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Hi. My name is Terry, and I'm the President of Quicksilver Accounting & Consulting,  Wilmington NC.

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Thursday
Dec112008

Holiday Parties are Great Networking Events

Happy Holidays!

Can someone tell me what is it about this holiday that takes two very successful business people and turns them into Santa’s elves at this time of year?

I went to the Wilmington Professional Group Networking Event last night which was held at the home of Ann & Ezel Willard, the owners of All Kinds of Stuff, a Promotional Product Company. Ann told me she starts decorating the inside of her home in October. I can appreciate her effort as I gaze about her home with over 10 trees, every inch of her house covered in various holiday decorations collected over 17 years. There is even an ‘upside down’ tree that rotates and must have over 200 shiny baubles on it. Then there is the themes like the teddy bear bedroom. There was even a bathroom tree covered with band aids, nail files, toothpaste and brushes! Can you imagine it...  My associate, Keri, and I got the whole tour with Ann. I have to say I always thought I had a lot of Christmas spirit, but she takes it to another level.

Of course, I haven’t even told you about the outside, which is where Ezel comes in. The man must have all the patience in the world. I send my husband out to cover one tree with blanket lights and I hear the F bomb at least a few times. Neither of us can figure out why you can put away a set of lights that is working properly in January and when you take it out the next December only half works. Who jinxes these? Summer mice? Ezel covers every shrub, handrail, edge of the house, down the driveway, just everywhere. You can see the blinking and thousands of lights as you come down the street. Ribbons and bows on every window, boxes in the Horse and Buggy carriage.

It was a wonderful spot to gather a group of over 60 business people for a networking event. And to top it off, Lori Eaton, personal chef extraordinaire, prepared wonderful food for all of us to enjoy. It was hard to remember we were there to chat to new people and find new alliances and prospects for our businesses. It always amazes me that somewhere during these network events I always happen into someone who says they need what my company offers (Bookkeeping or QuickBooks Training) and was glad to run into me. I am grateful to this community who has helped my business grow strictly by referrals. As I am always trying to help my clients grow, I am also looking for various companies that can help them. I meet a few of those owners last night as well.

Now remember all, when I say networking, I don’t mean you stand with the few people you know and chat about your family and how stressed you are. This means going up to several people you have never met before and introducing yourself. I know this is hard for some; it’s hard for me too, even though I have an outgoing personality. The reality is if you want your company to continue to grow, you must put in this time and effort. Every one you meet knows people you haven’t meet yet that are potential clients. Your circle of contacts rises each time you make that introduction, so go ahead and shake the hand of the total stranger standing next to you. Dr. Ivan Misner, of BNI fame, says that ‘connecting’ is a skill that can be acquired. If you are not comfortable with this idea yet, or not convinced the networking really works, read his book written with Michelle Donovan, The 29% Solution. I will be doing a book review on it in January.

As I was leaving I ran into my competition. After giving him a huge hug, as we both believe it the abundance theory (there is plenty of work for both our companies) he told me we were in competition. When I asked how so, and who was winning, he said SEO. It seems we are always neck and neck in the organic placement of our websites on the web and it seems Quicksilver is presently at top.  I told him I believe it was the great class we both took on SEO improvements run by NeoNexus and offered by Action Coach Reggie Shropshire.   I attested our placement not only to our website, but also to my blog, which always seems to be No. 1.

I want to thank all of you who read the blog, and wish you a very Happy Holiday Season!  I would love to hear from all of you by posting a comment (see below).

 

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