Success Archives - Page 9 of 11 - Dr. Ivan Misner®

You Don’t Become Exceptional by Looking For Exceptions

Over and over again in life I am reminded that exceptional performance is not achieved by looking for exceptions.  I don’t feel very diplomatic today so, I’ll just say it like I see it.  I find it really tiring to deal with people who want “great” results but don’t want to put in “great” effort.  I honestly think that if people spent half as much time focusing on the fundamentals of success in the areas they are interested in – they would get twice the results of what they are currently getting.  Instead, I see way too many people searching for ideas and then arguing with people about what works (especially people who have already achieved success in that area).

Earlier this year I read an article by a friend of mine who was talking about Tony Alessandra’s Platinum Rule (treat people the way ‘they’ want to be treated, not the way ‘you’ want to be treated).  His piece was well written about Tony’s material.  Then, some guy posted a comment saying this was a horrible idea because people don’t always know what’s best for them.  Really?  That seemed crazy to me but, maybe I was overreacting.  I thought I’d check some of this guy’s other writings.  I started looking at his comments on other people’s postings and he was ALWAYS the guy taking the opposing position.  He disagreed with virtually everyone about virtually everything.  I then started looking at his original postings and discovered he was a total loser!  He clearly jumped from business to business and didn’t appear to be successful at anything.  The best thing this guy seemed to do was. . . wait for it, wait for it – yes, argue about everything.

Soon after I read my friend’s article about the Platinum Rule, I received an email from someone who visited some networking groups and wrote me an email saying:

“I am interested in how I can provide my extensive list of contacts to a local networking group without having to attend the weekly meetings… we can [only] attend once a month to a meeting… but we still [want to] adopt the groups ethos and principles of such a well structured program.”

His request got me thinking…

I’d like to win the Tour De France but, I don’t like all that peddling. I’ve always thought it would be amazing to win an Olympic medal but come on, is all that conditioning really necessary? I would have liked to become a medical doctor but, can I do it without all the blood and internal organ stuff… yuk! I would love, really love, to be a military General – but boot camp? Really, do I have to do boot camp? But, most coveted of all – a Nobel Peace prize. That would truly be amazing. But, must I change the world in some important way?  Surely, there is something less I can do but still get the same results – right?

If only wishing made it so, but it doesn’t. 

Looking for exceptions to what’s been proven to work seems to be the norm.  However, those who go around constantly searching for exceptions to validate reasons why the disciplined hard work that has made others successful won’t work for them will, in my experience, only find one overriding truth–the exceptional people who have achieved success through consistent, disciplined action are, in fact, the only real exceptions to the norm..

Have you seen people like I’m describing here?  If so, tell us the story.   I can’t be the only person who sees this… right?

 

Get to Know the Go-to Items on Your Referral Marketing Checklist

Last week I had a couple of blog readers comment that they felt they would benefit from a detailed description of each of the items on the checklist of materials for a successful word-of-mouth campaign.  Thank you to Betsy Maniotis and Adam Erstelle for taking the time to send in their feedback and I’m more than happy to comply with their requests for the list below.

1)  Testimonial letters from satisfied clients–Testimonials are one of the most effective ways to showcase the quality of the products or services you provide.  You can keep hard copies in a binder, or you can post them to your website.  If you have a LinkedIn profile, you can ask the clients in your network to “recommend” you.

2)  Photos of yourself, your office facilities, equipment, and/or products–A professional photo, or headshot, is important for promotional opportunities and for your social media profiles.  Photos of your office or business operation and products help to legitimize your business and gain credibility.

3)  Logos of your key customers–You can put these on your website to show the type of clients you have successfully served.

4)  A list of your memberships and affiliations–This is very helpful when you meet someone for the first time — it’s a great way to see if you have mutual acquaintances or business associates.  It may also lead to an introduction to someone in one of your organizations to whom you have been hoping to be introduced.

5)  Question-and-answer sheets–One of the quickest ways to learn about a person’s business as a networker — and for him to learn about yours — is to make the initial meeting as organized as possible.  A sheet with questions that you can each ask each other can ensure you don’t forget to find out the most important information about each other’s businesses, the information that could lead to a referral the quickest!

6)  Photos of awards and certificates you and your staff have earned–These items can rank almost as high on the credibility factor as testimonials.

7)  Articles you have published, or in which you’re mentioned–Writing articles (or being professionally mentioned in them) is a great way to become known as an expert in your field — and people like to know they are working with experts.

8)  A one-page flier–You should have a brief overview of your business ready to pass along at all times — both a hard copy to fax and an electronic copy to e-mail — in case you meet someone while networking who wants to quickly pass along your information to a prospective client she knows.

9)  New-product or service announcements or press releases–As you network, make sure the people who might potentially hire you — or refer others to you — are immediately informed when you offer new products or services, or if you are expanding you operations geographically, or of any other achievements that might help further establish you.  The best way to do this is through press releases and announcements.  In addition to submitting these to news outlets, you can also hand these out at meetings, or you can post them on your website and on your social media accounts.

10)  Current brochures, circulars, and data sheets, and product catalogs–This may seem like a no-brainer, but quite often I’ve noticed that business owners are too busy running their business and neglect their collateral materials.  If you hand out a brochure that doesn’t list your most recent offerings, you could miss a chance of earning the business of someone looking for just these offerings.

11)  Items that reflect your “brand”–These items go a long way in building the consistency and recognition of your brand: Logos, trademarks, service marks, patterns, designs you’ve used, posters, banners, and display materials used at trade shows.

12)  Items that help you explain your business to your network–These can include: your annual report, capability statement and prospectus; your motto, mission statement or service pledge; or even a written history of your company.  You can also use information from newsletters or news-type publications, survey results (from surveys created and compiled by you or by others in your industry), presentation notes or slides (including audio or video), advertisements you’ve run, or audio or video presentations.

13)  Client or customer proposals, bid sheets, or marketing letters you have written to existing clients–Keeping this information top-of-mind will come in very handy if you are at a networking event and have the opportunity to talk to a prospective client in depth.  The prospect may have a specific need that is similar in scope to jobs you have already bid on, and having the ability to quickly refer back to previously-completed proposals may give you an edge with the prospect.

14)  Articles on trends affecting your target market–Keeping up with issues and news items that are important to people helps you to be able to target your conversation and, subsequently, your products and services more directly to your prospects whom you want to turn into clients.

Remember, this is  not a complete list of items needed to market your business.  The items in this list are focused on enhancing your networking activities which will lead to greater word of mouth and referrals.

Where You Come from Does Not Determine Where You Go

Just last month, I had the honor of being given the Citrus College Alumni Lifetime Achievement Award, along with another fellow alumni recipient, Daniel Parks.

In this video of my acceptance speech, I talk about a concept that means a lot to me . . . where you come from does not determine where you go; what you do determines where you go. I am living proof of that this concept is true.

Do you have a personal story of triumph which demonstrates that success can be attained regardless of one’s starting point?  If so, I would really love to hear it!  Please leave a comment and tell me about it . . .

Do You Have the Right Materials for a Successful Word-of-Mouth Campaign?

In order to run a successful word-of-mouth campaign, you need to build an arsenal of credibility-enhancing materials.  You should always have these at your disposal to make the most of every networking opportunity.

Below is a checklist of items you may already have available or wish to begin assembling, which can be used as collateral materials in developing your desired image.  These are not ranked in a particular; they are all key components of the toolkit of a successful word-of-mouth campaign.

Note: Please keep in mind that this is not a complete list of items needed to market your business.  The items in this list are focused on enhancing your networking activities which will lead to greater word of mouth and referrals.

1-Testimonial letters from satisfied clients

2-Photos of yourself, your office facilities, equipment, and/or products

3-Logos of your key customers

4-A list of your memberships and affiliations

5-Question-and-answer sheets

6-Photos of awards and certificates you and your staff have earned

7-Articles you have published, or in which you’re mentioned

8-A one-page flier

9-New-product or service announcements or press releases

10-Current brochures, circulars, and data sheets, and product catalogs

11-Items that reflect your “brand”

12-Items that help you explain your business to your network

13-Client or customer proposals, bid sheets, or marketing letters you have written to existing clients

14-Articles on trends affecting your target market

For the sake of space,  I didn’t go into much detail here regarding each of the items in this list but I can certainly go into plenty more of an explanation as to what these items entail.

I’ll leave it up to all of you blog readers to weigh in on whether or not you’d like to see a follow up blog explaining each of the items listed above . . . so, leave a comment and let me know–should I write a blog giving the details regarding these items?  Thumbs up, or thumbs down?? . . . Thanks!

What’s Your Burning Networking Question?

Do you have a burning question about networking that you just can’t seem to get a decent answer to?  I have great news . . .

You can go to www.AskIvanMisner.com and submit your question directly to me!  Watch this video where I explain what the website is all about and then go to www.AskIvanMisner.com to submit your question and get FREE access to the quarterly Ask Ivan Misner live telebridge call. 

After you’ve visited the site, come back to this blog and leave a comment letting me know what you think of AskIvanMisner.com and, if you submitted a question, give me feedback about your experience . . . how easy was the submission process?  Will you submit a question again?

What Does ‘Overnight Success’ Mean to You?

[tube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pfv-fmNBLek[/tube]

During the course of the past two decades, I have had the privilege and honor of giving many keynote presentations and participating as a featured speaker at events across the world.  I have a great passion for public speaking and I feel very fortunate that organizations and associations continue to invite me to present at events internationally.

As a speaker, it is important to have a speaker’s reel video to send out to organizations who are considering you as a presenter at an upcoming event.  I recently enlisted Marrick Production Services to create my new speaker’s reel (click on the play arrow above to view it) and during the production process, I got to thinking about the different speaking engagements I’ve done and it struck me how many times I’ve heard people marvel at how amazing it is that I achieved such remarkable ‘overnight success.’

Every time someone says this to me, I reply with a chuckle and something along the lines of: “Yeah, it’s great . . . and it only took over two decades of hard work.”
😉

The thing is, I’m not sure there really is such a thing as overnight success. I know it happens in the movies quite often but, throughout my years of traveling and networking,  I have yet to cross paths with someone who achieved any kind of significant success without putting forth a great deal of hard work and dedication (speaking of hard work and dedication, a BIG thank you goes out to Mark Ellensohn and Chris Higgins for the hard work and dedication they put into creating this video for me!).

I’d really like to get some feedback on this–what does ‘overnight success’ mean to you?  Do you think a person can truly achieve overnight success, or do you think that the road to ‘overnight success’ is a long one that’s paved with plenty of effort and discipline?

Leave your comments and let’s get a discussion going! If you or someone you personally know is living, breathing evidence of overnight success, I’m particularly interested in that story (sometimes being proven wrong can make for very interesting content in speeches!). And, by all means, I’d also love to hear what you think of my new speaker’s reel!

Winning or Losing, Trying or Quitting

I met with my good friend Dr. Mark Goulston for dinner recently.  Casually, over our meal he said something that made me reach into my pocket and scribble it down on the back of one of my business cards.  He said:

We have much less control over winning or losing at something than we do over trying or quitting at something.

If you always try, you can eventually win.  If you always quit, you can never win.

I loved this statement and it completely resonated with me and what I’ve seen in relation to people being successful at networking or at anything for that matter.

When people give up (even in their thoughts), it’s ‘game-over.’  I’ve always thought that I may not be the most successful man in the room or the smartest man in the room, but I’m pretty confident that I’m the most persistent man in the room.  That commitment to “trying” has helped me succeed.  I think it is the one thing that consistently helps anyone have long term success.

The whole process must begin with the old axiom – if you think you can or you think you can’t… you’ll be right.

When have you seen this in your life or someone close to you?

The ‘Profitability Ninja’ & The ‘Samurai of Innovation’

Last week I posted the first part of a series of guest blogs sharing the article “Creativity vs. ‘Innovativity'” by Frank DeRaffele.  Below is the continuation of where the article left off last week.

“Creativity vs. ‘Innovativity'” by Frank J. DeRaffele Jr. ( . . . Continued — CLICK here to read Part 1)

So how do we save ourselves from this Ninja?  Enter the Samurai of Innovation. This Innovative Samurai (dressed in white, by the way) cuts through the creativity and reveals Innovative Thought, Innovative Ideas, Innovative Profitability.

Innovation is the good twin of creativity.  Innovation is creativity with focused and applied business value.  It knows how to see, analyze, evaluate, measure, and decide if this creative thought is able to become Business Innovation or if it will stay as Creative Waste.

As creativity is both a strength and a weakness to us as small business entrepreneurs, we must learn and develop the skill of how to take our creative thoughts and see if they can become innovative bottom line value.

A creative thought may be a wonderful idea but it has no direct relation to a solution.  Not that it is not of value, because it may have great value, but it may not be of value NOW.  When it is not of direct value, we open the gate for our Profitability Ninja to enter.  The question is, how do we define value? In its most simple form, we can answer this question by asking — Does this creative idea relate directly to a current problem that we have and will it help us solve the problem in the way we would like?

For example, let’s say you own a retail store.  You measure your success by the number of transactions you do on a daily basis and by the dollar volume of each transaction.  Currently you are very happy with the number of transactions but you would like to increase your average dollar per transaction.  Most customers that purchase from you spend an average of $55.00 (USD) per transaction.  You would really like to get that number up to $65.00 (USD) per transaction.  This means we need to look at up-selling, cross-selling, and the packaging of products.  As you start to think about this, you come across an idea of a great new way to do a direct mail piece to a new target market.  You know that if this new direct mail piece works, you will attract a new client base to your store.  This new client base is exciting because you haven’t focused on new target markets for quite a while and by expanding into . . . WAIT A MINUTE! What does this have to do with increasing your average dollar per transaction?!  The answer is . . . NOTHING.

What just happened here?  Yes, it was the Profitability Ninja. He snuck in and started you thinking down a new path.  He got you to come up with a great new idea and while getting excited about that idea, he made you forget that your real problem is Average $/Transaction . . . NOT Number of Transactions.  Do you see what I mean?  This new idea may not be a bad idea–in fact, it may be a good idea . . . however, it is not helping to solve the current problem at hand.  By not keeping your focus on Direct Resolutions to your problem, your profits will go into the red.

Come back next week to read the final installment of Franks article, “Creativity vs. ‘Innovativity,” and learn how to recognize ‘innovativity’ to maximize benefits from creativity and help your business soar. As always, if you have a comment to share, I’d love to read it so please leave your thoughts in the comment section.

“Sales Success Now”

My friend, sales expert Dr. Donna Ligda, has just released a new e-book called Sales Success Now which features 10-minute interviews with leading experts who spell out their single best sales strategy or tactic and explain how to easily implement it.

I’m interviewed in the book about how I’ve leveraged trusted relationships to open over 5,000 chapters of my organization worldwide and, because of my contribution to the book, Donna has offered to make a free copy of the book available to my blog readers!

To get your free copy of the book, simply send an e-mail to DonnaLigda@ComCast.Net requesting the free e-mail version of Sales Success Now which was mentioned on Dr. Ivan Misner’s blog.

The book includes interviews with:

  • Chris Lytle, President of Sparque, Inc.
  • Mike Bosworth, best-selling sales and marketing author
  • Keith Eades and Robert Kear, international marketing experts
  • and many more . . .

After you get your free copy by e-mailing a request to DonnaLigda@ComCast.Net, come back and let me know what you think of the book.  I think you’ll be impressed!

Success Is the Uncommon Application of Common Knowledge

[tube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VIiumgD5tUo&feature=related[/tube]

Have you ever wondered what it is you need to do in order to be successful?

In this video, I talk to Jack Canfield about what it takes to be successful and how I came to the conclusion that success is the uncommon application of common knowledge.

Take a look at this short video and let me know what you think . . . do you agree with this concept?  What are your thoughts on success and how to achieve it?

Go JackCanfield.com for information on Jack’s Inner Circle Club where you can watch the full video he did with me and many other experts.

Business Networking “Coaching” Videos

One thing most businesspeople and entrepreneurs have in common is that they’re usually very busy and tend to have little time to spare. Their busy schedules often create challenges when it comes to making time to educate themselves on building valuable business skills such as networking.

This is why Entrepreneur.com has created the Coaches Corner, a highly convenient educational resource offering extremely brief educational videos on topics like networking, social media, marketing, starting out, managing employees, funding, and business planning.

The majority of the videos are under three minutes long and packed with helpful tips from experts whom Entrepreneur.com refers to as “some of the brightest minds in the biz.”

I’m honored to say that they’ve asked me to participate in this project and I’ve recorded a number of powerful educational videos on networking including:

Check out these videos for quick, instantly usable tips on networking and feel free to share the links with all those in your network!

Let me know what you think here on my blog.

The New India

I’ve been in India for the past several days conducting seminars on business networking and, I have to say, I’ve been very impressed by the business community here. The businesspeople I’ve met are passionate about learning and they are hungry for information and knowledge.  I have found the audiences here to be extraordinarily respectful and almost sponge-like in their interest in absorbing new ideas.

Although it is still a developing nation, it is obvious that the infrastructure of India is growing quickly.  There are construction projects going on virtually everywhere and the development of transportation systems seems to be a high priority.

India has quite an interesting blend of history, tradition, and modern society, along with a serious quest for improving people’s lives.  I don’t think the West fully recognizes the transformation that is taking place here.  Although the middle or entrepreneurial class in India is only about 20% of the population, this percentage represents over 200 million people!

The fact is, education is crucial to achieving growth and success; India’s business community truly understands this and it is inspiring to see how they wholeheartedly embrace a culture of learning.  With their interest in education and training, and their focus on creating infrastructure, I believe that India is likely to be the financial powerhouse of Asia within the next decade.

Businesspeople around the world would benefit tremendously by following India’s example in regard to the value the people of this country place on education.  It has been an amazing opportunity to be able to experience the culture of India and the graciousness and generosity of the people here.  I am deeply grateful to all those I have met during this trip and judging from the way these people embrace knowledge and exude the Givers Gain® philosophy, I have full confidence that India will soon achieve tremendous growth and worldwide recognition.

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