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Monday, February 28, 2011

How to Become a Local Expert

Wouldn't it be wonderful if the people in your town or city thought about "your name" whenever the subject of your type of business came up? What impact could that have on your business? Better visibility? Increased credibility? More referrals? More Clients? Yes!!!

As with all worthwhile accomplishments this will take some effort on your part. Start by developing two solid communication techniques.

1. A one-minute overview of who you are and what you do. (As a member of TEAM you already know this).
2. Prepare a terrific 15-20 minute presentation on a subject that is helpful to the general public, not focused on selling, but you will of course be showcasing your business. Using your one minute overview and get on the phone and find the contacts for the local service groups, Rotary, Lions, the Chamber of Commerce (any group that schedules outside speakers) and get on their speaker rotation with your "informative 15-20 minute presentation."

You can also build your "fashion" reputation by becoming a contributing journalist to your local newspaper or community magazine. Submit informative articles on trends, seasonal products or services or topics that peak the interest of your target market. Look at starting an advice column that appears on an on-going basis.

Consider chairing a major event/fund raiser for a local charity. The more "you" and "your business" are featured the more visibility you will create. Donate the proceeds of sales to the charity. Making this an annual event really creates interest.

Don't forget to contact the editor of your local newspaper responsible for the calendar of events to publicize any and all speaking engagements and events you participate in. Be sure to invite the local press to these events or better yet hold a "press party" in conjunction with these activities. Send regular press releases to the local press keeping them up to date on all your activities, including any awards and recognition you receive.

If you incorporate these simple techniques into your business you will, along with your business will establish yourself as "The Local Expert". Your name will become synonymous as the person to go to whenever the subject comes up. Don't forget to approach all of these avenues with your best way of doing business.

Kelli Holmes

Friday, February 25, 2011

Speaker Roundtable Top 10 Tips - Pt 3

7. Great leaders have the goal orientation to make tough decisions.

Goal orientation produces a drive and energy that shield us from
the pain of the task. Keeping an organization focused increases efficiency.

8. Inspired enthusiasm is like the pilot light on the oven.

Genuine enthusiasm is contagious. People look to their leaders for enthusiasm.
The inspiration level of the organization is directly proportionate to the enthusiasm
of the leader--be it high or low.

9. Level-headed people make realistic leaders who respond to problems rather than
simply react.

A leader who can stay cool under pressure inspires confidence among
Those in the organization and empowers them to do the same.

10. The desire to help others succeed is the mark of a truly great leader.

Synergy is created when a leader truly invests his or her efforts in the
success of others. Zig Ziglar says it like this, "People don't care how
much you know until they know how much you care about them."

Whether you're trying to increase your own effectiveness as a leader or are trying to develop leadership talent within your organization, keep studying the characteristics of those you consider to be great leaders.

Remember that leadership is an art, not a science and the difference between a genuinely effective leader and a short-
term motivator can be found in the personal decisions an individual makes when choosing how to live his or her life.
Long-term commitment to the principles described above will produce an effective leader and, over time, an inspired

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Speaker Roundtable Top 10 Tips - Pt 2

4. Courage.

The willingness to take risks and accept responsibility for the outcome
is a consistent quality among effective leaders. Either you or your
fears will control everything you do. An organization will be no bolder than
the leader.

5. Committed and dedicated.

Hard working leaders will eventually develop dedicated and hard
working organizations regardless of who they start with or the
experience they bring to the job.

6. Unorthodox leaders have an urge to create and don't have the patience
to wait for a phone to ring before acting.

Effective leaders are innovators who bore easily and prefer
shaping tomorrow to repeating yesterday.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Speaker Roundtable Top 10 Tips - Pt 1

The following list of ten characteristics is a valuable guide
for quality living in addition to being critical criteria for leadership.

1. A high standard of personal ethics leads the list.

Honest Abe Lincoln, who walked miles to return a customer's change,
is a classic example of how personal ethics are reflected in
professional conduct. Decisions made under pressure and/or
temptation separate the great ones from the impostors.

2. High energy.

Great leaders are not exhausted by dealing with petty issues.
These people know right from wrong as well as the difference between
what's truly important and what's merely interesting.

3. The ability to work priorities shares equal importance with setting priorities.

Many brilliant priority lists end up in the landfill of life. The difference
between setting priorities and working them through is the difference
between a dreamer and a doer.

Danny Cox

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Network Your Everyday Contacts into Sales

Bob's 10 Open-Ended, Feel Good Questions:

1. How did you get your start in the widget business?
2. What do you enjoy most about your profession?
3. What separates your company from your competition?
4. What advice would you give someone just starting in the widget business?
5. What one thing would you do with your business if you knew you couldn't fail?
6. What significant changes have you seen take place in your profession through the years?
7. What do you see as the coming trends in the widget business?
8. Describe the strangest or funniest incident you've experienced in your business?
9. What ways have you found to be the most effective for promoting your business?
10. What one sentence would you like people to use in describing the way you do business?

And, The one "key" question that will separate you from the rest...

How can I know if someone I'm talking to would be a good prospect for you?

Bob Burg

Endless Referrals

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Doing the Remarkable

When it comes to meeting and conquering the negativity in your life, here is a key question: What can you do, starting today, that will make a difference? What can you do during economic chaos? What can you do when everything has gone wrong? What can you do when you've run out of money, when you don't feel well and it's all gone sour? What can you do?

Let me give you the broad answer first. You can do the most remarkable things, no matter what happens. People can do incredible things, unbelievable things, despite the most impossible or disastrous circumstances.

Here is why humans can do remarkable things: because they are remarkable. Humans are different than any other creation. When a dog starts with weeds, he winds up with weeds. And the reason is because he's a dog. But that's not true with human beings. Humans can turn weeds into gardens. Humans can turn nothing into something, pennies into fortune, and disaster into success. And the reason they can do such remarkable things is because they are remarkable.

Try reaching down inside of yourself; you'll come up with some more of those remarkable human gifts. They're there, waiting to be discovered and employed. With those gifts, you can change anything for yourself that you wish to change. And I challenge you to do that because you can change. If you don't like how something is going for you, change it. If something isn't enough, change it. If something doesn't suit you; change it. If something doesn't please you, change it. You don't ever have to be the same after today. If you don't like your present address change it--you're not a tree! If there is one thing to get excited about, it's your ability to make yourself do the necessary things, to get a desired result, to turn the negative into success. That's true excitement.

John Rohn

Friday, February 11, 2011

Are Your Client Centered?

Many salespeople have been taught language such as, I’m trying to build my business and I need your help. There is nothing wrong with this approach; however, there is a more effective approach. A client center approach has little to do with you building your business, and everything to do with the value you provide to your clients and their willingness to bring that value to others. It’s about your clients helping other people through the products and/or services you sell.

A client-centered approach will bring you three things: First, you’re likely to feel more comfortable using a client-centered approach, so you’ll actually use it. Second, your clients will feel more comfortable with your request, so you’ll get more participation. And third, you’ll get better connections to your new prospects clients. When clients identify one or more people they want to help through the work you do, they will become more involved in making sure you get connected to their friends or colleagues. With a client-centered approach, you’ll get more referrals and better connections to your new prospects. Of course, better connections to prospects will yield more new clients, and if you wish to call consumers in their homes, you must get connected (introduced) in order to be effective.


If I were talking with someone who might be a great prospect for your business, how would I know it, and how would you like to be introduced to that person?

What one sentence would you like people to use in describing the way you do business?

What have you found to be the best ways to promote your business?

What separates your company/business from your competition? (This will allow folks to brag, or it will serve them by getting them to think about this important question. By the way, make sure you have an up-to-date answer.)

What is the strangest or funniest experience you’ve had in your business?

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

10 Tips for Telephone Success - Pt. 2

6. DON'T INTERRUPT. Nothing will turn a prospect off quicker than interrupting them. The same goes for finishing their sentences for them. Don't assume you know what they are going to say (even if you have to bite your lip to keep from doing it.) Jim also suggests that just because the person pauses, he or she is not necessarily through talking.

7. LISTEN FOR THE WHOLE IDEA OR COMPLETE PICTURE. Words alone are not necessarily conveying what your prospect fears or desires.

8. RESPOND (AS OPPOSED TO REACT) TO THE IDEAS- NOT TO THE PERSON. Don't allow yourself to become irritated or insulated. Objections and questions are not personal. Also, don't let a prospect's mannerisms, such as accent, distract you.

9. LISTEN BETWEEN THE LINES Often, what is not said by the prospect is just as important as what is said. Listen for overtones, doubts, concerns.

10. USE INTERJECTIONS. Show the customer you are listening by occasionally saying, "Uh-huh," "I understand what you're saying," "I see what you mean," or other fillers. Don't overdo it, though.

Monday, February 7, 2011

10 Tips for Telephone Success - Pt. 1

Excerpted from Bob Burg's book "Endless Referrals", in it he shares tips for telephone success by, Jim Meisenheimer's, a fellow speaker who specializes in personalized sales training programs.

Here are his 10 tips for telephone success:

1. PREPARE IN ADVANCE. Prepare your questions and responses in advance. Know your product or service well, and your mind will be free to listen to the customer and focus on his or her needs.

2. LIMIT YOUR OWN TALKING. You can't talk and listen at the same time. Jim makes an excellent point. We have a saying at my company: "If we are doing the talking, nothing is being sold."

3. FOCUS. Concentrate on your conversation and the customer's needs. This means temporarily shutting out your personal problems and worries. Difficult at times but possible, and definitely necessary.

4. PUT YOURSELF INTO YOUR PROSPECT'S SHOES. Understand their needs and concerns by thinking like them. Take their point of view in order to help them solve their problems.

5. ASK QUESTIONS. We know the importance of asking questions during a presentation. Asking questions will also help clear up any points or prospect concerns you are not sure you completely understand. Paraphrasing the prospect's concerns back to them in the form of a question, followed by "Do I understand you correctly?" or, "Is that what you're saying?" will keep you on the right track.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Drive Your Business

The "Smith System" ( is used for commercial and fleet drivers world-wide to impact safe driving and to save money for companies who have great safety records. What is fascinating is how their 5 keys can be keys to growing your business safely.

The 5 Keys are:

1. Aim High In Steering - (stay focused)

2. Get the Big Picture - (envision where you are going)

3. Keep your eyes moving - (be prepared)

4. Leave yourself an out - (have a back-up plan)

5. Make sure others see you - (get yourself and your business out there!)

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Do You Know Who Your Target Market Is?

If you can't specifically and succinctly answer this question, then your opportunity of receiving referrals will be significantly reduced. Give more than just general details. Get specific. If you say you'd like to do business with small to medium sized companies, that doesn't tell your networking partners much. But if you were to say "I'd like to do business with companies that are small to medium sized, with 5 employees up to 100 employees, who are in a service type industry, (not product driven or a manufacturer), such as printing companies, banks, CPA firms, insurance agencies, doctor's offices, etc. I generally work with the owner, the manager or the marketing director of these companies." That statement gives a lot more information on the type of referrals you'd like to receive. If you tell your networking partners what you want, chances are you will get it. If you tell nothing specific to your networking partners about what you want, chances are that you'll get that too!

Kelli C. Holmes