Friday, February 29, 2008

"I'm not insulting you, but what you have given me is a BAG OF CONFIDENCE TRICKS"

That's what a senior lawyer said at the end of one of my networking skills training this week.My first reaction was, 'Perhaps my delegate is insulting me'. Before getting too upset I stopped to reflect.I went to Wikiperdia to get a definition firstly.
Wikipedia defines a confidence trick as
A confidence trick is an attempt to swindle a person or persons which involves gaining his or her confidence."
Cofidence is one of the key traits we need to succeed. When we're not confident we tend to shy away from doing what is required so we spend our time in our comfort zone...the place where there are NO OPPORTUNITIES to grow.
Whether it's working the room, following up leads or even going to a social event, we need to tackle these challenges feeling we can do it and risk the fact we may not quite get it right at first. That's not failure, that's part of lif'es University of life.
Failure is not trying.
In our training, we can't give you confidence ( wowI'd be richer than Bill gates if I could!) but we do give you a load of confidence tricks to help you overcome all your fears. When you practise them you can become a great business developer in general and a confident and effective networking in particular.
Thank you Mr Delegate lawyer for your comment!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

"Don't you get fed up doing that every day?"

...said one of my delegates recently at the end of the presentation.Last year I presented on networking skills just under 200 times and most of what I said was similar each time. But, as I try my best to interact with my audience (who are different every time) then the event turns out differently each time.
I loved every one of those events whether or not they were free events or well-paid.

That is the reported figure each SPICE GIRL has just earned for their world tour. Now the money might be good but they did EXACTLY the same thing every night for weeks on end.

When you do your job with energy, passion and enthusiasm you can only have a good time at work.
Most people do the same thing every day; it's the way you approach it that counts.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Hey don't tell anyone.Do you want to share in my share of £30,000,000?

Do you think this is a scam or should I go for it?

Dear Partner,

I wish to request for your partnership and assistance in transaction of £30,000,000.00 GBP that would be of immense benefit to both of us.

I am the Auditor General and Chairman, Audit Committee of Bank of Scotland, London.
My purpose of contacting you is to seek your acting as the beneficiary of the will, and lay claim the legacy of (£30,000,000.00) million pounds sterling, which my unfortunate customer, John Hughes bequeathed to his next-of-kin but unfortunately died in a car accident along with this family and his next-of-kin. After a thorough investigation I discovered that John Hughes s has no other beneficiary to claim the fund.

The fund will be shared between us after the confirmation of the fund in your account and I would like to take a part of my share and invest in any lucrative business in your country with your assistance. All I have to do is amend all file to make you the beneficiary to the (£30,000,000.00) million pounds sterling legacy though you might consider this amount very huge for you to defend, It does not matter, as there are some legal documents to back it up.

I therefore appeal to you not to obsolete this request to anybody, even if you decline my request. Until I am sure of your consent and full cooperation. I would prefer that we maintain all correspondence by email and phone call.

I look forward to your earliest reply to this email: for more details or call on my private mobile +44 704 572 3648 for further discussion on this.

At this point I want to assure you that your true consent, full cooperation and confidentiality are all that are required for us to take full advantage of this opportunity.

I look forward to hear from you soon.

Yours truly,
Mr David Wood.

I get so many of these , surely someone must take it up...or do the Mr Wood's of this world just like sending letters?

PS I wonder how Mr Wood knew it was my birthday?

Monday, February 25, 2008

20 Tips on what to ask for in a testimonial:

It doesn't matter how brilliant you tell your prospects you are. What is far more important is what your clients and customers say.
Testimonials can be very comforting for potential new clients. here are some ideas to consider.

1. Three problems your client faced before you came along.
2. How delighted and happy your client is with your services.
3. How easy and fulfilling it is to work with you.
4. Would they recommend your services to anyone else.
5. How does your client feel by taking up your services.
6. How easy is it to do business with you?
7. Why do they continue to do business with you?
8. Why are they loyal customers?
9. What would you say to someone who has never heard of you before?
10. What is unique about your service.
11. What changes has your client seen in themselves since getting
involved with you.
12. Make sure your client puts your testimonial on their letterhead.
13. Ask them not to date it so it doesn’t become out of date.
14. Always give your client a deadline for when you need the
testimonial back.
15. Ask your client verbally
16. Send them a prepaid envelope to send it back
17. Thank your client with a thank you card
18 Or with something more substantial if it leads to business
19. Don’t date testimonials
20. Write testimonials for your clients and educate where you can. Help them to increase their own referrals

Where to use testimonials?

1. Frame them for reception and office
2. Use on packaging
3. Direct mail campaigns
4. In your welcome pack
5. Photocopy on to coloured paper and send to your support network
6. Extract bits for sales letters
7. Use on your web site
8. Place in a folder to show potential clients
9. Add photos to testimonial
10. Use for audio and video to place on audio and website
11. Read them when you are feeling down

See lots more free and useful information on business development at

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Passion, enthusiasm,energy

Why is there so little of the above around?
We interviewed this week and the 2 people we chose had lots of all 3when we met them. We ran a group interview and each person made a presentation. The 2 who came through to 'formal' interview stage showed they really wanted the position.
When you are asked "What do you do?" how much of the 3 do you show? if you're not passionate and enthusiastic about what you do, what chance have you attracting others to use your services or products.
When you make a presentation, whether it is to colleagues, clients, prospects or
professional contacts you are saying “I’ve earned the right to be up here; I’m
an expert.”

When you do it well i.e. in a confident and convincing manner it is the very best way of
marketing. When you give away free and valuable information to your relevant
audience it is one of the very best methods to attract new business.

BUT, when you present in a nervous hesitant manner, go on unprepared, read from the screen, put no energy, passion or enthusiasm into your talk you are damaging your
company’s reputation.

It will always be better not to volunteer if you see yourself with the shortcomings in the previous paragraph.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Word of Mouth Marketing Plan

I have never seen this as a section, subject or even draft discussion document in any marketing plan. Yet when you think about it, it should be an integral part of any marketing, selling and promotion campaign for all businesses serious about expanding. Marketing plans will include:
• Hosting events
• Producing designs
• Creating literature e.g. brochures, business cards, newsletters etc.
• PR campaigns
• Free giveaways
• Corporate entertaining
• Advertising.

Now, add to this the word of mouth marketing campaign.


1. Who should be giving the message?
2. To whom it should be given.
3. What the message is.
4. Where and when it should be given.
Number 4 is easy when you have sorted 1 to 3. The answer to number 4 is everywhere and as often as possible.

Most people who work in marketing see word of mouth promotion as a result of good advertising not a strategy for conveying it. Just because there has been a great ad campaign doesn’t mean that the power of buzz is automatically generated. My thoughts are these: advertising is floodlight marketing, networking, i.e. word of mouth marketing, is spotlight marketing.
Once a decision is taken to go down this route, the protagonists need a script. Do they know:
• What services are on offer?
• What the target client market is?
• The answer to: “So why should we use you?”

Unless they’re armed with these answers, there is no point in moving forward.

Effective networkers understand that word of mouth marketing is not just an expression; it’s a way of life. Like the old Martini advert “any time, any place, anywhere.”

Monday, February 18, 2008

Strategy for survival is visibility

Just a few years ago, when somebody wanted to find out about you, they would go to your Web site. But now they don't have the time to do that. Oh, sure, if it's important they'll take the time to visit your site. And if they're serious about doing business with you, they'll eventually get there.

But it's no longer their first port of call.

And that's important!

Because it means you have to convince people you're an expert BEFORE they ever visit your Web site.

How do you do that?

You do it by blogging.
And podcasting.
And participating in forums.
And updating pages on Wikipedia.
And putting little video clips on YouTube.
Or even commenting on other people's videos on YouTube.
And writing an e-book that you freely pass on to others.
And publishing an e-mail newsletter.
And writing articles and submitting them to article directories.

In other words: Participate.

It's no longer enough to build a tiny little Web site in one corner of the Web and hope people will come streaming by. Don't be an on-line hermit - it doesn't work any more.


First Step Communications Pty Ltd
8 Windich Place, Leederville WA 6007, Australia
Help Desk (Support): 1300 791 780, Sales: (+61) 08 9444 1225
Fax: (+61) 08 9444 1384

Sunday, February 17, 2008

"Kintish, you're such an interesting person"

I went to a dinner of an old client last night and sat next to Ian ( not his real name!).
He talked at me for over 2 hours. He told me about
his job - how he got started -how he ran the company - how he was going to take it forward - how....ooh I forget
his family - 3 daughters 2 grandchildern a wife he'd divorced and how they were still friends
his many years living in a bed and breakfast
how the music was too loud
...and lots more things I forget.
he was very 'interesting'. I was being very interested although he asked me no questions at all about me.
I just know on his way home he will have said to his companion, "I met a great guy tonight,he was so interesting!
When you let the other person do most of the talking, become a good listener and encourage others to talk about become very interesting.
A great lesson for building relationships be they social or business

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Business development ...the modern way of thinking

Change your thinking
There are lots of people who consider selling and marketing as essentially dishonest and manipulative. If that’s how you think, the chances are you will resist change with all your might. This resistance is expressed in sentiments such as:
1 I feel uncomfortable talking about myself and blowing my own trumpet
2 I sound phoney when I write about the benefits I offer
3 I'm just not the marketing type
4 I can't sell myself, I'm far too uncomfortable

It's no wonder many professionals and technicians not only struggle with marketing, but feel uncomfortable and inauthentic when communicating with prospects about their services. Marketing becomes a "necessary evil."

The best way to get past these quite understandable feelings is to look at marketing your services from a new perspective. The negative feelings are bound to make you feel dreadful about marketing. Thinking in a completely different way should make you feel good.

Let’s explore the OLD THINKING -v- NEW THINKING

Marketing is manipulation intended to get people to buy things they don't
really need.
Marketing is about making people aware of a service that could make a
real difference in their lives and businesses.
Marketing is uncomfortable because it talks about me and what I can do
and how I'm better than other service providers.
Marketing is a valuable service in itself because the primary activity of
effective marketing is to give away valuable information.
Marketing is dishonest because it depends on hyperbole and making false
promises while charging high fees.
Marketing is honourable because it offers to solve problems or assist with
challenges that are costing the client time and money.
Marketing is egotistical and self-centred, focused on me, me, me.
Marketing is helping with needs and wants, focused on them, them, them.
Marketing needs endless amounts of creativity and cleverness in order to
get attention and response.
Marketing simply requires an understanding of clients’ problems,
challenges and aspirations and your ability to respond accordingly
Marketing is highly competitive, so you need to make sure other
professionals don't know what you're doing.
Marketing offers great opportunities for co-operation and creating joint
ventures with other professionals.
Marketing takes huge expenditure of time, money and effort and gets a
very poor return on the investment made.
Marketing is what you do in the natural course of your business-share
value. The amount invested, when done effectively, is very small compared to the return.

So which thinking suits you? Only you can decide.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

The big secret of great networkers

What is the big secret?

I will say without fear of contradiction, that 99% of people are somewhere between slightly anxious, all the way through to petrified, when walking in to the room full of strangers. I promise – if this is you – you’re normal.

It’s all about focusing on the right person.

The reason people get nervous is because they focus too much on themselves. Your focus is in the wrong place, take it off yourself and put it on the people that you are about to meet. Most worry about things such as “Am I going to be judged and found wanting?” “Is my appearance suitable?” “Am I going to be interesting?” and most of all, “Am I going to be accepted or rejected?”

Doing your homework

There is a time to focus on yourself; this is before attending the event itself. Once you’ve accepted the invitation consider asking yourself the questions ‘What? Why? When? Where? Who? How?

What is this event all about? What do I hope to get from it? What do I have to offer to other people? What do I take? (e.g. business cards and a pen).What am I going to talk about? What has been in the news recently?

Why am I going and giving up three precious hours to attend?

When is it? Is my diary free? What are the timings? How long can I stay?

Where is it? How am I going to get there and how am I going to get home? Are there parking facilities?

Who will be attending? Who should I take with me? Who should I aim to meet if I can find out who is likely to be there?

How am I going to make the right impression? What am I going to wear?
You’ve spent long enough focusing on yourself, as long as you’ve done your homework, by asking all the above questions, you will be well prepared and ready for the event you are attending.

The most important point I make is to ask you to remember who you are and believe in yourself. If you are a pleasant person who is friendly, gracious and open then hold your head up high and be prepared to give of yourself.
Accept you are as good as anyone else in that room even though you may not be the richest, the most senior or have an important title. The core principle of networking is giving. When you give of yourself you can assume you are going to be welcomed.

At the event

The focus now should be totally on other people. Networking is about building relationships, getting people to like and trust you.

Spend far more time being interested rather than interesting. Think WII-FY (what’s in it for you) rather than WII-FM (what’s in it for me?). Ask questions because people love talking about themselves – good networkers let them do this. Be aware at all times and read a person’s body language. Approach people on their own, or those in open formatted groups. When you are talking to people make sure you give them your full attention. Looking around the room whilst someone is talking to you is a big no-no. How would you feel if someone did that to you? Then when the conversations come to an end, move on with courtesy and politeness. Offer to introduce them to others rather than just leaving them alone. Play host when you see people standing on their own by inviting them in.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Stop waiting for referrals ; get proactive

If you are finding that your business at the start of 2008 is slowing down, what are you doing about it?
Simply waiting for those referrals and existing clients coming back for more? The 'more' will be less if you continue doing more of the same.
NOW is the time to do something different.

Make business development fun and turn it into a competitive game. Create a system for encouraging everyone to do something - anything - proactive.


How many points are required weekly / monthly? ____________


Week / month ending…………………………………….


Attending an event 8
Talking to ‘strangers’ and asking to follow up 3 per person
Making the call 2 per person
Sending information after call 1 1
Meeting (1 to 1) a new contact 3
Making the 2nd follow up call 3
Making the 3rd follow up call 4
Giving a referral to an introducer 2 per person
Getting new work from an existing client 3
Asking existing clients for a referral 3
Meeting that potential new client 4
Turning prospect into client 5
Calling an existing client
(Just to say hello) 4
Introducing a colleague to new work 5
Writing an article 3
Making a presentation 3
Being present at firm’s event 2
Inviting clients to events 2 per person
Inviting prospects to events 4 per person `
Inviting introducers to events 3 per
Reporting to marketing
(where relevant) 4

A weekend away for the winners perhaps?

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

When you go to work do you ever consider....


“First impressions are lasting.”

1. Pretend you are part of a sports team and act accordingly. Work is exactly like a team sport - everyone must support everyone else to ensure regular successes.

2. Act enthusiastically and positively. When you behave like this all those mundane jobs will seem so much easier to get through.

3. Keep your cool. If you do have a disagreement with a colleague you will have to face them the next day and you will feel awkward - don't do it in the first place.

4. Show that you are keen to be in your job. Arrive ten minutes early and leave ten minutes later. Senior staff notice and it will only enhance your reputation and your chances of promotion later.

5. Be the first to say "hello". You will build a reputation for being friendly and people will like you for it.

6. First impressions count. Smile, eye contact, a firm handshake and open body language are all essential skills when meeting people.

7. Dress appropriately for your job. If there is a company dress code then follow it. People judge you by the way you dress even before you start to talk.

8. Understand body language is a major factor in communication. It far exceeds what people actually say. Watching peoples' gestures and movements in a conversation will help lead you to what they are really feeling about a situation.

9. Ask colleagues for feedback regularly; by doing this you can be sure if you are doing a good job. This does not have to be done on a formal basis, but a quiet chat with your immediate superior every few weeks can only help you.

10. Show honest appreciation to your colleagues. It gives them a warm feeling towards you and encourages them to do the best for you and other team members.

These ten tips are from our booklet

How to Bridge that Gap

from Student Learning
to Workplace Earning

99Practical and Powerful Tips when starting work

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Do you want more business?

Most people will say, "Yes please." So, how are you going to do it? There are 2 headline methods.
By being reactive and then proactive.
Most new business comes from the former. Business comes from referrals, introductions, recommendations and existing clients coming back.
That means your business has a good name, a sound reputation and gives a good service.
This results in you relying on others to dictate the speed of growth of your business
In the last 10 years or so most 'good' businesses have gone from strength to strength even though thye have been reactive.
The word on the streets is there is a spot of financial bother ahead! Things are slowing down, people are tightening their belts and the upward graphs we have all seen and beginning to flatten out.
You can sit and wait or get proactive.
Start networking.
Networking is word -of- mouth marketing.Whatever form marketing's a number game.
Here are the first 10 numbers!

1 Go to more events.
2 Talk to more people (both exisiting contacts and those you don't already know)
3 Ask the pertinent questions.
4 Listen to the answers
5 Spot an opportunity
6 Ask to follow up
7 Make the call
8 Arrange a meeting
9 Do business
10 Make more or stabalise the profits