Saturday, January 23, 2016

Sharing An App & System To Grow Your Business & Increase Your Profits Through Relationship Building!

What Is Referral Networking? Referral Marketing Is Relationship Marketing Too!

In Masters of Sales (Entrepreneur Press; September 2007), BNI Founder, Ivan Misner wrote a piece entitled “The Truth about Relationship Selling.”  

He mentions in the piece how Dr. Harry Olson, author, speaker, and executive coach, helped many understand that the key to relationship selling lies in one’s ability to build relationships. 

Dr. Olson stated:

“Relationship Selling works best when prospect and seller, in the course of meeting, discover a natural affinity or shared interests between them. This facilitates a common bond outsideof the business context. The sales person who can create an emotional bond with the customer has the winning edge – hands down. This requires artful skills in relationship-building.”

Naturally, Relationship Networking applies the same foundation. Those that truly want to build a firm networking foundation know that they need to nurture their future referral partner and build up a relationship with them.  However, many business people still make the mistake of assuming their phone will magically start ringing with referrals, simply because they make a habit of handing out their business card to potential referral partners. 

In reality, of course, simply handing out your business card to others is only a minuscule step in the process of Relationship Networking—you must follow up with your contacts and continually make efforts at building successful relationships with them. According to Dr. Ivan Misner in the book Business By Referral, there are five things you should get to know about anyone you wish to establish a relationship with. These five points are outlined in what’s called The GAINS Profile.

  • Goals
  • Accomplishments
  • Interests
  • Networks
  • Skills

Here are Five Tips on How to Succeed at Relationship Selling, given by Dr. Harry Olson, to supplement the five points in The GAINS Profile:

Five Tips on How to Have a Successful Networking Plan

  1. Relationship skills must be worked on by both parties.
  2. Focus on methods and actions to work together.
  3. Get to know your referral partner’s business & support team.
  4. Identify “best practices” to find qualified referrals & implement a follow up system.
  5. Find ways to help each other outside of the business setting.

Remember, building a true Networking Plan takes some effort, but the rewards can be substantial. 

Remember, it is not NET-SIT

And if you work with your NETWORK, your business will prosper.

Build relationships - that is the key to success in REFERRAL NETWORKING. 

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Thursday, January 21, 2016

The Startup Journey: Strategic Ideation

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I have an IDEA.... now what?

Firstly understand that what you have is just that – an Idea! We are all prone to having good or sometimes disruptive ideas. However, the key is the strategic orientation of that idea, where you see more to it - a vision and the ability of driving it toward executing the opportunity stream. Taking you one step closer to developing it into a viable business. 

Key pressure questions that serve as an Entrepreneurial Guide:

This framework developed by Amar Bhidé is a great high-level analysis for any entrepreneurial venture. It follows a sequential process that allows for the entrepreneur to clarify their goals, evaluate their strategies and then assess their capacity to execute those effectively.

In addition, you also need to ask yourself why you have embarked on this journey! As an entrepreneur you will know that there are calculated risks and sacrifices that come with the arduous journey. Prior to defining the goals for the Startup, spend the time to define your personal goals, as they are pivotal to this undertaking, and will assist in baselining your approach.

What is my Value Proposition?

Parallel to the Bhidé framework, it is important to create and define a compelling Value Proposition. Current approaches aim to satisfy Consumer and Industry, where the Startup role is in determining a relative cost position and differentiation within the market.

However, whilst building for the future, I believe there is a new social imperative for Startups in this day and age, where the power of value and the sustainable advantage is based on delivering a positive impact across the board.

This conscious inquiry, utilising the above methods, aims to assist you in constructing a strategic canvas of what you are about to embark on, and the high-level processes that are to be taken in architecting your Startup.

This way your idea is more than just a perception of opportunity!

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Joe Girard’s “Law of 250” - The World’s Greatest Salesperson

Joe Girard knows how to sell cars.

In fact, he’s listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as “the world’s greatest salesman.”

To become the world’s greatest salesperson, he used what is perhaps the most underused lead-generation technique in the world. Yet it’s probably the most effective way of getting new business that there is. It gives a salesperson instant credibility with a prospective customer – making the prospect more likely to buy.

The idea came to Girard while he was attending a funeral

Let’s take a look at some of the most notable selling statistics from Girard’s 14-year (1963 to 1977) car-selling career (courtesy of Tom Sant’s book The Giants of Sales, in which Girard is profiled)…

  • In total, he sold more than 13,000 vehicles. That’s an average of six cars per day.
  • On his best day, he sold 18 vehicles.
  • His best month, he sold 174.
  • In his best year, he sold 1,425.
  • By himself, Joe Girard has sold more cars than 95 percent of all dealers in North America.
  • To make his feat even more incredible, he sold them at retail – one vehicle at a time.

Amazing. Especially when you consider that when he first applied for a job as a car salesman, no one would hire him. At the time, he was in debt and struggling to keep his family fed.

The sales manager who finally hired him at first said “No,” explaining that if he hired Girard his other salespeople wouldn’t like it because their share of walk-in traffic would be reduced. It was only when Girard said he wasn’t interested in the walk-in traffic – he would generate his own leads – that he was hired.

He quickly found that selling without access to the dealership’s walk-in traffic was more difficult than he had hoped it would be.

The first thing he did was grab a phonebook and started calling people randomly. He made some headway, but it was tough slogging.

The Funeral That Changed His Approach to Sales

It was around this time that he attended that funeral. It was a Catholic funeral. Mass cards were given out to all those in attendance.

Girard asked the funeral director how he knew how many mass cards to have printed up for each funeral.

The funeral director told Girard that the number of people attending a funeral always seems to average out to 250. So that’s how many he prints up each time.

Soon after that, Girard sold a car to a Protestant funeral director. When he asked how many people typically attend a Protestant funeral, he got the same reply: “About 250.”

When he attended a wedding, he asked the minister the same question. The answer was about 250 on the bride’s side and 250 on the groom’s side.

Joe Girard’s “Law of 250”

It was then that Girard came up with what he called the “Law of 250.”

The basic principle is that most people have about 250 people in their lives who would show up at their funeral or wedding. There are exceptions, of course. Some have more, some have less. But the average seems to be 250.

So how did he use this information?

First off, he realised that if he did a crummy job of selling a car to somebody, he could potentially lose 250 more customers.

But, more important – if he did a great job, he could gain 250 more customers.

So Girard reasoned that if he consistently built strong relationships with his customers and treated them fairly, it would make his job a lot easier in the long run.

So he set his sights on getting referrals. How did he go about it?

Here are the three main ways…

  • First, within a few weeks of selling a car to someone, he would call them up and ask how the car was running. If things were going well, he’d ask for a referral. If they weren’t, he’d fix the problem – then ask for a referral.
  • He kept a file listing personal information about each customer – such as the names of their children, what they did for a living, their birthdays, their kids’ birthdays, etc. He’d use that information to personalise his conversations with them. He sincerely cared about people, and made them feel so special they couldn’t wait to recommend him to a friend or relative.
  • Every month, year after year, Girard would send a greeting card to every customer on his list. Inside would be a simple message. He knew they’d need a new car one day, and he wanted to keep himself top of mind. He was careful not to include anything that might sound like a sales pitch. Just an anecdote, a new idea, a news story, a book review, a birthday greeting, a keep in touch note or a tip he knew they’d be interested in. (Eventually this task became so big, he had to hire someone to do it for him.) Imagine how successful Joe could have been by using the system we use? It's all about building and strengthening those relationships, just as Joe did all those year's ago.

Girard’s dedication to keeping in touch with his customers instilled in them a psychological obligation to do business with him. His customers would never even dream of buying a car from someone else.

Girard has often said he doesn’t believe in hard work. That what he does believe in is working smart. And no one approached selling cars any smarter than Joe Girard did.

No matter what product or service you sell, if you don’t have a referral and repeat-business strategy in place, you’re working too hard.

Here are a few referral-related tactics you can start using tomorrow (no matter what your industry):

1. Go the extra mile for your customers and prospects.

Do things that will make you stand out from the pack. If you see an article that you feel may interest one of them, mail it (or e-mail it, but sending something in the mail tends to have a greater impact). A good way to find appropriate articles is to set up a Google News Alert for topics you feel would interest your customers. If you think a story is relevant, send them the link.

2. Make sure your customers know about every service you provide.

If you sell Product A to someone, make sure they also know you carry Products B, C, and D. The more solutions your customers know you provide, the more likely it is that they’ll know someone who will benefit from getting a call from you.

3. Establish relationships with people who sell complementary products or services.

For example, if you sell boats, contact the local marina and introduce yourself. Tell them you’ll be referring your customers to them, and make them aware that you’d be open to any referrals from them. Plus send them a thank you in the mail when they do refer business.

4. Ask for a referral.

If you don’t ask, chances are you’ll never get a referral. Customers usually don’t volunteer them on their own. When the time seems right, say something like “Do you know anyone else I might be able to help out?”

5. Always thank your customers for their business and referrals.

Obviously, say “Thank you.” But then take it one step further. Send a thank you card or a small gift. It could lead to another referral. Use a system or service to keep in touch and show how much you appreciate and value your customers.

6. Keep your customers informed.

Let your customers know what happened when you called the person they referred you to. Offer to keep them in the loop as things progress.

Develop and follow through on a relationship building, referral and repeat-business strategy and, like Joe Girard, you’ll make more sales… and have an easier time doing it.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Refer someone to a person you know like and trust and see the law of reciprocity in action !!

A great article validating Referron 

It’s common knowledge that people buy from people that they know, like and trust.

 In order to develop the 'know, like, trust' factor, it's necessary to build a relationship, and to do that it's also necessary to have offline conversations, as well as online ones. But you know what's even more important than having a two-way conversation (versus just broadcasting on social media 


So what does meaningful action look like when building an engaged community? 

Crucial to the success of any effort to create an engaged and interactive community is collaboration

Providing value to members of your community strengthens your network as a whole and creates a strong sense of community

While this is true for all communities, those that exist largely online (on social media platforms like LinkedIn) provide far less opportunities for person-to-person contact, so there's a larger trust gap and the value that it gives its members must therefore be more tangible and easily measured. 

This is where collaboration becomes a powerful tool in the community building arsenal. 

The elements and strategies below seem like simple common sense (and they are) but there are very few people taking advantage of them to build their communities. 

Below are three key elements of collaboration on LinkedIn, which will help you to 

build trust with your connections, 
expand the size of your community
establish your authority on your topic. 

The 3 Key Elements of Collaboration 

Be A Connector Help your connections to grow their network or community and you, by extension, will also grow your own. 

Refer someone to a person you know like and trust - (use Referron - ) 

when someone you know and trust introduces you to either someone you can help, someone who can help you, or whom you both can benefit in some way, you'll feel a much higher degree of trust from the beginning of that relationship.
Such an act will also invoke the Law of Reciprocity.
Nothing makes a stronger and more genuine impression on somebody then when you give selflessly, generously and (most importantly) without the expectation of receiving anything in return.
The reciprocity you build will also make those same community members inclined to introduce you to people they think you will benefit from being connected to, growing your network in a meaningful way.
So if you know that two of your connections would benefit from being introduced to one another, reach out and introduce them. Share why you think each would benefit from knowing the other and ask for nothing in return.
Doing this will evoke reciprocity and provides your community members with significant value - and greatly increase trust.
EXAMPLE ACTION: Set a goal to introduce at least two of your connections to each other once a week (or month).


While becoming a “connector” within your network is vital, successful collaboration within a group requires additional effort and investment on your part.
One of the most impactful ways you can show your connections that you value them and are invested in their success is by looking for ways to help them achieve it.
This can be as simple as sharing a great piece of content with your community, produced by someone in your network.
Or perhaps a connection's trying to get a new job - aside from connecting them with people who might be able to help, you can also keep your eyes open for opportunities that are similar to what they're looking for. If you know them and what they do, and are comfortable doing so, you could provide them with a recommendation or endorse their skills.
These are all meaningful ways to help your connections.
And while it's always beneficial to do what you reasonably can to help someone in your community, there's nothing wrong with occasionally asking for help yourself.
By making yourself vulnerable and asking for help, you show your community that you trust and need them too. Relationships are give and take.
A quick example of this would be to ask your connections to share your blog post if they find it helpful.
This does NOT mean that you should connect with someone and then immediately ask them to do something for you.
All to often I get messages from new connections, or existing ones that I've not yet built a relationship with who ask me for favor - that's not a reasonable request at that stage of our relationship.
Before you ask your community for help, be sure that you've provided enough value and established enough of a relationship with them that they'll feel that your request is reasonable.
There are no set guidelines for what's considered 'reasonable' - this'll depend on many factors, most of which will focus on what's involved for them to provide the help and how deep and meaningful your relationship is.
EXAMPLE ACTION: Set a goal to find and share five great posts or pieces of content shared and/or created by your connections.


The chance to help your connections will not always come, so don’t wait for opportunities to collaborate or help them, create opportunities.
This is especially important if you're working to build your authority on your topic.
Within your own community, look for ways to work together and support each other. Examples of this might be by creating a LinkedIn Group where all members are encouraged to ask and answer questions or provide feedback to other members.
Outside of your existing community, look for collaboration opportunities with other experts who provide complimentary products or services, which your community might find helpful. These types of collaboration opportunities vary and can be based on a single project or event or be long term in nature.
As well as aiding your own community by introducing them to someone who can help them (in an area that you don’t), there's also the chance to be introduced to the community of the person you are collaborating with. This is a fantastic way to expand your reach and gain credibility.
There must be value for all partners and it's important to clearly identify the the goals, metrics, roles and benefits for both parties when establishing new collaboration opportunities.
These opportunities can take the form of:
  • Strategic Alliance – when two or more people/companies work together to pursue an agreed upon goal while remaining independent of each other. For example, if you worked with another expert to co-run a podcast, create a training program or a live-streaming show.
  • Joint Venture Partner (JVP) – when two or more people/companies come together to form a temporary partnership for the purpose of completing a specific event or project. For example, when a group of related experts get together to run a tele-seminar or conference.
  • Referral Partner – a person/company that sends relevant prospective leads to you, and you to them, because you offer complimentary services to similar audiences. For example, if you’re a copywriter you might set up a referral partnership with a graphic designer or website company.
EXAMPLE ACTION: Set a goal to find and approach at least one potential referral partner a month.


As I explained in my earlier article, LinkedIn Currency: Calculating The Value of Your Network, understanding and implementing the 3 C’s of LinkedIn Currency is crucial to your success in building a strong and valuable network, and understanding the actual value of that network in measurable and unmeasurable ways.
We examined the three key elements of Community in LinkedIn Currency: Build an Engaged & Profitable Community that you must include when building a network that will be engaged and wants and needs what you have to offer. In my next article, we'll look into why none of the other aspects of LinkedIn Currency can achieve maximum success without the final C, Commitment.
Would you like to significantly impact the size of your expanded LinkedIn Network? Send me a PERSONALIZED connection request mentioning this article (it is very unlikely I will accept your request if it is not personalized!). By doing this you will greatly expand you 2nd and 3rd degree networks.
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Saturday, January 9, 2016

Referring best women speakers