March 29, 2015

Leads & Referrals

When we go to networking events our intention is to meet others whom we do not already know and renew acquaintances with those whom we already have a relationship. We intend to build relationships with others, discover what they need, and help them find whatever that is, no matter who may have it.

Never prejudge anyone. No matter who we meet, we should attempt to build a relationship because we never know where that relationship may lead. We do not know who is in the other person’s sphere of influence which is always a minimum of 250 contacts. If nothing else we want to know each member of that sphere of influence, those 250 possible contacts.

In the process of building relationships we may pass referrals to others which will help them obtain what they need. We may also refer them to a contact who may know someone else they need to meet in their search.

We should pass the contact information to both parties involved in the referral, and that is called an introduction. If we send the email to both parties involved, both parties can follow up with the other. If they don’t follow up, both of them are deprived of the benefits of the referral.

If we tell someone about a business with whom they may engage, we may not know a specific person to contact. We may only have the business name and a location without any other information. That situation is a lead, and obviously does not carry the weight of a referral. However, the lead may be enough to result in the possibility of a business relationship if the follow up is performed thoroughly.

Leads are not referrals because they are not detailed enough. They are not specific as to definitive contacts within a business, and we don’t usually cross introduce both parties in the lead. Obviously referrals are more significant than leads, but never discount the possibility that leads may turn into great referrals. We should be grateful to the party who offered the lead or referral, if it succeeds in any business for anyone.

Our networking partners are very busy operating their businesses. When they provide successful referrals or leads to us, we should recognize their efforts for the fact that they have helped put funds into our pockets and helped our business to prosper. They deserve the gratitude and thanks that we give them for their efforts. If we acknowledge these efforts they will continue to be our marketing partners. We should reward them.

Leads and referrals are the basis of business success. Without them our businesses will die and close down. With them we can prosper and succeed beyond our wildest dreams. We must acknowledge and express gratitude for all leads and referrals from our networking partners. Through these offerings we can never cold call again.

Have you offered any leads or referrals to any of your networking partners recently? How did they react to your efforts to help them? How did you respond to their leads and referrals that they give to you? Referrals and leads can be the impetus for our success in our business, but only if we follow up and market ourselves well. Please leave your comments here, or email me at, or call me at 360-314-8691.

March 22, 2015


Previously we discussed mistakes, and the realization that everyone makes them. We must realize that no one is perfect. No matter how hard we try to be perfect, we will make mistakes, but it is what we do afterwards that makes us what we are.

Whenever we post anything online or publish anything for ourselves or our business, we must make sure that it is as close to perfect in the structure as well as the content. The structure includes the spelling, typographical configuration, and grammar. The content must also be without error and should inform, even if the reader has a different opinion from the author.

Last week, this blog was posted on its regular blog site, and the link to that site was posted on social media and on LinkedIn. When the blog link is posted on LinkedIn, it is as part of discussions in various groups on LinkedIn for others to read and post their comments if they wish.

When last week’s blog link was posted to LinkedIn, there was a spelling error in the discussion title. This error was present in the discussion title in each and every group in which it was posted. The word “Dreams” was misspelled as “Deams”. This was not a major error, just a typo. However, it was a mistake, proving that the author is not perfect and was guilty of poor implementation.

Everything that we say, do, or publish reflects on us our business. Therefore, while we must strive to be as near to perfect as possible, we may make mistakes from time to time. We should be held accountable for those errors and how we react to their existence, but perhaps the errors themselves will give us insight to better procedures in the future. We must learn from these mistakes.

Publishing any information on social media, in publications, or even in our discussions with others requires us to review what we put forth, previous to the publication. We must think twice, or even 3 times, prior to publication, and not allow the stress of time or other factors make us take shortcuts which may be paved with error possibilities. To do otherwise fosters the possibility of mistakes.

Perhaps stopping to breathe before we click on “Send” or “Enter” would be a wise strategy. Perhaps always having someone else review our work for content and maybe a second person review it for structure would be a better procedure. Anything that we can do to prevent a blunder on our part would be a benefit. However, we are all only human and, none of us is perfect.

Mistakes will be made by all of us sooner or later. It is how we react to our mistakes and what we do to acknowledge and/or correct them that distinguishes our business practices. It is how we react to the mistakes of others that defines our networking partnerships. We must be as forgiving as we would wish others to be. We must understand and support our partners and assist them to be better communicators.

We should learn from our mistakes and teach our partners to do the same. Our partners with whom we have strong relationships will help us work through our errors, and we must do the same for them. If we “own” our mistakes and recover in the right manner, our relationships will be even stronger. Please leave your comments here, or email me at, or call me at 360-314-8691.

March 15, 2015

Dreams or Goals?

We all know that we must have goals which we work towards, but how do our goals fit with our dreams? We must have dreams, about our work, our personal life, specific dreams, or vague dreams, about our lives. We can dream about goals and their achievement, or we can dream about pie-in-the-sky ideas that we have. Goals and dreams can work together, or they can conflict with each other.

Dreams regarding our businesses might be for us to be successful (very vague) or they can be to increase our sales (still somewhat vague). We should have dreams as we should have goals. We must dream very specific dreams that can become goals. We can dream to be happy, but what steps are needed to accomplish that dream or goal?

Intermediate dreams, like intermediate goals, are more accomplishable and therefore more rewarding and build confidence. If our dream is to be happy, what intermediate dreams (goals) can lead us to that ultimate dream of happiness? What steps that should be measurable, able to be accomplished, and therefore rewarding, can lead to the ultimate goal or dream of happiness?

Dream and goals may be interchangeable, or they can build towards each other. They can also conflict with each other. Suppose we dream about world peace, but we have the goal to be a leader in equipment for making war. It is then time to decide which way we want our business and life to progress. Suppose that we dream of having fun in our personal and business lives. Our goals and dream must coincide with each other.

If we stop dreaming, we will lose the momentum to succeed in whatever we wish to attain. Dreams are the objectives that make us what we are and lead us to become what we can be. They are the basis for our goals, and may become the goals themselves. We must not let our dreams become idle day-dreams; we must work to achieve our dreams and become the people with the lives about which we dream.

Our dreams are not silly and impossible to achieve? Has anyone else dreamed similar dreams and failed? Sure they have. Edison failed over and over until he invented the electric light bulb. But he kept dreaming and working, doing his research and asking for help from others. Our networking partners and the relationships that we build can help us in the same manner. All we have to do is ask for their help.

We should stop surrounding ourselves with people who discourage us and tell us that we cannot achieve our dreams. Maybe they don’t know what they are talking about and don’t want us to surpass their level of failure. It is too bad for them if we succeed where they were too afraid to dream and follow through on their dreams. We might leave them in the dust, making new friends who share our dreams and accomplishments.

Dreams are the basis for our goals and for our successes in life. Our business lives, as well as our personal ones, are the result of our dreams and the goals that lead us to accomplish them. Don’t fail to share your dreams and goals with others, and never stop helping others to dream and accomplish the goals that will lead to their dreams becoming reality. That is what we must do for our relationships and partners.

Please leave me your comments, or email me at, or call me at 360-314-8691. Dare to dream and then dare to achieve those dreams through the help of your partners. Courage to dream and accomplishing dreams can be contagious.

March 8, 2015


Mistakes; we can’t make mistakes. Mistakes will cost us money; mistakes will cost us customers. We must never do anything that can go wrong. If it is risky, whatever it is, we can’t try it because we might make a mistake.

Does that sound like the way that we run our businesses? Is that our philosophy of business? Never try anything risky; we might make a mistake. We might fail. After all, failures are just big mistakes, aren’t they? Mistakes make us look weak; mistakes make us look like we don’t know what we are doing.

Mistakes must be learning experiences. Business people who do not make mistakes don’t learn. They don’t evolve, and their business does not evolve. Their business does not grow; their business does not prosper. They will remain in the same state in which they have existed until they expire from the weight of their lack of imagination.

Let’s say that we do venture out of our comfort zone and try something new and unique. We try something different and “radical” as opposed to our status quo. We attempt something that we have not tried previously, and we make a mistake. Shock and horror; what do we do? We must learn from our mistake and try something else.

We must adapt whatever we did wrong, and change what we are doing in order to correct whatever we did wrong. We must learn that whatever we did does not work correctly and that we should do something else. How do we pick up the pieces and put everything “right” again? How do we recover?

We stop; we take a deep breath and we study whatever went wrong and fix it. We “take ownership” of the mistake, acknowledging that we made a mistake and start fixing the mistake. If the mistake involves customers, we acknowledge our mistake to them, and we begin to fix the customer situation, attempting to put everything “right”.

We do not blame anyone else, either inside or outside our organization. We “own” the situation and make the customer “whole”. If we cannot make the customer “whole”, we do everything that we can to overcome the situation. Our customer must come first, and we must do everything that we can to regain and solidify their trust in our business. We have an opportunity to make our relationship stronger and better if we react correctly.

People who do not make mistakes do nothing, and their business does not grow. The only certainty in business is that change will be necessary; the only constant is that change does happen. We must embrace change, take advantage of what change gives us, and make our success from change. When we make mistakes in dealing with change, we must learn from those mistakes, and move forward.

Our best leaning experience may be our latest mistake. Our customers actually want us to take new and different actions that may result in mistakes, but they also want to see how we handle those mistakes. If we “own” our mistakes and recover in the right way our customer relations will be better and stronger. Please leave your comments here, or email me at, or call me at 360-314-8691.

March 1, 2015

Full of Yourself?

We all must believe in ourselves, that we are unique and different from everyone else that does what we do. We must know what it is that makes us the person with whom others want to engage in business or to whom others refer their networking partners. We must believe that we can be the best at what we do.

When we are promoting ourselves or just networking with others, we must “drop our ego” outside the meeting venue. We must not let our own image of ourselves overwhelm the others whom we meet and with whom we converse. We must dial our egos down to not be rude or obnoxious. We must stop trying to convince everyone how great we are.

We must learn to walk a very fine line in our relationships. We must believe in ourselves, but we must never make our networking partners, or anyone else, feel that we are so impressed with ourselves that we are not able to help someone else. Self-promotion must be second to Gratitude Marketing.

We must be approachable; we must be the person with whom others want to engage in either a business relationship or a networking partnership. People do business with, and refer business to, those whom they know, like, and trust. These are not status levels that come easily, and they are not reached if others believe we are too “full of ourselves” to form partnerships.

Networking partnerships are an important aspect of our business. They should be the objective of all of our marketing. If we do our marketing well, sales will fall into our laps. If we do our marketing well, networking partnerships will come to us easily, and partnerships will provide us the opportunities for our business to succeed.

We all know people who are very good at what they do. Some of them will tell us so at every opportunity. Others will ask us how we are, discover what we need, and see if they can help us discover the solution to our needs, no matter what those needs are or who can provide the solutions. They may not be able to provide what we need, but we will not forget what they did for us, and we will recommend them to others.

At the same time we will remember those people whose egos prevented them from discovering what we need, or how that need can be solved. We will remember how they told us that what they have to offer is just what we need no matter what would help us. Their advice may not always be the best or even the worse, but their demeanor will prevent us from wanting them as partners.

Marketing is everything that we do, everything that we say, and every behavior that others see or cannot see. If our ego is overwhelming, our best talents may never be known by others since we have given them the impression that we don’t care about anyone except ourselves.

We must discover what others need and how we can help solve those needs. Can we form a networking partnership with them? Can we come to know, like, and trust them, and can they do the same with us? Please leave your comments here, or email me at, or call me at 360-314-8691. Let’s build partnerships and succeed.