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Friday, September 23, 2011

The Missing Ingredient in Networking Marketing, Part 5

by Al Hanzal

Call to Action

Here’s one suggestion on how you can incorporate the missing ingredient the ability to teach your network partners who you want to serve with your business and how you want those networking partners to connect you with their referrals into your networking efforts.

If you believe that network marketing can produce the growth you want for your business, make it your goal for the remainder of the year to master the skill of teaching your referral sources who you serve in your business and how you want your network partners to connect you with their referrals. Complete the following tasks:

1. Create a profile of the perfect customers you want for your business.

2. Identify the symptoms, the words, the expressions potential customers use to talk about problems that you solve with your business.

3. Decide how you want your network partners to connect you to their referrals.

4. Create a written description on how you will handle referrals from your network partners and how this process will make them look good.

Will this be work? Yes. These means setting aside time, resources and energy and creating a plan to make this skill the key ingredient in your networking efforts. Create an action plan on how you are going to master this skill.

You can create a series of efforts to increase this teaching skill over the next year. Mastery is always a process. It happens over a period of time. As you begin seeing wonderful results, you will be even more inspired to mastering this skill.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Missing Ingredient in Networking Marketing, Part 4

by Al Hanzal

How You Serve As a Resource For Your Referrals

The main motivation any of us have to give a referral is to look good. We want to be helpful to others. To be a hero! We don’t do it for money or rewards. We do it because we want to look good.

When you referred someone to a restaurant you liked, you talked about the good food and the wonderful service. And when the person comes back and thanks you because they experienced the same good food and service, how did you feel? You feel good.

At some point your referring source must know what you do and how you will operate when you get a referral. They must have full confidence in giving the referral to you. Are you going to call the referral source? Are you going to send them materials? What are you going to say when you talk or meet with the referral? Are you planning on meeting with them? Are you going to use the hard sell on them?

You must teach your network partners exactly what you will do when they give you a referral. They must know and trust how you are going to be a resource for helping the other person. A confused network partner does not make referrals. You want to do everything you can to make your referrer look good.

Elaborating on the Referral

Once you receive a referral on a potential customer and network partner has done what you asked, you have one additional ingredient in the teaching process. You will want to talk further with your network partner to learn more about the conversation they had with the referral.

What was the conversation about? Why does the network partner think this would be a good referral for your business? Can they provide a friendly introduction for you? Would they like to be part of a three way process when you meet the referral?

If you skip this elaboration step with the network partner, the referral will become a cold call and your efforts will probably produce the same amount of success as cold calls!

Let me share with you an example from one of my networking partner. He left a name and phone number for a referral on my voice mail. He thought the referral would be a useful contact for me. I called him back got more information about the referral and more information about their business. I also got a website for the referral’s business.

At the website, I learned even more about the person and their business. Now I was able to intelligently plan my phone call to the referral and use some engaging questions about his business to get his attention. When I mentioned I have visited his website, he was very impressed. This helped me to get an appointment. Had I just acted on the name and phone number given by the networking partner, it would have become a simple cold call because at that point I had no information.

This elaboration ingredient is often overlooked in the referral process. It’s an extra step but an important step if you want to make your networking more powerful.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Missing Ingredient in Networking Marketing, Part 3

by Al Hanzal

Who Does Your Business Serve?

The primary teaching task is to clarify who you want network partners to refer to your business. This is the “who” of your teaching task.

It is not the job of your networking partners to make your sales presentation. It is their role to refer based on who you want to serve in your business. If you are vague about your customer descriptions how can they be helpful to you?

If the real estate broker asks “Help me find anyone who is looking for a new home.” Should you refer to them the homeless person you see standing on the street corner with the sign, “Homeless”? This would be

silly. But if they don’t give you a better description than, “Anyone who needs a home”, how will you know what customers to refer to them?

If you tell your networking partners you serve small business owners, some may think of businesses with ten employees. Others may think of businesses with no employees. The government’s description of small business is any business with less than 277 employees. Saying you serve small business does little to clarify who you serve with your business.

Your networking partners need a profile of your perfect customers. This will involve basic demographics of gender, age, location and economic status of your perfect customers. You can easily create a client picture using these qualities.

More importantly are the psychographic characteristics of your perfect customer. What events in their lives trigger the use of your business solutions? What are their buying habits? What motivates them to make a purchase? What worries them the most in their lives? What problems do they want solved? What aspirations do they have? Where do you find these perfect customers?

When you combine the demographics and the psychographics of your perfect customer, you have a picture of the person who is your best customer. When you consistently place this picture before yourself and your network partners, you attract these perfect customers to your business.

What Problems Does Your Business Solve?

Your referring partners need to know what customer problems you solve with your business. Even more importantly they need to know the symptoms of those problems.

There are always a few people who know exactly what they want to solve their problems. They just need more information to get the problem solved. Do you know the name of a heart surgeon? Yes I do!

The majority of the people who are potential referrals can talk about the symptoms of the problem but they are not sure where to go or what products or services can solve the problem.

We have all been there when we visited a doctor’s office. We tell the doctor our symptoms. We have a running nose, a high fever, lost of appetite, sore throat, glassy eyes, etc. From those symptoms, the doctor identifies the problem and potential solutions.

If you want your networking partners to make effective referrals to your business, you must teach them the symptoms of the problems your products solve. They must be able to know and recognize the symptoms. When they encounter them, they can now recommend you as a potential solution. Without knowledge of the symptoms, they will overlook potentially good referrals to your business.

How Do You Want Network Partners to Connect You With Their Referrals?

With this third ingredient of your teaching, you must spell out to your network partners how you want them to connect with their referrals. Their job is to make a connection for you, not to deliver your sales presentation.

You say, “That’s easy.” I tell my network partners, “Give me good referrals!” What is a “good” referral for you? Here are just a few of the ways network partners can make the connection for you:

I want a friendly introduction to a prospect who…

I want the name of a specific person who…

I want you to share one of my success stories with …

I want you to plant a seed about my business…

I want an appointment with

I want to tell the other person about the options my business provides

I want to you to speak about my credibility with…

I want you to tell others how I can be a resource to them

I want you to give them a copy of the free report I offer

The list could go on. How do you want your network partners to connect for you? If you are not clear, how can they be clear with their friends and relatives?

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Missing Ingredient in Networking Marketing, Part 2

by Al Hanzal

Training Your Sales Force

Let’s breakdown this missing ingredient--the ability to teach your network partners who you want to serve with your business and how you want those networking partners to connect you with their referrals. We start by moving beyond the traditional model of selling.

To bring home this point, let’s pretend that you have been made sales manager for your company. They hired five new sales people. As sales manager, you must train these five people into a powerful sales force. Where do you start?

If you use the traditional model of sales training, you start by teaching your sales force about your company, its history. Then you will teach the features and the benefits of your products. You have a laundry list of features that make your product superior to others products on the market. Your pricing is one of your product features.

As part of the sales training, you will high light the various objections your sales force will receive about the product. As part of their training you will equip them with a response to every objection. You will teach them how to make cold calls and play the numbers games of making X number of calls to get X number of appointments to get X number of sales.

You will quickly find this traditional sales model does not produce the sales you want. In today’s crowded market place where customers have so many buying options, product selling produces fewer and fewer results. The traditional selling model focuses on the company, the company’s product, and the features, in particular the price of the product.

More successful businesses have shifted to a customer focus model. Customer focus selling starts with the customer, their problems, their issues, their desires. The role of the sales person is to become a resource finding company solutions to a customer’s issues. The focus shifts from selling the company’s products to focusing on the customer and finding solutions to their issues. And giving them a great buying experience in the process.

How do you apply this to improving your network marketing? You can use the customer focus selling model to teach your network partners the ability to teach your network partners who you want to serve with your business and how you want those networking partners to connect you with their referrals. There are five ingredients to mastering this skill.

Monday, September 19, 2011

The Missing Ingredient in Networking Marketing, Part 1

by: Al Hanzal

When clients come to me asking how to improve their networking marketing efforts, I start by asking them, “What have you been doing with network marketing?”

They will often tell me, “I seem to be doing the right things with my networking marketing. But it is not producing the quantity and the type of referrals I want.

“I prepare my weekly commercials before I come to the meeting. My attendance at meetings is good.”

“I seem to have lots of credibility with the other members of my group. They like me. I take time to get to know the other members both personally and professionally.”

“I give others in the group referrals because I believe in the giver’s gain mentality.”

“I take on extra responsibilities for the group and often help with various organizational tasks that need to be done.”

“A few of the people in the group used my products and services. They give me glowing testimonials about my business. But these have not stimulated additional referrals from the group.”

“When I do get referrals from others in the group, they are very cold leads. I follow up on the names I receive but they feel just like a cold call.”

“What am I doing wrong? How can I make my network marketing more effective?”

The Missing Ingredient

The qualities they talk about, credibility, a giver’s gain mentality, preparation, extra participation in the group are important qualities for networking success. There is one more quality, the missing ingredient to powerful networking success--the ability to teach your network partners who you want to serve with your business and how you want those networking partners to connect you with their referrals.

You can call this missing ingredient “teaching” or you can call it “training” your sales force. Here’s the beauty of this missing ingredient. Because it is a skill, it is something you can learn and master. It is something within your control. When you employ this skill in your business, it will accomplish all of the results promised by network marketing. You will get more customers, better customers, and more loyal customers. You will get customers at a fraction of the cost of other marketing and advertising efforts.

Friday, September 16, 2011

How I Taught My Aged Aunt Search Engine Optimization

by: Phill Turner

“What does SEO stand for?” asked my 62 year old aunt one day. I was in the middle of organising my next Webinar so I was a bit busy at the time. “That stands for search engine optimization” I said still preoccupied with the job in hand. “Mmm” I heard and then silence. “It’s no good” I thought, “I’ll have to stop what I’m doing and explain”. I turned to her and said “A search engine is..” She jumped in saying “I know what a search engine is! I know I hate computers but I’m not a total computer phobe! I just don’t see the need to surf the web, as it’s called, all day long”. “Ok, ok, I’m sorry. What do you want to know for anyway?” “It was in an article I was reading and you know I like to keep up with things. Can’t you just explain in simple terms?” Oh dear. Bang goes my early night!


“Internet marketers want to get traffic, visitors, to their websites so they can sell their products. People who want to buy things go on somewhere like Google and put a word or two in the box to look for sites with their particular ‘want’ on. There are millions and millions of marketers out there, so there needs to be a way of rating the best and the worst. Traffic plays an important part but it is not the only factor in the rating conundrum. My aunt thought about this and said “So how do they get to the top of the search engine?”


As you can imagine there are certain words that people use when their searching. Washing machine, television, help, cure. Depending on the product being sold there are lists of what they call keywords which are the most often used. So if you use these words in your advertising and articles on your site they will attract the search to you. You can go on Google and search the words in your title to find a good combination.”

My aunt was impressed “Clever! So all they have to do is to include the right keywords and they’ll get all the traffic they want? They called it search engine optimization just to complicate things.” Here we go! “It’s not quite as simple as that. There are other factors involved.” “Which are?” she said. “I’ll go through them.”


“There are also categories and tags. A bit like a filing system, you go to the category, then the tag and finally the keyword. That’s why it’s called search engine optimization; the shortest route to what you want. As a marketer I want my route to be shortest.” “Any more things I should know?”


“Yes. If you put links into everything you do, which take anyone whose reading anything you do back to your website, then you get more traffic, or clicks, and that adds to your rating with the search engines.” I wasn’t sure my aunt understood this totally. “Links?” “Yes. You know the web address http//www. etc., that’s what a link is.” “Oh, I see. That must all take a lot of time and effort. How on earth do you manage it?”


“You can get a software package to help. There a lots on the market, I use SEOpressor myself. I write articles and things in a system called WordPress. As I write them it tells me if I have enough keywords, links, headings etc. as I go so that I can get the maximum search engine optimization with the article.” I showed my aunt a post that I was writing and the results changing as I wrote. “That makes things a bit easier, doesn’t it? So let me just rewind and see if I’ve got it”


“So this is how it goes….

  • Traffic needed
  • Keywords needed for recognition
  • Categories and tags needed to be in the right file
  • Links needed for clicks back to your site
  • Software needed to make life a bit easier

Is that correct? Can I have a go?” And she did! Amazing!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

5 Things to Consider when Planning a Coaching Session

  • Don't underestimate the value of simply listening to the member's story.
  • A good starting point is that of interested curiosity. Too much investment in an outcome may decrease the value.
  • Set realistic, achievable goals.
  • Meet for no more than 15-20 minutes. If you need more time, schedule another coaching session.
  • Present a clear, concise image of your business (write down some key points before your meeting).

Monday, September 12, 2011

What Makes a Successful TEAM Member

by Cory Newman

Coaching Sessions -
You should do a “Coaching Session” with every member of your chapter. If you have, then do it again! Businesses change, families change, our focus changes. Successful referral partners know, understand and like one another. This can only be achieved by meeting outside of the structured meeting.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Taking Your TEAM Membership to the Next Level

by Rayleen Kerr

One of the best ways to take your TEAM membership to the next level is through “Coaching Sessions”. Unfortunately, I think Coaching Sessions are one of the most "'underutilized" tools available to TEAM members to help them market their businesses within TEAM!

How do you do Coaching Sessions?

1. Create a Coaching Sessions Target list. I always recommend you start with your “Power Partners” first and go on from there. You should be consistently meeting with members regularly. By the time you have had a coaching session with every member in your chapter it will be time to do another one because your goals are constantly changing!
2. Meet one–on-one for coffee, lunch, or dinner outside of your TEAM meeting. If phone calls are easier for you, great! They can be literally 15 to 20 minute phone calls. Skyping is even an option, whatever works best for you and your calendar. Once you have mastered doing Coaching Sessions in your chapter I would even recommend utilizing them with clients, Power Partners and other business professionals outside of your TEAM Chapter.
3. Set goals on how many Coaching Sessions you would like to do in a certain time frame. Start small if you need to and build from there. If it’s one to two in a week - great, whatever you think you can handle.
4. Set goals within the Coaching Sessions themselves. Share with your Coaching Session partners what goals you have set for your business and how they can help you to reach them. If a clear picture is presented on how you can help each other, the results should be more referrals for one another!

Why do you do Coaching Sessions?

1. Coaching Sessions is an opportunity to have one-on-one time with a member of your chapter. This is important because you now have their undivided attention. Remember during your chapter meeting if you are in a group of twenty then their attention gets divided up between those twenty people and also that is not really the opportunity to brainstorm one-on-one on how you can help each other reach your goals. Having your Coaching Session partners undivided attention will definitely help when talking about your business and hearing about theirs!

2. Educating the members of your chapter outside of your weekly TEAM meeting will help you to get to know them and their goals even quicker. The more time you put in to strengthening your relationships with them will typically yields better results. Remember they are your sales force, it’s up to you how educated about your business they are!

3. Networking on a regular basis or between your weekly meetings does not come easily for most, the task is easy but getting out of your comfort zone is not. Coaching Sessions are a great way to teach you that you should be thinking about your TEAM Members and how you can generate referrals for them all week long not just at the your weekly meeting!

The Results?

The Results from doing Coaching Sessions regularly are simple, the Information that we need to refer each other business is current and fresh in our minds. It also results in better stronger relationships in less time! The results, more referrals!!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Getting to Know Your Networking Partners

by Kelli Holmes

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!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

What is a "Coaching Session"?

by Kelli Holmes

TEAM Referral Network recommends each member of your chapter meet with a different member each week(or as often as possible), to get to know one another and to take your networking partnerships to a higher level. Get together for coffee, lunch, or whenever convenient! Set goals (in writing below) as to what you want to share with your fellow member and take notes from your networking partner during the meeting. At the meeting, use the time effectively, so that each of you can share information about yourselves and your businesses.

Getting to know your networking partners will help you be able to give more referrals and receive more and better referrals.

Information to exchange during a coaching session:
  • What does your business have to offer?
  • Who is your target market? Who is your ideal Power Partner?
  • What other organizations for your belong to?
  • What education and training do you have?
  • What is your ideal referral?
  • What sets you apart from your competition?

Remember, the goal of a Coaching Session is to discover how you can give more quality referrals to your networking partner.