The Direct Selling Women's Alliance advises leaders to apply five proven principles to coach their teams to success in direct sales or networking. However I believe that these 5 principles are also relevant to any of you that run your own business to help ensure a strong bond with the team that you work with each day.
These will be familiar to you, but it never hurts to be reminded:
Principle #1. TRUST
Your dealings with your team will be based on openness and honesty, free from any intention to manipulate, misrepresent or persuade.
Principle #2. RESPECT
When you show respect for your team mates, they will feel valued and have increased confidence to perform duties that you may give to them.
This week I attended our monthly (well ok, now bi-monthly) mastermind dinner at a friends home. (She is an amazing chef and artist so you can imagine not only the look of her home, but as well the smell of this amazing dinner cooking) I am so blessed to have such a great group of smart business women that support each other in our business's but as well an amazing group of friends that truly care about each others well being. I wanted to write again about the importance of balance and taking the time out to learn from others...
Life is busy, and for some reason that never seems to end. When you own your own business, there never seems to be a time when there is nothing to do, it is like being a mom. Another email, another load of laundry, another marketing idea, another toy to pick up. Meeting up with friends is like exercise, you have to make the time to do it... and when you do watch out as new ideas blossom from taking the time for yourself.
Here is the recipe that Cindy made on Wednesday night, it was AWESOME!
This morning I was attending our executive meeting for SWAN, an incredible networking group in North Vancouver. We were discussing calling guest from our past meetings (as apposed to just emailing them) to thank them for attending. Our new president used the phrase "High Touch instead of High Tech".
I loved it, and thought it was worth another mention as I know so many of us find it easy to send an email, or a text without reaching out in a more intimate manner...
Are you relying to much on High Tech?? Perhaps it is time to put a little more High Touch into our business.
It is just like the old Bell Commercial! Reach Out and Touch Someone!
There is a whole lot of Bass in the Place in your Face
- Big James
How can you forget that! Visiting the Jazz bar Buddy Guys in Chicago this past weekend, we were entertained all night by Big James and the Playboys.
Now these boys know how to keep you in the place, with their amazing musical skill, but as well the little things that Big James would say like “A whole lot of Bass in the Place in your Face” you can’t help but remember him!
It made me think of tag lines to help you in your business. What is your “Tag Line”? Perhaps you don’t have one yet, but you may want to think about creating one. It is a great way to create association to you and your business. For us, we are all about follow up, so our tag line at Fiitfu is “Remember, Follow up or get Swallowed up.”
Now I am not sure if Big James would consider "A whole lot of Bass, in the place in your face" to be his tag line, but it is what we will remember because it made us laugh each time he said it because it was so true!
Here are some tips in a pdf format on creating a tag line for yourself that I found from No2Pen.com http://www.no2pen.com/docs/tips-for-tagline-creation.pdf
This weekend Chicago welcomed over 50,000 guest that came to the NRA, and this city knows how to do it up. From the hotel, restaurants, taxi and bus drivers to the Jazz bars and even the shopping centers you truly felt the training that this staff throughout the city has had is the customer comes first.
We walked away from the city laughing and having a great experience with all of those that we came across. In a time of desperate financial despair, Chicago is still able to deliver first class service to create an atmosphere that will keep us coming back.
When a customer walks away from dealing with you and your business, do you think they have the same feeling?
Here are a few tips on how to make your customers feel like they come first in your business:
WOW, for the last three days we have been in the Windy City, Chicago Illinois. If you haven’t been to Chicago, I would highly recommend it!
I was joining my husband on one of his business trips along with 50,000 other people in the food industry that came down to participate in the NRA - National Restaurant Association event
I was so impressed with our experience in the city, restaurants and Jazz bars that I had to write about it, the next 3 blog entries will be about my Chicago Experience!
Attention to Detail - In 1986 a Restaurant by the name of the Chicago Chop House was opened. Located in an immaculately restored, century-old Victorian brownstone in the popular River North neighborhood. CHICAGO... has long been referred to as "The City That Works." The Chicago Chop House is best known as the place "Where The City That Works Eats."
Today I had lunch with a dear friend who I have known for years. Each time I meet with her, I know I will leave our lunch or coffee break feeling great! She is a great hugger... perhaps that is one of the reasons I always feel good when I leave our meetings.
A hug is a universal medicine, it is how we handshake from the heart.
According to Virgina Satir, who was often referred to as the mother of family therapy, “We need four hugs a day for survival. We need eight hugs a day for maintenance. We need twelve hugs a day for growth.” Her statement is backed by research, which consistently demonstrates that our emotional wellbeing is deeply impacted by the physical love we experience and that touch and hugging are primary vehicles in the brain’s development of basic positive emotions.
So go ahead and hug someone today, better yet hug twelve people today!
There is a commercial for mountain dew that features a guy jumping on a bungy contraption and goes flying through the air and hits a giant Water Balloon but filled with Mountain Dew. So wierd but FUN!
Imagine if you did some bizarre thing like that how much exposure you could get for you and your business? I would suggest thinking of some fun thing that you could do each year that would draw the media, clients, and spectators to join in. Here are a few things that companies in our communities have done in the past to draw the public and the press to check them out:
When I was in the corporate world, I use to sell a product that was purchased annually. Because of this, we saw many of our clients only once a year.
We gained the reputation of being the sales team that came into town, made our sales and then we were not heard from again... not such a great reputation. Luckily many of us had the same clients year in and out so we developed relationships with them. The SIZE of our client base was so large that it was hard for us to keep in touch with them all.
When you get what you want in your struggle for self
And the world makes you king for a day
Just go to the mirror and look at yourself
And see what that man has to say.
For it isn’t your father, or mother, or wife
Whose judgment upon you must pass
The fellow whose verdict counts most in your life
Is the one staring back from the glass.
He’s the fellow to please – never mind all the rest
For he’s with you, clear to the end
And you’ve passed your most difficult, dangerous test
If the man in the glass is your friend.
You may fool the whole world down the pathway of years
And get pats on the back as you pass
But your final reward will be heartache and tears
If you’ve cheated the man in the glass
-Peter Dale Wimbrow Sr
Last night my daughter and I came out to our friends home to dog sit and house sit. This morning as my daughter AND the dog are still sleeping, I came out to the kitchen to make a cup of hot water (yes I drink just hot water, I picked this up from my grandfather when I was just a little girl, and he lived to be 98 so perhaps he was on to something).
The cup that I am using has the quote “Cherish the Journey” and I thought it was perfectly fitting for a Saturday morning, wouldn’t you say?
Enjoy your day, and cherish your journey.
Last week was an eventful week as I also had the opportunity of seeing Mike Ditka speak in Arizona! Lucky me!
You probably already know this, but for those of us that don’t fully follow Football, here is a bit of background on Mike. Mike Ditka is a former NFL player, television commentator, and coach. Ditka was also one of only two people to win a Super Bowl as a player, an assistant coach and a head coach. He has had years of experience with working with other powerful leaders and is a great public speaker.
I was immediately impressed with Mike as he started his speech off with talking about team work. “Become a team player to be your best. Care more about others then you do yourself.” And this set the tone for the rest of his speech. Mike focussed on the quality of a person’s life being directly measured by their commitment to it and ones character. He points out that being your best is not always easy, as it isn’t until you try to be your best that people will start to challenge you. But this is when you have to continue to give it your all, and as he quotes “The Man in The Mirror” you know you have done well when you feel confident in your answer to the question "have you done more right than wrong?"
Mike had nothing but good things to say about the people in his industry that he worked with, often saying things like “You cant fault anyone for wanting to win. Respect the teams that do the good and the right thing”.
He spells out what being an ACE would look like:
Last week I had the privilege of seeing Seth Godin speak in Arizona. If you don't know who Seth is, you probably should get to know him as he has a way of thinking outside the box and is able to articulate his ideas in his 13 books that have been translated into over 30 different languages. Everyone one of those 13 books being a Best Seller! American Way Magazine calls him, "America's Greatest Marketer," and his blog is perhaps the most popular in the world written by a single individual.
One of the things Seth talks about is being different. In the past a company would invest in advertising campaigns to help create awareness and brand themselves. As Seth says we have "Branded ourselves to Death" and the over stimulation of advertising has numbed our senses. With over 17,000 new products being listed in the supermarket each year, each one looking for some attention through branding, it is no wonder companies or products are being lost in the ordinary masses.
So what do you do to stand out? Here are 5 points that Seth pointed out:
So you have been busy and you have let a few clients fall through the cracks, is it too late to follow up with them? Well let me tell you a bit of a secret, you can have one grace when it comes to letting your clients fall through the cracks, but you can’t ask for forgiveness the second time, so make sure it is sincere, honest and you stay on top of them moving forward!
Here is what I would recommend if you haven’t followed up with a client for over a year. (Believe me you are not alone, a year goes by fast!). This is what i would recommend.
Call your past client and say “ John, I have to apologize as I haven’t rang you for over a year. It has been a busy year for me, but it is no excuse to not contact you. I wanted to let you know that I have been thinking of you and would like to re-connect. Would it be ok if I update your information and keep you informed moving forward? I promise I will not let this happen again, and I will be sure to service you much more promptly.”
Now take their information (including their birthday month and day) and be sure to stay in touch. Don’t send them emails every week on your mass email list and think that is the way to stay connected. Instead nuture the relationship back to where it was with personal attention. People will appreciate your honesty, but if you let them go again... “Once bitten Twice shy” Time to count your losses and say good bye.
You may or may not know what a WIIFM is but if you start using them, you just may see your company and sales grow.
Your WIIFM's are often right under your nose, and spelled out for you in the feedback that you get from your clients. Look back at some testimonials, letters or general comments from your customers and do you see a general theme going on?
On our last post we talked about making sure your new prospects have a WIIFM... well what the heck is a WIIFM? WIIFM stands for "What's in it for me".
To gain the attention of prospective clients, small business owners and sales reps will talk about the WIIFM to help entice clients to meet up with them. We all have our great sales presentations once we get in front of a client, but how do you entice them to meet with you in the first place? Start using more WIIFM's.
If you think of it as a Feature / Benefit model, it makes it even easier for your clint to understand and want to learn more.
For instance: One of the features of Fiitfu is we are able to track the last time you had any activity on your clients account. The benefit to you is you will be able to see the exact time you last spoke with a client and even have the ability to pull a report of anyone that you haven't spoken to in over 6 months. The WIIFM is you will have increased sales as you won't let any clients fall through the cracks and studies show that if you just mine through your present client base, you can increase your sales by up to 50% more!
So next time you are meeting with a client, What Is In It For Them?
Follow up isn't always easy, but to make your networking, referral collecting and prospecting effective it is a must!
Here are a few tips to help ensure that your FIRST follow up call is an effective one!
Now go out and get em! Remember, fortune truly is in the follow up!
Many of you know how much I believe in networking and creating relationships with those that you network with! When you visit different networking events (I would suggest two a month, and make them ones that you go to regularly as you won't create many relationships with just one visit) you will meet new people, be inspired, learn from guest speakers as well as create some great long term relationships.
Any networking event can really do this for you, but what should be the steps you take to make each visit a valuable one?
The answer all lies in your follow up.
Think of your networking as a two way street, pinpoint your ideal clients, and then also think about THEIR business and how you may be able to help them. Now when you meet people, you determine who you would like to work with and who you would like to connect with. Be sure at the meeting to let them know why you would like to connect with them and ask if you can follow up. If they say yes, then great, grab a card and let's start the process.
Next week I am heading to Alberta to do three guest speaking engagements for eWomen Network. Today I received an email from Jo-Ann Vacing from eWomen Network with a dynamic introduction to me (thank you Jo-Ann) as well as this great cartoon which is so congruent with Fiitfu and our ideals!
We know how important new clients are to a business, new clients keep us on our toes, help us create new ideas and even challenge us to be better (especially if you are winning them over from a competitor) but ignore your present client base, and watch your business lose clients as fast as you create new ones!
Remember loyal clients are :
So while you are out today looking for new clients, be sure to keep a nice balance of follow up with your present clients as well.
Last year I worked with a success coach and he recommended writing in a success journal. I loved the idea as it keeps us focused on the positive that has happened that day. Human nature often has us focusing on the negative instead of the positive, so this is a nice shift! So I scheduled into my calendar each night to write in my journal, and each morning to read it! Daily my reminder beeps on my phone, and it makes me stop to THINK (at least I am thinking about it even if I don’t write in my journal every night) of all the things I did well in the day. Then when my phone reminds me again to read the entries from the night before, it is such a great way to start the day and keep you focused on moving forward in your business. If you don’t focus on the positive, the alternative is debilitating! So what are some of your accomplishments today? Write them down and you just may find the following happen: