Tag Archives: business

Develop Your Networking Relationships

two-people1Business people spend a lot of time networking, some times it is important to slow down and develop relationships with the people that you have added to your network.  In the book “The 29% Solution” by Dr. Ivan R Misner and Michelle Donovan, they discuss tactics for building better relationships with your network members.  The more we get to know our network members the more credibility we build with them.

Here are 5 questions to ask your network member that will allow you to develop a deeper relationship.

1.  What would yo like to accomplish with your business this year?

2.  What are your challenges this year?

3.  What is standing in the way of your meeting yur goals?

4.  How can I help you?

5.  What do you need to help you be successful?

Pay attention to what you hear, make notes and set out to help your network member.  It is important to spend time working on your network instead of doing more networking.  The deeper you develop your network the more valuable it becomes.

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Learn Somthing New

If you are not growing you are dying! Part of growing is the act of learning something new, consistently.   So, let me ask you, what are you learning that is new right now?

I am an avid seeker of knowledge, I hated school and wasted a scholarship, but I love to learn.  It is my goal to learn something new all the time, this year it is Spanish.

I have decided to learn Spanish,  so I am hosting Spanish Classes in my Referral Institute training center.   I invited several hundred people to join me in learning Spanish.  I figure there is this whole population of people whom I cannot network with effectively and that means I am losing business to people who can connect with them.  I thought other business people would feel the same way, but that has not been the case.  Of the 600 people I invited to participate, only 10 showed up to learn.

What a pity, what an opportunity loss.  It is so vital that we find new markets, new networks, new connectors and influencers and new ways of doing business.  Still no one was interested in this opportunity to expand their knowledge and their businesses.

Those same people who spent so much time telling me they could not afford the time, or the money are the very same people who will tell me six months from now, that they don’t have any business, or business is slow.

If you are going to stay in business, you need to learn something new, like Social Networking, Web 2.0, Spanish, how to get in front of more prospects or how to close more deals.  Because those who are learning will out perform you and your customers might become theirs.

Unfortunately,  many business people spend more time telling me what they can’t do instead of finding ways to figure out what they can do.

Now is not the time to pull back on investing in yourself, your company and your staff.  Now more than ever it is important to learn something new!  Money and time invested in yourself and your team is always money well spent.

Thank you from your Retailer

Last week I did some shopping, you see I have lost some weight and that means I have had to buy some new clothes.  Yea Me!!

First I went to Macy’s and bought a suite, 2 shirts and a pair of pants.  From there I went to Talbots, picked up a jacket and a sweater, and that lead me to Nordstroms where I bought 2 dresses, a pair of shoes and hosiery.

I took all of my loot home and put it all away.  Excited about my new purchases but not thinking much about it after that.

A week later, there was one of those nice little envelopes that usually holds an invitation or a thank you card.  When I opened it, there was a hand written note from the lady at Nordstroms who sold me my dresses.  It was very nice, she used my name and remembered my weight loss and smaller size dresses.  How great was that!

I did not get a card from Macy’s or Talbots, or even the clerk at Nordstroms who sold me the shoes and hosiery.  But I know where I am going to go to by my next suite and I know who I am going to ask to help me.

Here is the question, what stops other retailers from doing the same thing?  Why can one retail store make it part of their culture and others never give it a thought?  Macy sends me lots of coupons but never a thank you note, why?

It is the little things that you do in your business that creates customer loyalty, so let me ask you….What are you doing that sets you apart and makes your customers want to come back to you.

The Speed of Trust

The Speed of Trust

The Speed of Trust

I think that one of the best tips that I can pass along to all of you, are the books I have read and how they have impacted my business. This week I would like to tell you about a book that I believe is very pertinent to the referral process. The Speed of Trust, written by Stephen M.R. Covey.

Trust or Credibility is the most important aspect of building your business by referral. If a person does not trust you, they are never ever going to refer business to you. Equally, if they do not trust your team or business they will be reluctant to refer to you. In the past I believed that there was little that you could do to speed up trust or manage trust. That changed recently when I picked up a copy of “The Speed of Trust”. Speed and trust do not really seem to go hand in hand, after all you can’t rush trust or can you?

Stephen explains the high cost to organizations and individuals to have no trust or low trust. He also bust the myths that we have about trust and address the reality of trust, for instance it is a common belief that “You can’t teach trust.” Reality is “trust can be effectively taught and learned, and it can become a leverageable, strategic advantage.” Read the book to get the other 7 Myths.

The foundation of the book is the discussion of the 5 waves of trust, self trust, relationship trust, organizational trust, market trust, and societal trust with the steps and tips for building each of these levels.

BONUS:   Take a look at his website, The Speed of Trust there are variety of resources for you to take advantage of, get a Complimentary analysis of your personal credibility or an Online survey to assess the level of trust colleagues, friends, and others have in you. I was surprised by my results!

Get the book today, you will be glad you did!   TRUST ME!

Are you likable?

How many times have you met someone and you knew right away you did not like them?  Or on the other hand you met someone and right away you really liked them.  What is it that makes one person likable while the other unlikable?

People want to do business with people they know, like and trust.  Like is very important factor in building relationships.  When was the last time that you referred one of your best customers to someone you did not like? How many times have you chosen to do business with someone because you liked them.

I had the opportunity to experience this for myself recently when I was looking to hire someone to do some work for me. There were two people both equally qualified to do the project. I ended up going with the person I liked and his price was 12% higher. I was willing to pay more because I liked the person.

Do you want to be more likable?  Follow these simple tips:

  • Speak Less, Listen More – People don’t want to hear about you they want to talk about themselves.
  • Don’t be a know it all – Even if you do know everything you don’t have to prove it.
  • Be Engaged – Looking at your watch, over someones shoulder or checking your cell is not engaged
  • Smile – A smile that goes to your eyes wins people over
  • Give a Compliment – Whenever possible give a compliment about something, it wins others over.
  • Follow up with people – When you take the time to follow up with people they are engaged, and want to learn more about you

Little things make you likable and being likable will have a positive impact on your bottom line!

Looking for Love in all the Wrong Places

 Do you remember the old country western song about the guy going from place to place lookin for love? “I was lookin’ for love in all the wrong places, lookin’ for love in too many places.”

Frankly, this should be the theme song for many of the business professionals running from networking event to networking event. Unfortunately, it is a poor way to find love and an even worse way to find good referral partners.

 Many business people spend their time attending one networking event after another, looking for leads, prospects and connections. Collecting cards, adding names to their Rolodex, their mailing list and their email list. They repeat this activity over and over again because it’s the best plan they have.

 Before you go to your next networking event, make a plan. Here are a few things you may want to think about before you head out the door:

  • Set 3 Goals you want to achieve at this networking event?
  • Who is your target market and will they be at this event?

  • Who are your best referral sources and how will attending this event help them?

  • What is your follow up system after the event?

  • What activities will you use to build trust with your network?

  • What activities will you use to give to your network?

Instead of looking for new people to build referral relationships with, take a look at who you already network with. Maybe your time would be better spent digging deeper into your existing network and building stronger relationships instead of adding additional people to your network.

Love takes time, so does building a strong network of people who will refer business to you regularly. Before you walk out the door to do more networking make a plan, you may find that the love your lookin for is already in your network.

 

Are you Tracking Your Referrals?

 

Referrals can come to you from many different directions.  Some will come from people you meet at networking events, some may come to you from your customers, and others may come from your trained Referral Partners.  You will never know where they are coming from if you do not take the time to track your business.

 

Every time someone calls, ask the simple question, “How did you hear about us?”  Open a spreadsheet and track every customers or prospective customer’s response.

 

This simple task will allow you to identify where you may want to spend more time or money.  If you find you have one person who is acting as your advocate you will want to find ways to thank or reward that person.

 

Maybe you find that all the time you have spent at a particular organization has not paid off as well as you thought, but the place where you have been volunteering  has had the added benefit of being a gold mine of clients.  Now you will be able to make a sound decision about where you are spending your time.

 

Until you start tracking, it’s all guesswork and you may be ignoring some of your best sources.