Tag Archives: relationship based marketing

100 Points Per Week, Part III

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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.

 

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

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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.

Influencing Prospects, Clients, and Referral Partners

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The six sources of influence: motivation, training and skill building, positive peer pressure, the influence of managers and coaches, incentives, and tapping into the power of physical space and environment.

I came upon this fragment of information as I was poking around in some files on my computer.  Copied the list from who-knows-where?  It’s an important list. Continue reading

What Is WOM and Why Do I Need Some?

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New Rules of Marketing (image)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.