Does Your 30-Second Introduction Get You “In” or Show You The Way “Out”?

by Sabrina Risley

Creating the perfect “elevator pitch” is something that many business owners and professionals fret over. If you’re stuck in elevator pitch rut, here are a few things to consider to craft a message that will produce results.

First things first, always abide by the allotted time given to each participant to share your intro. When you go significantly over the allowed “pitch” time, others will take notice and not necessarily in a good way. In fact, I would go so far as to say it can be distracting and your audience will stop listening to your message. Thirty seconds goes by very quickly so be mindful of the clock. To get a feel for the pace and how long your introduction is, practice and time yourself.

Second, what’s the goal of your intro? Are you looking to land a new power partner, make a contact at a specific company, or simply share about your business in an engaging way? When you know what it is you want to create, you can begin to craft the best message that will produce the biggest results.

Third, keep it simple. The more specific you are about what you are looking for or what it is you do, the more likely people will recognize that you are or could be a good match for them or someone in their network. If you have multiple services, products or businesses, it’s best to focus on just one to share about. You can always tailor your introduction depending on what audience you are addressing at the moment.

Fourth, focus on the benefits of your service instead of the features. A benefit is a specific result you provide or help your customers achieve. Your delivery can be a client story or testimonial that lets your captive audience know what you really do for people. Stories capture attention and help explain what you do without rattling off a boring list (yes, doing this is boring) of all the product/service you offer.

Next, if at all possible, try closing with a catchy tagline or slogan that is easily remembered. You will want to use it as often as possible and in all your marketing materials. If people can recite your catchy slogan or tagline, you know you have done a great job and will be remembered.

Finally, know that your 30-second introduction will morph and change over time.  If you find that no one is approaching you after a networking event, either you are in front of the wrong audience or you need to tweak your introduction slightly to be sure people are hearing what you intend. Consider testing your 30-second introduction on a trusted friend or advisor to get honest feedback.  You might also want to make adjustments to your introduction based on produce/service specials. What is it that you want to communicate this month? Since I have suggested you talk about only one product or service at a time, rotate your 30-second introduction to feature a new product offering each month, for example.

Now, you don’t need to memorize your introduction, but you want to know it such that you are comfortable in front of peers and can express your point without missing important information.  The best part of having a simple, attention-getting introduction is that, when in conversation with other professionals, it is a great answer to the question “So what do you do?”  Pow!  See… more uses than just a commercial at a networking event.  Now get crafting your effective pitch so you can get “in” to where you need rather than shown the way out.

(c) 2012 Behind The Moon, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Related article: Elements of an Effective 30-Second Introduction

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Feel free to share this article in its entirety and include Sabrina Risley’s Bio information below along with live link back to this blog post.  Thank you.

Sabrina Risley founded Behind The Moon, Inc.® in 2003, a Colorado-based networking organization that sets itself apart with its motto “grow your business by helping others grow theirs.” Behind The Moon offers several monthly networking events across Colorado’s Front Range, attracting professionals who network to give rather than get. You will find Sabrina speaking to audiences about effective networking techniques, the power of partnerships, and principles of service and giving as a means to grow a business. To receiving Sabrina’s free report, Networking For Success , please visit http://budurl.com/BTMtips.

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Shifting Perspective: When You Don’t Receive the Business

by Sabrina Risley

You have nurtured a prospect for weeks, perhaps months or even years, you have handled any objections or reasons they say they cannot or will not buy from you, but then it happens. They make a decision and choose to hire “someone else.”

Many of us have been there. Perhaps you have too.

It leaves us questioning what went wrong. Did it come down to our price? Was it personality? Did the other company offer something you did not?

Here’s what you can do when you don’t get the business, but you still want to save the relationship.

  1. Let your contact know that you understand that they need to make decisions that are in the best interest of their company. Ensure they know you are still there for them, to support them should they need anything or have any questions.
  2. Continue to check-in and follow up with your contact so they know it’s “okay” they did not choose you.  Believe it or not, people feel badly, and perhaps even guilty, about not choosing you, especially if they like you personally.
  3. As you relieve the tension, it opens the opportunity to ask a question such as, “I’m just curious, what was the deciding factor in going with XYZ Company?”  Coming from a place of curiosity allows people to share freely. As they share with you, you can then ask if there is anything you could have done differently to have received the business. You’ll want to find out if it was cost, service, timing, trust or another factor.
  4. Continue to add value.  They will appreciate and remember you should they have the opportunity to refer business to you.  Additionally, they may become unhappy with the provider they chose and when the opportunity arises, perhaps they will hire you the next time around.   If you have continued to build the relationship, they will more likely feel comfortable and confident giving you a call to make a change.

In the end, if you do not get the business, evaluate and learn from the experience and be sure not to “write people off” when they choose another option.  Over time, if the relationship does not grow into one that is mutually beneficial, you can decide whether or not to continue nurturing it.  But by all means, “no” is never a good reason to stop cultivating a connection.  Just imagine how continuing to serve sets you apart from other companies in your industry!

(c) 2012 Behind The Moon, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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Feel free to share this article in its entirety and include Sabrina Risley’s Bio information below along with live link back to this blog post.  Thank you.

Sabrina Risley founded Behind The Moon, Inc.® in 2003, a Colorado-based networking organization that sets itself apart with its motto “grow your business by helping others grow theirs.” Behind The Moon offers several monthly networking events across Colorado’s Front Range, attracting professionals who network to give rather than get. You will find Sabrina speaking to audiences about effective networking techniques, the power of partnerships, and principles of service and giving as a means to grow a business. To receiving Sabrina’s free report, Networking For Success , please visit http://budurl.com/BTMtips.

The Softer Side of Networking: Authenticity

by Sabrina Risley

You walk into a room full of business professionals. Your mind starts churning. “What if I don’t know anybody? What if I’m not dressed appropriately?  What if I don’t get a new client? What if I mess up my 30-second introduction?”

As your head spins with all the ‘what ifs’ and possibilities of the upcoming event, you hardly ever hear it say, “Just be yourself!”  However, what if being authentic was the only ‘what if’ you needed to entertain?  International best-selling author, Bob Burg writes about The Law of Authenticity in detail in Go-Giver’s Sell More as well as his blog articles.  This topic is probably something we want to take to heart 🙂

When you first meet someone, you have mere seconds to make a first impression.  During those first few seconds, most of us are so worried about being strategic and thinking about what to say, that we lose the opportunity to be ourselves. When we aren’t ourselves, we say the strangest things, sometimes regrettable things that aren’t representative of who we actually are. We leave a conversation beating ourselves up, wondering “Why did I say that? I never say stuff like that!”  We’ve all been there. And the reason is that we are likely separated from our authentic self during the conversation.

If we can just stop, take a breath and quiet our minds, we can more easily focus on the person with whom we are interacting.  Our head chatter is typically not the ‘real us,’ yet if we listen to it and interact with the chatter in the driver’s seat, it becomes what others observe and understand us to be. Pausing momentarily and being truly present with others allows us to quiet our mind, listen fully and contribute authentically to the conversation, without concern for booking an appointment or making a sale.

Many shy away from the idea of being “authentic.”  Authenticity isn’t about airing dirty laundry. Rather it’s about breaking down facades, being ‘real’ and allowing people to get to know your personal side. If you like cats and you’re in a conversation with a bunch dog-lovers, by all means take a stand for the cat (they get the short end of the stick as it is)!  While this example may seem silly, it can be compared to our business conversations about the best online shopping cart or which contact management system we prefer.

Think about what you remember most about conversations you have with people. You will likely find that you recall the personal stories more easily than the business small talk. Your authentic side is what connects you to others and allows your networking to become more natural and real.

Remember, people love to support, help and refer business to their friends. When you bring authenticity into your networking, allows you create the space for deeper and more meaningful connections, similar to that of a friendship.  Bill Gates said it best… “Referrals come through who you are, not what you sell.” Not only will you get to know people far more easily and quickly, but more importantly, they will get to know the genuine and bona fide YOU.   So I challenge you to defy what you were taught about being on your best behavior all the time.  Instead just be your best authentic self.  After all, “The most valuable give you have to offer is yourself.”  Bob Burg’s Law of Authenticity.

(c) 2012 Behind The Moon, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Related article: Five Keys To Authentic Marketing

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Feel free to share this article in its entirety and include Sabrina Risley’s Bio information below along with live link back to this blog post.  Thank you.

Sabrina Risley founded Behind The Moon, Inc.® in 2003, a Colorado-based networking organization that sets itself apart with its motto “grow your business by helping others grow theirs.” Behind The Moon offers several networking events across Colorado’s Front Range that attract professionals who network to give rather than get. You will find Sabrina speaking to audiences about effective networking techniques, the power of partnerships, and principles of service and giving as a means to grow a business. Sign up for Sabrina’s free report, Networking For Success 

The Softer Side of Networking: Heart

By Sabrina Risley

Push. Shove. Convince. Sell. I don’t know about you, but none of these words resonate with me. Likely, they don’t resonate with you either. Yet, most people embody this type of energy when networking to grow their business, even if they say they don’t like being “sold to,” “convinced,” or “pushed” into a buying decision.

These habits stem from repeating what we’ve seen others do, instead of following our own guidance on what feels right and natural: connecting and building relationships.

And as you’ve probably noticed, those old ways of being have started to crumble and are no longer working for professionals.  This energy just causes walls to go up, making it hard to connect with people.

Let’s look at how to build your business differently, using your heart at the start. When you take a heart-centered approach to networking, it doesn’t mean swapping tears, woes, and tales. It’s simply a matter of taking a people-first approach.

Heart-centered networking essentially means connecting with people on a deeper level. It’s having a conversation with someone you meet, without having an agenda or an intention to ‘go in for the close.’  It’s means allowing yourself to open up to someone, to see and hear what they really need, to welcome the opportunity to share referrals, relationships, power partners, and not feel threatened by competition or spending dollars.  It’s looking for opportunities to serve and contribute.  It’s understanding the passion behind someone’s work and the results they produce so you can become one of their cheerleaders or raving fans.

Heart-centered networking is also an energy. It’s a way to “be” with people. When you are in a place of being heart-centered, you aren’t zooming around the room in attempt to collect as many business cards as possible. Instead, you are taking the time to get to know each person you meet and looking for a connection.

When you are in a space of practicing heart-centered networking, you…

  • —  SLOW DOWN and ENJOY, CONNECT & BE with people!
  • —  Get INVOLVED in their story
  • —  Project GOODWILL upon them
  • —  Show EMOTION when appropriate
  • —  CARE deeply for them
  • —  Open your HEART to them
  • —  SHARE yourself with them

 It also means there is…

  • —  No Selling
  • —  No Neediness
  • —  No Me-Focused Actions 

Heart-centered networking is a co-creative experience between two professionals. When you use your heart in professional networking, you allow others the chance to make a connection with you in a deeper and more meaningful way. They’ll never forget you for that. And without even needing to explain what you do for work, they will be drawn to your energy, will become a fan of yours, singing your praises just because they see your real character.  All of this because you are a professional with whom they have a connection, they can trust and can pass business to with confidence.  Why wouldn’t they want to do business with you and recommend you to others? I know I would.

(c) 2012 Behind The Moon, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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Feel free to share this article in its entirety and include Sabrina Risley’s Bio information below along with live link back to this blog post.  Thank you.

Sabrina Risley founded Behind The Moon, Inc.® in 2003, a Colorado-based networking organization that sets itself apart with its motto “grow your business by helping others grow theirs.” Behind The Moon offers several networking events across Colorado’s Front Range that attract professionals who network to give rather than get. You will find Sabrina speaking to audiences about effective networking techniques, the power of partnerships, and principles of service and giving as a means to grow a business. Sign up for Sabrina’s free report, Networking For Success at http://www.behindthemooninc.com/index.php/free-report.

Cultivating Connections That Count

By Sabrina Risley

Did you know that…

  1. A person needs to hear from you at least 7 to 27 times before they decide to do business with you?
  2. The easiest way to bring profit to your bottom line is to STOP chasing after new clients?

It’s true.  In fact, most professionals give up in the “sales cycle” after the third or fourth “touch.” The key to making your life easier, getting paid for the work you put in and feeling more fulfilled along the way, well it’s all in your…RELATIONSHIPS.  Anyone who knows me understands how much I value and place an emphasis on relationships. How you cultivate the relationships you currently have can greatly impact your success or failure in business. Making a slight shift in your mind set and coming from a place of service and giving, rather than of taking and getting, can have a profound impact on the growth of your business.

Consider these 5 factors which result when you cultivate relationships in business:

1.   It’s about being a giver. Growing your business is NOT ALL about getting a sale.  It’s also about connecting people to the resources they need and helping them to grow their business. Being a giver builds incredible trust and shows how much you really care about the people in your world.

2.   It makes you stand out from the crowd. When you focus on relationships, your business has the opportunity to grow tenfold. Why?  It makes you different, remarkable and memorable.  And people do business with those they REMEMBER.  People will remember you not only when they need your services but they will also become your raving fan. It’s word-of-mouth marketing at its finest.

3.   It builds your referral base. When you stay in touch with people on a consistent basis, those people will come to know, like and trust you.  So even if they don’t need your services, they will always remember you when someone else comes along who does.  Staying in touch and creating an effective follow up system also gives you the open door to ASK for business when you want. When you don’t stay in touch and call to ask for something, it just looks like you are a “taker” and nobody likes a taker.

4.   It allows you to leverage your contacts. You’ve heard the saying, “No man is an island.” The same goes for your business. Trying to do it all alone is difficult, challenging and tiresome. Leveraging your existing contacts is powerful, fun and profitable.

5.   When you serve, you have more fun. Building a business doesn’t have to be difficult, in fact it should be fun. When you come from a place of service and look for opportunities to connect and offer things back to others, you’ll feel more gratified and have more fun in your business. And when you have more fun, your energy will attract more of the right people to your work—increasing your impact even more.

Consider what your business will be like when you wake up one day and your email is full of inquiries about your work, your voicemail is full with messages from potential clients and opportunities, and you’ve only got a few openings in your calendar to take on new clients. Ahhh, what bliss!

There are 3 things that you absolutely MUST know about cultivating connections that count & creating a relationship strategy that works in any economy and market:

•  It’s about service, not selling.

•  It’s a system, not rocket science.

•  It’s about building bridges, not burning them.

This month, Sabrina Risley, Founder and CEO of Behind The Moon, Inc. has partnered with Andrea Costantine, Community Engagement Strategist to offer a two-part tele-seminar series titled Cultivating Connections That Count, a program designed to help business owners and sales professionals uncover and implement the simple secrets to attracting more business through Relationship Marketing and the Power of Service. During the program, we will provide you with everything you need to create an effective service plan, set yourself apart in the market place, become remarkable, and create an army of raving fans and referrals!  We are also including scripts, checklists, sample emails and loads of resources! 

JOIN US ON TUESDAY MAY 22ND AND THURSDAY MAY 24TH @ 11AM MT

We have so much to share in these two 75 minute calls.

If you are even slightly curious, CLICK HERE to learn more about Cultivating Connections That Count. Space is limited so be sure to register soon for the tele-seminar series.  And please know, this information will be available again in June 2012, however at a substantially higher price.  To take advantage of the best value, please consider participating on our LIVE calls on Tuesday, May 22nd and Thursday, May 24th.

Register Here = > http://www.andreacostantine.com/cultivateconnections/.

(c) 2012 Behind The Moon, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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Feel free to share this article in its entirety and include Sabrina Risley’s Bio information below along with live link back to this blog post.  Thank you. Sabrina Risley founded Behind The Moon, Inc.® in 2003, a Colorado-based networking organization that sets itself apart with its motto “grow your business by helping others grow theirs.” Behind The Moon offers several networking events across Colorado’s Front Range that attract professionals who network to give rather than get. You will find Sabrina speaking to audiences about effective networking techniques, the power of partnerships, and principles of service and giving as a means to grow a business. Sign up for Sabrina’s free report, Networking For Success at http://www.behindthemooninc.com/index.php/free-report.

Adding Value: Does It Mean Giving Away My Stuff For FREE?

by Sabrina Risley

You may have a large network.  You may know a lot of people.  They may know a lot of people.  It seems that this alone would be the perfect formula for creating a networking goldmine, but as you may have noticed, a network alone won’t necessarily bring you endless referrals and a steady stream of new clients.  But there is one thing that will…

Adding VALUE and helping those within your network!

A concentration on adding value and service as an important facet of your business growth strategy will have a tremendous effect on what you attract.

So what does adding value and helping others really mean?  It’s like paying it forward.  It’s doing good for the sake of doing good, not for the sake of what you think you might receive in return.  It’s about serving without attachment to an outcome or expectation.  One of my favorite quotes from Bob Burg‘s Go-Givers Sell More reads “The task here is not to create value in order to create a sale or “in order to” anything.  It’s to create value, period.”

Adding value could look like any number of things:

  • Making a phone call instead of sending an email
  • Sending a handwritten note or thank you card
  • Remembering birthdays, anniversaries or other important dates
  • Making an introduction or connecting someone to another person of high-value to them
  • Recommending valuable resources and sharing information
  • Offering a free report, success tips, or valuable information that solves your target market’s problems
  • Following up with a client, contact or prospect to be sure they are satisfied
  • Thinking ahead to what your client might need, suggesting other products and services
  • Sending referrals
  • Saving a client money… and the list can go on and on.

Here are a few specific examples that might help you translate things for your own business:

  • A massage therapist or hair stylist might call their client a few days after delivering service to see how they are doing.
  • An insurance agent might call their client to let them know about new changes in their policy, how that will impact them, and offer suggestions.
  • Thinking outside the box… a professional on the networking circuit might focus on connecting at least two people from every event with someone who could be a good strategic alliance or power partner.
“The essence of the Go-Giver philosophy is this: the more you give, the more you have.”

With this quote in mind, you’ll notice what did not make my list of what adding value looks like…

  • Giving away your services and products for free
  • Discounting your services and products
  • Over-giving to a paying customer because they demand it

These are not examples of adding value.  In fact, much of the time, free or discounting decreases its perceived value. Think of what you treasure more… something for which you paid full price or the item you found on sale?  Well, happening upon a great sale can be exhilarating, however consider an article of clothing costing $100. When the item goes on sale for $50, doesn’t it make you wonder whether the item was ever worth the original $100?

To really be of service and to add value to your network and clients, your giving must contribute in some manner.  Here are a few questions to consider when determining how to add greater value in your business.

  • Is this something that will directly impact the other person?
  • Would this help them solve a problem or overcome an obstacle?
  • Could this support them in learning something new?
  • Am I giving this without being attached to getting something back in return? (giving from the heart versus giving to buy approval)
  • Can I freely give this, without it taking away from my energy, causing resentment, or it being a disservice to myself or other clients?

These are all for your consideration when looking for ways to add value.  Remember, it’s about being of service and giving, but it’s not about giving away your services and products for free, offering discounts, depleting your energy, and devaluing your time and worth.

Focus on adding value for others and you’ll soon see your business grow in value.

“Right now, your total job is to focus on one thing and one thing only; providing value to other people. If you do that well, sales – and money – will find you.” ~Go-Givers Sell More

(c) 2012 Behind The Moon, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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Feel free to share this article in its entirety and include the Bio information for Sabrina Risley below along with live link back to this blog post.  Thank you.

Sabrina Risley founded Behind The Moon, Inc.® in 2003, a Colorado-based networking organization that sets itself apart with its motto “grow your business by helping others grow theirs.” Behind The Moon offers several networking events across Colorado’s Front Range that attract professionals who network to give rather than get. You will find Sabrina speaking to audiences about effective networking techniques, the power of partnerships, and principles of service and giving as a means to grow a business. Sign up for Sabrina’s free report, Networking For Success at http://www.behindthemooninc.com/index.php/free-report.

Death By Coffee: Seven Effective Networking Strategies for the New Year

By Sabrina Risley, extrapolated with permission from an article by Alecia Huck, Maverick & Company.

It’s the start of a brand new year and you know what that means.  That’s right, it’s time to make New Year’s resolutions!  At the very least, this means the crowd at the gym will quadruple.  Traditionally, it also means the number of professionals who get out and network more than triples.  But just as the gym crowd eventually wanes, so too can the crowd at networking events.  I attribute this waning to ineffective networking which causes wheel-spinning, something for which professionals rightly have little tolerance and therefore let up on networking.

If you intend to do any amount of networking this year, you will want to do so strategically so as to make networking a useful and sustainable marketing activity. Networking without an effective strategy is what Alecia Huck (the sassy CEO & Founder of Maverick & Company) refers to as “Death By Coffee.”  She outlines some incredible strategies for effective networking in her article, The Seven Most Common, Most Surprising Networking Mistakes & How to Do It Better.

START WITH WHAT YOU’VE GOT – One of the biggest missed opportunities is to actually connect, reconnect and interconnect the network you already have. Leverage the work you’ve already done and the relationships you’ve already got before you start spending time and energy trying to build new ones. Identify Strategic Partners, Candidates and Contacts and then focus your time on Strategic Partners and that small group of Candidates that are most likely to become Strategic partners and sources of referrals.

LOOK FOR GREAT STRATEGIC PARTNERS – If you focus on finding clients, you’re focused on finding one person to write you one check.  Alternately, a single Strategic Partner is worth 10-100 clients and can connect you with multiple opportunities on an ongoing basis. Looking for Strategic Partners will get you further, faster, than just looking for your next client.

INVEST STRATEGICALLY, NOT EVENLY – Spending time with bad candidates means you have less time to spend with good ones.  Not all potential connections are a good fit for your business. Not all connections are created equal. Understand who is a good fit and who is not, act accordingly and spend your time wisely.

SEE GOOD PEOPLE 3x’sOne coffee meeting is just the beginning of something, not the completion of it and if the person IS a good partner, one coffee will not be enough. Relationships are built primarily through shared experiences and shared connections. As a general rule for new connections, you want to see good people 3 times in 3 months in order to build a real relationship. As the relationship progresses, follow up accordingly, based on whether or not they end up as a good Strategic Partner.

PRE-PLAN EVENTS FOR EASY RECONNECTING – Each month, look for and put events in your calendar to give yourself multiple options for inviting Candidates to and staying connected or reconnecting with good people. This also makes it infinitely easier to hit your 3 meetings in 3 months goal with good new contacts. Think beyond coffee meetings… power lunches, large open events and educational events. Pre-planning allows you to have events you can mention during a good first meeting AND reasons to call and reconnect after.

BRING A BUDDY – Time is a precious commodity and when you go to an event alone, you miss a golden opportunity to make your investment of time and energy do double duty.  Even if the person cannot attend with you, the simple act of calling allows you to reconnect and they are sure to be flattered to have been invited.  Carpool to get some good one-to-one time or make a plan to meet several people at an event, allowing you to make multiple re-connections at the same event.  Just don’t go alone.

CONNECT TO NETWORKS, NOT INDIVIDUALS – It takes time to build relationships and credibility with new people. It also takes time to stay connected. When you INTERCONNECT your network, you leverage all your past investments.  So connect to existing networks and connect your contacts to your other contacts to build networks around you.  Your old connections will share about other projects results with your new connections. Your people will talk to each other about you. They’ll often do business together, like each other, and build relationships of their own. It’s far easier to stay connected to a web of connected people than it is to stay in touch with a bunch of individuals.

As with most things in life, success is not about working harder, it’s about working smarter. Knowing a few simple secrets and following a few simple rules can make a HUGE difference in how effective your networking efforts will be. While all seven strategies are important and useful, applying even ONE will make a positive difference. Often the source of a major breakthrough is a relatively minor shift in strategy.

Cheers to you and effective networking in the New Year!

(c) 2012 Behind The Moon, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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Feel free to share this article in its entirety and include the Bio information for Sabrina Risley below along with live link back to this blog post.  Thank you.

Sabrina Risley founded Behind The Moon, Inc.® in 2003, a Colorado-based networking organization that sets itself apart with its motto “grow your business by helping others grow theirs.” Behind The Moon offers several networking events across Colorado’s Front Range that attract professionals who network to give rather than get. You will find Sabrina speaking to audiences about effective networking techniques, the power of partnerships, and principles of service and giving as a means to grow a business. Sign up for Sabrina’s free report, Networking For Success at http://www.behindthemooninc.com/index.php/free-report.


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