Blog Archives

Convert Business You Lost

Consider the business you have done this year. Did you lose some business that you should have closed? If so, what could you have done differently? What would you do with the extra money if you had converted all of that lost business? 

A quick response time can make all the difference between closing a client, and losing them to your competition. You should monitor and respond to emails, texts and phone messages promptly. In addition, observe all channels people may use to send you business including Facebook and LinkedIn. If you go on vacation, forward your calls and emails to a co-worker who can respond promptly. 

Bad mouthing your competition is not going to impress anyone. It creates a negative impression of you and may cost you business. Some sales people think that slamming the competition will convince a client to do business with them. 

If you belong to a professional networking group, arrive early and stay late. Some of the best connections have happened before and after the meeting. It is important to attend all of your meetings. If a guest shows up one time and you miss that meeting, you may miss the opportunity of a lifetime. 

Listen to your client and understand what they want before you offer a solution. Understanding their needs allows you to offer the right solution. It is important to know who the decision maker is too. No matter how good your solution is, unless the decision maker hears it you may not close that business.   

Develop and implement an effective follow up plan. Sometimes you have to touch a relationship several times before it matures into its full potential. Vary your follow up techniques to include phone, text, email, handwritten cards, etc. This applies to both potential clients and referral partners too. 

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Networking Group vs. Referral Group

Difference between networking groups, and referral groups

There are many groups you can join from Chambers of Commerce, Networking Groups, Trade Associations and Service Organizations. Each of these groups offer a chance to network, build relationships and receive referral business from other members. All of these can be classified as "Networking Groups", but very few can be called "Professional Referral Groups". 

A Professional Referral Group exists to leverage the collective connections of the members to create great opportunities for each other. These opportunities include referrals, introductions to strategic partners, speaking engagements, radio, TV and newspaper exposure, online reviews with platforms like Yelp, and much more.

The Professional Referral Group will screen for quality of the members and refuse to accept all but the best of the best. Most of the networking organizations listed above will take anyone who wants to join, as long as there is an opening.

The Professional Referral Group also spends more time educating and developing every member of the organization to become better and stronger referring partners.

In addition, the best Referral Groups will dedicate time and energy to run separate groups strategically targeted to specific niche markets. For example, Tucson Business Club runs three dedicated specialty chapters focusing on B2B Commercial ReferralsHealthcare and Real Estate Services.  Members of these groups are extremely well connected in their respective sector, which helps everyone generate a better return on their investment.  

If your main purpose for joining a group is to generate closed referrals and opportunities, why not join a group whose main purpose is exactly that?

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Expanding services could cost you

Should You Expand Your Services? 

Many businesses are expanding their services to generate additional revenue. It seems to make sense to sell more to your existing clients, especially if the product or service is similar to what you offer now. What if expanding your services actually costs you money and removes your competitive advantage? Would you still do it? 

Consider the hypothetical cases of two different printing companies in Tucson. 

Pete has owned a thriving printing business for years. Then online companies started offering discount print services and took away some of his market share. Pete decided to expand his services to include promotional products, graphic design, vehicle wraps and website design. He hired and trained people to market and provide those services. Pete’s expenses went up, but so did his income. It looked like Pete found his solution. 

Meanwhile, his biggest competitor, Mario, decided to stay focused on his printing business and increase his market share instead of offering additional products. 

Mario contacted several local professionals who offered promotional products, graphic design, vehicle wrap and website design. These are the same services Pete, his competitor, just started offering. Many of these people had been referring business to Pete for years, and were unaware Pete was now competing with them. 

Mario met with all of them and explained he had no interest in competing with their businesses. He promised to keep his business focused on printing, but needed their help. Mario asked if they would refer their print business to him, and he would refer business back to them. They all agreed and Mario was able to generate additional business. He pulled market share from his biggest competitor and did not incur any additional expenses. Maybe Mario found a better solution?   

If you are thinking of expanding services, consider focusing on the core of your business and create additional strategic partnerships instead.  

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Do you know a connector?

Here is a short excerpt of the article we wrote for the Arizona Daily Star Biz Tips section. The full article can be read here:  Do you know a Connector?

Some connections are better than others. For business purposes, no connection is better than the one you have with a connector. 

There is a difference between people who are connected, and people who are connectors. Connected people attend lots of events, they know lots of people and can refer a lot of business. They are great to have in your network, but the connectors are better.

Connectors can introduce you to incredible referral sources, and can create amazing opportunities. The connector has the ability to impact your bottom line much more than most.

Connectors love creating introductions and opportunities more than anything else. Making connections for others is what feeds them. If you appreciate their efforts, they will do more for you. If you help them achieve their goals, they will do more than you ever imagined.

Be sure to read the rest of the article with the link at the top!

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Overcome the fear of networking

Overcome the Fear of Networking

Have you ever felt nervous about walking into a networking event? Have you ever decided not to attend an event because your anxiety was too great? If you could remove all of the anxiety, improve your results and make networking fun, would you attend more events? Of course you would and here’s how to do it!

I attended a networking presentation on behalf of SCORE.  Dave Sherman, National Sales Trainer and Professional Speaker, was the presenter.  He taught me a valuable lesson in networking.

Here’s the secret…  

Almost everyone is nervous when walking into a room full of strangers. From a very early age, we were told not to talk to strangers. Combine that with the added pressure of performing well enough to secure a sale. No wonder people are nervous about networking events!

According to Sherman, all you have to do is change your mindset. You are no longer walking into a room full of strangers to sell your product or service. Instead, your goal is to make quality connections with people you can help.

When you meet people at an event, ask them questions about their business.  Ask what a perfect referral would be for them.  Ask them what sets them apart from their competitors. Try to find out as much as you can because questions like these help create connections with others.  

By being one of the only people offering to help others, this will set you apart from the crowd. It makes a great first impression and people will want to connect with you and, potentially, want to refer business to you too.

By simply changing your mindset, you can walk into any event with total comfort and confidence. Your results will improve, and networking will be fun and profitable!

For more fun networking tips, check out Dave Sherman’s line of networking books at www.daveshermanspeaks.com

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