training Archives - Dr. Ivan Misner®
Sales Force

Networking is About Training a Sales Force, Not Closing a Sale

Networking groups can definitely help businesses generate referrals.  However, I have talked to many people who say to me that despite the fact that they are giving business FOR other members of their networking group, they are not getting business FROM other members of their group. For those of you who want to get more business from the networking groups you belong to, keep this in mind: When attending referral-related networking groups remember that your efforts should be focused more on training a sales force than on trying to “close a sale”.

In other words, if you want to get business FROM the fellow members of your networking group, it is key that you EDUCATE these people about some of the specifics of your business and what to look for in order to refer you effectively. If you were training a sales force what would you say in this training process?  How would you describe your product or service to your salespeople that would enable them to fully understand the benefits of what you have to offer?  This is what you should be doing at a networking meeting.

The only way people can pass referrals to you is by getting to know about your business AND about you. No one expects a referral group’s member to be an actual salesperson for all the other members; but, if you want referrals, the other members do need to be trained.  Thus, the way your introductions are done can substantially impact your results in generating referrals FROM other networking group members. I have personally seen people participate in referral groups who were in businesses so unusual that I didn’t think it was possible for them to do well; however, what I didn’t take into account was their personal commitment, attitude, and ability to teach people “how” to refer them.

Three key points to consider for educating people in your networking groups to be your sales force:

1) Do not generalize when asking for referrals: I have heard hundreds of thousands of introductions at business networking events in my 35 years of running a business referral organization. When talking about the type of referrals they want, many people use the words “anyone,” “someone,” or “everyone.”  I don’t recommend it. Why?  Because it is too general. If you say you can help “anyone” who needs your service, it is so generic that it doesn’t stick in anybody’s brain. Remember, specific is terrific.

2) Bring support material with you when you are at your networking meetings: If you have something visual for members to view or take with them, you increase your chances of staying in their minds long after the day’s meeting. A flier about a product sale or a newsletter from your company is a good item to share.  You might also bring samples of a product that you carry in your store or place of business.

3) Break your business down into Lowest Common Denominators (LCD’s) when introducing yourself: We all thought we would be done with algebra when we graduated, didn’t we? Here is an example of how one discipline can be applied to another.  In networking, Lowest Common Denominators apply to business introductions when you focus each week on only one aspect of your business at your networking meetings.  In other words, you break your business down into very small pieces.  You may be tempted to use the laundry list approach:  listing all the areas of focus that your business covers.  I would submit to you that your fellow networkers will learn more about you a week to week if you explain a single aspect of your business at each meeting.

I once saw the owner of a florist shop stand to give his introduction, holding a single red rose, wrapped in cellophane with a very thin stem.  He described the type of rose it was and how long it would bloom.  He then told his members he had just purchased it at the grocery store on his way to the meeting that morning.  After that, he reached under the table and pulled out another long-stemmed red rose, fully three times larger, with a huge redbud and a much thicker, green stem.  He proceeded to describe this rose, emphasizing that it would stay fresh and actually fully bloom and open up, lasting twice as long.   He held both by the bottom tip of the stems and waved them back and forth showing how thin the grocery store stem was as it swayed from side to side with each movement of his hand and how sturdy his rose was which didn’t budge at all.  With that, he announced that there was only a 3 cents difference in price between the two roses… his rose cost less!

This is a classic example of how to use an LCD when educating people about your business while at networking events.  The floral shop owner did not use general examples, he brought something to show, and he described it (and only it) in detail. If you want to get referrals from your networking efforts – remember to train your sales force using the three techniques above and you will see a noticeable difference in your results. 

Coaching Skills

Are Your Coaching Skills Lacking?

In this video, I talk  to Dave Buck, the owner of Coachville, about the importance of coaching skills for entrepreneurs.

Any successful entrepreneur can tell you that success depends on the quality of the results produced by the people on your team; and the best way to get better results from the people on your team is to coach them.

Watch the video now to find out what Dave thinks is one of the key skills for entrepreneurs to have when coaching their team and, also, how you can participate in an entire program to become a really powerful and effective coach.

Do you have any coaching tactics or strategies that you’ve found to be particularly effective in coaching your team/employees?  If so, I’d really love to hear them.  Please share your thoughts in the comment forum below.  Thanks so much!

To find out more about Dave and Coachville, please visit: www.Coachville.com.

brilliance

Bringing out Your Brilliance in Business

In this video, I talk to my friend Arjuna Ardagh, author and world class business trainer about Arjuna’s latest book Better Than Sex.

Watch as we have a lively discussion during a recent visit to Croatia about this unusually titled business book.  The book teaches businesspeople how to find their brilliance by tapping into the dimension within themselves from which their most free thinking and creativity originates. 

Click “play” now to learn the relevance and the story behind the book’s racy title and to find out more about how to bring your inner brilliance to the forefront in a structured way for unlimited heights of achievement and success.

Thoughts on the video?  I’d love to hear them, especially since this video topic is quite different than any other I’ve previously touched on in my blog.  Please feel free to share your comments in the forum below.  Thanks!

To find out more about Arjuna’s book, Better Than Sex, please click here

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

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

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

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

EYBNLogo

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

 

Networking Is an Acquired Skill

The Third Law of Notable Networking: Networking Is an Acquired Skill
(Click Here to read about the First Law of Notable Networking and Click Here to read about the Second Law)

Most people are not born networkers; they develop the skills through education, training, the right attitude, and long practice.  Any technique of value requires a commitment to learning how to use it effectively.  The next generation of business professionals will operate under a different model of management, in which networking will be an integral element.  Take advantage of every opportunity you have to learn to network more effectively.  It is a skill that will only grow in importance.

Remember Will Rogers’ statement about being on the right track:  “If you’re just sitting there, you’re going to get run over!”  If you are active in a networking organization, you’re “on the right track.”  The key, however, is to take advantage of the opportunities that these groups have to offer.  This means you need to be an active participant in the networking process to get any substantive results.

Curiously, many people invest time in networking, but not in learning how.  This is like trying to play tennis or golf without lessons.  Sure, you can perform, but how well?  Simply attending meetings is not enough.  You need to listen to CDs, read books and articles, talk to people who network well, and most important, practice what you’ve learned.  This is no less than what you would do to learn how to play golf, manage people, or sell a product.

Always keep in mind that in order to develop a successful word-of-mouth-based business, you must attend every networking event that you can and practice, practice, practice!  Practice greeting people, handing out your card, asking for their cards, listening, excusing yourself, and introducing yourself to others.  If you have questions about what to do (and/or not do) in order to most effectively greet people, exchange cards, listen, excuse or introduce yourself, please let me know in the comment forum below.  I’m more than happy to do follow-up blog posts on any/all of those specific aspects of networking (as well as any other aspects you may have questions about). Thanks!

Not a Born Networker? Don’t Sweat It–You’re in Good Company

For the majority of the world, networking is an acquired skill.  Most people are not born networkers; they develop networking skills through education, training, the right attitude, and long practice. 

Any technique of value requires a commitment to learning how to use it effectively.  The next generation of business professionals will operate under a different model of management, in which networking will be an integral element.  Take advantage of every opportunity you have to learn to network more effectively.  It is a skill that will only grow in importance.

It’s like a statement Will Rogers once made about being on the right track: “If you’re just sitting there, you’re going to get run over!”  If you are active in a networking organization, you’re “on the right track.”  The key, however, is to take advantage of the opportunities that these groups have to offer.  This means you need to be an active participant in the networking process to get any substantive results.

Curiously, many people invest time in networking, but not in learning how to network.  This is like trying to play tennis or golf without lessons.  Sure, you can perform, but how well?  Simply attending meetings is not enough.

You need to listen to CDs and podcasts, watch videos, read books and articles, talk to people who network well, and most important, practice what you’ve learned.  This no less than what you would do to learn how to play golf, manage people, or sell a product.

Attend every networking event that you can and practice, practice, practice!  Practice greeting people, handing out your card, asking for their cards, listening, excusing yourself, and introducing yourself to others.  In short, there are many skills to acquire and to perfect; you can’t expect to become a master after your first couple of visits to various networking functions.  With that in mind, consistently learn and absorb all you can about how to become an effective networker and make a constant effort to put what you learn into practice. 

Networking success is not about being a born natural . . . it’s about learning, practicing, and applying what you learn in order to become a master at networking.  Putting in the work to become successful at networking is sure to pay big rewards, not only in business but in life as well.

Do you have a story about how your time and effort in becoming a better networker have paid off in a remarkable way?  If so, please share it in the comments section.

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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