networking groups that expect you to come to a meeting with a lead for someone, then sit and listen to someone talking at you about what he or she has to offer. Though these groups have a little better handle on effective networking, they only go halfway, and if you only go halfway, you never reach your goal.

Networking That Works

So what is your goal? Networking to affect your bottom line, every time. This is the C.E.O. model. Time is a commodity that you can’t get back once you’ve wasted it. We don’t waste time, money, or energy on ineffective networking. We see every meeting as an opportunity to positively affect our businesses, thus our name – Celebrating Every Opportunity.

C.E.O. is a new approach to networking, in which members commit to contributing to the bottom line of other members. Our goal is to provide recurring income sources for each other, and to do this consistently.

In reality, we don’t “network” – we build partnerships. We don’t limit the group to one person in each profession, as some networking groups do. There’s enough business out there to have multiple accountants or real estate agents or web designers.

We put the Law of Reciprocity into action with every business interaction. If others are making money off of you, you should be making money off of them. Your accountant should be bringing you money. Your real estate agent should be bringing you money. Your hairdresser should be bringing you money.

This is networking that works. C.E.O. offers twice-monthly sessions to help members refine their networking style and sales techniques to make the most of every opportunity. And because of the training and strategic partnership-building, members see their businesses explode.