January 29, 2017

Networking Relationships

What is a networking relationship? A networking relationship, or partnership, is begun when we meet someone at a business function and follow-up to meet them one-on-one to get acquainted. At that point we have started to establish a networking relationship, but what does it really mean?

In this relationship, we should be able to determine if we know, like, and trust the other person enough to refer business to them, and they should be able to determine the same about us.

However, there is something else about networking relationships besides referrals. The other person should be someone to whom we can go for information, advice, and assistance in business. Of course, the relationship should be reciprocal. In addition, the two parties in the relationship should be willing to provide information and advice even when it may not be what the other party wants to hear.

We are all in business to succeed. However, we have a vested interest in making our networking partners succeed. That interest means that we sometimes tell our partners something that they do not wish to hear. We may offer a better way of doing some project, a better way of writing a brochure, or a better manner to pursue some particular business.

We need our networking partners, and we also need to be networking partners. If we are to be successful, we need to help each other to be successful. Only through actively being partners can we reap the success that giving to others can bring. Putting forth assistance to others will reap that same type of support for our business.

Our partners need to be aware of our other partners. They need to be able to tap into the information and support available through this extended network. It is our responsibility to enable this networking function, by introducing various partners to each other, encouraging others to introduce their partners to ours, and following-up with anyone and everyone to insure that this networking takes place.

As we go about our business, we are networking each and every day. Everyone that we meet can be added to our network of trusted partners. Be on the lookout for people who we can connect with each other and make sure that they are really a part of our network. Tell them about each other, put them in touch with each other, and encourage them to do the same.

Of course, there may be a time when someone does not want to be a partner. Some business people just want to look out for themselves and do not want to be a member of our partnership network. It is our responsibility to attempt to educate them or enlighten them, if we can. Everyone that we educate to this way of thinking will thank us for our efforts later.

We must not forget that we must show our appreciation for others and their assistance to us. We also must not forget that we must show appreciation to others for their assistance to the other members of our network. This feedback may be the best way of demonstrating the way that the network should work, enabling others to see what they themselves should do for others.

Gratitude Marketing means meeting people and enlarging our network, bringing others into our network, and finding out how we can help them to succeed. They will thank us in the future, and everyone will reap the benefits. Please leave your comments here, or email me at Jim@JimTeasley.com, or call me at 360-314-869. I will answer your inquiries, add you to my network, and offer my assistance if possible to make your business, and life, better.

January 22, 2017

Prospects

A prospect is someone who is not now our customer. How can we show appreciation to someone to whom we have never sold anything?

When we first meet someone new, we should send them a note to thank them for the contact and let them know that we want to meet with them and get to know them better. Then, we should follow up with them and meet for a chat to establish a relationship. They should remember us when we contact them; they are not a cold call; they are someone who recognizes us when we call them to meet.

Then we meet them, do not try to sell to them, exchange information, and start establishing a networking relationship. After the meeting we should send them a thank you note for the meeting and information, reassure them that we value the relationship, and indicate that we will be glad to exchange any referrals that may come forth.

This is the important aspect of dealing with prospects, treating them with respect and courtesy. We follow up with them each step of the way and establish the relationship in a non-threatening manner. Then we follow up some more, referring any prospects that we can to them, and thanking them for any referrals that they send to us. Help them get whatever they need.

Referrals from prospects are more valuable than those from customers. If a prospect provides us with lots of referrals, it means that the prospect trusts us. People who trust us should eventually do business with us. If we legally can do so, depending on your industry, we should reward anyone who gives us a referral, but at the very least thank them, in private and in public, for their referral.

Why do we thank them? It shows appreciation for their trust in us. Why do it in private? Our referring party needs the pat on the head. Why do it in public? It shows everyone else what a professional partner the referring party is and what a professional we are to gain the trust of the referring party. This appreciation process applies equally to referrals from customers.

Once at a networking meeting, I said that I would not pressure anyone at the meeting to be my customer. I said that I wanted their referrals; I wanted all their family members, their neighbors, their banker, their grocer, their mechanic, their co-workers, everybody in their lives. The intent was that if they referred all those people to me, they would trust me enough to do business with me themselves. I eventually obtained orders from almost the entire group. Why? I gained their trust, I showed my appreciation for their referrals, and I did what I said that I would do, provide the best customer service that was possible.

Gratitude Marketing is an important basis for our business dealings. While it may not always gain us a customer, it will help us gain, and retain, a relationship with our prospects, the same prospects who should be a source of valuable referrals. Use Gratitude Marketing to foster a relationship with everyone that we meet. We never know who will be a source of business for us. Please leave your comments, or email at Jim@JimTeasley.com, or call at 360-314-869, so we can discuss them. I will honor any questions or comments as I honor those from my networking partners.

January 15, 2017

Honesty

This is a crazy world in which we live. We are surrounded by marketing on all sides relating to every factor of our lives. From television and radio to print advertising to billboards, we hear about products that can change our lives, our businesses, and our future. How do we determine which of these proposals are truthful? How can we actually discover which products or services can actually help us?

It is all very confusing isn’t it? We must determine which of the millions of proposals that we hear and see are honest, reputable, and appropriate for us to pursue for our betterment, either in business or our personal lives. How do we do that; how do we determine which of all this to trust and to use? If we are confused, imagine how the non-business person is bewildered and conflicted?

So what do we, as business people, learn from this situation? We, like our potential prospects, must determine what is true and what is false in all the marketing that impacts us each and every day. We must decide if the information that we hear, and see, is true, or to what extent it is misleading, just looking to influence us to buy something that may not perform as we expect it to do.

As a result of our astute observations, we must make our own marketing as truthful as possible. We must make assurances as to our products and services that promise results that our customers can readily obtain from buying and using what we offer. In other words, we should be truthful in the marketing that we employ in our client relations. Our prospects and customers will appreciate this truthfulness and be grateful for our honesty.

Being truthful includes every portion of our marketing. It begins with our website and embraces our emails, all advertising which we do, and every sound that comes out of our mouths. Every detail must be analyzed for any misleading and questionable phrase or word. We cannot afford to misstate any claim or even confuse any prospect or customer. We must also make the act of doing business with us as easy and straight forward as we can.

All of these steps will show our prospects and our customers that we appreciate them and their business because we take all the steps necessary to base our relationship on truth, honesty, and ethics. Then all our associates, including our networking partners, will know that we are above reproach and we are people with whom they want to do business. Remember, this must include everyone we know or touch in any manner.

Gratitude Marketing means that we build business relationships, with prospects as well as partners in referrals and networking. We are above reproach in our dealings because that philosophy means that we always do what is right. We also know that karma will return to us exactly what we put forth. All this means more success for us all. Please leave me your comments, or email me at Jim@JimTeasley.com, or call me at 360-314-8691.

January 8, 2017

What Others Tell Us

When we find and announce a new idea that we plan to implement, we start hearing the reactions from our family, friends, and others. Some of those people are very supportive and offer assistance and encouragement that we will succeed in following our ideas. Others might bombard us with negative thoughts. The ones who tell us that we cannot achieve success are people who might be afraid that we will be successful.

When we publicize our business intentions we should do so with our networking partners. These are people with whom we have built strong relationships in which everyone can be honest and supportive. They must counsel us in a manner that will provide what is best for our business, no matter what is said. Truthful opinion is the watchword, and the intent should never be questioned.

We will know other people who will tell us that we are crazy, misguided, and destined for failure, and that may be their personal opinion. However, we must know the basis for that opinion. Is it their sincere opinion, or is it slanted for some reason? Do they have a hidden agenda, or does their background taint their advice? Are they being overly supportive with no solid basis for their thoughts, or are they reluctant to see anyone rise above their level of accomplishment, or even failure? Are they supportive or jealous?

Our networking partners should have a vested interest in our business success. They may be our customers or clients, or we may be theirs. It is therefore important that we keep each other functional in a successful business status. If we do not have a customer based relationship, we still have an interest in the success of each other since we should be valid referrals for one other. That status allows us to show others how businesses should support each other, a relationship that results in more opportunities.

Do our relationships with others remain at the same status level forever? Of course they don’t. They rise and fall in intensity continuously. They may be close, or they may vary. We may interface with our networking partners frequently or very seldom; we may send them referrals or introductions almost daily or just now and then. These are living, breathing relationships in which each partner is there when the other person needs help.

The basis for these relationships is honesty build on solid ethics and genuine support for each other. We have their best interest in mind, and we will provide input which is blunt, direct, and intended to reflect what we believe to be what is best for each other. That may not be what the other person wants to hear, but may be what they need to hear.

Gratitude Marketing results in business networking relationships. These relationships provide to us others who will be there to provide honest and ethical support when we need it. We may not hear what we want to hear, but we will be told what we should be told when this advice is offered. That sharing and support should be answered with our gratitude. Please leave me your comments, or email me at Jim@JimTeasley.com, or call me at 360-314-8691.