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 Jim@SOC4Now.com, 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 Jim@SOC4Now.com, 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.

September 11, 2011

Appreciation Marketing – Pride


Pride, what does it mean to you?  It should mean that you take pride in yourself, what you do, and how you do it.  It means that you have pride in how you live your life.  You do the “right thing”, each and every time you relate to anyone, at work or otherwise.

It has been said that pride is the downfall of a person, that pride will prevent someone from doing what they should because that action might be demeaning or embarrassing.  Who says?  We should all do what is right, no matter the consequences to us.  Pride should not prevent us from making things “right” for our clients, prospects, friends, family, or anyone else.

One definition of pride is “pleasure or satisfaction taken in something done by or belonging to oneself or believed to reflect credit upon oneself”.  We can easily take this definition and use it to reflect the satisfaction of doing the “right thing” for those that we meet each day.  Therefore pride would not prevent, but would encourage, us to be better people.  Just concentrate on the “giving” and not on the credit for the act of giving.

If you need to ask what pride has to do with Appreciation Marketing, you have not been listening for the past many weeks.  We just said that pride would result in you doing what you should for others.  Practicing appreciation marketing means that we treat everyone as we would want to be treated.  Therefore, pride and appreciation marketing would go hand in hand for better relations with others.

One should be very careful not to allow pride to prevent us from completing the 5th law of success.  You do remember the 5 laws of success as detailed by Bob Burg and John David Mann in “The Go-Giver”?  The 5th and final law is: Give, get, repeat.  In other words, give to others, get from others, and then repeat the process.

None of us should let our pride get in the way of enjoying the gifts of others.  For every giver who gives to us without asking anything in return, there must be a taker to complete the process.  If there is no one to receive a compliment, the giver is without anyone whose day will be better, and the giver is left with a vacant spot in their life.

If we let our pride get in the way of accepting something that is given to us by someone else, we have violated the 5th law of success, and we have prevented someone else from being able to give to us.  We have just broken the equation of giving.  For every giver there must be a taker, and we can be that taker.

Therefore, we find that pride can be the trait that encourages us to “do the right thing”.  That means everyone that we meet, with whom we do business, or with whom we interrelate in any manner.  Also we know that pride will allow, not prevent, us from enabling the 5th law of success: give, get, repeat, by not preventing us from accepting the giving efforts of others.

Don’t let your pride get in your way; let your pride enable you to be a giver, and a receiver, enabling the betterment of others as well as the well being of yourself.  Look at each opportunity as it arises and see if you can practice Appreciation Marketing every day.  Remember that everything that we do will return to us in some way, some day; that’s karma.

Have a comment or question?  Please add them, or email me at Jim@SOC4Now.com, or call me at 360-314-8691.  I always appreciate your input and will attempt to answer you in an appropriate, appreciative manner.

September 4, 2011

Appreciation Marketing – How “Good” Is “Good Enough”?


How often have we heard the phrase: “That’s good enough?”  What exactly is “good enough” for Appreciation Marketing believers?  Is it the level of product excellence that allows a company to “just get by” with meeting standards?  Is it the level of customer service that will not provoke outcry and backlash?  Is it the performance that only meets regulatory minimums?

Personally, I dislike the phrase “good enough”.  It implies that someone provides the level of service or the quality of product that meets minimum requirements, whether they are regulatory or buying public expectations, and provides no more than necessary.  If you analyze most regulatory requirements you will understand why regulatory standards are too low for nearly all public desire and need.

As business owners, we should strive to wipe the phrase “good enough” from our vocabulary, and that of our staff personnel.  Marketing “good enough” products means that we do not care about doing what we should do to appreciate those who spend money to purchase from us.  “Good enough” means that we do not care about our customers, our products, or our service.

We have discussed that we should provide a good product or service for a valid price.  Define the term “good”.  Is it just “good enough” or is it really the best that we can provide for the price charged?  Can it be better, or are we just “getting by” with only what is required?  Who defines the level that is “good” anyway?

I have stated many times that I strive to provide the type of customer service that I myself would want to receive.  We should treat customers as we ourselves want to be treated.  That opinion has provoked comments from my networking partners that I am wrong.  They tell me that I should treat others as they want to be treated, not how I want to be treated.

I disagree; my standards are higher than the normal customer’s.  I am “high maintenance” and want to be treated very well, not just “good enough”.  The average customer has come to accept what I consider to be below average customer service.  The state of normal customer service is now so low in most business transactions the customers have come to accept a level that they would never have accepted in the past.

It is time to correct this complacency.  We need to step up and stop being “good enough” and start appreciating our customers, our prospects, and everyone with whom we meet.  Start treating others as you want to be treated and be demanding in what you expect from others.  That is the way that we can change this “normal” level of behavior and service.

From our products to our service to our prices and to our everyday marketing, we can fix this abysmal level of customer relations.  It doesn’t take much, just consistent work, doing what we should be doing each and every day.  Make it a habit, and it will become normal operating procedure.  Be proud of what you market, including your service and relations.

Please leave me your comments and questions.  I will respond to emails at Jim@SOC4Now.com or to calls at 360-314-8691.  Your input is always appreciated and important to me.