December 25, 2011

Appreciation Marketing – Business vs Personal Life

My momma taught me that you cannot have one set of manners for when you are at home and another set for when you are in public.  Sometimes parents try to teach their children that they must behave “better” in public than they are allowed to behave at home.  How you behave at home cannot be different from how you behave in public.  How you behave in public will reflect how you act at home.

How does this theory apply to our business and personal lives?  You cannot separate the two lives from each other.  How you act in your business life is how you will act in your personal life.  What you do in one part of your life will show up in all other parts.  It is human nature, and we cannot control our nature so that the various parts of our lives remain separate from one another.  We are the sum of all of our parts, including our business and personal lives.

What if you believe in separating your work life from your family life?  You strive to keep your family “safe” from the trials and tribulations of your work life.  You want to show them that they are more important to you than your work is.  This is all fine and dandy, quite commendable in fact, if it is possible.  But is it possible, or is it even desirable?  Maybe it is not either possible or desirable.  Would that be better for us if it were possible?

Do you like what you do in business; are you proud of your business; would you consider yourself reputable in your dealings with others?  If your answers are affirmative, you should not isolate your business from your family; you should want to share what you do and how you do it.  It is a valuable teaching tool for your children and can be a source of pride for your spouse.  If you do not like what you do; if you are not proud of what you do; if you do not consider yourself reputable, maybe you should think about a new way of doing business.

Sure, it may be valuable to separate your day to day work actions from your personal life, but the attitudes and reasons for what, and how, you do what you do will also be found in your personal life.  How you treat your customers will be how you treat your friends, and even your family.  If you are ethical and honest in your family life you will be the same in your business life, and vice versa.  The reasons and attitudes will ‘”bleed” from one to the other, no matter how you might attempt to believe differently.

Trying to behave differently in either your business or personal life can be very stressful and tiring.  It is less work to be the same toward everyone in both.  Let the giving attitude that we have discussed previously flow from yourself to others, to permeate all aspects of our lives.  Treat everyone, personal friends as well as family, as well as customers, the same, with care and concern for what they need.  Don’t try to force what you want them to have upon them.  Don’t assume and don’t prejudge anyone; do the right thing whenever and wherever you can.

Your business and personal lives can work quite well as intermixed lives.  You just need to follow some time management priorities and remember that you cannot have different, and conflicting, ethical and professional aspects in any aspect of your life. 

Have some thoughts that you want to share?  Please leave me your comments, or email me at, or call me at 360-314-8691.  Remember that your manners in public times will reflect your private times, and your business life should be very much like your private life.  That intermix can be a very good thing that makes you a better person in all areas.

December 18, 2011

Appreciation Marketing – Are You Magnetic?

Have you ever seen people who were magnetic?  These folks just “attract” the goodness in their personal life or in their business life.  They always seem to “find” the great business connections; they always have good stuff “fall” Into their laps.  Who are these folks, and how do they attract all this goodness; are they really “magnetic”?

In the book “The Go-Giver”, co-written by Bob Burg and John David Mann, magnetic people are discussed under the third law of success.  This law, as described by Burg and Mann, states that “Your influence is determined by how abundantly you place other people’s interests first”.  The law works because it magnetizes you, making you attract the goodness in others and in life.

Someone who places the interests of someone else first is considered to be a giving person.  They believe that their interests will always be taken of, if they place others’ interests before theirs.  They are known as givers; they always practice what is known as enlightened self-interest.  If you see what others need and assist them in obtaining what they need, your needs will be taken care of; you will get what you need.

So if you watch out for the needs of others and help them obtain their needs, you will attract what you need, whatever makes your situation better.  Your attraction for what you need is considered your influence over life; it makes you magnetic.  The Law of Influence works for you because it magnetizes you.  Of course, the more that you help others achieve their needs, the more you will be magnetic and attract what you need.  We also call this “karma”.

Karma is the principle that tells us that we get back exactly what we put forth to others.  If we send out positive feelings or actions we will receive back good feeling or actions.  If we send out bad ones, we receive back bad ones.  What we receive back may not come to us from whom or where we dispatched our feelings or actions, but we will receive the same level of feelings or actions from someone or somewhere, to the extent that we dispatched the feelings or actions.

Does all this mean that we should live our lives keeping track of our feelings and actions, expecting them to be received back one for one?  Not at all, we must stop keeping score.  Stop looking at life as win-lose, win-win, or lose-lose.  Stop keeping score on what we, or others, do.  Make your life one of giving to others with no expectations or records of who did what to whom and when.  Just let it happen and depend on your magnetism to take care of you both.

Those who know me well know that I found the love of my life some 16 years ago.  I did so because I stopped looking at relationships as 50-50, 75-25, or whatever.  I started looking for them to be 100-100, each other looking out after the other person whenever and however the moment requires.  We do not keep score, and we do not wait for quid pro quo.  We just do whatever is needed for the other person and move on with our lives.

During this holiday season, and as we move into the new year with its promises to change ourselves, try to become more of a giver.  You may find that it is impossible to stop once you start the process.  Then let me hear how it works for you by leaving me some thoughts, or email me at, or call me at 360-314-8691.  Your life will be enhanced, both professionally and personally, and you will become more magnetic towards others.

December 11, 2011

Appreciation Marketing – Ask and Listen

Very often, we discuss topics which are not new at all.  It is the same as when we attend a seminar on a topic which we have heard previously; we just need the topic to be refreshed in our minds.  This week, I want to discuss the acts of asking others what they need and of listening to what they answer.  Ask and listen is so simple, but we do not do it consistently.

Whenever we meet with anyone, you should ask them what it is that they need, either in business or personally.  We cannot know how we may help someone improve their business or their personal life unless we know what they need.  Sometimes it may take some detailed conversation and discussion to actually answer this question.  Rarely is the actual answer as simple as we would want it to be.

How could you possibly know that whatever you have to offer will help the person with whom you are meeting until you find out what they need?  This process may require some detailed and subsequent questions to better define their needs.  The other person may not know what they really need; they may be mistaken in their initial response, as more conversation will reveal.  You may need to ask probing questions as you step by step move through their answers.

At this point you have already entered the second phase of your meeting, the listening phase.  Actually what you are doing should be described as ask, listen, repeat.  You will find that your initial question will need to be followed by more questions as the other party answers you.  Your listening must be able to lead you to those subsequent questions and reveal the details needed by both parties.

It is through intelligent questions, astute listening, and repeating the process that you will build a successful business, as well as a personal, relationship, or partnership with others.  Those successful relationships are what result in increased trust, build business success, and lead to individual cooperation toward mutually rewarding bottom lines.

Remember that you are not trying to fit your product or service into their budget.  You are trying to find out what they need and if you can fill that need, whether it is your product or service, your referrals to others, your advice, or your good will and support.  You have formed a networking relationship; if that means forming a customer-supplier bond, so be it.  If that means not forming that bond, but maintaining a relationship, so be that.

Also remember that if you do form a relationship where you do provide a product or service to someone, make sure that the other person knows how that product or service can fill their need.  Make sure that they know how to use your offering to their best advantage, not yours.  Remember that you must be of service to others, placing their needs first in your mind and actions.  We should always serve others first and foremost.  Then success will follow, and success will reflect the service that you provide to others.

How do you feel about asking, listening, and repeating the process?  Do you practice this process, or do you just start selling when you first meet someone?  Let me have your thoughts by leaving me your comments, or email me at, or call me at 360-314-8691.  Your positive success should be a result of your positive actions towards others, and your positive relationships are the basis for positive futures for everyone.

December 4, 2011

Appreciation Marketing – Chat With a Stranger

This past week something great happened to me.  I met a complete stranger and had a wonderful chat over coffee.  What did it cost me?  All I had to do was reach out to someone on an online network, LinkedIn, request a meeting, set a time and date, and show up to meet.  What did I gain?  We formed a new networking relationship and will see where it leads.

Many of us belong to online networks; some of us belong to several; some belong to so many that we cannot keep up with them all.  Maybe what we should do is concentrate on a few, or even one, and determine if it will bring us better results than we have experienced in the past.  What would happen if you zeroed in on one network and reached out to various people that you find there?

Would you find a new networking partner or a referral source?  Would you gain a new customer or learn something new and helpful?  Maybe all these things would happen, maybe some, or maybe none.  You do not know until you try, and you have nothing to lose except some time and effort on your part.  After all, why did you join online networks in the first place?

Just go onto your network and look into any groups that you have joined, or check the ones that you should join.  LinkedIn has many groups for all business industries that allow you to join and connect with other members.  Then send messages to other group members and ask each of them to schedule a physical meeting over coffee with you to have a conversation about networking, referrals, or whatever the two of you want to discuss.  You are just trying to get to know each other, not trying to sell something to each other.

It may take one of you actually calling the other on the phone and comparing schedules (making appointments through email messages is difficult, takes too long, and is not personal at all).  It may require compromise as to location and time, and it will require you to move out of your comfort zone.  You are trying to meet someone that you have not met physically previously.  Just think outside the box and get creative.  Make it fun for both of you.

When you meet, follow the guidelines that we have discussed before; just get to know each other.  Find out about each other’s background, where you are from, how you got into your businesses, what the businesses are about, and what each of you need in business and/or personally.  Do not try to sell the other person anything.  If they ask about your business, explain it to them and tell them what you have to offer to others.

People do business with, and refer others to, the people that they know, like, and trust.  You want this meeting to result in getting to know each other, getting to like each other, and starting to reach a level of trust with each other.  The longest journey starts with a single step.  Take that step by reaching out and contacting someone to meet with you.  Then see if you can begin to build a networking relationship, a partnership.  Will it always work?  No, but you never know unless you try.

Have you ever tried this method of building relationships, and has it worked successfully?  Please let me know by leaving your comments, or email me at, or call me at 360-314-8691.  I want to hear your stories, either successful or not, and of course, I want to connect with anyone who wants to make the effort to chat and learn.

November 27, 2011

Appreciation Marketing – Refusing to Get to Know Anyone

What do you know about another person when you first meet them?  Actually you know very little.  You may believe that you know who they are, what they do, and what they may mean to you, but you probably are very wrong.  Very often when people first meet, they need another, more in depth conversation before they actually know who each other really is, what they do in their business, and what they may mean to each other.

However, we go through life, meeting people and judging them based on our first, sparse impression.  We make no effort to really get to know them, hear their story, and decide if they can help us, or if we can help them.  Why do we do this; why are we so prone to prejudge others?  Why are we so narrow minded; why are we so afraid to spend some time with someone that we do not know?

Part of our problem is time.  We don’t believe that we have the time to spend on someone unless they are ready to do business with us.  We believe that our time is better spent if we only meet with people about whom we think that we know everything.  After all, there is just so much time in our lives; we cannot waste any of it talking with anyone that we don’t know, can we?  Quick, reread the second paragraph above.

We attend various networking meetings, business meetings, and other meetings where we meet new people all the time.  We meet new people each and every day of our lives.  Why do we not follow up and meet them again to find out who they really are, what they really do in business, and what they might change in our lives?  Are we attending these various meetings just to look important to others, or because we actually want to develop new relationships?  Maybe we are missing out on some great opportunities.

However, we are pressed for time; our business needs to find new people to add to our customer base.  We cannot waste time talking to anyone who isn’t ready to buy from us, can we?  Well, how can you find new customers unless you listen to people and decide if you can fill their needs?  After all, isn’t listening something that all of us should do, and how can you listen to someone when you do not meet with them?

What do you talk about when you meet with anyone else?  Find out about them, who they are, how they reached this point in their life, and what their business does, along with its philosophy and culture.  Their needs in business and in their life just might give you a point of reference as to how you might be able to assist them.  Therefore, you should ask them what they need.  Selling starts with filling the needs of others; it ends with making the other person believe that you actually care about filling those needs, not just that you can do so.

Think about all those people that you have met during this year, the ones that you did not meet with again after that initial contact.  Then, go back and reread the second paragraph above once again and think about how you should correct those ignored possibilities.  Then just call them and make a date to meet when you both can discuss how you can help each other in a mutually beneficial manner.

It does not matter if you agree or disagree with this philosophy; I still would like to hear your comments.  Either leave you thoughts here, or email me at, or call me at 360-314-8691.  After all, we all learn all the time, from all of those who enter our lives.

November 20, 2011

Appreciation Marketing – Are Thank You Notes for Business Only?

So you want to send thank you notes for business reasons; great, you should do so.  You should send these notes every time that you meet someone and every time that someone does something for you: gives you a referral, invites you to an event, gives you advice, or gives you a gift.  How about for becoming a new customer with your business or continuing to be a customer of yours?  What about for a holiday or birthday gift, or what about inviting you to a holiday party or other event?

Of course the answer to all of the above is affirmative; you should always send thank you notes to anyone who fits into any of the above situations, and even more.  When in doubt, send a note; you should always be known as the person who appreciates others, no matter how small the reason.  Everyone wants to be appreciated and feel like others care about them and their efforts.

What about your personal life?  Let’s say someone invites you to a holiday party, or gives you a holiday gift.  What about the family that invites you to have dinner with them or experience some holiday time with them?  This may not be business; this is personal.  What do you do in return?  How do you show your appreciation and your respect for someone else’s gestures?

We have discussed before that it is impossible to separate your business and personal lives.  What you do in one is reflected in the other; what you do in one is born out of what you do in the other.  Your customers and friends may be the same people; they may become one after they have first been the other.  Therefore, why not apply the principles of your business life to your personal one?  Do the same things for your friends that you do for your business contacts.

The art of the thank you applies to every part of your life, both business and personal.  Tom Hopkins teaches us that you should send a personalized, customized thank you note to everyone that you meet, that does anything for you, and that touches your life in some manner.  Tom teaches us to show appreciation to everyone, no matter who they are.  Everyone wants to be appreciated and wants to be noticed.  Just do it.

What about the politeness and courtesy factors?  Maybe it is time that we brought back those factors to our lives.  When you are polite and courteous, you will be a better person.  You will also spread those factors to others, bringing them to more and more people.  Karma teaches us that when we spread goodness around to others, it will be more evident to all and it will affect everyone, sooner or later.  If it returns to us, it is a result of our efforts towards others.

So as we enter the holiday season, perhaps we should practice some thanksgiving for the other people in our lives, the ones whose actions mean something to us and make our lives better.  Maybe their efforts are minor compared to others, maybe not.  What difference does it make?  They all deserve a simple thank you and a wish for goodness in their lives.  Try giving them a tip of the hat, a thank you for being there for you as you move through life.

So, how do you feel about all this?  Do you agree, or do you think this is all old-school?  Have we passed on from this type of living, or can we take a page from “how it used to be”?  Leave me your thoughts, or email me at, or call me at 360-314-8691, and let’s see if we can agree that Appreciation Marketing is a life practice, not just a business one.

November 13, 2011

Appreciation Marketing – Is It For Large Businesses Only?

This past week, one of my networking partners told me that he didn’t believe that his business was large enough to practice Appreciation Marketing.  In fact he doubted that he was the right size to market his business at all.  We all must market; in fact those of you who are looking for work are marketing the product that you know better than anyone else, yourself.

It is important that everyone understands the difference in marketing and sales.  When you market your business, you make others aware of what product or service that you have available and how it may apply to their situation.  When you sell, you are attempting to get the other person to purchase your product or service.  Marketing leads to sales, but selling may not lead to marketing.

What about the size of your business, or you for that matter?  You must market your business or yourself.  You can have the greatest product or service, or candidate in yourself, but what if no one knows you, what you have, what you do, how to get in touch with you, how to buy from you, or how to employ you?  You will not be successful, nor will you be employed.

How do you market?  You get out into the public and meet people, telling everyone that you meet who you are, what you do, and what you have for others.  Listen to them and what they need; do not try to sell to them.  Let them know that you and your product or service exist and is available and how to get in touch with you.  Then get started with appreciating the people that you have met.

It takes 10 times as much money and effort to get a new customer as it does to keep a current one.  What if you do not have any current customers or want more than you have?  The same philosophy applies in both cases.  Show your current customers that you care about their business and appreciate them as customers, as valued human beings.  Your reputation will be enhanced by your actions, and prospects will know that you appreciate your customers.

Your current customers will tell others that you care about your clients.  You will be known as someone who builds relationships, not as some who just writes orders.  Your customers will refer business to you and be your unpaid advocates to others who may become customers.  You then work to make your new customers as happy and appreciated as the referring ones.  Then show your appreciation for the referrals.

Is this process only for large companies?  Of course not, it is perfect for all companies.  Whether you are building your business, or marketing yourself for a new career, you want others telling everyone how great you are and how great it is to know you, as well as to do business with you.  If you still doubt this theory, why not try it and see what it can do for you?  Market yourself and your business, showing appreciation for others.

Have you ever tried Appreciation Marketing?  If not, why not get in touch and let’s talk about how it can apply to every size of company or even to an individual? Leave me your comments, or email me at, or call me at 360-314-8691.  Let’s talk and see what Appreciation Marketing can do for everyone.

November 6, 2011

Appreciation Marketing – Make It Personal

This week’s subject is a result of Tom Hopkins’ most recent communication regarding sales and marketing.  If you are not familiar with his ideas, please read “How to Master the Art of Selling”.  It will change your thoughts on sales, marketing, and life.  Remember that your business life affects your personal life, and your personal life affects your business life.

The holiday season is rapidly approaching.  This is the time when we send various greetings to our business, and personal, partners and relationships.  It does not matter what holiday you want to celebrate, or what greeting is appropriate for your intended recipient.  Do you treat this time as one that is enjoyable or do you see it as another work requirement, involving time and effort not expected at any other time of the year?

First, there is not a mandatory requirement that you send holiday cards to anyone, or provide holiday gifts to the level of breaking your budget or checkbook.  I personally prefer that I receive a personal, and sincere, note from people that really care to send something to me.  (I felt the same way about my birthday recently.)  If you are not sincere, or don’t want to be personal in your effort, don’t send me anything.

I have always believed that sincerely saying thank you to someone is more personal and meaningful than dumping an insincere and impersonal note on anyone.  Why send the pre-printed card or an email without any personal salutation to people with whom you have not communicated at any other time during the year?  Shouldn’t you thank them for their business and/or friendship at some other time of the year rather than when it is “expected”?

How about customizing your message and adding a personal touch that means something special to the recipient?  I have always believed that this is better than some generic message, and I always prefer the message that is not “politically correct”.  In addition, a personal salutation goes much further than no such notation or an all encompassing one such as “Our friends at”, “Our customers at”, or “My friends”.  Use their names and try to be personal and creative.

I always like those who think outside the box or are real creative.  Maybe the fact that I like others who are somewhat different means that I am the same.  So what; if you can bring a smile to someone or a pleasant thought about your relationship with another person, then you have sent a meaningful message.  Reach out and touch someone and mean it when you do.

Do you have to send a holiday gift to everyone that you know?  Why not just send them a sincere greeting?  Do you even have to send them a holiday greeting?  Why not contact them when it isn’t expected?  If you want to build a relationship with your networking partners, you should contact them when it is not expected, during the year before the holidays.

Consider sending a Thanksgiving card instead of a Christmas one.  Consider sending a New Years card after New Years Day.  Tell the recipient that was delayed in order to not get lost in the many cards that you know that they will receive.  Consider sending a card to someone “for no reason”, just to tell them that you value their relationship and to brighten their day.

You have choices this holiday season.  You can send a creative, considerate, and customized message to your partners.  Or you can send an impersonal, boring, mundane greeting to someone with whom you have not maintained a real relationship.  Your New Years resolution might be to build relationships with others so that you actually recognize their names when you draw up your holiday list.

Please leave me your thoughts and stories for me to share.  You can email me at, or call me at 360-314-8691.  Build your relationships from mutual respect and caring, not from feeling that you should do something because you are expected to do so.

October 30, 2011

Appreciation Marketing – Voices From Your Past

Recently I received a call from a past acquaintance who wanted to reconnect with me after a long period of being out of touch.  What causes this to happen, what can you do to result in this type of event, and what do you do when this type of event occurs?  Appreciation marketing is the answer for all of these questions.

We all have met people over the years with whom we may do business or not; we may even exchange referrals or not.  We may just meet them, have a few conversations, and then nothing else takes place.  Their impression of us is based on their personal experience while interfacing with us and maybe on our reputation from our dealings with others.

Then, we do not meet or speak to this person for some period of time.  They could have changed employment, or maybe they moved to a new location; perhaps they experienced a life altering event in their lives for the better or for the worse.  It doesn’t matter what happened.  What matters is that they suddenly return into our lives and reconnect with us.

What leads them to reconnect with us after a period of time?  I was asked by someone who called me after a period of more than a year why it took him so long before he decided to do business with me.  I replied that it did not matter, he was at that point now, and we should build on that event; we should not be concerned by the delay.

Maybe we treated the person with respect and appreciation, or maybe we did not pressure them trying for the quick sale; maybe we were professional and understood their reluctance to close a deal.  Maybe it was all of this.  People remember those who treat they well, with respect, professionalism, and appreciation.  People do business with others that they know, like, and trust.  If you gain this level of relationship building, you will have success.

By reaching this level of relationship building, people that may have been “lost” may reconnect in a manner that is mutually beneficial.  They may become business partners; they may become referral sources.  It does not matter how long it has been since you “lost” your connection; all that matters is that a reconnection is now made.  Honor the reconnection and make it mutually beneficial.

Treat the reconnected person with the same respect and appreciation that you did originally.  Listen to their story and how they reconnected with you.  Then assist them in the best manner that you can, building a new stronger connection and relationship.  Build a relationship that benefits both of you from that point on into the future.

Have you had one of those calls from “out of the blue”?  Why did it happen; what did you do to make it happen?  How did you react, and where did it lead?  Did the relationship gain strength, and how did that happen?  Please let me hear your comments, or email me at, or call me at 360-314-8691.  Who knows, maybe we have the same stories to share?

October 23, 2011

Appreciation Marketing – Telling Your Story

We have all been told that we must be able to tell our story.  This is the tale of how we come to be where we are today; this is the chain of events that led us to be where we are now.  It is the story of who we are and what we did to become what we represent in business as well as in our personal life.

You must realize that the story that you tell is very important; it is what you utilize to get others to know you, and it should make others believe in you.  It must be true, and it must be believable to others.  The facts must be consistent from one telling to another, and they must be simple for you to relate.  My daddy always told me that when you tell the truth, you will easily remember what you say.

You must also realize that the manner of the telling is as important as the story itself.  You must tell your story in a believable manner, and you must keep it simple.  You also should keep it short enough that others will not lose interest during the telling and so that others will be able to relay the story to others.  Consistent facts will keep your story the same as it is retold.

How you tell your story also includes that you do not dominate the conversation.  If you are speaking with someone one-on-one, you must allow the other person to tell you about themselves.  You should always ask the other person about their story and how they came to be where they are now.  Show interest and listen to the other person.  The more that you listen, and learn, the better your networking relationship will be.

Listening, and learning, is appreciation marketing at work.  If someone believes that you are only interested in telling your story, and not hearing about them, you will never have their respect.  Your networking partners will know your story includes your desire, and practice, to learn their stories.  If you do not know someone else’s story, how can you include them in your referral process?

Of course, a polite manner and genuine interest are necessary to establish, and maintain, a networking partnership.  Remind yourself to treat others as you want them to treat you; if you want them to listen to and remember your story, you must listen to and remember theirs.  Perhaps you can help each other to refine your stories, thereby mutually helping each other to be better.  You are partners after all.

Your story should also include how you utilize your product or service in the business that makes that product or service available to others.  In other words, how do you use your product or service to sell your product or service?  Examples of how you do that should be included in your story.  Last but not least, your story should be personable, something that can relate to others.

So what is your story?  How do you tell it to others?  If you don’t have a story that you share with others, why not?  Your comments are always welcome here, or email me at, or call me at 360-314-8691.  If we can share our stories, that would be valuable time spent by both of us.

October 16, 2011

Appreciation Marketing – How Is Your Marketing Plan Working for You?

If you keep doing what you have always done, why are you amazed that you keep getting what you have always gotten?  How is your marketing plan working for you?  Is it driving new clients to you, either by turning prospects into clients or by getting your current customers to pass referrals to your attention?  Is it working well, or not working as you want?

When you started your business, you formulated a marketing plan, didn’t you?  Well, did you?  Hopefully, you determined what goals you had in mind to measure your success, both over short intervals and over longer timeframes.  You also chose what marketing tools that you would use to accomplish those goals.

First, are the goals reasonable and achievable?  Second, how is that plan working toward reaching those goals?  If everything is working, that’s great; you may not need to change anything.  If some things aren’t working, do you think that you should dump everything that you projected and how you should have been able to gain those desired results?  Or do you stay the course?

There are no 100% correct answers for your situation, no matter how successful or how poor the results are.  Periodically, everyone, and I repeat, everyone, should analyze your goals and how you plan to reach them.  They are very fluid and the plans to market your business may be just as fluid.  Only you can tell if your goals are attainable and how measurable they are so you can judge whether or not you are achieving them.

There is no one marketing plan that works for everyone.  I am a believer in working smarter, not harder.  I want all of my customers, prospects, and even those whom I will never have as clients, telling everyone that they meet that my product and service is something that others need and that I am the one to deliver it.  I strive to have my business be 100% referral based.

If your business is referral based that means that you are getting strong, reliable referrals from your clients, prospects, and even those who do not use your product or service.  That means that your customer service is above reproach, you pay attention to your clients and prospects, and others have determined that they will stake their reputations on your professionalism.

How do you get to this point with your business?  You must practice appreciation marketing toward others, toward everyone.  You must show all the people with whom you come into contact that you are professional in your business, you are passionate about your business, and you are personable in your dealings with others.  Then you will win the referrals of those people whom you touch.  Treat others as you would want to be treated, like human beings, and just do the right thing, always.

People do business with, and refer business to, others that they know, like, and trust.  What do you do to get others to know, like, and trust you?  Leave me your comments here, or email me at, or call me at 360-314-8691.  If you want to compare marketing plans, I would love to do so.

October 9, 2011

Appreciation Marketing – How Easy Is It for Your Prospects to be Customers?

Previously we have discussed how you should make the buying process enjoyable and easy for your customers.  This past week, I observed some instances that cry out for attention and a revisit of this subject.  The following are some observations that show areas where businesses can improve the buying experience to make it easier for customers.

When you have a website for your business, it should provide information as to how a prospect can become a customer.  Your contact information, including phone numbers, email addresses, and mailing address should be primary.  If you have multiple locations, all should be listed with their full addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses.  Do not make the prospect have to go to your website and email your through that site.  Have valid email addresses that you provide to others.

When a prospect calls you, either at your business telephone number or on your cell number, answer the phone promptly.  If you are busy with another prospect, and the call goes to voicemail, return the call as soon as you can, providing for the gathering of information that may be required as a result of listening to the message.  There is nothing worst than the person who never answers the phone or never returns calls.

Prospects who call without leaving adequate messages are equally guilty of bad conduct.  Voicemail messages should include your name, your return number, and a question or statement as to the nature of the call.  Even if the person that you called knows you well, leave your name and number so that it will help them in their busy day’s activities.  Speak clearly and repeat your number slowly for the recipient of your message.

Do not attempt to make appointments through email.  Call the person with whom you want to meet so that both of you can consult your calendars together.  Attempting to make appointments through emails is confusing, frustrating, and takes the personal touch out of the process.  Make sure that you note the appointment in your calendar and allow enough time to get to the place of the appointment and engage in a meaningful meeting.

If you will be delayed for a meeting, call the other party; do not email or text them.  If you can use your phone to text, you can use it to call.  If you care about them and their business, call them and admit your problem and reschedule.  Do not, I repeat do not, stand them up without calling.  If you do not value their time, you will not value their business or their referrals.

During a meeting, you must turn off your phone.  It is very rude for a phone to ring repeatedly during a meeting, no matter how many or few people are present.  If it does ring, shut it off.  If it rings again, you should become acquainted with how to operate the phone.  Do not answer your phone during a meeting and have a telephone conversation in a public gathering.

We have previously discussed that people do business with, and refer business to, others that they know, like, and trust.  If you make it easy for people to do business with you, they will refer business to you, making you even more profitable.  If you would like to comment about this process, please do so.  You can also email me at or call me at 360-314-8691.  Who knows, perhaps we know the same people who make it difficult for their prospects to give them business.

October 2, 2011

Appreciation Marketing – Unemployed Persons

Last week I discussed that you should never prejudge anyone.  Everyone that you meet has a story, and everyone has connections.  Everyone that you meet has a 250 person sphere of influence, and you do not know who those people in that sphere of influence might be.  You never know how those people might factor into your business or personal life.

Last week I was a participant in a job fair, speaking with the attendees about what they were looking for as employment.  Some attendees were unemployed, and some were not.  Some were still students, and some were recent graduates.  Some were professional in their presentation, and some were not prepared for an employment conversation.

How many times have you attended a networking event and met someone who was unemployed?  Did you prejudge them as someone whom you would not approach?  Did you ignore them and not offer to meet with them one-on-one outside of the networking event?  Why not chat with them, get to know them better, and meet with them at another time and place.

You do not know who they are or who they know.  You have no idea how they may help you or if you might help them.  Remember all the discussions that we have had about karma.  If you do something good for someone else, someone will do something good for you.  If you ignore others, good will not flow back to you.  In addition, helping someone else is the “right thing” to so.

I was at this job fair looking for people who would like to start a new business, perhaps a “Plan B” on a part time basis, or a full time career change.  I was there to discover people that I could mentor and teach how they could learn a business opportunity that could be a financial boost and security for them and their family.  I was looking for people who could think outside the box and be creative.

I also was using the event and this search process as a teaching experience for one of my new distributors.  This is an example of how we can help someone build a business for their future.  Everyone that came by our table was treated the same, with respect and interest in who they were and what they might want to do.  We met very interesting people and are following up with as many as we can, speaking with them face-to-face to learn more about them.

These principles can apply to any networking event and the people that you meet who are unemployed.  Offer to review their resume and give them an informational interview.  Offer to try to put them in touch with anyone that you know that they might want to meet.  Reaching out to others might bring you valuable information, perhaps a new employee, and valuable deposits in your “karma savings account”.

Have any stories that you might want to share?  Leave a comment, or email me at, or call me at 360-314-8691.  Maybe we have met some of the same or very similar people.  Maybe we can help even more people by sharing our experiences.

September 25, 2011

Appreciation Marketing – You Never Know Who They Are

Why do you attend a networking event?  Do you go to make a business connection, do you expect to sign a new customer, do you hope to find a connection to someone else, are you looking for employment, or are you looking for new employees.  Why are you there?  Do you go for the social possibilities, or are you in a serious business mode when you attend?

First, it depends on the type of event.  There are social networking events, and there are business networking events.  There are also some that might be considered both.  The type of event should determine why you are there; don’t attend an event that is solely for business when you are looking for a new social partner.  Don’t attend a social event when you are looking to expand your business.

Wherever you may find yourself, don’t prejudge anyone.  If your first impression of someone is that they are not the type of person for whom you might be looking, so what?  Do you tell yourself not to waste your time on them and move on to someone who seems more “your cup of tea”?  Do you try to connect with them and see where the conversation might go?  You might be very surprised by the person themselves.  You also could be very surprised by who the person in question might know that you need to know.

Recently I met someone at a business networking meeting that I attend every month, and, of course, I tried to set a one-on-one meeting with them afterwards.  I was totally rebuffed in my attempt.  I was told in no uncertain terms that the person did not want to meet anyone for any purpose.  I attempted to ask for a reason why the person attended the meeting and was told that the conversation was over, and they then hung up the phone.  I did not delete them from my contact file, just in case we meet again.

Let’s say that this person calls me in the future asking for help.  I will attempt to meet with them and attempt to discover why they reacted so negatively originally.  If there is a reasonable explanation, then we may proceed to a possible networking relationship, but I will be wary.  My suggestion to this person is not to prejudge others that want to investigate a possible relationship after meeting at a networking event.  That is the reason for the event.

Appreciation Marketing works to make successes of us all.  However, you must open the door to networking relationships to allow Appreciation Marketing to have an opportunity to be applied and to work.  If you prejudge anyone, you may be missing out on the relationship which will allow you to follow through and help someone else, or to be helped by someone else.  Just the act of not prejudging someone and of allowing relationships to develop is Appreciation Marketing in action.

The next time that you meet anyone who doesn’t seem to be your ideal possibility for a networking relationship, stop and think how you may appear to them.  You might not seem to be their ideal possibility either.  Never, ever, prejudge anyone.  The person that you disallow from your network might just fit someone else’s target market successfully.

Want to share your successes and failures?  Add your comments, email me your stories at, or call me at 360-314-8691.  I would love to meet and chat about your experiences.  Sharing often helps us more than we would expect.

September 18, 2011

Appreciation Marketing – Ask for Help, Then Give Help

Let’s say that you have this great marketing plan to achieve success in your business.  You have followed this plan for a long time, but it just doesn’t seem to be working as you envisioned.  You have gained some market share, but not to the level that you expected.  If you have followed the plan exactly as you planned it, without success, maybe it is time for you to try something else.

Perhaps you should tweak your plan and efforts somewhat.  Maybe you should junk the plan completely and try a different plan all together.  First, try talking to your networking partners, in an honest conversation, and ask for their advice.  Your true networking partners will share their ideas, and their failures and successes, with you.  You do have networking partners, don’t you?

What is wrong with learning from others?  If someone else is successful in a comparable business, what is wrong with learning from their plan for success?  Do you keep trying to reinvent the wheel (which works very well in the shape that it is), and keep floundering in your ups and downs of business, or should you follow a successful plan, and share that success?

Do you work as a franchisee in a business that has a proven path for success?  Then follow that path.  Hundreds, if not thousands, of others probably have followed that plan.  Why are you convinced that you have a better way of operation, especially if you have never worked in that industry before?  Learn, imitate, and prosper.  That’s what the previous successful people did, or did you not listen to that part of their training?

Last week we discussed pride.  Pride in business is great when it pertains to having pride in your ethics and honesty.  However, it can get into your way, especially when you will not ask for help from others.  Your networking partners will not laugh at you, and they will share information and help you succeed.  Most likely they were the recipients of that same help from someone that helped them, someone who was helped by someone else.

If you need help, don’t let your pride get into the way of getting help from others.  Then, don’t let your pride get into the way of telling your story to someone who may need your help and information in the same way.  Share your success, and failures, with others and tell them to pass the information along to someone else.  If you share your needs, and your assets, you will be a better person and success will come to you and follow you through life.

Karma is sharing with others; it is giving to others.  If we pass good things to others and share good information with others, then good will return to us from somewhere.  If we pass out negative thoughts and actions, then negative things will return to us.  What we put forth will return to us.

How about sharing your stories with others?  Add your comments, or email me them, or your questions, at, or call me at 360-314-8691.  If we all share with others, we will learn more ourselves.  What goes around will return to us all.