- Ask people about their passions to understand what drives them
- Share ideas, links or snippets of information with connections to keep in touch and build your professional relationships
- Be prepared to fail quickly. Avoid over thinking and make adjustments as you go
As Australia’s number one business MC, Toby has the ability to engage and motivate audiences. His primary area of expertise is coaching individuals and teams to realise their business and personal goals, especially in the areas of sales and marketing.
In this interview, Toby shares his view on building lasting professional relationships:
What are three pieces of advice to get the most out of people around you?
- Understand what they are driven by...their passion, whether it's work-related or not. Then provide them with work opportunities that have relevance to their passion if you can.
- Be clear on what you're trying to achieve. If you can explain what 'the light on top of the hill' looks like, they'll help you get there.
- Trust them and guide them. Provide them with development opportunities and then let them 'go for it'.
Which digital platforms do you find most beneficial for networking, and why?
I'm a great believer in LinkedIn but I find myself using Facebook more to keep in touch with colleagues. It provides a personal insight into others which is always a great conversation starter when you see them face to face. For many small business owners, pitching their story to new people can be daunting.
Can you share three tips to stay calm and keep an audience’s focus?
Be clear on the following:
- Who is your typical customer?
- What issue, challenge or opportunity do they face?
- What you provide to help them with that issue, challenge or opportunity?
Then build a quick 'elevator pitch' or 'lift script' as I like to call it, and practice it...a lot.
What are three tips for staying connected with people you meet for future collaboration/projects?
- Keep them 'flagged' in your social media to see what they are developing. That doesn't mean stalk them! Just to be mentally aware so you notice what they are up to.
- Add value to them by sending them ideas, links or snippets of information you think they might find useful. They may end up doing the same for you but even if they don't, you'll be more on their mind for when the time comes to collaborate.
- Reach out and call them once in a while. Don't ask for anything, but have something you can pass on that may be useful. The conversation can then develop into more than small talk quite easily.
Can you list three resources across any media that you turn to regularly for guidance or inspiration?
Nothing specific. I'm pretty eclectic, some might even say promiscuous, when it comes to information sources!
What are three tips for people attending Small Business BIG Marketing to make sure they translate learnings into action?
- Try something within five days. The idea is strong when it's fresh and you're more likely to give it a proper go.
- Be prepared to fail quickly. Try anything. Make adjustments as you go. Many small businesses who try to get it done perfectly, end up over-thinking it and miss the boat.
- Have fun. Pick an idea you'll enjoy. That way you'll be playing, not working.