Learn how Shannon approaches networking from the heart. Through helping others, she is able to authentically grow her network.
Location: Denver, CO
Business: Rodan + Fields
How we met: Through a Meetup Group, Yoga and Networking
Shannon is a passionate helper of others who offers personalized nutrition and anti-aging skin care, as well as career coaching.
Shannon describes her business as a three-pronged approach: she offers personalized nutrition and anti-aging skin care to keep her clients healthy and vibrant from the inside out, and offers career coaching to help others realize more financial and personal freedom through wellness micro-franchise businesses.
What really stands out to me about Shannon is that no matter what she talked about, it always came back to her deep caring for other people. When she described her Rodan + Fields products, she focused on the fact that our face is the first thing people see, and that helping her clients with skincare really makes a huge difference in their lives. She has worked in many humanitarian aid projects overseas, and she really wants to succeed in her current business so that she can have the freedom to pursue other altruistic projects that she cares about.
Shannon told me that she went to a networking event this morning and was prepping for another one after we met. Gasp. She is getting out there and meeting a lot of people.
Like Jeff Sachs, Shannon said that she goes into networking events with the intention of helping other people as much as possible. When I asked her how she prepares for networking events, she said that she focuses on being heart-centered so that she can go in with the intent of giving to others.
Shannon mentioned a networking event she attended recently in which a group of women were there to help each other with their business struggles. The idea was wonderful, but then one woman took her turn, and instead of focusing on herself and others, she was clearly there to only benefit herself. Then everyone else followed suit. The story really drove home two ideas:
1. While self promotion is important, it can really be a turnoff when it is not asked for.
2. One person can shift the energy of an entire group.
Another comment that stood out to me was that instead of trying to help a lot of people, which can be draining, Shannon tries to find one or two authentic people that she can really connect with. When I asked her for a definition of “authentic networking,” Shannon said that she sees it as developing trust and having conversations about true values.
I also asked Shannon how she identifies which networking events to attend. She says she goes on Meetup.com and reads the comments of other people attending to see if they fit into her target audience. She also reads the group descriptions carefully to see if the facilitator truly wants to help other people, or if they are in it to generate leads for themselves.
On following up with people:
When Shannon has follow up meetings with people, she goes in with the intent of zeroing in on their sweet spot so that she can give them leads that truly fit them and help their businesses.
At a recent networking event, Shannon met someone whom she thought would connect really well with a friend of hers. She told the woman she met to contact her so that she could make the connection. A week later, she got an impersonal email that read something like, “Hi, I met you at that networking event. Didn’t you have a lead for me?” She was totally turned off that the woman couldn’t be bothered to even remember who she was or what the lead was. It really drove home the importance of thoughtful, personal follow ups after a networking event.
On a struggle for her as an entrepreneur:
If you have too many emails in your inbox, raise your hand!
Shannon struggles with the effects of communication overload on clients. People are constantly being texted, emailed, and called, and many of them never answer their phones or check their voice mail. Shannon has found it frustrating to get through to her clients when they are constantly being bombarded with communication from multiple sources. She tries to find creative ways around this, like meeting people face to face and sending real packages in the mail instead of email.
How Shannon helped me think about my business:
Before we met, Shannon asked me to think about how she could help me in my business and about who is my ideal client. I was taken aback but impressed by her bold offer to help. I describe myself as a business coach, but she asked me to go deeper and tell her how I coached clients. I explained that Danielle (my business partner) and I talk to clients and really try to identify what makes them stand out from others in their field. Then we figure out ways they can identify and find their ideal customers and get the word out to them.
“Oh,” she said, “You’re a marketing coach.” It may sound crazy, but I never thought of myself in those exact terms. It was really helpful to clarify what Danielle and I offer in our consulting business.
Then she suggested we teach a class on how people can differentiate themselves and reach their customers. Great advice.
- Networking successfully is about really caring for other people and trying to help them.
- All leads aren’t equal. There’s a difference between knowing what a person does and knowing who their ideal clients are.
- Shannon and Katie both mentioned mentally preparing for networking events – not by rehearsing their elevator pitches, but by focusing internally and creating an intention. I will have to try that.
I learned so much from speaking with Shannon about networking and doing business from the heart. I have met a few other Rodan + Fields representatives, and she spoke about the company and her experience selling the products in a way I had never heard before. It was all about giving to others. Sometimes it is really less about what you do and more about how and why you do it.
Shannon wants to connect with:
People who are ready for a positive shift in their health or who would love to have the best skin of their lives
People who want an alternative or additional income source to their day job
If you want to connect with Shannon, check out her LinkedIn profile here.
1 step you can take to grow your network today:
Ask someone who their ideal clients are, and see if you can help them be very specific, so you know who to refer to them in the future.