Welcome to my third installment of blog postings where my fellow senior providers share their story of why they are so passionate about being in the senior market.

If you would like to share your story on your career transitioning to serving seniors, contact me at al@ourseniorsguide.com
What you are about to read is not for the faint of heart; a most challenging life story that can only be described as pushing boulders up a hill.
Yesterday I had the sincere pleasure of sitting down with Hans Boehm, owner and agency administrator of  Health Assist, Personal Home Health Care. We previously met last Thursday at Harbor Chase of Mandarin’s grand opening celebration.
Here are Hans Boehm life’s bullet points he shared with me that have led him to where he is today…
1992  Graduated from Jacksonville University
1996  Graduated from Louisiana State University Law School (LSU)
1996  Admitted to the Florida Bar
1996  Started Career in financial services
2000  Promoted to Senior Vice President
2005  Wife Diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis
2007  Wife qualified for Social Security Disability
2013  Labor Day Weekend, 30 year old son passed away (accidental death)
2013  90 days after 1st son died, 32 year old son passed away
2014  Father passed away from Lewy body Dementia (exposed to home health care, hospice, home care)
2017  Moved to Jacksonville in the Fall (sold home in Palm Coast, lived there 15 years)
2018  January, opened new Home Health Care Agency (Health Assist)
Many of us truly believe our experiences, challenges and heartbreaks make us stronger, better and more devoted in helping others.
Today, Hans is on a crusade to help CNAs earn a living wage in health care field and provide 5 star quality home health care to the greater Jacksonville community.
His goal is to expand to 5 locations in the greater Jacksonville area by 2020.
Here’s Han Boehm’s contact information…
Health Assist (Personal Home Health Care)
hans boulder


Welcome to my second installment of blog postings where my fellow senior providers share their story of why they are so passionate about being in the senior market.

If you would like to share your story on your career transitioning to serving seniors, contact me at al@ourseniorsguide.com


Meet Julie Combs, RN Administrator of HomeLife Personal Care. A routine medical procedure 40 years ago that left her brother disabled, set the stage for her passion to help others. Julie has had a stellar career as a regional director of a large home care agency 
A few years ago, Julie’s husband had a stroke that forced Julie to refocus her career efforts closer to her home front.

Here’s Julie Combs in her own words…

“My sisters and I started the company. 40 years ago we had a little brother who became severely disabled following a tonsillectomy at the age of 9. The event changed all our lives in every way a family’s life can possibly be changed.
As we all grew older and left home, care fell to my mother. There weren’t really a lot of options for personal care in those days and really good help was hard to find. We did the best we could to relieve her but we married and moved away as life happened.
We all went into careers that focused on caring for others. Our mother cared for Robbie for 27 years following the incident. He passed away in 2005.
Fast forward to 2015 and my vibrant 61 year young husband had a devastating stroke. 2 years later he has not fully recovered and needs help at home when I am not there. I had a wonderful job that I loved as a Regional Director of a Home Health agency. I was responsible for 16 agencies in 10 counties and often arose at 4:00 am to assist my husband to get dressed and have breakfast so that I could get to my many meetings and agencies on time.
It was a rigorous schedule and it became more and more difficult for me to leave town and leave my husband on a regular basis. I had caregivers to assist us. Some were great and some were not great. The stress level was high. Since my husband and I  had settled in Jacksonville a few years ago after 30 years of traveling with the military, my sisters and I have been reunited. We decided together that now was the time to put all our years of care-giving knowledge and Nursing knowledge together and start our own business.
We seek to hire the best caregivers we can find . We provide ongoing training to ensure that when a client calls HomeLife they receive a caregiver who is highly qualified and able and willing to assist that client to stay safely in their own home. We provide CNA’S and HHA’S for Personal Care,Companions and Homemakers. They can perform light housekeeping,Go on Walks, Run errands,take clients grocery shopping ,cook meals and of course provide personal care such as bathing,dressing and assistance walking. Our tagline is “We take your HomeLife very seriously.”
Here’s Julie’s contact information…
Julie Combs RN Administrator                                                             
HomeLife Personal Care



Welcome to my first installment of blog postings where my fellow senior providers share their story of why they are so passionate about being in the senior market.

Meet Leslie Graves, previously a Care Manager and Physical Therapist Assistant at Brookdale. Leslie saw the struggles her patients and family were challenged with and decided to transition to the heart of the matter; the financial side, that for many, is the determinant for quality of care.
If you would like to share your story on your career transitioning to serving seniors, contact me at al@ourseniorsguide.com
Here’s Leslie in her own words…
 “I have recently transitioned to the insurance and financial service industry coming from a healthcare background.
While I am new to the industry, I chose to partner with New York Life because of their long-standing history & financial strength. I have mentorship available unparalleled to others.
After witnessing the impact of healthcare based on finances, I felt restrained how I could truly help people. I became compelled to want to help people from a different angle. I am passionate about helping people and am prepared to protect their financial goals and quality of life moving forward.”
Here’s Leslie’s contact information…

Al Bagocius

VP of Business Development
Email: Al@OurSeniorsGuide.com


Meet Betty J.Bennett, Ph.D and CCMT (Certified Canine Message Therapist). Here’s Betty in her own words that have brought her out of retirement to where she is today…

“Horse girl… that is what I would have told you as a child if you’d asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. After observing a surgery on a dog at age 19, I decided against the veterinarian idea. Now, after a 30+ year career in education I now return to my animal instincts. As I learn through my study and experience in practice, I see more each day the benefits that massage brings to these beloved dears. I’ve seen healing, pain relief, rehabilitation, and general increase in quality of life in dogs with happy owners. That’s all I need to know I’m doing the right thing. By the way, at 58 and retired, working with my 4 legged best friends, I’m never growing up!”

Read more on one of Betty’s patients, Marlee, a 5-year-old female Chihuahua/Bull Dog mix… 

“Marlee is a 5-year-old female Chihuahua/Bull Dog Mix. Marlee lives with her mother, Megan, and a cat named Bob. Megan’s Mother, Donna, is also very present in the family. Marlee has always been active. Unfortunately, after jumping down from a table, she herniated a disc in her spine (Type I Intervertebral Disk Disease – IVDD). She was paralyzed at first, but through confinement and rest in her crate as well as laser treatments by her Veterinarian, Marlee was better able to move around. However, her movement was still limited in her hind limbs.


I first met Marlee, her Mom, and Grandmother at her Vet’s office. Marlee’s hind limbs were extremely weak, especially her right. As Megan held her and I took pictures, it was difficult for Marlee to keep both hind limbs on the table as they slid to the edge as she stood. I asked if Megan could walk her on the floor so I could do a gait analysis, but Megan told me that Marlee would only drag her hind limbs. Marlee impressed me as a sweet dog who seemed as though she would like to play given the right circumstance. Both Megan and Donna seemed genuinely concerned for Marlee and wanted her restored to good health. We set a time to begin treatment the following day.

When I arrived at Megan’s home, Marlee was in a large cage on the floor in the living room complete with toys and a comfy bed. She barked excitedly. This had been Marlee’s home most of the time to keep her from injuring herself further in the house. Megan opened Marlee’s cage and she immediately came out wanting to play. She could move fairly well with her hind limbs in such condition. I sat on the floor and pet her as Megan tried to keep her as still as possible. Marlee definitely wanted to play! She is such a sweet girl!”

“Megan assisted as I videoed Marlee’s movements. From the back, when the picture was stilled, Marlee’s hind limbs made a perfect arch with her feet being about 15 or so inches apart, wider than her front limbs. When she moved, sometimes she sort of leap frogged; hopping with her hind limbs in unison using her front limbs as leverage. At other times, she would step with her right hind leg, and the knee would bow out laterally as she stepped. In addition, her hind legs would occasionally each slide laterally out from under her at different times, sometimes simultaneously, as she tried to step.

I worked with Marlee on 5 ocassions over the next two weeks. During this time, we had a few triumphs such as Marlee being able to jump onto the couch for the first time since the accident as well as walking from one end of the adjacent couches to the other. At our last session, I saw much less of the “frog-hopping” and more walking. I also didn’t see her hind limbs sliding out from under her as before.

Marlee was more controlled in her movement. By this I mean that the back portion of her body seemed to be more connected to where her front portion was directing. The laser treatments and massage were doing their job in getting this beautiful creature back to her natural state of being.

Marlee is now back to a normal doggy-life and free of her confinement. Megan and Donna are thrilled that they have their baby back. It is sad that some pet parents, confronted with an obstacle such as this, choose to put the dog down rather than pursuing treatment. Many thanks to Dr. Shostek at St. Bernard’s Animal Hospital for performing the Laser Treatments as well as to Megan and Donna for the TLC and hope they gave to Marlee. Most of all, credit goes to Marlee for her hard work and perseverance. The spirit of a dog has no boundaries!”

To Contact Betty…

Betty J. Bennett, Ph.D., CCMT
Ruff Rubs Canine Massage Therapy and Acupressure
(904) 903-1234





Al Bagocius


Yesterday, I received this open letter from a well known disabled veteran in our community who wishes to remain anonymous, but would like to reach all of us. Please read, like and share his post as we quickly approach Veterans Day where we should honor all Veterans; especially those who continue to struggle…

“An Open letter to family, friends and care givers:

Once upon a time, we were all high achievers but today we have small achievements like getting out of bed, brushing our teeth, getting dressed or even keeping up with the conversation. Lets play word find on steroids; where every word is all scrambled up in your head and you have to pick one. BUT, that one that you pick, may not fit what your trying to say or mean.

We are caught up in the vicious cycle called “The Medical Field” where most are “practicing” medicine. Not to mention, the over abundance and managing of medicines that contributes to added side of effects from one medicine to the next. Additionally, how about the Insurance premiums, Co-pays, deductibles, pre-post authorizations, and max limit for rehab visits, medical necessity, Medicare and Medicaid. Oh wait, Are you sure you need that brain, arm, leg, eye, foot, toe, or finger?

We can best describe our time in public as an overwhelming bumper car high speed race that NASCAR fans would love to see and be proud of.

We are commonly viewed as “damaged”,“slow”, “not with it”, and perhaps no added value. The left side of the body works but the right side doesn’t. Oh wait a minute, the right side of the body works but the left side doesn’t. Oh no! now we are really confused, so sometimes nothing works.

We use special devices to make things a bit easier. Such as: word find and special computer software for the deaf and blind, braces, walkers, canes ETC. But wait, we all don’t want to be noticed or be a burden so how do we hide?

We sometimes forget; the peanut butter with the jelly, taking our medicine, combing our hair, wiping the seatie if we peetie, saying thank you or please, or being in a good mood.

If no-one can figure out whats wrong with us they easily say we are crazy and/or old. OH Hey maybe another pill.

We fight a daily battle inside our brains that will make any war seem like a walk in the park.

We love YOU harder and deeper. 
We appreciate everything you do for us.
We are still in there But, sometimes we don’t even know where “there” is.
We are easily frustrated because every situation seems monumental to us. It’s NOT YOU!
We like to hang out with positive and upbeat people. Even though some of us cannot really see them.
We sometimes search for answers that perhaps cannot and may never be found. But, giving up is not an option for us.
We sometimes do things that we know we are not fully able to do. But, we will TRY and yes maybe we will get hurt. 
We understand that it is all just as hard for you as it is for us. Sometimes even harder.
The little touches, a smile, some soft, comforting and reassuring words go a LONG WAY.

Sincerely and with love,

From: US
Written by anonymous.”


Al Bagocius

Training service canines, simplifying confusing medical bills and saving clients money…How cool is that?

I just had to share the story of  my friend, Mary Shannon Daniel, CEO of ClaimMedic.

Mary managed medical practices since she graduated from college in 1985 and worked five years for MetLife as a provider relations representative, helping their participating providers with their medical billing issues. Mary learned long ago that many, if not most medical bills contain errors that almost never benefit the patient.


After her husband was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2013 at the age of 59 and became a patient at the Mayo Clinic, she got to see first-hand how confusing and frustrating medical bills can be for families that are already overwhelmed. At that point, her company; ClaimMedic was born.

Mary’s number one priority is to simplify confusing medical bills to ensure that no one pays a medical bill that they don’t owe. Check out Mary’s website at claimmedic.com

Here’s Mary’s story; in her own words…

My first job after college in 1985 was with Jacksonville plastic surgeon, Lewis Obi. Dr. Obi needed a medical biller and I needed a job so in March, 1985 my medical insurance education began. After so many years of learning the ins and outs of medical billing I have been able to help family and friends when they needed it the most. After my in-laws retired in the 1990s I began auditing their medical bills and after many, many hospitalizations, surgeries and doctor’s appointments I developed my own system to monitor all of their expenses to be sure their insurance company paid properly and they were being billed by the providers accurately.


My personal experience with medical claims and the frustration and headache they can cause became even more evident when my husband was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2013. We’re extremely fortunate to have world class medical care in our back yard but I was quick to learn that first class medical care doesn’t translate into first class medical billing. In fact, this prominent organization makes billing mistakes frequently!  For example, we had United Healthcare coverage through my husband’s employer. Thankfully the entire medical organization was in network with Humana, or so we thought. We received a bill for $3000 after my husband had a neuro-psych evaluation with a psychiatrist who was out-of-network. After months and months speaking to everyone at the medical clinic and the insurance company they finally agreed to write off the $3000. My argument was simple; if they had not credentialed a provider to be in network like everyone else in the group that was their problem, not mine! It took some time but they eventually agreed!


I experienced the frustration and helplessness first hand and even after years in the medical insurance industry I learned how exhausting it can be to fight for what is right! It made me realize that patients and their families need help when they have to deal with these types of situations. I knew I could help others save money, time and frustration by becoming their patient advocate!

Mary S. Daniel



claim medic



Al Bagocius

At Clay County’s Finally Friday Networking event at Haven; I had the pleasure of meeting Tana Fuller who is in involved with the Special Olympics, here in Clay County. I too have a special needs daughter who will be 37 in October.
Here is Tana in her own words and an invite to all of us to support Special Olympics in Clay County…
I have a 10 year old special needs child who is intellectually disabled and hypotonic (low muscle tone).  While his age is 10, he acts more like a very sweet 5 year old.  He doesn’t totally understand personal boundaries and is very loving.  He is just as likely to ask you for a hug than to just say “hello”.  
Alex was able to play soccer on a standard team when he was 5, but I noticed towards the end of the season that while the coach was understanding regarding Alex’s lack of stamina for running and paying attention during the game, the players and parents were not.  I knew he would not be able to move up the next year.
We tried other options, but it never seemed like the right fit.  Then we found Special Olympics Florida – Clay County.  We started with Softball.  The practices were fun and he loved it.  He was able to participate in skills as well as some parts of the team practices.  He has mostly been assigned a coach or partner to help him develop his skill and it has been amazing to watch him do grow.  Next we tried Soccer and he loved that too.  The games and practices are focused on the children having fun, not on just scoring.
We are now in our 3rd session of Softball. Without Special Olympics Alex would not be able to participate in sports which helps with his dexterity, group outings, and following directions.  Check out our event on Saturday, September 9th…
Thanks so much for your help.
Tana Fuller
Special Olympics (1).jpg
Al Bagocius

Home Care, one of the fastest growing businesses in America is not for the faint of heart when you are the administrator; a direct report to your referring client. 
Having been in sales for the past 36 years, 27 of which have been as a business owner, the key to success is to exceed customers’ expectations as well as to make all the challenges and changes placed upon you by your customers look easy from their perspective.
Two home care agency owners, relatively young, and very passionate about exceeding customers expectations are Jessica Ramos and Carter Reeves of Home Care Solutions of Jacksonville. Check out their logo; and I like their tag line, “We Fit Right Into Your Home.”
Recently, I asked Jessica to tell me about a situation she had with one of her referring clients and how Home Care Solutions of Jacksonville rose to the ocassion and created a exceptional experience for both the client and patient. Here’s Jessica in her own words…
“I was contacted by Mayo Clinic at 2:30pm on a Sunday. I was told they had a patient that needed to be picked up at the hospital by 8:00pm. They told me the patient needed 24 hour care and was a fall risk.
Once I got off the phone, I called Carter (Operations Administrator) and we met at our office to get started on the case. Within 3 hours, we had the case fully staffed for 24 hour care. That kind of care requires at least 3 full time caregivers and 2 part time caregivers.
Mayo Clinic called me back around 5:30pm and told us that the patient needed to picked up early, they needed her picked up by 7:00pm. The hospital staff was very impressed that we were able to not only have a caregiver available on a Sunday, but that we had the whole schedule completed for the entire week.
The patient’s nurse informed me that they find it difficult to find agencies to respond on the weekends, much less come through with only a few hours’ notice.
My caregiver and I went to Mayo Clinic to meet with the patient. I was able to assess all of her needs and concerns. She was admitted to the hospital because she kept blacking out for unknown reasons. The patient was extremely scared and nervous about going home. I was able to assure her that our caregivers and myself were going to take care of all her needs and be there in case she blacked out again.
Once she was discharged, I followed the caregiver to the patient’s home. Having myself and the caregiver there really made the patient feel safe and more comfortable that she was going to be taken care of. I told her that we (Home Care Solutions) are here for anything she needs and will make sure she is cared for.
Even though she is fully recovered nearly a year later, she still calls us from time to time to chat.”
Jessica can be reached at 904.321.9190 or via e-mail at Jessica@JaxHomeCare.com

Al Bagocius

Our SeniorsGuide.com
Director of Sales
Cell: +1 904.553.9539
Email: Al@OurSeniorsGuide.com


Five years ago, I asked my fellow LinkedIn group members to post their advice for those who are attending networking events and not getting much new business or return on their investment of time and money.

What resulted were some great strategies we can all walk away with to better improve our own ROI at our next networking event!

Add your own networking strategies to the mix and help others better their own networking abilities!

Angie Tekin, CSP• Definitely evaluate the events you are attending….do you have unrealistic expectations? Is this your target group? Is the group interested in the service or product that you offer? Are you expecting a “slam dunk” and not working on developing relationships which in turn provide business? If you are getting the same results, you need to do something different. 😉

Scott Schilbrack • Great points from Angie, a true artist at networking. I would only add that if you go looking to promote yourself primarily you are likely to be transparent and fall flat but if you go looking to engage with others and learn about THEIR companies and THEIR pet causes and THEIR services and their ideal prospect and how THEY can possibly help you or others you are connected with your sincerity will be just as obvious. Rather or not you are able to provide others their ideal opportunity they will become more interested in learning about and helping you. If it is a worthwhile group, don’t be afraid to donate your time money and other resources, but if it is not, abandon ship early and go find a group of more like-minded professionals.

Al Bagocius • Angie & Scott- Great comments! Also…Don’t be afraid of asking for help…At your next event, ask the question of someone you meet, “How do I grow my business?” That question brings out the “expert” in all of us! 🙂 We’re all farmers here planting seeds!!

Kimberly Herring • I have had this problem BIG time, being the reserved “shy” person and at the end of every event I would become the frustrated person. Until I sat with one of the organizers of a networking event, I didn’t realize the problem “I” was creating. So from that conversation I learned something that I can pass along as friendly advice: DO WHAT MAKES YOU COMFORTABLE (take a friend, arrive at venue before event starts to be almost like the unofficial welcome committee, stay or arrive towards end of event to offer help to coordinators & network with them, set a goal for yourself even if it is just to talk and exchange info with 3 people even if the room has hundreds in attendance). Then lastly.. FOLLOW UP with the contacts that you did make.
Best wishes to you on your next networking event Al !

Bill Gladstone • It can be awkward, but weigh the positives against the negatives. Positives: I’ll pick up some network contacts which will give me the potential to increase my sales volume if I can sell to them or by utilizing leads they provide. And maybe I continue my personal growth as I start to “chip away” at my problem.

The negatives: (what is the worse thing that can happen to me)? I’ll have a period of time (an hour or so) during which I may feel very awkward among people who may not realize that and whom I may never see again?

Perhaps worth the try?

Darice Eppinger • Maybe post a question to the networking group before the event (if you can) asking who’s going and agree to meet them there. Also, there are some great books out there on the subject to, including “Networking Like a Pro.” Join your local BNI group so you see the same people every single week; you will make lifelong connections, not have to begin “new” every time. Good luck!

Aron Elal • I find that I get my best ideas and motivation in trying to figure out how I can help others. And that usually fullfills my business card holder 😉

Darice Eppinger • @AE: that’s what they say: to approach networking with the intention of helping others first and it will come back to you.

Bill Gladstone • I had one last week. Twenty- twenty-five people when I showed up, and they knew each other. Trying to break in was difficult, but what else do you do? Just stand there? SO I found one person to say “hell-o” to! And then there was another person talking with us, so it was three. Then we sat at the table for lunch and now there were six of us. Remember everyone is probably there for the same purpose. As tough (awkward) as it might be on you, it may be as tough on them.

Take a deep breath and jump in. Remember, if it doesn’t work out, you tried and you probably won’t see these people again if you don’t come back. But good practice for you.

Tony Silver FCMI • Here at the chamber we run around 200 events a year and we ensure any new guests are greeted and looked after. If they are looking for someone in a particular line of business then we will facilitate the introduction. We are a professional company who do this all the time, which is the difference.
I also agree strongly with the trying to help mind-set, this will get you involved far quicker and last longer. Do not go in on a full sales strategy.

David Wojcik • Networking events are not for “getting” business. Also, networking is a marathon, not a sprint. Networking events are designed for building relationships and marketing yourself and your brand. Those who attend networking events with a view to sell their service or product will most often be disappointed. I have found the best technique is to find someone you can help and be known as the “go to” person when people want to be connected. By offering your help to others, the rule of reciprocity will eventually kick in, and business will come your way.

Dave Adams • I’ve been following and interacting with Michael Hughes for years. Networking is a “skill” that can be learned and Michael, I’ve found, is the best at teaching it. http://www.michaeljhughes.com/

David Wojcik • There are 3 videos with tips on networking at http://biztvcanada.com . In the upper right hand corner, there is a search text box. Search for Paula Hope. Paula is a networking and referral “Guru” with great advice on how to master the “art” of networking.

Suresh Chandra Khere• Please do or get it done SWOT analysis of subtle hidden points.

Alin Merches • There could be multiple reasons why you don’t get new business:
1) could be because you don’t speak to anyone
2) if you speak to people, maybe your service you are offering is not that engaging or useful for them

Of course there could be many other personal aspects in this like: the way you act, the way you speak and build confidence, the way you are dressed, etc etc…

Helen Harper • I don’t have answers to your actual questions, but I wonder if networking events are the best use of your time? If your ROI has so far been low, perhaps instead invest more in your website, social media, and/or marketing materials?

Erik Hentell • Networking is really a long-term ROI proposition. You won’t get clients today or tomorrow, but if you do it regularly you will be in the back of someone’s mind when they decide they need something. You’re sort of building a long-term business relationship. Also, if you do something at an event that makes someone happy, that person will return to the event and will talk about you to others. You do have to pick the right networking events, though. Not all networking organizations are the same. Also, don’t rely on networking alone. It’s time-to-returns is often large enough that you need to combine it with other strategies.

Keith Fahy • Try to live your life, or be so adept at being so creative that you just go around in circles! If you are following a creative path, (I am not sure) if the former is, then, assimilate, imbue, what a crock. If u are creative, be, and run. Hey, I say this in the best, best respect. If I knew, in retro, I would never get involved in my lifes` dream. Creative Events & I am quite good. can u decipher? Creative Events is a bit of an ¬Oxymoran¬ its full of non creative people. Before the truly creative get up in arms, it’s a business, always is. My advice is leave with a bang!

Douglas Ricks• I would say to make sure you talk to every body in the room for at least 5 minutes… dont just talk about business try to get to know them personally once people feel comfortable with you and know a little about you then there more inclined to do business with you or refer people to you.

Amy Rutter • If you haven’t already, you could try different types of networking events – such as a business or dinner networking event and/or I’ve also seen activity business networking events like going paintballing!

Swap business cards with everyone you meet and connect with them as soon as you can on LinkedIn. Follow it up with an email saying it was really nice to meet them, remind them what you do and offer your services if they’re ever needed.

Charles Turner • Many times people just show up with a stack of cards and try to sell right away. Here’s some of the things I try to do…
Arrive early and stay a little later to meet new faces
Warm up your voice before entering especially morning events
Check your breath, especially if you already had coffee
ALWAYS have bus. cards, rare case you don’t get one of theirs and mail them one of yours
Don’t bring brochures or hand outs, use those for follow ups
Use name badges, I usually write my name large without my company name
Use a business handshake, not a 2 handed or dominating style
Don’t apologize for anything, cold hands, traffic etc
Say your name in a way that’s easy to recognize, Wendy like the hamburger or Lynne with an e
Try to establish rapport with things in common (NOT business related), meet each other as humans
Ask the other person what they do, give them good attention at this time
Have 3-5 “stories” prepped on what I do
When some one asks what’s new, NEVER answer “same story, different day”
Exchange bc after we’ve talked about business, never give one unless asked
Get information or comment on the card you receive
Don’t use them as a way to broadcast email from your account
Make notes on the back of the card, let them see or use a note pad (I usually keep a 3.5×8.5 pad that will fit in a coat or back pocket)
Know when to get rid of someone usually 6-10 minutes, introduce them to someone else and fade away, find some one new and repeat process. It’s better to hit 5-6 people this way than to blast through 30-40 just saying hey, here’s my card call me if you need something.
Follow through, we all know the rule of thumb on this….

Paula Kramerhttp://www.miamiherald.com/2011/12/31/v-fullstory/2568790/florida-revamps-how-it-recruits.html

The link above will take you to an Associated Press article. The section to pay attention to is towards the end, about Wisconsin. Then, go to smilessparksuccess.com and download two PDF files on lower right side of the Home page, the DISC Cheat Sheet file and the Needs & Passions file.

The marketing success you will read about in the article comes from marketing value passion satisfaction. The foster parents who seek fulfillment have a Harmony guiding value. The foster parents who have spiritual desires have a Belief guiding value.

The PDF page on passions explains those values and four others. It will also will help you understand how to market value passion satisfaction, whether in person or by other means. The DISC Cheat Sheet will help you recognize and satisfy behavior style needs when you talk to someone in person.

Pay attention to the fact that two behavior styles do not like to be touched. I just heard a story of cruel revenge because a citizen touched a politician who does not like to be touched.

Helen Wilkie • When people tell me networking doesn’t work for them, I find they are often committing what I call the “three cardinal sins of networking.” Assuming you are attending the right events in the first place (ie where your potential clients hang out, rather than you friends or your competitors), you might find my article on these “sins” helpful. You’ll find it here: http://mhwcom.com/SowingGrowingNetwork.html

Ben Gay III • Al, I have to admit I’ve been to less than 10 “official” networking/business card swapping events in my life. Probably five or so. Most reminded me of “lonely hearts clubs.” Instead, I’m a one man, constantly moving, networking machine!

Acting as if I’m running for office from the instant I leave home/the hotel in the morning, I talk with just about everyone I encounter. Between face-to-face contacts, my sales training seminars, the peel-off-the-back business cards we put on the first page of every book we ship from my “The Closers” series (inside all CDs and DVDs, too!), we go through thousands of my personal business cards every month . . . all over the world!

Positive example: I recently did a seminar for a company’s national sales organization as a result of its owner buying one of my “stickered” books at a garage sale. The book was 20 years old and he called me right from the driveway!

Side thought: Once you publish a phone number, email, etc., hang on to it! I’ve had the “800 number” he called for almost 40 years and haven’t published it anywhere in 26 years . . . but it still produces sales almost every day!

Business cards, smiles, kind words, expressing personal interest, gentle kidding and handshakes are all very inexpensive sales & marketing tools!

Remember, that’s Ben Gay III at (800) 248-3555!

Diane Helbig • I would say stop thinking you are going to get business at networking functions. Networking is about building relationships with people who may or may not need what you have to sell. It is through those relationships that you will gain opportunities to do business. People do business with people they trust. By working on helping other people and building relationships with them you will gain referrals because those people will have had a chance to get to know you and trust you.

Karen Southall Watts • Nice article Helen. I am creating some materials for a fall presentation on networking for entrepreneurs and knowing who is in the room is going to be one of my key points. I want entrepreneurs (my target audience) to understand when/how to talk to the 3 C’s when networking: customers, competitors, colleagues…when the stuff is ready I will come back and post for some feedback.

Melanie Votaw • I agree with Diane that you have to build relationships with people. However, I think the key way to get business faster is by asking relevant questions. In those answers, you may discover that this person has a problem which your business can solve. This is the way I have managed to get business from networking events. In fact, it happened just the other day through finding out the needs of the person I was talking with.

Jeff Vankooten• Stop networking and start building a network that can provide you a steady stream of clients for years to come. Build lasting relationships with those who know who you are, what you do, and are in the market you want to reach.

Beth Cole • All good. I’d also like to recommend Lynne Waymon as a networking genius, who, with her sister, has written at least three wonderful books on networking. Lynne has a free eLetter too. Her organization is Contacts Count and her e-mail is Lynne@contactscount.com. She is on LinkedIn, of course and you can certainly google her for more information. I recommend her to all of my clients who are job seeking and/or marketing their businesses.

kevin booth • I’ve always gathered more business relationships by “helping” a potential customer rather than solicitating business from them. Every one at any point in time has a need for something. It’s usually not what I’m offering, but if I can refer them to someone who can help them now then later on when they do need my services I have already become a trusted resource.

Here’s my take…We have 2 ears, and 1 mouth…so listen twice as much as you talk. People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care!” 

Most people like this FM station…WIIFM…”What’s In It For Me!”

We’re all centers of our own universe, some more than others…

Al Bagocius