Anne Boe is one of America's foremost networkers. In the last twelve years she has worked 100's of rooms as a speaker and author. (Book title: Is your "NET" Working?)
Boe turned an idea she had twelve years ago into a career as a keynote speaker, highlighted as President of the National Speakers Association – all by networking.
Recently, she spoke to 90 members of the Women's Business Owners in Charlotte. She was great. Her talk provided pragmatic insight into the career and financial rewards of building a solid network.
Boe, a brilliant, award winning speaker, led the audience through the psychological barriers of networking avoidance, and seemed to empower the audience with thought-provoking statements that had people leaning into her words. And humor that had them laughing to a point of applause.
Her call to action statement "If not now, when?" was followed with a wall sized projection slide of Ziggy saying, "Procrastination is the only thing I have time to do." And the classic Woody Allen quote, "80% of life is showing up." It worked.
Some of Boe's wisdom included:
- You're working anyway, you may as well have fun.
- Networking is creating momentum towards what you want.
- Networking is getting together to get ahead.
- Networking is getting known by those who count.
- Build and nurture long term, win-win relationships with networking.
In the middle of her talk she popped a slide on the screen that said, "What would you do if you knew you couldn't fail?" The audience was moved. Two minutes of table murmur ensued. Boe had made her point.
Boe asked, "Do you say, 'I wish I would have' after a networking event? If so, you must take risk. Networking involves risk, you must take people risks, just introduce yourself."
Boe challenges the group to be positive. It won't work if you aren't. Take your fears and negative thoughts and turn them in your favor. Turn them into assets. Since it takes twice as much energy to be negative as positive, why not increase your energy reserve and just be positive?
By turning negative energy into positive energy, you will learn to trust yourself. It will turn your heavy work into light work.
Boe recommends two action steps:
- Turn worries into goals.
- Turn fears into goals.
Here is a capsule of Boe's formula for making your "NET" work:
- Take action every day — some small dose at a time.
- Call at least two people per day (that's more than 500 contacts per year).
- Go to at least one networking event per week.
- It takes time — 6 months to begin to establish a relationship.
- Make friends when you don't need them.
- Make your customers and clients your friends. My clients are my friends. Are yours?
- If you add value out, you'll bring value in.
- Go with the flow. Trust your judgement.
She gave everyone plenty to think about, and plenty to do. With statements like "Networking is getting known by those who count," you become self-motivated to act in your own best interest.
True to her character, she throws her own birthday party every year in San Diego (May 7th for those of you who travel). Boe touts it as the networking event of the year — hundreds of people show up.
Anne Boe made me think and made me laugh. The perfect combination to make a meaningful, productive communication.
At the end of the meeting and seminar I was hanging around (invoking the Gitomer networking rule #16 — Be among the first to arrive and the last to leave.) Sure enough, Anne Boe had a box of books that she needed taken to her room and asked if I minded carrying it. As we got on the elevator, I told her I thought of myself as a superior networker. "What makes you think that?" Boe challenged. I said "Well, there were ninety people at your talk tonight, and only one of them is going up to your room."
What would you do if you knew you couldn't fail?
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