October 26, 2014

Networking Partners

We have discussed building relationships and how that can lead to more successful businesses. We have discussed how business networking partners will be there when we need advice, role models, and referrals that will lead to additional, and better, business. These partners will help us by guiding us through the difficulties of the business world, giving us someone to rely on when times are frustrating.

When we look to build a networking partnership we should look for others with whom we feel an honest and open relationship. We must have partners that we trust, being able to share information, and never keeping score as to who has helped whom, or when. Remember, like a personal relationship, it is all about helping others, not swapping one-for-one gestures of help. It is a partnership, not a competition. We must never feel as if our partners are tearing us down, but we should believe that they are building us up.

Our networking partners can be anyone with whom we feel comfortable. If we feel comfortable we share our referrals, support, and honesty with no hesitation. Our trust is imperative and must be earned through the introductory steps of getting to know each other. Both partners must be willing to be totally honest with each other, and understand that the help and advice we receive is meant to be constructive, not destructive.

One of the ultimate aspects of trust is the sharing of referrals. They represent our reputation, and that of our business. If we trust someone with our referrals, we probably trust them with our business. But what if we don’t need what someone else has to offer? Then the referrals that we pass to others represent the bulk of our business relationship with them. Remember it is a partnership, and partners share with each other, and they never keep score.

Honesty is something that must be paramount in our relationships in business. We must be honest in our offering, or not offering, referrals. We must be honest in our advice and suggestions to someone else. We should never offer advice when we really do not believe that it is needed or appropriate. Remember that honesty is the best policy and dishonesty will be found out every time. Sometimes honesty means that we cannot refer someone to another partner because it just would not be a good fit.

It has been said that our networking partners will give us advice before we ask for it. Our partners will give us referrals when they meet someone that may be right for us to meet, whether as a prospect or another networking partner. Partners are proactive and don’t wait for others to ask for help. We should never regret the opportunity that we do not pursue. As our marketing tells us, just take action and don’t bemoan the lost opportunity later.

Who are our networking partners? Do they have our best interests at heart, or do they keep score when offering referrals or advice or other types of support? Appreciation Marketing means that we all look for partners with whom we can form bonds of mutual trust and support. Both partners have a part to play, and partnerships mean both parties participate. Please leave me your comments, or email me at Jim@JimTeasley.com, or call me at 360-314-8691.

October 19, 2014

Eyes and Ears

The human body is a very well designed machine. We have a brain that does swift calculations, makes great decisions, and drives the body through its motions each and every day. We have limbs that do various things, like walking grasping, pulling, pushing, climbing, and other motions that get us from one place to another. All in all, the human body is fairly fantastic in its design and performance.

Consider two parts of the body, the eyes and the ears. The eyes see whatever is within our vision range, and the ears hear whatever is within our realm of hearing. They are input devices, like a computer keyboard or a mouse. They absorb what they see or hear and input the information to our brains so that those brains can make decisions with that data. We input information so that our processors can churn through the data and give us the benefit of that processing.

We also have a mouth, that wonderful body part that provides our voice to the world. This is an output device, much like a computer monitor or printer. With the mouth, our brain can communicate our thoughts to others, providing input to their ears and even allowing their eyes to see our feelings though smiles, grimaces, and sneers. Did you ever hear the expression “an angry mouth”?

We have all heard the advice that we have been given two eyes and two ears, but only one mouth. That means that we should intake twice as much information through our eyes and ears as opposed to the information that we put forth through our mouths. In other words, look and listen twice as much as you speak. Unfortunately, we cannot resist the urge to speak, speak, and speak some more. We babble and pollute the ears, and eyes, of whomever we have targeted with our words.

Our brains are marvelous devices that work wonders with our bodies, multitasking all the time, even when we are asleep. However, our brains cannot, on their own, stop us from vomiting words all over the people with whom we meet and speak. We must make a conscious decision to stop all the talk and speak only when we think seriously about what we are saying. Then, and only then, can we build relationships with others.

Appreciation Marketing implies that we should listen to the needs of others, attempt to solve those needs for others, and provide information to others that will help them in their quest for improvement and success. We cannot know what someone needs unless we listen to them, observe them as they are speaking with us, and attempt to solve their needs. We cannot solve their needs if we do not listen and hear their cries for help.

Have you ever listened to yourself speak? Perhaps the next time you meet with someone, ask if you can record the conversation. Then play it back and count the number of times you speak to them before you listen, the number of times you cut their words off, answering their questions before they finish them, or the number of times you try to fix something about them before you hear what it is that is broken.

We all have two eyes and two ears to receive input from others. We only have one mouth to provide output to others. Don’t be the person who vomits words all over someone, before you know what it is that they need to hear from you. Don’t be the person who others say: “He never listens before he tries to sell”. Please leave me your comments, or email me at Jim@JimTeasley.com, or call me at 360-314-8691.

October 12, 2014


“You cannot always have happiness, but you can always give happiness.” I have never known who first said this, but you can substitute lots of words for “happiness”, and it is very true no matter what word you use. It is a proven fact that those who give to others will receive back that same gift from someone, somewhere, somehow. You can call it karma, or whatever other term you use, but it is true.

“Delivering happiness” is the motto of one of the most outstanding retailers, Zappos, the online apparel store. Read the story of the company in Tony Hsieh’s book, “Delivering Happiness, A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose”. They believe that their company is “powered by service”, a philosophy that more businesses should follow. The back of the book jacket lists 10 reasons to buy the book, all of which are enlightening.

So what makes us all happy? What is happiness to us; what drives us to be successful? What even satisfies the question that we have done what we should do? How do we define success; how do we measure our success as a business person or as an individual? Is it the amount of money that we make, or is it the number of people’s lives that we impact in a favorable manner, making them better in some way?

Each of us will answer these questions in different ways. What makes one of us happy or successful may be very different from what means the same to someone else. What defines our lives may not even be in the realm of similarity for someone else. That is what makes us all individuals and normal people.

Is it the balance of money in our bank account, the number of investments that return dollars to us, or the number of friends that we have? Is it the size of our residence, the number of cars in our garage, or the number of people that we have touched, helping them to rise above the level of living where they were when we first met?

Maybe we have a lot of friends or contacts in social media, but do we have anyone with whom we can say that we have a relationship of mutual trust and support? Do we have those whom we can contact for assistance, information, and to whom we can bare our souls and minds? Take a step back, and let yourself take a long, honest look at your life and how your relationships matter to you and to whom you are.

Bob Byrd and John David Mann say in their book, “The Go-Giver”, that we should be of service to others. Their Five Laws of Stratospheric Success stress the idea of giving to others, supporting the success of others, and helping others reach their potential. This is a great book which stresses the principles of karma, that we all get back from someone and somewhere whatever we put forth into the world, no matter to whom we give. But we should give to give, not to get.

So, what is happiness to you? What means more to you, the success of your business or your own personal satisfaction? Is it the balance in your bank account or the fact that you can smile when you look into the mirror and be proud of what you do each and every day? What do your networking partners say about your Appreciation Marketing? Do you practice it or just give it lip service? Please leave me your comments, or email me at Jim@JimTeasley.com, or call me at 360-314-8691.

October 5, 2014


Those of you who know me understand that I believe that everyone should have fun in everything that we all do, including work as well as play. If we are not having fun each and every day, we should take a look at whatever it is that we are doing and fix the problem of the lack of fun. If we all are having fun each and every day, we are doing something that is good for us as well as for everyone else.

If our business is fun for us, and for our employees and our co-workers, is it fun for our clients? Does our customer base believe that their day is richer or more enjoyable for having done business with us? It doesn’t matter how much their purchase from us makes their lives better. When they come to us and make a purchase, does that process makes them feel better, smile, maybe laugh, and believe that they enjoyed the process? Do they have fun?

It doesn’t matter what we have available for our prospects. It doesn’t even matter if they make a purchase or not. Do they enjoy engaging in the buying process with us? Is the process fun, or does it brighten their day? Of course, if they actually make a purchase from us, our day is brighter and we enjoy the process more, but just the interaction should be enjoyable and even fun for both parties. That should be true even if no purchase is made.

Do our employees or co-workers have fun? Do we as business people have fun during each and every day? If not, why not? Maybe we should take a look at our operations from the outside, like our customers and prospects do. Maybe we should look at what our clients see and how it makes everyone feel. Perhaps we should ask our clients, who give us repeat business, as well as our one-time customers, what they see and experience.

Do our prospects enjoy the role of prospect or do they endure the process, looking for the exit door from the buying experience? Does the one-time customer grit their teeth, buy what they have to have, and get out of the experience as quickly as possible? Asking them for their honest opinion would be a good start to answering the question of why we are not having fun ourselves.

One of the principles of Appreciation Marketing is to look at our business processes from the viewpoint of the client or prospect. Only then can we realistically see what we do and experience how it is for that person to do business with us. Do we have the type of relationships with our prospects or clients to gain that information in a usable format? Do our prospects or clients believe that they can be honest with us?

How about our employees or co-workers? Do they have the level of relationship that allows them to be honest and objective with us? Do we have the type of relationship with ourselves to do the same? If all of us aren’t having fun and enjoying our work, it becomes a death march to failure as business people and as a business.

What do your clients and prospects have to say about your business? Do they have fun in dealing with you? Do your co-workers or employees have fun and enjoy the process of business with you? Do you? Does everyone, including you, enjoy the buying process and experience, or do they endure it, looking for it to end as soon as possible? Do you appreciate doing business with you? Please leave me your comments, or email me at Jim@JimTeasley.com, or call me at 360-314-8691.