Asking Questions – Why Should You?

December 14, 2017

Have you ever been in an awkward situation where you’re at an office party or a networking event and you’re standing next to someone while there’s complete silence because neither of you have any idea on what to talk about? Additionally, you’re worried about how you may be portrayed to this person in your first impression or you’re worried the awkwardness will increase if you ask questions. Meanwhile, your head is thinking “How does he know the host? In what department does he work? Do we work in the same building?”

The good news is that research suggests that people who ask questions are more likeable than people who ask fewer to no questions. In fact, there was an experiment conducted at Harvard where volunteers were assigned to either ask a lot of questions or only ask a few. Once their conversation was completed, each participant rated how likeable the other person was. Through findings, researchers concluded that people who ask fewer questions weren’t as liked as the people who asked plenty more.

Of course, how and what we ask is just as important as the quantity. The Harvard research also suggests that specific follow up questions are the most effective. A good way to approach a follow up question is to:

  1. Ask a question
  2. Listen and understand the answer
  3. Ask a question regarding the answer

Not only does this make you more likeable, but it also shows that you are listening, which is an important trait to have no matter what you are doing. So the next time you are standing next to a person and you don’t know what to talk about, think: questions!

The Importance of Handwritten Notes

September 29, 2016

The world we live in is quickly moving away from things like snail mail, and as millennials move into the workforce it can be easy for them to overlook things such as the power of a handwritten note. While a handwritten note might not be as common of a gesture to see, it will send a positive message to your potential employer.


Sending handwritten notes are important for much more than just after an interview, though. They can be sent to potential clients, donors, loyal customers, etc. Not everyone is going to send a note, so it will set you out from the rest of the competition, no matter the setting. It means much more to the recipient than you may realize. A note can, and should, even be sent for things like birthdays, anniversaries or other special events.

It doesn’t need to be long or extensive, something short and simple will do the trick. Thank whoever it is for the interview, service, etc. and mention who are you are. You will be remembered and it shows that you really care about the opportunity at hand.

6 Tips to Overcome the Fear of Sales Rejection

May 28, 2015

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The time has come. You’re staring at your office phone knowing what you have to do. You start thinking of any and all of the “more important” things you should do first: maybe you should clean out your inbox or you haven’t organized your top drawer in who knows how long. What you should really be doing is making prospective sales calls. But it’s hard. It’s scary. You’re afraid of rejection. Here are 6 tips to overcome the fear of sales rejection.

  1. Be prepared. Cold calling a customer can be scary, but it can be even scarier to freeze up on the phone and not know what to say. Avoid this by preparing your materials ahead of time. Gather up offers and really know what you’re selling. This will give you confidence that you know your stuff.
  2. Have goals. This goes for long and short term sales goals. Think about why you want to reach these goals and use that motivation to pick up the phone. If you’re working towards something bigger, you’ll stay more focused on the task.
  3. It’s not you, it’s me. In most situations, this is actually the case. Maybe you caught the customer on their busiest day of the week, or the person you called doesn’t have the authority to make decisions. Whatever the real reason, don’t take rejection personally. Many people will say no, but you’re working towards that one yes.
  4. Plan. Dedicate a specific time every day to make sales calls. Once you get into a routine, it won’t be so scary and daunting. You know that right before lunch you make a few calls, or at 3pm every day. This will put sales calls onto your calendar and force you to practice and become more comfortable.
  5. No doesn’t mean never. Just because you get a rejection now, doesn’t mean that person will never be a customer. Try to find out why they’re really saying no, and remember that for next time. Try to have a conversation and keep your notes. This will help build a relationship the next time you call.
  6. What’s the worst that can happen? Think about it. The worst that happen is they’ll say no. That’s it. You’re not getting fired, you’re still breathing, and the world is still turning. All you have to do is call up the next one on your list. It’s that simple.

It can be really hard to overcome the fear of rejection. But remember, you’re going to be rejected. That’s inevitable. The real success is brushing it off and moving forward. If you don’t ask, no one will ever say yes.

How do you deal with rejection?

5 easy ways to be a LinkedIn Allstar

April 16, 2015


So you’ve finally taken everyone’s advice and made a LinkedIn profile. Now what? After you input your experience, you may be overwhelmed with all the options and sections available to edit. But don’t fret! Here are 5 easy ways to be a LinkedIn Allstar.

  1. Make it interesting! Your headline is the sentence right underneath your name on your profile. This is a space where you can get creative! Instead of just writing your job title, make it personal. Mention an interest or a passion to get some attention.
  2. Bullets not welcome. Our tip for the summary section of your profile is don’t use bullets. In this section, tell your story instead of listing facts. This is a chance to share yourself in your own words, so take advantage!
  3. Add media. Many people don’t have any rich media (like videos) on their profile. Creating a short video about yourself will definitely stand out. Sharing your story on camera can put you above the rest.
  4. Pictures! There are two spaces on LinkedIn where you should add a picture. The first is your profile picture. This should be a picture of you doing what you do everyday. This should be a professional picture representing your line of work. The second space for a picture is the banner. This is available at the top of your profile. Use this opportunity to show something meaningful to you. This shows off your personality and can become a talking point to someone new.
  5. Stranger danger! You may get several requests from people you don’t know on LinkedIn. Our advice is not to connect with them. LinkedIn is only helpful when you feel comfortable reaching out to the people on your profile, so stay away from strangers. You can always accept them later if you meet in the future.

With these little tips, you can take your LinkedIn profile all the way to Allstar!

What makes you a LinkedIn Allstar?

Don’t be afraid to toot your own horn

August 21, 2014


Good things happen to you all the time. You work hard and take advantage of opportunities, and sometimes those pay off. You get nominated for an award, get a promotion, or put on a successful event. How are your clients and your friends going to find out about your recent success? Here are some tips for sharing good news:

  • It might feel like bragging. Telling everyone you know that you just won an award may seem like you’re showing off and being rude. This isn’t the case. No one is going to brag about you but you, so do it! Don’t be afraid to mention your promotion or post about your event.
  • Be polite. You don’t want to start off a conversation with a brag, but there are other ways to bring it up. First ask someone to tell you about their accomplishments and news in their life. They will almost certainly ask about you next, and you can feel free to mention your recent success.
  • Let people help. Allow your friends and coworkers to write social media posts about you and your accomplishment. You can share those posts yourself and it won’t seem like bragging. You can also add a note to the post about how humbled you are to be nominated or how thankful you are for the help you had for your event.
  • Use your connections. Write a press release about your recent accomplishment and let your high school or college alumni newsletter publish it. Your schools will love seeing the success of its students and you get free publicity. If you volunteer or participate in groups, share your news there! There might be a bulletin board or social media site you can post to.

It’s important to share your accomplishments with people you know and people you want to know. Be proud of yourself and let people help you share the good news in any way, shape, or form. You never know when a connection could be made. Remember to be polite, not shy! You deserve to brag a little!


How do you let people know about your accomplishments?


Thirty Seconds to Success How to perfect your elevator pitch with 5 easy tips:

June 12, 2014

First things first: what IS an elevator pitch? An elevator pitch is a quick summary about you, your business, or a product or service, and it’s value.  The elevator pitch got it’s name from the idea that this speech should be able to be carried out in the time it takes to ride in an elevator. You never know who you might share that space with!clock-334117_1280

To perfect this short summary, you can take advantage of these 5 tips for success:

  1. Explain yourself! Outline your speech with basic questions to answer. Who are you? What does your business offer? What makes you different from your competition? Make sure you include vital information about your business and what you do, but keep it interesting!
  1. Keep it short and sweet! Talking on and on about yourself is not necessarily going to impress your audience. Make sure you only include key points about your business. This speech is meant to last from thirty seconds to one minute, so keep that in mind when writing your pitch.
  1. Practice practice practice! The most important selling point for your idea is you! Make sure you’re confident, you should be! No one knows more about your business than you, so prove it! Practice giving your pitch in front of friends or in front of a mirror. Make sure you know your stuff.
  1. Think about your audience! The same pitch might not be the best idea to use for everyone. Think about the person you’re talking to. It may be a good idea to focus more on parts of your business that relate to their needs
  2. Switch it up! You don’t have to write a script for your elevator pitch and memorize it word for word. It’s more important for you to have a general outline that can be adjusted for any number of reasons. Your business won’t always stay the same. Remember to add or take out changes in your business to make your pitch relevant.

Do you have any tips on making an elevator pitch?