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Monday, January 31, 2011

Getting the Most from Referrals

Receiving a referral from a business associate immediately puts you in a favorable light with a potential customer/client. Making the referred person your customer is up to you. Be prepared to be consistently professional using customized marketing material that will reinforce your image and cause you to be favorably remembered.

1. Take a fresh look your business card. Business cards are the most common and acceptable way to give information about your company. Your card's appearance also says something about you. What impression does your business card make? If it is not outstanding in some way, consult a professional to find out how to make it so.

Print your cards in volume and make sure everyone you exchange referrals with has a supply of your outstanding cards.

2. Develop a brochure or flyer that you can hand out to groups or leave with a potential customer/client. When you're not around, your brochure or flyer will be there to represent you. Make sure it is professional, current and has the same outstanding qualities as your business card.

3. Follow through and follow-up. Send a letter of appreciation after each new appointment along with any information or estimates you may have promised to provide. Include your card and brochure even if you left them at the time of your visit. Or, better yet, include a "give-away" gift: a pen, note pad, mug or other desk accessory displaying your logo and contact numbers and Web site. Desk items are usually kept...on their desk and within easy reach!

Phyllis Strode of Strode and Lee, Marketing by Design. Phyllis is a member of the La Verne chapter of TEAM.

Friday, January 28, 2011

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?

Kelli C. Holmes

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


Why are some goals never reached? Is there a "secret" known to some and not to others? There may not be a secret, but there is a system that can make meeting your goals much more of a sure thing.

Clarity of purpose.- For a dream to become a goal, it must be specific. "Lose weight this year" is very different from "Lose 20 pounds by my birthday." Be clear.

Commitment.- Once your goal is clear, emotionally commit to achieving it. Don't "settle" for less than you want.

Talk about it.- Talking about your goals makes them real and powerful. It allows people to help you reach your goal and support you along the way. Remember, what you talk about - you bring about.

Write it down.- This is one of the oldest, simplest and most powerful techniques for achieving any goal. Think about and reread your goal every day. Post it on your bathroom mirror or in your car, where you'll see it frequently.

Have a plan.- Create a map for getting there, and put dates on it. Don't see your goal as one big step. Break it down into small steps you'll take to reach it. Then focus on one step at a time.

Review, and recommit, often. Never be afraid to review your goals, evaluate whether you are still 100% committed to them, and recommit to achieving them. If your priorities have changed, change your goals accordingly, and be honest about it.

Celebrate each milestone. When you get discouraged or have doubts, your record of past successes will quickly get you back on track. Celebrate each and every milestone on your path to victory!

Remember the proverb: A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

Wishing you a great journey in 2011!

Mark Allenbach- a mortgage consultant from San Diego.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Quick Fix for No Marketing Time

Tip #1 Action follows thought.

You get precious few contacts with a prospective client, or even with a current client. Decide in your heart, mind, and body that responding to their inquiries is the lifeblood of your business, not an interruption to be squeezed in where you can find a spare moment. The key here is in the decision. Action follows thought
so think of your prospective clients as honored guests in your home and let your desire to make them feel welcome lead the way.

Tip #2 Streamline your client communications.

Systems rule. If you are the creative type, then you actually have an advantage. Create a system that is absolutely effortless for you to follow. Innovate, streamline, then repeat your system over again. Every client, every time. How effortless can you make responding to a prospective client inquiry?
How can you use a page on your web site, a Virtual Assistant, a pre-written email response, to eliminate all action except pushing a button? A creative 1/2 hour designing your own rapid-response system will free up boatloads of your time, energy, and effort.

Tip #3 Give the gift of 21 minutes.

I bet that in 21 minutes, you can answer all your client inquiries, send out packets, return calls, whatever activities are vital and integral to follow-up with new business. 21 minutes isn't much time. Do it first thing in the day and you'll yield huge results. Need a boost to make the 21 minute commitment? See Tip #1

Now it's your turn!

'Kendall SummerHawk For free marketing tools, visit'

Friday, January 21, 2011

Become an "Invaluable Resource"

When someone asks you for something you do not do how do you handle requests?

One way to handle it is to refer the business to someone else, perhaps even a competitor who can better handle that particular request. By referring the important people in your life ( clients, family, friends, business associates, contacts, etc.) to the "right" person or business for the job, you become an "invaluable resource" to them. The result will be that they will think of you whenever they or someone they know needs your services and will also look to you as a referral source, keeping you and your business front and center in their minds.

Kelli Holmes

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Market Less - How to Work Some Referral Magic

~ Market Less - How To Work Some Referral Magic ~

Have you tried to get an almost-client's attention lately? It's tough! I just read in Fast Company magazine, that the only sure-fire way to get business right now is through word of mouth. Seems that with the assault of marketing messages flying at us, we only respect what our trusted friends and colleagues recommend.

But what if you've had little luck getting good quality referrals? Here are 3 tips that are guaranteed to get the
right kind of attention, and plenty of it!

Tip 1 Ask For The Referral

Don't mince words. Simply say, "I work best with __________ kinds of people." Then follow it up with the results you've achieved. "The people I work best with have experienced ________ (name the results using numbers - time, money, efficiency, there is always a way to quantify a result from working with you, no matter what your business). Continue with, "Their experience was a direct result from working with me." Then finish by asking, "Who do you know that may be open to experiencing a similar result?"

Easy, right? I could stop there, but tips 2 and 3 are great too.

Tip 2 Do A Super Job

Focus your time on maximizing the results your clients receive from hiring you and your name will be passed around for years!

Tip 3 Leverage Your Time With Their List

They have a list of people who trust them. You have a valuable service. There is a multitude of ways to make this work. Start by creating a "hot list" of at least 5 people who you would love to have referring others to you. Leverage your service through them and you just opened a door of never ending referrals, for very little
time spent.

Kendall SummerHawk,

creator of the Be Yourself Marketing(tm)

Monday, January 17, 2011

Affiliate Yourself with a Trade Organization

Join a trade association related to your product or service this year to stay on top of your business locally. Trade associations are designed to support professionals in their trade and often are the research arm for an industry. Many have active websites with business articles and local chapters just waiting for you. To find out more about your industry's trade groups, go on the web or contact your local public library. Reference departments will have "The Directory of Trade Associations", a comprehensive listing of over 30,000 organizations. Being aware of your industry's global issues may help you with your local issues.

Learning is an important part of our ongoing success. Utilizing outside resources is an additional way of enhancing your customer service, credibility and knowledge.

Trade Organizations or Professional Associations primary focus is to increase knowledge and to provide a forum for the exchange of ideas and information. There are also several other benefits to affiliating with a trade organization such as visibility for you and your business, access to additional referrals or customers, opportunity to show your products and services, relationships to cultivate with other members in similar non-competitive fields and to learn more about your industry and other competitors.

Being involved is key. Some ways to be effectively involved might include hosting or sponsoring an event, speaking at seminars, volunteering to participate in the leadership or recruiting new members.

Additionally, affiliating with a professional association will also help you to evaluate presentations, marketing materials such as business cards, brochures, websites, etc. of others. This may help you improve on your own ideas and materials.

Utilize these Knowledge Networks to your advantage! Your participation in a trade organization will provide the opportunity as a member to get together with other members who share a passion for your chosen professional arena.

Kelli Holmes

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

It's Time to Get Over Yourself and Get More Business!

Do you have a stack of business cards sitting on your desk you have been intending to follow up on? Have they been sitting there SO long you are now too embarrassed to call or email them?

I spent the week between Christmas and New Years getting myself organized for 2009. As I entered some of my contacts into my database, I was disappointed in myself at all the LOST OPPORTUNITY that was represented in that stack of business cards. Those contacts never visited a TEAM chapter, never got to meet YOU, never had the chance to receive referrals from you or the chance to GIVE YOU referrals…

When you look at your stack of business cards, what opportunities have you lost?

I want to give you permission to “get over yourself”! It is okay to contact the people you have met – even if its months and months down the road. I learned this lesson from Valerie McCartan of McCartan Accounting. Valerie is the Founding Member of the West Covina TEAM. Some time ago, West Covina TEAM was having an Invitation Day, and a week before the event, I awoke one morning to a Blackberry full of emails. It was obvious Valerie had taken her stack of business cards and invited a number of them to visit her TEAM. She didn’t care when or where she met them. She just reached out to them via email with a ”you never know” attitude: “You never know” who will visit TEAM ~ “You never know” who needs your services at this time.

Below are some great examples:


I believe I met you at a Chamber of Commerce event. I would like to invite you to a special luncheon with my networking group, please see the attached flyer. I hope you can make it.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Hi _________,

I met you at the XXX Event with the XXX Chamber. I would like to invite you to a special event with my networking group. Please see the attached invitation. I hope to see you there.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Hi _____________,

This is an invitation to a special event with TEAM. I know you have been trying to make it to one of our meetings, and I think this would be a great one for you to attend. Please see the attachment and try to make it.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Hi (Someone Who Visited TEAM Before),

I hope this finds you and the family well. I wanted to let you know that we are having a special event with TEAM and we would love to have you join us. I have attached an invitation and I really hope to see you there.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Hi Client,

I will be talking to you later today about ___________, but I wanted to let you know that we are having a special event with TEAM and we would love to have you join us. I have attached an invitation, and I really hope to see you there.

by Terilee Harrison

Director of TEAM SGV/IE