Thursday, December 29, 2016

Referrals the #1 marketing action

http://dawnwesterberg.com/2016/10/04/referrals-the-1-marketing-action-that-will-make-2016-a-success-for-your-business/

Most everyone is at least thinking about their 2017 business plan. What will be the key marketing activities you will rely on to make 2017 a more profitable year? As you list these activities is there a creeping sense of déjà vu? You’ve dutifully made marketing plans in the past, but the business gets in the way of focused, committed follow through. Trust me, you are not alone.

Referral Marketing Should Your #1 Marketing Commitment in 2017

The key is to prioritize those activities and decide, come what may, which activity will be the priority. If only one thing gets done it will be…what? I recommend that the one thing is a commitment to developing referral relationships. What I mean by referral relationships is a proactive plan to identify, communicate with, and seek to uncover business opportunities with people who can provide you with referral business.

DIY Referral Marketing

We all love referrals.

When a prospect is referred to us, we enjoy a sort of trust transference. The prospect has a solid, satisfied relationship with the person referring us. Their thinking is along the lines of “Bob has taken good care of us, so if Bob thinks these guys will do a good job helping us with ERP software (or whatever your product and service offering is), we’ve probably found a good service provider.”

The referred prospect is already predisposed to us:  confident that we can do the job.

Like us, like everyone, the prospect’s time is valuable. There aren’t enough hours in a day. There is more to do than time to do it in. As a result, being referred can mean a fast-forward past the buyer stages of Know, Like and Trust, straight to the “Try, Buy” stages. This means a shorter sales cycle. And very likely, it means a lower cost of sales.

When we are referred, the competition doesn’t have the benefit of the trust transference. (If there is any competition.)

I am always amazed at how often being referred results in the prospect bypassing the evaluation of other service providers. I believe this occurs because of the time + trust transference effect. The person making the referral is trusted enough to substitute for due diligence and the prospect can use the time he would have spent evaluating other services providers on more business-critical activities.

You’ve probably experienced what I’ve described. Usually when I asked business owners where their closed business comes from, the answer is referrals. There may be a few deals that come from a webcast or an event they attended. There may also be the occasional deal that comes from direct mail or email marketing. But the lion’s share of closed business seems to come from referrals.

So why don’t we spend more time developing referral partners in order to increase the number of referrals we get?

Let me suggest that 2017 is the year you get serious about referral marketing. Here is a very simple 4-step plan that anyone can put in place.

  1. Identify who can refer the type of prospects that need your products and services.
  2. Pick 5 and list them in the first column of a spreadsheet. Across the top, list out the months of the year.
  3. Each month, communicate with the referral partner. The point is to stay top of mind, so that when they are talking to a prospect or customer and the prospect/customer communicates a need for your products and services – you’ll be top of mind.
  4. Look for opportunities to refer business to these 5 contacts. Nothing keeps you top of mind as effectively as helping your referral partner close business.

It’s really quite simple. But it may not be easy.

Step 1.... Download Referron and update your profile 

I work with business owners to implement plans like the one above. Getting started is the hardest part. Maintaining the momentum of regular communication is crucial. “I just didn’t have time this month” is the number one cause of failure. However, when business owners make the time – decide that this is the one thing they will make sure happens – the results are energizing. There are more qualified opportunities (adds to the pipeline). There is more revenue coming into the business. Typically, referral customers are happier customers – so you have more reference sources and case study candidates.

Consider this: if you could double the number of referrals received, what would it mean for your business? If you could triple the number of referrals received, how much more would it mean for your business?

A little regular attention to your referral partners can go a long way. In fact, a 2X or 3X increase is a conservative forecast were you to commit to working your referral partners. This is why, if there is only one activity that can get your full commitment, make your commitment to referrals.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Schedule the risk of failure - and see yourself soar

If you look at the performance statistics of all great performers, most universally experience more losses than their reputations would suggest. Their failures show them their limits. Without some failure no one really knows what they’re capable of. If you're not failing periodically then your playing was too deep in the safety zone. Schedule the risk of failure and you’ll probably be surprised at what you’re capable of.  

Onward and Upward!

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Why good facilitation is like magic

Chris Pearse - the corporate magician from London has nailed the art of Facilitation. I have seen such powerful outcomes happen with the help of a brilliant facilitator. 

 Some of my work is Facilitation, which I describe as enabling a Meeting of Minds.

Sometimes it works like Magic. By that, I mean that good things just happen, without being prompted, engineered or managed.

After many years of doing this, I notice that the less structure, management, intervention and expectation there is, the more Magic happens. And a bit of chaos now and then does no harm.

And I've concluded that the Magic is there all the time, on tap, ready to transform, inspire, create, energise, clarify and unite, at the drop of a hat.

All we have to do is to get out of its way. 

So my advice to anyone asked to facilitate a meeting is to get out of the way and let the Magic do its stuff.

Here's how:

  • Do not agree to any outcomes other than an opportunity for good conversation
  • Arrange for all discussion to be held in small teams of 3-5
  • Any plenary communication is for feedback, clarification, not debate
  • Get rid of tables and as much technology as possible - use flip-charts
  • Do not take any responsibility, whatsoever, for any of the conversations
  • Do not overrun - stick to timings
  • Take all warnings about particular individuals with a pinch of salt

How will you know if it worked?

  1. People will leave with more energy than they arrived with
  2. It will feel like the beginning of a conversation, not the end

A word of warning - they will not necessarily associate the successful meeting with your facilitation, they will put it down to their own brilliance. That's part of the Magic.

Good Luck!

I'm Chris Pearse - the Corporate Magician. I work with Directors, Boards and Teams on Leadership Revival and Business Renewal, across all sectors including FTSE100s and SMEs. I also publish a daily aphorism.

Written by

The go-giver - Sams advice to Joe

 
"The thing that turned me from being a very average financial planner to the best was my network" 

"Now by a network I don't necessary mean your customers and clients.I mean a network of People who know you, like you and trust you. They might never buy a thing from you, but they've always got you in the back of their minds."

He leaned forward and said with more intensity

"They're people who are personally invested in seeing you succeed, y'see? And of course, that's because you're the same way about them. They're your army of personal walking ambassadors"

"When you've got your personal ambassadors, you'll have referrals coming your way faster than you can handle them"

How do you build that network of klt ambassadors 

Don't keep score

The 3rd law of stratospheric success is to watch out for the other guy , have his/her back , have their interests at heart.

"Genuine generosity" 
"Your influence is determined how abundantly you place other people's interests first"







Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Wash, Rinse, Repeat

Thank you so much Dr Jeff Spencer for being in my corner! 

Wash, Rinse, Repeat

I once heard a motivational speaker give a lecture about goal setting. He opened with simple advice: If you have trouble setting goals, start off with something easy like “I’m going to wake up tomorrow morning.” A goal everyone can achieve. Wake up the next day and boom. Done. One success under your belt before you get out of bed. No preparation, no work. All you do is go to sleep.
 
The great thing about that goal and the little piece of success attached to it—despite the fact it was clearly a dumbed-down metaphor used as an icebreaker—is that it’s one hundred percent repeatable.
 
Success in life is rarely so simple. To achieve something great, it often takes weeks, months, or years of planning and hard work. You go through phases of trial and error. You take two steps forward and one step back. You try this, you try that.
 
You push that boulder up the mountain.
 
Then one day you get there. You make it. You’re elated. Proud, relieved, and probably exhausted all at the same time. You shed tears of joy, you let out a huge whoop and do your special end-zone dance to celebrate. The flood of emotion makes all the hard work worthwhile. You celebrate with drinks or a nice dinner, then move on.
 
You forget about the trials, tribulations, and travails that got you there—and that’s a mistake.
 
Why?
 
Because the next time you’re faced with the same situation, the chances are you forgot the granular details of how you created that original success.
 
Pat Yourself on the Back—Then Debrief
 
Celebrate your achievement. You deserve it. But before too much time passes, go back over everything you did to get there. Too many people skip this crucial step. They end up recreating the wheel when they face similar situations in the future. They waste precious time and energy, and often fail to recapture the magic of that first success.
 
You can avoid this common pitfall.
 
How?
 
When you accomplish something great, you’re not done. Take time to internalize it. Not just the feeling of success, but the process you went through to get there. Make it part of who you are, deep in your bones. Embed it in your nervous system. Burn it into your muscle memory. Encode it in your psyche. Save it on your organic hard drive so you can call it up any time you like.
 
The next time you face a similar situation, you’ll know exactly what to do. You’ll save energy and nail it with workman-like efficiency. It’ll be even easier than achieving the goal that corny motivational speaker led his lecture with. No falling asleep or waking up involved.
 
It’ll be easy as shampoo: wash, rinse, repeat—success.

Onward and upward,

Monday, December 19, 2016

LinkedIn in 2016 - your numbers don't lie

 

Ever wondered what else goes on in here and whether there are numbers or data that could show you the light towards a more prosperous 2017 for business. Check some of these interesting data facts:

There are 433 million registered Linkedin users - YES, they play in business, but this IS NOT a B2B platform. There are 433 million PEOPLE so it's a P2P or Professional-to-Professional platform. 

40% of users check LinkedIn daily - they 'check' daily, but not necessarily active. If you need to communication with a connection, pick up the phone, or email directly, otherwise your message may go unanswered for a LONG time.

70% of LinkedIn users being based outside of the US - there is a world outside of the US. The same principles apply in business, no matter how big the playground, you still need to be active to attractive interest back to you.

A professional photo makes your profile 14 times more likely to be viewed - behaviourally, 73% of people are 'visual' beings, as such, we relate better to what we SEE. Like the saying goes, "A picture paints a thousand words", same goes for a photo.

People who list skills on their profile get 13 times more views - plus, the first time visitor to your profile will be asked to 'endorse' you for your key skills. That then adds important profile keyword data to your profile. Good for ranking!

Males make up 56% of LinkedIn's users - does this mean that men are more likely to do business with you on LinkedIn? 

The average user spends 17 minutes per month on LinkedIn - PER MONTH, WOW! So if 40% come in daily, they only stay for less than 30 seconds. And with the speed that your News Feed scrolls, there's a pretty good chance that your connections will NEVER see what you post as it will be lost before they ever come back in. Great content, but Never seen! Shame!

The average CEO has 930 connections - 930 useful or useless connections. Are they PEERS (suspects) or PROSPECTS. Yes, surround yourself with other professionals, but they will never buy from you. If you just want around you those who will 'take your business', then go ahead. Why not build your community full of those who WANT what you have to offer?

Asia has over 109 million registered users, and the UK at 20 million - so, where is your market?

13% of LinkedIn users do not have a Facebook account - However when you export your connections and create a Facebook marketing campaign, around 40% of the email addresses listed against the LinkedIn profile are connected to a registered Facebook page. What does that mean? If you have 1,000 connections, if you run an ad in Facebook to target your Linkedin connections, you're likely to be able to target approximately 400+ of your connections directly via that platform.

59% of LinkedIn users don't use Twitter - when your connections play inside Twitter or Facebook for that matter, they have a different purpose. They're more related and more social, in LinkedIn, the suit is on and they're on point for business. Different purpose, different platform. Get that purpose right!

IT and Services is the most represented industry on LinkedIn - How big is your community? Who's your target? If you could have the best 12 months on LinkedIn, what would you need to do differently in 2017?

Career Management is the most popular long-form post topic - Remember, LinkedIn started as a Networking and Recruitment platform. Yes it's a great source of data for your next 'hire', but from a perspective of growth, community engagement, influence, lead generation and more, there is NO OTHER PLATFORM for business like it.

So, what do you need to do differently on LinkedIn in 2017 that will help you and your business to grow?

For more information - www.theinfluencerproject.com 

Written by

Friday, December 16, 2016

10 laws of effective networking

One of the most common ways to increase your influence  from successful people is to become a master networker. 
But it doesn’t always come naturally. Below are 10 pointers to help you get massive value from networking and help you grow your business 

  1. RESEARCH and prepare before the event. ask for a list of people who are going to be there, and connect with them in linked in. Make notes on things that you have in common - to do - download linked in and be proficient 
  2. ICEBREAKERS - Come up with a few standard questions as ice breakers. Seek common ground. What are your common interests. The key is to develop a strong relationship. Referron is a great way to start a conversation - find out what they need and think of someone in your network who you know like and trust and refer them to that person. An immediate value add! - download Referron and be proficient in using it 
  3. GIVE BEFORE YOU GET. Successful networkers goes beyond thinking, “What’s in it for me?” to ask “How can I help?” Who can you refer that person to - make that Referral - do it with Referron within 3 taps of the phone.
  4. LISTEN with intent - be present. The key to networking is NOT to make sure the other person knows everything about you, but rather to make sure that you know more about what they do 
  5. DEVELOP YOUR ELEVATOR PITCH. Who are you and what can you offer? What is your personal value proposition and how you can add value to others in 30 -60 seconds . to do - change your mindset - join a BBG forum
  6. ASK TO BE INTRODUCED. Is there someone you know that can introduce you to the person you’re hoping to connect to? A personal introduction makes it easier. 
  7. PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT. Practice your networking skills whenever you can. The lift, the office kitchen, a friend’s BBQ or your local BBG chapter. All offer a great chance to build your confidence. 
  8. FOLLOW UP. Networking is only the start of the conversation. Send a quick email or connect on LinkedIn within 48 hours of attending an event, and arrange a coffee meeting.  
  9. STAY CONNECTED. Maintaining your job network is just as important as building it. Email them or message them on social media regularly. Email marketing, in my opinion is still the most  effective . Become proficient at emarketing - (contact me and I will refer you to the best emarketing system )
  10. SOCIAL MEDIA - Referron, LinkedIn and Twitter to build your network. Be sure to keep your profile up to date and stay active. Write a regular blog and share it with your audience. Create an account on Blogger! 

BBG trains you to be proficient in the above skills. Join me at the next BBG forum as a guest to see how we roll . Www.bbg.business/events 

Thursday, December 8, 2016

The Greek Bailout Explained

Sparkmag: The Greek Bailout Explained: It is a slow day in a little Greek Village. The rain is beating down and  the streets are deserted. Times are tough, everybody is in ...

6 ways to boost your referral network and stay ahead of the pack


 

BBG Sydney Christmas Party


1. Develop a spirit of generosity


A major source of generating business is through the networking landscape, which is full of professionals all handing out their business cards pitching their business.


It's no wonder very little business usually comes from this , because everyone is selling and no one is buying! 


People can build a brilliant business through networking but must focus on what others need and try to help them - with a Spirit of Generosity. 


  • Think of how you can help them
  • Identify people in your network who you can refer them to
  • Refer them with Referron xlyttgybt(www.Referron.com)


And watch the Law of Reciprocity deliver in Spades!


2. Identify key contacts. 

When networking, strategically identify people whom you can help and who can also help you, and develop an action plan on how you can build a meaningful relationship.  Meet with them one on one and invite them to your BBG chapter. 


Grow your linked in and Social Media network as a lead base to invite them to future events.


Keep in touch with them by developing a relevant blog and emailing them.



3. Find clients for your clients. 

One of the best ways to add value to your network is helping existing clients get more clients of their own.


Being  a referrer of strong connections is one of the best ways to contribute to your clients' bottom line and stay ahead of the competition.


Being a useful resource to your connections can help you grow your business by building trust and driving a noticeable increase in profit for both you and your clients.


Value is built from your network over time! 


4. Create a BBG Chapter 

Once you've identified individuals who would make a powerful chapter of up to 30 non-competing professionals, create a BBG Chapter that will meet once a month for 3 hours hosted by a professional facilitator, with the objective of getting to know like and trust each other.


This will increase the chances of

A. Doing business with each other

and

B. Them referring you to their network because they know like and trust.


If I sit with you for 3 hours a month , and I get to understand your business and how you can add value to me and/or my network, the likelihood of us doing business together and me referring you business is good! 


This chapter should become the main focus of your ongoing networking efforts so you can reach the people who will have the most impact on your business. 


It is obviously OK to have connections outside this group, but these individuals are less of a priority for cultivating a relationship with.


5. Host your own events.

Creating your own series of events where you can bring together members of your BBG chapter and their guests  for a lunch or event that will facilitate collaboration, connection, education and growth, leading to business opportunities, continued visibility for you and goodwill among attendees.


Regularly hosting of events can help you become the centre of your network.


6. Strike while the iron is hot

Using the right tools can be a powerful way in helping you better curate and catalog the people you know. 

 


Collaborative and referral software tools help companies evaluate “who knows whom” and “who knows what” and understand the full scope of the groups capabilities. 


The combination of collaboration and referrals  is a powerful cocktail, and at the end of the day,  successful selling is about developing strong relationships with people you know like and trust.


Be sure to be a part of the BBG community (www.bbg.business) and download the app Referron, which enables you to easily refer,  track measure and reward referrals within 3 taps! (Www.referron.com )



Friday, December 2, 2016

How to nail LinkedIn

Linked in has over 400 million members, and in Australia alone, almost 30% of the entire population uses LinkedIn; that’s a whopping 7 million people!
To build credibility, you need to build connection and trust with people who will see you on social media, and be assured that every person you deal with is likely to google you and check out your profile and activity on linked in .
First impressions are vital and below are Daniela Cavalletti's  top 7 tips to making you a linked in guru!
  1. Tyopos
Typos are painful. They are one of the fastest ways to erode trust, quick smart.
TO DO: Proofread, proofread, and proofread your profile once more.
  1. Photo
You have no photo? Bad. You’re not the only one in the photo / are all fuzzy / are wearing sun-glasses / having a jolly good time at the pub? Also bad. Adding a quality photo makes it 14 times more likely that you’re found.
TO DO: Your photo can show some personality, but make sure you are looking into the camera, wear appropriate (for your business) clothing and it’s a recent shot.
  1. Professional Headline
The headline (under your name) is one of the first things any reader of your profile will notice. When you update roles in the ‘Experience’ section, this will update automatically, so keep an eye on it.
TO DO: Customize your professional headline with keywords you want to be found for.
  1. Summary
The summary is one of the main sections visitors to your profile will read. So not having one, writing it in the 3rd person, or as if you’re looking for a job when you’re trying to attract clients isn’t a good look.
TO DO: Write an informative summary in the first person, ensuring you highlight your key values and, yes, the benefits your business offers. Make me feel connected with you.
  1. Testimonials
Asking for a LinkedIn recommendation is often chucked into the ‘too hard’ basket, because it takes a bit of creativity and follow up to get a time-poor client to write a testimonial. You are throwing away a super-charged opportunity: this is someone else telling the world they should trust and hire you!
TO DO: Create a friendly, short message when asking for a recommendation. Make it less scary by not mentioning ‘testimonial’; ask how you did instead. Send it to your clients (and staff, suppliers and ex-colleagues) with a personalized headline. And don’t forget to post the recommendation on your profile once you’ve got it!
  1. Be Yourself
Even if you do all of the above you may not stand out enough amongst 400+ million fellow members.
TO DO:
  • Personalize – upload a relevant background image; create your unique URL; list the causes you are passionate about; visually break up the profile
  • Use multimedia – work samples, video testimonials, projects you’re involved in
  • Sweat the small stuff – write proper job titles; ensure you pick the LinkedIn URL when adding a company; properly complete your contact details; add skills, courses, etc.

  1. Connect
Is your profile just sitting there, idle? It’s time to get active and start sitting pretty.
TO DO:
  • Been networking? Invite your new connections.
  • Who’s viewed your profile? Invite/message them if you sense a good business fit
  • Find and join relevant LinkedIn groups: alumni, places your clients/suppliers hang out
  • Share – post interesting stuff on your profile, on Pulse or in your groups
  • Say ‘thank you’ when people connect with you, and respond when members leave comments on your posts

Failure

Here's your Cornerman's Insight

Failure is your mentor and friend. It’s a shortcut to your bigger future. Failure shows us exactly what to do to get it right. And, once we’ve gotten it right we’ll never forget how to get it wrong again. Thank failure for  being that friend that’s always there and won’t let you get away with anything.  


Onward and Upward!