100 Points Per Week, Part III


Well, from a points perspective, last week was pretty good.  This was mainly due to an event we did on Thursday.  Of the 165 points for the week, 99 were related to the event.  That’s a good Score Card but those points are only as good as the follow up.

Social events are an important part of my referral marketing strategy and one of the main ways I make new connections.  It is how I make it easy for my referral partners and clients to refer me.  Lots of planning goes into events but they can be very productive from a relationship building perspective.  The Certified Networker Night on Thursday gave us as opportunity to recognize clients, provide a speaking opportunity to a former client and important relationship, renew old connections with current and former clients, and meet new business people who could either become prospects or good referrals or connections for members of my network.  I was also able to use one of my clients as the caterer and thus promote her business while giving her business.

So the proof in the pudding will be in the coming weeks.  How many opportunities did we create and how many of those will turn into business, not just for me but also for my clients who attended the event?

I’ve got house guests coming on Friday, my brother, Paul and his wife, Betsy.  They are easy company and I’m really looking forward to the visit.  But have to keep the focus this week and set things up for the next.  They’ll be here for 10-11 days so I’ll need to be creative with my marketing and communications to not let things drop while remaining a good host.  When you are the Chief Cook and Bottle Washer, these are the types of things that can put a big dent in the pipeline if you let them.  We’ll see how I do.


100 Points Per Week, Part Deux


Last week being a short week would offer a great excuse for not attaining 100 points. But we’re in a no whining zone so we’ll take what we get.

I was able to make two referrals, one that I think will lead to follow on business beyond the initial need. I also had a number of 1-to-1 meetings with referral partners and potential referral partners that are leading to appointments. My strategy meetings were particularly good last week and this week I’m following up on a number of ideas that came up in them.
As usual, I tried to reach out to my C’s and P’s to stay in touch. Phone calls and emails, as well as a few taunts on Fit Bit. One thing I haven’t figured out for point value is Linked In connections, thank-you’s and responses, and endorsements. I’m trying to be more aware of this activity and what the results of it are. LI can me an important element in your marketing strategy so it’s worth keeping an eye on effort and result.

So that was the week that was…and this is the week that is. So I’d best get at it. Got to top last week’s total and add some results to that Score Card. Give me a little something to celebrate this weekend.

100 Points Per Week


One of the challenges of sales and marketing is being consistent.  I know it is the biggest bugaboo for me.  Like many, I see the value in having systems in place but in the day-to-day scheme of things it is hard to stay between the white lines.  Thus my fascination with the Networking Score Card.  It is an easy way to establish some of the habits that make for successful referral development.  (If right now you’re wondering, “Score Card?” shoot me a note.)

So in the spirit of “…an apple a day” I am setting out to obtain and document 100 points per week on my Networking Score Card.  I will post my point totals here each week and invite you to play along.  Check out how I am doing.  Let us know how you are doing.  Share successes and failures and ask questions, either as part of the discussion or to me directly.  Would be glad to do a phone call or meet in person.  And as always, remember, it’s OK to buy me a beer. 

Watch for Week #1` post Monday, 11 July, for the exciting results for the week of 1-7 July.  This is going to be great!  Who’s in?

johnny sketch


It’s Jazz and Heritage Festival time in New Orleans. This is one of the few years we won’t be there to enjoy THE biggest and bestest music festivals on earth.  Music of all varieties that will make you break out of the genre rut you might be in and food that will knock your socks off.

Here’s a cut from a couple of years ago by a New Orleans favorite and Jazz Fest perennial (and my favorite…OK, my son’s band.)


It’s OK To Not Want To Have Coffee With Me


A colleague posted an article on his Face Book page by an individual explaining why he didn’t want to have coffee with you. (Click here for article)   It sparked quite a few responses, not only on the Face Book post but also on the original article.  Folks were upset with the audacity of the author in refusing to accept coffee invitations from just anyone.  There were the obligatory comments of “Givers Gain,” “you don’t know who they know,” and so forth and so on.  What an ungenerous soul!

As for me, I support him.

I think I am as helpful a spirit as there can be.  After all, “To know me is to love me.”  But there are other things to consider, the biggest one for me being to have a purpose for the things that we do.  Too often, we offer to have coffee because we feel we should.  Our referral group supports it.  Books tell us to never eat (or drink coffee) alone.  Others have met with me and what goes around comes around; just a few of the reasons we say “yes”.  But is that smart business?

Our time and resources are not unlimited so maybe we should have some rules to follow when considering these meetings.  The author of the article related his rules and was verbally flayed for having them.  Were I his business coach, I would applaud him.  He might be a bit transactional (what’s in it for me?) in his policies but at least he has a purpose for setting these meetings and sticks to it.  Which brings up another point.

We talk about behavioral styles but are offended when someone displays theirs.  This guy may well be a high “D” expressing his get-to-the-point tendencies.  Or he may be a high “C” needing policies and rules to comply with so that he can make rational decisions.  Either way, it’s the way he is and we should recognize that.  Personally, I may be a bit put off by that behavior but I know plenty of folks like this and I seem to get along with most of them just fine.  The ones who are out of control “D” or “C”, well, I’ll take a pass.  Little chance of a meaningful relationship developing from it anyway.

But back to my theme: having a purpose for the meetings we schedule.  Many of these coffee meetings arise from the need to get to know members of our referral groups.  I’m good with that.  If I intend to be a good member and contribute, I need to get to know the membership.

Other meetings are solicited by people you meet at networking events.  Some of these are welcome while others may be less appealing.  The latter can be handled in a number of ways.  One is to suggest that the initial meeting be done by phone.  This is less intrusive on your calendar and easily accommodated.  Another is to invite them to a function such as your referral group, a business lunch or an after-hours event that will provide opportunity to talk more.

There is another reason that should be considered.  While we are generally looking for mutual benefit when business networking, sometimes we may just want to be helpful.  Certainly nothing wrong with that.  In fact, it’s a commendable attitude.  But just like an attorney doing pro bono work, you need to determine how much you can afford to do.

So, Gene Marks, I agree with you…kind of.  While it important to be generous, it is also important to have a purpose.  Successful networking is purposeful networking.  Be smart about the meetings you schedule.  You can do so and still adhere to the “Givers Gain” philosophy.

Thanks to  Referral Institute San Francisco Bay Area colleague, Mickey Griffiths for posting the article and instigating the discussion.

Lead Generation – Sources of Referrals


The theme for this week seems to be leads generation.  So let’s take a look at it from a few perspectives.

First, why are you gathering leads?  The obvious, first answer is getting names of prospects for your business.  But you may be building a mailing list for a newsletter, or building your support or information network.  Or maybe you are positioning yourself as a hub firm so that you become a referral producing machine.  Let’s assume you are developing prospects. 

Now, what activities are you involved in that produce leads?  Making a list of all of them is good, then reviewing the eight sources of referrals: clients, contact spheres, power teams, people you do business with (or who expressed interest in doing business but didn’t), people whose business benefits from yours, referral groups, business and social groups, staff members and friends, and key referral partners.  Hey, wait!  That’s nine.  Well, I guess you can’t have too many. 

Let’s start with clients.  There is no end to the ways suggested to extract referrals from your clients.  My caution has always been that your relationship with them is the most important thing.  You work hard to gain their trust and thus, their business.  You do not want to damage that in any way, so how and when you ask for referrals will depend on a number of factors.  Have you laid the ground work for asking?  Have you earned the right?  Some people are not concerned with these questions but most of us are.  So it is important to prepare your clients for their role as a referral source.  You might start with the idea that you will encounter a broad spectrum of attitudes in your client base regarding making referrals.  This runs from first-date- spill-their-guts-tell-you-all-and-everyone to the more cautious “I don’t normally do that” client who will require a long relationship-building process to convert.  How you go about asking for referrals and when you do it depends heavily on your behavioral style, your client’s style, and the quality of relationship you have built with them.

That’s plenty to get started on.  Next time we’ll talk about making yourself a resource for your clients.  Remember don’t come out of the gate asking for something before you have made the deposits.  Focus on building relationships and the referrals will follow.