Episode 182

Oct 5, 2018

You responded with tips and scripts about Allissa’s networking experience and how to improve and handle awkward networking situations.

Listen to "E182: Follow Up – Your Advice for Networking Newbies" on Spreaker.
Image for E182: Follow Up – Your Advice for Networking Newbies


You responded with tips and scripts about Allissa’s networking experience and how to improve and handle awkward networking situations.

Stuff we mentioned:

Sponsored by: Acuity and GiftUp!


Sponsor message This episode is sponsored by Acuity, our 2018 software of choice. Acuity scheduling is your online assistant working 24/7 to fill your schedule. No more phone tag; clients can quickly view your real-time availability and self-book their own appointments and even pay online and reschedule with a click. Handle all of your forms before the appointment so you can get right to doing the massage you do best. Look and act professional by offering convenient scheduling to your clients that matches your brand and your voice. Customer support is a delight. And Acuity’s style will help you relax and have fun running your business again. Check out the special 45-day free offer at massagebusinessblueprint.com/acuity.

Michael Reynolds Hey, everyone. Welcome to the Massage Business Blueprint podcast, where we discuss the business side of massage therapy. I’m Michael Reynolds.

Allissa Haines And I am Allissa Haines.

MR And we are your hosts today. Welcome, everybody. Allissa, welcome to you. Is your home office — your tiny home office complete? You’ve got a fireplace in there; it’s all kind of put together?

AH It is. I still — I haven’t finished a few things because I am waiting to have more money in the budget. I need a few small pieces of furniture and few things to touch up. The floor is really cold, so I need a few extra area rugs. But it’s sufficient now, and I have a sinking fund set up for the rest of my home office renovation. So when I get like another 250 bucks for that I’m going to go out and buy some lamps and some rugs and a few other things and it’ll be totally done. But I’m budgeting for it, Michael.

MR Look at you talking about budgeting and sinking funds and I’m just — just warms my heart.

AH I know, right? Oh! I have a thing.

MR You have a thing? Oh, yeah, go ahead.

AH I have a thing I want to share with everyone from my banter. So y’all know I listen to podcasts, lots of different kinds. There is a new podcast out that is amazing. It’s called Last Seen. And it is a podcast about the largest unsolved art heist in history, which happened to have been here in Boston here at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in the 1990-ish. I am shocked to learn that it happened just north of me when I was in high school and I didn’t know anything about it. But that said, that’s not the kind of thing I was paying attention to in high school. I have been listening to this podcast — and it’s put out by WBUR, which is our local NPR station, and the Boston Globe — and it is amazing. Episode 2 just dropped today and it’s — I didn’t listen — I don’t listen to crime podcasts because I can’t handle violence and murder and stuff. But there’s — nobody was harmed in this and it’s actually like a really wacky art heist that happened in a really funky little museum. Everyone can go to wbur.org/lastseen, S-E-E-N, and I’ll put the link in podcast notes, but people should be listening along with me. Dr. Boyfriend listened to the first two episodes this morning and texted me a few minutes ago and was like, Oh, my God, Episode 2 is amazing! So that’s my podcast episode. What’ve you been listening to, Michael?

MR Well, I actually just now was texting my wife a link to it because she likes crime-based podcasts, like true crime stuff, and so I think she might like it. So I just texted her a link to it, so —

AH Oh, awesome.

MR Check it out. So that is very cool advice.

AH Oh, I can’t wait. Ariana and I can have a discussion club about it.

MR Yeah, she might like it.

AH It’s really good. The first minute or two of the very first episode, I didn’t like the journalists voice. She used a couple of like — there’s some of her verbiage in the first — in the very opening thing I was like, What? I don’t think I’m going to like this. But then I eased right into it and she stopped using such fancy words and we were good and I adore her now. So there’s that.

MR So to answer your question what I’m listening to. I’m listening to So Money sometimes because you introduced me to Farnoosh Torabi.

AH Farnoosh Torabi.

MR I don’t agree with everything she gives — all of her advice, but I still like the podcast and I enjoy listening to it.

AH I feel the same way.

MR Oh, okay.

AH It makes me — but I like that when I disagree with something, I’m at the point of financial literacy where I can think to myself why.

MR Yeah.

AH Well, here’s why that doesn’t apply to me. And I think that that is really helpful.

MR Yeah. So I appreciate you pointing me to that podcast. And I’m also — I haven’t started listening to this, but I’ve added a new one to my list, it is Michael Kitces’ Financial Advisor Success podcast, which obviously is very specific and relates to my profession. So that’s really not for everybody, but that is one that gets very highly rated, so I’m going to check it out soon as well.

AH You know, one of our premium members told me about the BizChix, and it’s chix with an X. I’m going to send you a bunch of links to that. I’ve just started listening, but I’ve listened to a couple of really great episodes that have inspired me for episodes for us here moving forward. So I’m really excited about that, so I’ll put a link to that as well in the podcast notes along with So Money. And what was the — you’re going to have to put the link to the other one you just mentioned.

MR Well, I probably don’t need to because it’s for financial advisors specifically —

AH So never mind.

MR Yeah, it’s very niche.

AH Anyhow, those are our podcast recommendations.

MR There you go. So, hey, we have a show, though, today don’t we?

AH We do.

MR What is our show? I’m excited. It’s a follow up from two weeks ago when you were sharing your networking experience. And as promised, we have some follow-up tips for networking newbies.

AH Yeah. So if you haven’t listened already, you can go back to two weeks ago, Episode 180, where it was titled My Experience with Networking and Getting Out of My Comfort Zone. I really opened myself up for critique on this one because I struggled with a bunch of things and I said to everyone, how would you handle this? What would be a better script for this and here are the things I struggled with and how would you work past them? I got some — the discussion we had was in the premium discussion group; so if you’re not a premium member, you won’t see it. But that’s okay; I’m going to share some bits with you now. It was great. I really got nailed in a bunch of ways. Some people really hammered my opinions, but I asked for that; so it’s cool. And also gave some really wonderful advice and shared some really great experiences, both positive and negative, but great in that they informed future actions in a good way.

One clarification to make — I’m going to share a lot of that feedback with you. One clarification to make, I talked a lot about how I struggle in women’s groups because there tend to be many people selling products that are beauty-based and physique-based, and I stated something about like a laser hair-removal thing. It wasn’t hair removal. It was wrinkle and cellulite removal, which was just — makes me even more uncomfortable than hair removal. But the funny thing that happened is right after Michael and I recorded the podcast episode, like literally 10 minutes after, I got an email from the wrinkle-and-cellulite-laser lady that said, We met at Tuesday’s women networking group. First of all, I never actually met her. I never had a one-to-one hello with her or anything. The most relationship we had was when she introduced herself across the circle. That was it. And it had — and that’s all it said, We met at blah-blah-blah, and then it had images in there of cellulite removal stuff, like before and after pictures. It was just terrible. So I promptly reported that to the women’s group leadership to be like, I’m getting email spammed by someone I never actually met. What they hey? So that happened, which was funny. So now let’s get to people’s feedback.

I didn’t get the chance — I didn’t ask — I didn’t expect the feedback to be so thorough, and I don’t know why I didn’t because our premium members are amazing. But I did not get people’s permission to use their names along with some of their feedback, so I’m paraphrasing and not putting some of our member names in here because what happens in our private group is private. But I did have a couple people say that I sold myself short on the opportunity to network with everyone else who was there and could end up being a good fit for me and my clients down the road. So, yes, it’s important to vet people’s skills. For example, I would never buy essential oils from someone who had no training, but if they could show me that they have training from a reputable source and that they don’t make questionable claims, I would totally utilize them as a referral for a client. She suggested, this reader, this member, suggested that I come up with a couple of boilerplate responses to use when I am put on the spot. So a standard blurb for Hey, have you met Jane, she sells essential oils? And that’s it; I don’t have to endorse it one way or the other. And have a different response for when someone asks, What do you think about essential oils curing Ebola? And thinking on those responses — and I have some other suggested responses for people coming up — and have them at the ready and then I’ll feel less concerned about those situations because I’ll be ready to handle them. Absolutely. That was really great feedback.

Also, someone else, and I know my friend Leslie would be cool with me telling everybody, but my friend Leslie Forrester gave me some really good feedback that was like, Hey, this was a really missed opportunity for you. You had a golden moment to differentiate yourself from being a place of body judgement to a place of body acceptance, and you didn’t do that. She said I could have established myself on the idea that I don’t over-promise the effects of massage the way other people might or that I don’t tout questionable claims about cures for autism, and I could have been the only one in the room that really is body-positive and that she think I missed a big opportunity to learn about and experience — to teach people how I handle my clients and how I handle these issues. And Leslie was absolutely right. I totally could have positioned myself better and I did not.

One of our friends and members talked about — she gave me her script for dealing — when someone who you think is of questionable ethics or is touting some therapy that you are not comfortable with, she says, Thank you for reaching out. I am familiar with your work. When we met last time blah-blah-blah. My approach is more aligned with Western medicine, so I’m probably not the best fit for referrals for you. However, I know others in the wellness community who might be more aligned with your practices and should any of them be interested in your services, I will pass your information along. Period. Hey, it’s not what I do. Your approach is not one I can endorse, but if I ever find someone who I think is a good fit for you, I’ll send them along. That’s great. That’s brilliant. It’s very clearly not selling yourself out. You’re being honest; you’re being clear. Our last episode we talked bout what you ow people; a certain level of honesty and clarity. But she’s doing it in a very kind and clear way. What more can you ask for?

I have a couple other tips that I gathered from our premium members. But, Michael, meanwhile, talk to me about who our halftime sponsor is.

MR Sure. Halftime sponsor today is our friends over at giftUP.

AH Yay giftUP.

You can sell digital gift cards and gift certificates online. The system is built with massage practices in mind. It’s completely free and simple to set up. There’s no set-up fee like with some other online gift sales stuff. You can install it on any website or Facebook page and you get your money, less giftUP’s small percentage fee — they only take a fee when you sell a gift certificate — in two days. So you’re not waiting for your money money and then getting billed out fees monthly, it just all happens in one transaction within two days of when you sell the gift certificate. Super easy. You can check it out at giftupapp.com/mbb and the first 10 gift cards you sell are completely fee-free and there’s never any monthly cost. So it’s giftupapp, G-I-F-T-U-P —

MR Actually I’m going to jump in —

AH Did I do that wrong?

MR It is massagebusinessblueprint.com/gift up.

AH Can we just edit this out. I know we don’t edit.

MR No way. No way.

AH Yes, ugh.

MR I’m too lazy to do that.

AH I’m sorry. My problem is that I didn’t scroll down my notes far enough. So you want to go to massagebusinessblueprint.com/giftUP. Get the first 10 cards free and make fun of my terrible advertising abilities later. That’s great.

MR It’ll probably happen again another time.

AH Multiple, multiple times. I was so concentrating on getting the details right that there we are.

MR There we are.

AH So in our conversation about networking, we also had a lot of people talk about how great their experiences had been. That they thought that they would really struggle with it, but then they went to a meeting and found the group to be really supportive. We had tons of super positive experiences too. So I don’t want my one negative experience to color everyone. So here are some tips.

Visit groups and choose your membership well. So you need to visit a couple of groups, a couple of chapters of whatever or a couple of different types of groups before you decide you’re going to join one. And then if you’re going to do this, you need to do it. You need to join; you need to be consistent. Go to that same group of people every week or every other week or every month or whatever the schedule is for that group, you’ve got to go. You’ve got to make it as important as a client on your table and go.

Be open-mined and actually get to know people, not like me. Actually, don’t be all judgmental about the things people offer, get to know them and their services, and then you can make an educated decision and not an icky, gross, judgmental-place-of-whatever decision, and refer or not refer to people accordingly.

Know yourself and your personality so that you prep well and recover well. If you know that you’re nervous about having to give your 30-second intro, practice that. If you know that you’re going to be exhausted after this networking thing, make sure you give yourself a buffer time before you have to to into the office and see people. If you know that you feel super energized after these kinds of events, schedule some one-to-ones for right after that meeting. Or whatever. But know yourself, know your personality and what you need to prep and recover.

You can get help. We have a whole course. Michael has a whole audio course on how to be successful at this kind of networking and we’ll put the link to that in our show notes. Use it, man. If you’re a premium member, it’s free. If you’re not, you can purchase it and yeah. Use the course. Use resources. Google “how do I succeed at a networking event” and you’ll find some options. You’ll find some information and some training.

And stay tuned because we are going to have an upcoming guest episode, in the next month, with our friend Crystal Williams who is super networker extraordinaire. She has actually given me a ton of tips about moving forward with in-person networking stuff, and she’s going to answer — she’s been polling all the premium members for their networking questions, and she’s going to answer them all in a podcast episode with us in a couple of weeks.

And that’s what I got, Michael.

MR I like it. Yeah. I wouldn’t be too hard on yourself. I think it’s important to be true to yourself and to understand that if you have a certain philosophy about your business, then it’s okay to not refer to people in your group that don’t align with that. I think that’s perfectly fine. On the flip side, I do agree with being open-minded as well. There are some — some people are just completely shut down any mention of MLMs or certain types of products and they just will not even hear about it. But occasionally there are actually decent products out there that can help some people, so I like the idea of being open-minded as well. Like many things, it’s a balance.

AH Word. And again, we’ve got our business networking jumpstart for massage therapists audio course, which is easy to find on the products page of our website. That could be helpful to people too.

MR Could be. Could be.

AH I’m done.

MR All right. Cool. I like it.

AH This podcast exhausted me almost as much as attending the networking event.

MR All right. Well let’s shut it down, then. Thanks, everybody, as usual, for joining us. Our home base on the web is massagebusinessblueprint.com. If there is any kind of comment or feedback or questions you have for us, please feel free to email that to us as well at podcast@massagebusinessblueprint.com. We would love to hear from you. We love feedback. We read all that feedback and we respond as much as we can and we appreciate everybody who listens and sends us thoughts and notes. Thank you for that. Thanks as always for joining us this week. We’ll see you next time.

AH Bye.