By Susan L. Combs, Combs & Company, LLC.

Seems like anytime I talk to someone about networking I start with, “Like minds attract like minds.”  Think about the people you know in business. Think of the friends and colleagues you have who are a little on the scatterbrained side ... aren’t all their clients scatterbrained too? It seems to ALWAYS happen. That’s why I think it is crucial, when you are developing networking Power Partners, that you align yourself with people who do the same caliber of work as you, have the same integrity as you, because inevitably, they will also have the type of clients you like to work with as well, so referring each other is easier.

I’ve been a member of many different networking groups and even started a couple, and one mistake I see people make is trying to get a referral from me before they have taken the time to develop a relationship. The easiest way to break this down is to think of a networking relationship like a bank. If you had only deposited $100 on Monday, would you try to withdraw $1,000 on Tuesday? Absolutely not. Networking relationships take time, you must build “social capital” in your relationship so that when you go to ask for that referral or introduction, you have made adequate “deposits” that you can withdraw from.

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By Ashleigh Rothhammer, sales and marketing consultant in Denver, Colorado. Ashleigh is a millennial mother, boss and WIFS advocate.

Millennials grew up in an era of electronic stimulation, digital entertainment and immediate satisfaction. These three environments have created adventurous, technologically savvy and highly emotional workers. Learning to work with and learn from millennials isn’t just healthy, it’s crucial for success.

Working with millennials comes with a learning curve. Let’s be candid, baby boomers and Gen Xers don’t always have the best impression of this group as thought leaders. That is understandable. Rule following, formality and ladder climbing are not their core values. These ideals have been replaced with technology, innovation, education and socially benevolent principles. Regardless, there is a lot that each generation can learn from the other. Let’s take a deeper look at these core values. 

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For more than 80 years, WIFS has been committed to attracting, developing and advancing women in the insurance and financial services profession. Members, partners, exhibitors and sponsors benefit from connection and mutual respect for professional development and education-focused interaction rather than career opportunity promotion.