February 28, 2016

Networking

One of the best applications of Gratitude Marketing is networking. Networking is the most personal form of marketing, the easiest, and usually the most economical. When we network, we are establishing relationships with others which will benefit both parties. Networking is not an opportunity to attempt to sell others what we have. It is the opportunity to start a relationship for the future.

When we network, we meet people who are business owners, business employees, people who are interested in starting a business, and people who may be looking for a career change. We have a very short time to meet them, get to know them, and start building a relationship. Therefore, we must make the time to meet with them as soon as possible one-on-one, and get to know them better.

We must find out their business story, and let them discover ours. We must establish a start towards deciding if we like them and if we can trust them. We do business with those we know, like, and trust. We also introduce people of this type to each other. That is how relationship marketing works. That is how businesses are successful.

Meeting someone one-on-one allows us to decide how professional the other person is, how passionate they are about their business, and how they treat others. What if we ask someone about their story, listening to all the details of how they are at the current point in their personal and business life, and they don’t want to ask about ours? Should we trust them with our introductions to other people with whom they should build relationships, or are they just going to try to sell others what they have to offer?

Deciding whether we like or trust someone must come before we refer them to our current relationships. Introducing these new people to our current partners implies that we endorse them and that we are asking our partners to trust them also. This may impact our reputation with our partners if the person never tries to establish relationships with these gifts/introductions that we have provided to them.

When we meet anyone one-on-one, we must ask, and allow, them to tell us their story. We must discover how they reached the current point in their business life. Since business and personal lives are so intertwined, we will probably also discover the details of how their personal life has reached its current point. Both these aspects of their story are what make them who they are today, and that is what we need to hear.

As professional business people we must establish relationships with others. It makes all of us more successful. It is good business, and it is Gratitude Marketing. Make it a habit to meet new people at every opportunity. Then meet with them to get to know them, discover what they need, and help them get it, whether we have it or not. If we don’t, introduce them to someone who may help them get what they need, or who may know someone else who knows someone else.

Gratitude Marketing is a great habit for all of us, a very good habit which will result in more customers, clients, and prospects. Listen to their stories because getting to know other people may bring us more prospects, customers, or clients. It also will bring us introductions to people who may lead us to the best client that we ever have. Please leave me your comments here, or email me at Jim@SOC4Now.com, or call me at 360-314-8691.

February 21, 2016

Kindness

“No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.” - Aesop

Gratitude Marketing means that we recognize the actions of others whether we are the recipients of those actions or not. When someone does something that impacts our lives positively, we thank them. When someone does anything that impacts the lives of other people, we should also thank them.

We recognize those actions and make sure the person responsible knows that someone else believes that their effort was great. When someone takes the time and effort to do something for someone else, they must be recognized for their actions and shown appreciation and gratitude. It is good marketing, and it is good business.

Gratitude Marketing means that we follow the principles of good customer service and treat our customers, clients, prospects, family, and friends well, as human beings should be treated. This applies no matter who they are, where they are, or who they are to us. It doesn’t matter who they know, or what their business means to us. We do not pick who we are grateful to, and we do not slight anyone. We treat everyone the same way.

Why would we show gratitude to anyone who is not our customer? Maybe they just do not need what we have to offer; maybe they cannot afford our prices. They may know many people who do need what we have to offer, and they may know others who can afford our prices. They may also know others who know more others who also can become our customers.

The person we meet may not be the greatest prospect for our business. That prospect might be someone who that person knows or someone who those connections know. People do business with others who they know, like, and trust. They also refer business to those who they know, like, and trust. Very often a referral is better than the quick-to-sign customer who we meet.

Gratitude Marketing is not difficult or hard to accomplish. It is also not expensive. Bad marketing is very expensive; great marketing is not always costly. Sometimes the simplest marketing is the most effective. Great marketing is marketing that provides us the greatest return on investment (ROI). Does our marketing return us more than it takes to do it? Then it is great marketing. Gratitude Marketing is great marketing.

So what are examples of Gratitude Marketing? When we obtain a new customer, thank the person for doing business with us. Do it verbally and in writing. When that person introduces us to a potential customer or a referral partner, or both, thank them again. When that person continues to be our client, on an ongoing subscription or on new orders, thank them again on the anniversary of their initial customer anniversary.

Gratitude Marketing should be a habit for all of us, a very good habit which will result in more customers, clients, and prospects. It also makes us more appealing for others to know us and become our networking partners. Those people will bring us advice, assistance, and referrals. All in all, Gratitude Marketing can make us better business people and will also make us better people in general. Please leave me your comments here, or email me at Jim@SOC4Now.com, or call me at 360-314-8691.

February 14, 2016

Don't Listen

“The ones that say that you can’t are the ones who are afraid that you will.” (Unknown author)

Those of us who decided to operate our own business may have heard the doubters who told us that we could not accomplish our dreams. We may have heard that we would fail, that no one can make a success of whatever we wanted to do in business. We heard that we were foolish and stupid for dreaming.

We may have heard these words of doubt from our family, our friends, or our former co-workers. These people may have been those who we liked, loved, or respected. They may have had our best interests in mind when they warned us, or they may have had no interest in warning us for our own good.

Very often those who give us this good advice only want to place doubt in our minds because they are jealous of our attempts to be different. They may tell us that we are crazy to dream that we can create something when others cannot. They may not want us to be successful when they may have failed in their business lives. They may just be petty and envious of our success or even the fact that we have the courage to try.

We all have people like this in our lives. We have heard them in networking meetings, in one-on-one meetings, and on the internet. They say that we cannot succeed, that our ideas will not work, that we don’t know what we are doing, or that what we are starting as a business is a scam, a false dream, or a failure to come.

Often these doubters claim to know someone who tried whatever we plan to do and who failed. When they are questioned as to who that person was, they just draw a blank. In short, that person probably doesn’t exist. Petty jealousy and envy are the reasons that they want us to fail or give up. “They” always have superior knowledge, but who are “they’ anyway?

When we decide to start a business, purchase a franchise, or join an existing business, we must do our homework. We must research the situation as thoroughly as possible, tapping into every source that we can. We must look at the pluses, minuses, and every other aspect of the business. We must decide if we can make a successful business from the possibility, not create a hobby. We must do all the work necessary and obtain every source of information that we can to be successful.

Every successful business has a business plan, written and evolving over time. We must have goals and revise them as we progress. We must be true to our mission statement, and we must be professional, passionate, honest, and ethical in our operation. We must treat our customers and employees in a professional manner, and as human beings. We must operate our business as a business, not a sideline.

When we operate our business we must be true to ourselves, our employees, our families, and our customers. We must rely on sound, professional advice, ignoring the naysayers who are jealous of our success and of our courage. Only then can we build a business that we can claim as a success and be proud of that success. Please leave me your comments here, or email me at Jim@SOC4Now.com, or call me at 360-314-8691.

February 7, 2016

The Truth

"If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.” (Mark Twain)

I heard the same advice from my father when I was young. His words were, “If you always tell the truth, you don’t have to remember who you told what.”

In both cases these mentoring words of advice apply to both our business lives as well as our personal ones. We can employ this type of advice very well in our marketing and in our business practices. Keep it simple; be truthful. Then we always will know that what we have said to each individual is what we have said to everyone and is true.

We have all heard the claims of various other people in their marketing. Today a presentation of theirs claims one set of accomplishments. Tomorrow we may hear a slightly different version. Which is accurate? Maybe it is the version that we hear next week or next year.

Sometimes the people making the statements don’t realize that they are reinventing the truth from time to time. Sometimes they know exactly what they are doing and saying. Perhaps a small exaggeration is intentional; sometimes it may be an accidental slip of the tongue. Often it is not only intentional; it is designed for effect to press a point or an advantage in a moment of a presentation.

So what does this practice get us in our marketing? Often we are marketing to people who we know quite well, and they know us as completely. Sometimes we make presentations to the same person or groups who have heard us previously. Do we really believe that our prospects or audience are dumb or easily misled? Do we really believe that people may not remember what we told them previously?

It is imperative that we make our marketing truthful each and every time we provide presentations to everyone. Our prospects, and our customers, will remember the differences in our claims from one presentation to another. Whether it is a prospect or a customer, failing to tell the truth at all times can be devastating to our marketing results.

What happens when we change something in our offerings? If we change the products or services that we offer, we must make the changes clear and distinct to our prospects. We must also make the same effort to explain the differences to our current customers as well as customers that we have not retained. Everyone must be informed, and the changes must be clarified as to the detail and rational of the changes.

Honesty and truthfulness will always bring better results than deceit of any level. Confusion, apathy, and anger follow the discovery that anyone has not been truthful to their prospects and customers. No one wants to be deceived; it makes people believe that they have been used and not in a good manner.

Truthfulness in our marketing is a must, and anything less than total honesty must never be a part of our marketing. Gratitude Marketing has no room for dishonesty, no matter the reason. Truthfulness will always be rewarded by karma, and our prospects and customers will always tell others that they trust us and trust our claims and intentions. Please leave me your comments here, or email me at Jim@SOC4Now.com, or call me at 360-314-8691.