A picture of The Mandalorian with the caption ‘This is the way’.
A picture of The Mandalorian with the caption ‘This is the way’.

In March 1978, my Mum took me and some friends to see the film that was then called Star Wars, which we now know as Episode IV — A New Hope.

My love for that franchise has been lifelong, from the original three films, through the prequels (yeah I know), the sequels, the spin offs (Solo is underrated) and The Mandalorian. I love the universe, how everything works together, the stories, the stories behind the stories and, of course, the characters.

Luke, Leia and Han have been part of my life and one of the reasons I keep going back…

Fifteen ideas to help you promote your business during lockdown — and most of them are free.

As we head into lockdown, again, it is easy to worry, and to think that your business has to stop, or slow down. But there is a load of stuff we can do, not just in terms of our networking, but to continue to promote our business, perhaps in ways we haven’t thought of before.

In fact, it is possible that lockdown even gives us an opportunity to think about and try different ways of building our network and our business, which wouldn’t…

“Every big opportunity starts with a little conversation” – but what the hell does that mean

If you’ve seen me speak, anywhere, you’ve heard me say “every big opportunity starts with a little conversation”. I like soundbites, they’re useful, if you get them right they can convey a big concept in only a few words.

But because I use it so often, I wanted to explain a little further what it means, and how we, and by we I mean people who want to achieve more from their networking, can implement it.

I was convinced early on in my networking…

Earlier today I posted a video explaining how the Meet — Like — Know — Trust that we talk about in networking, isn’t just words. It is an actual process, and you can influence how rapidly, or otherwise, your contacts move through that process. The aim, of course, is that business and networking contacts trust you enough to want to work with you, and / or refer business to you.

Before you read further, if you haven’t already done so, it is well worth taking three minutes to watch the video:


After recording the video, I thought it would…

Networking relationships. – Why not Quality AND Quantity?

Recently I’ve seen a load of posts about quality versus quantity, mainly people saying they prefer a small number of quality relationships over a large number of looser relationships.

Whilst it is always personal choice, I just wonder why we can’t do both? Have a big extended network, and our smaller, more intimate connections.

The way I always explain it, is that our network is like a load of concentric circles. People, unless they are genetically related to us, tend to start off in the outer circles. We’ve either met them, or…

Dale Carnegie — author of How to win friends and influence people

“You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.”

Dale Carnegie, How to Win Friends and Influence People

That is absolutely one of my all time favourite quotes and sums up my networking and social media ethos.

If we would all spend more of our time being genuinely interested in the other person, rather than constantly trying to be interesting to them, all of us would have a much happier and more productive networking and social media experience. I talk…

I live in a small town, not quite Royston Vasey but we do have lots of local shops….

Like any community, businesses come and go. Recently some new businesses have moved in, in the B2C space.

What really intrigues me is how they haven’t built their network before they opened up shop. I am pretty sure that there must be a lead time, finding premises, fitting premises out, hiring staff, getting stock delivered, opening up.

Surely during all of this, in 2018, should be – engaging with local people who might be customers? Surely?

With all of the tools available…

In networking we often talk about that ‘Meet — Like — Know — Trust’, the process which comes into play after meeting someone for the first time, until the moment when they trust you enough to do business with you, or refer business to you.

When I started my career, in a shoe shop in Oxford, we had to learn to build that trust in about twenty minutes, because that was how long we had the customer for. But then, all I wanted them to spend was an extra £1.99 …

Over the last ten years I have written a LOT. Two books (well three, but the third one isn’t published yet), plus hundreds of blogs and articles on my own site, on LinkedIn, in actual newspapers and magazines and a ton of other places.

A couple of years ago, I started playing with Medium and then, recently, Medium changed the way it worked, with the paid for ‘Members’ as well as the completely freely available content. And it made me think. The open paywall appealed to me a lot as I had never seen anything like that before.

So recently…

Every week I speak to many people about networking and the skills and actions which are desirable to make the best possible success of their networking efforts.

What people often want to know is how to ‘make an impact’ in the room, ‘how to be popular’, ‘how to get people to refer to me’. Or similar questions along the same theme.

Sometimes people see it as a problem. Such as ‘I’m not part of the clique’, or ‘there are a bunch of people who get all the referrals, I never get a look in’.

The thing is though, being the…

Stefan Thomas

Author of Business Networking for Dummies, Instant Networking & Win The Room. Speaker. Trainer. Mentor.

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