- Do not sell or talk too much about yourself at networking meetings. Your goal is to build your sphere of influence by meeting new people who will educate you and become solid resources for your clients and pillars. This is not the time or place for a sales presentation.
- The best way to get something from networking is to give something. Do not expect to get leads when you never give others leads. Networking is like any relationship: You get out of it what you put in it.
- Listen and ask the magic questions, “Susan, who is a great prospect or referral source for you? How can I succinctly describe what you offer to others?
- The people you meet are either: A- Potential clients or B- A source of referrals. Realize that not everyone will be a prospect. Networking is more than prospecting. It is also finding people who could lead you to potential new customers or other referral sources.
- Networking is more like farming than hunting. It takes time to cultivate and harvest. However, once the harvest season starts, you will be well compensated. We all have seen professionals come only once or twice to a group’s events and then give up because they did not receive a lead. They do not realize that they are being tested and judged by the longtime members as to their “staying power”.
- Did you miss me or am I just another number? Remember the first date you went on? You waxed the car. You put on your best clothing, shaved or put make-up on. You opened the door for the other person. You paid him or her a compliment. But after you see them a few times, the extra efforts are gone. Keep all your meetings like the first one!
- To quote Martien Eerhart, “Remember, it is net*work*, not net*eat* or net*play* or net*drink*. It takes energy and effort to make networking work for you.”
- Volunteer to be on the membership committee for trade groups of your best group of referral sources. Give of yourself and people will find a way to send you business.
- Keep track and take care of your “Super Pillars”: those who have sent you 2+ leads in your life. With enough individuals in this category, you will be set for life.
“Dave Rothfeld is a sales consultant in Florida and I enjoyed his latest sales tip on reaching out to a laid off customer’s employee” Chris Curtin
When a customer does layoffs, keep track of where everyone goes.
We sell to moving targets. There are fewer gold watches given out than ever before. That dynamic means that we should have a means of tracking our industry contacts. When someone is hit between the eyes, they always appreciate a kind word. We who are in the business know how to take hits. That is not a common trait, especially among the buying versus selling fraternity.
The person who would not return your phone calls, rescheduled or canceled appointments, and generally made your life miserable, will now join you for lunch on an hour’s notice. Make the call. Make their day in as positive a way as possible. Because you are professionally out and about, you have the industry knowledge that cubicle dwellers do not. Share that perspective. It will cost you nothing but a lunch to demonstrate a little humanity. The circle of life is much larger than many small people think it is. Widen their world a bit.
Brightening someone’s day will do wonders for your own positive mental attitude while at the same time being an excellent business practice.
Now, go out and have your best week ever!
“When you buy a company, you are not buying a building or the employees but you are really buying the customers.”
Planning of acquiring business? There are a couple of things you definitely need to know before you sign that check Here’s some tips that you need to keep in mind.
Tony Schwartz, the president and CEO of The Energy Project and the author of “Be Excellent at Anything” shared in Harvard Business Review the magic of doing one thing at a time.
Why is it that between 25% and 50% of people report feeling overwhelmed or burned out at work?
It’s not just the number of hours we’re working, but also the fact that we spend too many continuous hours juggling too many things at the same time.
What we’ve lost, above all, are stopping points, finish lines and boundaries. Technology has blurred them beyond recognition. Wherever we go, our work follows us, on our digital devices, ever insistent and intrusive. It’s like an itch we can’t resist scratching, even though scratching invariably makes it worse.
Tell the truth: Do you answer email during conference calls (and sometimes even during calls with one other person)? Do you bring your laptop to meetings and then pretend you’re taking notes while you surf the net? Do you eat lunch at your desk? Do you make calls while you’re driving, and even send the occasional text, even though you know you shouldn’t?
The biggest cost — assuming you don’t crash — is to your productivity. In part, that’s a simple consequence of splitting your attention, so that you’re partially engaged in multiple activities but rarely fully engaged in any one. In part, it’s because when you switch away from a primary task to do something else, you’re increasing the time it takes to finish that task by an average of 25 per cent.
But most insidiously, it’s because if you’re always doing something, you’re relentlessly burning down your available reservoir of energy over the course of every day, so you have less available with every passing hour.
I know this from my own experience. I get two to three times as much writing accomplished when I focus without interruption for a designated period of time and then take a real break, away from my desk. The best way for an organization to fuel higher productivity and more innovative thinking is to strongly encourage finite periods of absorbed focus, as well as shorter periods of real renewal.
If you’re a manager, here are three policies worth promoting:
1. Maintain meeting discipline. Schedule meetings for 45 minutes, rather than an hour or longer, so participants can stay focused, take time afterward to reflect on what’s been discussed, and recover before the next obligation. Start all meetings at a precise time, end at a precise time, and insist that all digital devices be turned off throughout the meeting.
2. Stop demanding or expecting instant responsiveness at every moment of the day. It forces your people into reactive mode, fractures their attention, and makes it difficult for them to sustain attention on their priorities. Let them turn off their email at certain times. If it’s urgent, you can call them — but that won’t happen very often.
3. Encourage renewal. Create at least one time during the day when you encourage your people to stop working and take a break. Offer a midafternoon class in yoga, or meditation, organize a group walk or workout, or consider creating a renewal room where people can relax, or take a nap.
It’s also up to individuals to set their own boundaries. Consider these three behaviors for yourself:
1. Do the most important thing first in the morning, preferably without interruption, for 60 to 90 minutes, with a clear start and stop time. If possible, work in a private space during this period, or with sound-reducing earphones. Finally, resist every impulse to distraction, knowing that you have a designated stopping point. The more absorbed you can get, the more productive you’ll be. When you’re done, take at least a few minutes to renew.
2. Establish regular, scheduled times to think more long term, creatively, or strategically. If you don’t, you’ll constantly succumb to the tyranny of the urgent. Also, find a different environment in which to do this activity — preferably one that’s relaxed and conducive to open-ended thinking.
3. Take real and regular vacations. Real means that when you’re off, you’re truly disconnecting from work. Regular means several times a year if possible, even if some are only two or three days added to a weekend. The research strongly suggests that you’ll be far healthier if you take all of your vacation time, and more productive overall.
A single principle lies at the heart of all these suggestions. When you’re engaged at work, fully engage, for defined periods of time. When you’re renewing, truly renew. Make waves. Stop living your life in the gray zone.
There is much debate over whether or not extending net terms to customers is a smart practice for small businesses. There is risk involved, with providing a service or product and trusting the customer to pay you back at a later, specified date. Some say it is harder for small businesses to monitor their credit department, as they don’t have the tools like Fortune 500 companies, but thanks to emerging technologies, handling their customers’ payments is easier than ever. The truth remains that, if your business model supports the practice, extending credit opens immense opportunity for your small business.
In today’s entrepreneurship, you are either succeeding or failing. Your business might be the next Apple, or it will be a dud.
Being an Educated, Experienced, Creative Professional (EECP) is not enough to survive a start-up. While there is a kind of rapid growth is the entrepreneur’s dream, it also creates problems and requires the difficult transition from having a great idea to making it happen. What will help you is to take a small, “smart step” toward something you desire to achieve.
Here are some hard-won lessons from INC Magazine for start-up survival which are worth more than a read—you might actually want to print them out.
Since Bankers Advocate has Virtual Offices with teams members in Orlando, South Florida and the Philippines (Jessie and Rachael, our wonderful Virtual Assistance), we thought you would be interested in the tools we use to be in the “Cloud” and communicate with each other effectively:
- Google Hosted Email- At $50 per user/year, we switched to a hosted cloud email via Google Apps. It is very smart phone friendly, spam has been reduced and it syncs well with our CRM (see the next product).
- Capsule CRM- Our Customer Relationship Manager (CRM) is Capsule CRM. We picked Capsule for it’s low cost ($12/month per user), ability to link with individual twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook accounts, Email centric, and it’s seamless integration with Google Hosted email. For instance, every email we receive will show at the bottom whether that individual is already in our CRM and if not a new record can be created with a button click.
- Virtual Assistance from 123Employee- We have used Virtual Assistance from 123Employee for almost a year now and it has allowed our business to become much more efficient by adding or enhancing telemarketing, database entree, basic research, seminar follow-up, etc.
- Websites based on WordPress- We have switched all our web sites to WordPress. The pluses of a site based on WordPress include the ease of which non programmers (most Business Owners) can upload/change everything from blogs,events,videos and link their site to Twitter/LinkedIn/Facebook.
- Dropbox- Dropbox is a wonderful tool to share files and folders to individuals and team members. You are notified immediately on your desktop when a new file or folder is added. Also 3gb is free and you get more space as your clients or friends share the tool.
This has been a brief introduction to some of the tools we use to keep in touch and freely communicate with our far flung team members. Please contact Chris Curtin at 561-882-1331 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
“This is a great article from sales consultant, Dave Rothfeld”
Why do political incumbents get re-elected over 90% of the time? Because once you have the position, it is hard to get unseated. The same thing is true about the relationship between your prospect and their current vendors/providers. It is hard to unseat them. Too often we get used in a selling process by providing free consulting to these already spoken-for prospects (think price comparison offers and market scan reports). Avoid this by identifying earlier on if a prospect is the real deal.
What to do?
Ask these questions to a prospect when you know that the current provider has survived at least one challenge or more to unseat them in the past:
1) What has changed since the last time you considered replacing your current provider that makes it more likely you will change now?
2) What performance threshold would need to be met for you to realistically trade out your current provider?
If there isn’t a clear reason for change or an established threshold, they are not likely to be a prospect from which you can profit. Avoid this by identifying if a prospect is the real deal early on.
“Reprinted with permission from “Creative Sales + Management, Inc.”
Something has turned. Private Equity and strategic buyers are looking for deals with plenty of “fresh powder”. Business owners are itching to begin their Exit Strategy anew after the last 2 years of malaise. I am seeing more interest by both potential exiting clients and their advisors to start the process as quickly as possible.
If you or your group would like to enjoy factual and timely information on readying your business to Exit Now or in the future, I look forward to speaking to you soon.