June 10, 2018

It’s Marketing After All

Sometimes when we discuss Gratitude Marketing, we leave out the “marketing” part. After discussing all the ways to show our gratitude for others, what we are also doing is marketing ourselves and what we have for others, whether it is our product, our services, or our ideas. We still have to get others to hear us, understand us, and see the value in what we say. The “gratitude” part is just the overall manner in which our message gets out to others.

You may be looking for a new career which means you are marketing the product that you should know the best. Or else, you may be trying to market a fantastic product or service that you developed. Again, you should know your product or service better than anyone else. There is also the possibility that you are representing a company as their marketing representative, with no personal part in the development of the product or service in question.

Previously, we have covered various ways for you to show your gratitude for your customers, prospects, even casual acquaintances. How do you market your product or service and yourself to those people? People do business with companies because of the people with which they do business. I believe that people base their buying decision 80% on the basis of the person with whom they are dealing rather than the company itself.

People may do business with a person in spite of the company that they represent if the representative is considered to be professional, passionate, and personable. You must present yourself in that manner in order for people to see you that way. You must make anyone with whom you meet, communicate, or otherwise interrelate know that you are professional, passionate, and personable. If you do, relationships will come into your business and personal lives, and referrals and business will flow to you.

You must represent yourself as honest, valid, ethical, trustworthy, and caring about others. Be a giver to others, and put the interests of others before your own. Make sure that you listen to others and discover their needs before you try to solve them. Make your personal and business lives reflections of each other. You friends should want to be your customers; your customers and friends should become your honest, enthusiastic marketing representatives. Make karma your watchword.

Of course, you should spell check, grammar check, and proofread every word, sentence, paragraph that you produce, whether it is email, letter, essay, text, publication, or other communication. If you heard your voice mail announcement for the first time, would you leave a message or want to do business with you? If you met yourself in the grocery store, would you refer business to you? If you appear to be professional, passionate, and personal, you will be considered to have those traits. If people perceive you to be all those things, they will do business with you, and they will refer business to you.

How do you feel about your marketing efforts? Do you show “gratitude” for your clients, prospects, or anyone else that you contact? How does your “marketing” look, read, or sound? Are you professional, passionate, and personable? You can leave me your comments, email me at Jim@SOC4Now.com, or call me at 360-314-8691.

You are the most important part of your communication efforts; how you perform those efforts is what impacts those that see, hear, read, or even feel what you put forth. Make it good karma, and the results will please everyone. That’s Gratitude Marketing.

June 3, 2018

Mistakes, and Recovering from Them

Mistakes; we believe that can’t make mistakes. Mistakes will cost us money; mistakes will cost us customers. We must never do anything that can go wrong. If it is risky, whatever it is, we can’t try it because we might make a mistake. How does Gratitude Marketing fit with mistakes?

Does that sound like the way that we run our businesses? Is that our philosophy of business? Never try anything risky; we might make a mistake. We might fail. After all, failures are just big mistakes, aren’t they? Mistakes make us look weak; mistakes make us look like we don’t know what we are doing.

Mistakes must be learning experiences. Business people who do not make mistakes don’t learn. They don’t evolve, and their business does not evolve. Their business does not grow; their business does not prosper. They will remain in the same state in which they have existed until they expire from the weight of their lack of imagination.

Let’s say that we do venture out of our comfort zone and try something new and unique. We try something different and “radical” as opposed to our status quo. We attempt something that we have not tried previously, and we make a mistake. Shock and horror; what do we do? We must learn from our mistake and try something else.

We must adapt whatever we did wrong, and change what we are doing in order to correct whatever we did wrong. We must learn that whatever we did does not work correctly and that we should do something else. How do we pick up the pieces and put everything “right” again? How do we recover?

We stop; we take a deep breath and we study whatever went wrong and fix it. We “take ownership” of the mistake, acknowledging that we made a mistake and start fixing the mistake. If the mistake involves customers, we acknowledge our mistake to them, and we begin to fix the customer situation, attempting to put everything “right”.

We do not blame anyone else, either inside or outside our organization. We “own” the situation and make the customer “whole”. If we cannot make the customer “whole”, we do everything that we can to overcome the situation. Our customer must come first, and we must do everything that we can to regain and solidify their trust in our business. We have an opportunity to make our relationship stronger and better if we react correctly.

People who do not make mistakes do nothing, and their business does not grow. The only certainty in business is that change will be necessary; the only constant is that change does happen. We must embrace change, take advantage of what change gives us, and make our success from change. When we make mistakes in dealing with change, we must learn from those mistakes, and move forward.

Our best leaning experience may be our latest mistake. Our customers actually want us to take new and different actions that may result in mistakes, but they also want to see how we handle those mistakes. If we “own” our mistakes and recover in the right way our customer relations will be better and stronger.

Judge businesses on not if they make mistakes, but how they recover from them. Recovering from mistakes is a major part of Gratitude Marketing. Please leave your comments here, or email me at Jim@JimTeasley.com, or call, or text, me at 360-314-8691.

May 27, 2018

Random Acts of Kindness

Previously I attended an open house and grand opening at the business of one of my network partners. This was a relatively new business venture for a very nice couple who are quite professional and quick learners of Gratitude Marketing.

The several attendees present were very supportive of the business and wanted to contribute to its success through their attendance at the event. Their attendance indicated their support for the couple’s vision and integrity and demonstrated how anyone can show gratitude for others by spending a small amount of time and effort.

The hosts’ supporters donated items of various value levels for a prize drawing and food for the event’s attendees to enjoy. The business owners announced both the prizes and food with an appreciative reference to the donating person and their business. If the donating individual was present, they were recognized for their generous contribution with a short promotion of their business.

This was a mutual gratitude for each other in a networking partnership. Both the business owners who were holding the event and those who supported them, either through their attendance or their donations to the event, were engaged in Gratitude Marketing. Mutually, they gained through their giving to others.

During the drawings for prizes, the donator of one of the prizes and the host decided not to award this prize to a drawing ticket holder but to a young child who was in attendance. They publically recognized her as the youngest attendee and presented her with a very appropriate gift making a young girl very happy.

This random act of kindness reflected the integrity of both the host of the event and the person who donated the prize. Random acts of kindness are great ways of showing gratitude to others. We often discuss doing the right thing. This was an opportunity to do something that was the right thing, and was a random act of kindness.

Each and everyone one of us has the opportunity every day to perform random acts of kindness. Sometimes it is within the bounds of our business, sometimes it is outside our regular business duties. Sometimes it is just what we should do if we stop and think about life.

As you go about your day, each and every day, think outside the box, use your imagination, and see what random acts of kindness that you can perform. You will discover that they stop being random as your days go by. They will become part of your Gratitude Marketing process, something that you do everyday, all day.

Look at what you did yesterday and what you will do each day. Whose life can you impact in a positive manner, often for a small, inexpensive cost for you? Then do the right thing; show your gratitude for someone else, perhaps for just their smile. You will find that your kindness will return to you from unexpected places.

Want to share your experiences? Leave your comments, and maybe I’ll include your stories in a future posting. If you wish, call, or text, me at 360-314-8691, or email me at Jim@SOC4Now.com. I would like to hear what you have to share. Who knows, maybe we have some experiences in common?

May 20, 2018

Measure Time in Deeds, Not Minutes, or Hours

How do you measure time? Do you count the minutes, and hours, that you spend in your networking relationships? Perhaps you should measure your time spent in networking partnerships in deeds instead of minutes or hours. After all, aren’t deeds more important than minutes?

Entering into networking partnerships is a form of Gratitude Marketing. We are marketing ourselves and our businesses, and we should show our appreciation for others. That is what we discuss here each and every week, isn’t it? Well, it should be Gratitude Marketing; otherwise we are just looking to get what we can for ourselves.

How about the time that we spend in marketing through networking? I’ll bet that you spend lots of minutes, hours, and even more in this effort every week, if not every day. How do you measure that time? Perhaps you record the time spent in each meeting, each project, maybe each telephone call. Maybe you should not record time in this manner; maybe you should just count the deeds that you perform in the interest of others.

When we undertake making Gratitude Marketing our guideline for our networking, we determine that we will try to assist others in improving their business, in improving the lives of others, and in making everyone else’s success become a reality. We do this by our encouragement, by our gratitude for their business and efforts towards us, and by advising them in how they can improve themselves and their lives.

This takes a toll in time from our own lives and businesses. However, we must not look at the time spent; we must look at the deeds that we perform. We also must look toward performing more and more of these deeds than we routinely do perform. Whatever the number that we perform, it is never enough. There is always another deed that we should be completing for someone that can help them. Being a giver is a never ending lifestyle.

Don’t misunderstand; I do not mean that we should start keeping score on the deeds that we perform for anyone. If you are doing that, stop immediately. That is not what we should be doing. Karma doesn’t work like that, anyway. What you do for someone will not be repaid by something from them; it will come back to you from somewhere that you don’t even suspect or even expect. The deeds that we do for others should not show in a tally system or count listing of any sort. Just do for others, and the result will flow for all.

So, stop keeping track of the time that you spend in helping others and trying to make the lives of others better. When you stop, you will find that there is so much more time to do so much more. You will be surprised by how much more that you can accomplish. Remember, there is always someone else that needs your helping hand or your kind thought or gesture.

As you go through your day, try to look for more opportunities to make others feel your gratitude or experience your assistance to them. Then, see if you don’t feel better by not tracking the time spent doing this.

Afterwards, you can let me know how this makes you feel by leaving me your comments, or you can email me at Jim@SOC4Now.com, or you can call, or text, me at 360-314-8691. Let’s see if we can start keeping time in deeds done, but let’s don’t keep score on the number of good deeds that we do for others. That’s not good karma.

May 13, 2018

Eyes and Ears

The human body is a very well designed machine. We have a brain that does swift calculations, makes great decisions, and drives the body through its motions each and every day. We have limbs that do various things, like walking grasping, pulling, pushing, climbing, and other motions that get us from one place to another. All in all, the human body is fairly fantastic in its design and performance. So what does this have to do with Gratitude Marketing?

Consider two parts of the body, the eyes and the ears. The eyes see whatever is within our vision range, and the ears hear whatever is within our realm of hearing. They are input devices, like a computer keyboard or a mouse. They absorb what they see or hear and input the information to our brains so that those brains can make decisions with that data. We input information so that our processors can churn through the data and give us the benefit of that processing.

We also have a mouth, that wonderful body part that provides our voice to the world. This is an output device, much like a computer monitor or printer. With the mouth, our brain can communicate our thoughts to others, providing input to their ears and even allowing their eyes to see our feelings though smiles, grimaces, and sneers. Did you ever hear the expression “an angry mouth”?

We have all heard the advice that we have been given two eyes and two ears, but only one mouth. That means that we should intake twice as much information through our eyes and ears as opposed to the information that we put forth through our mouths. In other words, look and listen twice as much as you speak. Unfortunately, we cannot resist the urge to speak, speak, and speak some more. We babble and pollute the ears, and eyes, of whomever we have targeted with our words.

Our brains are marvelous devices that work wonders with our bodies, multitasking all the time, even when we are asleep. However, our brains cannot, on their own, stop us from vomiting words all over the people with whom we meet and speak. We must make a conscious decision to stop all the talk and speak only when we think seriously about what we are saying. Then, and only then, can we build relationships with others.

Gratitude Marketing implies that we should listen to the needs of others, attempt to solve those needs for others, and provide information to others that will help them in their quest for improvement and success. We cannot know what someone needs unless we listen to them, observe them as they are speaking with us, and attempt to solve their needs. We cannot solve their needs if we do not listen and hear their cries for help.

Have you ever listened to yourself speak? Perhaps the next time you meet with someone, ask if you can record the conversation. Then play it back and count the number of times you speak to them before you listen, the number of times you cut their words off, answering their questions before they finish them, or the number of times you try to fix something about them before you hear what it is that is broken.

We all have two eyes and two ears to receive input from others. We only have one mouth to provide output to others. Don’t be the person who vomits words all over someone, before you know what it is that they need to hear from you. Don’t be the person who others say: “He never listens before he tries to sell”. Practice some Gratitude Marketing. Please leave me your comments, or email me at Jim@JimTeasley.com, or call, or text, me at 360-314-8691.

May 6, 2018

Make It Easy for a Prospect to Become a Customer

The customer buying experience is that journey on which we take a prospect from the initial meeting to the completed buying transaction. This buying experience must be enjoyable for the customer. If it is not pleasant, the customer will go elsewhere for their next purchase, if they even last until a purchase. In addition, they will tell others how unhappy they are with the business process that was required to purchase from us.
What can a business person do to make the customer enjoy the buying experience? What can we do to make that journey pleasant so that they will want to do it again? What can we do to get them to tell everyone that they know about us and our great service? Happy customers bring us more and more prospects for our businesses. Gratitude Marketing should be the path we follow.
Did we have a simple “menu” of choices of products, or is it confusing? How do we feel when we walk into a restaurant and receive a “book” that contains page after page of entrees from which to choose? Is it a pleasant buying experience, or is it a test of our endurance? Do we get confused and give up, buying anything to end the work?
We must let the prospect know that we are grateful for a new inquiry about our business. We must make the prospect comfortable with the fact that we are honored that they picked us to engage for the solutions to their needs. They must know that we consider their inquiries as a reward for our great customer service to previous customers.
How do we move prospects from being “tire kickers” to serious prospects who are actually looking at how our offerings can benefit their business? We must apply the principles of great customer service before the prospect becomes a customer. We must be available for inquiries; we must be responsive to requests for information, maybe even before the inquiry is made. We must be proactive.
There are simple actions that we can take. Answer the phone call requesting information or return the voicemail, or email, inquiry, promptly and clearly. Be available to meet with prospects, answering all questions placed on the table. Clarify all marketing information so that a prospect understands what we offer and how much it really costs. Make it simple and clear with no surprises later.
Keep in touch and follow-up with prospects; do not allow anyone to believe that they are ignored. If we ignore a prospect or an inquiry during the prospect phase, we look like we will do the same after the prospect becomes a customer. The majority of lost customers leave you through their belief that they were taken for granted or ignored.
We all need to take a hard look at our customer buying experience and see if we need to streamline or clarify it. Make it easy and simple for someone to do business with us, and we will have customers who bring us other prospects for the great experience. Don’t make our customers believe that they have survived an endurance test and won the right to buy from us.

Gratitude Marketing can help us improve our customer buying experience? How can we discover what works well and what doesn’t work at all? Our current customers would tell us if we ask them. Agree or disagree; please can leave your comments here, or email me at Jim@SOC4Now.com, or call, or text, me at 360-314-8691. Our networking partners should be able to assist us in improving our customer buying experience. Just ask for their help.

April 29, 2018

How “Good” is “Good Enough”?

How often have we heard the phrase: “That’s good enough?” What exactly is “good enough” for Gratitude Marketing believers? Is it the level of product excellence that allows a company to “just get by” with meeting standards? Is it the level of customer service that will not provoke outcry and backlash? Is it the performance that only meets regulatory minimums?

The phrase “good enough” implies that someone provides the level of service or the quality of product that meets minimum requirements, whether these requirements are regulatory or buying public expectations. They provide no more than necessary. If you analyze most regulatory requirements you will understand that these standards are too low for nearly all public desire and need.

As business owners, we should strive to wipe the phrase “good enough” from our vocabulary, and that of our staff personnel. Marketing “good enough” products means that we do not care about doing what we should do to appreciate those who spend money to purchase from us. “Good enough” means that we do not care about our customers, our products, or our service.

We have discussed that we should provide a good product or service for a valid price. Define the term “good”. Is it just “good enough” or is it really the best that we can provide for the price charged? Can it be better, or are we just “getting by” with only what is required? Who defines the level that is “good” anyway?

I have stated many times that I strive to provide the type of customer service that I myself would want to receive. We should treat customers as we ourselves want to be treated. That opinion has provoked comments from my networking partners that I am wrong. They tell me that I should treat others as they want to be treated, not how I want to be treated.

I disagree; my standards are higher than the normal customer’s. I am “high maintenance” and want to be treated very well, not just “good enough”. The average customer has come to accept what I consider to be below average customer service. The state of normal customer service is now so low in most business transactions the customers have come to accept a level that they would never have accepted in the past.

It is time to correct this complacency. We need to step up and stop being “good enough” and start appreciating our customers, our prospects, and everyone with whom we meet. Start treating others as you want to be treated and be demanding in what you expect from others. That is the way that we can change this “normal” level of behavior and service.

From our products to our service to our prices and to our everyday marketing, we can fix this abysmal level of customer relations. It doesn’t take much, just consistent work, doing what we should be doing each and every day. Make it a habit, and it will become normal operating procedure. Be proud of what you market, including your service and relations.

Please leave me your comments and questions. I will respond to emails at Jim@SOC4Now.com or to calls, or texts, at 360-314-8691. Your input is always appreciated and important to me. That is Gratitude Marketing.

April 22, 2018

Our Motivation

How do you get your motivation? Who, or what, motivates you? In other words, who, or what, drives you to succeed, and to push your success further and further? Maybe you are the best source of your own motivation; maybe it is your family. Perhaps you are motivated purely by money, and the quest for more of it; possibly the search for self-fulfillment is what motivates you.

What is motivation? Is it the same as inspiration? If you look in a thesaurus you will find that the word motivation equates with incentive, inspiration, drive, enthusiasm, and other similar words. My friend, Jon Turino, has written a book which I strongly encourage you to read, entitled “Inspiration Now!” I know that you will find it inspiring, motivating, and very supportive.

We all must discover our own motivation. Are we just slaves to the dollar and is that what motivates us the most? Are we that shallow that we only live in order to make more, and more, money? However, do we need money to order to make our lives better? Is the money the necessary factor to enable us to do the things that make our lives, and that of others, better?

Our motivation is the reason that we do what we do, and we can have multiple reasons for our business lives and how we conduct ourselves. Our rationale is how we act, what we actually do to make us more successful. Our motivation makes us create our goals of what we want to accomplish, and these goals may be the purpose for what we do.

Motivation is what we use to establish our goals to measure our success. Goals may be the end result that we wish to reach in our work. Goals can also be the intermediate steps that we use to reach the ultimate objectives in life. We can have personal goals, and we can have business ones. We also discover that some goals apply to both our personal and business lives. This is a fact that we must understand and accept.

Books, videos, seminars, webinars, and other means of education can provide motivation to us. We must renew our commitment to use these tools and what we learn from them in our lives. It does us no good to attend a seminar, take copious notes, and never apply what we learned. Practice what you learn, and practice again, over and over. Your knowledge will allow you to reach your goals and perhaps your motivation.

“People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Neither does bathing. That’s why we recommend it daily.” This quote from Zig Ziglar may be motivation in and of itself for us to incorporate what motivates us into our lives. We must have a “why” for what we do, and how we do it. We should be able to articulate our “why” to others and to ourselves.

What is your “why”? What makes you what you are, what you do, and how you do it? Your “why” should be your motivation, along with the desire to accomplish your goals and better your life, and the lives of others. If you can accept, and attempt those goals, you will have a successful life, both personally and in business.

Why do you do what you do, and how you do it? Do you agree with these ideas concerning motivation? Whether you do or not, please leave me your comments here, or email me at Jim@SOC4Now.com, or call, or email, me at 360-314-8691. Everyone’s opinion counts, and I would love to chat with you no matter how you feel.

April 15, 2018

Building, and Maintaining, Networking Relationships

When we first meet anyone, we should never prejudge them and whether they would ever enter into a business relationship with us. We should get to know them, decide if we like them, and decide if we can trust them. Then, if we cannot help them find what they need, we must try to connect them with someone who may be able to help them, or who knows someone else who might be of assistance. That is Gratitude Marketing.

When we develop a relationship with others we become their partner and have a vested interest in their success. We should have the type of relationship where we can call on each other for referrals, advice, and assistance without keeping score on who has done what for whom. The best partner works to help the other person be successful without expecting referral for referral in return.

Recently I heard a person at a networking meeting say that he was interested in matching referrals with others, giving the other person referrals for each one he himself received. That is keeping score, exactly what we agreed we should not do. That is self-serving, and it benefits no one.

So what if someone does give us a referral, perhaps one which puts a significant amount of money in our pocket? What do we do if we cannot become their client or do not know someone who needs what they have? We have to wait and try to put someone in touch with them who may provide a mutually beneficial relationship to both parties. That is Gratitude Marketing and shows that we are grateful to both parties.

Networking relationships, like all partnerships, must be built and maintained, through mutual hard work and benefit for both parties. They do not start or stop on a specific date or time, and they do not take a recess for any holiday or event. You may be able to assist your networking partner in business, while one, or both, of you is on vacation, or you may be able to help someone through email, phone, or direct contact.

When we first meet anyone there are plus and minuses about them. There are certain aspects about them that we like and other characteristics that we do not like. There may also be characteristics that we just cannot tolerate. If the latter is true, are these characteristics deal-breakers; can we accept these and tolerate them to the degree that we want to maintain the relationship?

Sounds somewhat like buying a house or starting a personal relationship, doesn’t it? Well, it is, and it should be treated as such. Networking is work, and building and maintaining relationships is also work. However, just like marketing our businesses, we are rewarded for our efforts with success.

Relationships are the lifeblood of our business success. Through building, and maintaining, relationships, we can gain success for ourselves, and for our networking partners. However, we must work to do our part and make sure that we keep the interests of our networking partners foremost in our minds and efforts. It then pays off for everyone.

How would you rate your business and networking relationships? Do you believe that you are benefiting from them, and do you learn from your experiences in them? Do you practice Gratitude Marketing, thanking everyone for everything that they do for you and for others? Your comments here, or your emails at Jim@SOC4Now.com, or your calls at 360-314-8691 are always welcome, even if you disagree.

April 8, 2018

The Junk in Our Trunk

Some years ago I had the opportunity to meet Weldon Long. This is a gentleman who raised himself from a very negative early life to become a powerful motivational speaker. He discussed the need for all of us to deal with the “stuff” which keeps us from achieving the success that we desire and can reach. We must address this “junk in our trunk” and prevent it from holding us back.

This junk includes all the negative thoughts that others have placed in our minds during all our life. There are people who, while they appear to be our friends, have no interest at all in our success. They only want to make sure that we never rise about their level of achievement, the level that we strive to surpass. They are jealous of anyone who rises to a level that they will never reach.

These people will, while appearing to have our best interests at heart, tell us to never take risks, never try something that may take us to higher levels of success than the one where they are our equal. “You can’t do that. You will fail at that. That will never work. Whoever told you that you could do that was a liar.” These are their words. They cannot tolerate the idea that you will leave them to wallow in their own world and never rise to the level of success that you desire.

You cannot strive to achieve success and rise above the status quo if you don’t take a chance and try something new and different. What if you do something unique? What if you step out of the “normal” expectation that you have and believe that you might achieve something more? What if you move out of your comfort zone and take actions that others might mock?

The definition of insanity is expecting something different to happen when you still do everything the same way that you always have done. “That won’t work here; that isn’t how life is; everyone knows that will never work.” These are the words of those who don’t want you to succeed, because then you will see them for what they are, the doubters who held you back.

The junk in our trunk includes everything that we have learned from the day we were old enough to understand others. It is ingrained into our brains and our processes of life. It includes the doubts and fears of our lives, the lack of knowledge, and the worry that we will fail and be embarrassed for that failure. That fear of embarrassment is a weight around our neck and holds us back from our ability to succeed.

Who do you know that has taken a chance in life and failed? We all have failed at something. Maybe it was a marriage; maybe it was a business venture. Just because one project fails doesn’t mean that all of our attempts at anything in life will fail. Did the fact that someone turned you down for a date make you never ask anyone else? Did you stop trying to turn prospects into clients when you failed with one possibility?

Of course not; you keep trying, knowing that you will learn from your experiences and will succeed. How does that make you feel; how does that influence your later actions? Wouldn’t you like to share your experiences with others and maybe help someone learn what you have learned? Please leave me your comments here, or email me at Jim@SOC4Now.com, or call, or text, me at 360-314-8691. I would love to hear from you.

April 1, 2018

Telling Your Story

We have all been told that we must be able to tell our story. This is the tale of how we come to be where we are today; this is the chain of events that led us to be where we are now. It is the story of who we are and what we did to become what we represent in business as well as in our personal life.

You must realize that the story that you tell is very important; it is what you utilize to get others to know you, and it should make others believe in you. It must be true, and it must be believable to others. The facts must be consistent from one telling to another, and they must be simple for you to relate. My daddy always told me that when you tell the truth, you will easily remember what you say.

You must also realize that the manner of the telling is as important as the story itself. You must tell your story in a believable manner, and you must keep it simple. You also should keep it short enough that others will not lose interest during the telling and so that others will be able to relay the story to others. Consistent facts will keep your story the same as it is retold.

How you tell your story also includes that you do not dominate the conversation. If you are speaking with someone one-on-one, you must allow the other person to tell you about themselves. You should always ask the other person about their story and how they came to be where they are now. Show interest and listen to the other person. The more that you listen, and learn, the better your networking relationship will be.

Listening, and learning, is Gratitude Marketing at work. If someone believes that you are only interested in telling your story, and not hearing about them, you will never have their respect. Your networking partners will know your story includes your desire, and practice, to learn their stories. If you do not know someone else’s story, how can you include them in your referral process?

Of course, a polite manner and genuine interest are necessary to establish, and maintain, a networking partnership. Remind yourself to treat others as you want them to treat you; if you want them to listen to and remember your story, you must listen to and remember theirs. Perhaps you can help each other to refine your stories, thereby mutually helping each other to be better. You are partners after all.

Your story should also include how you utilize your product or service in the business that makes that product or service available to others. In other words, how do you use your product or service to market your product or service? Examples of how you do that should be included in your story. Last but not least, your story should be personable, something that can relate to others.

So what is your story? How do you tell it to others? If you don’t have a story that you share with others, why not? Your comments are always welcome here, or email me at Jim@SOC4Now.com, or call, or text, me at 360-314-8691. If we can share our stories, that would be valuable time spent by both of us

March 25, 2018

Networking, Part 2

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 individually, 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. Would we trust someone who stands us up when we should be meeting with 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 individually 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, or text, me at 360-314-8691.

March 18, 2018

Marketing Tips

There are many ways to market a business. Here is a simplified list of some marketing tips.

  1.     Practice Gratitude Marketing liberally in your business and personal life.
a.    Make sure that all your clients, prospects, and everyone else knows that you appreciate them for everything that they do for you.
b.    Show your gratitude through your deeds as well as what you say.
c.    Always do the “right thing” when you market and deliver your product or service.
d.    Treat everyone as you would want to be treated or better.
e.    Everyone loves to be noticed for what they do for you.
f.     Everyone loves to be noticed for what they accomplish in life.

2.    Become a consultant, not a sales person.

a.    Always look for opportunities to be of service to others.
b.    Discover what others need and try to help each of them find it.
c.    Be a mentor to others who are not as proficient at marketing as you are.
                                           i.    Teach others how they can improve their marketing skills.
                                          ii.    Let others learn from your mistakes as well as your successes.


3.    Focus on client retention instead of prospect acquisition.

a.    Retaining your current clients is less expensive than prospecting.
b.    Clients who are happy will help you grow your business.
c.    Re-follow up with clients frequently to discover how you can help them.

4.    Be clear and concise in your marketing.

a.    Be certain that everyone understands the terms of your marketing.
b.    Stick to what you promise or offer a better deal for your prospect.

5.    Plan ahead for your business.

a.    Challenge yourself by setting attainable goals.
b.    Adjust your goals as you grow your business.
c.    Celebrate milestones as you reach your goals.

6.    Spend time each day in self-improvement.

a.    Watch DVD’s, attend seminars, listen to CD’s, read books, or schedule webinars.
b.    Realize that review may be as important as learning something new.
c.    Match yourself with an accountability buddy.

7.    Attend as many networking events as you can schedule.

a.    You never know who you may meet or who they may know.
b.    Follow up with everyone who you meet.
c.    Meet others one-on-one and get to know who they are and what they do.
d.    If you cannot become clients, try to refer each other to others in your networking relationships so that you can help each other succeed.
e.    Schmooze, don’t sell. You are marketing, not selling.
f.     Consistent attendance and presentation is great advertising.
g.    Share networking opportunities with others who may need to attend them.

Marketing is necessary for any business. If you do not have any clients, maybe no one knows who you are. If your clients believe that you appreciate them, they will market your business to everyone that they know. Gratitude Marketing brings real results. Practice it each day with everyone you meet, and you will prosper.

March 11, 2018

The Art of The Thank You

In his book, How To Master The Art Of Selling, Tom Hopkins discusses the importance of sending “thank you cards”. When he started as a real estate professional, Tom sent thank you cards to everyone he met. He carried cards with him and would write out a card thanking them for the conversation after each meeting, mailing the cards at the first opportunity. This is a great example of Gratitude Marketing.

This principle should apply to each of us in our everyday lives. No matter what our business is, what our level of involvement is, if we are in a career transition, or who we may know, we should learn the art of thanking others for what they do, for us and for others. Everyone, without exception, needs to acknowledge the actions of others, whether these actions are directed towards us or towards other people.

Showing our gratitude towards others for what they do is so much more effective than proclaiming how great we are. Everyone likes to be noticed and appreciated for what they do. No matter who we are, we all appreciate being thanked and being noticed for our actions. There is no greater message than showing gratitude to others without trying to tie in a promotion for ourselves or our businesses.

People do business with, and refer business to, people that they know, like, and trust. Anyone who provides us information has given us a gift. They deserve to be thanked, and we should personally show our appreciation for their gift of knowledge. We all would want to be thanked for being responsive and providing support. Our networking partnerships themselves may be the greatest gift of all that we receive.

When someone sends us an email asking for information, we should reply as soon as possible to the best of our ability. How do we feel when we never receive an email in reply thanking us for the information? Did the requester receive our reply, was the information what they needed, did the information help in the desired result, and did the requester discover new information that might aid both of us in the future? A simple thank you would be sufficient, but more details might be more appropriate.

Instead of emailing our thank you, how about sending a greeting card, expressing our appreciation and gratitude to the partner who helped us? If the information actually put money into our bank account, the price of a greeting card would seem to be a small price to pay for that assistance. Plus, the opening of a greeting card, mailed in a real envelope, brings many more warm feelings to the recipient than opening an email.

Which means more to us, getting a bland birthday wish on Facebook, or opening a birthday card that someone sent to us with their personal message inside? Personally, the greeting card means so much more to me, and I will keep it where I can see it longer. I also will remember the sender more fondly and will be more prone to refer business or show my appreciation to them. I guess that I am human that way.

It doesn’t matter how you show gratitude to others or even when; just do it. It is never too late, or too early, to thank someone for what they do, for you or for someone else. Please leave me your comments here, or email me at Jim@SOC4Now.com, or call me at 360-314-8691. Shock someone today by sending your gratitude in a big thank you.

March 4, 2018

Never Cold Call Again

If you do not like cold calling, you might try this philosophy, and Gratitude Marketing.

Understand that people do business with others that they know, like, and trust. They also refer business to others that they know, like, and trust. Therefore you should build relationships with others, business and personal.

It takes 10 times as much money, time, and effort to get a new client as compared to keeping a current one. Therefore, you should not waste what you spent getting a client; keep them. Instead of cold calling, get referrals instead.

Every relationship should result in a client, or a referral, or both. Therefore, don’t rely on new people for business; reply on people who refer business to you. Thank people for their referrals; they may have just put money into your pocket.

Why do people stop doing business with you or referring business to you? They forget about you, because they feel taken for granted. If you are out of sight, you are out of mind; if they cannot remember your name, they will not refer anyone to you. Remember that your current clients should be happy clients, and happy clients should refer new business to you.

To be successful, you must be memorable to those who you serve in life. You should have clients that you appreciate rather than customers. You should put relationships first; be a giver, and approach everyone with an attitude of service. Quit thinking about money and focus on service to others; the money will follow. Make others feel important; remember the principles of karma. Apply your core principles on a daily basis, and always live up to commitments and fix problems the right way. Remain personal.

Study mentors and learn and apply their strategies. Work smarter, not harder, using technology to further yourself. Make your life a daily goal to achieve your long term goals. Drive to succeed; prospect your way to never prospect. Spend time each and every day in self-improvement through books, tapes, videos, CD’s, seminars, blogs, webinars, and go networking.

Send sincere, personalized notes to everyone that touches your life. Think outside the box, and be creative. Remember that everyone likes to be noticed. Never mix a birthday or thank you message with a sales pitch.

Sounds like a lot to do, but if you make your habits good ones, you can improve your bottom line and your life. Gratitude Marketing can make you a better person and a more successful business person. You will also be happier and more content when you stop cold calling. Please leave me your comments here, or email me at Jim@SOC4Now.com, or call, or text, me at 360-314-8691.

February 25, 2018

Credibility

A large part of Gratitude Marketing is the credibility of the business people involved in the partnerships that we form.

It does not matter if we send emails to our networking partners by doing it ourselves or if we use a service that sends them for us, there are some guidelines that we should keep in mind. It doesn’t matter if it is a newsletter that is emailed or a short message; it doesn’t matter if we are using our own list of recipients or a list that we purchased. We should use some common sense in our endeavors.

Understand that emails, while often free to send, can have expense attached to them. Did we buy a list of target recipients? Do we have a service which charges for emailing for us? If we do the work ourselves, how much is our time and effort worth to us. We could be using that time to personally contact new prospects or reconnect with former clients. There is always a cost of some type involved.

No matter the type of correspondence that we use, we should make sure that the results are worth more than we spend. We should also make sure that we gain good will and do not soil our reputation by the correspondence that we send. Do we present ourselves in the best light, or do we make others believe that we are not someone with whom they would like to do business or even trust? Do we just look stupid?

We should make sure all of our target market wants to receive our correspondence and that they have not opted out of our emails previously. We must check the spelling and grammar more than once before we send the information. We should have someone not involved with the content review the text for spelling, typo, and grammar errors. We also must have someone who understands the content review the details included.

Our correspondence helps us establish ourselves in our field of business. Our credibility will be damaged when we make basic mistakes in our correspondence. Even worse of an error is when we attempt to send information to someone who knows the subject better than we do. Don’t attempt to tell an expert in any field that you know more than they do when your field of expertise is something very different.

Of course these tips are pertinent for all types of correspondence and information sharing. It does not matter what the method, sharing is one of the best means of serving others. We can share on Facebook, LinkedIn, by email or newsletter, by books or other published means, by webinars or other seminar type offerings, or just personal contact. Whatever the method, we must make it professional and informative, but we must make sure of our target market and how we are perceived by them.

Whenever we provide information to others through any type of interface, we must be credible as well as informative. Without credibility, our message will not have the impact or impact that we wish, and we will have missed the opportunity to make a difference in someone’s life or to help someone else to succeed.

Make your correspondence informative, supportive, and helpful, but also make it credible in the eye of the recipient. Then, and only then, will it be received in the anticipated manner, and will be appreciated. Our Gratitude Marketing will be meaningful to all concerned if we follow a few guidelines and principles. Please leave me your comments here, or email me at Jim@SOC4Now.com, or call, or text, me at 360-314-8691.

February 18, 2018

The 5 Laws of Success

With thanks to Bob Burg and John David Mann, from their great book, The Go Giver.

1.    The Law of Value
a.    Your true worth is determined by how much more you give than you take in payment.
b.    All things being equal, people do business with, and refer business to, those people whom they know, like, and trust.
c.    Exceed people’s expectations, and they’ll pay you even more.
d.    All the great fortunes in the world have been created by men and women who have a greater passion for what they were giving – their product, service, or idea – than for what they were getting.
e.    Many of the great fortunes have been squandered by those who had a greater passion for what they were getting than what they were giving.
2.    The Law of Compensation
a.    Your income is determined by how many people you serve and how well you serve them; it is directly proportional to how many lives you touch and how you touch them.
b.    If you want more success, find a way to serve more people.
c.    There are no limitations on what you can earn, because you can always find more people to serve.
d.    Everyone can be great because anybody can serve (Martin Luther King), and everybody can give.
e.    Being broke and being rich are both decisions; everything else is just how it plays out.
f.      You can’t always get what you want; you get what you expect.
g.    What you focus on is what you get.
h.    Look for the best in people, and you’ll be amazed at how much you’ll find.
i.      Sometimes you may feel foolish, even look foolish, but do whatever you do for others anyway.
3.    The Law of Influence
a.    Your networking partners are people who are personally invested in seeing you succeed and are your army of personal walking ambassadors.
b.    Networking partnerships happen when you stop keeping score.
c.    If you place the other person’s interests first, your interests will always be taken care of; this is enlightened self-interest.
d.    Your influence is determined by how abundantly you place other people’s interests first.
e.    Find out what other people need, and you will get what you need.
f.      Givers are magnetized and therefore attract success.
4.    The Law of Authenticity
a.    A genuinely sound business principle applies anywhere in life; it does not just improve your financial balance sheet, but improves your life’s balance sheet.
b.    Whatever it is that you have to offer, you can excel by adding value.
c.    The most valuable gift you have to offer is yourself.
d.    No matter what you think you’re selling, what you’re really offering is you.
e.    If you want to develop people skills, be a person, an authentic person.
f.      People will do business with companies they don’t like, if they like the person with whom they are doing business.
5.    The Law of Receptivity
a.    The key to effective giving is to stay open to receiving.
b.    When someone gives you a gift, who gives you the right to refuse it, to deny them the right to give?
c.    Every giving can happen only because it is also a receiving.
d.    Having dreams and believing in those dreams is the same as being receptive; being open to receive completes the act of giving.
e.    Give, receive, repeat.

As always, I welcome your comments and questions. If you would like to meet and chat about any concept of Gratitude Marketing, please call, or text, me at 360-314-8691, or send me an email at Jim@SOC4Now.com with your thoughts. I always appreciate your support and interest.