Are you taking advantage of the holiday season when it comes to marketing your business? You should be! Festive posts really attract audiences who are feeling sentimental or those who are looking for some services specifically around the holidays.
Culture is a blend of attitude, beliefs, mission, philosophy and momentum. As a result, culture helps to create and sustain a successful brand. The way people interact with one another and the overall growth of your company is affected by culture. What creates organizational culture? Culture is key in an organization for long-term success. It is the most important thing in an organization and it applies at all levels, from the top of the organization all the way down. Rules, regulations, and operating standards are important, of course, because you have to have systems in place to guide activities. But culture is the factor that stands above all others.
The factors that go into building the organizational culture and will make your company successful are…
- TRADITIONS AND CORE VALUES
Please watch my video to learn more about these factors and share your comments below.
I used to hate the expression: “Elevator Pitch” − it just drove me crazy. But everybody is using it all over the world, so I now give up − I’m going to go with it!
The expression developed from the idea of literally being in an elevator with only one minute or less to say who you are and what you do. What would you say? I want you to keep in mind that your elevator pitch is not a sales pitch . . . it is a creative and succinct way to share who you are and what you do that generates interest in the listener.
With that in mind, here are Ivan’s 5 rules for an engaging Elevator Pitch:
1) Don’t do your pitch in an elevator! The elevator pitch is meant to be taken out of the elevator and into the real world. And, although you must practice it carefully to be able to present it cohesively and professionally, you also need to be natural. You want to rehearse not sounding rehearsed, if you know what I mean. I’m sure you’ve all seen people who, when they do theirs, you can almost envision them as being back in that elevator: you just press a button, and they are off! You want to avoid sounding staged and canned.
2) K.I.S.S. Keep it simple. Don’t try to explain everything you do in the short amount of time allotted. It will either be too much information or be too vague to be of any value. By keeping your elevator pitch simple, you have more of a chance to catch the listener’s attention, engage them with your creativity, and create interest in your product or services.
3) Remember your USP? I’ve written about this before. Your Unique Selling Proposition can serve well in your Elevator Pitch. One example of how to craft a pithy USP is to compare a bland, general statement such as “I’m a coach and consultant” to saying instead “I help people work less, make more, and create referrals for life.” This is short, powerful, and informative − the perfect combination for an effective Elevator Pitch.
4) When crafting your Elevator Pitch, consider starting out with precisely how your listener will benefit from your product or service. My good friend, Andy Bounds, calls this the “Afters.” For your Elevator Pitch, this could be something as simple as, “I help people [ ].” You fill in the blank: increase their sales by 33%, improve their closing ratio to 80%, or double the number of new clients they take on per month, whatever your “After” may be.
5) Pass the eyebrow test. Another good friend, Sam Horn, author of Tongue Fu and Pop!, writes about the eyebrow test. If what you say in your Elevator Pitch causes your listener’s eyebrows to go up, you’ve got ’em! By doing this, you literally will leave the listener wanting more, and that’s precisely what you want your Elevator Pitch to do.
Keeping these 5 rules in mind when you create your Elevator Pitch will set you apart from the crowd. It’s time to press “Doors Open” and step on out of the elevator. Enjoy!
When was the last time you heard someone say, “Wow, your baby sure is ugly!” If they’re smart, probably never.
How about this one? “You’re clothing, marketing message and overall business image are not referable?” Ouch.
We occasionally think this about people we meet, but will rarely say it out loud. Which is why you are responsible for making sure your business, your “baby,” is in the right condition for receiving referrals.
I’ve seen thousands of people join networking groups and focus heavily on building their network but forget to take a good, hard look in the mirror, both at your self and image and your businesses. I’m challenging you to make an honest appraisal of yourself and your business and ask, “Am I worthy of business referrals?” If you’re not sure how to start, here are five ways to get you going.
1. Define your Emotional Charged Connection (ECC): If you are asked seven times this week, “What do you do for a living?” do you respond with seven different answers? Your marketing message should be clear, concise and consistent; it should also tug at the heart strings a bit and have some ECC. This combination will leave a lasting impression and, most importantly, give others a clear way of explaining your message to others.
2. Walk your talk. Do what you say in less time than promised. Be on time for meetings, don’t check your phone while others are talking to you–and follow up with everyone and everything.
3. Dress for success: If you’re a mechanic and you wear a three piece suit to a business meeting, one might assume you’ve just come from court. Whatever people in your profession typically wear–uniform, polo shirt and khakis, suit and tie, dress and heels–just be sure to wear it well. You don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars on a new wardrobe, but make sure what you wear is clean, wrinkle-free and tucked in. You want to look sharp, because your first impression when you walk into a meeting is a lasting one. If you’re messy or too casual, people might assume you have the same attitude about your business.
4. Be self-aware: Eighty percent of someone’s perception of you are based on your nonverbal cues, including eye contact, facial expressions and mannerisms. Ask someone you trust to simulate a meeting or pitch with you and have them point out what they think is working–and what’s not.
5. Keep your social media presence professional: It’s vital to remember that your professional image exists on and offline. That’s not say you can share a funny joke or have fun on social media, but be aware that people are judging you by your online behavior. Two of every three posts should be about something personal, but don’t make controversial statements or divulge every intimate detail about your life. In this digital age, if you are what you say, you are also what you post.
Your baby is not ugly, it’s beautiful. Your business image is not ugly, it’s also beautiful and worthy of referrals. But nothing else will matter unless our personal brand and referability are in order. After all, we are our biggest advertisement.
If you’re a business owner or entrepreneur, you know how challenging it can be to find the path towards leadership that works for you. With all the information available to us online, leadership styles are a dime a dozen and no one has the time or resources to try every style. Getting back to the basics is important, and understanding how those basics can improve your business is even more vital. Being a leader doesn’t have to be complicated! You’ve heard of the KISS acronym, right? Keep It Simple…well, it’s not the nicest acronym, so I won’t finish. But you know where I’m going.
If you find yourself wondering how to become a leader in business, follow these four steps:
1. Focus on solutions, not problems
2. Collaborate with your team
3. Be a culture champion
4. Care about the success of others–REALLY care!
Finally, leadership is about accomplishing more than people thought possible. In your business, what are your wildest dreams? What’s your ultimate goal? Never lose that idea and constantly be working towards it.
Watch the video below to hear more about the four steps towards becoming a business leader, and leave me a comment on what YOU think makes a leader.
When it comes to networking, the old adage goes, “It’s not what you know, but who you know.” We’ve all heard it and we’ve probably all said it.
But I’m here to tell you it’s NOT about who or what you know, but about how well you know each other!
Networking can become a shallow game if you treat relationships like chess pieces, using them for you own best advantage. Instead, if you approach networking from a personal angle with a genuine desire to get to know others, you’ll have far greater success. But how can you deepen your existing relationships with people to get to the point where they’d be willing to help or refer you in the future?
1. Give them a personal call. I know, I know–calling someone on the phone is so dated. But hear me out. Sending an email or a text message won’t get you the same results as actually making the effort to pick up the phone and call someone. Set up a 1-2-1 meeting and DO NOT try to sell them. Set up this meeting to deepen the connection and start to build a professional relationship.
2. Make personal calls to all the people who have helped or referred you business to you in the past. Ask them how things are going. Try and learn more about their current activities so you can help in some way.
3. Put together a “touch-point list” of fifty people you’d like to stay in touch with this year. Include anyone who has sent business your way in the past twelve months as well as any other prospects you’ve connected with recently. Send them cards on the next holiday, connect with them on social media, and stay connected in any other way you believe they are most interested in.
4. Two weeks after you’ve connected with them (from step 4) call them and see what’s going on. if they’re past clients or people you’ve talked to before, now is the perfect time to ask for a referral. If they’re prospects, perhaps you can set up an appointment to have coffee and find out if their plans might include using your services.
The notion of love is too touchy-feely for many of us, especially when it comes to business.
But my friend and fellow Transformational Leadership Council Member, Steve Farber, doesn’t think so. Steve is one of the most renowned leadership speakers in the industry. When we were in Napa Valley together last week, he talked to me about making love a part of your every day mantra as a business owner.
“If the customer loves you, you can blow up their building and they’ll say ‘Eh–accidents happen,'” Steve said (OK, so that might be a bit extreme. But you get what he’s trying to say.)
Steve goes on to say that it’s more than just the forgiveness factor that makes it worth having a loving relationship with your customers.
“Love is what leads to customer loyalty,” he said. “it’s what leads to word-of-mouth and growing your organization.”
I think this advice is spot on. If your customer relationships are held in as high regard as the service you provide, you can only benefit. Customers want to love you-they want to trust and believe in you, which are foundational building blocks of love. Focus on building those blocks with the goal of creating loving, loyal customer relationships, and you’ll create a strong reputation that will hold up in the business community.
What defines happiness and success? Everyone has a different answer, but I can tell you one thing that most would agree on: money does not solely define success and certainly cannot buy happiness.
I recently had the opportunity to speak at the LifeStyle Business Summit, hosted by Michelle Villalobos. In telling her own story, Michelle said she was climbing the ladder like we all do, but when she examined her life, she in fact wasn’t happy–and so she left to find her own path to fulfillment. She started her own business, making upwards of $300,000 a year–which society tells us should make a us happy–but that as time went on, she had actually become what she disliked most in people and became the boss she herself had always feared. She never gave herself any breaks or time off, and sacrificed her own happiness and health for a corporate lifestyle.
Two years went by and then Michelle realized she had to make a change in order to find true happiness. She wanted to run a business that revolved around her life and contributed something positive to the world–and she did, by changing her perspective, her business model and her definition of success. Michelle calls her new business model a “lifestyle business,” a term which I found fascinating as it resonated with some many of the concepts I talk and write a.
In a lifestyle business model, you have to determine which things are satisfiers and which are dissatisfiers. Keep in mind that while money can be a quick satisfier, it often doesn’t lead to long-term happiness. Long-term satisfiers can be things like opportunity, recognition and working in your flame (finding you passion.) I’m a real believer in following your passion and finding things that are new and innovative within that passion to keep the flame burning. Dissatisfiers include things like working in your wax (not doing what makes you happy), climbing the ladder and yes–even money.
A great example of this theory is a school teacher. A man or woman doesn’t become a teacher to make money, but to make a significant change in the world around them. I’ve known Wall Street executives who made millions, but admitted that their life was hollow.
I strongly encourage you to join me at the virtual Lifestyle Business Summit on August 11. Register here to not only hear me, but several other top business and lifestyle experts talk about finding what truly makes you happy in your professional life.
Fear is a powerful driver in most people’s lives. It dictates what we take risks on, it makes us hold back, and it even hinders us from reaching our potential.
The fear of rejection is an emotion that many of us carry in our personal lives, but it can very easily seep into our professional one as well. We all come to that nexus point in our lives: we can do something, or we can do nothing. The fear of rejection almost held me back from promoting my book, The World’s Best Known Marketing Secret, because I was worried some book stores wouldn’t want to carry my book. But you know what I realized?
Some will, some won’t–so what?
Watch the video below for more on conquering the fear of rejection.
This video is hosted on the Networking for Success YouTube Channel, hosted by Entrepreneur.com.
Imagine you’re at a networking event.
I know, it’s a stretch. But work with me here.
So you’re mixing and mingling and start passing out your business cards like candy. Suddenly, someone hands it back you and says, “No, thanks.” This actually happened to a BNI Member. He wrote to me, astonished, and asked what I would do in his situation. Well, here’s my answer.
Forget about balance. It’s an illusion.
Yes, you read correctly. Balance assumes that we spend equal amounts of time in each area of our life, which realistically, is impossible. I believe in harmony, in finding ways to creating synergy between the things you love to do and the things you’re paid to do (if you’re lucky, they’re one in the same!)
Try these seven simple techniques:
1. Wherever you are, be there!
2. Be creative about how you manage your time
3. Integrate various elements of your life
4. Practice letting go and holding on
5. Be intentional about who you let in your room
6. Create margins
7. Work in your flame, not in your wax
Watch the video below for a more detailed explanation.
A friend of mine once said, “If we could get every single business person in the world, every single entrepreneur, to play their part, we could get on top of most of the worlds problems.”
That friend was Richard Branson, and I took his message to heart. It made me think about what I could do through BNI to make an impact on the globe and sent me on an introspective journey about being a business owner and the responsibility we had to serve not only our customers, but society as a whole.
What I came up with are four ways to help your business find direction and purpose in helping others, whether it be in your local area or in the global community.