Sunday, April 26, 2009
I just love to figure out how to live right and maximize the life that I've been given for things that are truly important. Especially in business, it is quite a big playing field and I think it's necessary to lay an excellent foundation, test things, make mistakes, fall down and come right back again!
This is my personal challenge to myself as I work on building great relationships with people. I think it's safe to say that one of my life's biggest goals is to become a great conversationalist and servant to people - to be a stay-in-touch master who builds a huge network of people. I spent all my life not staying in touch with people because of fears of people getting too close to me not liking me. But, getting over a fear like that opens up a floodgate of wonderful relationships just waiting to happen.
Acceptance is key.
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Friday, April 17, 2009
Customer service has been on a steady decline over the past decade or so. What recourses do we have as consumers and is there any hope for a return to the service of yesterday?
Thursday, April 9, 2009
Today's blog was inspired by SmallBizBee, a prominent small business blogger, who posed this question earlier today:
"When my customers refer me to others, what three things are they saying about what I do?"
While SmallBizbee focuses on customer word of mouth, we thought it would be helpful to also ask the same question regarding your referral partners. In other words:
"When my referral partners refer me to others, what three things are they saying about what I do?"
There are some things to consider when making the distinction between how accurately your client's communicate your services and how accurately your referral partners communicate your services.
What are your client's saying about your services?
Your clients have no intrinsic obligation to learn and accurately communicate the benefits of your services. As SmallBizBee points out, what you "think" your clients are saying about you may be different than what your clients are "actually" saying about you. It's always a good idea to follow up with clients and get an idea of how they perceive your services. Yet, because they are your clients and not necessarily a referral partner, you must take a much more passive approach. Probe, ask questions and if you notice any trends or miscommunication; you may want to tweak the marketing message on your end.
What are your referral partners saying about your services?
Conversely, good referral partners need to maintain clear communication and meet the expectations you've both set forth. Because you're vested in each others success, there is a certain level of accountability. It is more acceptable to actively control the marketing message within your referral. Your strategy could involve anything from a periodic newsletter, to a lunch-date where you specifically tell your referral partner how you'd like to communicate the value of your services.
Referral marketing comes with a responsibility to accurately represent those who you've agreed to generate sales leads with. While the line between b2b relationships and customer relationships can sometimes be blurred, don't do market research on your referral partners; sit down with them, define clear expectations and be specific in how your services should be presented.
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
In working with all sorts of people, I've observed that everyone likes to be noticed, listened to, and appreciated. There may be certain ethnic groups that seem like they don't want to be in the limelight - but think about it - outwardly they exhibit this tendency, but how do you think they feel inwardly?
It does not matter who you are - whether a mighty athlete, a famous movie star, rocket scientist, business professional, or stay-at-home parent. Inside the core of each person lies the same thing - a heart that loves and wants to be loved.
So what speaks to people's hearts?
If you take the time to simply get to know someone, with no agenda, and simply build a relationship with them - they'll feel that you care about them. Your attitude needs to be that of genuinely caring about them - listening to them, asking them questions, accepting them for who they are.
That speaks volumes to a person - even if you don't say much about who you are.
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
Everyone has strengths. Everyone has weaknesses.
Why do we as a people get hung up on when we've made a mistake, or failed, or have a certain weakness that we can't seem to get over?
Do you know what your strengths are? And weaknesses?
A proper assessment of who we are can really shorten the learning curve for us. For then we can employ the talents of other people - their strengths to cover our weaknesses, our strengths to cover their weaknesses. And we can truly work as teams of people toward a common goal - rather than alone. There's nothing worse about success than doing it alone. What fun is it to celebrate your success all by yourself?
The point is - be careful not to let your strengths puff up your ego or let your weaknesses surprise you that it pulls you into the pit of despair.
Here's an excerpt from a book entitled The Search For Significance by Robert McGee:
"People with a poor self-concept may tell themselves:
*It was just luck.
*I couldn't do it again.
*I'm still a failure.
*I should stop while I'm ahead because it will never happen again.
If you tell yourself things like this, it may be because you expect failure and rejection so much that you simply can't handle success and appreciation."
This is a huge topic - one of vast importance in terms of personal growth in character and in relationships. Look deep within yourself and ask the tough questions. If you have a hard time making decisions, ask yourself why.
Here are some examples of why:
1. Confusion about direction in life.
2. Lack of commitment.
4. Wanting the best of each choice.
5. Afraid of making the 'wrong' decision.
Challenge yourself by going to the root of the struggle, then reverse it. For example, if you have a hard time making decisions because of a lack of commitment, then decide to commit to something and follow through. Sometimes that simple act of the will propels you forward to make that decision.