May 30, 2016

Forget Me Not

So, you started a business and actually gathered some customers. They seemed happy with the buying process and appeared to like doing business with you. They even referred others to you, saying how great your offerings were and how great you were to them. But then they never bought from you again and stopped telling everyone how great you and your product or service was. What happened?

Short of them dying or not needing what you have to offer, why would they leave and start doing business with someone else? Maybe you offer a product that never breaks or wears out. Maybe your service fixed all their problems forever. Are your offerings really that good? Did their referrals not work out or bring you additional customers? Is that all there is?

Did you just focus on getting new customers or did you actually want to turn those customers into clients? Did you start chasing the next customer before you signed the first one? Did that pattern prevail from that point on? What did you discover about your customers before they became your customers? Did you really find out what they needed or wanted before you tried to sell them what you had to offer? Do you understand these questions and what they mean?

If the previous questions are foreign to you, then you have not been reading what we have been discussing here over the past years. You are centered on signing customers for your business in spite of not knowing if what you offer is really appropriate for your prospects. You are just focused on getting them signed and never worry about how they perceive the buying experience of the relationship with you. You are your own worst enemy.

The majority of customers who leave the service of any business do so because they believe that they have been taken for granted. They believe that the normal business owner does not appreciate the customer who has offered money for whatever product or service that the business has for the customer. They believe that they should receive more than just a product or service for their payment and want to be treated as more than a single order by the business.

So how do you prevent this dissatisfaction from your customer? Try turning the customer into a client through your appreciation for each customer. Show your gratitude for their initial inquiry if they don’t initially purchase from you, and when they do place an order, let them know how much you appreciate their business. Then thank them for any referrals that you receive from them, whether or not the referred person becomes your customer. Celebrate the events in their lives, their birthdays, their anniversaries, and the anniversary of their business with you. Treat them like a valued asset and as a person.

Gratitude Marketing results in success for anyone who shows gratitude for their acquaintances. Build relationships and thank people for what they are, for what they do for others. Take the gratitude challenge and see how many people you can thank for what they do. Then see what comes from all this gratitude that you put forth. You will be surprised in a very pleasant manner. Please leave me your comments, or email me at Jim@JimTeasley.com, or call me at 360-314-8691.

May 22, 2016

Gratitude Part 2

One of the greatest victories you can gain over someone is to beat him at politeness.” - Josh Billings

Gratitude Marketing means that we show gratitude to others for many reasons. One of the best ways that we can show gratitude is to thank others for what they do for us. Another way is to thank others for what they do for other people, when we are not included in any manner. We need to recognize these people for their actions towards everyone.

That recognition builds relationships as well as making everyone feel better about themselves and better towards everyone else. It even makes us, when we recognize what others do, feel better about life in general. When we all believe that life is positive, we are better business people and attract more customers and clients. Therefore all of us are more prosperous and will succeed in our businesses.

While practicing Gratitude Marketing, every person must be polite in their dealings with everyone that they meet. It does not matter what happens when we meet someone, we can be polite and friendly with everyone we have the opportunity to meet. If we begin to establish a relationship with anyone, our actions can be based on politeness towards others. Just maintain a professional attitude, and politeness will follow.

Professionalism should be the watch word for operating a business. That would include honest, ethical business dealings. Everything that we do is part of our marketing, and if we do our marketing correctly, success in the form of completed sales will fall into our laps. Our marketing reflects our philosophy towards others and in our day to day operations. Marketing is what other people see, and we should let them see our best.

Does being polite and practicing gratitude towards others mean that we cannot be individuals in our businesses? Of course it does not. Showing our appreciation for what others do, for us and for other people, becomes part of our individualism. We should all embrace Gratitude Marketing as a basic philosophy that will result in more success for our businesses.

Operating any business with professionalism and politeness is the new standard for success. Karma returns to us exactly what we put forth, and we never know from where the return will come or when it will arrive. Wouldn’t we want others to deal with us in the best manner; wouldn’t we want others to treat us well? It just makes sense to us as business owners.

Gratitude Marketing, including politeness towards others, will result is success for us and our businesses. Building relationships with others means partnerships and means referrals of others with whom we may form further relationships, acquire customers, and turn customers into clients. All of this results in more success for our businesses. If we don’t like someone, smother them with politeness. Please leave me your comments, or email me at Jim@JimTeasley.com, or call me at 360-314-8691.

May 14, 2016

Get Going

"The secret of getting ahead is getting started." - Mark Twain

We all know people who just cannot seem to accomplish anything. They always seem to be working, but they never get anything done. They are busy doing stuff, but nothing ever seems to be finished. On the other hand we all know people who plan everything that they do down to the finest detail, but again nothing ever seems to be accomplished. They have great plans but no achievements to show for the planning.

It is imperative that we plan what we are going to accomplish in our businesses. Without plans we go off in all directions and never know what we need to do next to accomplish the end goals. Without plans we waste money, time, and effort, whether it is ours or that of our employees. We must have simple, detailed goals that lead us to our objectives, and our goals must be written down. We do have written, detailed goals, don’t we?

However, we can have all the goals and plans to accomplish those goals that we can write down, and we can still never achieve anything if we don’t get started doing something. We must take action on accomplishing the plans and goals that we have. We cannot just lay out plans on paper or wherever we have them; we must actually take the action steps to do them. We must take a leap of faith.

Sometimes action steps can be very intimidating, and we may be afraid of trying anything that is outside our natural abilities. We may be faced with doing something that we don’t have the knowledge to accomplish, and we may need to ask for help from others, someone who we must trust. Sometimes we must just jump into the deep end of the pool and see what happens. We may have researched the water over and over, but now we need to get wet.

What if we do need the help of someone else; what if we must trust someone who knows more than we do? We research that person and their talents when we find someone who we think can help us, someone in whom we believe. Then we trust them, follow their lead, and do what they tell us to do. Only through complete trust and faith in them, and their expertise, can we reap the rewards of taking the chance.

Our networking partners, with whom we have built relationships through Gratitude Marketing, should be the source of the help that we may need. If they are not the actual person, or persons, that we need, they may connect us with the person who will lead us to success and to accomplishing our goals. That is why we have built these relationships; that is why these partnerships are in existence. If these partnerships cannot help us now, when can they help us?

Very often our networking partners will give us the best advice that we could ever have. When asked for help, or when they hear that we cannot seem to accomplish our goals or plans, they may just tell us to get started and work on the situation. After all that is one of the reasons that we have built these relationships, to have someone to tell us when we are doing something wrong, or not doing what we should do.

Gratitude Marketing builds relationships with others whom we trust and with whom we share our thoughts, beliefs, and goals. Those relationships are there to kick in when we need to get started and go to work. Please leave me your comments, or email me at Jim@JimTeasley.com, or call me at 360-314-8691.

May 8, 2016

Friends and Partners

Our networking partners usually become our friends who share our goals, dreams, and objectives for our businesses and for our lives. They have an interest in our successes for our businesses and for our achievements in our lives. We meet, establish relationships, and help each other in accomplishing what will make us all successful. We are there when someone else needs us; we support each other.

Over and over we have discussed how we should go to business meetings to build relationships, not to sell whatever we offer to the public. No one wants to engage us in a meeting if all we want to do is sell them something, either a product or service. Professional business people build relationships, engage in partnerships that would enable businesses to prosper, and try to help each other succeed.

Building relationships may take various lengths of time and may follow various paths. Sometimes the relationship just sparks almost instantly, and sometimes building it takes a long period of time. Sometimes, no matter how hard we work at the process, the relationship will never succeed, and sometimes the relationship does not last no matter how old it is. Sometimes what seems to be working just dies a slow death.

What does this networking relationship mean; what does it involve? Networking partners look after each other’s business goals, their objectives, and their dreams. They learn what their partner wants for their business success and how they plan to achieve that success. They may even help their partner determine these goals and objectives and the means to achieve them. These business owners are partners and share their successes.

Do business partners ever become friends? Of course, we cannot build relationships that are solid, honest, and lasting and restrict them to only business. If we try to separate our business lives from our personal ones, how do separate our customers and clients from our friends? If we try, we will damage our relationships and lose friends, lose clients, and lose the success in our business and personal lives that we desire.

Can business partners lose the magic that was behind the relationship that has been built? Something may occur that causes the relationship to cease being productive for one partner or the other. One of the partners may engage in some activity that doesn’t live up the standards for a professional partnership. Whatever, the partnership becomes damaged and may never be repaired.

Building relationships is the best practice in which any business person can engage, and it can be the ticket to success for both partners. It can also be the basis for a friendship that can equal the level of the business success. It can literally be a win-win for both parties. However, it does require work, and intelligent work at that.

Can one follow the practice of Gratitude Marketing in the building of relationships? Of course, and it can make relationships stronger and more productive than they would be without it. We stated last week that it is the best method of building relationships with everyone you meet. Gratitude Marketing should be the foundation of every relationship, whether they begin as business or personal. Please leave me your comments, or email me at Jim@JimTeasley.com, or call me at 360-314-8691.

May 1, 2016

Why? Part 2

As I have stated previously, I often ask myself why people do, and say, some of the things that they do. We all see them, and we all hear them. I am not the only person who looks at these people and questions why. I see other people with those questioning looks on their faces and shaking their heads in wonder.

“Do you know who I am?” This is the number one statement that tells me that the speaker is not someone who I want as a business relationship. They are only interested in themselves, selling what they have to offer, and not caring about the other person and what they might really need. They don’t want to build relationships; they only want to sign a sale and move on to the next deal. This is what I call, “Write, and run.”

Do you ever try to have a conversation with anyone and they are looking over your shoulder, trying to see the more important person who they really want to meet and try to sell. These people cannot maintain eye contact for fear that they will miss their real target person, who they have already decided is not you. They don’t care who you are, what you represent, or what you might offer to them; they just want to move on to the more important target for them.

We all have met someone who does not ever have their business cards and expects you to remember them. They always have forgotten them or just gave away the last one. Is business networking like bar meetings; are we supposed to write our contact information on a napkin or someone else’s palm? I want to meet professional business people who operate their business as a business. They will always carry business cards and give them to others in exchange.

The second level of the person with no business cards is the person who has some but wants to reserve them for more important people that they may meet later. This is insulting. Do they not understand that the person that they snub may have some very important friends to whom they may have referred the person or who may have heard the exchange when their friend was snubbed? Karma can be a real pain when she is provoked.

Oh, if you don’t have a business card to give to me (and I will follow-up when I get one), I will always offer one of mine and ask you to contact me so we can follow-up with a meeting to start forming a relationship. In my last 11 years of networking, I can count the people who have contacted me after that offer on the fingers of my 2 hands, and that is a sad percentage. Why miss a chance to chat with someone who is willing to listen to your story and hear what you want to say?

Last but not least is the person who, after answering multiple questions about what they do and how they came to their current position in business, never asks the other person anything about them, their life, or their business. Nor do they want to ever follow-up to do so. Building relationships is not their priority after all.

Gratitude Marketing is not just a way of life that sounds good. It is the best method of building relationships with everyone you meet. If you cannot be someone’s customer, be their business partner, try to drive business to them, and start a mutually rewarding relationship that exemplifies karma at work. Who knows, you may find that your new partner is your best source of clients that you could have. Please leave me your comments, or email me at Jim@JimTeasley.com, or call me at 360-314-8691.