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