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Thursday, December 23, 2010

Here is What a Team Can Do for You...

  • It can make you better than you are
  • It multiples your value to others
  • It enables you to do what you do best
  • It allows you to help others do their best
  • It gives you more time
  • It provides you with companionship
  • It helps you fulfill the desires of your heart
  • It makes everyone on the team a winner
Teams are incredible things. No task is too great, no accomplishment too grand, no dream too far-fetched for a team. It takes teamwork to make the dream work.

- John C. Maxwell (Teamwork Makes the Dream Work)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Networking as a Way to Build Your Business

Start paying attention to the way you develop the network of people that you’re working with. It isn’t so much the number of people you come into contact with, although that is important, but what’s really, truly “Relationship Marketing’ or networking that will GET referrals for your business really is about making a connection to a person. Developing a deeper, mutually beneficial business relationship. That takes time and effort.

So, my advice would be take the existing business relationships you have, leverage them into more mutually beneficial relationships, but really work on how to make them more meaningful. I would also strongly recommend you really work on your “Elevator Speech” or your “One Minute Business Commercial”, it’s important to be able to summarize who you are, what you do and the type of business that you are looking for in a very short period of time.

Lastly, connect with your “Power Partners”. These are professionals who share the same clientele as you, but are not competitors. Having 5 or 6 of those types of relationships will reap great rewards!

Kelli Holmes

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Liberate Yourself from Fear

Eleanor Roosevelt once said: "You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do." This quote states the problem and the solution. We must stop running away from things that frighten us, face our fears head on, and then do the thing we fear the most.

Most of the time we'll find out that the "thing" was not that scary after all. Our imaginations had behaved like a super fertilizer and grown a monstrosity in our minds.

Remember, our imaginations are incredibly powerful. They can work against us, creating images that leave us paralyzed with fear. But they can also work for us, building a world where everything we do is an adventure, a miracle. And the most amazing thing is that we hold the power to control our minds -- we allow fear to dominate our lives or we choose to dominate fear. Those are our only two choices.

Problems are good, not bad. Welcome them and become the solution.

- Mark Victor Hansen

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Perfect Your One Minute Business Commercial

The most important element of your one-minute commercial is to prepare. Preparation helps you become memorable! Remember that there are a number of others who are giving their one-minute presentations as well. You want to be THE MOST MEMORABLE One-minute around!

If you attempt to "wing" your one-minute commercial people will see through it. THIS IS YOUR TIME TO SHINE! MAKE AN IMPRESSION!!

It is important to spend five minutes updating your commercial regularly. If you take the time to break down your business commercial, highlight one important aspect and give instructions as to how your networking contacts can provide you with referrals, you will see an increase in business! But remember, it takes time to educate your networking partners on your business and will also take time to build the trust needed to get referrals.

Don't underestimate the power of a good One-Minute Commercial! Good one-minute commercials are one of the best ways to get referrals!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Take Advantage of Every Opportunity to Speak

Some people cringe when it is their turn to be the featured speaker at their networking meeting, others eagerly look forward to it! Whichever category you fall into, as an effective networker, we know the importance of getting the word out about our business. Seize the opportunity to speak whenever possible!

  • If you are looking for speaking opportunities, let the colleagues and networking associates in your center of influence know that you accept speaking engagements as a referral.

  • Ask your networking partners to refer you to the program chair of other organizations, (who seek outside speakers), that they belong to.
  • If you are asked to speak at the last minute, or to "pinch hit" for a speaker who did not show up, be prepared! Always have an outline or prepared presentation with you.
  • When you are prepared to speak at the last minute, know that you will be looked upon as a business person who can present their business in a professional manner at the drop of a hat!

Remember to have your presentation be a topic of interest for your audience, to be memorable, and to deliver an effective message about who you are and what you do!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

"Relationship Marketing" is a better, smarter way to do business

Relationship Marketing is the process by which you develop key business relationships that will help your business grow. How? By personal referrals from those you've invested the time and teamwork into! The better, smarter part comes in to play by how you manage those relationships.

One way to get the best from your referral sources is to communicate to your networking partners. What happens after you've received a referral? It is critical that you report back to them what happened. Did the referral result in a sale? Is it pending? What if it did not end in a sale? You need to let your referral source know! That is an important opportunity to "better train your sales team", so they can be giving you the best, most appropriate referrals possible.

Communicate effectively with all of your referral sources and you will find you are doing better, smarter business!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

5 Sure Fire Ways to Generate Leads

Here are some tried-and-true methods for getting good leads quickly:

  • Team up: Many businesses can find ways to share resources with other non-competing businesses that targets similar customers. One of our clients who specialize in dent removal teamed up with an auto detailing facility to exchange customer lists and trade discount coupons to promote each others' services. Not only did each of them enlarge their potential customer database by sharing information, they also opened the doors for co-branding opportunities, to boot!
  • Referrals: Time, experience and much research has concluded that nothing brings a qualified lead to your door better than the recommendation of a friend or colleague.
  • Word-of-Mouth: People tend to act on what they hear in this way because of the added layer of integrity perceived in it.
  • Give it away: Give your product or service for free on a limited or one-time basis. This is especially effective if you’re a restaurant, a spa, or any service-oriented business. Make it a random weekday for just one hour, for example. The old saying that “samples sell” holds a great deal of truth. And lead potential!
  • Surprise them: Never underestimate the power of surprise, of the unexpected. Reach out and “touch base” with your pool of past or current customers, but do something spontaneous or out of the ordinary when contacting them. If you can find ways to surprise and delight current or past customers you can then leverage the power of that moment to generate a new sale. The added bonus is that your lead conversion, or sales process is often shorter and easier with repeat business.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Realize Your Success in the Coming Year

Here are five steps that will help you realize success:

  1. Establish a definite goal.
  2. Stop running yourself down.
  3. Do not think of all the reasons why you cannot be successful -- instead think of all the reasons why you can achieve success.
  4. Trace your emotions -- face those fears.
  5. Renew your self-image by writing a description of the person you want to become -- Act the part -- You are that person!

So decide now. What is it you want? Plant your goal in your mind. It's the most important decision you'll ever make in your entire life. All you've got to do is plant that seed in your mind, care for it, and work steadily toward your goal, and it will become a reality.

Finally, take action – ideas are worthless unless we act on them. “Success is not the result of making money; making money is the result of success and success is in direct proportion to our service”.

from Earl Nightingale

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Participate in Your Local Chamber of Commerce

Who do you want to do business with? And, who do you want to receive business from? The usual answer is… business people in your own area or community. Your local Chamber of Commerce can be a powerful resource for you to tap into. But how do you find the right Chamber to join? And, once you have joined, how do you get the most out of it?

Listed below are some items to consider:

· Visit Chambers of Commerce in your area (if you have more than one in your area).
· Get a list of activities affiliated with the Chamber, such as monthly mixers, business to business expo/tradeshows and social or fundraising events.
· Look at their Directory. See who their members are. Look for potential “Power Partners”.
· Do they offer business workshops with informative speakers?
· How much is the cost, what do you get for that fee? The average range is $200 - $600 per year.

Often times, when joining a Chamber, busy professionals do not get involved in any of the committees, groups or boards. If you are willing, give some of your time, show people your enthusiasm and professionalism. This will directly reflect on everything else you do with that Chamber and will go a long way in developing a good image for your business. Think about becoming an Ambassador for the Chamber. This program will put you out in the community, personally meeting one on one with members. What better way to learn more about them and let them know about who you are and what your business is all about?

Don’t overlook getting to know the staff of the Chamber. Make an appointment with the CEO and/or President to learn more about activities to participate in. Don’t be afraid to ask for help in networking and getting to know the ropes. Often the movers and shakers in the community will be involved in the Chamber. By participating on the board or one of the committees or as an ambassador, this will put you side by side with the very people your business could benefit from.

Chambers of Commerce give you some things that no other “networking” type groups can give you. Such as: local political information, business counseling, educational programs, marketing or sponsorship opportunities, resource information, and workshops. Plus, Chambers usually have a memberships numbering in the hundreds of professionals.

As you can see… just joining a Chamber of Commerce is not enough. Investing your time and participating in activities and events can be a relatively inexpensive and fun way to get your name and business out there in your local community. The Chamber will provide you many opportunities to meet other business professionals in your area. But, you must be prepared with the right mind set going in – Chambers don’t work for you… you need to work the Chamber!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Giving Back

Not sure how to fit "giving back" into your everyday life? That's okay. You can define service and giving in any way that works for you. Possible next steps could be:

*Volunteer one day per month to assist a non-profit in your community
*Mentor a new employee at work
*Become a Big Brother or Big Sister
*Donate blood through the American Red Cross
*Help an elderly neighbor with some of their shopping needs
*Cook a meal for a family in need
*Join Habitat for Humanity and help build a home for a family in need
*Teach someone how to read
*Take the extra step "above and beyond" to provide services to a customer or find a solution to a problem outside your job description
*Make a phone call to someone who needs cheering up
*Sign up for a committee at your child's school or in your community
*Mentor a teenager who needs help
*Commit yourself to reaching out today. When we give to others, we are the greatest recipients.

As physician and writer John Andrew Holmes said, "There is no experience better for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up."

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

7 Key Relationship Marketing Goals

1. Make your One Minute Business Commercial ROCK!
• Vow to spend 5 minutes on your one minute each week!
• Get very specific. Think “a great referral for me this week is…”.

2. Commit to be at every TEAM meeting (or have a representative when you cannot be there).
• Out of sight is out of mind!
• Being casual about your TEAM attendance commitment implies you are casual in
all of your business commitments. Your networking partners might question your “referability”.

3. Attend all TEAM events (and TEAM Sponsored Events).
• Local, regional and organizational wide events are offered all the time!
• Take advantage of these knowledge expanding networking opportunities.
• Commit to your Personal and Professional Growth by educating yourself this year!

4. Do an AWESOME TEAM presentation when it’s your turn to speak!
• Prepare a “knock your socks off” presentation to show your stuff.
• Answer the question… “Why you should refer me”.

5. Do Coaching Sessions!
• Make a plan to meet “one on one” with every member of your TEAM.
• Organize your notes from these meetings to be more effective in referring your
networking partners.

6. Expand your “Power Partners” opportunity in TEAM!
• See who is missing from your “Center of Influence”.
• Ask your fellow TEAM members to help you invite these key professionals to your chapter.

7. Put all of your Relationship Marketing Goals in Writing!
• Set specific, measurable goals.
• Base your goals on personal performance or skills and knowledge to be acquired.
• Reward yourself in the achievement of your goals!

When you are thinking about how to achieve your goals, ask yourself the following questions…
• What skills do I need?
• What information/knowledge do I need?
• What help do I need?
• What resources do I need?
• Is there a better way of doing things?

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Getting to Know your Networking Partners

Once you have begun your journey of doing better, smarter business with Relationship Marketing, there will come a time when you need to take those relationships to the next level. You have worked on building relationships with your “Power Partners” and other members in your networking group and with the professionals in your local chamber of commerce, perhaps also a community service organization or in your own personal/social sphere. But do you really know them? Better question, do they really know you?

Getting together for a meeting once a week or once a month is good, but what would happen with your relationships if you invested the time to meet with your networking partners outside of the normal networking meeting, business mixer, committee or board meeting? At TEAM Referral Network we call these meetings “Coaching Sessions”.

“Coaching Sessions”

For your networking partners to refer business to you, they must first get to know who you are and what you have to offer. Meet for lunch or coffee with a different member of your group(s) each week. At this meeting, use the time so you can each share information about one another. Getting to know your networking partners will help you give more referrals and receive more and better referrals.

Here is a guideline to use when you get together:

• Share information about who your clients are, where they live, work, etc.
• Share with each other your background, education and any recognition/awards you’ve received.
• Tell each other about your family life, hobbies and interests.
• Talk about other organizations you participate in.
• Exchange literature and/or selling tools.
• Schedule a visit each others place of business.

Take the opportunity to make these “Coaching Sessions” part of your marketing plans for the next year. The investment of time will pay off in growth for your business!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

How to Network Effectively at an Event

By Kelli C. Holmes, Founder

1. Mix, Mingle, Meet
• Don’t sit only with those you know! Meet new people!
• Sit with only ONE person you know and make new connections with the others!

2. Set Goals for the Event
• Meet 10 new people
• Meet 2 new Power Partners

3. Know What You Want to Say
• Spend 5 Minutes on your 1 Minute! Perfect your pitch!
• Know what you want to ask your new contacts!

4. Have Your Business Cards With You
• Other Marketing Materials Too!
• Ask for cards from your new potential networking partners
• Bring your TEAM Spirit!

5. Schedule Follow Up Time
• If you don’t actually follow up, you might as well never have met them!
• Send a card, email, or make a call
• Schedule a time to meet again in person for a “Coaching Session”

Monday, February 8, 2010

Power Partners

Power Partners are business professionals who are in the same industry who want to develop a mutually beneficial relationship with each one striving to share referrals, ideas, clients and information with one another.

Who Are Your Top Power Partners?
Let’s think a minute - who do you refer your clients, your family, your friends to? People you know and trust! When does the opportunity to refer your clients to a Power Partner come about? When they need professional services that are related to your business. These professions are natural referral centers for you, they are in your “center of influence”. They are whom you want to develop a Power Partner relationship with.

Where Do You Find Power Partners?
Look in your personal rolodex: follow your money, who do you give your business to. They are benefiting from you. You should be benefiting from them! Look to your “networks” whether it is a referral network, the Chamber of Commerce, a charity or service group, church, PTA, trade or social group, seek out the professionals that match your list of Power Partners.

What Do You Do With Power Partners Once You’ve Found Them?
Reach out to them. Contact them and tell them what you want to do. Ask to develop a Power Partner relationship with them, explain how mutually beneficial sharing referrals, ideas, information, and resources can be. If this is not the type of relationship they are willing to commit to, find someone else in their profession who is!

When To Utilize Your Power Partners ?
What are you hoping to gain from your relationships with your Power Partners? Referrals, ideas, information, resources, be prepared to first give these things. Send them business, share a great idea with them and let them know about information that can help their business. Once they see your efforts producing for them, they will strive to give back to you.

How Will Power Partners Impact Your Business?
Once you have established these important relationships you will start reaping the benefits of receiving referrals, ideas, information and clients from them. Because you will be giving to them as well, you are establishing relationships that will last for years. Relationship marketing with your Power Partners can definitely impact your bottom line.

Developing relationships with Power Partners will not only help you generate more and better business for you, it will also reward you with satisfying personal and professional relationships to continue to build upon.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Relationship Marketing...A better, smarter way of doing business

  • Determine the value of referrals to your business.

    Are referrals an important part of your business?

    What percentage of your business comes from referrals?

    What percentage of your business do you want to come from referrals?

    How are you currently developing referrals for your business?

    What or who are the sources of your referrals? Your clients? Friends? Contacts?

    What is the basis for you to receive referrals? Your reputation? Credibility? Quality of products or services?

    Once you have determined the value of referrals to your business, look for ways to develop good referral sources for your business. Ask yourself the following:

    Are you professionally visible? Being an “expert” is not enough. You need to be visible, approachable, understood, trusted and be able to leave a lasting impression. Check your professional visibility by answering these questions.

    How visible am I in my community?

    Do people seek me out for my expertise, products or service?

    Is my impression better than my competitors?

    Do people view me as a credible resource?

    How do people react when I present information about my products or services?

    Are my “networking” activities productive?

    Networking Do’s and Don’ts:
      Have a networking plan in place. Know what you want to achieve from your networking activities and how you plan to get it.

      Know your own strengths, talents and resources. Listen for when a situation may be right.

      Help others build relationships. Make only those offers you intend to fulfill. Relationship marketing only works when you are genuine.

      Have business cards with you at all times.

      Develop a system to track your networking activities and the results.

      Follow up promptly and professionally on the referrals you receive. Remember to thank the person who referred you.

      Wait until you need a network to develop one. It takes time to develop relationships.

      Give out your business card indiscriminately. Ask for a business card from someone you would like to give your business card to.

      Don’t be afraid to jump in and network! Networking is a contact sport, it requires your physical presence.

    Kelli C. Holmes is the Founder of TEAM Referral Network, a professional referral organization that turns success-oriented business people into a strong team of networking professionals who work together to build their businesses by referral. Relationship marketing is a better, smarter way of doing business. For more information visit their website or call (866)311-TEAM.