Learn about the receiving more referrals in this video.
Tiffanie Kellog, trainer for Asentiv Florida, explores the VCP process as it relates to what stage of the referral relationship you are in with others to build referral sources. #vcp
The VCP Process is the foundation of building a referral-based business. While this general business-building philosophy isn’t going to automatically increase your business, there are plenty of benefits to increasing your visibility and your credibility.
Visibility is usually pretty easy for businesspeople to get on board with. You attend extra networking events, look into other forms of marketing, reach out to new client bases. Credibility is where, time and again, we see more people struggling to build up that quality reputation of being credible.
There are a few simple items other than business cards that you should try to have at your disposal to help you develop that word-of-mouth campaign and show off your credibility to potential new clients or business networks. Try to always have access to at least one example of the following simple items:
Most business professionals will have these few simple items at their disposal at any given point, and many won’t realize what a vital tool to building credibility these can be! You can really up your game by having a couple less common items at your disposal as well:
Got all that? Great! You can never have too many credibility-building items at your disposal, so the following are great additions, as well. Just make sure not to throw all of your items at potential contacts at the same time. You don’t want to overwhelm anyone, though it would be incredibly easy to do so. Look to have these on-hand in case someone requests them:
With a little foresight, it can be incredibly easy to get all of the basic supplies you’ll need to prove your credibility and increase your word-of-mouth marketing campaign.
What items do you use on a regular basis to show your potential clients and business networks that you are a credible candidate to help them with their needs? Let me know in the comments below!
The fact is, networking truly is a marathon of an endeavor–it’s most definitely not a sprint. I have met so many people who practice what I call ‘hyperactive networking’ and they mistakenly approach networking at the speed of an all-out sprint–they want to be absolutely everywhere and meet absolutely everyone and they go, go, go ALL of the time until they soon inevitably burn out, ‘collapse,’ and give up.
It’s a real shame because if these people would, from the beginning, just slow down and take the time to develop a networking strategy and understand that networking takes time, patience, hard work, dedication, commitment, and endurance, they would be reaping great rewards from their networking efforts instead of exhausting themselves with nothing to show for it in the end.
Networking at its core is about taking the time to build genuine, trusted relationships. Sure, visibility is important, but without building trust right along with it, visibility won’t get you very far in the long run. You can run around all day long going to networking events and shaking people’s hands, but if you’re not spending time following up and developing trust with the people you meet, then you haven’t really achieved much of anything that will actually give you results from your networking efforts–do not confuse activity with accomplishment.
So, what are your tactics for pacing yourself in the marathon of networking? What actions do you take to strategically build relationships? I’d love to hear from you so please share your thoughts and ideas in the comment forum below–thanks!
In this brief video filmed at a recent TLC (Transformational Leadership Council) conference, I talk to my good friend Raymond Aaron about our respective contributions to the newly revised version of Jack Canfield’s book THE SUCCESS PRINCIPLES.
I am beyond honored to have been asked to contribute to the book and, because of that, I wanted my portion of the book to focus on the most valuable, useful, beneficial information I could possibly offer within my field of expertise. That information is the concept of the VCP Process®–how to build visibility and credibility to ultimately achieve longlasting success through profitability.
Raymond, a world renowned success coach, offers eye-opening information about what blocks us from enjoying success through abundance and how to overcome those road blocks.
Have you read THE SUCCESS PRINCIPLES? If so, I’m eager to hear your thoughts on the book in general or on a specific section or sections which resonated with you the most. Please share your thoughts in the comment forum below. Thanks!
For more information on THE SUCCESS PRINCIPLES, please visit: www.TheSuccessPrinciplesBook.com.
I recently saw someone’s Twitter update telling me all about how his vitamin line will not only make me skinny and healthy, but will also make me wealthy. While there is nothing objectionable about any of these outcomes, the jarring reality is that the man promoting this wonderful opportunity is neither skinny, nor healthy, and he had just been posting updates about how he was desperately trying to dig himself out of debt!
Do you see the disconnect here? I’m sure you have seen people at networking meetings and events who will stand, introduce themselves, and deliver a promise-filled monologue about how their product or service will bring you all kinds of things which they themselves obviously do not have the benefit of enjoying.
What’s missing is congruency. When your professional message is not congruent with your personal situation, your networking efforts will not be effective. If you are promoting yourself as a wellness coach, and yet you are often sick and carrying 20 extra pounds, there is a jarring incongruence for which it will be hard for you to compensate. When I want to refer my colleagues to a wellness coach, I will refer one who is healthy, fit and obviously achieving the results she promises I will receive from participating in her program.
This may seem logical, but I often see people all over the world with incongruent messages. Ask yourself how congruent your message is. If you’re a professional organizer, is your briefcase a disaster? If you’re a car detailer, how does your own vehicle look? If you have never done so, take stock today of your message. Evaluate what you’re saying the benefits of your products or services are compared to what you are showing people they are.
Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “What you do thunders above your head so loudly, I cannot hear the words you speak.” In his book Inside the Magic Kingdom, Tom Connellan calls this “walking the talk.” How are you doing when it comes towalking the talk in your business? It will have a definite effect on the success of your networking efforts.
Share a story with me about someone (don’t name names!) whose message was not congruent with their actions. I’d love to hear other stories.
In this video, I talk to my good friend Jack Canfield about Jack’s just-released updated edition of his bestselling book, “The Success Principles.”
Watch the video now to hear the truly amazing story of a man whose life was completely transformed as a result of following the principles in Jack’s book and to get both Jack’s take and my take on what it takes to be truly successful in any given area of life.
if you’ve read the earlier edition of Jack’s book, I’d love to hear your thoughts on it. Please share your feedback in the comment forum below. Thanks!
To learn more about the newly released edition of “The Success Principles,” please visit www.TheSuccessPrinciplesBook.com.
People often ask me how to move a relationship with someone they just met to the point where the new contact feels comfortable passing them a referral.
I always say that the best way to get to this next referral-passing stage depends in part on how you came into contact with a person in the first place. Let’s say you met while giving a brief presentation to a group of people who are in your target market. Assuming you did a good job, then you absolutely have the possibility of receiving a referral, even though you just met. Why? Because the presentation moved you from visibility to credibility in the new contact’s mind and now they’re probably willing to risk their reputation and recommend you to someone they know.
The same thing is true when you’re out networking. If you have a good conversation with someone and truly add value to the conversation, then moving from visibility to credibility isn’t that difficult, and you’ll be in great shape for getting some referral-based business. What’s more, it’s not terribly important whether the person is someone you might do business with directly. Even if your businesses don’t match up, the other person might have information that’s useful or might know other people you’d like to get in contact with. It’s often worthwhile to develop a networking relationship with people who have little in common with you because they can bring an entirely new network into contact with yours and broaden your business horizons.
Just bear in mind that even if there is a strong possibility that you’re going to do business with this new contact, it’s probably not going to happen there at the networking event, where conversations last anywhere from an eye-blink three minutes to a long-winded seven. Instant business is not likely to be had. But if you follow up with a quick note a few days later, you can make some one-to-one time and come up with ways the two of you can help each other. That meeting is where you’ll have your best opportunity for a quick referral.
What has your experience been with moving to the referral stage with new contacts–do you have a tactic that seems to be particularly effective? If so, please share it in the comments section. Thanks!
TR Garland (pictured with me in the photo below) is a friend of mine and co-author of one of my most recent #1 best-selling books called “Building The Ultimate Network.”
For some time now, we’ve both observed a need to drill down on one of the most important and foundational concepts to networking – The VCP Process®. A while ago, we started a much-anticipated 12-part series of blog posts which addresses this and contains some very timely information for networkers across the globe. Today, we’re proud to share with you Part 12–the final post in this series. Enjoy.
Using Social Media to Navigate the VCP Process®
(Part 12 of the “Navigating The VCP Process® To Networking” Series)
In Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 , Part 4, and Part 5 of this series, we introduced and re-introduced the concept and steps of The VCP Process® to Networking for our readers through brief anecdotes, relevant comparisons, and sometimes even humorous situations. For Parts 6and 7 we even shared with you video trainings from the both of us.
In Part 9, we suggested some behaviors that you can use on a weekly basis to increase the number of referrals you receive. And, as a result, we got a couple phone calls complimenting us about how that particular blog post clearly outlined what type of behaviors a successful networker should be practicing on a weekly and monthly basis – and we were asked to provide more. We fulfilled that request.
In Part 10, we addressed that ‘Mindset’ has as much to do with your success in networking as ‘Skillset’. And in Part 11 we addressed how to deliver effective Introductions & Short Presentations when Navigating The VCP Process® To Networking. And therefore, in this final installment of the series, we found it relevant to address “The Elephant in the Room” – Social Media.
Yes, as experts on Business Networking and Referral Marketing, we’ve been asked time and time again to provide our opinions on how Social Media fits into one’s own Business Networking Plan (…if at all).
So, today, let’s address this “The Elephant in the Room”. Let’s bring out into the open the question that still may be on the minds of many of our readers.
When asked about the topic of Online Networking versus Offline Networking, you may have already heard Ivan share his philosophy that “…it’s not either/or, it’s both/and when addressing this topic”.
Today, let’s dig a little deeper and give you a clearer picture on what’s meant by this, as well as deliver you actionable steps for you to take (as the title of this blog insinuates) to use Social Media to navigate the VCP Process® to networking.
Let’s get started.
An often overlooked tool to navigating the VCP Process® is using Social Media effectively. And, more specifically – Facebook. Now please allow us to clarify. We didn’t say Facebook is overlooked! Lol.
ENTERTAINMENT vs. EXECUTION
We happen to believe that many people are actually addicted to Facebook and spend way too much time using it for ENTERTAINMENT. Whereas, they could actually be using it for the EXECUTION of a well thought out strategy.
Let’s face it. There are professionals out there who you want passing you referrals that are on many of the same Social Media platforms that you’re on. Yet, do you have a Business Networking Plan that addresses this?
Well, would you like to grasp a really quick concept that will help you address this?
For example, let’s assume an ideal referral partner for you is a CPA. And, you recently met a CPA at a monthly networking event such as a Chamber of Commerce mixer. What typically happens is that “life happens” immediately after that event and 30 days go by before you see that CPA again.
From our perspective, it’s going to take a long time to dig deep and build a quality, meaningful relationship and move through the VCP Process® with this person when you only see this CPA twelve times a year.
Therefore, today, we’re recommending you use Social Media to compliment your in-person, face-to-face networking efforts. Yes, if you take action and plan to make strategic “Touch Points” during the time between those mixers, you’ll actually be able to expedite the VCP Process®.
And, who doesn’t want to shorten the cycle from first meeting someone (i.e. Visibility) to building trust with them (i.e. Credibility) to finally getting an actual referral from them (i.e. Profitability)?
Yes, too many people are spending too much time on Social Media for ENTERTAINMENT purposes versus the successful EXECUTION of specific tactics of an overall strategy that will help them drive revenue to their business.
Today, we’d like to make a pretty good case that Social Media shouldn’t be ignored either. Social Media should be considered an intricate part of successfully following your particular Business Networking Plan.
HERE’S ONE SPECIFIC TACTIC YOU CAN USE IMMEDIATELY
Let’s assume an ideal referral partner for you is a CPA as noted above. By connecting with this person on Facebook immediately after meeting them and strategically LIKING or COMMENTING on some of their posts – you will create additional Visibility so that the next time you see this CPA it will actually FEEL like you’ve known each other longer.
Does this make sense? We would love for you to leave your thoughts in the comment forum below.
I had a great conversation a while back with my business partner in the Referral Institute, Mike Macedonio (pictured to the right). He was explaining why he feels there are only a few criteria that must be met to make people referrable by him.
The first criterion is that the individual must be an expert at what he or she does. He looks for people who have invested in learning their trade and continue to invest to master their trade. Do they specialize in a certain area? What achievements have they attained in their area of expertise?
Another one of Mike’s requirements is that the person is passionate about what he or she does. This especially makes a lot of sense to me because if you’re not passionate about what you do, how can you expect other people to get excited about working on your behalf?
Mike’s last criterion stipulates that the person he is referring understands and honors the referral process. More specifically, Mike wants to ensure that the person receiving the referral understands his or her number-one responsibility. To quote Mike, “The number-one responsibility when you receive a referral is to make the person who gave you the referral look great.” As long as the people Mike gives referrals to are doing this for him, Mike can remain confident that his reputation will be protected. It also compels him to continue giving these people referrals.
Mike’s list of qualifications that make a person referrable is short, yet very powerful. After discussing it, we both agreed that we should expect others to evaluate our referrability by these same criteria. Are we invested experts, and do we continue to invest in our trade? Are we passionate about what we do? Are we practicing what we preach? Do we make our referral sources look great? I’m glad to say that I’m confident we both do all of these things.
So what makes people referrable by you? I’m sure many of you have some great ideas in response to this. I’d love to hear them, so please feel free to leave a comment.
A networking event is not–I repeat not–designed to bring strangers together for the purpose of referring themselves to one another. Why would you refer yourself to someone you barely know? A typical networking event is designed to have people who don’t know one another meet and mingle. But for a networking event to be fully productive for you, you must meet the right people for the right reasons. Meeting the right people will make a positive impact on your business and give you a high return on your networking investment.
So, at a networking event, how exactly do you identify the right people to meet? You do this by considering two types of individuals: those serving your preferred clients and those who have the potential to help you meet your business goals. Today I’d like to focus on looking at those who serve the same professional client as you. “Hey, aren’t those folks likely to be my competitors?” you might wonder. Not necessarily.
Consider these two examples:
Your preferred clients have many suppliers for their needs and it could be in your best interest to connect and build relationships with those other suppliers so, when networking, you want to focus on meeting these people. The answers to the questions that were asked of Tanya helped direct her to the people she should be searching for while networking. You can gain the same benefit by having a similar conversation with one of your preferred clients and asking questions like these: “Who else solves your daily problems?” ; “Who do you allow in the door?” ; “What companies do you call on when you need (product)?” ; “Whom do you trust when it comes to helping you (type of service)?”
At networking events, look for name tags that fit specific professional categories you’re seeking to cultivate. If you meet a professional who services your preferred client–and you like the individual as a person–consider this the first step in building a new relationship. If you build a trusting and giving relationship with someone who provides services for your preferred client market, it stands to reason that your referral potential will increase dramatically. Remember that in a true tri-win (that’s win-win-win) relationship, that person’s referral potential will also increase, and the client will get the best service possible.
Be sure to come back next week as I’ll be posting specifically about the other types of people you want to focus on meeting while networking–those who can help you meet your business goals.
In the meantime, I’d love to hear any stories you may have about how you successfully built a relationship with someone who serves the same professional client as you do and how that relationship has benefited you and/or the other service provider . Please share your experiences in the comment forum below–thanks!
In this video, filmed at a recent networking conference in Nashville, TN, I talk to my good friend and partner in the Referral Institute®, Eddie Esposito, about the monthly Networking Cafe webinars we offer to the public. These FREE monthly webinars offer invaluable information about how to grow business through networking and referral marketing and we often have guests on the webinar who are experts at helping people achieve business success. Past guests include Jack Canfield, Michael Gerber, and Susan RoAne, among others.
These “Networking Cafe” webinars take place on the last Friday of each month and all you need to do to find out how to participate (we welcome you to ask questions during the webinar) for free is to visit the following link: http://referralinstitute.com/index.php/en-us/networking-cafe.
Thanks so much for watching this video and I really hope to interact with you on one of the upcoming webinars in the near future. Also, if you have any suggestions for topics which you would love to have addressed on a future webinar, by all means, please leave your topic suggestions in the comment forum below–I’m more than happy to address all valuable and relevant topics. Thanks!
Get every new post delivered to your inbox