Saturday, September 18, 2010

Bigger Than Life

This week, we talked about target market in class and how once you know who your target market is then you know who can refer you to your prospects.
Several people in the class had very similar target demographics, that being women in the 40 - 60 age bracket. I asked Certified Networker student, Stas' Krukowski, sales person for Yark Automotive, if women of that age purchase sports cars. He said, "No, Debby, you are different than most with your Mini, because most women want an SUV."

I informed Stas', that my Mini has the Jack Russell mentality. It thinks it is a SUV!

I guess you had to be there!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Cookie Monsters

Today I taught the fourth session of the Certified Networker class in Findlay, OH. We had just started the second half of the class when a bag of cookies was delivered to us from the local coffee shop, Coffee Amici. You can imagine the comments around the table. "Wow! Is she ever a smart marketer." I had to agree, that co-owner of the shop, Lynne Calvelage is a very creative marketer.

After class, I dropped over to the shop to thank Lynne for her very special gift.

This is what I found out.

While the cookies did come from the coffee shop, they were ordered anonymously by someone else. Lynne said that she couldn't tell who they were from, but that it was a good friend of mine.

While I'd like to be able to thank the person, I am OK with that person remaining nameless. What it does is to make me smile about several different people in my life and to think about how remarkable they are. Also, if you think about it, this person also made Lynne look good, by ordering the cookies from the shop. All the way around, it was a really, really thoughtful gift. It touched many many people in a very positive way.

When was the last time you were able to make such a splash with a gift?

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Waiting and Waiting and Waiting

Recently I was introduced to a new person at a networking event. To make it easier I will call this person Jon. I was interested in what Jon does, so I asked if he would like to meet for coffee so I could find out more. He agreed and the appointment was set.

The day arrived and I had scheduled an appointment before and one afterJon. I'm sure you know where I'm going with this -- he stood me up. And of course, I had not yet had time to enter the information from his card into my system, so there I was with no way to call him. I just had to cool my heels.

A couple days later - 4 to be exact - as I was reviewing my week, I realized that I had not heard from Jon. Now, I was worried that I was the one who made the mistake and had kept Jon waiting for me someplace else or some day else. Falling on my sword, I emailed an apology to Jon.

What came back was a little puzzling. No, it was not my fault. His schedule had gotten changed and he was not able to keep the appointment.

And he waited almost a week to tell me that?????

I'm sure he is a very nice person, but Jon has dug a very deep hole for himself. His credibility with me is zero -- and that is being nice.

What's your thought on this. Am I being too harsh?

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Referral Rates

As members of referral sharing groups, we all want to have the thrill of passing referrals each time the group meets. What is challenging is to figure out how to develop those very referrals.

Here are five ideas that might contribute to the solution of this problem:

1. Take notes of the referral requests each week. My brain is a sieve, so I would not remember what everyone wanted without my written notes. Also, what is really important to observe is that those members who are specific in their requests make it easier for you to help them.

2. Set an appointment with yourself outside of the meeting time each week to review and to react to the requests. It is my experience that I can develop two or three qualified referrals by doing this. Just think if everyone did it!

3. While you may not know the person your member wants to connect with, someone in your network might. Don't be afraid to ask for help. Reassure this person that if they lend a hand that your member will make them look good.

4. Use social media to develop referrals. Tim Saddoris, owner of Info Stream Solutions, gives this suggestion. If you don't know the name of the owner of a company, you can find out. Open the Google browser. Type in "(business name)" owner. For example it would look like this; "ABC Auto Parts" owner. If this person is mentioned in websites, blogs or periodicals, the name will show up. This is especially helpful when your member makes a more general request.

5. Sometimes websites will list the names of all the staff of an organization. If you don't know the top person, scan through to find out who you do know. Make a connection with this person and ask if they would be willing to help. Going in the side or back door might be the only way to gain the referral.

The above five steps are guaranteed to turn you into a hero in your referral group. And then you can encourage each member to employ the same five steps so that they can help you more easily.

Any other suggestions?