June 24, 2017

How Do We Speak?

One of the most basic marketing rules is to present ourselves well. One of the most basic presentation techniques is to speak well and professionally. Does this mean that we must develop great presentation skills and refine our public speaking skills to where we can deliver great speeches and talks? That would be great and a feather in our professional caps, but the same theory also applies to conversations that we have with another person.

One of the most effective marketing skills is the ability to have an effective conversation with another person. We must be able to speak intelligently, calmly, and without excessive emotion. We must be well informed, able to form complete thoughts and sentences, and use words that actually exist. We must be able to present our point of view in a non-threatening manner, encouraging the other person to want to understand and digest our intention.

We must allow the other person to inform us of their opinions and positions, even if they differ from ours. We must be willing to allow the other person to present their thoughts without interruption or other rude behavior. The mark of a bully is interrupting someone with whom they disagree or shouting them down when they are attempting to voice their opinion. We must not get so wrapped up in what we want to say that we do not allow them to speak at all. Our passion must be controlled.

Intelligent speech consists of complete sentences and thoughts, not ramblings and “smoke and mirrors”. We should present our product or service in a professional manner, clearly stating what we provide. We must also present the cost to the other person in clear, concise terms, never clouding the discussion with vague and confusing words or phrases.

We must be proud of what you have to market or provide, what it means to the prospect or client, and what it will cost. If that cost may vary according to circumstances, we must refine that part of what we present into clear, concise terms. Make it easy for the prospect to understand and relate to what we have and what it costs. They may have to present our proposal to someone else so we must make their job easier and thus successful for us.

It is the mark of a successful person if they can present themselves in a professional manner. If we are passionate about what we do, so much the better, but we must not preach to the person to whom we are speaking. Be personable, but do not violate the business relationship. If we need to do so, we should rehearse our presentation frequently before going public. Be calm, collected, and clear in what we say and how we say it. Remember that it is not only what we say, but how we say it that impacts the other person.

We often hear people in public presentations who cannot relate their thoughts in an intelligent manner. How does that make us feel about them, what they are representing, and their attitudes towards us? Does it make us want to know them, to do business with them, or trust them? Would we refer others to them?

Please let me know your thoughts on this subject by leaving me your comments, or email me at Jim@SOC4Now.com, or call me at 360-314-8691. It is the mark of a professional if they can present their thoughts in logical, intelligent, and polite words. That same person listens before they open their mouth to tell us how they can solve our needs.

June 18, 2017

Random Acts

Imagine that we are walking through the grocery aisle and someone asks us where something is located. Do we wonder why we were singled out, or if we look like an employee who works there, or why this always happens to us? Do we even look like someone who really cares?

Understand that this is a golden opportunity to practice some Gratitude Marketing. Why not help the person find what they are searching for (assuming that we actually know), or let them know, in a polite manner, that we cannot help them, but perhaps we can give them the general location.

What have we just accomplished? We have provided a random act of kindness, something that maybe the other person will pass on to others. What if this person happens to see us again in a business environment? Would they remember us for our kindness or would they remember us as the jerk who ignored their need for assistance?

Which one of the above will the person refer when someone may need what we have to market? Which one of the above will they introduce with glowing comments to someone else at a networking meeting? We must see the possibilities here.

It is not that we should all prowl the aisles of stores looking for opportunities to assist the lost and confused. We should treat our fellow humans as humans, the way that we all would like to be treated. It just makes good sense, even if it doesn’t repay us immediately with increased business.

The best customer service and etiquette consultant, Jodi Blackwood, says that we never know who someone that we meet may know. That is so true, and we never know who they may refer to us, if they believe that we are professional, passionate, and yet personable in our business dealings.

So the next time that we can perform a random act of kindness, take the opportunity and try to do something nice for someone who we may never see again, or someone who may become our biggest fan. Practice some Gratitude Marketing.

As always, if you have questions or comments, please email me at Jim@SOC4Now.com, or call me at 360-314-8691, so we can discuss them. I will continue to honor your information as I honor all my networking partners’ comments and questions. Thank you for your interest and input into Gratitude Marketing.

June 10, 2017

Starting Conversations at a Networking Event

Bob Burg’s book, “Endless Referrals” is a great book for anybody who wants to increase their sphere of clients, prospects, friends, and relationships. From start to finish this book covers all phases of networking. Building relationships is the route to success, and Bob Burg details how to do it.

We all should network, whether at meetings specifically promoted as networking events or at general meetings for business people to attend (luncheons, seminars, whatever). Every business meeting is a networking opportunity, and all attendees should understand that these are opportunities for networking and building relationships.

At a meeting specifically promoted as a networking meeting, starting conversations should be easy. After all, everyone should expect that networking is one of the reasons that they are there. Starting a conversation with people at other types of meetings might be more difficult, but we can do so at all meetings if we approach them in a non-threatening manner. It is just that simple.

If we see friends at a meeting, say hello to them and ask how they are. However, we are there to network with people that we do not know, strangers who are not already our networking partners. We may be targeting someone who is in attendance, but the main objectives of our efforts should not be people that we already know. Get out of our comfort zone, and look for people who are new to us.

Some of these people may not be veterans of networking as we are and might be nervous. Greet and comfort them; make them feel welcome. Ask their name and what they do. Exchange business cards and comment on something after looking at their card. Maybe they don’t know anyone else; after we get acquainted, we can introduce them to someone that we know.

If we learn that they are interested in meeting specific people, we might be able to introduce them to those attendees, or we might be able to refer them to some partners of ours later. If we cannot refer them to specific people, perhaps we know someone who might be able to help them meet the people for whom they are searching.

Remember do not start to sell; just establish a beginning to a relationship. We may be able to start the conversation from their name tag, or they may do so from ours. Ask them where they are located, or their accent may lead to a discussion. Maybe we know someone in a similar industry or in another group that they may mention.

No matter what we do, do not start selling our product or company, or even ourselves. Ask them if they would like to get together and get better acquainted at another time, promising to contact them later. If they offer to set a meeting right away, do so, but don’t push for one; that is what follow up is for. If we suggest a future meeting, our call will not be a cold call, but a genuine follow up call.

Gratitude Marketing techniques are very applicable in building relationships. Cultivate relationships first, and we will cultivate business partners, clients, and referrals for more prospects. Meet others, cultivate relationships, always be grateful towards others, and all of us will prosper, both in business and personally.

Please leave any comments, or call 360-314-8691, or email Jim@SOC4Now.com. Perhaps we can all help each other be better people.

June 3, 2017

Respect and Courtesy

In our dealings with other people, no matter who they may be, we should show everyone respect and courtesy. Respect and courtesy must be paramount in all our relations.

It doesn’t matter the situation, we must remain in control of our emotions and our feelings. We cannot let our temper, or our frustrations, become paramount in our mind. There are always clients, prospects, and even friends who stress our feelings, who demand more and more, and who push our buttons, sometimes intentionally.

We must not let these people get the better of us; we do not need their behavior to destroy what we have built with our hard work and time. No matter what life brings our way, we must treat everyone with respect and courtesy, as equals, and as we would want to be treated. It is the right thing to do; it is Gratitude Marketing.

Does this mean that we should let others run over us, making us sacrifice our scruples and maybe our integrity? Of course not; it means that we stand by our principles and our structure for our company’s products or services and pricing. It doesn’t do any good to roll over and let someone make us change our values for them. It is the manner in which we operate our business that counts.

Respect and courtesy are parts of a 2 way street; this street works both ways. While we should always endeavor to be professional in our business, showing respect and courtesy to others, we should expect, even demand, the same treatment from others. No matter the environment, no matter the communication tool, let these two traits be primary in our lives.

In meetings, on the telephone, in emails, in cards, in public, or in private, whenever or wherever we are with others, or even by ourselves, we must follow this plan. Respect and courtesy must be part of us and what we do, say, and think. If we do not treat ourselves with respect and courtesy, no one else will. It will be evident to others how we feel about ourselves, and they will respond in kind.

We have been in meetings where disrespect for others was in evidence for all to see. No one wants to be anywhere close to those types of people. If someone is discourteous to someone else in public, how would we like to be on the receiving end of those actions? How would we feel toward those who treated us in that manner?

We have stated it repeatedly: people do business with, and pass referrals to, those that they know, like, and trust. We should not do business with, or pass referrals to, someone who treated us with disrespect or was discourteous to us. What about the person who treats others with disrespect and discourteousness? Would we want to be associated with those people?

What do these thoughts mean in relation to the principles of karma? Please leave any comments here, or call at 360-314-8691, or email Jim@SOC4Now.com. I would be glad to hear from you no matter how you think, and perhaps we can all help each other be better people.