Sent by SunTrust Banker and Certfied Networker Jan Snyder:
“ Don’t wait for, expect, or rely on favors.
Count on earning them
by hard work and perseverance. ”
Marian Wright Edelman (1939 – )
founder of the Children’s Defense Fund
So what’s hard work and perseverance got to do with getting referrals? I thought this referral networking stuff was supposed to be fun. Well, I think this quote summarizes word-of-mouth marketing and referral development pretty well. And it is another way of saying what Dr. Ivan Misner says about networking: “It’s not net-sit, or net-eat. It’s network.”
I often say that referrals shouldn’t be a happy surprise. Rather, they should be a predictable part of your business plan that can be depended on to help you achieve you business goals. The only way for that to happen is to have purposeful, planned activities that produce referral results. So having a plan and working it are necessary to being successful in the world of WOM.
And one of the really nice parts about developing business through building strong business relationships is the idea of reciprocity. To me, the first line of the quote says that everything I do may not directly come back to be in the way of a referral or new business. However, it will come back to me somehow. It also provokes the thought that we shouldn’t wait before we do something for someone. Don’t wait for the other guy to go first. Start finding ways to help others and see what happens.
Of late, I’ve been trying to pick up the pace with my relationship building activities. Consistently applying the 18 Tactics easily becomes a habit that produces results. These 18 Tactics are deposits with those who matter and may earn us to those favors that will make the difference in our our business.
|Join a Web-Based Networking Group
So you’re stuck in your proverbial cave? There’s still a way out…through the world wide web!
Some say that if you successfully harness the power of the internet you can actually experience positive results in your business networking efforts. David Teten and Scott Allen, authors of The Virtual Handshake: Opening Doors and Closing Deals Online, tell us that online networks may even become the next power lunch or golf course.
Many times when folks hear the word “network” they assume it’s referring to the way computers are physically connected and hardwired together. The most current definition has to do with the virtual connection to today’s wired-up world. WWW dot opportunities seem almost infinite!
These days, how often do you hear, “Let’s do lunch?” Almost never! It’s been replaced by, “Shoot me an email” or “Let’s catch up on FaceBook.” My teenage daughter literally uses the word “talk” in place of “text” and describes online communications as if they’re discussions.
Like it or not, we can keep up or get left behind because technology is going to continue to move forward with or without us. It’s generally more empowering to get started on your own terms. So let’s do it!
This week TAKE ACTION by venturing out via computer:
1. Find an online business community that’s a good fit for you.
2. Set up your profile (completely).
3. Request connections with people you know.
4. Post your status and comment on a colleague’s blog/status.
5. Schedule daily or weekly time to regularly participate in your online community.
Can you establish relationships and do business online? Yes. I still firmly believe that the strongest relationships, those that stand the test of time and turmoil, will be those that are nurtured face to face, nose to nose and toe to toe. Online communities shouldn’t take the place of the actual community you live and work in. It should enhance and add value to it!
|As someone that relies completely on word-of-mouth to build my businesses, I’ve found The 29% Solution, written by leading referral marketing expert Dr. Ivan Misner, to be instrumental in my success. He offers 52 weekly networking success strategies (one per week) and specific actions to take to experience success through focused, purposeful networking efforts.
Paula Frazier is a referral marketing trainer, consultant and keynote speaker. She is an Executive Director for BNI and part of a select team of Master Trainers for Referral Institute. Paula’s business networking articles have been featured internationally. She was recently published in Brainsbook for Networking and is also acknowledged in the New York Times best seller, Truth or Delusion – Busting Networkings Biggest Myths. Check out #33, Delusion with a twist! Paula can be contacted at email@example.com.
Over the years many folks have offered observations and suggestions regarding the format for our monthly B2B luncheon.
- Add a guest speaker,
- Give us more time to promote our businesses,
- Have a 5 minute presenter,
I have contemplated these suggestions and would like to share some thoughts. Continue reading
I picked up a book last week, The New Rules of Marketing & PR by David Meerman Scott. It set my hair on fire! I’ll get on that topic another time, (not the hair, the book) but right now I want to comment on something that kept coming to mind while I was reading. That is, how people use the terms word of mouth marketing, referral marketing, and networking when talking about obtaining leads. I’ll add another that I like better, relationship marketing. (That may be redundant, because marketing is about creating and maintaining relationships.)
But while reading the book, the term that kept coming to mind was word of mouth. The reason is, most of the business people I talk with seek the holy grail: referrals.
And so they network. They ask for referrals. They rely on word of mouth.
And this is where we are falling short.
Most of our word of mouth comes from our own mouths. There has been a lot written and said about developing referrals through building networks and developing relationships. Heck, that’s my specialty and I’ve learned from some of the best in the business, as well as through the school of hard knocks. But the old referral guru, Dr. Ivan Misner, said it a long time ago: word of mouth marketing. (He even created a marketing plan called the WOMBAT Plan.) But it was lost on me, like I suspect it is lost on most sales and business people. I got caught up in the tactics, the getting referrals.
Networking and building referral relationships are only one of the aspects of marketing by building word of mouth. Check out Dr. Misner’s World’s Best Known Marketing Secret and David Meerman Scott’s books and learn about creating WOM. Dr. Misner’s focuses on the fundamentals of good, old fashioned, hit the streets WOM; and Scott’s is a high tech, changing everyday, got to keep up, cutting edge version. Both approaches valid; one a part of the other. The basic elements are the same: market, motivation, message. They just offer different media.