Work Your Network !
If youíre networking with strangers, youíre wasting your time. A consultant friend of mine recently complained, ìIím doing 2-3 networking events a week ñ and Iím worn out.î When I asked why she felt networking was important, she replied, ìOne of my marketing goals is to do at least 1 networking event a week.î (I pointed out that she just admitted to doing 2-3 a week ñ and perhaps doing 1 a week is smart and doing triple that goal is causing some of the fatigue.) But thereís much more to the great American business myth of networking.
Myth 1: The more you network, the more effective your networking activities become.
Truth 1: Itís much more important to become well-known in 1-2 circles than to spread your networking activities over many different groups. Depth beats breadth every time.
I then asked her how networking was working for her. She said, ìI donít think I have gotten a shred of business out of it in the last six months.î Her rationale for doing networking: ìEverybody knows that you build a business by networking!î Does this make any sense? Or worse, does it sound familiar?
See if this networking scenario has happened to you:
You meet someone for 30 seconds. They mumble something about real estate as you are tuning them out. They ask you what you do, and you say you are in insurance. After 10 seconds of staring blankly at each other, you both head to the celery sticks for lack of anything better to do.
Myth 2: The cocktails and miniature wiener circuit is the way to network to success
Truth 2: Networking with strangers to build business is about as effective as going to a bar to get married. In the words of Dr. Phil, ìIt simply ainít gonna happen that way.î
Hereís why youíre not going to meet your business soul mate at a networking event:
1) You arenít going to do business with someone after meeting them for a few minutes and getting handed a poorly printed card.
2) Businesses are built on relationships and not ì30-second commercials,î no matter how effective and intriguing.
3) Most of us have major trouble in explaining what we do, much less getting past that explanation and listening for what prospects need.
4) Networking with strangers is not targeted or specific and in fact is completely random. For some people, networking is exactly as effective as cold calling, which is the least effective marketing tool there is.
So am I saying that networking is a waste of time? Absolutely not. What Iím saying is you need to start networking smarter.
Here are a few thoughts to jog your noggin:
* Network by having coffee or lunch with people one on one. Get to know them and their business. They may become a prospect, alliance partner, or referral source. But aim first and foremost to make them a friend. The rest will follow naturally.
* If youíre going to network with strangers, go with the goal of making 2-3 lunch or coffee dates with people you find interesting.
* Ask every happy customer you have (theyíre all happy, right?) for just one referral of someone who would be interested in your type of goods or services, then call and use their name. (ìHi Iím Fred and Ginger said I should call you. Isnít Ginger great?î) You already have one thing in common ñ Ginger!
* Create a network ìhit listî of the exact kind of businesses you want to network with ñ maybe you sell software and you want to meet IT managers at medium-size companies. Make the list and put it in your little black book or PDA. Focus your networking and outreach activities on only those people ñ or others who can refer you to those people.
* Join non-business groups and spend time doing non-business activities: Civic, social, religious, recreational, musical, athletic… the list is endless. Establish relationships with people in your group. Perhaps youíre a Moose and a realtor. A Moose, as it turns out, wants to by a house from another Moose. If so, you have the Moose Market cornered! Are you into hand-drumming. Guess what? A hand-drummer will want to do business with another hand-drummer. Get it?
* If you do go to a ìmixerî go with a targeted goal in mind. For example, your goal might be ìto meet three people on my target list and get their card so I can follow up for breakfast, lunch, coffee or badminton.î A traditional ìnetworking eventî now becomes simply the first phase of your targeted plan for global domination, and not an end in itself.
Hereís a final thought to shake up your networking mindset: Network with people who already know you, like you, or have done business with you.
Myth 3: Networking is all about getting more people to know what you do.
Truth 3: Networking is all about getting people that already know you to share opportunities where you can be helpful to each other.
Make 2-3 phone calls a day to connect with people from past jobs, former clients, or influential people who have expressed interest in you in the past.
We all have a ìfan baseî that we grossly underutilize.
Think about tapping into friends, colleagues, mentors, and family to mine the connections you already have at your fingertips.
So get out there and network ñ but make it worth your investment of time and energy by networking smart. As your mother always said, ìDonít network with strangers.î
Tips for Mom Entrepreneurs: How to Stay Connected to Your Network
As a working mom, you may already feel overwhelmed, juggling dual responsibilities of work and family. When it comes to networking ñ yet another task ñ you may feel that ìthe time Iíve spent at networking has never really paid off.î
Creating a personal and professional network is essential for your work + life success. Thatís why working moms need to approach networking with a different paradigm, explained below as a three-part process.
Networking isnít just about collecting business cards from people you think may help you. Itís about planting seeds and nurturing long-term relationships that mature over time.
As a mom, you may understand this process well because it calls upon the same nurturing skills you already use with your family.
How many times have you attended networking events and seen others jabber on about themselves and frantically hand out dozens, if not hundreds, of their cards? This frenetic approach only makes them look weak. As a working mom, draw on that ìMommyî authority to engage in empowering, networking actions.
* Give ñ Adopt a giving attitude. When you meet someone ask, ìHow can I help you?î Always think, ìWho could I connect them with to help them meet their goals?î Itís a natural principle: The more you help others, the more others will help you.
* Ask ñ Be bold. Always think, ìyou never know what will happenî and ìitís worth a try.î If you meet a new contact and find you have an instant connection, donít be afraid to ask for help.
* Follow up – Getting introduced to the ìrightî people is important, but itís what you do after the introduction that really counts. If youíve felt a connection with a new contact, phone, email or send a thank-you note within one or two days. Then, keep in touch periodically, even if just to say, ìHi, itís been awhileÖî
Efficient Use of Time
You may be thinking, ìIíd like to stay connected with people, but I just donít have the time.î Here are three ways to efficiently find time to network:
* Lunch Hours ñ Iíve historically used my lunch hour, a coveted ME time, to run errands, walk a mile or two or get my hair or nails done. Yet, many associations and groups schedule networking meetings during this time. So, I began to add networking lunches. Itís a great way to preserve early-morning and evening family hours by substituting networking lunches for breakfast meetings or evening mixers!
* ìCoffee/lunch over the phoneî ñ My business partner, Jo Della Penna, introduced me to the idea of networking by scheduling ìcoffee over the phoneî. What a great idea! This is a more efficient way to meet. Plus, neither party has to invest in driving time. When you want to spend time with a colleague, try a relaxing ìlunch over the phoneî by scheduling a lunch appointment, packing a lunch that day and calling at the appointed time.
* Schedule in advance – Earmark your calendar to remind yourself to re-connect with a contact periodically. If you meet a new contact today, schedule the follow up call for two days later and plan a ìcheck-inî email within 60 days.
Remember, the key to networking is building a relationship over time. By using the steps above you should succeed at establishing good relationships that empower you and your business, and yet, donít use hours and hours of your time.
Three Steps to Your Ultimate Marketing Message
Have you created a core marketing message to use throughout all of your marketing efforts?
I’m not talking about some catchy slogan or play on words using the name of your business or the service you provide. It’s not some meaningless phrase like “we do it right” or “quality service you can trust.” Anybody in business can say those things and they’re really basic expectations anyway.
A core marketing message clearly and concisely communicates what you’re out to do and for who. It speaks to your ideal target market and gets them to respond and seek more information.
So many small business owners and professional service providers never take the time to create this for their own business. Most are creating a new message with every new “marketing campaign.” They’re constantly trying new ideas. And each new idea becomes a new chance to try and come up with that home run message that gets the phone ringing off the hook like never before.
What you need is an ultimate core marketing message that communicates directly and powerfully to your clients and prospective clients what it is they’ll get from your services.
Here are three steps to creating your own ultimate core marketing message:
1. Who do you want to help? Be as clear as you can on who your target market is. Take some time and define with as much clarity as possible who your ideal clients are. If it’s not obvious who your message is directed to, why would you expect anyone to get it?
2. What is the primary problem, issue, or challenge you would like to help someone in that target audience solve? This is really at the heart of your core marketing message. Most people are consumed with their own problems and looking for solutions to address them. So when you can clearly articulate a problem your client is dealing with, they’ll listen because you may be able to provide a solution.
3. What is the ultimate outcome or result that you’d like to help your target market produce in solving their problem, issue, or challenge? People what to know what it is they’ll get from knowing or working with you. When you’re prepared to demonstrate that you’re focused on delivering an outcome they’d be interested in, they will pay attention and want to know more.
That’s it. Now take your answers and boil it down to one or two clear sentences that you can deliver enthusiastically and passionately. Communicate it in everything you do from a marketing perspective, both verbally and in writing.
Forget the catchy slogans. Create and start using your ultimate marketing message right now.
Top Networking Marketing Opportunities ñ Is There Such A Thing?
Top networking marketing opportunities, also known as multi-level marketing opportunities, run rampant on todayís Internet. Youíve no doubt received some kind of solicitous e-mail or seen some kind of advertisement in the margins of a web site youíve visited that talks about amazingly easy ways to earn thousands of dollars with a simple home based business.
The truth behind many of these ìtop networking marketing opportunitiesî is that they are using the sign-up fees from new members to pay dividends to existing members rather than actually generating any revenue from legitimate products and services. So no matter how much money they promise to make for you, if you canít see any discernable product or service of value involved in the opportunity, you can assume that this is one of those ìtop networking marketing opportunitiesî that is actually an out and out scam.
The truth is that for many of these top networking marketing opportunities, only one out of every fifty or a hundred people who get involved actually make the kind of returns that the opportunity dangles as a carrot in front of you. In fact, the actual numbers might be far less than this. Itís never as simple as ìpay for the secrets and start raking it in right away.î Anyone who does make returns on these so-called top networking opportunities work hard to sign up plenty of other affiliates, many more than the ìitís so easyî testimonials make it sound like you need.
When you come across one of the ìtop networking marketing opportunitiesî on the internet, guaranteed to help you retire and live easy within a year, be wary. Do your research and find out what people who have been involved in these opportunities actually have to say about their results. Make sure you research these opportunities on objective third party sites, not testimonials on the opportunityís home page. Keep your common sense, and good luck!
Top Network Marketing Company -is it a serious business?
To truly know what network marketing really is you must know exactly was it isnít first. Actually there is nothing illegal or dishonest about network marketing and it is not a pyramid scheme. A pyramid is a program that has people invest large sums of money in the hope that others will too and the money will somehow get back to them and they will get rich. This is just a game played with money that has no real sales value. The products that are so-called being invested in are just the tools to hide the money game. A pyramid scheme is based on taking advantage of people and is very much illegal. For one person to actually make money in this scheme someone else has to lose it. The whole premise is built on a lie and in no way going to make one rich.
Network marketing on the other hand is very much legal and has great potential for those who work hard at it. There are real products or real value to be used to make money. The prices are not in the thousands either. Products are bought based on need and desire, not necessity. There are many people who make really good money in network marketing but it takes a lot of effort and work. One must build an entire organization from scratch based on the legitimate products offered. You will be encouraged to help others succeed so you too can win. It is a form of retailing where you either sell the products from your company to others or sponsor other people who will be using the products for their own use or selling them. In no way are you taking advantage of others in network marketing. Everyone can make money with enough effort. You will not make it rich over night no matter what anyone promises you. But you can live well with enough effort. You will need to follow a specific business dynamic to accomplish this.
Network marketing is a very serious business for highly determined people. The system has been proven and the design, creation, and expense that the corporate team has laid out are what you will follow like a road map to your own success. The big key in network marketing is that it is all about leverage. You work hard to get other people sponsored so you can make a percent off their work as well as your own. The most successful people who build a network do it in a very organized way. They dedicate themselves to it for a designated amount of hours per week to build it slowly over time. Then they sponsor others and train them on the companyís product and how to sponsor others. By helping your people get their own sponsors you in essence duplicating yourself. This can lead to getting hundreds and even thousands of people into your network over time. You use your time to train others to be successful and earn income from their efforts.
With network marketing you do not need huge capital requirements and no area restrictions geographically. There are no required quotas you have to sell or purchase or specific educational background needed. All you need to have is drive and time. There is no high cost overhead and you can even qualify for many tax breaks for having the home-based business
Training the New Network Marketing Distributor: Laying Down a Track To Run On ñ Step 1 of 3
Most people who get into a network marketing program want things to happen quickly. Initial presentations usually touch on the way money can be made, and the numbers often look staggering. What most of those initial presentations donít explain is how difficult it is to get started and to acquire the skills needed for success in network marketing.
For many new distributors, this is their first venture into network marketing. They are unsure about how to begin and often are tentative in their initial approaches. That can be the ìkiss of deathî for a presentation. After all, who wants to go into business with someone who is not sure about what they are doing?
To be successful in network marketing, new distributors need to learn from someone who is already successful. When new distributors know how to proceed, they can build their downline with confidence. Only one person in a hundred is a ìself-starter.î The other 99 will require that you invest time into their success, and show them how to begin.
There are three steps to building your downline:
1. Laying Down A Track to Run On
2. Being a Good MLM Sponsor
3. Working Depth With Your MLM Downline
Today, letís talk about the first step, i.e.
Step 1 — Laying Down A Track to Run On
Making sure your downline has a ìtrack to run onî means they must first learn about the company:
ï facts and information about the management team;
ï product features and benefits;
ï compensation plan and how you make money;
ï enrolling prospects and order processing;
ï who your upline is; and
ï developing their presentation portfolio.
In addition to the above, having a track to run on involves knowing how to:
ï develop effective communication skills, i.e. to speak with people in a way that reduces tension, neutralizes objections, and increases participation;
ï use tools (e.g. websites, CDs & DVDs, newspapers, brochures, etc.);
ï promote home meetings, regional gatherings and conventions;
ï share information with warm and cold market, leads, referrals;
ï edify upline leaders; and
ï conduct an effective 3 way call.
When you sign up a new distributor, immediately have them make a list of ten prospects. Then, you should send each of those prospects some company information and a short note stating that you are sending the information to them at the request of a mutual friend. If you have an informational website, include the URL in your letter. After the information has gone out, have your new distributors follow up with their prospects and set up a three-way call.
When you do this, you (1) get your new distributors to immediately begin building their organization, (2) get sponsor and distributor working together, and (3) your new distributors will know what to do when they sign up someone, i.e. exactly what you have done for them! This stimulates business and creates tremendous momentum in the downline.
Sounds simple, but many sponsors violate this strategy. If itís done right, and your new distributors see how easy your success is to duplicate, you will find that them running on that same track, teaching their downline how to get started. Youíll see business builders emerging, and thatís when your business will really take off.