Interview with Mike Sansone of ConverStations.com
Mike Sansone is an independent business consultant specializing in business blogs and social media. His experience in public speaking, sales and marketing, writing, and real-time online communication are strengths Mike relies upon in his role as a Conversation Conductor.
Prior to starting his own business, Mike helped to build thriving online communities with America Online (including People Connection), Real Fans Sports Network, Ignite Sports Media and HeyMax. He also has coordinated the growth of offline communities as a property manager, volunteer, and minister.
Josh: How do you define Business Networking and why do you feel it is important?
Mike Sansone: Business Networking is creating connections with others allowing the connected parties to increase each others knowledge, reach, productivity and accountability.
It is important to develop these connections because we all have weaknesses in our business. A well-developed network will strengthen those weaknesses. The accountability factor is especially important for solopreneurs and small business owners.
In reality, I believe there are two networks we must develop. An inner network – and everyone else. I’ll connect with everyone because I think every single person is valuable. Yet, there should be a core we count on and we should be parts of others core. Don’t forget the fringes, but don’t stay out there either.
Josh: Can you share one or two ideas that someone could put into practice that would help them to improve their business networking skills?
Mike Sansone: Introduce yourself to everyone. We can always learn from each other, so let’s start learning. Even if they don’t become part of your inner network, it allows you to practice your listening skills and your porch pitch.
Run out of business cards by giving them away (but don’t ever run out). Be a conduit – in other words, connect others with each other.
Josh: Can you share some of the ways you use the internet for business networking?
Mike Sansone: Well, blogging is a key. Not just writing a blog, but reading others. Here’s why: When I meet someone, the conversation is about them first. I try to find out what’s important to them. I then look for blogs that might interest them and forward those along. This shows my care for them, but it also gives them examples of the power of blogging — so it helps my business as well.
-You can visit Mike Sansone at www.ConverStations.com.
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