Do You Like Keepsakes?

I have a very cool one for you – with your pictures on them – playing cards – great gift and a keepsake for sure!

What cool pictures can be taken out of the insides of your computer and be put on a deck of cards for you to enjoy every time you play cards?

Give me your ideas, I am open to hear them! Oh, and be remembered, not deleted!

Cars Spades Cars Diamonds Cars Hearts Car Clever

 

Another Way to Win a Customer for Life

A limo driver (let’s call him Tim) googles a client he who he is supposed to pick up at the airport and take to a hotel where 1,300 sales reps gathered to listen to said client talk. Tim calls the client and tells him that he would pick him up at baggage claim C. At the airport our speaker – let’s call him John, goes to baggage claim C only to find out there is no one there holding a sign with his name. Instead a man walked straight up to him and asked: You are John, aren’t you?

On the way to the hotel Tim, the driver, interviewed his passenger, the motivational speaker John. So John got to talk about himself all the way to the hotel. When they arrived, John said that it was the best ride from the airport he had ever had in his life. To which Tim responded, that he wanted to win John’s business in the future, when John happens to visit Ft. Lauderdale again, and added, that he works for tips. Without any hesitation John put his bags down, pulled out his wallet and gave his driver a $10.00 bill. He also added, that he would make sure to call Tim up next time he travels to Ft. Lauderdale.

When I heard this true story, I was just blown away. Excellent service, creative way to win new clients. Did not cost Tim a dime either. Just go extra mile, and serve people who happen to use your services. Simple.

This is a great way to build your client base. I agree, it is not applicable to all type of businesses. But the attitude, the approach and taking interest in people who we serve determines success of a business, no doubt.

I have a method that is based on the same principle of a great customer service combined with low cost, but much more applicable for many businesses out there. Take a listen – this could be just what you were looking for.

We Have Your Card Framed And Hanging On Our Wall!!!

9StringT130118It was our 25 moths anniversary of being married yesterday. So went to listen to beautiful music (Russian, French, Latin, Spanish) played by our friend Angelina Reed-Galashenkova (domra).

A great night of enjoyment and seeing old friends again. David and Zhanna Cooper of Atlanta Balalaika Society were there as well. I am never surprised when people remember Gilbert, my husband – he is a hard to forget individual, charming and kind. If that does not impress people, then they remember him because he is 7′ tall. But actually, Zhanna Cooper remembered the card we sent to her and David after the 30th Anniversary of Atlanta Balalaika Society concert. She said ‘We have it framed, hanging on the wall!’

Did you ever hear something like that about any greeting card? That is why I love what I do – touching people’s lives in a very warm and personal way.

The $35,000 Box of Brownies…

Cecily, one of SendOutCards customers, sells radio advertising for a local group of stations. A while back she called on the director of marketing for a large local upscale furniture store. The woman told her not to waste her time because this store had never done any radio advertising and had no plans to do any in the future.
Cecily thanked her for her time, went back to her office and sent her a thank you card with a box of brownies. She wasn’t expecting anything in return… in fact, the woman was so adamant about them not using radio that Cecily believed her 100%… nothing there.She sent the card and brownies because something about the woman struck a chord with her… she like her a lot and decided she was someone she’d like to keep in touch with.Fast forward a few months…

Cecily gets a call one day from this woman. It seems that there was a change of direction and they had decided to do some radio.

They selected Cecily because… get this… SHE WAS THE ONLY SALES REP WHO HAD ACTUALLY FOLLOWED UP WITH THE WOMAN!

Everyone else wrote it off as an account that was never going to buy… but they did buy! During their phone conversation the woman told Cecily they had decided on a test run of $35,000 and would be delighted if she could stop by as soon as possible with the contract.

How many opportunities like this are people walking past every day? A LOT.

What To Expect When You Do Networking Right (Tool To Use For Profit)

How do you make your networking profitable?

Keep your conversations at the 6 -10 minutes. This is a networking event, not a marathon. You speak with someone less than 6 minutes, and they will not remember you nor the conversation when you follow up with them, you speak with them more than 10 minutes and you will miss an opportunity to meet with someone else. More than 10 minutes turns your conversation into a social situation instead of business-generating event.

If you really have a lot to talk about with someone at a networking event because you have so much in common, handle it in either of two ways:

1. Make an appointment to follow up

2. Decide, not default, that this one person is worth more to you than all the unknown others you may meet here. Make sure you are that valuable to them too.
Your goal is to obtain 6 to 10 cards in one hour. This is an easy score to keep – if you are at a 2 hour networking event, you should leave with 12 – 20 business cards with your notes on them in your pocket.
Here is a break down of what kind of results you can expect from an event. When you speak with 6 to 10 people in an hour, 50% of them will be prospects for you, or will know someone they could refer to you. Wouldn’t you rather have 20 conversations to make it 10 prospects? Of the 10 prospects, 50% will be in the immediate market for your product (or service, in my case).

That does not make 5 new clients in two hours however, because your sales skills come into play. If you have excellent sales skills, 50% of the prospects will choose you. That is 2 or 3 new clients from one networking event and then follow up. That is an excellent return on investment. You can get good at this. You will make money. You will have a business.

P.S. Remember, I told you that I had 2 events to go to last week and planned to practice what I am learning from Wendy Kinney? I had 3 demo appointments scheduled from one event, did two so far, have one customer. I had three demo appointments scheduled from the second event, did two so far, have two customers.

I do not have team members from these events yet, but they just might come out of previous demos, because I am going to use the best follow up method – that is right, the product my service provides! I will keep you posted.

Keep The Score: Know Your Numbers (Tool To Use For Profit)

 

How often do you go to networking events? In all honesty you don’t expect one networking event to build your whole business, do you? Three events a month is a maintenance mode.

Let’s run some numbers here. 20% of your time should be spent on marketing your business. Let’s say your work 10 hour days 5 days a week. That means you book 10 hours a week for networking and follow up. Unless you have all the clients you want you can’t give me an argument that you don’t have time for that.

Accept invitations, attend events, meet people, develop business. Schedule time for 3 events a month. That’s maintenance. If you need to build your business up, attend more than 3 events a month. This is time spent to get work, don’t think about it as wasted time. Make time to find new clients.

When you are at full capacity (you have all clients that you can handle, or in my case, all team members that need coaching, 70% of your time is spent doing the work; 10% of your time is managing the business; 20% of your time is marketing the business. We are talking traditional business model here. For me personally looking for new people, making connections and doing demos IS the work. The rest is maintenance.

If your full capacity is 10 clients (in the traditional business model), and you have 5, they should take only 35% of your time. If they are high maintenance, deal with it, establish boundaries, put in place rules for yourself, change your scheduling habits, get accountability partner, and recognize that the time difference between full capacity and current client load (number of team members needing coaching in my case) gets added to the marketing time budget.

If out of 10 clients full capacity you have only 2 clients, they get 20% of your total client time. The other 80% of available clients time gets moved to marketing. By the time you are full, with 10 active clients, you’ll only spend 20% of your time marketing, at 3 events a month. Getting the work is the essential activity of a business.

So develop checklists and see how much time you currently spend on different parts of your business. If it is out of balance, make adjustments. Remember, getting the work is the work.

 

Old School Idea, New Internet-Driven Term

Before attempting to show up with a blog, I had to read and learn a lot. About blogging. About content. About giving my reader what they like (or desperately need) so they would come for more of it.

It is interesting to see how marketing whatever it is that you want your customers to buy from you on the internet is based on the same old school good business practices, and how taking care of your customers is still an extremely important part of any business. Online or offline.

What is even more fascinating is those people who know you, like you, appreciate you very much, but yet would not buy from you. What they do for you however is support your reputation. No, they are a huge part of creating your reputation. They tell people they know about what you’ve got, once they hear that those people have a need (or want) that you can meet.

Back a year ago when I was just learning about blogs, successful blogs that is, and what it takes to have one, I spent a lot of time reading articles by Sonia Simone on Copyblogger and Remarkable Communication. Opened up a Twitter account, and started ‘following’ her tweets from Copyblogger there. Well once I made a decision that a blog is something I can take on (after I totally failed with it a year ago), I resurrected my twitter account to find a twit to a great article about second customer by Sonia Simone. Old school idea, new internet-driven term. Who is second customer? I will tie it up, don’t worry.

Just the other day I finished my summaries of great ideas Wendy Kinney is sharing with the world in Networking Aerobics (look for it on the right in books, if you are curious). And here it is – networking is not handing out business cards; networking is introductions; networking is learning about people and introducing them to other people; their gratitude to you is repaid in connections and referrals. Yes, that is the word I was looking for – referrals.

Last May I was on one of weekly calls with the top earner in the company I do. He had a guest speaker, who at the time did not do this company. She is a generic trainer for network marketing companies. Her website was mentioned on the call, and of course being as curious as I and willing to learn (I love the word ‘coachable’) I went looking for what’s on there.

Yes, I ended up buying her orange book (look for it on the right – ‘If My Product Is So Great…’), and found out that when you speak language that a 13 year old can understand, people hear you actually, your words are actually penetrating their skull rather than bouncing off of it. Here is the phrase that is a back-bone of your closing statement ‘Do you know anyone who might like to know about a product like that?’ What you are essentially asking them is to give them referrals, not to buy from them. That is brilliant! I love that a lot.

So, second customer is your ally, the one who will talk about you online and offline. They will spread the word and bring you ready customers – or was it traffic? Both actually, when what you’ve got is really someone’s need or want, you want both people from a nearby small town and people from across the world. Just let them both of your customers know how much you appreciate them as persons and how much their business and loyalty means to you.

The company I do helps me do both in the way that is memorable to both of my customers – first and second. Thank you for your referrals – online and offline my dear friends.

How To Exit. Graciously. Follow up. (Tools To Use For Profit)

After you have introduced your conversation partner Jane to Mary who was wrapping it up with Kim, you are about to leave Jane and Mary to meet someone new. Wait a minute, it is even easier than that – someone new is right in front of you – it is Kim, Mary’s conversation partner who is also available to talk with someone new now!

There could be another scenario – Jane and Mary could include Kim into their conversation. Just tell Jane that you will call her, smile and walk away. You have done your job as an introducer, you let Mary know why you wanted her to meet Jane – your explanation made everyone comfortable.

Networking is not handing out business cards. Networking is introductions. Networking is learning about people and introducing them to other people. You are the link, that is the work. Without you they won’t know each other. Their gratitude to you is repaid in connections and referrals.

One way you get business out of all of this is you tell them Problem-Action-Results story and they might relate to it and say ‘I need that now’. Listen to them and smile. When they finish ask them if next morning would be good time to call for an appointment. It is easy when they are magnetically attracted. They will choose you instead of you prospecting them.

Another way you get business is – they will remember your Problem-Action-Results story and when they have a client with the same problem they will say ‘I know exactly who you need to talk to…’ And because you kept in touch they will bring that ready client right to you. Wendy Kinney calls this ‘happy, happy, joy, joy networking. It’s a waste of time with a glass of wine.

When you are back home take those business cards with your notes on them and do exactly what you told those people you would do. You have to follow up so they remember you and know that they can rely on you when they refer a client. It is much easier to just put business cards into to-do pile and start checking e-mail and voice mail.

Not following up is often the only reason networking is not profitable. It is essential when you plan to go to a networking event to block time the next day to follow up. That is how you know to offer a call for an appointment next morning. The next thing you do is schedule your next networking event. That is right – rinse and repeat!

How to Do The Introduction (Tool to Use For Profit)

I did tell you in one of earlier posts that the more comfortable people are around you at a networking event, the more they like you, right? That is exactly what you want them to do, so they are much more inclined to refer business to you.

That is why when you have spent 6 to 10 minutes talking to them and are ready to part ways, it will be profitable to you to release the conversation by introducing them to someone else. Less than 10 minutes and they will not remember the conversation when you follow up, more than 10 minutes and it will cost you an opportunity to meet someone else. By this time you should have thought about someone you want to introduce them to.

While talking with your conversation partner you have learned that their daughter is in the marching band. You know that Jane Doe also has a child in the marching band. So tell them, that you want to introduce them to Jane Doe because she is going to want to hear about their daughter’s experience in the band.

Now turn away and look around the room until you spot Jane. Then say ‘she is over here’ and start walking toward her with your conversation partner. Are you concerned that it would be rude to interrupt someone’s conversation? Remember that everybody there to meet new people. Jane is here to make connections, you will be doing her a favor by introducing your conversation partner to her.

Of course that does not change the fact that interrupting is rude, so while you are walking toward her  1. make eye contact with her and 2. smile really wide, showing teeth. She will know that you are walking toward her and will bring her conversation to the place where she can bring you in. She will create a moment to reach out her hand and greet you. Shake hands with her and then say ‘Jane I would like to introduce you to Mary, her daughter is in the marching band’. As you are saying this they will be shaking hands, then start talking and you will be out of it.

If Jane did not see you coming, there is a way to know if it is OK to interrupt a conversation. If two people are standing kneecap to kneecap, do not interrupt, it is a private conversation. If people are standing in an open triangle, they are inviting people to join their conversation. If you see Jane standing kneecap to kneecap with someone, you could tell Mary that you will bring Jane over later and introduce her to someone else.

You will make each of them so comfortable, that beginning a conversation will be easy for them. They will each think of you as a ‘great networker’. They will both like you. Mission accomplished, you are building good relationships with people.

I will go practice what I learn from Wendy Kinney’s book ‘Networking Aerobics’ at 3 different events in the next 2 weeks, as I am looking for business partners to join my team.

5 Steps to Make Their Business Card Work for You (Tool to Use For Profit)

You are a happy owner of your conversation partner’s business card now. Not only that, you also know how you are going to make next contact, because you just told them that when you asked for their card.

Do you get it that it is not important if you talk about your business or not. You are in control. You are going to make another contact anyway. You have not lost anything because they were never going to write you a check on the spot anyway. They will have referrals for you if you stay in touch.

The tips below will help you remember the person who gave you the card and how to follow up.

1. Make a note on the back of their card to tell you what your next action is going to be. Like ‘set up lunch with a friend’, ‘send an article on soccer’. Write the note right there, let them see you documenting the conversation. They were so good, you are not leaving it to a chance. Your credibility will instantly grow, and they will like you.

2. Use a personal shorthand. An L with a circle around it, and a word ‘friend’ should be enough to let you know it is a 3-way Lunch. An A with a circle and ‘soccer’ could be another reminder. An I with a circle and the name of the business association you plan to invite them to will also do the job.

3. Be prepared to not follow through. Yes, you will meet people whose values don’t match yours. It if OK to let them go. In her book ‘Networking Aerobics’ Wendy Kinney is sharing her silent shorthand for that – she bends top right hand corner of the card like a bookmark. When back in your office, you can just throw these kind of cards away. In the unlikely event that they ask what bent corner means, just tell them it is a shorthand.

4. Some people will not appreciate you writing on the front of their cards. If you can make them feel good by writing on the back, not the front of the card, that will show that you are paying attention to them as a person. Absolutely do just that. Write on the back of their card. They will not feel like you are defacing their card, they will like you for that.

5. If their card is glossy, use that stash of 3×5 cards for notes. You can wrap a note card around their business card. Wendy Kinney uses different color ink for different events she attends. Do the same, especially during holiday season, when you go to networking events they call parties – and do everything exactly the same way as I describe in this series of posts. I, of course make sure I get their mailing address, because of the type of business that I do do.

Next post will cover what you need to do to get rid of this person somehow, once you have their card. Sorry, I did not mean it like that. (I could not help it, this joke is directly from Wendy Kinney’s book.