The “Everything Your Business Needs” Online Event: April 1st-5th

I’m excited to announce that during April 1st-5th, I am going to be participating in an online event called “Everything Your Business Needs” and I’ll be one of over twenty business experts presenting on an array of topics and areas of business that are important for every business owner to educate themselves in.

This short video, put together by the event organizer, Jarrett Gucci of Dynasty Web Solutions (who also happens to be the person I have to thank for designing the BusinessNetworking.com website and getting this blog up and running) explains the ins and outs of the event and how it can help business owners grow their business and achieve long term success.

I constantly tell people that in order to obtain success, it is necessary to immerse and engage yourself in a culture of learning and this online educational seminar is a perfect way to do just that.  After watching the video, if you’re interested in finding out more about the event and how you can sign up for it, please CLICK HERE or on the graphic below.

EYBNLogo

What are some of the ways you immerse and engage yourself in a culture of learning for long term success?  Which tactics of educating yourself have been the most effective?  I’d love to hear your thoughts so please leave your comments in the comment forum below.  Thanks!

 

Four More Referral Sources to Tap into for Business Growth

A week ago today, I outlined a brief description of each of the first four of the eight referral sources.  I encouraged blog readers to spend the past week taking action in developing at least two of those referral sources and promised that this week I would explain the last four referral sources. 

* Remember, the more you learn about each referral source, the more referral sources you will develop; the more referral sources you develop, the more referrals you will get and the more your business will grow!

The Eight Referral Sources: Sources #5 — #8

  • Staff Members
    Except for customers, no one understands better than staff members how your products or services perform.  Not just sales and marketing staff–generating sales is what they were hired to do–but part-time or full-time staff members in administration, production, and other functions give your business a boost when they talk with friends, neighbors, associates, and people they meet in their daily lives.  Keep them happy; a disgruntled employee can do your business a lot of harm. Don’t overlook former staff members, either.  Working for your company will always be a part of their history, and often part of their conversation with prospects as well.
  • People to Whom You’ve Given Referrals
    You’re more likely to get a referral from someone to whom you’ve given a referral.  The more you give, the more you’ll get.
  • Anyone Who Has Given You Referrals
    People who give you referrals for business or direct others to you for networking or advice are demonstrating that they think highly of you and what you do.  If they didn’t, they would refer people elsewhere.  Strengthen and nurture these prospective referral sources; don’t take them for granted.  Show your appreciation with personal gestures and by referring prospects to them.  Call on them for further referrals, but don’t abuse their generosity.  Maintain the business standards that earned you their respect.
  • Other Members of Business Referral Groups
    Referral groups are set up by their members mainly to exchange leads and referrals.  A typical weekly meeting of such a group includes time devoted exclusively to networking and referring business.  If you’re a member, this is what you signed up for: ready access to potential new clients.  To encourage communication and limit possible competitive conflicts, business referral groups often restrict membership to one person per profession or specialty.

Between last Monday’s blog and today’s blog, you should now have a good understanding of the eight referral sources and there is no better time than right now to start developing them for more referrals! 

If you accepted last week’s challenge of developing at least two of the first four referral sources, I’d love to hear about which sources you chose to focus on and what your experience was.  Now the question is, which of these next four sources are you going to work on developing next?  Please leave your thoughts in the comments section.

The Eight Referral Sources–Learn More, Get More

Last week I posted a video blog featuring Referral Institute Trainer Cheryl Hansen talking about the opportunity to significantly increase the number of referrals you receive by developing more than just one of the eight referral sources.  The fact is, the more you learn about each referral source, the more referral sources you will develop; the more referral sources you develop, the more referrals you will get and the more your business will grow!

Since last week’s video blog, I have received requests via social media to explain each of the eight sources in a little bit more detail, so today I am posting a brief description of the first four sources below and (for the sake of space) next week I’ll post information about the last four sources.

The Eight Referral Sources: Sources #1 — #4

  1. People in Your Contact Sphere
    A group of businesses/professions that complement, rather than compete with, your business.  A Contact Sphere can be a steady source of leads.  It’s almost a sure thing: if you put a caterer, a florist, an entertainer, a printer, a meeting planner, and a photographer in the same room for an hour, you couldn’t stop them from doing business.  Each has clients who can benefit from the services of the others.  This is why a wedding often turns out to be, on the side, a business networking and referral-gathering activity.
  2. Satisfied Clients
    One of your best referral sources is satisfied clients.  Having firsthand experience with your products or services, they are true believers and can communicate convincing testimonials.  Keep track of these clients; they are your fans, your best promoters, and they can be very effective in helping others decide to do business with you.  Of course, a dissatisfied client is equally effective in turning prospects away from you.
  3. People Whose Business Benefits from Yours
    Of the eight kinds of people in your referral network, none stand to gain more than those who get more business when you get more business: business suppliers and vendors, for example.  If you sell workbooks, the printer who prints them for you benefits.  A related business located close to you may benefit from your customers–for example, a health-food restaurant located next to your family fitness center.  In these circumstances, it is obviously in the other businesses’ self-interest to give you referrals.
  4. Others with Whom You Do Business
    Perhaps your business doesn’t have anything to do with dentistry or hairstyling or automobiles, but every day you do business with dentists, hairstylists, and auto mechanics.  By contributing to the success of their business, you will gain their goodwill; to keep you as a customer, they’re inclined to help you secure customers of your own.  If you’ve been using their services for some time, these vendors probably know what you do and that you’re a reliable, trustworthy person.  Sometimes this is all the recommendation a potential client needs.

Now that you know more about the first four referral sources, why not start developing them now?  Reach out and connect with one person from at least two (or all four if you’re really motivated!) of these different referral sources this week and be sure to come back next week to learn about the last four of the eight referral sources. 

Making a Mark with Marketing . . . How Are You Making Yours?

Marketing isn’t something I was always confident about.  When I first started out in business, my degrees were in Political Science and Organizational Behavior.  I had very little marketing experience until I went to work for a transportation company in Southern California and, within a two week span, went from a role in purchasing to a significant role in marketing–a huge change that was an even bigger learning experience.

My marketing experience was trial by fire and reading.  I just started reading books on marketing and learned as I went, and it was that experience that gave me enough knowledge to do some marketing on my own when I later set out as a business consultant. 

If somebody had asked me when I was 25 where I saw myself career wise in thirty years, I would have had no clue that my career would be all about marketing . . . that I would be the Chairman of the world’s largest referral marketing organization.  Sometimes we go places in life we never expected to go but I wouldn’t change a thing about the career path I chose.  I am passionate about helping people grow their businesses and achieve great success through effective referral marketing and after spending over two decades devoted to this work; I really enjoy knowing that the work I do allows me to pass on the marketing knowledge and experience I’ve attained in order to benefit to others.

I was recently asked what my top marketing tip would be and I think it’s really all about building the brand–either the brand of the company or of the individual, depending on the kind of business that you’re in.  Name recognition–that’s the biggest challenge, especially for small companies.  It’s not the same for everybody because every business is a little different and people’s skill sets are different.  For me, in my business, brand building has largely been about writing.  Before the internet I was trying to get articles in newspapers and magazines.  Now it’s much, much easier.  In this age of blogs and social media, even small companies have a global reach.  The problem is all the white noise that’s out there: with so many people wanting a piece of the action you have to be able to stand out.  So, for me, the top marketing tip would be to write, write, write.  Become an expert in your field so people want to follow you because when they follow you, they’re more likely to do business with you.

I’d love to hear how you’re making your mark with marketing–what is your top marketing tip for the other business owners out there reading this blog?

 

The World’s Best Known Marketing Secret–4th Edition

The first edition of my book The World’s Best Known Marketing Secret, which details how to build business by referral, was released back in 1994 and went on to become an international bestseller.  I am excited to announce that the 4th edition of the book was just published and my co-author Mike Macedonio and I have substantially rewritten the book and added a significant amount of information.

Here is just a brief sample of what is outlined in the new book:

  • The best way to grow your business
  • Referrals and referral marketing, networking, word of mouth, buzz, and viral marketing
  • Networking vs. direct prospecting
  • Communicating your brand
  • Making your network stronger
  • Fifteen ways to promote
  • Forecasting sales from referrals
  • Tracking and evaluating results
  • And much, much more . . .

If you’ve read any of the other editions of The World’s Best Known Marketing Secret, I invite you to leave a comment here letting me know what some of your top takeaways from the book were; and, of course, if you’ve had the opportunity to read an advance copy of the 4th edition of the book, I would absolutely love it if you would leave a comment about what you think of it!

The new 4th edition is not yet available on Amazon but you can get an advance copy of the book now by CLICKING HERE.

Using the Power of Networking to Go Global

We now live in a fully global society, and referral networking has become a prominent marketing strategy in this global society for one reason: It works. The idea of growing your business through word-of-mouth marketing is a concept that crosses cultural, ethnic and political boundaries because we all speak the language of referrals, and we all want to do business based on trust.

Referral networking is a cost-effective way to get in front of new clients worldwide, and it’s a much better way to keep a business prosperous over the long term (because it’s built on mutually beneficial relationships between you and your fellow business owners). Referral networking is powered by the oldest and most enduring principle of human society–Givers Gain–the idea that the good you do will eventually come back to you in one form or another.

Earlier this year I did a live telebridge interview with my colleague Paul Martinelli on the topic “Going Global via the Power of Networking,” and we had more than 500 people call in from all over the world. To me, this truly demonstrates the worldwide interest there is in global business building through networking, and it’s a testament to the fact that networking will only become more vital to business success in modern times.

If you’d like to get in-depth advice on how to use the power of networking to go global with your business, you can Click here to get free access to the recording of the interview I did with Paul Martinelli on the subject.

What You Need to Know about the Law of Reciprocity

The term reciprocity is at the center of relationship networking, but it is often misunderstood. Webster’s dictionary defines reciprocity as “a mutual or cooperative interchange of favors or privileges,” as when actions taken for the benefit of others are returned in kind. This leads many inexperienced networkers to expect an immediate return for any actions they take on behalf of another.  Givers gain, right? Wrong.

Not every act of giving will be immediately rewarded by the recipient, and if you go into relationship networking thinking that simply giving a referral is enough to get you a referral in return, you’re confusing a relationship with a transaction. On the contrary, the idea driving Givers Gain® is actually the principle of giving without the expectation of an immediate return. In networking, this idea is called the law of reciprocity ,and the law of reciprocity differs from the standard notion of reciprocity in that the giver cannot, should not and does not expect an immediate return on her investment in another person’s gain. The only thing she can be sure of is that, given enough effort and time, her generosity will be returned by family, friends, colleagues and others–many times over and in many different ways.

Put simply, the law of reciprocity in networking means that by providing benefits (including referrals) to others, you will be creating strong networking relationships that will eventually bring benefits (especially referrals) to you, often in a very roundabout way rather than directly from the person you benefit.  This makes the law of reciprocity an enormously powerful tool for growing your own business’s size and profitability.

I know a lot of experienced networkers who have amazing stories about how the law of reciprocity has proved to them that there’s far more business to be gained by referring business to others than you might at first expect. If you have a story you’d like to share, I’d love to hear it, so leave a comment. Also, be sure to check back on Thursday for some tips on what to keep in mind as your learn to use the law of reciprocity.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
   Follow Me

Get every new post delivered to your inbox