Weekly Meeting: Networking or Not Working?

April 6, 2009

 

ryan-seacrestby Lee Abraham

 

I’ll admit it. It took me a while to figure out this networking thing. Especially the value of meeting with other people face to face. Here’s the story. Way back in the mid ‘90s I was invited to join BNI (Business Network Int’l), a structured networking group to help grow my business. I was intrigued. And then I was told the group got together once a week to pass referrals.

 

At the time, I owned a Real Estate Appraisal company in Las Vegas and was busier than Ryan Seacrest on American Idol’s “Elimination Night.” Let’s just say I had my hands full with a few difficult and colorful authority figures (Loan Officers instead of judges) and other peoples’ desperate situations (Borrowers rather than contestants).

 

And although I had more work than I knew what to do with, I was changing my Target Market from the oppressive management style (“hit” the value or we stop sending you work) of the Banks and Mortgages Companies to the more intellectually rewarding practice of appraising for Lawyers and serving as an Expert Witness on a variety of Real Estate related lawsuits.

 

Bottom line: I needed help reaching out to the legal community to expand my client base. And the person who invited me to join BNI was one of the top Real Estate Attorneys in town. Can you say: mixed emotions? Yes, I liked the idea of networking, and I really wanted to build a relationship with this Attorney, but it was the once a week meeting that rubbed me the wrong way.

 

Admission of guilt: I didn’t see the point of getting together so often. After all, if I had something to say to someone in the group I could just call ‘em up and take care of business… right? Wrong! Motivated but under duress, I went through the motions. Guess what? The emotions followed. And so did the referrals!

 

Basic Etiquette 105 – Attendance at weekly networking meetings are critical to benefiting from a structured networking group.

 

Let’s face it, a lot of people expect to join a networking group, show up, tell the members about their business and then sit back and watch the referrals fly in. biz-meeting-5Sorry to burst your bubble, but success in networking requires time and energy. Why? Networking is all about relationships. Plain and simple. And nothing builds a relationship better than face to face interaction.

 

VCP Process®

 

Your first goal in a structured networking group is to achieve Visibility: people know who you are and what you do. From Visibility you reach for Credibility: people know you are good at what you do. And finally, the ultimate goal is Profitability: people send you business because they like you, trust you, and know you will make them look good in the eyes of the person they referred to you.

 

Coined by Dr. Ivan Misner, founder of BNI, these three stages of relationships among networking partners is known as the VCP Process®.

 

Trust me, you will not achieve VCP with your networking partners by sitting in your office on the phone and internet all day. If you are serious about building a referral network to grow your business, you need to invest time and develop relationships getting to know, like and trust your networking partners. Oh yeah, they need to get to know, like and trust you as well!

 

Don’t have the time? Let me ask you this. If your very best client asked to meet with you once a week as a prerequisite to sending you an ongoing stream of business would you find time? I’m betting you would. Write this down: Treat your networking group as your best client and it will be!

 

Build a Bridge, Get Over It

 

OK fine, I hear you. You just can’t make every single meeting.bridge From vacations and business trips to your child’s first Piano Recital and medical emergencies, life happens. Hey, get over it! Everybody’s got life happening, not just you. Like a wise man once said, “It’s not what happens in life that makes you successful, it’s how you respond.”

 

Let’s cut to the chase. We are talking about priorities and levels of commitment. Nobody expects you to be at every single meeting. That would be unrealistic. The answer? Find out next time with our discussion of having a substitute represent you at meetings you can’t attend, when our adventure in networking continues… Follow me on Twitter!


Everything Counts – Personal Branding and Networking

March 28, 2009

 

memo2By Lee Abraham

 

Personal Branding is a big deal. Particularly in networking. Last couple of times out we got into the VCP Process® and building business relationships. In short, regardless of who we are or what we do, we go from Visibility to Credibility and finally Profitability as we strengthen relationships with our networking partners. Click here for more.

 

So far so good. Most people got that memo. But like anything else, there’s usually a gap between knowing and doing. Sometimes it’s a rebellion thing. We’ll talk about that later.

 

Good news. More often than not, people participating in a structured networking group are motivated to make money and are open to new ideas. The problem: people don’t know what they don’t know! So what do you say we get past theory and into the details of Personal Branding and Networking.

 

Everything Counts

 

Bottom line: How you are seen by others has everything to do with how many referrals you receive. Like it or not, everything you do and everything you say, either helps or hurts your Personal Brand. Including little things you rationalize in your mind as unimportant or unnecessary. 

 

So here we go. Over the next several blog posts we take the mystery out of mastering the VCP Process® with a Power Team “Best Practices” on the following topics:

 

Basic Meeting Etiquette: What to do, not do, and why

training1Contact Spheres: Creating Golden Goose sources for ongoing referrals

One to One Meetings: Face to face networking and training to build VCP

Referrals: Recognizing and converting opportunity into money making referrals 

Sales Force Updates: Training the Power Team

Testimonials: Bragging Buddy Tricks and Tips

Training: Investing in your own personal development

Visitors: Inviting and networking with new people

 

Basic Meeting Etiquette (part 1)

 

Basic Etiquette 101: Wear your name badge.

 

We start here for a reason. Name badges are a litmus test. Research shows there are four types of people as it relates to wearing a name badge. Please be honest with yourself on which category best describes you.

 

Let’s start on a positive note: people who wear their name badge.

 

While it seems trivial to many, the name badge from your networking group is important and has an impact on your networking efforts. badgeFor starters, the badge has a dual purpose. An easy ice breaker with your name and business for open networking and Visitors at your networking meeting, the badge also confirms an impression to Visitors that your group is organized and focused.

 

Subtle but true, seeing people wearing the same badge helps a visitor see your networking group’s structure, system, and more easily identify energized members participating enthusiastically, the three most important variables Visitors are looking for in a networking group.

 

Personal Development

 

OK, let’s take off the warm and fuzzy kid gloves and go bare knuckle: some folks simply don’t want to wear a name badge. Why? You heard me: they just don’t want to! Hey, whatever. While it was funny and cool to watch John Belushi’s “Badges?!? We don’t need no stinking badges!” in the all time classic comedy Blazing Saddles, the same is not true in a structured networking environment. Fact: Wearing your name badge makes a positive difference.

 

In many ways, success in a group setting is a function of Personal Development. We all lead by example whether we realize it or not. If you fall into this category of rebellion, I strongly suggest you pass a referral for yourself to the Business or Life Coach in your networking group, to work on it. That way, everyone wins.

 

Alright, now for a group hug. I know, sometimes you just forget the badge and that’s why you don’t have it on at your networking meeting. Fine. We still love ya. But c’mon now, let’s get it in gear and simply make the name badge a priority going forward. Believe it or not, wearing the badge will build your VCP with the other members of your networking group, and in turn, you will receive more referrals.

 

Plus, the more people wearing badges increases the percentages of the group making a favorable impression with Visitors, resulting in more applications for membership in your network.

 

badge21The Extra Mile

 

And now we come to the fourth group. These people are the Power Team Networkers you want on your team. That’s right, I’m talking about the folks who go the extra mile and wear their name at other business functions, in addition to their weekly networking meeting.

 

Whether it be Chamber of Commerce Mixers, or Industry Conferences and Trade Shows, wearing a name badge identifying you and your networking group is a powerful projection of your Personal Brand. Properly identified, you are now positioned to take a real interest in an other person’s product or service from the perspective of structured networking expert, talking with them of ways to add value to their business. And in the process, opening doors that might have otherwise remained closed.

 

Identity Crisis

 

OK, I lied. There is actually a fifth group. People who wear their own badge from their company or office. Yes, this is better than wearing no badge at all. But the group itself loses your contribution to the perception of structure and system in the Visitor’s mind. Further, you also weaken your message at an outside event when talking to another business person about the great networking group you belong to.

 

We agree, company pride is good. telescopeAnd important. But Power Team bling gets more done. Got flair? Wear both badges! Take a risk: be excited! Or take a bigger risk and keep yourself and your networking group a secret. The choice is yours.

 

Next time out, we put more ideas under the Power Team microscope, focusing on the little things you can do each week at your networking meeting to strengthen your Personal Brand, when our adventure in networking continues… Follow me on Twitter!


Twitter Success Formula: RT x @ (Twitter) = VCP (BNI)?

March 18, 2009

 

power-team2by Lee Abraham

Last time out, we looked into the three stages of a networking relationship: Visibility, Credibility and Profitability. Coined by Dr. Ivan Misner, founder of BNI (Business Network Int’l) and world’s leading networking guru, the VCP Process® wraps the multi faceted and time consuming evolution of relationships from unknown stranger to trusted networking partner into a simple, easy to use formula.

Visibility – People know who you are and what you do

Credibility – People know you are reliable and good at what you do

Profitability – People send you business because they like you, trust you and know you will make them look good in eyes of people they refer to you.

VCP Online?

Old school networkers are sometimes labeled “hunters,” notching their well worn money belt for each business card collected and cold call made. And in many cases, the stereotype is warranted. Truth is, a lot of well intended and hard working entrepreneurs view business simply as a big numbers game: the more people they pitch, the more chances of hitting a home run. 

And that’s why the internet is so attractive. Networking online has huge upside for massive, international exposure at little or no cost. Blend in the potential for “Viral Growth” of your message, people telling other people, and you’ve got Word-of-mouth networking on steroids. At least on the surface.

From You Tube and Facebook, to Linkedin and Twitter, the internet has leveled the marketing playing field. Visibility to a huge audience is more possible than ever before. But here’s the rub, while the internet is very effective for Visibility, online-13how the heck can you reach Credibility, and ultimately Profitability, with people you’ve never met, and in some cases, have never even spoken to? 

Be Present

A well rounded online presence usually includes at least two, and often several more, of the most popular Social Networking websites. For starters, a profile on Linkedin or Ecademy is the cyber foundation needed to build a business network online. 

Viewed as professionalism and core competence, if you don’t have a profile online, (OK, let’s include the more social and less professional Facebook as well), you are facing a credibility challenge with your online Target Market. Call it the age of “information entitlement.” People expect to see your face, know a little about your background and experience, as well as how to contact you, so they can check you out further if they choose.

Next, a website or blog to showcase you and your work is also a must. Coupled with a Profile, a webpage rounds out the information on your company, products and services, as well as offering a glimpse into your personality and business philosophy.  

Are You Smelling What I’m Stepping In? 

Profile and webpage in place, you are now ready for marketing and promotion. Like a restaurant and customers, your internet presence only serves a purpose if the people in your Target Market visit to sample the goods. And we all know getting people to do anything is a challenge. 

Enter Twitter. A Visibility machine, smell1Twitter is a mass text messaging service where you send updates to ‘Followers” who “Opt In.” Let me reiterate: Followers choose to follow your footsteps, and in the bargain, smell what you step in. At least online. 

And because they’ve chosen to receive your updates, Followers are more receptive to directives, particularly if they are easy and non threatening. Like clicking a link to your latest blog post, for example. 

In other words, Twitter is a broadcasting mechanism for your Personal Brand, enabling you to communicate efficiently and effectively with the network you’ve built. Got something to say? Step up toward Visibility and start Tweeting!

Join the Conversation

Standing on your Twitter soapbox is an easy way to “join the conversation.” To play on the game board. To star in your own movie. Whatever the metaphor, the act of participating, engaging, and ultimately communicating with other people moves you and your Personal Brand from Visibility to Credibility.

Some of the most common types of Tweets include:

What you are doing

What you think

News

Cool links

Don’t take this personally, megaphone21but people only care about what you are doing if they admire you, want something from you, are responsible for you, or love you. Otherwise, you need to be doing something extremely interesting for people to care. 

Advice: save the updates on the bagel and lox you had for breakfast and that funny story of getting grossed out by the dirty nose of a person sitting next to you on a plane, for your memoirs. OK, once in a while go ahead and show a little flair with an American Idol pick or the overtime score of your favorite hoop squad, fine, but generally speaking, keep the personal byplay down to a minimum until you’ve got a ‘Following’ that cares.

What Were You Thinking?

What you think is another story. Please tell us what you think. Of course what you are thinking about, and how well you articulate the vision, will dictate if we care. Generally speaking, if you have a thought you think is interesting, share it. Chances are good some folks will agree that you’ve got something valuable to say.

For the less creative among us, Tweeting links to useful or fun websites, as well as news articles, inspirational quotes, jokes or photos you find interesting, are great ways to provide value to the people following you. 

Even better, be a Twitter Journalist, reporting first hand on events and news you are involved in or find yourself in the middle of. Now that’s interesting! People living vicariously through your experiences which they would otherwise never be exposed to (bagels and boogers NOT included) is the stuff that explodes viral growth of your Personal Brand.

Visibility in Action

Subtle point: everyone Following you sees your @replies. So even if you are replying to someone they’ve never heard of, your peeps see you working, and you gain big “V” in the process!

Interacting on Twitter starts with a reply (@reply) to something someone Tweets. action-2Sharing a similar experience, congratulating an achievement, agreeing or disagreeing on an opinion, or whatever, as long as you are interacting, you are working toward Visibility when you reply to another Tweeter. 

Let’s crank it up a notch. Did you find someone’s Tweet informative or valuable? Share it with your Followers by “Re-Tweeting” (RT) the message.

A good RT has two benefits. Not only will you enjoy increased Visibility with your Followers who appreciate the value you bring to the conversation with an interesting RT, but you jump start Visibility and instantly move toward Credibility with the person whose message you RT. After all, you are helping the original Tweeter leverage their efforts, and as a part of their promotional network you become valuable to them. 

RT x @replies = C

A good sign that you are gaining Visibility on Twitter is other people replying to your updates. Other Tweeters are obviously taking note of what you are saying and have something to add. Nice!

And you know you are navigating the tightrope toward Credibility when other people “Re-Tweet” (RT) your updates. high-wire-actIn other words, they like what you have to say and pass along your message and contact info to all the people following them. And if some of those people do the same, now you’ve got the Viral word-of-mouth campaign that lures millions of business people online every day.

Two words: Give Value. The more “@replies” and RT’s you Tweet, the more people you are interacting with and the greater the chance of those people caring about what you have to say and Re-Tweeting it. And the more RTs you get, the greater your Visibility and Credibility. At least on Twitter. 

Next time, we stretch the VCP limit to reach Profitability online with people you’ve never met, when our adventure in networking continues… Follow me on Twitter!  


MLM – Make “Lifestyle Money”

February 24, 2009

by Lee Abraham

 

dream-life“Lifestyle Money” is the new buzz. Check around. You will find that blending an income stream seamlessly into your current lifestyle is the business model of choice for today’s leading edge wealth builders.

 

First trick of the trade: jump on board with the business opportunity that best matches what you are already into. That’s where the “lifestyle” comes in. These days there are more types of MLM business opportunities than ever before. From cosmetics, jewelry and cleaning products to travel, legal services and nutrition, just about anything you can spend money on is available through one MLM company or another.

 

A Rose by Any Name

 

Regardless of which opportunity calls your name, all MLM, or “Network Marketing” business opportunities have several common features and benefits that your Power Team needs to understand and believe in, to be an effective “Bragging Buddy” on your behalf.

 

Let’s start with another new term, “Home Business Franchise.” Running a “Home Based” business is all about flexibility. When and where you work the business is up to you. Want to wear those fuzzy bunny slippers home-officewith the matching bath robe while coaching your sales force or placing product orders with HQ? Go for it! Need to walk the dog and get on a corporate conference call at the same time. You can!

 

Perfect for stay-at-home parents, people with disabilities and folks living in remote locations, Network Marketing levels the playing field like no other business model. Plus, there is no formal education required. MLM is truly an “equal opportunity” with no bias on age, race or gender.

 

So whether you build your business over lunch, in the nooks and crannies of your life, or as a full time gig wheeling and dealing among the masses, you can make money from home with Network Marketing if you have the discipline to be your own boss!

 

Less Taxing

 

Like any business operating from home, MLM creates some terrific Tax Shelter benefits, enabling you to deduct a portion of your living expenses (rent, mortgage, utilities, travel, etc.) on your income taxes. Bottom line: even if you don’t make a big income, Network Marketer’s enjoy some well deserved tax relief!

 

But wait! You want BIG income? No worries. MLM packs a money making one-two punch that’ll knock your socks off. Forget the fear. Step into the ring chanting “Leveraged, Residual Income” and you will happily stand toe-to-toe against the competition, slugging it out with your eyes on the prize and the heart of a champion!

 

Train the Team

 

Just like all the other Power Team Networkers, MLM’ers must train the rest of the group to be a “Bragging Buddy” for their business.biz-team-3 In other words, the Power Team needs to know how to quickly tell a prospect why you are the only person they need to talk to for your particular product or service. And in your case, that includes people who are looking for another stream of income and a home based business!

 

So get out your notepad. Jot down a few points on what we’ve already covered. Our goal is to explain your Network Marketing business opportunity in small, bite size pieces that your Power Team partners will remember when they shift into “Bragging Buddy” mode on your behalf.

 

Start with time flexibility, then the tax benefits of a home based business. Put the concepts into your own words. Have a very simple real life success story to breath life into these basic elements of MLM’s allure. Got it? Now let’s give ‘em the big money shot and take a closer look at how to explain “Leveraged, Residual Income.”

 

“Leverage” means you’ve got a “downline,” people you personally sponsored into the business who duplicate your efforts. Every time the downline sells a product, or better yet, personally sponsors someone else into the business to duplicate their efforts, you get paid!

 

“Residual” means the checks keep coming. Just about every current MLM opportunity is based on customers receiving product automatically on a monthly basis. And every time the product is shipped, you get paid. Keep a customer happy and you keep getting checks! Sort of like owning rental properties except there are no tenants, roof repairs or vacancies to deal with.

 

Start With the Product

 

Although we’re off to a good start, I hear the MLM’ers out there, moaning and groaning that Power Team networking is a slow, indirect way to build a business. And it is. But just like MLM, a Power Team leverages your time and energy, while feeding you an ongoing, residual stream of money making referrals. Sounds good, doesn’t it? Of course it does. So roll up your shirt sleeves and let’s get to work! Your job? Decide which type of product best matches your lifestyle. From there, we’ll find the best MLM company in that market.

 

healthy-peopleMake no mistake, working with a product line you believe in and use regularly is mandatory for building an MLM business with Power Team networking.

 

Need help? How about this: everybody wants to be healthy and look great. Including you! So what do you say we start there and get into the specifics of MLM and Nutritional Products, next time, when our adventure in networking continues… Follow Me on Twitter!


Turn Lame Duck Networkers Into Golden Goose Referrals

February 10, 2009

By Lee Abraham

chiropractorDr. Hugh Needatwist is a Chiropractor who built his business with word-of-mouth referrals. Same with Manny Goodbuys, the Realtor in his Power Team business network.

Although the two networkers are from different Contact Spheres (Health & Wellness vs. Real Estate & Finance), there are countless ways the two very different businesses can generate business for each other.

Order Takers

Manny the Realtor is working with a middle aged couple moving into town from another State. Driving around looking at houses, the chit chat flows non stop. One minute it’s all about their kids and pets, the next a rapid fire Q&A on local restaurants.

And then the topic turns to local doctors. All of a sudden, the husband blurts out, “I just remembered… do you know a good Chiropractor here in town? My back is killing me. I’m sure gonna miss good old Dr. Popalot back in Toledo!”

Turns out the couple was in a car accident several months ago and have been under regular Chiropractic care for neck injuries. Like most folks, they only want to work with a Chiropractor they can trust. And as is often the case, clients moving into a new town ask their Realtor for recommendations on everything from restaurants and pet sitters to eye doctors and, yes, Chiropractors.

Manny instantly becomes Dr. Needatwist’s “Bragging Buddy” and says, order-taker1“Yes, as a matter of fact, I do. Dr. Hugh Needatwist is great! He’s the only Chiropractor I let work on me on my family. He’s not only a really nice guy, he’s very good at what he does. Here’s Dr. Needatwist’s card. Would you like me to have him give you a call?”

In this scenario, Manny is an “Order Taker.” In other words, someone asked a direct question, “Do you know a good Chiropractor?” All Manny had to do to create a referral for the Chiropractor is respond to the question.

Connectors

The next day, Manny is at the office Sales Meeting. One of the other agents is in obvious discomfort walking with a limp and continually rubbing his neck.

Manny walks up to the other agent and asks “What happened?”

“I was doing some trim paint on the outside of our house yesterday,” the agent says, “I slipped off the ladder, landed on my back and have been in pain ever since!”

“Do you have a good Chiropractor to help you recover?” connectorManny asks. “I’ve seen my Chiropractor, Dr. Hugh Needatwist, help lots of injured people get out of pain. In fact, I see him myself. He’s very gentle and can help you feel better without prescription drugs. Would you like Dr. Needatwist’s card or can I have him call you?”

In this case, Manny is a “Connector.” He saw someone in obvious pain, made the connection that the Chiropractor can help, and took an active role asking the prospect if he would be interested in the Chiropractor’s services.

Creators

Later in the day, Manny is at a Chamber of Commerce mixer. One of Manny’s friends introduces him to a Personal Injury Lawyer.

Manny recalls the Chiropractor on his Power Team is looking for introductions to Personal Injury Lawyers because they are a “Golden Goose” for his Chiropractic business.

In other words, Personal Injury Lawyers frequently recommend Chiropractors (as well as Massage Therapists, Physical Therapists, etc.) to their injured clients.

After a little small talk, Manny transforms into a Bragging Buddy of the highest order, a referral “Creator.”

 shooter“I do a lot of networking with a terrific Chiropractor named Dr. Hugh Needatwist,” Manny says in an enthusiastic tone. “In fact, he’s the only Chiropractor I let work on me and my family. Doc Needatwist is just a really nice guy and he’s very good at what he does.”

Manny is now poised as a referral sharp shooter. Target in sight he carefully takes aim before pulling the Trigger question. “Dr. Needatwist told me he is looking for a Personal Injury Lawyer to refer business back and forth with. Apparently some of his patients ask for Personal Injury Lawyer recommendations, and as I said, he’s great at what he does.

“Would it be OK if I gave Dr. Needatwist your card so you two can discuss referring business back and forth?”

Who Knew?

As a result of meeting regularly to learn about each other’s business, Manny knows the Chiropractor wants to be introduced to Personal Injury Lawyers. The reason is obvious: Lawyers can be an ongoing source of business for a Chiropractor.

Seizing opportunity and singing the Chiropractor’s praises, the Realtor is proactive, asking if it would be OK for the Chiropractor to make contact. 

Three Levels of Referrals

Got your notebook? Let’s nail down three very important terms:

Order Taker: Passive Bragging Buddy reacts to a direct question: “Do you know a good Chiropractor?”

Connector: Active Bragging Buddy recognizes a Visual Target (someone limping, rubbing their neck or in obvious discomfort) or a Target Phrase (“I fell off a ladder,” “Car Accident”) and approaches the prospect as a Bragging Buddy.

golden-goose1Creator: – Proactive Bragging Buddy recognizes and approaches a Golden Goose source of ongoing referrals for the Power Team.

Next time out we light a fire under your Power Team’s “Lame Duck” Order Takers and serve up a silver platter of Golden Goose referrals, when our adventure in networking continues… Follow Me on Twitter!


Targets, Triggers and Bullets – Ammo Belt for Networking Sharpshooters

February 4, 2009


hunter2Power Team networkers know that building a business with word-of-mouth referrals is more about “farming” than “hunting.” More about nurturing relationships and cultivating credibility over time than the one-and-done, churn-and-burn cycle of today’s hype driven mass marketing. 

That being said, here are three words of war that typically strike fear into the heart of a dove (and boil bloodlust in the belly of the hawk) which we are going to give a FAST180 and redirect into the peace and love, good karma, Givers Gain® philosophy we hold so dear. Ready? Aim…

Target: As in Target Market: Who do you want your Power Team to find for you?

Triggers: – Questions your Power Team ask the Target to uncover a need leading to a money making referral. 

Bullets: Key “Bullet” points your Power Team shares with a Target in an enthusiastic and compelling recommendation explaining what makes you special, and why the prospect will benefit from working with you. 

OK fine, we’ve got some fun terms to play with. Now let’s put the concepts into perspective.

Targets = Six Key Situations

Your ability to recognize Targets that stare you in the face every day, yet hunter-2continue to overlook, starts by setting your networking radar to alert you when you come across, or hear about, anyone in the Six Key Situations:

Getting Married
Having a Baby
Building a Business
Getting Healthy
Building/Buying a House
New In Town

Triggers = Questions

Terrific! Now you know what to look and listen for. What next? Pull the Trigger! Ask a Trigger question that will uncover a need and create a money making referral for someone on your Power Team.

Last time out we looked at 20 Questions which are specific Trigger questions to ask someone in the Getting Married Key Situation. Guess what? We’ve got 20 Questions for each of the Six Key Situations! That’s 120 money making referral opportunities you are probably missing on a regular basis. 

Bullets = Value

And finally, once a need is uncovered, your ability to hit the bulls eye with a powerful recommendation biz-team1that consistently turns into business for your Power Team depends on how well you know your Power Team and how strongly you believe their business gives value to the prospect in the any of the Six Key Situations.

Find Target, Pull Trigger

As we said, the search for money making referrals begins by setting your networking radar on alert for the Six Key Situations. That’s your first task. But waiting around for someone to mention that they, or someone they know is getting married (or going through any one of the Six Key Situations) and then pulling a Trigger question is a slow draw. Too slow. Yes, you will occaissionally give some good referrals, but the idea is to give a lot of great referrals on an ongoing basis

Listen up: recognizing a referral opportunity is not about luck. It’s a skill. And it requires focus. As well as intention. Are you motivated to create high volume, high quality referrals for your Power Team? Yes? Here’s a secret: Opportunity is around the corner waiting to meet you! 

Two Big Triggers

So rather than sitting back, waiting for the Six Key Situations to cross your desk, be proactive and start searching. How? Talk to people and get in the habit of asking the following two “Big” Trigger questions in every conversation:

What is your biggest challenge at the moment?”

“What is the next big event coming up for you?”

Whatever the other person says in reply will lead you to a referral opportunity. How well you play the role of Bragging Buddy for your Power Team will dictate the number and quality of money making referrals you generate. More on that some other time.

Right now I simply want you to commit the Biggest Challengeand Next Big EventTrigger questions to memory. Trust me: the two Big Triggers will transform your life as a Power Team networker!

next-time-21In fact, they are so simple, and so powerful, I need to let the smoke clear so we can ask questions first and shoot bullets later, next time, 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!