Referrals Archives - Page 20 of 23 - Dr. Ivan Misner®

Read the Paper, with Referral Intent . . .

 

Most people read the newspaper to gain insight into local and world events and news–and that’s all.  I’m suggesting that you try reading the paper a little differently–to look for opportunities for referrals.

Pick up your local newspaper and scan the front page. Turn to the local section, then the business news, and then the lifestyle section. The paper is teeming with opportunities for you to act as a gatekeeper for the people in your network. Every page presents problems or significant issues of one kind or another.

What are people saying? Who is talking about problems or changes in her company or industry?  What is happening that could have a direct impact on you or someone in your network?  Who is in need of the services of someone you know?  Where are there networking opportunities for you and your marketing team?

So why not start out by reading the paper this week with referral intent for two people in your network?  Find each of them an opportunity or a lead that they might capitalize on through their network.  Then find your own business a lead or two on which you can capitalize, and begin to ask your network for help in making the connection for you.

Clearly, these are more “leads” than “referrals.” However, there’s nothing wrong with telling a business associate about the details you just read about relating to a new company moving into town.  It’s good to show your referral partners you are looking out for them and–you never know–it could turn into something good.

Try this strategy out and then come back and leave a comment to let me know how it worked out–I’m very interested to see what happens!

Welcome to International Networking Week

Welcome to the third annual International Networking Week (Feb 2-6).

Now, more than ever, we need to ignore the doom-and-gloom headlines and focus on what we can do to promote our own business growth.

International Networking Week is about celebrating the key role that networking plays in the development and success of business around the world. It’s about creating an awareness of the process of networking.  Not just any kind of networking, but what I call “relationship networking,” an approach to doing business based on building long-term, successful relationships with people through the networking process.

Last year, International Networking Week was recognized by tens of thousands of people around the world, and it has garnered acknowledgements from several governmental agencies across the globe. It’s expected that the number of people participating in this year’s worldwide celebration of the week, through hundreds of large events and thousands of smaller events, will be double what it was in 2008.

If you belong to any networking groups, be sure to tell them that this is International Networking Week and let them know they can visit InternationalNetworkingWeek.com for more information.  Let’s join together in celebrating the things we can do do promote global prosperity, instead of worrying about the things we can’t control.

Watch this 10-minute video talking about International Networking Week 2009.  Share the video with anybody and everybody, and feel free to show it at your networking meetings during International Networking Week.

So what will you be doing to recognize International Networking Week?  Share it with us here–we’d love to hear about it.

Triple Your Business Revenue By Writing

A business contact of mine telephoned me awhile back to ask why I wasn’t including writing in my business training anymore. I had previously included it in my training sessions because I think it is an extremely valuable way to establish credibility in business. However, when I checked the numbers, I realized that only about 2 percent of the people I trained in writing really picked up on the message and followed through.

In other words, 98 percent of people I trained never used the advice at all. So of course I stopped teaching it. Well, my business associate asserted over the phone that I should be training on writing regardless of the small number of people who were doing something with the advice because, he claimed, the results for the people that do take action are absolutely phenomenal. He urged me to include writing in my business training because it is worth teaching for the sake of those 2 percent who get amazing results.

In my most recent show on yourBusinessChannel.com, I talk more about how this business colleague of mine took my advice on writing years ago and turned his business around. By his own calculations, he tripled his revenue by becoming a well-published author of business articles.

Watch the show HERE and then think about how writing might help you increase your business revenue.  Will it take hard work and dedication? Yes.  Is that hard work and dedication worth the results you will get? Definitely.

You Never Know Who’ll Give You a Great Referral

One of the biggest mistakes you can make in networking is to dismiss someone too early, to assume that he or she has nothing to offer you because of his or her professional background or some other reason, and not pursue the relationship.  Unfortunately, I see this happen a lot.

The truth is, you simply never know where your next great referral is going to come from.  You should make it a point to consistently connect with high-quality professionals from all fields, from any and every background. Forget about trying to contact the VPs and high-level executives–they don’t want to hear another sales pitch. But any professional who is good at what he or she does will be well-connected to other highly successful businesspeople.

Take my painting contractor, for example. Through his work he has come to know A-list Hollywood celebrities, among many other affluent people. He’s one of the most connected people I know.

I have a favorite story, which I think illustrates this point perfectly.  In this case, a multimillion-dollar referral (one of the biggest I’ve seen recently) was given by a dentist in Malaysia. She briefly shut down her practice to attend a networking conference. When she reopened, one of her clients asked her about the conference and, as a result, she was able to connect the client with someone she’d met at the conference–which led to the the multimillion dollar referral.

If you want to hear the details of this powerful story, watch my latest show on yourBusinessChannel.com.

By the way, my shows on yourBusinessChannel are related to my involvement in the Million Dollar Challenge.  The Million Dollar Challenge invites promising businesses across the globe to take the challenge and have the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to transform their business and skyrocket it into success with a team of acclaimed business experts.  CLICK HERE to find out more.

Do What Others Don’t

To some businessspeople, networking is something to try when they’re hurting for business.  However, networking is actually a primary strategy for generating business relationships that lead to more referrals.  When done correctly, networking is a proactive strategy for business growth, not a reaction to slow business.

I think the most important single idea in networking is to do what others don’t.  Doing what others don’t gives you an edge.  It can position you head and shoulders above your competition.  It helps you stand out in a positive way and, when you do, people are attracted to you and your business, and your success grows stronger, deeper and more durable.

So go beyond the norm. Take the time to gather information for improving your business by getting straightforward feedback from people.  This will help you identify your business’s strengths and weaknesses so you can take corrective action.  Some more ideas that most people don’t take the time or effort to implement are:

  •  Adopt the attitude of a host at networking mixers.
  • Use your influence and professional status to help members of your network solve problems.
  • Learn to specifically ask for referrals.
  • Take every opportunity to educate yourself on how to better your business and your networking efforts.

International Networking Week: Mark Your Calendar

International Networking Week, Feb. 2-6, 2009, is quickly approaching and it’s a great way to start off the New Year.

Make 2009 the year you see opportunity when others see problems, seek growth when others expect collapse and see success when others see failure.  Watch the short 2009 International Networking Week video and find out about how to join me and many other successful business people in recognizing and participating in this year’s International Networking Week. Focus on what you do best, and don’t let other people sidetrack you from building your business.

WATCH THE 2009 INTERNATIONAL NETWORKING WEEK VIDEO HERE!

The Platinum Rule: Treat Others How THEY Want to be Treated

Lately, I’ve observed a few networking blunders occurring that have reminded me of the importance of what Tony Allessandra calls the Platinum Rule. Most of us are familiar with the Golden Rule (“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”), but to network effectively, you’ve got to be relationship-based, so you need to use the Platinum Rule–not only with your referral source, but also with the prospect.

There are three people involved in a referral: 1. You. You need to know how you work best and where your strengths and weaknesses lie.  2. The referral source. How does this person like to communicate? How does he like to be treated? If you want him to help you, you’ve got to treat him the way he wants to be treated.  3. The prospect.  How does the prospect like to be sold to?  What’s the best way to communicate with the prospect?

Strive to be adaptable and accommodate the behavioral style of your source when you’re working with him or her, and of your prospect when you’ve been put in touch with him. If you seek to find out how people want to be treated and then treat them that way, you won’t make the mistake of assuming everyone likes the same things you do. Looking for a fast way to destroy a budding relationship? Assume that your client or referral partner enjoys deep-sea fishing as avidly as you do and insist that he come along on your next Old Man and the Sea adventure. Then watch as he turns green and hugs the rail of the boat the entire day.

By learning about the other person’s goals, accomplishments, interests, networks and skills, you can establish the groundwork for a smooth-running referral relationship from the start.  All of these factors together will tell you the best way to communicate and what to talk about.

Create an Informative Newsletter

Think about the people you consider experts. They are known for sharing their knowledge through books, research papers, columns, articles and newsletters. Experts write. If you wish to be seen as an expert, consider writing an informative newsletter.

Of course, you don’t just sit down and crank out a good newsletter overnight. You need to think it through–and plan out many of its attributes well in advance. If you like the idea of a newsletter and want to use it to network your business, here are 10 questions to ask yourself:

1.  What will be the purpose of the newsletter?
2.  Who is the target audience?
3.  Why would my target audience want to read it?
4.  How will it benefit my audience?
5.  What features will it contain?
6.  Who will write the text?
7.  Will I use a professional to design the layout?
8.  How often will it go out?
9.  How will it be distributed?
10.  How will people sign up for it?

Your newsletter should be informative and educational so that it brings value to your audience and motivates people to read it. Also, unless you have a publishing or web design expert on staff, you should seriously consider outsourcing the production of your newsletter to a professional. Remember, your newsletter is an extension of your business, and it’s often the first thing a prospect sees of you.

Publishing a newsletter week after week or month after month is time-consuming and requires a strong commitment, but it can be a powerful networking and marketing tool. You want your audience to come to expect it–indeed, to look forward to receiving it–and that means you have to deliver it on time and deliver top-notch quality.  An expert produces nothing short of the best.

PR Helps Your Networking Efforts

Next to word of mouth, publicity is the most cost-effective strategy you can use to market your business.  It increases your credibility and helps you position yourself ahead of your competition–as long as it’s positive publicity, of course.

The main objective of publicity is to announce or inform.  Publicity is usually free; in most cases, you don’t have to pay to get your press release into the paper.  You (or a professional writer) draft the press release, but someone at the paper edits it and turns it into an article before it’s published.

There are many online resources available to teach you how to structure, design, and format your press release. When you’re ready to submit it, you can either use a distribution service such as PRWeb.com. or submit it to your community’s local publications yourself.

Networking your business is more than just going out and shaking hands; your business also needs to generate publicity to increase your visibility and credibility.  Professionals recommend that your business generate a press release once per quarter to remain visible in your industry and community.

For tips on writing a press release, CLICK HERE.

What Does It Take for You to Refer Someone?

At the BNI International Conference in Long Beach this past November, I had a great conversation 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 is 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 could 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.

Become a Motivational Speaker for Your Business

Have you ever listened to a motivational speaker such as Jack Canfield, Brian Tracy or Zig Ziglar?  When you listen to any of them, you can feel the passion flowing through the presentation’s words, actions and images.  The hidden element behind a motivational speaker is passion.  Think about that.  What does that tell you about your own message?

Your personal challenge in networking is to have an extraordinary message that not only captures but also highlights your unique selling proposition (USP).  Your USP is what sets you apart from your competition–you can’t afford to be ordinary, like your competition.  Your message needs to be filled with passion.  If you are not excited about what you do, no one else is, either.  In word-of-mouth marketing, that could be disastrous.

So how do you tap into your passion and tie it into your daily message about your business?  You can capitalize on your passion and spotlight your uniqueness by specifically answering the following questions from your heart and not your head:

1.  What can you say about yourself or your business that your competition cannot say?

2.  How does your work fulfill you?

3.  What element of your work do you most enjoy, and why?

Never forget that one of the top 10 traits of the master networker is enthusiasm/motivation.  You, your sales force and your word-of-mouth marketing team are the motivational speakers for your business, but the message begins with you.

Seek Out a Referral Networking Group

How much would it benefit you to have several dozen salespeople working on your behalf to bring you new business?  That would be something, wouldn’t it?  Wait, it gets better.  What if you didn’t have to pay them a salary or commission?  What if you didn’t have to provide them office space or fund their retirement plans?  Well . . . that’s what referral networks can do!

You may already have caught on to this not-so-well-kept secret, especially if you’re familiar with any of the books I’ve written; but if you’re new to the world of networking, then the first thing you should do is seek out a referral networking group.  Make sure you find a referral networking organization that provides a structured system for generating business by referrals.  You want to join a group that demonstrates real purpose and is results-oriented.

When you join a good referral networking group, you are providing yourself a means to easily implement the new networking strategies you learn with people who have also become skilled at networking their businesses.  When you surround yourself with quality business professionals who have committed themselves to continually taking the time to focus on networking, you will develop the genuine, long-lasting relationships that will lead to years of future business.

So, if you haven’t already joined a networking group, start searching the internet for networking groups in your area and make an appointment to visit a local chapter.

Click Here to learn what to look for when choosing a networking group.

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