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I once had an interesting conversation with an associate who was surprised that she’d gotten flak from a referral source for taking five days to follow up with a prospect that the referral source had referred to her.  My associate explained to me that she doesn’t like to follow up with prospects for four or five days because she doesn’t want the prospect to feel like she’s too eager. I told my associate that I strongly disagree with her follow-up strategy.  My reasons why are outlined in the following parag...


“Sell” may be a four-letter word, but it’s certainly not a “bad” word . . . far from it.  “Sell” is a word that should be in absolutely every networker’s vocabulary. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve run across businesspeople over the years who are fantastic networkers, but they think that just because they know how to network, they don’t need to know how to sell. They think that people will like them, and then their products or services will sell themselves. This kind of...


A few months ago, I started watching some episodes of “Shark Tank” and I got hooked!  There are some serious business lessons that can be learned by viewing the show and I saw one of them last week while I was watching a rerun from a previous season (it’s sad, I’m completely hooked now and I’m checking out past episodes). There was an entrepreneur on the show by the name of Raven Thomas.  Raven started a food business called, The Painted Pretzel (pretzels covered with chocolate and other confectio...


In this video, I talk to Ireland-based business networking expert Sandra Hart about the importance of embedding the facts about your business within the form of a story. When you’re networking or advertising for your business, the most powerful way to present your message is to use a story to ensure your message is heard.  Facts by themselves are, for the most part, simply not memorable to most people.  If you are a banker and you tell people that you specialize in offering low-interest home loans, people may...


I have been good friends with small business expert Jim Blasingame for over ten years and I can fully attest to the fact that his knowledge of what it takes to achieve success in small business is unparalleled (but don’t take my word for it, check out his bio below*).  I am excited to announce that just a few weeks ago, he released a revolutionary new book that will change the way the we think about buying and selling. This short video offers a quick overview of the premise of Jim’s newly released book, ...


So often, I see people who are frustrated about not getting more business referred to them. After all, they say, isn’t that what business networking is all about? What many of these people don’t seem to realize, however, is that they need to actively share information (5 key things, in particular) about themselves with the right people before they can expect to have business referred to them by the people in others’ networks. The fact is, it’s not enough that you’re great at what you do and can offer a lot ...


In business, there are endless opportunities to learn from the successes and mistakes of others who have ventured into the entrepreneurial waters before us.  So, why is  it that we often ignore the lessons we can learn from others’ mistakes and doom ourselves to making the same bad decisions?  People in business and sales do this all the time.  For example, there are tried-and-true sales techniques that are so simplistic it doesn’t seem as though they can really be effective so we write them off and t...


I can almost hear the groans now . . . “Another discussion about goal setting?–How boring!”  Well, boredom comes from repetition, and without repetition, masterful achievement is not possible.  Reading more, practicing more, and understanding more about goals bring this part of selling into a normal daily routine where it motivates and guides those who are masters in the field of sales. Our lives are directed and pulled by conscious and subconscious desires, which when aggregated become our future...


The dark side of the VCP Process® occurs when people get disconnected from what networking is really all about–they’re not carrying out the VCP Process as it is meant to be carried out and that’s when everything goes wrong. As I mentioned in the video blog I posted last week, Jack Canfield, Gautam Ganglani, and I are currently working together on a book about networking.  Today’s video is, again, one of several short videos I’ll be posting which cover networking topics that we will be ...


As some of you may know, Jack Canfield, Gautam Ganglani, and I are currently working together on a book about networking.  This short video is one of many others, some of which I’ll post in the future, that cover networking topics which we will be focusing on in the book.  The videos are the result of brainstorming sessions for the book and in this particular video, I explain each step of the VCP Process® approach to networking in careful detail, emphasizing that credibility is really the key to networking s...


An associate of mine once told me about an interesting experience she had when she struck up a conversation with a woman at a networking function.  When the woman asked my associate what she did for a living, my associate explained that she  helps small business owners build their businesses through networking and referrals.  The woman smiled quite confidently and said, “I’m a business owner myself and I’m actually really good at networking!  I’ve been doing it for a long, long time.” This, of cours...


A couple of weeks back, I posted a blog outlining some tactics for tapping into the customer’s perspective in order to increase sales in your business.  In that blog post, I promised I would write more in a future blog about behavioral profiles and today I am following through with that promise. Understanding behavioral profiles is essentially about understanding the four different styles of behavior when looking at individuals.  It  is an excellent way to gain knowledge about how to craft your sales and ...


Last week I posted a blog explaining why I believe that understanding the buyer’s perspective is one of the most important keys to selling.  Today’s post is a follow up to that post because I want to take this opportunity to offer some tactics for tapping into the buyer’s (i.e., the customer’s) perspective. Learning and adapting to the issues and whims of the buyer while moving the sale forward to a conclusion is a complex and intricate task.  Attentive listening can help you, the seller, de...


I’ve done quite a few video blogs with Tiffanie Kellog and there’s a very good reason for that . . . she is an outstanding Referral Institute® Trainer, Consultant, & Speaker and she has an unending supply of highly useful ideas and comments to offer. In this video, I talk with Tiffanie about the power of using compelling stories as testimonials for your products and/or services.  Everyone who makes an effort to build their business through referral marketing has the same goal–to have all those...


A few weeks ago, I was sitting in an airport waiting for my plane to arrive and I struck up a conversation with the young man sitting next to me.  He was wearing a nice suit, carrying a laptop, and appeared to be traveling on business so I asked him if he happened to be traveling to the same business event that I was.  It turned out he wasn’t headed to the same place but we ended up having a very interesting conversation about sales. He explained that he’s somewhat new to the sales industry and that he ...


Peter Drucker once said, “The most important thing in communication is to hear what isn’t being said.”  This is so true and extremely important because the quality of our relationships depends on the quality of our communications; and when it comes to sales for your business and growing your business through referral marketing, this concept is a cornerstone for success. Of course, not all sales transactions require incredible relationships or communication (e.g., online shopping), yet even big box ...


In this second installment of the “Why People Resist Networking” Video Series, I discuss another commonly held idea behind why people most likely resist networking–they claim they are much too busy to network. The bottom line is that though people may feel they “don’t have the time” or that they’re “too busy to network,” in reality they’re simply not making the effort to take the time because they don’t realize two extremely important facts about the b...


Over the past few weeks, I’ve posted blogs on how embracing quality, adding members, and seeking engagement are all things that will help networkers and entire networking groups achieve success.  Today, I’d like to talk about an additional tactic for obtaining stellar networking results–sharing stories. Listening closely to the information shared by those in your referral network will help you in telling positive stories about them when you come across potential opportunities to refer them.  Condu...


Last Thursday I posted a blog in which I explain why confusing networking with direct selling is one of the worst faux pas you can make while networking as it completely undermines any chance you have of being a successful networker.  The fact remains that if your idea of networking is walking around, shaking hands, and closing deals, you are not going to achieve real results or significant business growth from your efforts. Today, I’d like to share a fantastic new video with you which not only drives home the...


In this third installment of the Networking Faux Pas Series, I discuss the danger of confusing networking with direct selling–it is often this specific point of confusion which really causes networking to go all wrong. If your idea of networking is walking around, shaking hands, and closing deals, you owe it to yourself to watch this quick video explaining what networking is really all about and how to make sure you’re not going about it the wrong way. If you’ve had experiences with people trying to...


When one of your business contacts passes you a new referral, does that mean the prospect is ready to hear a presentation on your product or service?  Repeat after me . . . NO.  Assume nothing. When an associate passes you a referral, say thanks, then start digging for more information.  Exactly what does the prospect do?  What products or services does he want from you?  Will your offerings truly fulfill his needs?  What is his behavioral style?  What are his business goals?  How large is his company? Don...


If you interact with your clients, customers, referral sources, and contacts with a referral mind-set, show them that you are a giver, help others, and continually and strategically give referrals, you’re modeling the behavior you want others to exhibit toward you.  By itself, however, that’s not enough to train them to give you referrals. Contacts who are not involved in your strong-contact network may not be aware of what is involved  in the kind of true referral networking that you are conducting.  ...


I recorded this video a few years back for an organization interested in learning about business networking and when I ran across it last week, I thought it would be good information to share here as what I discuss is still just as important as ever. If you don’t know what a Contact Sphere is, I urge you to watch this short video because developing a Contact Sphere is one of the most important steps in business networking.  After watching the video, think about who might be a good fit for you in creating a Con...


This week marks the 7th annual celebration of International Networking Week which is recognized each year by thousands of people around the world. International Networking Week is about celebrating the key role that networking plays in the development and success of business around the world.  It is about creating an awareness relating to the process of networking.  Not just any kind of networking, but what I call “relationship networking”–an approach to doing business based on building long-term, success...


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