Author: Wael Badawy
Beware – Borders and Boundaries
Have you ever had someone get right up in your face when they are talking to you? So close in fact that a letter “S’ results in an unwanted shower? Often when we are out networking, we find ourselves in a loud environment as people try to talk louder to be heard over people trying to talk louder to be heard. This results in a roar that makes regular conversation difficult.
The temptation in this atmosphere is to get very close to another person so they can hear you and you them. This can result in being too close to another person sometimes making them very uncomfortable. This discomfort is heightened when we have been consuming alcohol and the person we are talking to have not.
Each of us has our own comfort zone boundary. This is a space around us that when another person enters we begin to feel uncomfortable. A good way to relate to this is to remember if you have ever had an argument where someone got right up in your face and possibly even pointed their finger very near to it. Remember how that made you feel? In most cases it makes a person feel more angry.
In a networking environment it is important to maintain a distance from a person that you are talking to. This distance should be almost an arms length. Most peoples comfort boundary is about the length of their arm. If you find yourself getting very close to someone in conversation, imagine if you raised your arm and that is the distance that you should be from the other person. If they move closer to you in the course of conversation, it is acceptable to them to be closer. If it is acceptable to you then continue with the conversation at that distance.
You can sometimes tell if you are standing too close to someone if they seem to be moving back while you are talking to them. If they appear to be getting further away from you, do not move to be closer to them. They will stop when they reach the distance that they are comfortable with. If they turn and walk away of course it is time to find someone else to talk to.
To be most effective in your attempts to build relationships with others, it is most important to keep these things in mind. Remember that it makes no difference what you say to a person if they are not engaged in the conversation. Good observance of boundaries can give you the edge you need to make networking work.
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Business Networking and Marketing Ups and Downs
The last couple of days have been beautiful, the weather near perfect and some of us are suffering from spring fever while others are simply struggling with the pollen levels. This time of the year reminds me that summer is coming and things are about to slow down ñ in networking. I would like to take just a moment and discuss this trend and what I believe may be the cause of it.
Letís begin in the fall. At this time of the year we are working feverishly trying to procure new business because we realize that around the holidays things will slow down. As December draws near, some of us become preoccupied with things like parties and shopping and our attention turns from building our business. Others find it increasingly difficult to make contact as people begin long vacations.
Then the holidays pass. We put our marketing and networking efforts into high gear, going to several meetings a week, trying to get things cranked up again. The result is increased business and increased profits. Have you ever noticed that in the early part of February that things begin to pick up almost at a maddening pace? When this occurs, unless we are prepared for growth, we start to back off on our promotions as we scramble to complete the work that has been generated by our marketing efforts.
In effect, we stop networking. We lose contact with those we have been making and asking for referrals, and they begin to feel as if we are not interested in them any longer. When this happens, they may look for someone else to refer when that target prospect comes along.
By early to mid summer, we are starting to crawl out from under the workload and we again look for opportunities. Unfortunately, the vacations have started again as children are released from school for the summer. Thus it is very difficult once again to find the contacts that were out there just before our business picked up again late last winter.
By mid August, school is back in session and people are coming back out into the networking world again. Of course we are seeing some of the same people that were there before, but there are also a lot of new faces as well. Because we had slacked off from our promotion efforts, we were not there to greet the new faces as they started their new business. So the people who have a balanced networking and marketing strategy are there to greet them.
These are the people who have businesses that seem to be growing. They have a marketing and networking plan that is consistent year round. When many businesses are experiencing that new business rush in the spring, these business owners are ready to absorb the new business with new employees or temporary help. They realize that to maintain growth means to be ready for any upswing in the economy that could propel their business to the next level.
So how do we accomplish this? First plan for growth. Have a system ready for when you have more business than you can handle so that there is help you can call. This is managed by building relationships with temp agencies, headhunters, and placement firms. Hire people on a contractor basis if necessary. This saves money on benefits and salaries when thing are a bit slower. It also reduces the amount of paperwork when it comes to payroll processing and taxes.
Next, develop a plan for networking that is manageable. Set a goal for the amount of meetings that you would attend when business is just OK and stick to it when business gets better. Attend functions year round, even during the holiday seasons.
Plan vacations when necessary, but donít assume that everyone is going on vacation simply because it is summer. Most people have to accommodate the schedules of others and entire companies usually do not go on vacation at the same time. Notice that larger corporations always have staff on hand to do business while an employee is on vacation. Also take note that large corporations do not stop promoting just because it is the month of July or December. They are consistent year round.
The lesson here is that, if you want to grow into a large company, take a look at what large companies do. Emulate them if they are successful and you may be able to duplicate their success. You must be constantly marketing, networking and promoting to ensure consistent business year round. If you decide to slack off now because business is good, I guarantee that when autumn comes you will be working twice as hard to get things going again. If, on the other hand, you keep on consistently marketing the way you did when times were slow, you should be able to experience the growth of both your company and your bank account during the entire year.
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7 Traffic Techniques for Network Marketers
Network marketing is a numbers game. The more people you introduce to your opportunity, the more money you’ll make. To start generating a steady stream of traffic to your site, try these 7 creative techniques:
1. Write and Distribute Articles, Reports and Ebooks. Internet users are all interested in one thing ñ information. Use this to promote your business by creating high quality content and allowing others to reprint it for you. One great way to do this is to distribute a brandable ebook or special report. This is one that a website or list owner can change to include a reference to their website. This doesn’t mean that it looks like they are the publisher, it’s just a way for them to include information on where the ebook was downloaded from and (if applicable) to include their affiliate link for your products and services.
2. Participate in Newsgroups, Forums, and Mailing Lists. There are hundreds of forums online and you can find one for almost any topic imaginable. Most allow you to include a signature line that will be attached to every message. This is a chance for you to advertise your site. Visiting these forums to post thoughtful questions and offer your expertise will mean your signature is viewed by others and will bring you free, targeted traffic. Of course how much traffic you get depends on how often you post and whether your signature makes people want to visit your site. A good approach is to use an ad you’ve had success with elsewhere as your signature.
3. Join Networking Sites to Build your Personal Network. Networking sites are designed to make it easy for people to meet others in their industry and to advertise their products and service. Similar to offline networking events where lots of people come together for the sole purpose of meeting people, online networking sites work the same way.
4. Use Classified Sites and Traffic Exchanges. Classified ad sites and traffic exchanges have gotten a bad reputation, but they really do work if you know how to use them. If you’re promoting a product or service that advertisers can benefit from then they’re a great place to get traffic. Although not very many consumers visit this type of advertising sites, lots of website owners do in order to make sure their ad appears on the site. While there they can’t help but notice other ads and if one catches their attention you’re likely to get a visitor.
5. Run a Contest. People love the prospect of winning something ñ that’s why a contest can be a great traffic generator. The key is to choose a prize that will attract people from your target audience. If you make the grand prize a new laptop you’ll get entries from everyone who would like to win a new laptop (which is basically every computer user in the world!). Get more targeted traffic by choosing something that your target audience is interested in but wouldn’t mean much to other people. To start promoting your contest do a search in Google for ìContest Directoriesî and you’ll find lots of places to list your contest for free.
6. Include a Powerful Signature on all Outgoing Email. Every time you send a piece of mail you have the potential to get a visitor to your site. Simply create a ìsignatureî that is automatically added to every outgoing message. Use the signature to briefly explain what you do, give your USP or slogan and add a hyperlink to your site. Once it’s set up you don’t have to think about it again!
7. Try Newsletter Classified Ads. There are lots of newsletter publishers who give classified ads to new subscribers. Although these don’t typically bring a huge response, they can generate some traffic if you offer something with a high perceived value but low price tag. They’re also a great way to test new ads to see which ones get the best response. Once you’ve found a winner use it in a PPC campaign, make it your new email signature, run it as a top sponsor newsletter ad or use it as your forum signature.
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Are You Shooting Yourself In The Foot?
Have you ever been at a networking function talking to someone when during the conversation you felt very self-conscious trying to say the right thing? Were you afraid that maybe if you said the wrong thing the person might not find you likeable, and therefore not want to do business with you? If you have, I am about to tell you why you should not worry about it. Like the obnoxious song “Don’t Worry – Be Happy” from years ago, I want to share with you the reason why being careful about what we say works against us in the networking environment.
Our goal in business networking should be to establish new relationships and through the process of follow-up develop them over time. As with any relationship, being honest plays a very important role in that development.
When we meet someone for the first time, we want to make a good impression. Often we put on our “party face” so that we do. This can often cause us problems that we do not expect. One problem is that when we try to appear to be something that we really do not feel inside of us, we often have a fear that we are going to be “discovered”. This fear causes us to feel uncomfortable about the situation and though we may be smiling, we are really cringing inside.
Most people worry that if they just be who they are, that no one can accept them. I argue that if we do not just be ourselves, sooner or later who we really are will slip out and then we will have to deal with the consequences of being discovered. This then leads to a feeling of distrust between people.
Have you ever been in a relationship with a person of the opposite sex where you did not tell them something important early on and later had to reveal it or even worse it was revealed by accident? It leads for difficult times after that and a lot of shuffling and apologizing.
In my opinion, it is better to risk being who I am up front. To let people know exactly how I feel. People, for the most part, have a forgiving nature. They actually want to forgive. If you make a mistake and say something that can be potentially embarrassing, you can always apologize for it and be forgiven. But if you say something that is not necessarily true and are discovered later, your credibility may be permanently damaged.
If you go into a networking environment prepared to be relaxed and genuine, you will find that it is a lot more fun to be there. If you have a plan of action to really get to know people, you will be much more productive in a shorter amount of time. People will feel comfortable talking to you and you to them. In an environment of truth, more people will want to do business with you and to be around you.
Authentic enthusiasm is contagious. You will always appear to be more attractive when you are excited about what you are doing. When you are not worried about making mistakes, you will appear to be happier. Being happy about the situation will help you to smile more, and the smiling face is a natural human attractor.
So next time you attend a networking function, just be yourself. Your results will improve and you will feel better when you leave to go home. Over time, the difference will be measurable in more ways than just your income. You will find that you have more friends than you had ever imagined possible. When it comes time for the referral, your friend will remember you because friends really do refer friends.
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8 Tips to Help You Become a Networking Guru!
Effective business networking is the bringing together of like minded individuals who, through relationship building, become walking, talking advertisements for one another.
Keep in mind that networking is about being bona fide, building trust, and seeing how your relationship can genuinely help others.
1. Always figure out before you even walk into a room, what your specific goals are in attending each networking meeting. This helps you to pick groups or associations that will help you get what you are looking for.
2. Ask open-ended questions during your networking conversations, questions that ask who, what, where, when, and how. Try to avoid questions that require a simple yes or no response. By using this line of questioning you can open us the discussion and show listeners that you are interested.
3. Become a walking resource centre. When you become known as a strong resource, others remember to turn to you for suggestions, ideas, names of other people, etc. This keeps you at their “top of mind”.
4. Make sure you have your “elevator speech” prepared and know it like the back of your hand. An elevator speech is the commonly known as the response you would give in the amount of time it would take to reach the tenth floor in an elevator. Always rehearse your spiel and be genuine, so that you don’t sound automated when you relay it to someone who asks what you do.
5. Always know what is going on in current affairs, if you don’t feel comfortable just rolling into a spiel when you first meet someone, have a back up topic to break the ice until you do.
6. Never just throw your business card at someone the minute you meet them, you must get to know the person and their business as well as explaining your business before you even contemplate a business card exchange. Some people will find you rude, pushy and unprofessional which will in turn reflect badly on your business.
7. Always phone or email your new contacts and let them know that you enjoyed meeting them. If possible mention things that you discussed on a more personal note (i.e. I hope you enjoyed that movie you were going to see that night.) people will come to know you as someone who listens, remembers them and they will form a trust with you.
8. The most important thing to remember is to follow through quickly and efficiently on referrals you are given. When people give you referrals, your actions are a reflection on them. Respect and honor their trust and your referrals will grow exponentially.
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Simple and powerful, yet often overlooked strategies to expand your network marketing business.
Network Marketing is an excellent way for the “average Joe or Jane” to make an extra income. This business concept has been around for decades, and it will not disappear any time soon. The reason for its popularity is simple… It Works! It does however, require lots of work and most importantly, dedication and persistance to get the job done. The best part is, once you are able to set up a solid network, your business becomes MUCH less time intensive. Almost like going on “autopilot”. The key is to get there as fast as possible.
Here are just a couple of tips I have found to be helpful in maximizing your Network Marketing Business:
1. Use your products regularly. This is Number 1 for a reason, this is the most ignored part of ANY network marketing business. How do you expect your business to succeed if you will not even use your own products? It does seem silly to even have to bring this up, but there are many who are not using their own products, and wonder why they are not making any money. Make a commitment to use your products for a year, and see where your business goes.
2. Educate yourself constantly. This is very important! You must rid yourself of negative ideas, sometimes referred to as “stinkin thinkin”. This can be done in a variety of ways. I recommend reading at least 15 minutes a day, but try to shoot for 30. Business and self-help books are a great way to start. Don’t forget your Multi-level magazines, as they are full of tips and advice. Lastly, listen to cassette tapes on multi-level tips from top earners in your business.
3. Spend as much time as possible with your upline. Your upline should have only one goal in mind, To Help You Succeed! They are a vast source of knowledge and information. Mingle with top distributors in your group, or other groups, and ask how they made it. Most everyone should be more than happy to provide you with excellent tips and advice.
4. Present your products and marketing plan personally to at least one person daily. Remember above when I said you are going to have to work, well here it is. Now here is the key, the prospects to whom you present your plan, do not have to be yours personally. Show the plan for your downline, and not only will you create “security” by placing members in your downlines’ downline, it will also give you a boost in your personal income! I can guarantee if you were to follow this rule for 6 months, you would create a downline with enough width and depth to create an income to sustain you and your family for life.
5. Care for your downline. An entire book can be written on this topic. Usually, it’s the little things that show you really care. Try to maintain regular contact, and always praise your distributor’s accomplishments. You can even offer incentives for specific achievements, such as money, travel, recognition, or other rewards, to help motivate your group.
6. Duplicate yourself by making distributors independent of you. This will help to multiply your time, thus making you and your group more effective. Always lead by example. Never stop recruiting, training and retailing. Remember the KISS formula – “Keep It Simple, Sweety” I know, I know, I changed the last word, but it maintains the meaning. This can be done my conducting simple, brief, yet dramatic presentations, and teaching your downline to do the same.
7. Create a large customer base. This is another largely ignored, yet very important, piece of your network marketing business. Many try so hard to build a huge downline, that they forget how much profit they could also make by selling their products to retail customers. Some people will just not want to become part of your downline, no matter how great a product/system you may have. This does not mean they will not be personally interested in your product. Try to make everyone your customer. Once you earn their trust, they will come to you more, and perhaps even join your downline later. Always “leave the door open”, as people’s needs do change.
8. Focus on your customers needs. You must give customers more than they expect, and always satisfy your customers complaints immediately. Try to listen 80% of the time, and talk only 20%. As stated above, your customers can be a huge source of future referrals and/or business. You must earn and maintain their trust. Once you have their trust, you can always ask for referrals, which leads to even more business and a larger downline.
9. Set daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly goals – and Write Them Down! You may have heard the expression, “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.” Breaking up a larger goal into smaller easily attainable goals, is the key to success. You cannot just jump to the end, you have to make progress everyday. Writing them down is another largely ignored, important tip to help you succeed. A goal is just a “passing thought”, or “wish” until you put it in writing. That is when it becomes concrete and real. It is also a great idea to keep a business journal of your daily activities, as it will help you to become more productive and time-conscious.
10. Get Out There And Do It Now! All of the knowledge in the world is useless and unprofitable, until you put the most important ingredient of them all in place. This “secret” ingredient should come as no surprise at all, but this is the #1 reason for failure at anything in life. It is ACTION! Remember, knowledge is useless without action.
Following these steps will almost give you immediate results. Thank you for reading this, and I truly hope this has provided you with valuable information to help you and your business grow and succeed.
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