Friday, 3 May 2019

If you are a new business just starting out into the world of contract cleaning then your immediate aim is to gather as many new customers as you can and constantly grow the business. The initial stages are hard and it is difficult to gain those first few customers. How gain you gain a foothold in this highly competitive market? Many of the marketing strategies you might employ have been explained in previous articles. One area that was not explored in these articles was networking.
As a new business you will probably receive a number of invitations to go along to various local networking organisations meetings. At these they will no doubt try and impress upon you the huge benefits to be gained by networking. You will also be told how much business was generated for its members over a period of time. All will seem very impressive and like myself you may very well be impressed enough to join the weekly breakfast or luncheon meetings. This could cost you anything up to 500 a year to be a member plus the cost of the meal or maybe as little as the cost of the meal. Some of the internet networking organisations charge a small monthly fee and then organise monthly local meetings.
When I started out into the field of commercial cleaning I was willing to try anything that might generate business so I joined a number of these organisations. So how successful was this as a means of expanding my business?
I did in fact persevere with some of these breakfast meetings for a whole year, having paid the yearly subscription it was in fact something of a necessity. However it does not take long to realise that the people who attend these meetings are not in fact your likely customers. Many of the individuals who attend networking meetings are just starting out in their business and are operating as sole traders working from home and not in any way, shape or form likely to be your potential customers. Others are well established but still operate as single entities such as business coaches and have no office as such. Others may be proprietors of shops just starting out and these are potential customers.
However you as a contract cleaning company are looking to clean offices and office complexes and these are inhabited by well established companies who do not by and large participate in local networking groups. So you are not going to come in contact with the group who are going to provide the more lucrative cleaning contracts.
I can look back on my time with these networking groups as a learning experience and we probably just about recouped our membership fees. Other than that very little long term benefit was derived from the experience. Networking it would seem from my own experience is not a path I would necessarily recommend to the start up cleaning business. Use that time period to utilise other marketing techniques which are more useful to the cleaning business entrepreneur. If you do fancy the idea of networking then you must target a different audience. That is the established businesses, and to do that you will need to join such organisations as the Chamber of Commerce where your networking will not be so overt and often done in a more sociable and relaxed atmosphere.
Network Marketing Training — Arm Your New Distributors for Success
Whether tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them.
– William Shakespeare, Hamlet, Act III, Scene i (58-90)
Hamlet may not have been talking about network marketing, but his words do apply. Almost every network marketer has experienced the slings and arrows of the naysayers, those often well-meaning friends and relatives that stand in the way of our making an outrageous fortune! Experienced network marketers, clothed in the armor of past success, are less vulnerable to outside influences. The new distributor, however, is vulnerable, and that sea of troubles can act as a barrier to reaching their true potential.
What did the knights of old do to prevent an injury? Thats right they armed themselves. Their armor was heavy and cumbersome, and they needed a squire to help them prepare for battle. Well, the same is true for your new distributors. While the armor they must use is less cumbersome than that of the knights, you must help them arm themselves for success. In other words, you must be their squire.
What do I mean by arming for success?
When a new distributor joins your network marketing organization, they are moving into an environment that demands strong armor. There are a lot of slings and arrows that can hurt their chances for success and create a sea of troubles — of doubt, disbelief, even failure.
As Rich Dad, Poor Dad author Robert T. Kiyosaki points out, most people in this world are afraid to experience success. They are held back by negative thinking, and consequently suffer the pain of mediocrity. Because they have not been armed for success, and are more focused on security and survival, they subject themselves to a life of servitude and poverty and being someone elses employee.
Arm your new distributors from negative thinking and potential disaster. How? By understanding why so many people are negative about network marketing and the prospects of the success it can bring.
Lets face it. There are a lot of people out there that do not want you to become successful. When you are successful, you point out the lack of success in their lives. When you take away any excuses theyve been hanging onto and you force them to look at their lives as they really are, it makes them very uncomfortable. Youve heard of the expression Misery loves company. Well, its true.
Doug Firebaugh, network marketing guru, calls it the “Unspoken Understanding,” which is simply the silent agreement that most people have with each other, namely don’t mention my mediocre life, and I won’t mention yours. Your success and the success of your new distributors, just points out the naysayers mediocrity.
Leaders help others. If you are going to be successful in network marketing, you must arm your new distributors against people who will try to convince them their business won’t work. Show your downline you want them to be successful. Encourage them. Show them how the most successful network marketers have achieved their success, and teach them to model those attitudes, habits, and actions. Remind your distributors that they are the CEO of their lives. Arm them with the power of positive thinking so they dont let others live their lives for them with their negative attitudes.
To paraphrase Hamlet, by opposing negative thoughts, we end them.
At a Chamber of Commerce Business Card Exchange several years ago a well-dress woman walked up to me, business card in hand and, in perfect form held it in both hands in front of me, gesturing for me to take it. I took the card from her and smiled. She looked up and in a polite voice, said “Thank you,” and walked away. How sad. Here was this obviously well-intentioned woman, who most likely owned an interesting business but never learned what to do at a card exchange. Somewhere she bought into the idea that you were suppose to hand out as many business cards in as little time as possible. Clearly, this does nothing but waste business cards. Great for card businesses, not so great for yours.
The other extreme is the person who spends the entire time at a card exchange talking to the same individual, sometimes even people from their own company. Again, this is quite unproductive. The purpose of a business card exchange is to get to meet new people in a pleasant atmosphere.
While there are many good books to help you hone your networking skills including, Sue Roanes How to Work a Room, the essence of networking is quite simple.
Businesses run on relationships. Ive always felt that everything that we do is about personal relationships and a business just gives us a playing field on which to do it.
Following that theme, growing your business is about developing and nurturing relationships and card exchanges and similar networking events are really the starting point to begin what will hopefully become a mutually rewarding relationship.
Since your time is limited, it is a good idea to spend only a short time speaking with people, especially those you already know. If you feel a resonance with someone youre talking with, make arrangements to follow-up your connection at a later date and move on to meet someone else. Im sure the shy looking person in the corner, who is probably there for the very first time, has something interesting to say. Why not go over and extend your hand.
The other big faux paus I see over and over again, are the people who approach the networking meeting with a “me, me, me” attitude. A better approach is to learn about the other person first. You then have the option of explaining how what you do might be of interest to them. This establishes a stronger platform for communications, for as speaking legend Zig Zigler says, “You get what you want by helping other people get what they want.”
Care about the other person
There are better ways to network and meet prospective business contacts. For openers, (no pun intended) people are more responsive if you first show some interest in them and what they do. There is an old clich that says we have one mouth and two ears for a reason. If you listen more than you talk, you will automatically find people more interested in talking with you and being around you.
Marketing guru, Jay Abraham, once said that “Discovery is the fuel of competitive advantage.” Get curious. Become interested in other people and what makes them tick. Really care about the other person. If you take the time to investigate, you will find that even those people who appear quite ordinary have a story to tell. If you show an interest in them and their lives, you will not only increase your chances of doing business with them but you may gain a friend as well.
How do you do that?
When you do introduce yourself, do so in a way that states the benefit of doing business with you. Saying “Hi, my name is Mary and I sell insurance” is not very exciting. However, if you were to say, “My name is Mary and I help people prepare for the uncertainty that may be in their future.” This causes the other person, if they are at all curious, to ask, “How do you do that?” At this point, you have opened the door for a further explanation or “commercial” for your business. You can go on to explain the benefits of your products and services.
As an exercise, devise three or four ways to introduce your business. Let each one focus on a different benefit of your product or service. Test each of them at your next networking event.
Remember: people do not buy products or services, they buy benefits and solutions.
The more you focus on communicating the benefits gained from using your products or services, the more you will benefit from the increase in business.
With prospecting new business becoming more and more difficult, a personal relationship is even more important and the Chamber of Commerce Card Exchange offers the perfect playground for you do it, besides the food is usually pretty good too.
In my mind, small talk basically consists of 3 phases:
-> The ice breaker
-> Get to know you better
-> Graceful exit
So lets go ahead and briefly touch on each phase and in turn give you some concrete takeaway strategies that you can apply immediately for each.
Phase 1: The Ice Breaker
So you attend a networking event you make eye contact with someone you want to meet, you approach them and introduce yourself now what?
Well having a few powerful, open-ended ice breaker questions should certainly do the trick. For example:
-> A tried and true ice breaker is the proverbial, So Jeff, what do you do? In other words Jeff, what business are you in? Now people love talking about themselves and their business so the idea here is to get them started talking. Most people also love to hear the sound of their own voice so the ice breaker question is critical and essentially sets the tone and potential for the conversation.
-> Another good ice breaker could be, So Jeff, what brings you here today?
Now notice on these sample ice breaker questions Ive repeated the persons name. First off by doing this it will help burn that persons name into my head so I dont forget it. Secondly, people love the sound of their own name so dont be afraid to use it throughout your conversation.
Phase 2: Get To Know You Better
Depending on the results of the ice breaker questions you should by now be able to determine whether or not it makes sense to get to know this person better. If not, simply skip this phase and go into your graceful exit. But if you do see a synergy here, by all means try some of these again open-ended, getting to know you better questions:
-> So Jeff, how did you get into that business?
-> What types of challenges keep you up at night?
-> Jeff, help me out here, draw me a mental picture, what does success look like for you and your business?
-> Whats new in your industry these days? Any events or trends that are shaping it?
Now you can use one, two, all of these questions, or more if the situation permits. However, be careful here not to dominate and monopolize someones time. If youre at a networking event, theres a good chance that theyre there to network and meet other people as well, so it may make sense to go to the graceful exit phase and encourage that you two get together in the near future.
Phase 3: Graceful Exit
Its vastly important how you leave a conversation as this is the last impression you make on that person. Were not looking to create any animosity here by rudely blowing someone off. The key here is as this phases title states, is to exit gracefully.
A key difference between the types of questions or statements you make in this phase as opposed to the previous two phases is that now you shift to using close-ended ones. For example:
-> Introduce the person to someone else that may be of interest to them and then politely excuse yourself. The dialogue can go something like this: Hey Cindy Id like you to meet Jeff. Jeffs in the xyz industry as well and I just felt that you two should meet. Now they exchange pleasantries and you immediately exit the conversation by saying something like, Well you two probably have a bunch to talk about. Cindy Ill catch up with you later and Jeff, it was great meeting you.
-> Another example of a graceful exit may be: I can certainly see some synergy between what you and I do. Can I give you a call next week to set up some time to talk further?
-> Or, its been great meeting you, will I see you at future meetings?
-> And lastly, wow, this is quite an event dont you think? Well we should probably keep moving it was great meeting you Jeff!
So now you’re aware of and armed with some actual strategies for the 3 phases of small talk. The key now is to get in the game and practice, practice, practice and you too can see the results you would like for your business.
Forums, groups, boards, and loops; theyre all synonymous for online locations facilitating online networking. Some are entirely public, where everyone and anyone can click to the URL, read the messages and if they have no interest in contributing, they can just lurk. Some require active participation and others require registration before members can participate. These online forums, groups, boards or loops are different from paid membership sites in that there is no cost to network at these websites.
Some are active, some are sleepy. Some are strictly for online business related topics; some allow more OT (Off Topics) and social interaction. There are forums for every imaginable topic: Entrepreneurs, International online business, Health related fields, Technology, Copywriters, Web Designers, Work at Home Moms, Programmers, Finance, Ebay, Job Seekers, Internet Marketing, Writers, Inventors and Virtual Assistants, just to barely scratch the surface of whats out there on the World Wide Web.
Time management skills need to be paramount when participating in online forums. You can very easily get swallowed up and spend hours and hours online networking with others who have online businesses, yet you miss real opportunities to get some productive work done!
From a online business standpoint, there are two areas you should consider before participating in a loop. Its always good to have a network of like-minded online business people. If youre a web designer, hang out with other designers. You can help and support each other. If youre just starting out, you can learn from the pros.
Dont get stuck though, just hanging out with your own kind. Youre not going to be very successful trying to promote your design services to other designers. This is where balance comes in. Pop into the boards, check new posts of interest, ask or answer questions, then get out. Then move onto groups who need your services or products. Who is your target market and where do they hang out? Go there. Word of caution: Do not go to these forums with the sole purpose of SPAMMING the group. Youll be tossed out on your ear quicker than you can blink if that is your sole purpose. People like to do business with people they know and trust or at the very minimum have at least heard of.
If youre trying to sell your curriculum to a group of home school parents and you just pop in, spew your sales rap all over the boards then expect any sort of return, youre missing the point of online networking. Its networking not advertising. You need to build a rapport with your other loopies. Then if a need arises and they know one of their own fellow networkers has that special skill or product, guess who theyll call first? You hope its YOU.
For starters check MSN, Google, Yahoo, AOL, and Ryze. Inside there are literally hundreds and thousands of groups just waiting for you. Start networking your way to online business success today!
Your previous customers are going to be valuable to your future business. As you get each new customer you want to network with that customer again in the future, to keep your business in their mind, and to keep them on as a walking and talking billboard for your business. The future of your business is going to evolve to include repeat customers, and referral customers, both of which are vital to the ongoing relationship of your business, the consumer, and the local surroundings of your business.
How can you network with your previous customers?
Even if your customers are online or if they are offline, you can network with your customers. A simple note, or email is going to do the trick. Ask about their day; talk with them by name, and offer advice or to continue with the conversation when they have time to chat with you. Talk with your customers about what they have purchased, or what work you have done for them. Ask if there is anything that can be done to improve the process, they went through while dealing with your business.
Network with your largest clients by taking them to lunch, or ordering them something special and having it delivered to their home. As you continue to acknowledge your largest clients, they will keep you fresh in their minds. They will tell others about what you have sent to them, and how they feel about your business. Of course, this is not done with every type of business, but with the largest buyers who are spending thousands of dollars with a particular business perhaps.
The online business is going to use newsletters, ezines, emails and coupons sent to previous customers as a method of networking and keeping in contact with previous customers. Keeping the lines of communication open with a customer, and with a previous customer is going to increase awareness of your products, and what you have for sale. This in turn is going to increase sales, one repeat customer at a time.
Never forget about your previous customers. In the offline business, and in online business you can network with your previous customers by creating mailing lists and using these mailing lists. State something along the lines of because we have done business in the past, we find that now is the time to offer you this great advantage in Networking we have, and would like to give you a special price. Yes this is still advertising, but networking at the same time because you have established a relationship with that customer already.
Networking is more than just putting your business name out there for people to find you, but it is also a part of getting to know people, who are going to spread the word about what you do, what you sell, and that are going to support you in all that you do. Networking is going to involve getting to know as many people in life as you can, and putting your business in front of those people, so they will represent your name, your business, and will tell others about what you have to offer.
If your business requires that you travel often, or perhaps you travel often to find supplies, visit relatives or just because you like it. You should make it a point to get to know those who you are sitting beside, those who are surrounding you on the plane, even those who are sitting on the bench while waiting in the airport. Make it a point to meet and greet at least one new person a day.
How are you going to get started on this?
Start the conversation by saying hello, how are you today?
Ask questions. The best way to get to know someone is to ask questions. Without asking questions, it can be difficult to carry on a conversation. Asking questions is a good icebreaker, in turn, the person is going to want to talk about their self, and where they are traveling too. You can then lead into something like, is this business trip or a personal trip? As you go on with the conversation, the person is going to ask you questions, which is where you will be able to talk about your business and what you do.
As you make it a point to get to know at least one new person a day- you are going to increase your network, which means you will increase the people that you know in life. Increasing your business network is going to be dependent on your abilities to carry on a conversation and to talk with others. Force yourself to do this. Force yourself to stick to your habit of meeting at least one new person a day. As you make this a point, you will make this a habit and in the long run, your business will thrive for it.
For those most passionate about their music, a job in music education is a natural fit. Far from being a case of “those who can’t do, teach”, those who take music education jobs are talented not only as artists but as teachers who want to pass their love of music on to another generation, to ensure that there is always music in the world.
Once upon a time, a degree in music education was seen as a ‘fallback option’- the job that would always be there if a performing or production career didn’t work out. That time is long gone now as states have cut funding for enrichment education across the country. While the job outlook for music teachers is still good, the Occupational Outlook Handbook says that jobs for musicians and teachers will grow at about average or a little faster than average rates through 2014 – school departments, private institutions and universities have the luxury of being able to be choosy about whom they hire to fill music education jobs.
One of the best ways to hear about music education jobs and openings is to establish a network of contact within the music education community. While basic networking is good, there are ways to network more effectively to concentrate your focus on finding and improving your chances of being hired for music education jobs.
Network locally.
Lucky you, you actually have three different sources of local networking that can help you narrow your job search focus. As an educator, get involved in local organizations for teachers and get your name out there. If you’ve made contacts while interning and practice-teaching, keep up with them, and ask their advice and guidance in your career path. By all means, let them and others know that you’re looking for a job in music education. Other teachers are often the first to know that one of their own is leaving.
School department contacts are invaluable.
In most cities, the school department must post vacancies internally before advertising them to the general public. Those vacancies are often posted on a bulletin board in each school within the district. Let teacher friends and contacts know that you’re looking and ask them to keep an eye out for you. Knowing that a vacancy is posted internally can give you a leg up on the competition and cue you to submit your resume and cover letter for music education jobs before they’re advertised.
Network online.
Join national and local music teachers associations online, particularly those that hold regular events, symposiums and have a discussion board. Many of them post job openings for members, and more than a few allow members to post job leads and requests for job leads on their boards. Some organizations that you might consider joining include:
Technology Institute for Music Educators (http://www.ti-me.org/)
Music Teachers National Association (http://www.mtna.org)
Teachers.net Chat boards (http://teachers.net/mentors/music/)
The National Association for Music Education (http://www.menc.org/)
Keep in mind that in networking, you get out what you put in. Don’t just join a group and start soliciting for music education jobs. Look for what you can offer – the more you become involved the more visible you’ll become and the more willing others will be to recommend jobs to you.
I have been trying to think about how I can talk about this subject and address it in a way that would be fair and balanced without injecting too much personal opinion and have decided to first talk about the types of groups and then later on be more specific. It is important to remember that you will have preferences that may not align with mine, but that each of us share a common goal in our networking. More business and possibly more friends.
So lets begin by analyzing the various types of groups. There are many different types of groups, but it is easier to categorize them by the meeting format rather than using individual categories like chambers of commerce or women’s groups.
Most groups fall under one of 4 main categories. These are Social Networking, Business Networking, Leads Groups and Networking with a Program.
Social Networking
Social networking is a part of our daily lives whether we realize it or not. Each time we attend any function that involves a group of people we are networking on a social level. Whether we are attending a charity event, going to a party at a friends house, going to a religious service, or attending an organized social networking event, we are in a networking environment.
In most cases a large part of participation in these groups is not related to business. However, there are always opportunities to meet people who could be or know prospective clients. When you attend these types of functions, it is advised to have some business cards in your pocket in case you meet someone else who is networking for their business, but remember that business networking is not the primary purpose of the function, so be very casual in the way you approach others about your business.
Social Networking Tip:
Never assume that any individual at these functions is not a good prospect for your business. You will find many opportunities there. It is just good to remember that people are there for many reasons and may not want to talk about business.
Business Networking
Believe it or not there are very few groups or organizations that are simply “business networking groups”. This category, for the purpose of our discussion is reserved for groups that do not have speakers or programs. An example of business networking would be similar to a chamber of commerce after hours. In business networking, you simply gather together with other business associates to talk about your businesses.
I find it much better to have a lot of time to talk to people about my business rather than have a brief period to talk and then have to sit down and listen to a program. This format enables you to really get to know people in the allotted amount of time. In some cases you can even do business with someone who you have met for the first time.
This format allows you to get to know people very well and sometimes helps to jump-start the relationship without having to meet for lunch or coffee at a later time. The only thing that makes this format difficult is if you are shy. For the shy individual it is sometimes not easy to just walk into a room and start talking to people they do not know.
Business Networking Tip:
Build a core contact group of people that you see at several different meetings. This will give you a broad base of contacts through these people as they are building their networks. Always get to know the “most popular people” in the room. They will often know most of the others and can help to expand your network quickly
Leads Groups
Leads groups are very structured. This is the largest segment of business networking. There are several formats to leads groups that vary in slightly different ways. In most cases the leads group involves sitting around a large table. Usually a leads group is limited to one person per industry. So if you wanted to be a part of a leads group that already has one of your type of industry, you could not join that group until there is an opening for you created by that person leaving.
Usually leads groups are about 5 to 20 persons in size. In most leads groups you are given a set amount of time to stand up and talk about your business ranging from 2 to five minutes depending on the size of the group. This is a dedicated time, no one else speaks and you take turns.
Leads groups are good for people who are shy or for those who have difficulty in a meeting with no structure. If you are a member of a good leads group, members are actively seeking referrals for other members. This can lead to a great deal of business if you consider the fact that everyone has a personal network of about 200 hundred people. This does not mean that it is the best format of meeting or not a good format, but rather it is good for you if you prefer structure.
Leads groups generally meet early in the morning or for lunch.
Leads Groups Tip:
Be sure to enable the members of your leads group to help you. Give them tools that they can carry to represent you when they encounter someone who needs your product or service. Be sure that everyone understands what you do and who your best prospects are.
Networking with a Program
A lot of trade associations and chambers of commerce follow this format. The meeting usually starts with open networking for a period of 15 minutes to an hour. It is then followed by a presentation by a guest speaker or a current member.
In this environment, you will not have much time to really get to know people unless you always attend the meetings. In most cases these meetings are best for initial contact followed up by meeting prospects for coffee or lunch. It is advised that you use a system of taking notes and qualifying prospects for later follow-up.
Generally these meetings end after the presentation and people linger for 15 to 30 minutes before clearing the room.
Networking with a Program Tip:
Get to know the leaders of the organization. In most cases they will know a great deal about the members as they work their way up the ranks into a leadership role. These individuals can be of the most help when seeking prospects or referrals.
Summary
As I said at the beginning of this article, your feelings on these definitions may vary from mine. It is important when seeking meetings to attend or groups to join that you have defined goals on what you are trying to accomplish. Be specific when setting these goals.
Remember business does not always come in the first contact or meeting. Be consistent for best results. Try to balance your networking with a combination of the types of groups and meetings that you attend. Each has it’s own unique benefits and can help you with a well rounded presence in the business community.
I am about to share with you something that I talk to people about a lot. It is focused networking.
In each business, we have a target market or the perfect prospect. If you have been in a particular business for any length of time, you should know what type of person or business owner falls into this category for you. If not, it is time to figure out who this might be.
In networking for business it is important to have a well rounded networking schedule. You should attend many different types of groups in order to reach a broad spectrum of people. If you only attend a business after hours, you may run into several people who provide the same product or service as you. In this environment, it is important to know what makes you different from them. In most cases this is not a company thing, but a personal thing. When you have reached the point that you can relate what makes you different, you will do very well in a competitive environment.
One of the groups that you are likely to attend is a trade association. In my first exposure to networking many years ago, I attended meetings for a group that specialized in the creation of multimedia. I went to the meetings each month in the hope of building a relationship with others who might be able to help me find some work in the field. The opposite happened. I found myself in the ultimate competition. I should have been there to learn about trends in the industry and to get background information of my competitors, there was literally no work to be had in an environment with all of my competition!
What happens if you attend the trade association meeting of your target prospect? It is likely that you may be the only person in the room selling your product or service. If you do your homework before you go and discover the mission of the group, it is easier to prepare for that kind of opportunity.
In this environment, you may be sitting through a presentation by a speaker that you know nothing about, so to maximize your networking opportunity, arrive early and leave late. Talk to as many people as you can in the time that you have to network before the presentation begins. If you see someone in the group that you know, approach them and ask them to introduce you around in the room. This will help you to shortcut the process of meeting people. It also gives a friend an opportunity to refer you personally in a group of their peers.
It is important to be creative when looking for meetings to attend. Attend many, and you will have more opportunities to work with. Set a goal to visit all the types of groups at least once a month for maximum exposure and optimum contacts.
What is a leads group? Leads groups seem to be the most popular form of networking judging that comment by the fact that there are more leads groups in existence that have been around for a long time than most other types of groups.
Leads groups are often referred to as closed groups. This means that there can only be one type of a business represented in a group. Lets say that I am a web designer. In a closed group I would be the only web designer represented in the group. Other web designers would be allowed to visit, but if they wanted to join the organization they would have to find a group that did not have a web designer. If there was no opening in an existing group for a web designer, the person would have to go on a waiting list until an opening became available, or a new group was formed.
Most leads groups meet once a week. There are some that only meet once a month. Leads groups offer something that a lot of people need. Structure and discipline. What do I mean by this?
Structure – In a leads group you do not have to be a master net worker. As a matter of fact, you can be a shy person and still have success in a leads group. Most leads groups allow a given amount of time to tell other members about your business. This usually ranges from one to five minutes. In this allotted amount of time you can go into great detail about your business including describing what type of leads you are looking for. The format is usually accomplished by sitting around a large table, and a leader moderates the time and asks questions. The meetings are generally held early in the morning or at lunchtime.
Discipline – In a leads group you are expected to show up for the meetings. Theoretically, if a leads group had only 15 members and several people did not show up, it would be difficult to have a reasonable meeting. To insure against this happening most groups require that you assign a substitute when you can not attend. This substitute should be a person in the same industry as you so that the balance of the group is not affected. In this situation, if you have a tendency to miss a lot of meetings, it would not be good to join a leads group. If you miss a lot of meetings without a sub, you will be ejected from the group.
The upside? In a leads group you will get to know people very well over time and get an idea of their abilities to fulfill the needs of a referral. This is good if you do not have time during the week to meet with people one-on-one in order to get to know them. A dedicated group will provide you with a steady stream of leads that you can utilize to expand your business.
The downside? Well, sometimes the leads become a paramount obligation and people feel pressured to pass them. If they are passing leads that are just names and numbers without a true expressed need, the leads generally lead you nowhere. Another issue is a member of the group whose quality of product or service does not meet the standards that you would want to refer to someone. It is difficult to pass a solid qualified lead to someone who will not provide the kind of service that you would expect them to.
There are also a few groups in existence that are in essence leads groups. They allow freedom to go to any meeting you wish as long as you are a member. The format is the same, seated at a table, and there is usually a time limit. The problem with these groups is that people wander in and out and without a lot of time to talk individually, you still have to set appointments outside of the group to really get to know someone. Without the discipline, the freeform leads group usually does not last for a long period of time. Often these groups open and close with great regularity leaving the members to search for another meeting to attend.
In closing, I would like to add that there is no wrong or right group to belong to. Visit groups and you will find the ones that are right for you. It is often beneficial to belong to three types of groups to get the most out of your networking efforts.
Online networking web sites. Are they really networking and are they really working?
They have been springing up all over. They are based on contact management. They are direct in messaging, emailing, and even in the six degrees of separation. They go by many different names and have various methods of finding people. The problem with these sites is that they are not really networking. Do you disagree?
To be effective in networking requires building a relationship with another person. This is difficult to do through messages and email. If you have ever had a discussion with a person through email or instant messaging, I would like to ask if you ever found yourself in a situation where you had to actually pick up the phone to find out what a person was really talking about?
In relationships conversation is extremely important. The communication is key. The thing that we may not really pay attention to is the importance of tonal inflection in the voice and the added benefits of body language in expressing ourselves. These are the things that online networking is lacking.
Since the most important aspect of having a relationship with another person is based in trust, it is difficult to develop trust in someone that you have never seen nor heard. It is even more difficult to get a person to do business with you without some type of face to face contact.
With this in mind, will these web sites last or are they merely a passing craze? Are they popular simply because we are looking for success in any way that it might come to us? Time will tell.
It is my advice that if you are looking for new contacts, step away from the desk and out into the community. Online networking is less effective for getting business than it is putting your resume online to get a job. All of the people are faceless and voiceless and no one really wants to do business with an email. Or do they? With the thousands of people out there who are selling what you need, including those in your own community, how do you decide what to buy? My guess is that you end up buying most premium products and services from someone that you have met in person, even if it is just a clerk in a store. I am of course excluding buying products through an online store.
So then what is the future of online networking? You are in control of it. Please take a moment and send me your opinion of online networking. Please be sure to tell me if you have ever gotten any business from it exclusively. I am guessing that you probably haven’t and you probably won’t.
Do you have all the business you could possibly want or need? If you’re like me, you’re still growing your business. Marketing is an ongoing item on my agenda, and I’m always looking for new ways to market my services. Where do you begin the process of attracting more business? How do you get the ball rolling in the direction you want your business to be heading? Well, it’s really simple. Start planting seeds! If you can start your garden growing this spring, why not start your business growing too?
You can start by telling everyone what you do, including those people in your life you see every day. Talk to your hairdresser, dentist, financial advisor, or babysitter. You just never know who they might know who may want or need your products or services. Leave business cards with those people, so they can hand them out to others who may be interested in contacting you. That old saying that includes the line “the butcher, the baker, and the candlestick maker” may just ring true after all.
Plant seeds everywhere you go. Typical ways to market your business are fine, but the best way is by simply using word-of-mouth. “Who do you know…” can be a very powerful statement when you are talking to others about what you do or what you sell. Let your presence be known. Be creative! I have a Team 100 list of the top professionals I know. When someone either in my professional circle or my personal circle is looking for a particular service, I’m able to refer them to someone I know and trust. All of the professionals on my list are able to refer me to those they know as well. It’s a win/win situation. My name is on their list, their name is on mine, so the seed has been planted, and keeps growing.
These are just a couple of great ideas to help you get started in growing your business (if you want more business that is!). Taking some small action every day is better than doing nothing at all. Following a simple action plan consistently will most likely lead to several great opportunities down the road. Who knows? If you put in the effort, you just may find new business knocking on your door instead of the other way around.
Spring into action…and watch your business grow by leaps and bounds!
We’re all aware of how difficult it is to find business builders.
This can be tough…Even with the best recruiting techniques.
For me one of the better ways to find business builders is to Retail to Recruit.
Personally I think your MLM business should be made up of 75% retail customers and 25% business builders.
Why?
Having more retail customers ordering from you week after week, month after month, year after year creates that residual income we all want. Plus you now have an army of customers that are spreading the word about your products. People will talk more freely about products that are doing well for them, then they will about a business opportunity.
In one case people feel they are sharing, in the other they feel like they are selling (guess which one?).
When people talk about products they’re sharing an experience, when they’re talking about a business opportunity they feel like they’re selling.
In my company we make great money with retail sales and business builders. Personally It’s easier to find retail customers than business builders, plus your income is generated faster. (of course that depends on your pay plan, for example I get paid every week with ours).
Let me ask you a question.
Do you think it’s easier to introduce the idea to someone who is in love with your product/service they can have their own business or to someone who has never tried your product or service?
Kinda of a dumb question, because I know you know the answer.
Once someone has been using you product for about 30 days or so. And before I go on I trust you have been in contact with your customer to see how he/she likes using your product. More importantly have they used your product at all.
You would be surprised at how many people will buy a product and not use it.
If you do come across someone who has not used your product don’t say “WHY NOT”.
Tell a story.
For example, lets say you sell product XYZ and you called a customer and they have not use it yet.
Me.. “Hi Bob, this is Duffy how do you like XYZ?”
Bob.. “Oh I have not tried it yet it’s still in the box, no time to busy”
Me.. “I can relate to that Bob. When I first started taking XYZ I started noticing a difference after only 3 days, I could fall asleep faster and I woke up more refreshed and with more energy and I am getting the same feedback from my other customers as well. I’ll give you a call in few days and see how you’re doing. Talk to you then, have a great night.”
I did not challenge him, I accepted his excuse and I went on to tell him a story of how XYZ has helped me. Do you think he is going to leave your product in the box for one more day…I doubt it.
But even if he does, just keep telling stories of the things XYZ is doing for you and others
However, if your customer has not tried your product after 2 or 3 phone calls (5 or 7 days). Personally I would offer them a refund. With that the customer will either say no and try your product, or they will accept your offer. If so, great, either way it’s a win-win.
If this person lived in my city I would go over and pick up the product. Its not doing him or you any good just sitting there. It might as well be given to someone who will use the product.
Ok, it’s been 30 days or so since your customer has been using your product and they love it, what now?
The next time you talk to a customer you can say something like this:
According to my records, it’s time for you to reorder. How would you like to save up to $10 off your next purchase? For every name you give me of someone I can send a brochure to, I’ll give you $1 off up to $10. Is that fair?
Or
If they are internet customers you would be offering them a $10 rebate after they place their next order. Simply tell them after you get the contact names and confirmation of their next order you will send them a check in the amount owing. The above is for local customers that you are personally delivering your product to.
This is a great way to get warm leads.
Then you take a flyer or brochure about your product. Put a yellow sticky note on it and say Hi “Sally” Mary Jones has been taking this product and feels great and thought you might be interested. Your name, your address your phone number.
Then, after you mail the info to the referrals, you call them in a few days. And say:
Hi Sally. This is (your Name), You don’t know me but Mary Jones asked that I send you a brochure. Did you get that brochure? Listen, our product is helping a lot of people around the country–it’s helped Mary.
The product is less than a dollar and a half a day and it’s got 100% money back guarantee. Would you like to try it or do you know anyone who’d like to try it?
(I used what it costs to use my product each day for the above example, replace that with the break down of your products cost per day).
Now it’s been about 2 months after your original customers first purchase. Depending on your products user rate you may have talked to them as little as 2 times, but that’s ok.
Now say something like this:
Hello _______ How are you doing?
Have you experienced any additional positive results with your product?
Listen, I can’t offer you a discount this time. “4” of the people of the “10” names you gave me are on the product and they’re loving the product. They’re going to reorder the product. Would you like to supply them and make the profit or would you rather I supply them?
If they say they would like to earn the profit, they have just given you permission to show them your presentation.
You’re now retailing to recruit.
This is the second in a series of articles we will be publishing relaying thoughts and ideas from the Internet Retailer Conference in Chicago, which occurred June 5th through June 7th. Peter Kosciewicz, Director of E-Commerce for the Eastwood Company, and Chris Saito, Senior Director, Shopping Products for Yahoo! Shopping, delivered a presentation entitled “Social Networking: The Peer Pursuasion Marketing Tool.”
According to Kosciewicz, the Web today has grown into an “architecture of participation” that facilitates social networking through devices such as blogs, wikis, RSS, podcasts, and more. Forrester Research has published studies that show that traditional marketing is continuing to lose credibility. For example, in 2002, 78% of respondents in a survey said that ads are a good way to learn about a new product. In 2004, that number had dropped to 46%. In 2002, 14% of respondents agrees that companies generally tell the trust. As pathetic as 14% is, in 2004, it had declined even further – down to 7%. Social networking as a means of marketing overcomes this lack of consumer trust because it relies on the word of the consumer rather than the word of the producer. Research from Datamonitor reported that 85% of repondents in a survey indicated that word-of-mouth from friends, family, or colleagues is more trustworthy than corporate-generated content.
So how do you take advantage of social networking to sell more product? Simple – you open yourself up. You plant the seeds of a community to grow up around your site by using devices such as blogs, customer reviews, and forums to give a voice to your customers or prospective customers. The caveat is that you must be high quality. You must have high quality service and a high quality product. If not, avoid this marketing method.
Kosciewicz outlined four important rules for using social networking on your web site:
1. Guide but don’t control.
2. Never censor.
3. Don’t be afraid of the negative.
4. Don’t be paranoid.
If you open up a forum on your site but then restrict what people are allowed to say, such as removing posts that are negative toward your company or that mention your competitors, then you will do more damage than good to your reputation. Use negativity as a way to improve your business. If people are negative, look at that as feedback and act on it. Make changes, and then let your community know about it. Don’t worry about your community talking about your competition. Your attitude has to be that you are the best, so why worry about it?
As a community develops around your web site, certain members will establish themselves as more influential than others. They will be more outspoken, and will be the ones who often respond to others. Cultivate these members, because they can be powerful allies. Once you have identified the more influential members of your community, contact them regularly, give them free product, become their friend. Feed your influencers information, and they will distribute it for you. But do not make it appear that you are only interested in them because they can help you sell stuff. You need to be genuine.
Measuring the impact of social networking is difficult. Unlike other forms of marketing, there is no direct connect between social networking activity and sells. What you will want to do is track traffic to pages such as customer reviews, referral links, etc.
Social networking can be a powerful marketing tool, if you have a high quality product and are not afraid of an open dialogue with your customers.
I want to start with simple statement I have always told myself that I will never fall for Multi Level Marketing or as its called most often MLM. I have always believed that most MLM business opportunities are nothing more than glorified pyramid scheme brought online. So what changed my mind? How did I, a self taught Internet Infopreneur got sucked into it? Read on to learn how, why, get the skinny on the latest hottest MLM opportunity and see my real day-by-day experience.
So, lets start with why. I run a website dedicated to affiliate marketing and home based business. I investigate and share my experiences with anyone willing to read my articles and make recommendations on what I consider a solid opportunity. I make my money on Yahoo ads and on multiple affiliate sales I get, when people do follow my recommendations. In last two month I have gotten at least 10 emails from my visitors asking me about different MLM programs and my personal opinion. Since I have only had experienced myself only with SFI, a known affiliate MLM I could only answer based on that, which wasnt enough So here I was. I have picked the hottest MLM I could find currently running and one of the youngest with low membership fees ProBuilderPlus. This review is dedicated to my readers and hopefully my experience will help you make your decision.
Now to the how part we move How do you make money using ProBuilderPlus business opportunity? Its really a quite simple forced matrix with 3 levels of payoff but quite a bit more intricate system of payments. Once you build a matrix of 9 people in your downline, doesnt matter how far, you guaranteed a weekly check of $30. But it doesnt stop there. You also get $10 for each paying member you personally refer and then $3 for second level from that member and $2 for 3rd level. All this in addition to payments based on maintaining your minimum matrix. As your matrix grows, so does your weekly income.
The system is quite simple but lets have a look at how effective it is and what does it takes to recruit new membersActually this is the part that surprised me most and quite pleasant surprise it was. It was designed to be used by anyone, with no marketing experience and no prior knowledge and recruiting is a lot easier than I thought was possible. I have joined this system for free, while doing evaluation of multiple MLM programs about 7 or 10 days ago. As soon as I did I started receiving emails with interesting subjects:
“Here you go Alex, we put Kathy under you…”
“Here you go Alex, we put James under you…”
“Another One Alex – Joseph just joined YOUR Powerline…”
“Alex – AWESOME Mark just Upgraded to Member in YOUR DOWNLINE…”
And they just kept on pouring in. Before I knew it I had 587 pre-enrolled members, free members but all interested to learn how to make money, all with an open mindset and just waiting for a push to be converted. And believe you me, emails with subjects like I shown above was powerful push even for a skeptic like me, so I decided to join, reasoning that I can always cancel.
And now I move to the tools that system provides, and their quality. It comes pretty much with everything one might require:
1. An autoresponder follow-up system that makes you want to upgrade.
2. A matrix structure and pay plan that almost guarantees you make money.
3. Lead capture pages that get the job done.
4. A traffic rotator that allows you to funnel traffic to your downline.
5. Online training that highlights simple steps to success.
6. A Contact Manager that allows to to stay in touch with people you personally sponsor.
7. A tool that allows you to send a voice message to thousands of people per MINUTE.
Quality design shows in every tool and all of them quite compelling as far as MLM goes.
Day 1-3.
All we are left with is my personal experience. I have had accounts already with several traffic exchange programs that require members to click on your add and actually look at page. I have found them quite effective for building my mailing lists, so I figured I would just add my link from ProBuilderPlus to rotation and see what it brings. Completion of that part only took me a few minutes and once done I had a chance to have a closer look at all tools I described above and specifically training. Nice day of work, if I can say so myself
Day two went pretty much on autopilot, due to my preoccupation with regularly scheduled job and I only had an opportunity to check my stats on third day. To my surprise I had over 530 views of my signup page and one paying member! That is $10 back to my pocket, 2 more and I will return my investment. Not bad, not bad at all.
To do a quick summary I dont know if you can become filthy rich using this system or not but looking at weekly leaderboard I can see people with over 414 paying members enrolled, and that is for one week. So what I will do is continue to investigate this opportunity and post updates on my regular site, so feel free to visit and read them if you liked this article or just want to learn more from a person who is doing it and honestly sharing. No hype, no fuss, just an honest opinion.
There are a variety of organizations that run networking groups across the country. The largest group is probably BNI, which offers members the chance to attend weekly meetings and develop new professional relationships to help them grow their business. some chambers of commerce are now organizing “leads groups” for their members as well. These groups are intended to offer members a way to connect with each other and potentially refer each other business.
In most “leads groups” each group allows no more then one representative from any industry, so if the group has a mortgage broker other mortgage brokers have to join another group or wait for the seat to open up. The idea is that by restricting membership, you eliminate competition within the group.
The agenda at most structured networking meetings is pretty straightforward. Each member is given an opportunity to introduce themselves, then there is a short presentation by one or two members (each member gets the chance eventually). The meeting ends with members discussing potential referrals for each other. This means that most of the members get about one minute to present who they are and teach the other members of the group how to refer to them.
Most people do a great job of presenting themselves. However, most people do not think to ask for referrals. At most networking events, you are not expected to ask for a referral or explain what a good referral for you is. However, at a leads group it is not only acceptable, it is expected!
I am involved in a number of networking groups and have used the simple outline below to create my elevator pitch (quick introduction). When I deliver my elevator pitch to a leads group, my goal is to educate everyone in the room about my company and what I do, as well as to teach them the best way to refer others to me. In addition, I want to make sure I actually ask for a specific referral. I will go through each piece of the outline in detail, but here are the basics.
* Introduction
o Name
o Position + company name
o Location of the company
o Overview of services
* Tell a story
* Call to action
The introduction piece of your presentation should stay the same every time you give it. You might say something like, “My name is Joe Smith. I am mortgage broker at ABC mortgages in Anytown, USA. We offer a full line of residential and commercial mortgage products.” You can add some additional detail, but you should really focus on keeping this short and on point.
At each meeting, you will have the chance to differentiate yourself from the competition by telling a short story during your presentation. The story can be related to a specific challenge you helped a client overcome, a unique feature of your product or service, or you can simply talk about a new development at your company. Consider writing out your stories in advance so you know what you are going to say at each meeting. In addition, you can schedule the content so that the other members of your group learn more and more about you at each meeting. You need to focus on educating your group a little more each week.
The “call to action” is very important and the piece that most people overlook. You need to tell the other members of your group exactly what type of referral you are looking for. For example, our mortgage broker, Joe Smith, might say, “Today a good referral for me would be a Realtor at XYZ real estate company.” Joe may also say, “Today a good referral for me would be anyone who purchased their home more then 10 years ago.”
I alway recommend that your “call to action” is as specific as possible. If Joe stands up and says that a good referral would be anyone who needs a mortgage, the rest of the group will have a harder time thinking of people to refer. If Joe asks for an introduction to a specific person at a specific company, someone in the group may know that person or know someone at that company who can facilitate Joe’s introduction. The more specific the request, the more likely it is to trigger someone else in the group’s memory.
A last minute hint:
Keep focused on the networks of the people in the group, not on the people themselves. In other words, when you are participating in a networking or leads group, you should not focus on gaining the business of the people at the table. Instead, you should focus on gaining their trust so that they will refer you people in their network.
Which one will you be in network marketing?
The truth is the odds are against you; chances are youll be a statistic.
Hmmmmm bet the super star space commander upline guru that signed you up or wants to sign you up told you that did he/she?
Here are a few stats that may alarm you:
Did you know that 70,000 people sign up into a network marketing company EVERYDAY?
But did you know that 95% of the people that sign up into a network marketing company will quit within the first year?
WHY?
Well there are a lot or reasons, poor support, poor company, poor product, poor compensation plan, poor upline. But to me one of the biggest reasons is
PEOPLE HAVE BEEN LIED TO!!
Most people have been lied to from the get go.
Many of the people who are recruiting people into companies (hate that term recruiting) are lying to people and telling people what they want to hear so they will join their company.
Now on one had you cant blame many of these people, therere just doing what they were taught by the person that signed them up, and thats usually some person with the recruit, recruit, recruit mentalitythose are the people I blame.
Hey the great news is you DONT have to be a statistic. You just need to be taught the correct way of building your business, but first you need to know some of the lies youll probably be told or already have been told.
My first and favorite lie:
Make a list of your friends and family because thats who were calling first.
Hey upline line guy, are you crazy? Thats the last thing, no thats what you NEVER do. Because of this one lie there are thousands of people that have been shunned by their families.
Your friends and family members turn off the lights and pretend therere not home when the see you coming. Ring any bells?
By all means share your product or service with your family and friends but not the business opportunity. Many of your friends and family members are NOT looking for a business opportunity, the truth is most of your friends and family are going to spend more time discouraging you then helping you. But dont get mad at them they think therere protecting you, ignore them and build your business.
Let them come to you, once you become successful in your business, your friends and family will notice and then theyll ask you what youre doing.
Heres a tip. This is your business and you DONT want everyone in your business that includes your family and friends. Only share your business opportunity to people who have raised their hand to you and say. Im interested or Show me what youre doing.
Lie number two;
Recruit, Recruit, Recruit. You need to make a 100 phone calls a day and remember for every NO you get youre one step close to a YES.
I would love to track down the putz that said this. Let me ask you a question.
How many times do you like hearing the word NO?
How much do you like being on the phone every day hearing the word NO?
I think its safe to say, You dont like it very much
The word NO has taken so many good people out of this business. Here is an example my mentor shared with me and it really hit home for me.
Duffy youve set up candles, soft music some good wine a great dinner a bit of hugging and kissing then your spouse says NO. All right just 99 more times and youll get lucky.
That put things into perspective for me real fast.
Did you know that 90% of the population is sales resistant, no wonder youre hearing the word NO so much.
And some knucklehead says NO is a good thing. Moving on.
Lie number 3,
If you have no warm market you need to spend money and buy leads.
WRONG!! You DO NOT have to buy leads. Personally youre just wasting your money. Therere people spending hundreds of dollars every month for leads. STOP IT!!!
Remember a bought lead is a bought lead. I dont care if you paid $5 or 5 cents a lead is a lead. When you call these leads chances are they dont remember what forum they filled out or the person gets upset because you called them.
Once you truly understand that people are not numbers, they have goals and dreams just like you. And theyre real people. And just like you they dont want to be lied too and just like you they want a true opportunity to fulfill those dreams and goals. If you get just this youll go very, very far in this business.
Network marketing is a Relationship Business NOT a Sales Business. As soon as you understand that youll have people saying to you PLEASE sponsor me into your business
Until then youre DEAD in the water.
I have NEVER bought a lead with my network marketing company and I dont spend 10 hours a day making phone calls, I have people contacting me everyday asking me about my business.
If you had people calling you how do you think your lead calls would turn out compared to you calling people? Please tell me I dont have to answer that for you.
For those of you buying leads stop wasting your money, prospects are everywhere.
I have tons of ways of getting leads for free, but heres one tip that will reveal prospects to you everyday.
First LISTEN to people, thats the most important thing you need to do. Youve heard this One mouth two ears Listen twice as much as you speak.
Ok how do you determine if someone is a prospect?
Lets say you have a company that provides a nutritional product that helps with weight loss. And now lets say youre talking to someone and they are complaining about how they cant lose weight.
All you have to say to this person is this: Have you ever thought about doing something about it?
If they say YES you have a prospect, depending on the time and place this person has just given you permission to provide them with a presentation of your product. You could give them your business card, send them to a web site or provide them some brochures about your product. Or ask them for there contact info so you could send them some info later.
If the person says NOyou say, OK.
THEY ARE NOT A PROSPECT, REPEAT NOT A PROSPECT forget about them, move on and keep listening.
This is just one-way therere lots of other ways to find prospects. The point is you never have to buy leads to find prospects.
Its a shame that so many lies are being told just to get people into a business, just because the rest of the world is doing it doesnt mean you have to. Tell people the truth, listen to them and truly hear what they are saying. Build relationships; help a person, thats how you build a business.
If you can help them GREAT if not thats ok too. Not everyone is suited to fit into your business; and you would be a fool to think so.
Personally I would rather have 10 people that wanted to be in my business and that I told the truth to from the get go, then a 100 people I told what ever they wanted to hear so they would join my business.
 cards is an art, not only because they are needed to be considered successful or because, in fact, they represent your corporate or professional identity, but also as an opportunity to impact your existing or prospective customers, and stay in touch with them, helping you to deal confidently.
The scope of business etiquette includes considerations that many professional ignore, or simply do not pay enough attention in the belief that a business card is just a small paper rectangle with a name and phone numbers to introduce yourself.
Color business cards demonstrate that there is something else beyond a simple paper cut; otherwise, they simply would not exist. Certainly, all over the world business cards are used to provide information about a company and/or the employee or professional who holds it, as well as contact information and other details such as business acquaintances or personal details.
Some of them include expressly empty spaces to write certain details such as an appointment date, some others are as simple as blank cards that come in handy when the holder has to leave a customer further details. However, those in color are undoubtedly part of a practical business strategy following refined business etiquette.
In business, time is gold and every minute is important because more often an individual only has a few minutes to impress a prospective client, before someone else does it first. Gentle manners can conquer, but accompanied with poor business cards, it is more likely the client will forget about you as soon as you live. Unprofessional business cards will not impress but will leave your prospective client with negative thoughts about your company.
On the other hand, color business cards are as attractive that catch the eye of even the most skeptical business contact. There is nothing more accurate that “a picture is worth a thousand words” when it comes to describing the first impression left on a person who receives a business card especially crafted to achieve a predefined business goal.
Color business cards and regular business cards should meet the criteria of being printed in very high quality paper, designed by professionals and never using public domain graphics or other elements that makes them look cheap. Make sure to include all personal information to your business acquaintances, and always carry enough of them with you, particularly when you are planning to attend a business meeting or social event.
The art of business cards is not only in giving them away, but also exchanging and receiving. Every time you attend an event where other professionals participate, try to exchange business cards with them, particularly color business cards to better impress, and when you receive a business card, study its design and content because you can learn from them.
Finally, always keep in mind that business cards are the branding tool of your company, not just a piece of paper to stay in touch with someone else.
Networking is obviously an essential part of network marketing. Every successful network marketer knows this to be true. Although networking is such an intricate part of network marketing, the two terms are not synonymous. However there are many similarities. Both rely heavily on people skills. Both require people to confront their fear of talking to other people. Both carry with them the risk of rejection. Both also carry with them enormous opportunity. And to some people, both are considered dirty words.
Of course people that consider networking as something that is ‘not done’ don’t understand what networking is really about. The same can be said of people that think network marketing is something that is beneath them. Many people think of networking as a way to get connected solely for their own advancement in life. In that respect a person might feel that it is unethical or not noble to network. This line of thinking stems from the idea that advancement will always come at the expense of someone else, that success in life is a zero-sum game. These people often look at network marketing from the same perspective. They think of profiting from other people’s efforts as something that is negative and not fair to them. In reality, successful networkers will tell you that it doesn’t work that way at all. Networking doesn’t have to be at anybody’s expense and the business of network marketing doesn’t reward anyone for taking advantage of others. It actually rewards people for helping other people to succeed. In that respect it may very well be the most ethical business model in the world today.
A lot of the negativity around networking can be explained by the different types of networkers. Some can be considered ‘hunters’, moving in for a quick kill, after which they move out again. They often operate without regard of the other persons interest and because of this they will enjoy the fruits of success for only a limited period of time. Often it will not take long before people find out what’s really driving the hunter. Once they see that he or she is only looking after his or her own interests, their willingness to interact with this person will quickly evaporate. By contrast, truly successful networkers are often ‘farmers’ who spend a lot of time sowing and nourishing their relationships, instead of just focusing on reaping. They invest in their network, they energize their network. They use their network, but they never ever abuse their network! And their network knows this. A true networker will always keep the interests of others in mind. That’s why working with a true networker is so enjoyable. Networkers are often very likeable and as such people like to interact with them.
Networking is a skill that is essential to all businesses not just network marketing. Although network marketing differs in many ways from the more traditional forms of doing business, the importance of networking is just as prevalent. If not more so. A network marketer that doesn’t know how to network will be out of business in no time. Network marketing is first and foremost a people’s business and this implies that the ability to effectively work with people is absolutely critical. This is why successful network marketers are extremely adept at networking. Many have found out over time that developing this skill can pay off in many areas outside their network marketing business as well. Business owners who have started a home based business on the side often apply their enhanced networking and people’s skills in their traditional business with great success. For some network marketers this spin-off has earned them more money than the income from their network marketing business itself.
So whether you are in network marketing or in a more traditional type of business, don’t underestimate the importance of becoming an effective networker. And if you really want to master this skill you may find there is a lot to learn from good network marketers. So if you happen to know anybody that fits that description, try and benefit from their knowledge on the topic. It will surely help you network your way to success!
You just got started with a new online MLM business and you want to tell everyone online about it. So, you sign up for all kinds of message boards, email groups and other business networking websites.
Before you do anything, please realize that you are dealing with REAL PEOPLE. The Internet seems like this anonymous place where you might feel people wont really notice you if you engage in any vampirish behavior, but realize that the Internet is no different than dealing with people offline.
Treat people with respect, get to know them first and youll have plenty of valuable contacts for your business. No, most probably wont join your business opportunity, but they will teach you a lot about business, will refer others to you and will be a great asset to your business even if they never buy a thing from you.
Some Online Networking No-Nos:
– Sending private messages or emails about your business opportunity or products to another member is in poor taste. If you want to contact someone privately because you feel you have something in common, go for it, but dont recruit or sell.
– When you introduce yourself on a networking group, its usually okay to say what you dobut dont invite people to check out your website or say that you are looking for new customers or recruits.
– Even if a message board or networking group allows you to post ads in certain places or on certain days, dont bother if youre new. Get to know the group first and then theyll be more interested your offers.
When you have a new business, it can be stressful and you feel pressure to get results. The important thing to remember is that results come from building long-term relationships and not from preying on online networking groups.
Dont suck the blood out of all your prospects and people who can connect you with potential prospects before you even get started.
Entrepreneurs with businesses in early start-up differ on what they believe to be the most important element, although many professionals will argue that creating a solid business plan should definitely be the first step. A well-crafted business plan lays out all the details and strategies, includes projections for revenue and spending, and will be reviewed in detail by bankers and venture capitalists. But in fact, the most important document that should be created even before the business plan is the elevator pitch.
The fact is, most people will not read a business plan unless they have been motivated to do so beforehand. The elevator pitch is that motivating factor. It’s the hook that gets them into the room. It’s the catchy jingle that gets people to pay attention to the ad. It’s the best parts of the business plan, without the boring details. The elevator pitch is the place for the excitement, not the place to include all the technology, buzzwords and explanations.
An elevator pitch should be able to be condensed into a single-page presentation, short enough to be memorized, or read easily within a few minutesthat’s how it got its name, it’s a pitch that’s short enough to be presented during the course of an elevator ride. The elevator pitch condenses your business concept into something that can be presented in about a minute or twoessentially, the parts that matter, the very essence of the business.
The elevator pitch skips the hard-core financials, and gets straight to the heart of what it is about the business that really gets you excited. That’s what this pitch is aboutyou don’t need the proof of concept here yet, that comes in the full-length business plan. The elevator pitch is the commercial that gets people interested.
The elevator pitch should be inspirational and creative, hitting the high points of your business concept, and should accomplish the following:
Hit the high points of what it is you hope to do
Summarize the problem/solution aspect of your concept
Describe the business modelhow is it going to make money?
Create excitement on the part of the reader/listener
Describe the profit potential without having to bring out charts and graphs
Tell why you/your company are well positioned to accomplish your goal
End with a call to action
The first couple sentences are the most critical, and should present your core concept. If you can’t tell what it is you want to do in two sentences or less, then you need to simplify your concept. There will be plenty of time to get into all the details later, once you’ve captured your audience’s interest.
Network Appliance Inc. (NetApp) is one of the world leaders in unified storage solutions. Network Appliance storage solutions account for a wide range of specific hardware, software and services, offering advanced storage management for various network environments. For the advantages it offers, lots of people these days dream to have a Network Appliance certification (NAC). NetApp certifications are highly recognized worldwide, as they facilitate the acceptance in a wide range of IT environments.
NetApp solutions and tools administration graduates can easily build a solid, lucrative IT career virtually anywhere in the world. Attracted by the benefits of NetApp certifications, lots of IT aspirants dedicate their time to expanding their area of knowledge on NetApp solutions and tools, hoping to obtain a certificate in the field as soon as possible. However, it is important to note that hard-work doesnt always improve your prospects of becoming a NetApp graduate!
In order to improve your chances of achieving your goals, you should consider replacing self-study oriented materials with appropriate Network Appliance training programs. Trainer-oriented Network Appliance training programs are by far the best means to quickly assimilate the knowledge and the skills required for becoming a NetApp graduate! Conducted upon a set of active-learning techniques, trainer-oriented Network Appliance training programs involve a higher degree of comprehension, feature that renders them far superior to self-study oriented programs!
A complete, well-structured and comprehensive NetApp training program allows trainees to quickly familiarize with the NetApp curriculum, guaranteeing students that they will be able to pass their future exams. Over the entire course of the training program, the trainees are encouraged to interact with their trainers and the other attending students, allowing them to exchange opinions and ideas regarding various topics of the NetApp curriculum. NetApp training programs are taught by the best professionals in the field, who provide students with feed-back over the entire duration of the program. Structured in various sets of seminaries, laboratories and courses, NetApp training programs allows the attending students to develop all the skills and abilities required in their future careers. Professional Network Appliance training programs guarantee graduates acceptance in the best IT companies in the world!
In present, the most requested certifications are NACA (NetApp Certified Storage Associate), NACP (NetApp Certified Storage Professional), NACE (NetApp Certified Expert), NAC-NA (NetApp Certified NetCache Administrator) and NAC-NIE (NetApp Certified NetCache Implementation Engineers). You can obtain these much desired certifications in no time by attending to a professional, reliable NetApp Storage training program (NAS).
Considering the fact that there are many websites out there that offer you the opportunity to participate in NetApp Storage training programs, the only issue is to choose the right one! In order to obtain the best results, it is advised to participate in NetApp Storage training programs that provide students with official NetApp curriculum-based study materials. In addition, dont be lured by the idea that websites who charge the most are better than others! You should spend some time in comparing the costs and the credentials of such websites before choosing to participate in a NetApp Storage training program.
We all make use of traditional forms of getting new business in advertising, direct mail, brochures etc but networking is one form of marketing which, has been under-utilised. Until now that is. Small business owners are finally beginning to under stand the power of networking and what it can do for their sales figures.
But what is networking?
In its most basic form, its word-of-mouth advertising but originated by you, not your customers. It involves taking every opportunity to raise awareness of your product or service amongst the people you meet. At a more sophisticated level, networking can be achieved by taking advantage of the formal networking groups or events that have been arranged purely with the idea of putting potential partners together.
But how can you, as a small business owner, become a more effective networker and take full advantage of the opportunities presented? We are going to give you some key tips and ideas on how to be a better networker.
What are the key advantages of networking?
Networking has some very good advantages over the traditional type of marketing:
Its free! Talking to someone costs nothing except your time
Its targeted marketing in that its likely the person you are talking to has a direct interest in your product or service. Consider newspaper advertising, which will mostly be read by people who have no interest in what you have to offer
Its face-to-face marketing unlike direct mail, adverts and telephone calls. You have the immediate opportunity to establish rapport and get an understanding of the persons problems
You have the chance to mix with business owners in other industries, which may open the door to new opportunities you had not previously considered
Its not only a way of creating business but also a great way to solve problems and seek advice. Why sweat over a solution when someone has probably already experienced and solved the same problem? Ask and find out who can help you
Where to find a network
Finding a place to network, where like minded business owners are present, is not that difficult. Whilst you should be networking all the time taking the opportunity to promote yourself where ever you can its more effective if you can meet people who are there to do the same thing; you can get onto the same wavelength that much quicker.
Here are some possible networking opportunities to think about:
Your local Chamber of Commerce, BNI group or business club – as well as hosting their normal meetings (which are great networking opportunities anyway) they may hold regular networking sessions which are dedicated to putting business people together
Government advice agencies most countries have government bodies which have the remit of helping local small businesses, some of them may already hold network meetings where they bring together a batch of new recruits. Check out you countrys small business advice agency web sites to see what support they can offer
Trade Associations your industry may have an association which holds regular meetings. Although you are interacting with businesses in the same line you will still be able to find solutions to problems and pick up new ideas. Who knows, if you establish good rapport with another business, they may be happy to refer surplus work to you or tap into a unique specialisation you may have?
Seminars keep a look out for seminars being run for small business owners. As well as being informative, they are a great networking opportunity, especially over coffee and lunch when you have the chance to start a conversation going along the lines of, How do you think youre going to apply that point we learnt this morning in your line of business?
In just this one question you will have found out what business they are in and one of the problems they are currently facing. If youre lucky, you may be able to offer help as well one extra sale!
Anywhere and everywhere remember to network all the time! Never miss an opportunity to tell people what you do. You may only get a successful hit in one out of a hundred contacts, but one sale may be enough to make it all worthwhile!
Where and when are meetings likely to be held?
Formal networking events can be held over breakfast, lunch and dinner. Breakfast sessions are popular because it allows business owners to start the day on a positive note, leaving the remainder of the day free for business as usual. But how good are you at holding a sensible conversation at 7 oclock in the morning? If you dont look or sound your best in the early morning, then you had better find an alternative!
The best networking events are where you are free to work the room and not be tied to a table with food being served.
What to prepare
As with any marketing promotion, networking should be thoroughly prepared for. Badly presented sales pitches lead to lost sales; the same goes for networking. So what should you do before attending a networking session?
Step 1: Know your products and services inside out. If you are only just starting out, make sure you are fully briefed on all the inns and outs of your product.
Step 2: Write and rehearse an opening statement to the question What do you do? This may sound an easy question but try thinking an answer on the spot and at the same time making it some good! Not so easy. Write a clear and concise statement, which encapsulates everything about your business. Remember, this is your chance to impress! Having decided on your opening line, rehearse, rehearse and rehearse. It has to be word perfect and confident sounding.
Step 3: Make sure you have enough business cards. You dont want to scribble your number on the back of a napkin! Not very professional.
Step 4: Double check the venue and time. You dont want to turn up late and miss any opportunities or appear to be lacking in time management skills.
Step 5: Dress to impress. Make sure you are neat and tidy everything a successful small business owner should be.
Step 6: Leave your house/office in plenty of time to make sure you dont arrive totally stressed out
Youre off!
You have arrived at the venue and if this is your first time, what are you likely to do? Find the nearest corner and pray that someone doesnt approach you! Networking, especially the first time, can be nerve-wracking. It does take a degree of confidence but over time this gets better.
Today I am going to talk about something that seems to be one of those things that people either love or hate. What I am talking about is network marketing, also called mlm or multi-level marketing. Right from the beginning I will say that there is no need to have extreme views about this, it is simply a business model that you can use if you wish.
However, it is crucial that you understand HOW the business model of network marketing works.
I think there are basically two reasons that some people seem to be almost electrocuted, simply by hearing someone mention the word network marketing. Either they have tried it themselves, and because they didn’t have a clue on how to do it they failed miserably. Or they belong to the group of people who can’t get the idea that mlm = pyramid scheme out of their heads.
This second misconception is easy to debunk. Pyramid schemes are illegal almost everywhere, do you really think large multinational companies could operate year after year on an entirely illegal basis?
Secondly, this view on network marketing shows that the speaker is ignorant. He or she hasn’t done an ounce of homework on the various businesses that are available to each of us today, and they are ignorant of the industry itself.
This means they aren’t serious. It means they “would like” to make more money, but have no intention of making it happen. They continually “look” for home businesses, which is enough to satisfy their minds that they “did everything they could”, but everything they find out there is flawed and are “scams”. They are looking to buy “hope”, not a business.
There is a Chinese saying that goes something like this:”If you spend too much time thinking about your next step, you will be standing on one leg for the rest of your life”. Yes, there ARE scams out there, but mlm is not a dirty word and it is not a synonym for scam. Get over it!
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BREAKING NEWS! Corporate America a Pyramid Scam?
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As for the comparison to a pyramid in general – think of any company that comes to mind. The company will probably have a CEO, president, vice presidents, middle management, a sales force, and hourly employees.
It goes without saying that the guy at the top, the CEO, is going to make the most money, and the compensations continue to decrease down the ladder which starts at his cushy leather chair. The only way to get paid more and move up the ladder is to boot someone else out of their spot – and this is what people call okay and normal!
Not to mention the fact that the corporate slave masters seem to have no problem with working people to the limits…and then kicking them out the door before any of the benefits kick in. (As always there are some exceptions, of course). How is this any less pyramid than network marketing? All people in the company work hard, but ONLY those at the very top has “permission” to make a lot of money.
Now, in network marketing the basic idea is that it will be of great benefit to everyone involved to help people who are new reach the top. In fact the whole business idea hinges on this idea – the only way to become really successful in the long term is to help others. Of course there will always be a mathematical limit to how large a network can become, but with todays global marketplace, and a suitable compensation plan, there is usually plenty of room for everybody.
A network marketing company can diversify and find new markets, just like all companies have to.
But what about the miserable statistics of network marketing, the over 90% drop-out rate etc.?
This is mainly caused by the simple fact that not that many people know how to do network marketing correctly. And I must admit that some network marketing companies are responsible for this themselves, by providing useless ideas like making a “100 list” etc.
You see, this is a somewhat unique industry. Most people don’t realize that network marketing is a business of marketing and promotion pursued by people who have NO IDEA how to market and promote.
Read the above paragraph once more and let it sink in…
If you are going to be involved in network marketing you need to develop both the right mind set and acquire the right knowledge (no, they usually don’t teach this in college).
You must learn that when you do this business right:
* You don’t have to “sell”
* You don’t have to ask people to join your business.. They ask you!
* You don’t have to post “work at home” flyers!
* People will PAY YOU to prospect them
You should learn that this is not at all about the Vitamins or whatever product your company is selling. In fact, this is one of the single biggest mistakes people make in network marketing.