Author Archives - Dr. Ivan Misner®
Vibrant Community

Creating a Vibrant Community Around Your Company by Robert Skrob

I’ve asked Robert Skrob to write another guest blog for my site.  Robert is also the author of “Retention Point, which I highly recommend.  He previously shared the topic of “The New Customers Experience” on my blog.  Today, he is sharing the topic of “Creating a Vibrant Community Around Your Company”. Read closely – Robert is truly an expert.

Creating a Vibrant Community Around Your Company

What if you had 45 percent of the available customers within your market?

The mutual fund company, The Vanguard Group, does just that. More than 45 percent of the money flowing into mutual funds today goes into a Vanguard managed fund.

You’d think they wouldn’t need to do much for their customers. Since they specialize in index traded, set-it-and-forget-it type investment vehicles, you’d think they wouldn’t need to communicate with their members. In fact, the opposite is true. The Vanguard Group has one of the most vibrant customer tribes in the investment world, and it’s a large part of their success.

The term “Boglehead” may not mean much to you, but I’ve been a Boglehead since 1991. Actually, we weren’t called Bogleheads then; instead, we were known as “Vanguard Diehards.”

While I pursued my master’s degree in accountancy from Florida State University, I wrote a paper about index fund investing. Mind you, this was during the big recession of 1990-1992. Through my research, I discovered that fewer than 30 percent of the professionally managed mutual fund companies beat the S&P 500 index in any one year. And a much smaller percentage could beat the index over a period of five or 10 years.

I figured if full-time professionals couldn’t consistently beat the S&P 500 index, why should I believe I could pick stocks any better working part-time? I became a believer in index fund investing and have stuck with it ever since. Of the index funds, The Vanguard Group is consistently the least expensive, so I’ve been squirreling away my savings there ever since.

Jack Bogle, the founder of The Vanguard Group, passed away in January 2019 at the age of 89 years old.

As the founder and while CEO of Vanguard, Jack was an avid promoter of index fund investing. He was an outspoken critic of high-fee mutual funds and “financial buccaneers offering a panoply of silly investment strategies that people may not understand.”

Jack Bogle created thousands of fans. One of them started a membership site called Bogleheads.org. It’s grown to have an annual meeting with appearances by The Vanguard Group executives, a field trip to Vanguard headquarters, and featured speakers from the world of personal finance.

You may have different opinions with regard to investing. You may be a financial advisor who offers investment vehicles that directly conflict with what’s published on Bogleheads.org. However, see Bogleheads.org is an excellent case study on how you can create a vibrant community around your company, no matter what you offer.

Within the “Start here” menu, Bogleheads.org outlines the investment philosophy first promoted by Jack Bogle during the 1980s.  This gets new members caught up on the values of the Boglehead community. In a word, it indoctrinates them. This is a critical piece that’s missing from most information marketing businesses.

Bogleheads.org gives its members valuable information (ROI), a connection to a community of like-minded people, an opportunity to contribute by posting content, recognition for being helpful to other members, and an opportunity to be part of something greater than themselves.

Even though the site has a dated design and the founder of the philosophy has passed away there are still thousands of active users every day.

Plus, for Vanguard, it insulates its members against all the conflicting investment offers within the marketplace. The community helps customers believe the single best investment option is low expense mutual funds. The same low-cost mutual funds Vanguard happens to specialize in delivering.

What if you had a community indoctrinating new customers into believing the products and services you offer are indeed the best solutions to your customers’ problems? Perhaps like Vanguard, you could own 45% or more of your market?

It all starts with your core values. BNI’s core values are Givers Gain®, Building Relationships, Lifelong Learning, Traditions + Innovation, Positive Attitude, Accountability, and Recognition. When BNI members experience the power these values have within their business life they become excited members for life.

What are the core values of your company?

For The Vanguard Group, Jack Bogle had to convince investors that index funds were the smarter way to invest. What must your customers believe and how should they behave to get the most value from what you deliver?

This may be an “advanced” marketing skill. But when it’s complete, it can give you a fast-growing world-wide business that leaves competitors scrambling for second place.

Robert Skrob is the #1 expert in membership and customer retention and the author of the book, Retention Point The Single Biggest Secret to Membership and Subscription Growth. He has helped hundreds of membership programs launch and then grow from start-ups to become some of the largest membership and subscription companies in the world.

New Customers

Are you pushing your new customers away or building trust for repeat business? by Robert Skrob

Today, I’ve asked Robert Skrob to do a guest blog for my site.  I thought it was fitting because Robert was recently a guest at my home to work on a new book that we are writing (the working title is: The Connector Effect).  Robert is also the author of “Retention Point, which I highly recommend.  I should also note that he was a great guest at our home. That statement has nothing to do with the incredible Cabernet Sauvignon that he gave us as a gift for staying with us.   Today, he is sharing the topic of “The New Customers Experience”.  Read closely – he is truly an expert.

The New Customers Experience

Imagine yourself walking into a restaurant at 3:32 p.m. It’s three hours past your regular lunchtime, and you are starving because you were in a hurry and skipped breakfast earlier, as well as your normal lunch. You have a headache from not eating. Just from feeling so hungry, you are grumpy and all-around sick. You finally get the attention of the hostess who was busy with table work as the lunch rush has long passed. The hostess walks you to a table where you are immediately greeted by your server. Your server takes one look at you and says, “You look hungry. I’m here to help you get the food you need, as quickly as possible. These are the three items that come out of the kitchen the fastest this time of day. They are 1. Salads 2. Soups and 3. Sandwiches. Would you like one of these three options, or would you like to see the entire menu?

How would you feel about that experience? A lot more confident, right? I know I’d be excited to have a server who recognized what I needed and dedicated herself to getting it to me as quickly as possible.

What if, instead, the server showed up with a tray full of desserts saying, “Darling, we’ve got a bunch of desserts left over from lunch. Here are some key lime pie, cheesecake, and a bowl of ice cream. Enjoy.”

I don’t know about you, but I’d be frustrated. Dessert may be fine later, but right now, I’m starving. I’d like to eat something before dessert. You’d likely feel the same way. You’d begin to wonder if you were in the right place or if you should find some other restaurant where the people working understand their job is to give real food (rather than desserts) to hungry people.

Too many businesses make a similar error with their customers. I’ve come across many who welcome their new customers with friendly conversations, follow-up calls from customer service reps. and/or gifts of cookies, coffee cups, and T-shirts. This is similar to delivering desserts to a hungry, grumpy, in-a-hurry guest in a restaurant.

Chances are, your customer didn’t join because he wanted to speak with someone from your support department. So when she receives the call, she’s thinking, “That’s nice, but this doesn’t solve my problem.” To you, it’s another contact to demonstrate you care. To your new customer, it feels like pestering.

If I buy your product to get a tool or to learn how to relieve some pain in my life, that’s what I’m going to be looking for. And anything I get that’s inconsistent with that solution is going to make me wonder if I can really trust you to deliver the solution you promised. So think: How can you craft the first thing your customer receives to be your version of the “Here are the three items we have that come out of the kitchen the fastest …” solution to your customer’s greatest hunger? After all, in order to make the sale, you did all you could to point out your customer’s pain points, irritate that pain, and make him so uncomfortable he couldn’t do anything but buy immediately. He’s ready, so why are you making him wait? And it’s not just friendly calls and gifts.

There’s a place for dessert at lunch. Let’s go back to our restaurant story. What if, after you enjoyed a hearty lunch, served promptly, the waitress came by with some free desserts? At that point, dessert would be awesome. Those desserts would have a tremendous impact. To have a positive impact on customer retention, you can deliver those bonus “desserts” after you’ve delivered on your core promises and have built trust with your new member. When your customer chooses to buy from you, you have a short window of time to solve the problems you promised to solve, or you will quickly lose their trust. This is your opportunity to deliver your very best solutions, quickly and concisely, so you can establish yourself as someone your customer can rely on.

Robert Skrob is the #1 expert in membership and customer retention and the author of the book, Retention Point The Single Biggest Secret to Membership and Subscription Growth. He has helped hundreds of membership programs launch and then grow from start-ups to become some of the largest membership and subscription companies in the world.

Love Is Just Damn Good Business

Love Is Just Damn Good Business – Ivan’s Inner Circle Interview

Join me as I join fellow Transformational Leadership Council member and friend, Steve Farber, to discuss topics from his book, “Love is Just Damn Good Business”. Steve is one of the best speakers I’ve seen on the stage.  His message is both surprising and impactful about focusing on finding love in creating a damn good business.

According to Steve, “Love is what leads to customer loyalty, 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.

His game-changing approach to love as a practical business strategy will help you to:

  • Identify your passions and share them with others
  • Create a culture of love at work and spark innovation, productivity, and joy
  • Serve your customers, so they love how you treat them and have them coming back for more
  • Invest time in making personal connections that are mutually rewarding
  • Focus on serving the needs of others they’re going to love it
  • Do what you love and make it your business, so others love it, too

Love Is Just Damn Good Business,” is one of my favorite books and I am looking forward to these interviews with Steve. We are going to host three different sessions so it is convenient for everyone to join us:

Monday, December 9th at 10:00 AM / 4:00 PM / 11:00 PM (Eastern Standard Time)

Click here to register: SteveFarberWebinar

Steve Farber, the founder of The Extreme Leadership Institute, is a popular keynote speaker and leadership expert. Steve’s been featured on my blog before. He’s the bestselling author of The Radical Leap, The Radical Edge, and Greater Than Yourself. Learn more about Steve on his website at stevefarber.com

I hope you are able to make one of our sessions as I know this will prove to be a great use of your time.

Bad Networking

Bad Networking Costs More Than $100,000 per Year

Today’s blog comes from a “Home Business Magazine Online” article I was quoted in, Bad Networking Costs More Than $100,000 Per Year. Here’s How to Do It Right by Dustin Siggins.

HOME BUSINESS Magazine ONLINE is loaded with content to help you start-up and succeed in a home-based business. HBM ONLINE is an advanced community for home-based entrepreneurs and business owners; people who work from home; and telecommuters. Therefore, check back often, as the content is loaded daily.

Dustin spoke with several experts about how small business owners can turn networking into company growth.  Furthermore, this article also has advice from Jon Rutenberg, Keith Ferrazzi, Becky Sheetz-Runkle, Todd Rowley, and Chuck Feddersen. I was honored to be included in this article. Below is my segment:

Be Patient

Ivan Misner, Ph.D. founded Business Networking International, which has over 250,000 members worldwide. Misner said that “people tend to use networking as a face-to-face cold-calling opportunity. That does not work. Networking is more about farming than it is about hunting.”

Misner explained that referral and network-based strategies are “about building deep relationships with people who are willing to refer to each other. If your network is a mile wide and an inch deep, you’ll never achieve the success you want. You should find a network that is wide and, in some places, deep.”

What is popular is not always right. For small business owners, networking is very popular, but it is often done wrong. Bad networking costs a minimum of $100,000 annually.

additional ways others can promote

Additional Ways Others Can Promote You

Put your networking circle to work for you with these five additional suggestions you can use to promote others to generate new business for them. When other people offer to help you spread the word about your business, have these ideas ready to go. Here are the final five examples of additional ways others can promote you and your business from my book Networking Like a Pro.

Provide you with referrals.

The kind of support you’d most like to get from your sources is, of course, referrals–names and contact information for specific individuals who need your products and services. Sources can also help by giving prospects your name and number. As the number of referrals you receive increases, so does your potential for increasing the percentage of your business generated through referrals.

Introduce you to prospects.

Your source can help you build new relationships faster by introducing you in person. She can provide you with key information about the prospect. She can also tell the prospect a few things about you, your business, how the two of you met, some of the things you and the prospect have in common, and the value of your products and services.

Follow up with referrals they have given you.

Your sources can contact prospects they referred to you to see how things went after your first meeting, answer their questions or concerns, and reassure them that you can be trusted. They can also give you valuable feedback about yourself and your products or service, information that you might not have been able to get on your own.

Serve as a sponsor.

Some of your sources may be willing to fund or sponsor a program or event you are hosting. They might let you use a meeting room, lend you equipment, authorize you to use their organization’s name, or donate money or other resources.

Sell your products and services.

Of all the kinds of support that a source can offer, the one that has the greatest immediate impact on your bottom line is selling your product or service for you. Your network member could persuade a prospect to write a check for your product, then have you mail or deliver the product to your new customer. If you do so swiftly and cordially, you may gain a new lifelong customer.

Suppose a customer you know well tells you a friend of his wants to buy your product. How should you respond? While your interest is still hot, let your friend, the customer, take your product and sell it to his friend, the prospect (if he plans to see his friend in the near future, of course).

This set of five finishes the series of 15 ways others can promote you and your business. Last week I shared the second part of this series with, “Five More Ways Others Can Promote You”. Put your networking circle to work for you with these fifteen total ways others can promote you to generate new business.


Steve Farber

Steve Farber shares “Love is Just Damn Good Business”

Fellow Transformational Leadership Council member and friend, Steve Farber, discusses his book, “Love is Just Damn Good Business” with me in this video.
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Steve is a good friend and a fellow member of the Transformational Leadership Council with me. I know him well and I love his material.
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Order this book by Steve Farber on Amazon:

The proven principles you’ll find in this book will help you lay the groundwork for a thriving, competitive enterprise. When love is part of your organization’s framework and operationalized in its culture, employees and customers feel genuinely valued. Employees who are passionate about the work that they do are more loyal, innovative, creative, and inspired, and that translates to great customer experience. They don’t serve others out of obligation, but because of a genuine desire to improve people’s lives. And when customers reciprocate by loving your products, your services, and your people, that’s when something great happens. That’s when you get loyalty. That’s when you get raving fans. It’s a refreshingly human way of doing business.
 
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In addition to Farber’s field-tested strategies, you’ll find inspiring case studies from a wide range of industries and leaders, revealing self-assessment quizzes, and practical pointers on how to build a corporate culture based on love, the ultimate competitive advantage. At the end of the day, it’s just damn good business.
ways others can promote

Five Ways Others Can Promote You

Has anyone ever said to you, “If there’s anything I can do to help you with your business, let me know?” and you responded with, “Thank you. Now that you mention it, there are a few things I need” or did you say, “Well, thanks, I’ll let you know”? If you’re like most of us, you aren’t prepared to accept help at the moment it’s offered. Before you can do so, you have to make the connection between specific items or services you need and the people who can supply them. Systematic referral marketing helps you do that by determining, as precisely as possible, the types of help you want and need. Some are simple, cheap and quick; others are complex, costly and time-consuming. Here are some examples of the ways others can promote you and your business from my book Networking Like a Pro.

Display or distribute your literature and products.

Your sources can exhibit your marketing materials and products in their offices or homes. If these items are displayed well, such as on a counter or a bulletin board, visitors will ask questions about them or read the information. Some may take your promo­tional materials and display them in other places, increasing your visibility. A dry cleaner attaches a coupon from the hair salon next door to each plastic bag he uses to cover his customers’ clothing; a grocery store includes other businesses’ marketing literature in or on its grocery bags or on the back of the printed receipt.

Make an announcement.

When attending meetings or speaking to groups, your sources can increase your visibility by announc­ing an event you’re involved in or a sale your business is con­ducting or by setting up exhibits of your products or services. They can also invite you to make an announcement yourself.

Invite you to attend events.

Workshops and seminars are oppor­tunities to increase your skills, knowledge, visibility, and contacts. Members of personal or business groups you don’t belong to can invite you to their events and programs. This gives you an opportunity to meet prospective sources and cli­ents. Even better, they could invite you to speak at their event, effectively positioning you as an expert in your field.

Endorse your products and services.

By telling others what they’ve gained from using your products or services or by endorsing you in presentations or informal conversations, your network sources can encourage others to use your products or services. If they sing your praises on an MP3, a DVD or social media, so much the better.

Nominate you for recognition and awards.

Business professionals and community members are often recognized for outstand­ing service to their profession or community. If you’ve donat­ed time or materials to a worthy cause, your referral sources can nominate you for service awards. You increase your visi­bility both by serving and by receiving the award in a public expression of thanks. Your sources can inform others of your recognition by word of mouth or in writing.

Put your networking circle to work for you with these five ways others can promote you to generate new business. When other people offer to help you spread the word about your business, have these ideas ready to go. 

Part 2: Five more ways others can promote you

Part 3: Additional Ways Others Can Promote You

Entrepreneur

Through the Eyes of a New Entrepreneur

What was going through your mind when you first decided to become an entrepreneur? To many of us it exciting, amazing, confusing, overwhelming, and frightening. You did not know what to do. However, that was a long time ago. Now, you believe that was the best decision you made.

It may be over 10 years for you since you first became an entrepreneur, but is the first few weeks for a new entrepreneur.  Think about what you know now and think back to the things you wish you had known then.

The same thing occurs with business networking

It may be years for you since you first started business networking, but is the first few weeks for a new entrepreneur who has recently joined a networking group like BNI. Therefore, I want you to take a moment and see “networking” through the eyes of a new member. Think about what you know now and think back to the things you wish you had known then.

That’s the reason I wrote “The Networking Mentor”

I have a newly revised book, “The Networking Mentor”, that is available on Amazon. “The Networking Mentor” is a parable about the transformation of someone’s life because another person took them under their wing and mentored them relating to the do’s and don’ts of networking. It starts with a struggling business owner, Ken, who is invited to a BNI networking group by a business associate. He proceeds to mentor Ken and helps him learn how to network effectively and build a referral-based business. Ken’s mentor teaches him very specific strategies on how to network better and at the same time, the mentor improves his skill set as well.

I wanted people to remember by writing this book, the concerns, fears, and frustrations when they first became an entrepreneur and started business networking with others.  Most importantly, I wanted to show how a mentor can make a HUGE difference in someone’s life. Volunteer to be a business networking mentor and you will also become a better networker. You will improve your game; you will improve your skill set.

We all have someone in our story. However, whose story are you in? At your next meeting connect with a new member.  Take them under your wing.  Teach them what you’ve learned and be in their story.

Please review this book

If you read my book. “The Networking Mentor”, I’d really appreciate if you would post a review on Amazon using this link. https://tinyurl.com/reviewsofthenetworkingmentor

For everyone who does a review of “The Networking Mentor”, we will send them a link to a one hour webinar that I did on Who’s in Your Network. It is a free gift for anyone who helps me out by posting a review. After posting your review, please send me a private message letting us know you posted a review. We will reply with a link to the recorded webinar.

Best New Financial Success Books

“Who’s in Your Room” made it to the Best New Financial Success Books

I’m happy to announce that our book, “Who’s in Your Room: The Secret to Creating Your Best Life”, made it to BookAuthority’s Best New Financial Success Books.

Financial success is part of “creating your best life” and BookAuthority recognized that. BookAuthority collects and ranks the best books in the world, and it is a great honor to get this kind of recognition. Thank you for all your support!

Our book is available for purchase on Amazon.

Raymond Aaron

Raymond Aaron shares his “10-10-10 PROGRAM”

Fellow Transformational Leadership Council member and friend, Raymond Aaron, discusses his “10-10-10 PROGRAM™” with me in this video.
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Raymond Aaron is a personal friend and I absolutely love this program. Be A Branding Superstar, Eliminate Competition, & Increase Your Prices Effortlessly by writing your book with his 10-10-10 program.
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What is the best way to improve your brand? Become a published author!

When you write your book, you are NOT selling your book, you are selling YOU and improving your name. You write the content and Raymond will help you with the marketing messages to build your brand.

  • Raymond will assign his own Personal Book Architect to you
  • He will help you to get a Perfect Topic and Title
  • Learn the Perfect Book Length
  • You have ONE YEAR to complete the 10-10-10 Program™
  • You will have more Authority, even before your book is done
  • Using the 10-10-10 Program™ Ghost Writing Protocol, Raymond will write the Foreword for your book
  • Once your Book is written, Raymond will publish your book
  • Raymond will also publish any subsequent book you will ever write
  • Raymond will list your book for sale on www.Amazon.com and you keep all the proceeds
  • At his own expense, Raymond will host your Official Book Launch to promote you and your book, where you sell your book and keep 100% of the sales

http://10-10-10program.com/

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Please click this button to have a 10-10-10 PROGRAM™” expert contact you on how you can get started. When they do, say the code “IVAN” and get 50% discount.

 

Life is much too precious to postpone. It’s time to put yourself in your own story and write your book. The whole world changes when you have a book. 
someday

Sam Horn shares “Someday Is Not a Day in the Week”

Fellow Transformational Leadership Council member and friend, Sam Horn, discusses her book, “Someday Is Not a Day in the Week” with me in this video.
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Sam is a personal friend and I absolutely love this book. Full of inspirational insights and advice, lifehacks, and real-world examples, “Someday is Not a Day in the Week” will help readers get what they want in life today rather than “someday.”
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 Download the Kindle version of this book by Sam Horn on Amazon

Are you planning to do what makes you happy someday when you have more time, money, or freedom?

What if someday never happens? As the Buddha said, “The thing is, we think we have time.” Sam Horn is a woman on a mission about not waiting for SOMEDAY … and this is her manifesto. Her dad’s dream was to visit all the National Parks when he retired. He worked six to seven days a week for decades. A week into his long-delayed dream, he had a stroke. Sam doesn’t want that to happen to you. She took her business on the road for a Year by the Water. During her travels, she asked people, “Do you like your life? Your job? If so, why? If not, why not?”

The surprising insights about what makes people happy or unhappy, what they’re doing about it (or not), and why…will inspire you to carve out time for what truly matters now, not later.

Life is much too precious to postpone. It’s time to put yourself in your own story. The good news is, there are “hacks” you can do right now to make your life more of what you want it to be. And you don’t have to be selfish, quit your job, or win the lottery to do them. Sam Horn offers actionable, practical advice in short, snappy chapters to show you how to get started on your best life ― now.
Ken Honda

Ken Honda shares “Happy Money”

Fellow Transformational Leadership Council member and friend, Ken Honda, discusses his book, “Happy Money” with me in this video.
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Ken Honda is a personal friend and I absolutely love this book. What Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up did for your living space, Ken Honda’s Happy Money will do for your wallet. This book isn’t here to fix you, because as Ken Honda says, you’re already okay!
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Order this book by Ken Honda on Amazon: https://amzn.to/2YrJiMe

Ken Honda—Japan’s #1 bestselling personal development guru—knows that getting rich quick is no way to achieve happiness. Too often, money is a source of fear, stress, and anger, sometimes breaking apart relationships and even ruining lives. We like to think money is just a number or a piece of paper, but it is so much more than that. Money has the ability to smile; its energy changes when it is given with a certain feeling, and this energy impacts not only ourselves but others as well. Although Ken Honda is often called a “money guru,” his real job over the past decade has been to help others discover the tools they already possess to heal their own lives and relationships with money. In Happy Money the “Zen millionaire” explains, in practical and accessible language, how to achieve peace of mind when it comes to money.
 
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Learn how to treat money as a welcome guest, allowing it to come and go with respect and without resentment; understand and improve your Money EQ; unpack the myth of scarcity; and embrace the process of giving money, not just receiving it.
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