Triple Your Business Revenue By Writing

A business contact of mine telephoned me awhile back to ask why I wasn’t including writing in my business training anymore. I had previously included it in my training sessions because I think it is an extremely valuable way to establish credibility in business. However, when I checked the numbers, I realized that only about 2 percent of the people I trained in writing really picked up on the message and followed through.

In other words, 98 percent of people I trained never used the advice at all. So of course I stopped teaching it. Well, my business associate asserted over the phone that I should be training on writing regardless of the small number of people who were doing something with the advice because, he claimed, the results for the people that do take action are absolutely phenomenal. He urged me to include writing in my business training because it is worth teaching for the sake of those 2 percent who get amazing results.

In my most recent show on yourBusinessChannel.com, I talk more about how this business colleague of mine took my advice on writing years ago and turned his business around. By his own calculations, he tripled his revenue by becoming a well-published author of business articles.

Watch the show HERE and then think about how writing might help you increase your business revenue.  Will it take hard work and dedication? Yes.  Is that hard work and dedication worth the results you will get? Definitely.

You Never Know Who’ll Give You a Great Referral

One of the biggest mistakes you can make in networking is to dismiss someone too early, to assume that he or she has nothing to offer you because of his or her professional background or some other reason, and not pursue the relationship.  Unfortunately, I see this happen a lot.

The truth is, you simply never know where your next great referral is going to come from.  You should make it a point to consistently connect with high-quality professionals from all fields, from any and every background. Forget about trying to contact the VPs and high-level executives–they don’t want to hear another sales pitch. But any professional who is good at what he or she does will be well-connected to other highly successful businesspeople.

Take my painting contractor, for example. Through his work he has come to know A-list Hollywood celebrities, among many other affluent people. He’s one of the most connected people I know.

I have a favorite story, which I think illustrates this point perfectly.  In this case, a multimillion-dollar referral (one of the biggest I’ve seen recently) was given by a dentist in Malaysia. She briefly shut down her practice to attend a networking conference. When she reopened, one of her clients asked her about the conference and, as a result, she was able to connect the client with someone she’d met at the conference–which led to the the multimillion dollar referral.

If you want to hear the details of this powerful story, watch my latest show on yourBusinessChannel.com.

By the way, my shows on yourBusinessChannel are related to my involvement in the Million Dollar Challenge.  The Million Dollar Challenge invites promising businesses across the globe to take the challenge and have the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to transform their business and skyrocket it into success with a team of acclaimed business experts.  CLICK HERE to find out more.

Transformational Yakov

I am in Hawaii for the Transformational Leadership Council (TLC) meeting this week. I have been a member of  TLC for several years and have always enjoyed the very eclectic group of authors, trainers and thought leaders. But I must say, it just got even more interesting.  Joining our group this week was a new member: actor and comedic legend Yakov Smirnoff 

We were pleased to have him do about 30 minutes of his material during one of the sessions. I can’t remember when I’ve ever seen someone take an audience from uproarious laughter to tears and back to gut-wrenching laughter so quickly and effectively. It was the sign of a true master of the art.

In a time of great challenges for many people, his “Love and Laughter” presentation was a refreshing change of pace. In talking to him later that day, I discovered that during this part of the year, he is doing keynote presentations for organizations around the world.  Hmmm, he might make a good keynote presenter at a business conference (I’m just thinking).

If you ever have a chance to see him perform in person, I highly recommend it.  He’s an outstanding comedic performer who tugs at your heart while making you laugh.

Do What Others Don’t

To some businessspeople, networking is something to try when they’re hurting for business.  However, networking is actually a primary strategy for generating business relationships that lead to more referrals.  When done correctly, networking is a proactive strategy for business growth, not a reaction to slow business.

I think the most important single idea in networking is to do what others don’t.  Doing what others don’t gives you an edge.  It can position you head and shoulders above your competition.  It helps you stand out in a positive way and, when you do, people are attracted to you and your business, and your success grows stronger, deeper and more durable.

So go beyond the norm. Take the time to gather information for improving your business by getting straightforward feedback from people.  This will help you identify your business’s strengths and weaknesses so you can take corrective action.  Some more ideas that most people don’t take the time or effort to implement are:

  •  Adopt the attitude of a host at networking mixers.
  • Use your influence and professional status to help members of your network solve problems.
  • Learn to specifically ask for referrals.
  • Take every opportunity to educate yourself on how to better your business and your networking efforts.

New Networking TV Show on yourBusinessChannel.com

YourBusinessChannel.com, a website dedicated to bringing TV shows packed with top business tips to people around the world, is now airing a new TV show where I talk about the great void that exists in business schools and universities as a result of the fact that they neglect to teach networking as a part of their curriculum.  CLICK HERE to view the show where I discuss in more detail why this problem exists and how we may be able to solve it.

I’ve also written a couple of previous blogs addressing my frustration over this issue, as well as my optimism that the problem may be obsolete in the future. To read those blogs, click here and here.

I’ve recently signed on as one of the participating business experts on a great new project run by yourBusinessChannel called The Million Dollar Challenge.  As a result of my involvement in the project, I will be doing more TV shows for yourBusinessChannel, so I’ll notify all of my blog readers each time a new show comes out.

The Million Dollar Challenge is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for businesses around the world to have a team of experts, which would normally cost around a million dollars to assemble, offer them the strategies and advice that will skyrocket their growth.  If you’d like to know more about The Million Dollar Challenge, CLICK HERE.

I invite you to watch my new show on yourBusinessChannel.com and let me know what you think by posting a comment below.

Thanks!

International Networking Week: Mark Your Calendar

International Networking Week, Feb. 2-6, 2009, is quickly approaching and it’s a great way to start off the New Year.

Make 2009 the year you see opportunity when others see problems, seek growth when others expect collapse and see success when others see failure.  Watch the short 2009 International Networking Week video and find out about how to join me and many other successful business people in recognizing and participating in this year’s International Networking Week. Focus on what you do best, and don’t let other people sidetrack you from building your business.

WATCH THE 2009 INTERNATIONAL NETWORKING WEEK VIDEO HERE!

Is Your Network a Mile Wide and an Inch Deep?

In Southern California we have many huge, tall, lush eucalyptus trees that topple over fairly easily in the high winds that occur almost every year.  When they’re uprooted and blown over, you can see that their root system is broad and wide but not very deep.  I think this is a powerful metaphor for what to consider in building your personal network.  To go deep in establishing your network, you can do three things:

1.  Build quality relationships. Take time beyond normal business interactions to deepen your relationships with referral sources.  Invite them to social functions, learn their hobbies and interests, and help them pursue their personal goals.

2.  Network in new places. Other than your strong–and casual–contact groups, look for new areas to find partners with common interests, such as charitable organizations and professional support groups.  Don’t prospect right away; let the relationships mature.

3.  Focus on others. Rather than having a “What’s in it for me?” mind-set, ask yourself, What can I do for this person?  Continually look for ways to bring business and benefits to others in any group you’re a part of.  Make yourself known as the person who always has something for others.  This is a powerful way to both deepen and broaden your network.

If your network is a mile wide and an inch deep, it will not hold up in the winds of today’s economy.  Go deep in building relationships and you’ll do well in these challenging times.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this, so please leave a comment.

The New Year is a Time for Vision Making

Each year, a few days before New Year’s Eve, I head off to my mountain retreat in Big Bear Lake, Calif., to recharge my batteries. It’s a great opportunity to spend time with the family and prepare for the onslaught of the coming year.

It’s also a good time to give thought to the vision you have for your business and life over the next year.

It’s hard to hit a target you’re not aiming at.  The new year is a great time to think about some of your plans and goals for the next 12 months (and beyond).  Even if all you have is a couple days, take the time every January to slow down and do some “vision making” for your business.  Remember that a successful businessperson needs to work “on” the business as well as “in” the business.  Work “on” your business this month by creating your vision for 2009.

Happy New Year!

Ivan

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