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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Your Fortune is in the Follow Up

by Ali Brown

Most business owners are good at pitching clients or reaching out to new customers. It’s the follow-up where they fall down. Why? Because they figure, “if they wanted my product, they’d finish the transaction,” or they worry that, “if I bug them too much, I’ll come off as needy.” Here’s the thing: while you’re worrying about bugging a prospective customer or telling yourself that maybe “they’re just not that into me,” someone else is following up and sealing the deal!

“No” is just a little bump on the road to “yes.”

When someone expresses interest in your business, but they aren’t quite ready to sign on the dotted line, they can often be persuaded with a polite follow up. Say you were trying to convince a local business to purchase advertising on your website. They might say, “this sounds like a good opportunity, but I’ve already used up my marketing dollars for this quarter.” By following up before the beginning of the next quarter, you could get on your contacts’ radar and get her business while she’s in the planning stages.

Four Follow-Up Methods to Consider

  1. Ask if they’d like to be added to your ezine. Creating an email newsletter is a great way to keep in contact with prospects and update them on new promotions or offerings. Since nobody likes getting spam, ask their permission first and include useful content in your ezine so it’s not a pure sales message. Once people expect timely and insightful information from you, they’ll become more likely to open your emails and conduct business with you.
  2. Send useful links. If you know the prospect pretty well, you could email her sporadically when you find articles that might be useful for her business or see networking events she might like to attend. That way you’re keeping the lines of communication open without pressuring her.
  3. Send a holiday card. The holidays are a great time to reconnect with prospects and spread seasonal cheer. But if you’re afraid your holiday card might get lost in the shuffle or you simply don’t have time to coordinate another mailing, then consider sending a card at other times of the year, perhaps a mid-summer greeting or a Labor Day card (as people return from vacation, this can be a good time to snag new business). That way you’ll become more memorable and have an excuse to connect with people outside of the regular holiday season.
  4. Hold an event. Consider hosting a symposium on a timely topic or a free seminar or teleseminar on an issue that will interest potential customers. Invite prospects who were on the fence and use the opportunity to also bring in new prospects.

Follow up is key in any business, but you can also be creative and have a little fun with your strategies.

The bottom line? Be persistent, but always be polite.

Monday, August 29, 2011

The Fortune is in the Follow Up

by Melinda Emerson
The choice to succeed as your own business is an exhilarating concept, and it comes with a price tag. There are endless responsibilities and tasks that must be taken care of and all of the pressure is on you. To choose to succeed as your own boss, it is absolutely vital you prime your network for awareness of your business and referrals for your services. The fortune is in the follow up.

The focus must be on sharing your experience, casting your vision, listening to others, getting out and networking. Connecting and interacting as frequently as possible with prospects is important and learning how to ask for referrals. You must focus always on casting the vision of your growing business while being present in the moment of relationships as well. Not only do you want to do this while the small business is up and running, but you want to plan and engage in this at least 12 months before launching the business. Communication and engagement are two powerful tools, learn to use them online and off.

The big mistake a lot of entrepreneurs make is only talking with customers or prospects when they are looking for more business. Clients referrals are important, but they are best obtained by excellent service or product offerings. If you as the business owner cross the line of too frequent requests for referrals, clients will quickly tire of being asked. The fact is your current customers and clients are who helping you keep your business on track, the relationship you share with them is essential to your continued success. Clients and customers are always willing to share their experience…whether its a good one or a difficult one. Make their experience with you count.

Competition for every service or business is at a ridiculous level online. Scarily, you are not the only person online offering the product your small business has to offer. You may not be the lowest price, your products may not be the biggest or the best, however, if you know your audience, and their needs, your business will stand out and shine. Your relationships, your delivery of service, your accessibility on line and off are the keys to your future. Smart phones make the management of presence accessible for individuals, even when you are the only staff in your organization, it is an important skill to learn.

People buy from people they trust and respect. We are far more likely to buy from a friend than a stranger. The same holds true for your customers and prospects. They want to know the person they are buying from cares about them, their needs and their wants.

Start networking and interacting online and off each day through your words, your tweets, your posts and your conversations. You are choosing to succeed as your own boss, you will choose to build from the ground up starting with the interaction process. Jump into forums whether on Linked In, online communities or local conversations on a daily basis. Friend request as many prospects as possible on Facebook. Share your two cents of sense on blogs, use services that link those comments back to your business and let people know who you are.

Engaging with people online and off in business means intentional presence. Be present on blogs, on Facebook, on Linked In. Be interested in prospects needs, study their processes, encourage their success. The highest form of prospecting involves truly engaging in their space and sharing your own space with them. From there, make it a point to send emails frequently even if it is simply to say hi or have a good weekend. People care about those who care about them. It sounds like an incredibly simple strategy, but you would be surprised how much of an impact nurturing your network in the pre-stages, during your first year and throughout the life of your success as your own boss.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Fortune is in the Follow Up in Marketing

by Kelly Smith

One of the biggest mistakes marketers make is failure to follow up with potential prospects or customers. One reason could be that the importance of follow up is not usually taught in typical network training. They may tell their downline to follow up once and sit back and let the money come rolling in. If you’re reading this, chances are the money isn’t rolling into your bank account and you aren’t really sure why.

Follow up is key in your business. Most home business owners today operate their businesses both offline and online. Did you know the average website only contacts it’s visitors one time? Statistics show if you only make one contact you will lose 54% of sales! That’s 54% too many.

Remember what they say. “The money is in the List.” You want to nurture a list by developing a relationship with them. You can actually do this before ever contacting them. How would you like to have people actually calling you before you call them? All of this is tied to follow up.

It’s important to follow up with your list several times because:

They could have accidentally deleted your offer

Life got in the way and they completely forgot

Skepticism. It’s human nature to feel somewhat leery about giving your hard-earned money to a stranger!

They don’t have enough trust in you yet

It’s not the same as a physical store where the person can walk in and use the senses to physically, touch, smell and feel how the product works. When you are appealing to people through cyberspace you have to learn how to appeal to their senses in another way.

Marketing is the art and science of empowering, communicating and developing a relationship with another human being based upon their needs and not yours. The reason follow up works so well is because it is creating the relationship.

Follow Ups----

A Phone call – Part of a follow up can be a call to introduce yourself. This is one way to define yourself among the other people who market online and never make that call.

Follow up Emails using an Autoresponder – We combine a phone call with some type of follow up system like an autoresponder or mailing system. Autoresponders are great for follow ups because they are automated and you are not making more daily work for yourself. You can send out info about your products such as testimonials for a health product, discounts and updates regarding your service.

Another question is how many times do you need to follow up? Many experts believe 7 is the magic number, but let’s say at least more than 6. A study done by the Association of Sales Executives revealed that 81% of all sales happens on or after the fifth contact.

There are some free mailers out there but loading your arsenal with a good autoresponder can make it a bit easier. There are some fantastic autoresponders out there with various price points according to your budget. Obviously the more you pay, the more robust program you may receive, but most people are operating within a budget.

Look for an autoresponder that allows you to personalize your emails with the person’s name, has unlimited autoresponders, excellent email deliverability and easy to use.
Don’t forget, the follow up is just as important after the sale as before. This is also a major mistake business owners make. They don’t follow up with customers after the purchase which could keep them coming back for more.

Kelly and Brad Smith are the founders of BKS Marketing & Income Strategies. They are currently students and mentors of Mentors in Motion and the Master Key System. They have been in the Marketing/Networking Industry for more than 5 years and share their knowledge to help others succeed at home. For more information or to sign up for their free newsletter, "Building a Successful Business": Contact us toll Free: 1-866-804-3398 or email us at:

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Fortune is in the Follow Up for Direct Sales Consultants

I was reading a post on another blog about fishbowls and facial boxes. Then I read the comment about how one consultant got a fishbowl full of leads because a previous consultant never bothered to pick them up!

Why on earth do you go to the trouble of getting a fishbowl placed in a business and then never go back and collect leads??

Following up with a customer or lead is critical with your MK business.

Phone calls, postcards, etc. can be a great way to keep in touch. At the minimum, you should contact your customers twice a year – on their birthday and during the Christmas holidays. (If they celebrate a holiday other than Christmas, then contact them then.)

I am not talking about calling them every other day and bugging them – I mean a once-a-month courtesy call (or however oftem they ask you to call) and make sure they remember you!

I can’t count the number of people I have bought from (in Direct Sales) and then I never hear from them again. So if I lose their card (possible – very possible), I have to find a NEW rep to order from when I need more candles/Tupperware/etc. in 4 months or so.

All follow up doesn’t have to be sales-related. A simple note with your business card enclosed is nice, too.

If you follow up with your leads and customers, you will build a long-term, profitable business.

Then I read on another blog about how one former consultant ( I hope she is a former consultant, anyway) used the fishbowl method without the slightest bit of integrity – never awarding a gift certificate like she promised, etc. She got hundreds of leads and lied and schemed to them all, including the business owners who were kind enough to let her place her fishbowl in there!

Not only did she doom herself, but she probably destroyed any chance for another consultant to place a fishbowl in those same establishments, thanks to her lack of integrity. Great job! (Not.)

If you promise to award a prize, do it! I buy the gift certificate from the owner at the same time I place the fishbowl – to show I will keep my word. When someone wins the gift certificate, I attach a business card and ask that they make sure mention where they got the gift certificate from! Again, this shows the owner that I keep my end of the bargain!

And another point: I often ask about placing fishbowls in businesses I already frequent, so I am supporting that business in more ways than just buying a gift certificate once a month. Owners appreciate that kind of thing. :)

Follow up is important, and integrity is a must in this business.

Friday, August 19, 2011

The Fortune is in the Follow Up

by Kevin Stirtz

One of the best ways to increase sales is to keep in touch with people. From calling on former customers to checking in on new leads, it's critical to stay in touch with people on a regular basis.

One of the reasons for this is that it takes time to develop the trust required for someone to do business with us. If we're a "stranger" they might hesitate even though they want or need what we offer. Remember, studies have shown it typically takes 8 to 15 contacts before a sale is made.

Another reason is people have a lot of things going on. What's important one day may drop off their radar screen the next. Priorities change from day to day as life intrudes on people's plans.

Put these two facts together and you can see what happens.

A person decides they're interested in our product or service. They call or they stop by. We chat and things seem to be going well. Then they leave and we never hear from them again. The fact is they're still interested but, because our business is new to them they might not feel comfortable making the purchase yet. They need to warm up to us. Their trust level still needs to move up the scale.

So they leave without making a purchase. Then reality steps in. Their focus turns to something else and soon their interest in our product or service moves so far down their priority scale they forget about it.

It's not that they have decided not to buy from us. It's not that they have lost interest. They simply need more time to get through the buying cycle, so they feel comfortable doing business with us.

Our job then, is to help them move through the buying cycle and raise their comfort level so they'll decide to work with us.

The key to accomplishing this is with follow-up.

We need to find ways to re-engage people, to re-connect with them so they remember why they were interested in our product or service in the first place. We need to help them stop, if only for a moment, and say "Oh yeah, I should look into that..."

But we need to do the follow-up in a way that is professional, not pestering. We need to show them our goal is to help them rather than to just make a sale.

There are many ways to keep in touch without becoming a pest.

When you follow-up you should have something for the person you're contacting. Maybe it's a "VIP" card that gives them a special discount. Maybe it's a token for a free cup of coffee. Maybe you send them an article about their industry that they might find interesting.

When you show up with something for them, you are showing them your focus is on them, not you. If every time you contact someone you give the impression you're just looking for a sale, they'll think of you only as a salesperson looking for a commission.

On the other hand, if you always have something for them (a gift, an article, a referral, an invitation to a business event, even some local news or gossip) then you become someone they enjoy talking with. You become a welcome break in their busy day.

At this point you've made a new friend who should have no hesitation becoming a customer. You've become part of their world, so when they want or need what you offer, they'll think of you first.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Quick Tips 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

Thursday, August 11, 2011

How Many of You have Attended a Networking Event?

Would everyone agree – Networking is an important part of marketing your business?

Networking is an important component of your Marketing Plan

TEAM does lots of networking

We actually engage and participate in network events

We participate in BIG events, small events

We get great leads from these events

How many of you come home with a nice big stack of business cards from the event you attend? Cards from people you made a connection with at the event

What do you do with the stacks of cards?

Do you: follow up with everyone?

Call? Email? Set appointments?

If only we were all so good! If you are like me… you put that stack next to your computer with every intention of reaching out to these contacts. But somehow LIFE gets in the way… and that stack starts staring at you, guilting you to death. I usually move many to the back of my laptop so I don’t have to see them!

Although networking is important, I am here today to talk to you about Relationship markets. We know we need to created relationships to make those connections produce results that will grow our business. But it just doesn’t always get done.

Let me ask you a question…of the hundreds and hundreds of cards we get at these big networking events – how many of those contacts do you think have a sincere desire and interest to help me grow my business?

Zero. None. They have no relationship with me. They have no reason to care about helping me. It is not until we have a ‘relationship’ that we can expect to get business!

That is why it is far more effective to have meaningful business relationships with a dozen, 15 or 20 key business professionals than to worry about hundreds of people we meet at events. We can’t possibly have a real meaningful business relationship with hundreds.

Think about all the really great relationships in your life. Spouse. Best Friends. Family. Did they happen overnight? Are they easy and effortless?

Real business relationships, that are mutually beneficial and get you results are what true “relationship marketing” is about.

Tuesday, August 9, 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.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

I hope you will “get over yourself” and try this! You never know (or will know) if this can get you MORE business if you don’t try! Email me at and let me know how this goes!

Terilee Harrison is a TEAM Director in the San Gabriel Valley, Inland Empire and Orange County. She can be reached at 909-576-3007. Valerie McCartan of McCartan Accounting can be reached at 626-549-1381.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

10 Tips on Suceess in your Referral Group

You have joined a referral group. Here are some tips, on how to make this a very successful investment in YOUR business!

1) Follow through on your commitment to show up every week. If you make the meeting a priority, it tells the other member's that you are committed to the group.
2) Get to know everyone outside of the meeting. The better you know each other, the faster the relationships will grow as the confidence and trust are strengthened.
3) Really LISTEN to what other members in the group are looking for. Be really mindful of keeping your eyes/ears open while you're out in your world.
4) Be VERY specific in stating what YOU are looking for. The clearer you are, the chances improve 10 fold that someone will run into what you're asking for.
5) Be involved with your local chamber and support your community.
6) Build your base of connections by attending an event/mixer at least once a week.
7) Always be on the look out, for people that could benefit from visiting your chapter. You never know until you ask.
8) Always come in with a positive attitude.
9) Step up into a leadership position. You will learn skills that will truly help you in your business life.
10) Become a center of influence.

I hope you've had a powerful week. Enjoy your weekend!

"When it comes to life the critical thing is whether you take things for granted or take them with gratitude."
~Gilbert Keith Chesterton

(For more information about TEAM Referral Network:


Karen Cormier


Director TEAM Referral Network-

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Business Network Might be Great for Leads but You May Be Wasting Your Time

Do you attend business-networking events in order to collect
business leads that can open doors for you? Well, you may be
wasting your time. Let me explain.

In my book, No Condition is Permanent, I talk about being a
small fish in a big pond. I even share some excellent tips

on how to swim with the big fish. But, my first advice to
you is to rethink your business networking strategy.

You should ask yourself the following questions: "Can the
connections I am making really help me to get ahead? Am I
swimming in the right pond with the right fish?"

Now, I am not saying that some of the people in the circle
may not turn out to be a good resource for you. But you may
want to reach for a level where those contacts have never
been before.

So, avoid networking with people who are hassling you to get
your business, or those who just want something from you.
Networking is truly about creating long-term relationships
that can pull you up. Now, notice I am talking about making
connections versus getting favors. All relationships should
be a two-way street, both personal and professional.

You should seek out influential people who can swing some
doors open for you, and help you get where you want to go.
You need to push forward in order to get ahead.

Here's how to do so:

1. Do something to get on the radar of those in a position
to assist you. Speaking for the National Speakers
Association automatically put me in touch with Les Brown,
Mark Victor Hansen, and the like. Okay, you may not be in a
position to write a book or keynote a big conference yet. But
I'm certain there's something you can do to move your own
career along. All it takes is a little thinking outside the box -
a little creativity.

2. Instead of attending business networking events to
collect business leads, become a private investigator. Do a
little investigating to find out what challenge the people
whose radar you are trying to get on are facing. Then write
an article about the challenge or problem and offer some
solutions. Send the article to a key player in your field.
You only need one key contact to introduce you to the rest
of the people in that group. Does that make sense to you?
You may even have an idea to help raise money and awareness
for a cause that you know is important to the people you are
trying to reach. Contact them and let them know about it.

3. Brainstorm for ideas. Here's a clever way to come up with
ideas that can help you contact a key influencer: Take a
piece of paper and write your goals across the top of it;
then jot down every way you might be able to make the
connection. Be outrageous. Go for it!

But remember, as you strive to make those meaningful
contacts, definitely be available to be a meaningful contact
to someone else. And I am dead serious about that. Success
is also a two-way street. You must have one hand reaching
for the top and another reaching to help pull someone up
from the bottom.

I wish you incredible success!

Rene Godefroy

Monday, August 1, 2011


In my personal and in my business life, I have seen so many times the importance of REALLY listening.Listening to the spoken word AND what is unspoken.

Proper communication is key to a healthy and productive life.Everyone has different communication skills. Not everyone is able to ask for what they truly need.

With TEAM Referral Network, we really help our members to learn how to identify who they are, what they do and being laser specific in educating each other, in who they are looking to connect with. Whether it’s a person, a company or an opportunity.

Take 5 minutes to write down:
Who you are, what you do and what is your PERFECT referral/connection? When you’re really clear on that, you’ll be amazed at the opportunities that will open up.
Really make it a point today, to truly listen to someone. To what they say AND to what they might not say. You might learn something. Interesting!

Yours in success
Karen Cormier, Director
TEAM Referral Network