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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:
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.
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 bookNetworking 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.
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.
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.
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 bookNetworking 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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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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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.
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.”
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 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!
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.
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.
My daughter, Cassie (AKA Dorian Prin – professional name), is a graphic designer and she’s working on the cover of my next book: The Networking Mentor. I’m including a “sneak peek” of the working graphic for the cover of the book here in this article.
I was talking to Dorian about the paragraph below which is excerpted from the book:
We’ve all had mentors who are in “our story.” When we talk about how our life has changed through our experiences with them, they are part of that story. However, there is something even more important: The real question is not who’s in our story but whose story are we in?Whose life have we made a difference in? That’s what creates a meaningful life, and that’s why this book is for both mentees and mentors.
In our conversation I mentioned that sometimes you might meet someone only once but that meeting is so profound, it can have an influence on you for the rest of your life.
Dorian spent some time in Japan and can speak the language. She said the Japanese have a saying that relates to this concept. She said the Japanese phrase is: 一期一会 (ichi go ichi e). Its direct translation is “one time, one meeting” but it probably can be translated more accurately as “once in a lifetime meeting” and is about the cultural concept of the importance of the unrepeatable nature of connections between people who meet. It is a Buddhist concept specifically tied to the tea ceremony and was the topic of contemplation for the tea ceremony she once participated in during one of her visits to Japan.
The lesson here is that you never know how the things you say may influence someone else. Even if you only meet them once. An off-handed comment can have a profound effect (either good or bad) on the person you are talking to.
So, I have a question for you. What has someone said to you that profoundly affected you in business OR in life? Share your story here on my blog. I’d really like to hear it. Post it below in the comments.
Life for people in this day and age is crazy busy. People will take up every spare moment in your life if you let them, so it is important to create a life that has “margins.” Build free time, family time, and personal time into the margins of your day-to-day existence. If you don’t schedule it, it won’t happen. You’ll be happier when you create margins—we promise. Schedule time to relax.
I have scheduled time to relax. Beth and I are taking a vacation this week with my good friend and co-author, Stewart Emery, with his wife. We have been enjoying this week together in Bordeaux France sipping wine and enjoying the sights.
In this video, we discuss “Margins”. You create “harmony” in your life by creating space in your life. Harmony is the access to the things that really matter to you and being fully present; while avoiding those things that do not.
“Who’s in Your Room?: The Secret to Creating Your Best Life”
This is the premise behind my newest book, co-authored with Stewart Emery, and Rick Sapio. We believe this book can change people’s lives. Learn the secret to creating your best life.
Dr. Daniel Amen believes that brain health is central to all health and success. When your brain works right, he says, you work right; and when your brain is troubled you are much more likely to have trouble in your life. His work is dedicated to helping people have better brains and better lives. In this video, Dr. Amen reveals his “BRAIN-XL” framework to help others feel better fast and make it last:
B for “Brain”
Your brain likes to do what it’s always done, even when that isn’t in your best interest. Getting stuck in unhelpful behaviors, holding grudges, and engaging in unproductive worrying all cause immense suffering. Work to optimize the physical functioning of your brain and shift your thinking habits to more positive practices for better health.
R for “Rational Mind”
It’s important to develop the mental discipline necessary for feeling better fast, including eliminating the ANTs (automatic negative thoughts), quieting your mind, focusing on gratitude, and even welcoming failure. With the help of some basic techniques, it’s possible for you to master your rational mind.
A for “Attachments”
Our attachments bring us the greatest joys and the most painful sorrows. It is when our relationships break people have the most mental health problems. Improving relationships and dealing with painful memories can help you achieve better outcomes. Learning how to improve your relationships can help you save your job, your marriage, your friendships, and all your relationships.
I for “Inspiration”
How to keep your pleasure center healthy in today’s world. Knowing and acting on your “why” is critical to living each day with joy. Purposeful people are happier and healthier, and live longer. Protecting your brain’s pleasure centers can help you live with passion and purpose.
N for “Nourishment”
In a world full of fast food and processed ingredients, our brains are affected by what we put into our bodies. Are you experiencing brain fog? A helpful nutritious diet can help you feel better quickly. Eating healthy foods can immediately boost your focus, memory and mood.
X for “X-Factor”
In any given situation, the X factor is the variable that has the most significant impact on the outcome. Taking a look at the brain can be the difference between success and failure.
L for “Love”
Love yourself. Do things out of love of life or others. Caring for your body and brain affects your health and the health of generations to come. Love is the motivation that prompts us to put in the consistent effort and make the changes required to get healthy.
If you want to learn more about how the BRAIN-XL principles can help you stop the pain quickly, we recommend reading Dr. Amen’s new book, “Feel Better Fast and Make It Last.”
Feel Better Fast and Make It Last
Renowned physician, psychiatrist, brain-imaging researcher, and founder of Amen Clinics Dr. Daniel Amen understands how critical it is for you to know what will help you feel better fast, now and later. Dr. Amen has helped millions of people change their brains and lives through his health clinics, best-selling books, products and public television programs. In his book, Feel Better Fast and Make It Last, you’ll discover new, powerful brain-based strategies to quickly gain control over anxiety, worry, sadness, stress and anger, strengthening your resilience and giving you joy and purpose for a lifetime. If you want to feel happier, more optimistic, more joyful, and resilient, Dr. Amen’s groundbreaking new book is for you.