6 Ways You Can Hire The Big Guns

Hiring new employees is probably the most important aspect of any small business. Most business owners waste a lot of time, money, and energy on finding the right fit for your business. Hiring the wrong person is not only costly, but it devalues your brand as well.

According to most recruiters, the cost of a new employee – including your time, training, and benefits – is $240,000. But if you hire the wrong person it can cost you up to $840,000 when you factor in total compensation, including severance, additional hiring, and other disruptions to your business.

Hiring is more than just placing an ad on Craig’s List, interviewing, and then checking out references. It’s important to have the proper process in place each time a position becomes open.

1) Write Better Job Descriptions

This is often an overlooked part of hiring. If you don’t describe exactly who and what you want, then you’ll get the wrong candidates applying for the position. Many companies write detailed descriptions with long lists of responsibilities and requirements; but a study done by the Wall Street Journal says that this can actually alienate a lot of qualified employees.

In the study researchers found that in 56 job ads, those that emphasize on what an employer can do for the candidates found they attracted better quality candidates. Write ads that create excitement and value for the candidate and you’ll find the right applicant begging for the job.

2) Interview Multiple Candidates Multiple Times

This may seem intuitive but it’s crazy how many people don’t take the time to interview more than one candidate. If you let excitement or lack of time get in the way, you’re more likely to grasp the first promising lead that comes your way.

You also want to get a second opinion on your candidate. Find either a co-worker or another manager to give your candidate a second opinion, preferably someone with a different personality than you. It is great to see how the candidate does under different circumstances.

3) Focus On Soft Skills

You might be tempted to hire somebody based on work experience and whether they have certain skill sets but social intelligence, institution, conflict resolution, and critical thinking are all skill that cannot be easily taught—if at all. These should be considered into your decision. Not just an impressive resume.

4) Embrace Social Media

Like most employers, you might do a quick Google search on your candidate and see what comes up online. But you should also be looking through the candidate’s social media profiles to check out what sort of person they are. At the very minimum, you should check their LinkedIn profile; but you also want to search them on Facebook and Twitter as well. If you see lots of photographs of parties, then you shouldn’t be too surprised if they call in sick on a Monday morning.

5) Improve Your Interview Skills

Sometimes even star candidates don’t perform well in interview situations. It’s your job to make them feel comfortable and act as naturally as possible. You should think out your interview questions beforehand and roll play with your own staff to make sure you can guide your interviewees to get answers you want. Become a skilled interviewer and you’ll find your hiring will improve.

6) Have A Probation Period

When you hire somebody it’s best if you make it clear that you’re hiring them on a trial basis. You never know what issues will pop up. Sometimes you underestimate the chemistry required for an applicant to be successful. Even after you’ve done all your due diligence you never know if a person will really work out.

Another strategy you can use is to hire your candidate as a freelancer or an intern. That way if they don’t work out then it’s not such a big impact. Or if you’re desperate for a full-time employee you can give your candidate a small task to complete. For example, you can get them to write a blog article like this one, or social media to see how detailed oriented they are.

Hopefully this article has given you some helpful tips on how to hire superstars. Hiring top talent will do more than anything to boost your business and take it to the next level.

General Stats for Conclusion
American Business is Overwhelmingly Small Business
In 2012, according to U.S. Census Bureau data, there were 5.73 million employer firms in the U.S. Firms with fewer than 500 workers accounted for 99.7 percent of those businesses, and businesses with less than 20 workers made up 89.6 percent. Add in the number of nonemployer businesses – there were 23.0 million in 2013 – then the share of U.S. businesses with less than 20 workers increases to 97.9 percent. Among employer C Corporations in 2012, 99.2 percent had less than 500 workers, and 86.2 percent had fewer than 20 employees.

The Small Business Share of GDP
A January 2012 report from the SBA’s Office of Advocacy found: “Small businesses continue to be incubators for innovation and employment growth during the current recovery. Small businesses continue to play a vital role in the economy of the United States. They produced 46 percent of the private nonfarm GDP in 2008 (the most recent year for which the source data are available), compared with 48 percent in 2002.”
Source: “Small Business GDP: Update 2002-2010”

Bulk of Job Creation Comes from Small Business
According to the SBA’s Office of Advocacy: “Small firms accounted for 63 percent of the net new jobs created between 1993 and mid-2013 (or 14.3 million of the 22.9 million net new jobs). Since the end of the recession (from mid-2009 to mid-2013), small firms accounted for 60 percent of the net new jobs. Small firms in the 20-499 employee category led job creation.”
See the Office of Advocacy’s “Frequently Asked Questions” publication.

Small Business Share of Employment
According to U.S. Census Bureau data, employer firms with fewer than 500 workers employed 48.4 percent of private sector payrolls in 2011, and employer firms with fewer than 100 workers employed 34.3 percent, and those with less than 20 workers employed 17.6 percent.
Data from the Census Bureau’s Statistics of U.S. Businesses can be reviewed here.

Small Business and Innovation
The SBA’s Office of Advocacy notes: “Of high patenting firms (15 or more patents in a four-year period), small businesses produced 16 times more patents per employee than large patenting firms.” In addition, a 2008 study by Anthony Breitzman and Diana Hicks for the Office of Advocacy (“An Analysis of Small Business Patents by Industry and Firm Size”) found that “small firms are much more likely to develop emerging technologies than are large firms. This is perhaps intuitively reasonable given theories on small firms effecting technological change, but the quantitative data here support this assertion. Specifically, although small firms account for only 8 percent of patents granted, they account for 24 percent of the patents in the top 100 emerging clusters.”

See the Office of Advocacy’s “Frequently Asked Questions” publication.
See “An Analysis of Small Business Patents by Industry and Firm Size” here.

Small Business and Trade
The U.S. Census Bureau noted the following about small and mid-size businesses in the international trade arena in 2013:

-“Small- and medium-sized companies (those employing fewer than 500 workers, including number of employees unknown) comprised 97.7 percent of all identified exporters and 97.1 percent of all identified importers.”

-“Among companies that both exported and imported in 2013, small- and medium-sized companies accounted for 94.4 percent of such companies.”

-SMEs accounted “for 33.6 percent and 31.1 percent of the known export and import value, respectively.”

-Among all U.S. manufacturers: “96.5 percent of manufacturing exporters were small- and medium-sized companies and they contributed 19.1 percent of the sector’s $839 billion in exports. 93.5 percent of manufacturingimporters were small- and medium-sized; they accounted for 13.4 percent of the sector’s $914 billion in imports.”

-Among wholesalers: “99.2 percent of exporting wholesalers were small- and medium-sized companies; they accounted for 64.8 percent of the sector’s $303 billion in exports. 99.1 percent of wholesaler importers were small- and medium-sized; they contributed 60.0 percent of the sector’s $593 billion in imports.”

Self-Employed Trending Down
Based on U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data, the level of entrepreneurship actually has declined in recent years. That is, the number of self-employed in the U.S. has dropped notably. Incorporated self-employed fell from 5.78 million in 2008 to 5.13 million in 2011, then climbing back to 5.48 million in 2015. So, after seven years, the number of incorporated self-employed remains well short of the 2008 level.

Unfortunately, the news is even worse when it comes to the larger measure of unincorporated self-employed. The number of unincorporated self-employed declined from 10.59 million in 2006 to 9.36 million in 2014. While incorporated data only go back to 2000, unincorporated self-employed numbers date back decades.

The 2014 number actually was the lowest since 1986. The level moved back up to slightly to 9.51 million in 2015. However, within 2015, the data turned down after May. Consider that the December 2015 level of 9.364 million was down markedly from the intra-year high of 9.968 million in May of 2015, and was off from the December 2014 level of 9.527 million.

See the Bureau of Labor Statistics “Employment Situation,” Table A-9, historical data.

Survival Rate for Small Businesses
According to the SBA’s Office of Advocacy: “About half of all new establishments survive five years or more and about one-third survive 10 years or more.”
See the Office of Advocacy’s “Frequently Asked Questions” publication here.

How Small Businesses Work, Background and Education

In June 2011, the U.S. Census Bureau released its 2007 Survey of Business Owners (Note: results of the 2012 Survey of Business Owners are scheduled for release in 2015), and it supplied some interesting information about how small businesses function, including:

• 51.6 percent of businesses were operated primarily from someone’s home.
• 23.8 percent of employer firms operated out of a home.
• 62.9 percent of non-employer businesses were home-based.
• “About 28.2 percent of firms were family-owned. These family-owned firms accounted for 42.0 percent of all firms’ receipts.”
• “Business owners were well-educated: 50.8 percent of owners of respondent firms had a college degree.”
• And 13.6 percent of business owners were foreign born

Are you ready to get started with the tool that made all these success stories possible? Learn more about our Small Business Sales Blueprint at www.smallbizdream.com today.

5 Simple Ways To Grow Your Business

You want to know how to grow your business. Everybody does. It’s unfortunate that most owners don’t know how to do it. The ideas are simple enough; it’s just the execution that can be difficult. You can find ideas all over the internet but we’re going to give you some ideas on how you can execute them.

There are some fundamental strategies that all business can take advantage of to drive your revenue and profits. A word of warning though, you should only pick one or two to focus on.

If you try to do everything at once, you’ll become overwhelmed and your focus will be too watered down for you to be successful. For instance, if you’re planning to have a tire shop business, decide on what your unique value proposition should be. Concentrate on it, and move towards diversification later on as your business grows.

Other strategies include maintaining customer loyalty like when you’re trying to boost your hair salon  sales using a CRM tool to constantly follow up with your customers.

A word of warning: growth strategies do have some risk and they don’t always work, however with the right planning, execution and team buy-in, they can be used to expand your company.

1. Increase Your Audience
This sounds simple and straightforward and is often the first thing business owns think of when they want to grow their business. But it’s often difficult to expand your reach as it often means penetrating into a new market and taking customers away from your competition.


The easiest way to build your audience is to advertise—again it sounds simple enough. The easiest way to do this is through Google Adwords or Facebook advertisement. Both are extremely effective because they can pinpoint your audience exactly. You’ll want to test your ads against each other to know which ones are working best. This process is called A/B testing and should be used for all the ads you put together. Networking with current customers can also be an effective marketing tool to incentivize the sale and promotion of your products and services without spending anything on ads.

2. Improving Your Product
Another way of growing your business is by improving either the product or the service you provide. Think of Gillette razor. You would think a razor is just a razor right? Wrong! You can now get advanced, reusable triple-blade action. Do you really need three or even four blades? Not really but it is a way to offer a premium product for something that is relatively mundane and ordinary.


Think of one or two ways you can improve your product. It doesn’t need to be ‘the next best thing’. Instead think in terms of Gillette and just add a blade. It’s important to always be innovating even if you’re a common household product.

3. Expand Your Reach
Thanks to the internet, any small business can sell nationally or internationally. It’s fairly easy if you sell things on your website and you can expand your business further than your local area. You no longer have an excuse of not being able to find customers ever again!

The best way to do this is set up an e-commerce site attached to your website. If you don’t know how to do this then hire a web developer to do it for you. There are also third-party sites like Amazon or Shopify that you can sell on. It’s relatively simple to set up and the best thing is that you don’t need to carry extra inventory to sell online.

4. Diversify your Products
Apple was the leading personal computer company when they decided to branch into digital music. Think about what types of products complement your existing market. The product must make sense with your existing band and shouldn’t confuse your customers. If you’re a coffee shop it probably won’t work to sell shoes.


Out of all the ideas, this is probably the most difficult to execute. It requires lateral thinking that isn’t always intuitive. Do your research and find out what products are already on the market or innovate and find something new. Make sure your core business is secure and successful before venturing into unknown territory. You don’t want to extend your resources too thin.

5. Upsell To Your Existing Customers
The easiest sell is to your existing customers. They already know you and trust you. McDonalds is probably the most successful example of this with their famous upsell “Would You like Fries with that?” and “Would You like that Supersized?” These small upsells create millions of profits. What can you upsell to your customers?

It’s usually easy to think of ways to upsell, whether it’s a warranty or dessert or something else. The toughest part of this strategy is getting your staff to buy into it and getting them to offer the upsell to every customer. If you don’t explain it properly, your staff often feel mechanical or part of a cog.

I hope this blog has given you some ideas of ways to grow your business and increase your sales. It’s important that you keep track of your customers and build good relationships with them. We have developed a CRM app to handle all that for you. Visit us at www.smallbizdream.com to learn more.

Sales & Marketing Automation and CRM: Their Differences and Similarities

What is the difference between Sales and Marketing Automation and Customer Relationship Management (CRM)? And which one is more useful for your business? I’m sure it’s making your head spin.

In the beginning there was much more of a distinction between the two. It was generally believed that CRM was more about customer service and possibly upselling or reselling new and existing customers, while Sales and Marketing Automation were about the sales cycle and how to prospect and initially sell to new customers or clients.

CRMs were hard to learn and quite expensive, most small business owners didn’t bother looking at them.

Sales Automation and Marketing Automation tools were often better priced but seemed to lack power or could only handle ONE or TWO of the necessary functions requiring you to purchase multiple tools and figure out how to transfer info between them to make them work together.

Here’s a rundown showing the differences between the two so you have a better idea what they are, what function they serve, and how you can incorporate them into your business.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

  • Customer Profile
  • Searchable notes and account data on each customer
  • Sales History that amalgamates up to departments and the entire company
  • Tracking of all customer communications
  • Customer service tools
  • Customer support tools
  • Customer retention tools
  • Sales campaign tracking and data utilization

Sales Automation and/or Marketing Automation

  • Contact Management
  • Calendars
  • To-do Lists
  • Email Automation
  • Sales lead assignment and categorization
  • Sales Funnel
  • Surveys
  • Customer Records
  • Salesperson tracking and goal and target feedback

Although they seem similar, their purpose is quite different. Sometimes it’s hard to tell apart which of the two you are currently using. They could be used interchangeably but there’s also an overlap, or they could be used as complementary tools.

How about Today?

The great news is, there are many tools today that blur the differences even more which can be used as a substitute especially for a small business (under $3,000,000/year in sales). For example, you can get software such as Click funnels for $100 a month to handle just the online funnels aspect for you.

No longer do you have to pay thousands of dollars to have these tools. They can actually be quite affordable. In fact, there are some companies that integrate both the sales automation with customer management like Salesforce, Hub spot, or Marketo. But for a vast number of small businesses and small shops they are still too pricey. For example Hubspot starts at $200 a month for the very basic package.

Small Business Dream combines the power of Hubspot, Marketo, and Salesforce for just $30 a month and can be customized to fit the needs of every small business owner. With their suite of tools you’ll get:

• Contact Management
• Automatic email follow-up
• Calendar integration
• Survey Engine
• Social Media semi-automation tools
• Twitter functionalities
• Sales Funnel
• Business Card Scanning and Transcription service
• Mobile app
• Web App

Visit us at www.smallbizdream.com to learn more about our suite of tools

How to Network Like a Boss

Do you go to networking events? If you’re a business owner, then you definitely should be. There was this really great article about how the higher up somebody is in an organization, the less likely he feels that going to a networking event is kind of a “dirty” thing.

I know some people aren’t comfortable with networking events. It makes them feel “dirty” and they’re doing something wrong because most people are doing them wrong. The idea of a networking event is to make friends. You think to yourself “Oh my god! Build relationships. Sounds hard.” And you don’t just go over and vomit all over people. You go to form relationships.

You are obviously looking to steer the conversation in a way to see if they might be a potential client, but you need people to know, like, and trust you before they will become a client.

When I go to a networking event I break down people into a couple of categories, depending on who that person is. The categories are usually potential friend, potential client, potential employee, and potential partner. But just because someone starts out as a friend doesn’t mean that they can’t become a client or a partner later on. Your relationship may change. Or Maybe you’ll just remain really good golf buddies.

Whoever they are, you should put them into an automation follow up series for personal contact, so that I’m still interacting with them, even if I haven’t actually gone to the point of figuring out where they might fit into my business or where I might fit into theirs.

Then I go after sort of a couple of categories in with my business. They might be interested in a free trial of my software. They might be interested in becoming a re-seller. They might be interested in becoming a consultant. And all of this is done in a carefully crafted conversation.

You go into a networking function armed with your conversation that you practiced and rehearsed. You’ve seen how people react to things in their face when you talk to them. You see it in their eyes, and you hone that. You get to the point where you’re a broken record because broken records work. And then you can get better.

This is practicing the kick 10,000 times instead of a new kick every time. I’ve worked through a million iterations. If you want to network like a boss you do it by going to four or five events a week. Not four or five a year. Not four or five a month. Go to four or five a week, and within three weeks you will have honed your skills. You will have sucked in front of a whole bunch of people.

And then the neat part is everyone gets nervous, especially the first few times. “Oh yeah, but what if I see the guy again and he knows I sucked?” Guess what I found happened? They overhear you at another event and they’ll come up to you and say, “Damn you’ve gotten so much better than the first day I met you!”

Everyone’s there in the same game. We’re all trying to improve our skills. We’re all trying to squeak out a living. We’re all trying to enjoy the surf, the sun, and whatever. Somehow we just got to get people to stop sweating the details.

If you’re out there generating prospects and leads stop sweating the details. Go with the idea that you’ve maybe helped some people. Go with the idea that maybe at the networking event you can point some people to some helpful resources. Or you can introduce them to someone else you know that might make a good relationship or maybe you can introduce them to a free trail of a couple of tools that you found.

Go there with the idea that you’re going to go to this networking event, and you’re going to help a few people with problems in their business. If that turns into a sale, then great. Don’t be selfish and only try to help people with problems your product sells. Just help people. For example someone’s struggling with taking a picture with their cell phone. “Hey, something I can help you with?”

I love networking events for that reason. It’s incredibly fast to rapidly iterate. The business prospects are all there. You’re not going to close a business prospect the first time you meet them at a networking event, so stop trying and you’ll have way more fun.

You need to build a relationship and have that conversation. They need to see you a couple of times to build trust. You show up to a networking event once and you go, “Well that didn’t work.” That’s not how networking works. You need to practice.

There’s always going to be ways you can improve. And if you do fail, then of course you know there’s lots of ways you can reframe that. You should practice thinking your identity and your role as separate. So you can think: “they’re not rejecting me. They’re rejecting my role.”

You know so many times people attach their role and identity together, and they find themselves feeling hurt, rejected and devalued. I knew a man who worked his entire life and he eventually retired. He was a fit healthy guy when he retired and he died five years later because he actually attached his role as business owner and mayor of a town to his identity. And it happens a lot. You know people lose their job and throw themselves out of a window.

Often when you go into these networking events you ask yourself, “Who am I today? How do I represent myself and be okay?” And if you just take an attitude of service, I’ve had some clients with you know earth-shaking reputations and huge client lists, and I’ve sort of worked myself up a little bit. “Well, how am I going to sell this person?”

Related: How to Overcome Stumbling Blocks to Successful Networking

Take a moment to go, “Hang on. If I go in with an attitude of service I can ask better questions.” I can understand their business, pain, and issues better than if I gone in to try to sell something. Then you ask them what’s the result they’d like out of the meeting to be. They tell me. And guess what I deliver in my proposal? I’ve delivered what they told me they want delivered. Amazingly enough, I got the business.

I went to a networking event the other night and it’s put on by one of the larger cell phone providers. I went to one of their events and was a free event and it was fantastic. It blew my mind. It was a catered, wonderful event, and it was free so I naturally wanted to get more involved.

I saw another one of their events come up so I’m like, “Well, I’ll go. I could eat. Right?” I went there with my bucket full of bunker rings, which are my phone rings as my little giveaway. I actually went there because this mobile company called Rogers has just started this whole campaign to try to help small businesses. And, of course, that’s what we do. So I went there because there was a speaker being flown in from Toronto to Vancouver.

This guy was flown in from Toronto to talk about what I talk about, so I’m like, “Hang on. I got to go meet some of these people and maybe if I get lucky I’ll be able to steer the conversation to where I can be a bit of a public speaker and get flown around Canada; helping them out and getting my message out.”

And then it was a really hot day and I normally go to these things in a suit because I believe to always be dressed at the same or one higher than anyone you’re meeting with, and I dialed it back to a polo shirt and dress slacks. When I got there everyone was at my level or a step below, so I was like, “Well, thank god I didn’t show up in a suit.” I mean I would have looked better than the speaker. That’s not cool.

I pulled out my bunker rings and I start talking to this nice Russian lady who was also looking at helping businesses, and she worked for some business consultant. I gave her a bunker ring. And then I’m giving out bunker rings and people are getting them and they’re actually sticking them on their phones, and then this other lady comes over and she says, “You’re going to be embarrassed for me when I show you what I have.” And she holds up her phone in her hand through this strap thing that’s attached to her case. She says, “I want one of those for forever.”

I said, “Well, I’ll tell you what: You let me take a picture of you with that one, and then we’re going to put mine on yours and we’re going to take another picture. As long as you’ll let me put that on Twitter and use it in my social media stuff, I’ll give you one. Heck, I’ll give you two.”

But it turns out that she was flown in from Toronto. Her sole purpose was to find energetic people who know what they’re talking about to join them in speaking across Canada.

All because I went there to give out some bunker rings, make some friends, and eat some food. And I helped this Russian lady with some of her problems in front of this other lady who’s overhearing it, and suddenly she got my bunker ring. I give them to all the other executives that were in from Toronto. One guy walked away with three; apparently he had a wife and a girlfriend.

I didn’t go there and ask who’s in the charge. Source them out. I would’ve if it wouldn’t have developed naturally. Make no mistake about it, I would have worked the room until I found who I need to talk to. But by just being me, going there, helping people, giving away my little gizmos in a polite and respectful way that didn’t interrupt their event. That’s how you network like a boss. Go there to help. Go there to serve.

I not only made some great contacts but I managed to get some speaking gigs out of it too. I’ve got the local guy wanting me to do a bunch of events that weren’t as formal as that one. Then the other lady she’s like, “Look, you’ve got to take my number. You’ve got to take my email. You have to follow up. We need people like you.” So I’ve started that process and I have no doubt that once I set my mind to it it’ll happen.


How to Overcome Stumbling Blocks to Successful Networking

The ability to connect with people is essential to the success of your business. Professional networking events can present you with opportunities to interact with others in business on a personal level, and this can develop profitable relationships. These occasions are critical for anyone who wants to grow a business or promote a career.

Many people are simply not comfortable walking into a room full of strangers and starting up a conversation, but there are some simple ways to get around that fear.

Stumbling Blocks to Successful Networking

Related: How to Network Like a Boss

Here are five common stumbling blocks to successful networking, and some ways to help you overcome them.

1. Reluctance to talk to strangers

We’re all taught at an early age not to talk to strangers because “It’s just not safe.” In certain situations, this is still good advice. In business, however, talking to strangers is the best way to generate interest and support for your products and services. If you only talk to the people that you already know, you’ll definitely miss out on opportunities to make new connections and establish valuable contacts.

To get past your fear of talking to strangers, set a goal for yourself before you attend any networking event. Decide how many new contacts you want to make, or how many “strangers” you want to meet. In some cases, you could even make a list of people that you’d like to meet.

Next, think of some icebreakers or conversation starters. Prepare questions that you can ask anyone you meet at the event. You might want to ask about other people’s business, their connection to the sponsoring organization or their opinion of the venue.

2. Lack of a formal introduction

It’s a whole lot easier to make a new contact when there’s someone else to handle the introduction and pave the way for you. If you wait for another person to make that move, you might not meet anyone. At networking events, the goal is to meet as many new people as possible.

This is the time to take the bull by the horns, walk up to people you don’t know, introduce yourself and start a conversation! You can easily do this if you’ve prepared your ‘self-introduction’ in advance.

You shouldn’t introduce yourself the same way to every person. Maybe it’s your first time attending an association meeting. In that case, you might want to say that as part of your introduction. Let people know who you are, why you are there and give them a reason to ask more about you.

3. Fear of being seen as ‘pushy’

Maybe you think you’ll turn people off if you’re assertive, and that if they want to talk to you, they’ll make the first move. If this is your line of thinking you’ll very likely find yourself spending a lot of time alone at the reception or meeting function and leave without a single new connection. Being open, friendly and interested does not turn people off.

You won’t come across as overly aggressive if you seek out the “approachable” people. These are the ones who are standing alone or who are speaking in groups of three or more. Two people talking to each other are not approachable because they may be having a private conversation and you could very well be interrupting.

4. Thinking that other people may not like you

There is always the risk that the other person is not interested in you and doesn’t want to meet or talk to you. It happens. If that is the case, don’t take it personally. Nothing ventured is nothing gained. When you get a cold shoulder, smile, move on and say to yourself, “Next?”

5. Having your intentions misunderstood

Approaching someone of the opposite sex to begin a conversation can seem more like flirting than networking. This is more of an issue for women than it is for men. Women have an equal place in the work environment and need to make professional connections just like men do. Women in business can no longer afford to hold back when there is an opportunity to meet new people.

Neither men nor women will have their motives misinterpreted if they present themselves professionally and if they keep the conversation focused on business issues or topics that are not personal or private.

Whatever your stumbling blocks, face them before the next networking event and devise a personal plan for getting past them. Once you do, you connect with confidence and courtesy on every occasion and the results will definitely be reflected in your bottom line.