More than Money (part 2)

January 30, 2009


man-thinkingLast time out we left you wondering: “How do I make money when one of my Power Team partners talks to another person and the conversation turns to someone who is getting married?”

 

The answer? Let’s start with the concept of money. As in, making money. Regardless of the business you are in, we are talking about making money by doing more, or better, business.  

 

We’ve all heard the old saying, “it takes money to make money.” I am here to tell you that this classic cliché is in fact, only partially true. Sure, with enough cash, you can pay as many people, or buy as many ads, as it takes to build sales volume. But the expense has risk. Too often, businesses spend more on marketing and advertising than they get back in increased sales!

 

What Else Is there?

 

No way around it – we all need people who keep their eyes and ears open on a daily basis, eagerly searching for opportunities to refer business our way. And the more people the better. Face it: word-of-mouth networking works!

 

bragging-buddy-4But is the motivation there? Do other people care enough about your business to keep your interests top of mind?

 

Like it or not, there are only a few basic ways of motivating people to help build your business. And it’s not complicated. Motivation almost always comes down to money. Either directly or indirectly. Sure, recognition is huge, and fear of loss is not to be overlooked, but with the exception of mom and a golden angel, most people will not work to build your business without compensation in the form of money.

 

Let me repeat. From the hourly wage of an entry level worker to executive salaries with a year end bonus and stock options, monetary compensation is motivation in the business world. And the more people motivated to help build your business, the faster your business will grow.

 

Paying Your Sales Force

 

other-peoples-money1OK, fine. We all agree: motivating other people to help build your business ultimately boils down to money. But where’s all this money going to come from? Relax, I’m not going to ask you for the money… let’s use other peoples’ money to compensate your sales force!

 

Sounds good, but how can you use other peoples’ money like that? Answer: understand that your Power Team IS your sales force and you pay them by systematically directing other peoples’ purchasing power to their products and services.
 
Let me beat a dead horse here: make money for your networking partners by creating quality, money making referrals for them, and in turn, they will send paying customers to you!

 

It’s an old concept. “What comes around go around,” “Good Karma,” and Dr. Misner’s “Givers Gain®” are all ways of saying: “help others first and they will help you in return.

How Much Is Enough?

giving-business-2OK, I hear you. You ARE giving referrals. Got it. I am going to show you how to give a lot more referrals, and not only more, but better, higher quality money making referrals! 

How? By helping you recognize opportunities to build the businesses of your hand selected Power Team of networking partners, and in turn, train them to create business for you by finding people in the Key Situations your business thrives on. 

Example: Weddings create a huge opportunity to GIVE referrals. You just need to know how the different people and businesses on your Power Team can provide a valuable product or service to the couple going through the “Getting Married” Key Situation. referral-rocketMake the same sort of connections for all Six Key Situations and your referral productivity will skyrocket!

Next time out, 20 surprising “Getting Married” referral opportunities for a wide variety of Power Team businesses you may currently be overlooking, when our adventure in networking continues… Follow Me on Twitter!

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More than Money – Part 1

January 27, 2009

Six Key Situations

 

pt-super-hero4Imagine yourself sitting at a desk. You are looking at a computer screen flashing short videos of two people talking. Although one person changes each time, the other person is always dressed in a Superman suit, complete with bright blue tights and a flowing red cape. Notice however that instead of a big “S” on his chest, there is a big “PT.”

 

The “PT” stands for Power Team and the person in the video wearing the Superman suit is your Power Team partner. Each 30 second video shows your Power Team partner chatting with a random person. Guess what? Your Power Team partner is prospecting for you!

The scenes are random and vary from waiting room chit chat at a Doctor’s office or Grocery Store line, to Chamber of Commerce press-the-flesh sessions and Industry Trade Shows. You are simply watching and listening as the two people talk.  

wessing-cake3Now look at the computer keyboard. Across the top are six new keys you have never seen before! The first is dark green like the color of money and the size of a Silver Dollar. It is labeled “Getting Married.” Each of the other five keys are the same size but different colors.  

Imagine how great it would be if you could make money by hitting the green “Getting Married” key every time the topic of conversation on the computer screen turned to someone getting married. That’s it! As soon as the prospect talking to your Power Team partner says they, or someone they know, is getting married, you hit the key and CaChing – you get paid! 

Five More Hot Buttons 

It gets better! The other five keys are labeled:  

New Baby
Building a Business
Get Healthy
New in Town
Building/Improving a House

Every time the topic of conversation indicates that the prospect, or someone they know, is experiencing one these Six Keymoney-bags5 Situations, you hit the correct key and once again CaChing – you get paid!

Pick Your Team

Remember, you pick the people and businesses on your Power Team. Knowing you can hit the “Getting Married” button and get paid, it makes sense for you to start networking with people at a Tuxedo Shop. Or a Caterer, Florist, Event Planner, Photographer… you get the idea! 

OK, stay with me. Suspend your subconscious mind from wondering about what weddings have to do with you making money. We will get there. Trust me. But for now I want you to think about getting paid from conversations involving people buying/building or improving a home or building of any type.

Let me rephrase that. Regardless of what business you are in, when a prospect talks to your Power Team partner about someone they know in any of the Six Key Situations, you get paid. In this particular case, you would start networking with a Realtor, Interior Designer, Mortgage Officer, Architect, and Furniture Salesperson. Right? 

question3Confused on how you are going to get paid from your Power Team talking to people about weddings, houses and the other Key Situations which may or may not have anything to do (or so it appears at the moment…) with your current business? Stick with me – we’ll get there. Soon. Very soon. In fact, I’ll get started right now on Part 2 and will post it next time, when our adventure in networking continues… Follow Me on Twitter!


Contact Sphere = Networking Platform!

January 23, 2009

Every business person I talk to these days is looking for more business. NOW! The sense of urgency is palpable. Unfortunately, overnight success stories are far and few between. Sad, but true.

 

And we all know advertising is no quick fix. Face it: consumers suffer from information overload, numb to a sales pitch from any person or business they are not already connected to. More than ever, people will only do business with people they like and trust.

 

Not too long ago, when someone needed a new product or service they were limited to asking friends and family about who they knew, or rolling the dice, trying to get lucky in the Yellow Pages. Now we can go to Twitter and ask our network for referrals in real time and perform our own Due Diligence searching Google.

 

Bottom line: Information is moving faster and faster, but the source is more important than ever. You and I will gravitate toward doing business with people we like and trust. And that’s true whether you are building your business online, in person or over the phone.

 

The same is also true in reverse. People you never met will contact you to do business if someone they know and trust gave a strong enough recommendation about you. Particularly if that certain someone is in a business related to yours. Say a Florist recommending a Caterer or a Business Coach recommending a Website Specialist or Marketing Guru.

 

So let’s start building your business by networking strategically with other businesses that can work for the same client as you and will compliment what you are doing without becoming your competition. Let’s start creating your Power Team referral network!

 

Ideally, the people on your Power Team will act as your “Bragging Buddy,” a networking partner who makes the prospect, in many cases their current client, understand that you are the best possible person they could work with for the particular product or service you represent. 

 

Copyright 2009 Lee Abraham

Copyright 2009 Lee Abraham

 Start With Your Contact Sphere

 

Your business fits into one of six time tested relationships known as a Contact Sphere, a group of related business categories which traditionally pass business referrals back and forth. Knowing which Contact Sphere you are in, and which business categories your Contact Sphere is missing, makes it easier to find some of the key people you are looking for. People who will help build your networking platform and become top performers on your Power Team.   

 Where Do You Fit?

 

The illustration above is limited to only six business categories per Contact Sphere, and is far from perfect… there are gray areas for several businesses that could easily fit into one group or another.

 

If you are in a profession that is not listed, choose the Contact Sphere that seems most applicable. Rest assured that whichever Contact Sphere you choose will not eliminate the other from your networking efforts. We simply have to start somewhere, so make a choice!

 

Action Step: Take a note on all the business categories listed in your Contact Sphere. Start thinking about people you already know in these professions, people who are good at what they do and are looking to grow their business.  

 

Next time out, we will “Find Your Keys,” and unlock the hidden relationships and referral opportunities among different Contact Spheres, when our adventure in networking continues… Follow Me on Twitter


Power in Words

January 20, 2009


Power Team Concepts and Terms
 A System of Organizing Business Categories 

Our ultimate goal is to create a Power Team that generates an ongoing stream of money making referrals for your business. These networking partners are the most elite group of business contacts you have.  

To truly understand what separates your Power Team from everybody else, let’s split some analytical hairs together and dial in a few concepts and definitions. 

Copyright 2009 Lee Abraham
Copyright 2009 Lee Abraham

Concept #1:  All the people/businesses in the world, whether you are connected to them or not.

Term:
Universe

Recognizing the total spectrum, or Universe of business categories and people in the world is another way of saying that you have an idea of who and what is “out there” as the talent pool for building your Power Team. This is an essential step to take inventory and identify the business categories and people you need on your Power Team. 

Concept #2: All the people/businesses you are currently connected to.

Term: Network 

Everybody you’ve ever met in person, or have a direct connection to online, over the phone, or otherwise, is a potential Network partner or source of something you need, in one of three areas:

         Referrals – Sources of Business Opportunities
         Information – Expertise and Experience
         Support – Help and Encouragement

Concept #3: Businesses that are related and can work for the same client, complimenting but not competing with each other. (examples: Florist, Caterer and Photographer; Chiropractor, Massage and Nutrition; Realtor, Mortgage and Home Inspector; etc.)

Term: Contact Sphere

Understanding how your business fits into time tested relationships among Contact Spheres of related business categories which traditionally pass referrals back and forth is critical in the formation of your Power Team.  

Knowing which Contact Sphere you are in, and which business categories your Contact Sphere is missing, makes it easier to find the networking partners you need to complete your Power Team. 

Concept #4: People/businesses from one or more Contact Sphere who actively promote and strategically network together with the intention of building each others’ business and exchanging more referrals.

Term:
Power Team

As opposed to a simple Contact Sphere, in which even the least skilled or motivated networker is an occasional referral “order taker” for a related business (examples: Realtors for the Mortgage person, Massage Therapist for the Chiropractor), Power Teams work diligently together to create more business for each other on an ongoing basis regardless of whether or not they are in related businesses.

Examples: Jeweler who recommends a CPA and Attorney specializing Estate Planning to every young couple purchasing a wedding or engagement ring (“Wedding” Power Team), or the Air Conditioning Contractor who always recommends a Nutritional Supplement providor to every customer hiring them to clean out air conditioning ducts and install air filtration systems as way to help stop sneezing, coughing and itchy eyes (“Allergy” Power Team).

Next time out, a quick description of the Six Contact Spheres pictured above, when our adventure in networking continues… (Follow Me on Twitter)


Follow me on Twitter!

January 17, 2009

 

January 17th, 4:26 am

 

We are picking up momentum! The turnout for last week’s webcast with Beth Anderson was terrific. Lots of folks joined us for the first time and the feedback we are getting in response to our focus on LinkedIn and other online networking websites has been overwhelmingly favorable.

 

Speaking of networking online, there’s a lot going on here at the Anytime/Anywhere Studios. For starters, I’ve been exploring the wild and wacky world of Twitter. From my vantage point, Twitter is like a mass text messaging service. In other words, you type up a brief message (140 characters or less), push ‘send’ and the message goes out to all the peopled who ‘opt in’ to receive your updates.

 

That’s right, people actually choose to “follow” your Twitter messages! Why? Because they are interested in what you have to say. In that sense, Twitter’s underlying function is really no different than people taking the time to join us for the FAST180 webcast, or visiting the website or blog to check up on our news. It’s all about sharing information.

 

But there are two key differences. Rather than simply posting information on a blog and passively hoping people visit, Twitter functions as a press release, giving you the power to notify your peeps that you’ve been at it again, cranking out some high octane material, with a link to your website, where they will find new and exciting stuff to explore.   

 

And in itself, the ‘announcement’ function is huge. Getting the word out is critical. But Twitter’s bigger benefit is the potential for explosive audience growth.

 

Here’s the deal: In addition to the ongoing power struggle of who has the biggest following, Twitter culture includes an informal competition of who can be the first to tell the group about an awesome new (insert any product, service, opinion or news item), which in turn, leads to more people checking out your messages. And those new followers tell their people, and so on. Call it “Viral” growth.

 

The potential result: a growing number of “followers” that can snowball into serious, exponential momentum. Example: it is not unusual for very active Twitter peeps to have a following of tens of thousands of people. Can you say: Marketer’s Playground?

 

For me right now, building a loyal Twitter following is a primary focus as we move step-by-step, building the FAST180 platform to launch the upcoming Power Team book to bestseller status when released later this year.

 

Progress so far: I started with Twitter on Christmas day (a free present to myself!) and as this journal is posted, I currently follow 81 people and 80 people following me. 

 

Maybe half of the people following me are folks I decided to follow based on recommendations from others, and in turn, some of those people responded by following me. Other followers just sorta pop up and join the parade, and I have no idea what path lead them to my door.

 

So, I’m learning about all sorts of strategies to build a huge Twitter following in a short amount of time, but that is not my goal. Yes, I want huge numbers. Maybe 10,000 or so when the book comes out. But I want the quality of the content to attract the following, rather than signing up to follow tons of people in hopes that they will follow me in return.

 

Like anything, the more you dig into something, the more you learn. Believe me, I’m learning alot each and every day. For me, using Twitter as a way to announce new blog entries, upcoming FAST180 webcasts as well as sharing cool websites and valuable information is a very stimulating activity. But it’s the material itself that remains the priority. Wanna know more? Follow me on Twitter! 


Jack of all Twitter, Part 1 – Say What?

January 11, 2009

Blogging doesn’t happen. There’s work involved. And if you are like me, when there’s a job to do, my first tendency is to try to do the job myself. Sometimes that’s good, sometimes not so good.

 

Consider the wide range of activities that need to happen for an idea, spinning around abstractly in your imagination as a concept, to finding its way out of your head, onto the internet, bouncing around with a life of its own.

 

Adequacy isn’t good enough. Material has to be sharp and provide value. The internet is a huge audience, and reaching that audience is a monumental challenge. These days, most people (except maybe your Mom, heirs to your Will, and the family dog) are too busy to care about all the details of your life, your problems and most of all, your opinions.

 

Don’t believe me? Look around. Is it just me, or is everyone dazed and confused from information overload and macro economic meltdown? Quick reality check: did you receive more or less Christmas cards than last year? I’m betting the under. Why? Too much info day in and day out has numbed the collective consciousness, tapping the energy needed to communicate, to the point of societal distraction and inactivity.

 

In today’s world, it’s a crap shoot whether or not a friend will read and respond to an email about your personal news, or return a phone call. Don’t take it personal. People are on overload! Imagine the degree of magnetic attraction needed to interest cyberspace peeps, or at least a statistically significant percentage of them, into caring enough about your opinion on your topic of choice to make the effort to visit your blog check it out.

 

And that ladies and gentlemen, is where I’m at today. I’m trying to crack the code of mass online impact. I want to find out how some folks reach millions of people and then help other authors, artists and do-gooders of all stripes do the same.

 

All this set up leads me to a formula I started putting together for publishing blog posts. The idea is to break down the steps into a system of developing an idea from grain to biscuits into a blog post we can all be proud of.

 

The goal is to measure self sufficiency in all steps required to create and manage intellectual property promoted online with WordPress, Twitter, and others. For me personally, I’m trying to identify where I need to bring in an expert with real internet skills to take my material to the next level. But in the mean time, as someone still doing all the work myself, I’m trying to learn as much as I can.

 

So anyway, I started putting together the formula. While my intentions were good, it turns out to be more than a sit down and get ‘er done kind of deal, so I’m breaking this piece into two parts.

 

Today, I’m just going to identify the variables the formula includes. Seems to me that the more of these steps completed, and how well they are executed, will result in how many people on the net give a rat’s patootty about what I, or anybody else, has got to say.

 

Here’s the criteria:
 -Am I creating unique content with my own voice and message?

-Am I utilizing all aspects of online media (audio, video, graphics, etc.) to project my message? 

-Am I contributing on a regular, frequent basis?

-Am I my own webmaster, creating my own website or blog with DreamWeaver, WordPress or something similar?

-Do I update my blog/website myself?

-Does my blog/website have all the slick bells and whistles, RSS feeds, links, widgets, subscribers, store…

-Am I promoting my material online with LinkedIn, Twitter, email tags, WordPress, MySpace and Facebook announcements, and other outlets?

-Am I promoting my material with word-of-mouth networking by meeting face-to-face with people?

-Do I have a business angle? Am I creating content online for personal satisfaction or to make money (either directly or indirectly)? What is my Product or Service?

 

OK, so that’s the criteria. At least most of it. I’m sure there’s more. Please send me any thoughts or comments about what goes into creating and managing the intellectual property you post online and promote. I’d love to know what you are up to and what’s working!

 

So in the spirit of quality control and production output, I’m going to get this info off my word processor and out on WordPress. I will now tweak before I twitter the rest (as in tweak the formula before tweating its completion). So please check back with me next time for “Jack of all Twitter Part 2 – Your Score!” next time when our adventure in networking continues… Follow me on Twitter


Internet Guru – The Search is On!

January 3, 2009

Everybody I talk to says Monday is the first day “back to business.” Sure, I get it, business as in “work.” My mind pictures a sea of desks, fabric covered cubicles and a steady parade of business casual worker bees scurrying back and forth performing their appointed tasks. 

And then I ask about their other business. You know, that side gig they’ve got going to generate another stream of income. Now I’m thinking fuzzy slippers and old pajamas in front of a computer screen. Sound familiar? Funny thing is that most people I talk to actually do have some other business on the side to beat the rat race. And yeah, they did a little Twitter and LinkedIn with their coffee and donut this morning… 

 

I am no exception. My current project is building the platform to launch my new book that will be released in the 3rd quarter of this year. Power Teams – Create Money Making Referrals from Common Everyday Situations, is a step-by-step system to help 36 specific popular business categories network together to recognize and make money from opportunities that are all around them every day, but are currently being overlooked. 

 

In the process, I have been trying to get a handle on social networking, looking at all the different websites and online services out there, to help me build the platform efficiently and effectively. Blinding flash of the obvious: there’s a lot of stuff out there. And further, a lot of it is crap! 

 

Bottom line: I quickly figured out that I need an internet guru. Someone who has already navigated the online minefield to emulate and learn from. Someone beyond good at all this social networking stuff, successfully walking the walk and articulately talking the talk. 

 

So I Googled “Networking Blog.” After reviewing about 100 blogs and eliminating 70 for various reasons, I did a 2nd review of the 30 best with an eye on the following criteria: 

 

1) Frequent posts – I want a guru who shares a steady flow of current information…

 

2) Multi Media – Is the guru a ‘product of the product?’ Are all the tools (video, graphics, links, feeds, site layout) utilized to communicate with maximum clarity?

 

3) Provides value with useful information – Am I learning things in a short period of time that will help me achieve my goals?

 

4) Strong, identifiable personality – Is this a real person I might ultimately develop a business relationship with for future projects? 

  

And the Winner is: 

Dan Schawbel – Personal Branding Blog!! 

 

Dan focuses on Personal Branding and Social Media – 1,671 subscribers – 4,340 followers on Twitter 

 

This blog is easily my favorite. Well written, sophisticated layout (this was done on wordpress? WOW!) with fresh content daily, Dan Schawbel is a 25 year old phenom with a valuable message and awesome command of the internet. 

 

Truth of the matter is that I came across Dan’s website before my Google search. After reviewing the rest, this guy is clearly the best! Based on the above criteria, Dan Schawbel earns high marks in all 4 categories: frequent posts, uses all the tools, shares a valuable message, and is a real person. 

 

I have yet to talk with Dan, although we did exchange emails giving him a head’s up that we featured his blog on our final FAST180 webcast of last year. 

 

Are you ready for a FAST180? Take my advice, follow Dan Schawbel’s exploits as he networks his way to making his upcoming book, Me 2.0, a bestseller when it is released on April 7th of this year!

 

Best of the Rest 

 

I also found three other internet gurus with blogs I have also chosen to follow:

 

David Armano – Logic + Emotion 

 

David’s focus is on social media and personal branding with excellent graphics and illustrations – 11,512 subscribers – 7,621 followers on Twitter 

 

This blog has awesome visuals to help demonstrate the concepts discussed.

 

Jim Connolly – Jim’s Marketing Blog

 

Jim is a Marketing expert with a focus on Blogging and Twitter – 15,306 followers on Twitter

 

This blog has a real business coach vibe – straight ahead, in-your-face expert advice on increasing sales. 

 

Gary Gross – Marketer’s Daily 

 

Gary’s focus is generating income online with e-books – 39 subscribers – 55 followers on Twitter 

 

This blog has more of home made feel but the information and energy behind the message is good. With a smaller following than the other gurus, this blog has potential to grow and I am interested in how it develops.

 

OK, that’s it for now. I am off to study the message of my new top four internet gurus. Check back soon to find out what I learned, when our adventure in networking continues…  (Follow me on Twitter)