Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Jonathan Walsh from Friends Provident said this about Business Cards

Take the right approach to networking

Networking events allow salespeople to scout for customers, but instead of collecting as many business cards as they can, your salespeople should set a more promising goal: Get to know just three people. Tell them to find out everything they can about their three contacts without trying to sell anything up front, and use that knowledge when they call back later. They may not meet as many people at every event, but those they do get to know will be better sources of sales and referrals.
—Adapted from “The 10 commandments of networking,” by Mark McGregor, on

Networking and success

It doesn’t matter if you don’t like networking, if not you’re good at it, or if you just don’t do it – this won’t stop you from being successful!
However, when you are a confident, enthusiastic and effective networker, I can guarantee that you will be.

Aimee baby

My granddaughter...happy 10 months old exactly

Kintish interferring

My son-in-law has just been promoted to manager. As an interferring father-in-law this is an email I have just sent to him

Fantastic news. Well done.
Here is one or two tips to consider as a manager.
1 These people can and hopefully will make money for you. BUT don’t forget they are volunteers and can walk out on you any time!
2 Appreciation is the key. A “thank you, that was great” is the best motivator in the world. Far better than any pay rise
3 If they do it wrong sit them down quietly away from everyone and ask ,”If you could do that again, what would you do differently?”
4 Don’t criticise, condemn or complain. It is a total lose-lose.
5 Regularly have one-to-ones with your team and ask them
1. how they are getting on.
2. what they like about working there,
3. what irriates them
4. if there is one thing they’d like you to do differently what would it be
5. what training they would like to help them with their career.

Never cancel meetings like those and never have any interuptions.
Hope you don’t mind me putting my oar in!!
Again, well done

Monday, November 27, 2006

Networking…forward to basics

Networking is simply building relationships .It is the first step in possibly doing
business sometime later.
To be a confident networker you don’t need to be an extrovert you need to have good self-esteem and feel good about yourself. Walk into that room believing you’re as good as everyone else there. Maybe not a wealthy, not as experienced or even as beautiful but you are there to give. The first principle of networking is giving. To give of yourself is the key to this activity. Spend more time being interested rather than interesting and listening carefully for potential and future opportunities.
When you spot a potential opportunity to build on a relationship or offer to help it is your duty to move the relationship forward
This is an opportunity to help and add value and not to sell .You probably don’t like selling and that is the reason you may leave many events with nothing …but a hangover!
When someone says they are not happy with their existing advisor or supplier or they need advice or product where they don’t know anyone at that moment here is your opportunity to offer your HELP. The objective is, in the longer run, is for your client to gain more from the transaction than you, i.e. add value.
When I present to a company or audience on various aspects of networking skills I expect the extra work they will ultimately gain as a result of my knowledge will be a large multiple of my fee.
Think like that and you will find business development more comforting. Yes, it’s your business you’re developing but also your clients too.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

I met Paul the peridromophilist last week!

Bet you don't know what one of them is!
I thought it was at best a secret society and at worst an illegal organisation. But no, it is someone who here for your suprise.
Amazing what goes on in the world!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

From marketing to selling

Each week I receive a fantasitc newsleter from Robert Middleton called "More Clients". This week he goes forward to basics and entitles his article GETTING TO YES -PART 1
I could have rewritten the article in my own words but why change something which is on.
First, a quick review:

The job of marketing is to turn strangers into prospects who have a positive experience of you and your services. Your marketing is successful if you can get a prospect to "Second Base" where they want to explore working with you. (See the Marketing Ball Model in the Infoguru Manual.)

That's where selling starts.

There are two more bases to touch before you have a new client.
Third Base is where a prospect wants to work with you. They are ready to buy. Fourth, or Home Base is where you have agreed on details, price, proposal, etc. and have received your first payment (which has cleared the bank).

As with the marketing process, the selling process can go very quickly or very slowly, but you can't skip any steps.

Starting this week, I'll give you an overview of the steps in- between Second and Third Bases (continued next week), and also give you the Key Mistakes for each of these steps. In the third installment I'll explore getting from Third Base to Home.

The Steps between Second and Third Base (4 of 7)

Making a Connection
Selling, like marketing, is based on relationships. People buy from people they know, like and trust. If you've done a good job of marketing, you've paved the way for selling.

But you can't jump into trying to make a sale.

You need to connect with the prospect who is now ready to explore working with you. They are not just interested in buying your services; they want to know that you care and that you understand what they really need.

So, the foundation of any sales conversation is empathy and listening. You don't need to push, you need to be open. Your attitude could be summed up as: "I hope I can help you. Let me learn more about you and together let's see what's possible."

Key Mistakes
- Thinking the sales conversation is about you, not the prospect.
- Doing all the talking, with little active listening.
- Connecting only at a business level, not a personal level.

Getting Focused
You want to set the groundwork for the selling conversation by reiterating the key elements of Marketing Syntax: Who you work with, the challenges your clients face and the outcomes you produce for them.

I'm talking about a very, very brief introduction, followed by, "But before I know if my services are right for you, I need to learn more about your situation."

Even though someone is meeting with you and supposedly has absorbed your marketing message and materials beforehand, it's still important to get your prospects focused on what this sales conversation is about.

Key Mistakes
- Jumping into questions before getting focused.
- Assuming they already know about your business.
- Failing to take charge and lead the sales conversation.

Understanding the Situation
Once you've focused the meeting (and this could be on the phone or in-person), your next job is to find out about the client's current situation. To do this, you need to ask a LOT of questions.
They need to feel you really know them and what's important to them.

I've often asked my clients what they had learned about their prospect's situation, and was surprised that most of them didn't know the basics: How the business got started, what the business sold, size of the business, number of people, revenues and key competitors.

In fact, if you're selling to a company, you'd better know all of that going in!

Key Mistakes
- Asking questions as a formality, to get to the "important part of
the meeting" (your wonderful service).
- Not going into questions in sufficient depth.
- Not showing real interest in the answers.

Discovering the Challenges
The selling conversation then needs to morph seamlessly into the reasons your prospect is meeting with you in the first place. What are the challenges, problems, predicaments and pain they are experiencing?

You're looking for that nerve, that thing that is irritating them enough to seek the counsel of a professional. What's missing?
What's not working as well as it could? What keeps them up at night? What is this challenge costing them?

Key Mistakes
- Failing to find the ONE key challenge your prospect faces.
- Assigning equal importance to all the challenges.
- Jumping into your solution too quickly.

When you've covered these four steps, you're just getting started.
Next, you need to know where they want to go.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Your time is so precious. It is an irreplaceable resource don't waste it. if you are an advocate of networking think carefully where you should invest your time. Don't spead yourself too thinly. be involved with groups where you really get to know others and them you.
It takes time for people to know like and trust each other. You have to work hard at it and build relationships in a patient manner.
Don't flit from one group to another or if you are in a small number of groups aim to get there as often as possible.When you do you just create flimsy acqaintences and the chance of people referring others to you is slim

The Ten Secrets For Successful Internet Marketing In the 21st Century

by Gihan Perera

This man is worth listening to.
get his newslettter it really is valuable stuff.

Recently, Internet research group Netcraft reported that there are now over 100 million Web sites on the Internet. That's a far cry from the few hundred that were around when I first started using the Web in 1995.
In that time, the rules have changed. Things that used to work even a few years ago no longer work now. That's why I've decided to list these "Secrets" for successfully marketing yourself on the Internet now.
I've only got space to give you a quick summary here. But I've also put together a 45-minute audio recording that goes into these in more detail. You can get it at no charge - details after the article.
Secret #1. Friends, not strangers
Use the Internet to market to "friends" (existing clients and customers), rather than just looking to get new customers ("strangers").
Secret #2. High margin, not high volume
Create product/service bundles that have high value and high profit margins, rather than trying to sell low-margin items to lots of customers.
Secret #3. Lead with expertise, not sales
People search the Internet looking for information. Give them the information first, before you launch into your sales pitch.
Secret #4. Sell on value, not on cost
Your customers don't care how much it costs you to provide your products and services. They care about the value you provide.
Secret #5. Generate leads, not sales
It's tempting to think that you can do the entire sales process on your Web site, without any effort on your part. This is possible, but DIFFICULT. Use your Web site to generate a new lead for your business, and then take over to deal with the customer directly to make the sale.
Secret #6. Find a market niche, not a wide spread
The Web is now much more competitive than ever before. The successful Internet marketers focus on a tightly defined, highly specialised niche market rather than trying to be all things to all people.
Secret #7. Build relationships, not transactions
All the money is in the customer, not in the first sale. Foster the long-term relationship with your customers, and they'll keep coming back to you for more.
Secret #8. It's still about people, not computers
Regardless of the technology, it's still about people buying from people. Make sure your Web site and e-mail marketing talk to the person sitting behind the computer.
Secret #9. Create intermediation, not transparency
There's so much information out there now that your customers are clamouring for experts to sift through it and deliver it in a way that provides meaning and value.
Secret #10. Market offline, not just online
The Internet is just another marketing tool. Don't rely on Internet marketing alone. Combine your on-line marketing with off-line marketing methods as well.

The Grand Hotel Eastbourne

I spoke at at conference there in the last day or so. I spend my life in hotels so don’t get easily impressed.
This hotel impressed. Not just the decor and old-fashioned splendour but the service levels. If you want a special few days away on the south coast, try this place. You won’t be disappointed

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Today's 2 minute silence for the fallen in the wars

As I was paying my silent respects it crossed my mind how long two minutes can be.
This is particularly when you explain to people what you do. Measure out 2 minutes in silence then think how bored someone could be in that time!
People don't really care what you do...they only care waht you can do for them. Include in your SHORT reply the word 'help'.
When people ask me , "Will what do you do?" I don't tell them I'm a speaker or presenter, I tell them I help people who struggle with networking. If they are interested they will ask the next obvious question.
If they say, "That's interesting...and where did you holiday this year?" I safely assume they are not interested in my area of work.
How many time shave you been bored after 45seconds let alone 2 minutes?
Give some thought to your answer, keep it interesting and short.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

What do you do when you feel ill at work?

You either sit quietly feeling sorry for yourself...or you stay offfeeling sorry for yourself.
BUT if you're 'live on stage'
you just have to get on with it.
My fear? How many of the first 3 rows are ill in bed today with a bad cold, sore throat and feel rough. they won't need to think hard where they got the germs from

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Boots the Chemist...Good customer care?

Nicola told me this

On the 06/11/06 I went to Boots and bought some nurofen, I then came back to the office 2 hours after getting back I needed some tablets, I opened the packet and it was empty!!

I then rang the store I purchsed them from and complained, they told me they must have been stolen out the packet whilst on the shelf at which point I told them that it is not good enough and I want them to bring me some nurofen to work, the girl on the other end of the phone went quite and then put me on hold, SHE THEN CAME BACK ON THE PHONE ASKED FOR THE ADDRESS AND SAID THEY WILL SEND SOMEONE TO THE OFFICE WITH TABLETS…

An hour later I had tablets and my bad head was gone….

Just shows what you can do…WHEN YOU ASK THE QUESTION

Monday, November 06, 2006

How do you feel Monday mornings?

A great start to the week...i don't think
I have been away all weekend at the PSA convention ( see a posting below) and it’s only when you miss a relaxing weekend do you realise how important they. Particularly on Monday mornings.
I dragged myself out of bed today, and was on the move before dawn. I have to be honest, the mood for presentation was not my normal one!
But then I met the happy helpful trolley lady on the train, the happy helpful Sheffield taxi driver who carried my heavy bag into his cab, then Gill and Kerry who gave me a warm welcome at the client’s premises.
You know what? By the time I started I was feeling in fine fettle.

"It's not what happens to you, it's what you do about it."

I have just spent a brilliant weekend at the Belfry. No,not playing golf but attending the Professional Speakers Association annual convention. I heard some good speakers, some very good speakers, learnt lots and lots about marketing, made lots of new friends, reinforced old friendships and went to bed late!
All in all very memorable.
But the high light for me was a keynote by W. Mitchell. Read his story here.
Here is a quick part of his story
W Mitchell knows about challenge, change and courage -- all first hand. He speaks to you about the battles and the victories of life. From co-founding a metal casting company that put thousands to work, from his election as mayor and congressional nominee, from a fiery motorcycle accident that left him burned over 65% of his body, and from the airplane crash that took away his ability to walk, Mitchell now soars above the rest with grace, good humor and gumption.

If ever you get a chance to hear this man go listen, you won’t forget his talk for a long time. If you are a miserable state because the computer has broken or the client changes their mind think about W. Mitchell and his philosophy on life.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

"It's not what happens to's what you do about it."

I have just had a most insriring weekend at the annual conference of the Professional Speakers Association.
I am proud to say I am its treasurer and have just been awarded the FPSA- Fellow of the Professional Speakers Association. It recognises one as a senior member of the profession of speaking.
I heard lots of great speakers but the greatest was from a man called W. mitchell. The title of his talk was the title of today's blog. His story in a nutshell is
From co-founding a metal casting company that put thousands to work, from his election as mayor and congressional nominee, from a fiery motorcycle accident that left him burned over 65% of his body, and from the airplane crash that took away his ability to walk, Mitchell now soars above the rest with grace, good humor and gumption.

<Read lots more about this incredible man here. If ever you hear he is going to be in your part of the world GO FIND AND LISTEN. You will be blown away

Thursday, November 02, 2006

is your business development like baby chicks in the nest?

Baby chicks wait for their mummy to go and get the food.There they are with their little mouths open.

Unless mummy comes...they starve.
How do you get most of your new business? Through recommendations, introductions and existing clients coming back for more.
In other words you rely on third parties to decide how fast your business grows.
a bit like mummy and her chicks?
Need to learn to network to go and find your own food?

View here for seminars
and here for our range of books, CD's and DVD's
The analogy about the birds was given to me from Grahame Codd a partner at solicitors Irwin Mitchell