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!


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! 


Books, Music and Other Good Things in 2009!

December 23, 2008

December 22, 6:45 am

 

The final FAST180 webcast for 2008 is in the books! Now we get a two week break to enjoy the Holidaze and make plans for the New Year.

 

Like a lot of people right now, I’m under the gun to make some good things happen in 2009. While 2008 had many highlights, it has also been…, shall we say, a “character builder!” Bottom line: lots of folks are getting their asses kicked financially in the current economy. As they say, “this too shall pass.” Comforting? Maybe. After all, the same logic applies to kidney stones as well… OUCH!  

 

Sick humor aside, you don’t have to listen too closely to hear the stress in peoples’ voices. Blinding flash of the obvious: times are tough. If not for you, then for someone you know.

 

OK, let’s keep the chin up. Things are going to turn around. And the more time and energy invested into the solution, the faster change will happen. Are you ready for a FAST180? As collective wisdom says “It isn’t what happens that counts, it’s how you react.” OK, sounds good, but what is the best reaction to the current economy?

 

For me it starts with finishing up a few misc. projects that have been lingering on the back burner for a while. Case in point, a book I just completed with my co-author Toni Brown. Toni was the longtime Editor and publisher of Relix, a music magazine based out of New York City that evolved from a hand typed newsletter for tape traders of Grateful Dead bootleg recordings to connect and trade tapes back in the early 1970’s into a top shelf music magazine with international distribution, a record label, merchandise division and rabid readership that loves live music. It really is a great story and the book is a very visual retrospective of Relix early years. 

 

Toni has really done all the heavy lifting in this project and my hat is off to her! Same with Ed, Toni’s husband. Ed’s doing all the layout work and is truly crafting a masterpiece! We are in the final stages of sending the finished manuscript and layout to the publisher (BackBeat Books/Hal Leonard Publishing), which will be sent off in a matter of days. Toni’s done a great job and I am very excited to see the finished product!

 

The Relix book is four color ink from cover to cover with tons of great rock and roll photos, articles, interviews and artwork from Relix first 25 years. Can you say: “Eye Candy?” Distribution will not only include the bookstores but also stores that sell musical equipment, reaching our hard core music freak target market with laser like precision!

 

So for me, I will finally have a new product to sell (other than real estate) to diversify my income streams. Don’t get me wrong, I write because I love writing and will always find a creative outlet to wreak my personal brand of literary havoc, but the business of intellectual property is my focus for 2009. I just get excited about books and all the side projects that spin off in unforeseen directions.  

 

So marketing the Relix book is on my to-do list. Fortunately, my co-author Toni is a high profile musician on the live music/festival scene and she is, pardon the pun, jamming on this thing full time!

 

The book is scheduled to launch in the 3rd quarter of next year. I need to get busy now on building some strategic relationships to support the book selling campaign.

 

I’m going to start with two old friends who have been in the music biz full time for many years. Lee Crumpton is the founder of Leeways’ Homegrown Music Network, an awesome marketing and merchandise fulfillment service that has helped hundreds of independent touring bands (usually 200 shows a year) sell CDs and other merch to keep their act on the road.

 

I will also speak with Mark Huff, a phenomenal singer/songwriter who has opened for musical icons Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson and many, many more.

 

Both contacted me within days of signing up for MySpace a month or two ago. While we’ve exchanged emails, I haven’t had a good opportunity to call and say hello. That’s gonna change in the next few days.

 

These days, ‘social networking’ and online marketing are the big buzzwords in the world of business. Lots of people (like me) are taking a serious look at this stuff for the first time, diving in head first with LinkedIn, Facebook, MySpace, etc.

 

Guess what? Musicians and record companies have doing the cyber dance for over a decade! In a lot of ways, the music industry was the first private sector group to start networking online, after the scientists, academics, and computer nerds got the thing rolling in the early ‘80s.

 

So I guess I hear myself saying that the FAST180 is going to feature some of these music biz insiders to share what they’ve learned, and the mistakes they’ve made, building their businesses online.

 

Now I’m excited! Where’s the phone? I’m ready to make some calls…check back soon and find out how the conversations went, next time when our adventure in networking continues… (Follow me on Twitter)


Are You Ready for the Holidaze?

December 14, 2008

December 14th, 20085:42 am

 

I’ve always enjoyed the “Holidaze!” You know what I mean, the week before Xmas thru the first week of the New Year when you just can’t get any work done. Call it “time off.” Call it a vacation. Call it whatever you want. For me, the Holidaze is a three to four week break from the regular routine to do something out of the ordinary.

 

In years past I’ve done a bit of traveling, and most recently, I’ve used the Holidaze to crank out some high quality verbage in the form of two books, which you’ll be hearing more about in the weeks to come.

 

Right now my focus is Holidaze 2008… where to put the energy as we wrap up a very challenging year and look for opportunity in 2009?

 

If all goes well, ’09 will see various projects we’ve been working on, in some cases for several years, finally begin to pay off. I guess I’ll save the details for later. After all, we still have one week left before the Holidaze set in and business grinds to a halt, including the webcasts that would fall on Xmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. We’ll take those two weeks off and come back ready to rock on January 7th!

 

In the mean time, our new series on getting started with online networking using LinkedIn.com has been a step in the right direction. We’ve attracted larger and larger audiences and the feedback I get from people who have been on the webcasts, or tapped into the archived recordings, has been really favorable.

 

Right now we are simply laying the groundwork. Early next year we are going to start actively networking during the webcasts and some of the folks in the FAST180 community will make money as a result. Get your attention? Stay tuned! Trust me, sparks are gonna fly!

 

This week will be our 10th webcast. And yes, we have a long way to go. Right now we are still a work in progress on just about every level. Our website is a home made job I slapped together with some duct tape and chewing gum just to get our cyberspace launch off the ground… lots of improvements to make before we are even close to a finished look with operational functionality.

 

Don’t get me wrong. I’m happy with the fact that we at least have a website, a place to promote and access the weekly webcasts, as well as our blogs. It’s a good start. Now we can only get better from here.

 

Same with promotion. We need to do a better job on getting the word out. And finally, our ‘on air’ timing is getting better all the time, but again, there’s always room for improvement.

 

The vision is that Nate and I have an ongoing conversation, every Wednesday night, to talk about networking. Sometimes with a special guest, others just talking to each other. Last week was the first time we did the webcast without a guest and I see more of that going forward.

 

The reason? I think Nate and I can share some valuable insight and experiences with our guests, and each other. Our 20 year age difference (I’m 48 and Nate’s 28) creates a natural, almost generational, dynamic, hitting any given topic from somewhat different, yet complimentary angles.

 

But make no mistake, there’s lots of common ground. We both embrace BNI’s Giver’s Gain philosophy and have an unshakable tendency to recognize opportunity in our daily lives and network whenever possible.

 

Bringing out those perspectives and weaving together the best of both to improve our lives and our finances, is the material we strive to create on the FAST180.

 

That leads us to this next webcast, which will be another first. Last week we asked all the people on the webcast to open a LinkedIn account and begin creating their profile before joining us for this week’s show.

 

This week we will work on those LinkedIn profiles as a group, together online, with lots of Q&A.

 

We will also import email addresses to find people you already know with LinkedIn profiles, and cover how to join a LinkedIn BNI Group, make contact and start doing this thing called ‘Social Networking.’

 

And if we have time, we will open the door to the world of blogging. Our focus will be on WordPress.com and how blogging can greatly enhance your social networking productivity on LinkedIn.

 

OK, so there’s one more week to grind away before the Holidaze roll into town and the daily planner flies out the window…  now is the time to set the stage for a fast start in ’09. Not just individually, but as a community. Are YOU ready for a FAST180?

 

I plan to talk to as many of my friends, family and business associates as possible. My goal is to get a firsthand update on how everyone is doing and compare notes on how we can help each other in the New Year. Networking together, all things are possible!

 

So I guess that’s it for now. Check back next time to find out if I have any luck, when our adventure in networking continues…   

 

Visit www.fast180.com for more… 

 

 

 


Got LinkedIn?

December 8, 2008

December 8th, 20086:59 am

 

Our webcast on how to get started networking online with LinkedIn.com featuring special guest Beth Anderson was our best webcast yet! No only did we have the biggest audience, the info was great. I’m getting lots of terrific feedback from people encouraging us to continue focusing on this very popular topic.

 

So that’s what we are going to do! This week we will wrap up the topic of opening an account and starting to build a profile, paving the way for the next step – building your online network.

 

During the webcast everyone will be encouraged to have their LinkedIn account open and profile started before the following week, our final webcast for ’08. To close out ‘08, we will have a hands-on training, enabling people to build their own LinkedIn homepage during the webcast. It will also be our most interactive webcast yet. Everyone will have the ability to ask questions on the phone or over the internet, as we build our LinkedIn networks together during the webcast!

 

OK – let’s talk Power Teams for a moment. The Power Team Certified™ training system is in a Beta Stage testing now with apx. 15 volunteers from around the country who are working their way through the book and online PowerPoints. So far, so good.

 

One volunteer has already completed the 1st phase of the training and has begun to use some of the PTC techniques at her weekly BNI Meeting. I will keep you posted on the results.

 

In conjunction with the training portion of the program, the Referral Frenzy!/Power Team book is moving along as well. At the moment, I am surveying the Top “Thought Leaders” in the BNI and Referral Institute communities for feedback on the definitions of the terms: Contact Sphere, Power Team, Network and Sphere of Influence.

 

Got some comments yourself? Please shoot me your thoughts ( lee@mrlee.com ) on the definitions or differences in meaning among any of these terms. I would love to get your input!

 

There are still a couple of weeks left to be productive before the Holidaze settle in for its annual 3-4 week lockdown…

 

My goal is to position the FAST180 for a rockin’ 2009 with better and more valuable information going forward. Part of the plan is to increase the visibility of this blog. Wanna know how? Check back with me next time, when our adventure in networking continues…


Are you ready for a FAST180?

November 29, 2008

November 27th, 2008 – 7:12 am

Happy Thanksgiving!

As usual, I got an early start today. Marcia and Buddy the “Wonder Dog” are both still snoozin’, so I figured I’d seize the opportunity and update this blog.

Right now the big focus is the FAST180’s new sponsor, iLearningGlobal. At the recent BNI Conference in Long Beach, CA, Dr. Misner announced a new partnership between the Misner Charitable Foundation and iLG.

Makes sense. The mission of the Misner Foundation is to empower Children’s Education and iLG is perfectly positioned to be the “Future of Learning.” Good fit? You bet.

Bottom line: Dr. Misner’s partnership with iLG is already generating much needed funds to continue the Misner Foundation’s good work. Namely, helping build schools and granting scholarships to students in need.

To paraphrase the iLG website, iLearningGlobal brings the absolute best in personal development learning, with cutting edge technology to you 24/7.

Today’s top specialists, including Dr. Ivan Misner, are coming together as the premier faculty of thought leaders in the field of personal development and business coaching, offering their secrets and expertise through video, audio and e-book libraries in full screen, hi-definition quality.

I’ve been checking out the various programs on iLG and they are great!

Anyway, not only is iLG on the right side of technology, bringing together a state-of-the-art learning experience via the internet, its business model taps into the huge, and growing, trend toward networking marketing.

By aligning the Misner Foundation with iLearningGlobal, anyone who makes an investment of $79/month in their own personal development and business education thru the Misner Foundation’s iLG website, will be directly contributing to this very worthy cause.

And because it is a network marketing business model, anyone who finds themselves telling other people about iLG’s incredible value can generate some extra income too! Personally, I think that type of cash incentive is really cool.

Either way, the value of the material, combined with the state-of-the-art online experience, is much more than the monthly fee of $79 to someone who understands the value of ongoing personal development. Compared to the costs of seminars or CD audio books, the monthly investment is a bargain. And if people want to generate some extra cash flow, great. If not, the product stands on its own!

So that brings us to the FAST180. Always looking for opportunity, we too have joined forces with iLG, and everyone here at the Anytime/Anywhere Studio are both proud and excited to have iLG as our first official sponsor!

Like I said, iLG has been at the top of the list over the past several days, but as always, there’s lots of other stuff goin’ on.

One of the current big ticket items include the next two FAST180 webcasts which will continue our focus on how to use these new-fangled social networking websites like LinkedIn, Meetup, MySpace, E-Cadamy and FaceBook. Heard of these websites but don’t know what the heck they are? These webcasts are for you!    

It’s no news that the current economy has most of us scrambling, a few months, or less, away from real financial pain – missing mortgage payments and trying to put food on the table. For a lot of folks, it just ain’t pretty right now.

Sure some will sink into emotional depression and other counter productive states, but I choose to focus on opportunity and solutions. And of course, I’m not alone. There are millions of people with a will to survive and a drive to succeed, who are going online in search of new opportunities and their slice of the online economy. These are the people we want to be networking with on the FAST180.

OK great. We know our target market. But here’s the funny part. Our target market is a group who wants to get into all this online networking, but the operative words is “wants.” They know they should be doing it, they just don’t know how. And that’s where we come in.

Nate and I are really just now learning about all this stuff ourselves. We want you to learn as we do, and that’s why we are so excited about the next few weeks.

Next week’s webcast, featuring Beth Anderson of OrgTrack.com, serves up LinkedIn.com. We will focus on the very first step of setting up an account and user profile. And that’s it. This will be a nuts and bolts, A-B-C instruction on getting started.

Subsequent webcasts will be an ongoing, one step at a time series on how to create positive results in our businesses, and our lives, through online and face-to-face networking.

Bottom line: We understand that our FAST180 community, at least most of us, don’t know how to use LinkedIn.com, but most of us would like to. And that’s what we will all learn together next time, when our adventure in networking continues…               go to http://www.fast180.com for more!