Quit fooling around with your business networking!

Posts tagged ‘face to face’

Do business networking groups still work?

ABSOLUTELY! Especially now with the economy, it is an excellent time to be in a good referral group!

Ask the plumber in New Hampshire about increasing his business 500% because of a referral. Or the hotel marketing representative in Indiana that landed a $200K contract for the year because she was introduced to the right person by another member. Or the Chiropractor who tells that 60% of the business is made up of club referrals and the referrals of those referrals!

No matter how many connections you’ve made on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, you’ll get better quality business referrals by networking face to face, and a good group or club will tend to be more effective because of the consistent interaction, if you do it right.

There is no doubt, what you give is what you’ll receive. If you haven’t received referrals from your group, consider what you’ve given. When was the last time you gave a “quality referral” to another member (that wasn’t for you, personally)? A quality referral is someone that is in the market for the other person’s product or service; is willing to talk with them since you’ve made the recommendation; and is actually expecting their call.

If you don’t get referrals from your group…or community, ask yourself: Do they know you, like you, and trust you? That takes some serious soul searching. If you come late to the meetings, dress inappropriately, miss appointments, pull the “no-show, gosh I forgot” card, it could be that your “trust” factor is in the toilet. People may know you and maybe not like you very much, but will still do business with you if they trust you. Lose the trust, lose credibility, lose business. You’ve heard it: “They don’t care what you know, until they know that you care!”

When joining any networking group or club, you’ve got to also have the right attitude. It is not all about you and getting referrals. Others will pick up on that. Your heart for other members should be, “How can I help you get more business?” When they know you care about them, they will repay you many times over with quality referrals.

Groups and clubs work and take work. The rewards can be fantastic! Need help finding a group? I can help, or help you start your own! Please follow this link: http://bit.ly/gsreferrals for more details and information.

Have an excellent week!

http://www.welcometogoldstar.com

#goldstarclubs

Google+ and Beyond

Getting involved with any social media takes a commitment. First, pick what platform or platforms your going to use, and then do it.   Do it consistently!

If you’re in business, you’ve probably adapted some type of online presence like Twitter; possibly a Facebook page either personally or for your business; LinkedIn account; and by now, you’re probably hearing the Buzz about Google+ (pronounced Google Plus).  Google+ is “the” way to really step up your social media presence and interaction.

More on that in a  moment. Why do those TV and radio commercials hammer us so hard over and over again…? Name and brand recognition. And before you ask: NO! I an not remotely suggesting that your social media campaign be set up for a “take no prisoners” type of approach. That simply won’t work, and in fact, the opposite will happen. People will stop listening to you. They’ll get tired of the same old-same old and may un-follow you to avoid the drivel you’re spewing forth.

You want to get your name and your brand out there. Respectfully. Professionally. Consistently. You’ve got to have worthy, interesting content.

Google+ has made some remarkable steps in changing the way we all use social media. If you aren’t on Google+ yet, you can watch an overview with instructions on how to join, by clicking here: http://www.goldstarclubs.com.

Google+ will allow you to not only share your regular posts, much like Facebook and Twitter, but so much more!

However, the real reason to explore and use Google+ is simple: Google Searches Find You!

Google is the number one search engine. Google “tends” to find information faster about you and your business by what is being talked about on Google+. And if your readers click the “+1” on any of your posts, anything you’re talking about, links you’re sharing, or comments made on a current news item, will all  be found faster, and ranked higher by the Google search engine, almost immediately.

Fairly recent statistics (08/2010) show:

Google Yahoo! Bing Ask  AOL Search Total
  71.59%       14.28%    9.87%    2.28% 1.21%     99.23%

Google Plus Hangouts

  • Free video conference – live chat with up to 10 people on web cams, private or public.
  • Imagine sharing a video from YouTube with your kids/grand kids, or of your kids with the grand parents.
  • Free Screen Sharing with up to 10 people
  • Imagine the product presentations you can make across the country
  • Answer questions about your product or service by live video!
Circles of Friends
  • Your friends, business associates, family, and even prospective clients can be easily added to your “circles.” Google+’s name for a group or list
  • Follow anyone one you want
  • Follow back anyone you want…or not, your choice
Suggestions to Follow
  • Google+ makes them depending on what you have added in your profile
  • It further suggests you to people that seem similar or similar interests
  • In your profile its very important to be clear about what you do, who you want to meet, and maybe what a good referral is for you
Lastly, I know what you’re thinking… How could this be applied to a business working group? We’ll, it won’t replace face to face business networking or referral marketing. But consider this, a cold winter’s morning, ice over everything, and instead of that face to face meeting, you jumped on Google+ for a Hangout?
Personally, I can’t wait to try it!

Wallflower Networker

Ask the Fool

Question: “I attend all my Club’s meetings and I’m getting a referral now and then. The problem is I’m rather introverted. What can I do?” Ms. Wallflower

The Fool: We all have personal natures that we have to “deal with” daily, in business. Not knowing what you do, let me give you a couple of hints to help.

  • Setup 121s with the members. Probably the most important way to get involved. Members are there to help get you more business, and you to help them back. (Give and Receive) Getting to know them will help. It will be a different experience walking into a room of strangers, or a room of friends. Make some new friends.
  • Become a greeter. Not necessarily by “assignment” or by “request” from the leaders, but by a choice. Stand at the door, shake hands, help welcome the members, and escort the visitors to the Table Host to get signed in.
  • Ask the Table Host if you can help. When the Table Host gets busy, volunteer to collect visitor cards and put them in the Visitor’s Book; offer to help with name tags; offer to put out the Referral Slips; ask where you can help.
  • Ask the Business Coach if you can help. Ask if you can help hand out the weekly Tip Sheets.
  • Come early, leave late. The goal here is to be seen in a positive way, by helping the Club, building relationships further because you’re there and have the time to visit other early birds. Be early and welcome others. Hang around after the meeting; help collect slips; pick up trash; collect Club materials; etc.
  • Wish everyone a successful week. Shake hands with those leaving. Thank the visitors for attending, possibly invite them back or encourage them to return the following week. “Hey Bill, it was good to meet you! Hope to see you next week!”
  • Answer questions. Be the person to ask! When you make yourself available, by default, you will be in a position to be asked questions. Even if you don’t know the answer, you can guide them to who could. “Sally, great question! John, our Director (or Club Leader), could probably answer that, with more detail. Come with me, he’s right over there!” Escort them to the appropriate person. It’s important to get their questions answer right now, than having to wait for a phone call.

I hope that helps. Extroverts, don’t get left out! You can help your Club, too.

Have a question for The Fool? Email askthefool@goldstarclubs.com

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