August 30, 2015

Self-Promotion

When we attend networking events, we hear the self-promotion of those who want to develop us as their customers. We also hear the same messages in the literature of other business people. Everyone wants to tell us how great they are, how wonderful their products or services are, or how we cannot live another minute without becoming their customers.

We are told that our lives will be better, we will live longer, run faster, jump higher, we will be happier, healthier, smarter, wiser, or richer, or we will have better relations with the opposite sex. This self-promotion tells us that these business people are the saviors of our lives and we are so lucky to be able to become their customers.

These networkers have always been taught that the way to building their businesses was to proclaim to the world how great they were and how wonderful their products or services were. All our business lives others have told us that this was the way to woo prospects to become customers and those customers would buy from us and make us successful. What if there was another, better, and easier way?

How do we feel about someone who constantly tells us how great they are, how much better they are than everyone else, and how they are the end-all to all the problems that everyone has? Don’t we get tired of all the self-promotion? Don’t we see through the hype and the ravings? What if business owners showed us how much they value our business and let us judge their products and services for ourselves?

What if business owners showed us how much they appreciated our business, and our input to them, and actually thanked us for being their customers? Would we believe that they were people with whom we actually wanted to do business, and wouldn’t we want to recommend them to others who might also enjoy being their customers? Would we become clients instead of customers, clients who buy repeatedly from them?

We all like to be noticed and appreciated. We all like to be thanked for whatever we do for others. Customers who stop engaging in business with us do so because they believe that we take them for granted. They believe that they have been abandoned and ignored. There is always someone who will speak with them and attempt to gain their business. We need to make them remember us as being grateful for their business.

We must continue to engage our partners and pay attention to their needs. If we don’t have whatever they need, we may be able to refer them to someone who does have the solutions to their problems. When we helped them, we paid attention to them, assisting them in discovering the solutions to their needs.

It costs us 10 times the time, money, and effort to get a new customer than it costs to keep one. If a customer considers themselves valued, they will refer business to us and make us successful. Gratitude Marketing, making customers know that we are grateful for them, will bring us so much more success than our own self-promotion can.

How do we show our gratitude and appreciation for our customers? How do we make them know how much we appreciate and value their business and referrals? What does Gratitude Marketing really mean to you? Please leave me your comments, or email me at Jim@JimTeasley.com, or call me at 360-314-8691.

August 23, 2015

Next?

It doesn’t matter what we do as business people, there is always the question of what we do next. What is our next idea, strategy, or move? When we attend a seminar, what is our next move to implement what we learned? If we are just starting out in business, what is our first strategy to attract customers? It is always about what is next.

It doesn’t matter at what point we are in our businesses, we must always be thinking at least one, but preferably several, moves ahead. We believe that to do less would be to fall behind, to become a follower, and we don’t want to be seen as anything other than a leader. We may believe that status would make others think less of us.

When we attend a seminar or webinar, or even read a book about improving our operation, we learn how to make our business better. We are presented with steps to take to make that improvement and how to judge the results. We have a blueprint for success that has been tried and tested. All we have to do is to put the plan into action.

What about our fear of being seen as a follower, or as a copier of the work of others? From the day when we are born, we learn from others. If something that we learn makes our business better, who cares that we learned that plan from someone else? People who spend money on gaining information from someone else and do not use what they have learned are not wise business people; they waste money.

Obviously the next step would be to place the ideas, the plan, and the steps that we learned from somewhere else into action and see if it benefits our operation. Does whatever we learned help, or hinder, our business? Does it improve our operation, or does it make any difference at all? Did we implement what we learned correctly?

Maybe we are not clear as to how to implement what we learned. Perhaps we should consult with those who authored the ideas, or maybe we should speak with someone we know, a networking partner, who is familiar with the situation and the new ideas. Neither of these options shows that we are not able to lead our business, but will indicate that we make intelligent business decisions.

Whatever we do, we must make planning and implementation part of our business, a portion of our overall strategy. We cannot just react to events, we must plan and implement. We cannot only plan; we must take the next steps and put into action whatever we plan. The best plans are acted upon, not gathering dust in our desk. If we learn anything from someone else which works better, we should try to use it.

As business people we are responsible for the operation of our business and its continued accomplishments. It doesn’t matter where we learn what we use, as long as we gain that knowledge honestly. What matters is that we gain knowledge and use it correctly. Our networking partners might help us, or we may help them. That is why we have partnerships, and we must continue to build them better and stronger, everyday.

What is the next step for any of us? What is the next idea, plan, or action that we should undertake? How do we feel about learning from others and how that knowledge is being used? How does learning from others impact our own ego and what we do next? Please leave me your comments, or email me at Jim@JimTeasley.com, or call me at 360-314-8691.

August 16, 2015

Make It A Habit

All of us have habits, some good, others bad. Obviously, we want to stop, or downplay, the bad ones while we want to solidify, or refine, the good habits. We have habits that occur in our personal lives and ones from our business lives. As we have discussed over and over, all our habits will show up in both our personal and business lives.

We must recognize our bad habits and try to refine them into good ones. Some of us are shy or bashful; others may be obnoxious, loud, and bombastic. Obviously, these are habits, or beliefs, to which we should apply correction. Maybe we try to turn them around, becoming more self-confident or less imposing. Perhaps we should attempt to eliminate the habits altogether.

An example of an excellent habit is what we should do when we meet someone new. It doesn’t matter how we meet someone for the first time, this habit could apply. Whether it is at a networking meeting, or a social event, we should use some version of this habit. Apply this habit in a comforting manner, and success will follow for us.

First, make some conversation to determine the other person’s nature and if they are open to our trying to deepen the discussion. Ask them how they are and learn why they are at the event. We should be able to lead the discussion into what they do for their business. This is where we have the opportunity to ask for their business card, offering ours as an exchange. Make sure their card contains their mailing address.

Next, look at their business card and ask some questions regarding their work, without being excessively inquisitive. We must not be perceived as threatening, but we must be seen as politely interested. Make some statement about their business and how a further conversation might provide a way to assist them in their business. Perhaps a question as to what type of referral they could use might pave the way for follow-up.

After the initial meeting, we should send them an email thanking them for the conversation, saying that we will be contacting them in the future. Then send them a personal card, like the email, thanking them again. As Tom Hopkins teaches, there is nothing better than a thank you card.

After the card should arrive, give them a call asking if a conversation over coffee is possible, and set the appointment. Before that meeting verify the date and time by email or message. At the meeting we should discover further details of their work and ask how we may help them find whatever they need to make their work more successful. Then try to find solutions to their needs, no matter whom we may refer to do so. Next, we should follow-up with another thank you card.

Every business person, whether they are the business owner or an employee, has habits. Either through self-recognition or through our networking partners, we must correct the bad habits and refine and improve the good ones. It is up to us to take the steps to develop ourselves and our businesses so that our habits bring us success.

What good habits should we refine and improve, and which bad ones must we eliminate? We must not allow our bad habits to prevent our success, and we should share our good habits with our networking partners as examples of Gratitude Marketing. Please leave me your comments, or email me at Jim@JimTeasley.com, or call me at 360-314-8691.

August 9, 2015

So, You Have a Business

Every business person, whether they are a business owner or an employee, should have guidelines in how they conduct their life. If we do not have standards to follow and policies that reflect our manner of living, we will fail in both our business and personal lives.

1.) Every business person should operate in a professional manner. We must treat our business as a business, not as a hobby. We ought to devote every effort that we can to our business, its customers, prospects, employees, and anyone else involved. We should be honest and ethical, provide great customer service, and build relationships with everyone.

We must be supportive, loyal, and reputable and never do business with anyone who does not conduct their business professionally. Above all, we must run our business, no matter what it is, as a business. To do less is disrespects everyone who does operate as such, with their heart and soul involved.

2.) Each of us must operate with passion. We must show the rest of the world that we believe in what we do, have pride in what we do, and treat everyone well. We must believe in these traits, showing that belief and pride to our prospects and any customers that we have. Others will know if we don’t really believe in what we do, the product or service that we have, or what it should mean to others.

We also must be a product of our product or service. If we don’t actually use what we market, no one else will. They may even consider us to be frauds. No one can possibly believe that they should purchase our product or service if we ourselves do not utilize it. If it isn’t good enough for us, how can others believe that it is good for them?

3.) Finally, we must be personal with other people. This includes treating everybody as a person, a human being, and as a valuable part of our lives, not just part of our businesses. Stop looking at others for what they can spend with us and see what we can do for them. Give to give, not to get.

When we put service to others before our profits, karma will bring goodness to us and our businesses. Turn customers into clients through gratitude for what they do for us, for others, and for the world in general. Money will follow our gratitude. All of us will prosper, and success will follow the karma that we put forth.

We all need to take a look at ourselves and our businesses and see how these principles can apply to us. How have we slacked off from what caused us to be in business originally; how has our demeanor and behavior changed since we started our businesses; how do we view prospects, customers, and everyone else? Have we lost the essence of karma that served us so well originally?

Can we honestly say that we are professional in all that we do and say? Are we passionate about our business, and are we a product of our product or service? Can we say that we treat everyone in a personal manner, as people, not as numbers in the business? Please leave me your comments, or email me at Jim@JimTeasley.com, or call me at 360-314-8691.

August 2, 2015

Spam or Help?

When I began this blog, almost 5 years ago, and when I write each weekly posting, my intent has always been to provide information that is helpful to readers who might be business owners or employees. I believe that the majority of businesses are operated by well-meaning people who have been led astray by “experts” who do not understand marketing which builds relationships and also stresses great customer service.

I always attempt to offer suggestions, information, and advice regarding the treating of all customers who are as important to our businesses. Basing our business culture on gratitude for the customers that we have, the referrals that they bring to us, and the support that our fellow business owners provide to us is how to build business success. Business people need to hear and learn these facts and how to implement them.

One of the most basic parts of any business is its corporate culture. If we work to base our businesses on gratitude for our customers, our prospects, and everyone else, we will reap success and be known for our culture of gratitude. The people that we want to have as our customers, the prospects that we meet, and all the rest of our network of people will know us for our culture and will want to experience that philosophy.

While some people may believe that I write my blog posts as advertisement for my business, I always intend the postings as information that will assist businesses to improve their marketing and their bottom line. I never mention my business name in any of my blog postings, nor do I ever advise anyone to do business with me or do I ever charge anyone for my marketing advice. I believe in giving to give, not to get.

It requires 10 times the money, time, and effort to convert a prospect to a customer. Why should we spend all that on another prospect? Why not apply Gratitude Marketing and show appreciation and gratitude to that customer and turn them into a client? Cold calling is for losers; successful businesses build their success through client referrals and the good will that Gratitude Marketing culture brings.

What is the difference between a customer and a client? A client is a customer who has a repeating order without being reminded and may be on an automatic order basis, like a subscription. Clients willingly give referrals because they believe that they have a vested interest in the well-being of the business, knowing the networking relationship will bring them referrals and success.

Gratitude Marketing should be equally applied to networking partners, who may not be our customers or clients. Their networking relationships with us make them our friends and partners in life and business. Karma tells us that we will receive back exactly what we put forth, either good or bad. It may not come back to us immediately or from the person we “touch”, but it will return some day from someone.

Gratitude Marketing means that we give to give, not to get. Information is the most powerful gift that we can give, but we cannot make anyone use that information if they do not want to do so. If anyone believes that these blog posts are spam or a solicitation for business, then stop reading them. Please leave me your comments, or email me at Jim@JimTeasley.com, or call me at 360-314-8691.