Viewing all posts under Word of Mouth



Today I’d like to share with you the newest networking video from the educational video archive housed within NetworkingNow.com. Have you ever wondered what the ONE secret to success is in regard to networking for your business? In this video, I reveal the answer to that very question and I also explain four key networking fundamentals which are guaranteed to boost your bottom line. This video is just one example of the vast array of educational content offered on the NetworkingNow.com website—there are literally...


One of the first steps toward networking your business is to become more visible in the community. Remember that people need to know you, like you and trust you in order to refer you. Volunteering can position you to meet key people in your community. It connects you with people who share your passion. It gives you opportunities to demonstrate your talents, skills and integrity, as well as your ability to follow up and do what you say you are going to do. It instantly expands the depth and breadth of your network. Pe...


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 a radio interview I once did, the host of the program asked me whether I consider referral marketing the safest form of advertising. Without the slightest hesitation, I confidently answered, “By all means, no.” Based on his response, I’m sure he was shocked by that answer. I went on to explain that I believe very strongly in the tremendous benefits that word-of –mouth marketing can bring. However, there are unique risks associated with referral advertising that are not an issue in commercial or other forms...


I’m often asked by people whether or not it’s possible to distinguish the difference between weak referrals and quality referrals. The answer is YES.  There are varying levels of referrals, starting at a level that’s just one step above a cold lead. These types of referrals are ranked in quality from lowest to highest. Number one is the lowest-ranked type of referral (the least desirable) to give and receive, and number eight is the highest (most desirable). You can use the referral level rankings belo...


With the holidays quickly approaching, I asked my friend and partner in the Referral Institute, Dawn Lyons, to share her thoughts on the unique networking opportunities which she feels go hand-in-hand with the coming of the holiday season. From intimate family dinners, to office parties, to festive social gatherings, the holidays tend to bring people together more than any other time of year.  In this video, Dawn explains how to make the most of the networking opportunities which come along with people gathering tog...


During a conversation some years ago with Leslie Fiorenzo, a colleague of mine in the networking organization I founded, she made an interesting point of comparison between appreciating opera and learning to use word-of-mouth marketing in your business.  She said, “The best way to experience opera is to see it on the stage, and the best way to use word of mouth is to put a referral marketing plan in place. The novice, in either case, may not know where to begin.” We started talking about a system to generate bus...


Many of my video blogs of late, including this one, focus on topics that Jack Canfield, Gautam Ganglani, and I will be focusing on in our upcoming book about networking.  I’m posting these videos to share my own thoughts and stories about different networking topics because Jack, Gautam, and I are looking for personal story submissions from networkers across the globe and these videos give examples of the kind of stories we’re looking for. In this particular video, I talk about different aspects of onlin...


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 ...


Local communities and organizations–be they service clubs or professional groups–depend on sponsorships to make ends meet at some of their events.  This is also true for association trade shows and exhibitions.  In most cases, the dollar amounts for sponsoring events of this sort are modest–ranging from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars. How many times have you been asked to be a sponsor?  How many times have you offered to sponsor a select event in order to help out someone in your network...


In this short video, business networking expert Charlie Lawson demonstrates how powerful storytelling can be in relation to networking for your business and he does it by none other than . . . you guessed it . . . telling a story. The fact is, you can tell someone what you do for a living all day long but chances are, that’s not going to make you stand out.  You need to start relaying true stories about how your products and services have had a significantly positive impact on the way your customers feel and t...


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...


If you believe that promoting yourself, in the traditional sense, is the best way to get referrals, I hate to break it to you but it’s actually not a particularly effective way of generating referrals.  The thing is, just talking about yourself is not enough–you’ve got to teach people how to refer you. You’d think that people would listen when you describe what you do and then just naturally put two and two together when they come across somebody who needs your product or service but unfortun...


In this fourth and final installment of the “Why People Resist Networking” Video Series, I discuss a fourth reason why people likely shy away from networking–Lack of Understanding. Unfortunately, many people simply don’t understand what networking is and, in addition, they don’t understand the benefits of networking. In this video, I put some common misconceptions to rest about what networking is and I explain why, no matter what business you’re in, it’s best to “take o...


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...


  In this first video in the “Why People Resist Networking Series,” I list four ideas about why people most likely resist networking and then delve more deeply into detail about the very first idea–Lack of Confidence. I offer insight into three different reasons why people lack confidence when it comes to networking and then give explanations & solutions (solutions which have helped me in my own networking efforts, I might add) to combat this reasoning which too often prevents people from r...


Engagement involves a promise and an action.  In order to achieve success in your group of networking relationships, you and your relationships must promise to support one another and then take the actions necessary to fulfill that promise. There are many ways that you can become engaged.  Have you taken the time to regularly meet with the people in your network?  Have you taken the time to educate them regularly on the key features of your business so that your products or services will be top of mind in the even...


In this fourth installment of the Networking Faux Pas Series, I talk about the faux pas which I see happen most out of the faux pas topics I’ve discussed thus far.  It also happens to be the faux pas which frustrates me the most (Seriously–it drives me crazy!)–it’s when you give a networking partner a referral and they drop the ball and don’t follow up on it. Remember, if you aren’t following up when your referral partners call you and/or aren’t following up on the referrals...


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...


People often mistakenly perceive what goes on at networking meetings and events as making small talk with a bunch of strangers.  Real business networking , however, isn’t about making small talk at all; rather it is about building meaningful, mutually beneficial relationships with other business professionals and small talk isn’t generally something that helps further this aim.  Serious networkers, recognizing that they have limited time to introduce themselves and convey the essence of what they do, ge...


Just a couple of weeks ago, I was in Sweden on business and my wife Beth and I had the truly unique and memorable experience of staying at the Ice Hotel®.  The owner of hotel happens to be a member of BNI®, the global networking organization I started back in 1985, and during my time there I had the opportunity to not only spend time with some of the members of the nearby BNI chapters,  but also to record this short video with Gunnar Selheden (National Director for BNI Scandinavia). In this video, Gunnar and I di...


Since business referrals are the principal tools and the valued currency of networking, you should make sure that yours are both timely and appropriate.  Here are five important points to consider in giving a good referral: 1. Listen for needs from the people you meet.  When you meet someone who expresses a need, tell her you know a person whose business can provide the product or service she’s looking for.  Tell her about your business experience, if any, with that person.  Give her the business card of th...


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.  ...


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