Tag Archives: referral

Let’s Talk – Rapport is Critical not just in Business but in Life

The dictionary defines rapport as “relation characterized by harmony, conformity, accord, or affinity.”

When you have rapport with someone, it’s that feeling of flow, ease and comfort in a conversation when there is mutual liking and trust. You will recognize a lack of rapport when you encounter those conversations that feel forced, uncomfortable and rigid. Once you’ve established rapport with a person, he or she is much more likely to be open with you and share information, buy your product, recommend you to others, or support your ideas. Consider rapport as the foundation to and referral partnership.

So while building rapport is intuitive and natural to some people, it is an important skill that anyone can learn.

Here are some tips for building rapport.

Be Real. Fist and foremost, be genuine. If you’re not, the person will know. So be sincere in what you say; don’t make up an interest in something just to create rapport.

Establish artificial time constraints. Nobody wants to feel trapped in an awkward conversation with a stranger, so try beginning the conversation with something along the lines of “I’m on my way out but before I left I wanted to ask you…” When the other person knows that there is an end in sight that is close, and you’re not the person talking to them the rest of the event/flight/afternoon, then they can relax and engage with you more comfortably.

Ask good, open-ended questions. Open-ended questions are ones that don’t require a simple yes or no answer. People love to talk about themselves. Asking open-ended questions and paying attention to the answers helps you learn more about the other person and shows that you have a genuine interest in them. The key is in your follow-up. LISTEN and respond according to what they said. This is how they’ll know you are truly catching their details.

Find Common Ground. When you meet someone new, do your best to find something you have in common. Use open-ended questions to discover some personal information about the person: perhaps you attended the same school or university, have the same favorite vacation spot, grew up in the same city, know the same people, or root for the same sports team.

Be Empathic. Empathy is about understanding other people by seeing things from their perspective, and recognizing their emotions. Once you achieve this, it’s easier to get “on their level.”

Ask For Help. When a request is small (this is key), we naturally feel a connection to those who ask us for help. Think for a moment about the times in your life when you have either sought assistance or been asked to provide it. When the request is simple, of limited duration, and non-threatening, we are more inclined to accommodate the request. As human beings, we are biologically conditioned to accommodate requests for assistance.

Smile. Smiling is the most powerful nonverbal technique to let someone know you are non-threatening, friendly and trustworthy. Smiling makes you approachable.

Why You Should be the First to Help

One of the fundamentals of referral marketing is helping others, and the more people you help, the more people will help you.

Sometimes it’s easier to be the first to ask a potential referral partner, “How can I help you?” This puts you at an advantage for numerous reasons.

First of all, most people don’t usually go around offering help, so we’re often taken aback when someone takes a genuine interest in how they could help you and then even more so when they help.

Offering to help first does several important things. It catches the person off guard so they’re less likely to go into a defensive mode or power through on autopilot. They now see you in a different light and have a different perspective on who you are.

When someone takes a genuine interest and offers to help, then successfully follows through with helping, the relationship strengthens and grows. The person who you’ve helped now feels like they know you (if they didn’t already before), they feel like they can trust you (because you deliver on what you say you’ll do), and because you helped them, they probably like you too and view you as a positive influence.

So in summary, when you offer to help first, you place yourself in a position where the other person likes, knows and trusts you. Which is exactly the type of person we’re all geared towards working with.

By positioning yourself in this way, it will now be easier to ask the other person for a helpful favour in return, and increase the likelihood that they’ll help you. In the end, it’s a win-win for everyone. So go try it now… offer someone genuine help.

Did You Know: Most People Aren’t Using LinkedIn in the Right Way? Learn How to Get the Most Out of Your Network in 15 Minutes per Week

The New Year is often a time of setting resolutions and establishing good habits to meet your goals for the coming year. This year, I challenge you to dedicate at least 15 minutes each week to using LinkedIn. LinkedIn is most valuable to those who know how to use it effectively. It is not a sales platform or a place to collect as many connections as possible. The real value in LinkedIn comes for those who are able to establish communication in order to develop and maintain good relationships.

The Challenge: Dedicate 15 minutes each week to your LinkedIn Network

  1. Connect with 10 new people each week. Send them a personal message asking to connect. By doing so, you are communicating with them as an individual and laying the foundation for future contacts. You are starting to build the relationship. Now, get to know them. Ask what she or he does. Ask them who you can connect them to within your network. Ask how you can help them. By approaching a new connection this way, you are establishing a connection and adding value. Thereby, building trust and a solid relationship that will help to grow your business.
  2. Send 5-7 new messages each week to people you have connections with. This does not have to be lengthy or in-depth. The message can be as simple as, “Hey there, it’s been a while since we last talked, What are you up to?” This is beneficial for 2 reasons: 1) You’re starting communication. 2) You’re front of mind again. By contacting 7 people in your network each day, you quickly get to know everyone in your network so you’re better able to connect people within your network and know who can help when and where. Over time, you will continue to build the relationship with your connections by maintaining regular contact.
  3. Keep it about them! We all know what it’s like to get a new connection, only to be followed by a lengthy sales pitch the following day. LinkedIn is not the appropriate platform for this. When you are good at what you do, AND you have good relationships with the people in your network, then you won’t have to tell people what you do. They will ask you and they will be happy to help you.

Credibility = ‘Trust-ability’: How to be an Influencer and get more Business

People work with those they like, know and TRUST. When you’re having conversations with new people and looking for new referral partners who you haven’t spoken to before, you need to build that trust. One way to do so is enhance your credibility.

Review these 3 tips on how to increase your credibility and level of influence with those around you.

Eliminate the Credibility Gap.

Move past the unknown. The reason an inquiry is made in the first place is because a prospect is trying to avoid the pain that comes along with working with the wrong person. Reduce or even eliminate their anxiety by increasing your credibility. Answer the questions that often come up, position yourself as an expert in the field and you’ll close that gap by eliminating the unknown and get the business.

Lead through Education

The most successful brands and businesses in the world have adopted this simple strategy. Millions of internet searches are done every day. People are looking for information. The best marketers understand this and simply give them something valuable around what they want.

Everyone wants to work with an expert, so why can’t that be you? Concentrate on creating content that answers questions that are frequently asked. Demonstrate your knowledge and be the expert they’re seeking. This earns their respect, answers their beginning questions and starts to bridge the credibility gap.

Get Serious

Try creating your own campaign that closes the credibility gap. Write a blog article regularly, do a webinar or even host a live event that puts your skills on showcase. Don’t have the time? (Outsource it). Over time you will have a body of work that can be passed around that positions you as a thought leader.

Leading with this content strategy has proven to be one of the most effective ways to get more referrals. When your credibility is high, your trust goes up. And when your trust goes up, so does business.

Source: https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/241529

Lost Opportunities – Which One’s Are You Missing?

What opportunities are you missing? Get yourself in the right mindset now and don’t miss any more! Opportunities are everywhere, but do you see them?

With the holidays swiftly approaching – this means more parties, BBQ’s family get-togethers and plenty of opportunities for referrals.

You’ll find opportunities every day if you know where to look and have the right mindset. They’re in the people you talk to every day, the places you visit, where you are online, or offline, you can find them amid bad events, with people who are unhappy, people who are happy, people who are interested. And everyone you’ll meet this holiday season. The question is, are you open to the opportunities?

This often comes down to your mindset more than anything else. Are you thinking in the right way? If so, you can turn so many of these opportunities into business, and the great part is, you can train yourself to get in the right mindset too.

It’s easy for all of us to get completely buried within a mindset that makes you focus on one thing and not being able to see the others things. The antidote is to tweak your mindset so you can notice more opportunities.

It sounds easier said than done, but really all you need to do is get in the habit of asking yourself better questions about each interaction you have. Find out, is there an opportunity in there? What else can I draw from that? Don’t get caught up in one moment or perspective and lose out on an opportunity that’s there.

Get in the habit and of asking yourself these types of questions:

  • What can I learn from this?
  • What can I do differently?
  • How can I get a different result?

These types of questions make you think in a different way and ensure you’re not just accepting what happened for what it was. It’s helping you to think differently about each interaction you have. Next ask questions like: ‘How can I turn this into an opportunity?’ The more you ask, the more you’ll be able to start seeing opportunities.

You need to challenge yourself to keep thinking, and when you start to question things, you start to get different ways of thinking. If you get stuck in negative feedback loops, you start to talk negatively. Ask different question to show conscious and ego that everything’s okay and that you’re still in control.

How to take new opportunities? Start by recognizing them. You can’t recognize an opportunity without evaluating what’s happening. Get in this habit and it will change your brain, your thinking and your outcomes. You’ll notice the difference in the opportunities you’re creating and you’ll start to see you can only change what you do when you ask better questions.

Getting Ready for Holiday Networking

We hear it over and over, the holidays are a slow time of year for doing business. Don’t you believe it! This is all in your mindset. With all the holiday parties, events, and family visits, the holiday season provides some of the best networking opportunities of the entire year.

Take note of these tips on how to get ready for this year’s holiday season.

Say ‘Yes!’ to all those Holiday Parties and Events
Well, maybe not to everything, but if you’re looking to fill your pipeline with new people, you’ll meet them at everything from the neighborhood open house to the office party, as well as those special holiday business networking events.  Attending holiday events is also a good way to follow-up with the people you already know, such as your clients, business acquaintances, associates, referral partners, and friends and family.

Send out Holiday Greetings

This is a perfect time of year to send cards, letters, emails, and newsletters.  It lets people in your network know you are thinking about them.  And while you’re at it, you can send them to the people you’ve just met at all those holiday parties you’ve been going to.

Be prepared for each event you attend

Be ready to clearly and concisely tell people what you do and who you do it for, have a prepared introduction that rolls off your tongue.  Always have your business cards handy!   And while you’re at it, don’t be afraid to schedule follow-up meetings in the moment, as long as it feels appropriate.

Prepare some questions to get the conversation going

“How do you know the host/hostess?”

“Who do you know at this event?”

“What has been the highlight of your year?”

“How’s the family?”

“What plans do you have for next year?”

“How was business this year?”

“Tell me more about what you do and how I can help you.”

“What kinds of clients are you looking for these days?”

(Be prepared to answer these questions as well!)

The holidays are a fantastic time of year to continue building your relationships through networking.  Stay in the right mindset and take advantage of each opportunity. Best wishes for a wonderful holiday season and a happy 2017.

Source: http://www.thenetworkinggurus.com/tips/tips08/twelve-tips-for-holiday-networking.html

How to Set Up a Strong and Effective Referral Partnership

Before we discuss how to find strong referral partners, it’s important to know what a referral partner really is anyways.

A true referral partner is someone who:

  • you’ve communicated what referral partnership you’re both wanting.
  • you’re on the same page with.
  • you’ve trained using your training manuals and they’ve trained you on theirs.
  • you’re calling for around 10 minutes each week to strategize how to get in each other’s networks.

Anything else is not a true referral relationship. When people don’t understand this, they get frustrated and complain about what their referral partners are or are not doing. They’ll say things like ‘I’m doing more than what my partners are doing.’ Or ‘They’re not following up or doing what I ask them to do.’ This is common with referral partnerships when both parties aren’t clear on what a true referral partner really is.

There are also cross-promotional partners and we find confusion around this as well sometimes.

A true cross promotional partner is someone who:

You’ve talked to about how to strategize on how to promote each other to each other’s networks. This can occur on an ongoing basis or it can be a 1 off situation. Either way, you still need clear communication and an action plan. Any cross promotional partnership will fall down without an action plan.

Finally, this is simple to set up, once you’ve identified a potentially strong partner. Simply start by asking – do you want to be a referral or cross promotional partner? And once they say yes, make sure you follow through with each of the points above to make sure you set the partnership up right and it’s a win-win for both parties involved.

Get a Powerful Boost from Your Online Network

These days, business networking is getting a huge boost from online social-networking sites. Social media can enable small-business owners to reach hundreds, if not thousands of potential customers on the Internet.

One of the fastest ways to build referrals and relationships online is by using social networking to reconnect with the top people in your “centre of influence” who respect and admire you.

This could be friends from college or university, past co-workers, family members, bestselling authors, media contacts, and others.

According to digital marketing and media researchers (eMarketer.com), more than half of all internet users have visited websites referred by friends or family in the previous 30 days. Online, a referral from a trusted source can make all the difference in converting a contact into a customer.

Develop that trusting relationship with people who are well positioned to give you referrals. When you do, your marketing will become supercharged with positive word-of-mouth. Keep this going by regularly keeping in touch and checking in with your network.

5 Ways Your Intuition Influences Your Leadership, Your Network and 5 Tips to Improve

Following up on the post, ‘How Your Intuition Builds Your Network ‘ earlier this month, we’ll continue to explore the role intuition plays in strong business leaders and ways that you can improve your own intuition. Intuition is the natural intelligence that allows us to see ahead of the curve, to generate innovative ideas, to communicate powerfully and to do so without having to study endless spreadsheets or gather piles of data.

It is the skill we all possess that has the ability to guide us to greater business success, greater career satisfaction and more sustainable levels of innovation and service. It is also a prominent attribute of strong business leaders and people who grow and maintain a strong network.

5 ways your intuition influences your leadership and your network.

  1. Intuitive leaders are inspired by inner vision. There is a powerful stability found in personal meaning and value. Allow your intuition to cultivate an expanded awareness that enables you to see and apply solutions where others cannot.
  1. Intuition helps you set the trends — not follow them. When you tap into your intuition, you create approaches, products and industries that are original and transformative.
  1. Let go of things that aren’t working or viable. Intuitive leaders do not spend a lot of time focused on things that don’t move their vision forward. Cultivate new plans of action and move forward with greater certainty and focus.
  1. Use your intuition to step up to the challenge when there’s a problem to be solved, a need to be filled or a gap to be closed that others have given up on, or haven’t been able to resolve.
  1. Your intuition helps you cultivate solutions and courses of action in multiple directions. Expanded vision allows intuitive leaders to design and successfully implement action plans that move in multiple directions at the same time empowering innovation and influence

In the loud and busy world we live in today, sometimes the noise drowns out our inner voice. Do you want to improve your intuition? Enhance your ability and tune in with these 5 tips.

  1. Slow down enough to hear your inner voice. Before you can pay attention to your intuition, you first have to be able to hear it amid your busy life.
  2. Take time for yourself. Solitude and taking time away from the everyday, even something as brief as going for a walk, is a great way to turn up the volume of your intuition.
  3. Practice empathic accuracy. ‘Empathic accuracy’ is an intuitive awareness of what other people are thinking and feeling. Practice listening using cues such as body language and tone of voice. It’s an extremely powerful form of empathy that helps foster deep connections with other people and is immensely valuable in building your network.
  4. Nurture your creativity. Intuition is the secret ingredient in creativity and being intentionally creative strengthens your use of intuition.
  5. Analyze your dreams. Dreams are often manifestations of intuition. Sure, sometimes dreams are nonsense, but they often try to tell us something from below our conscious awareness. Ask yourself, “Where did that come from, and what can I take away from it?”

Whether you listen to it or not, your intuition is healthy and functioning. If you want to make better decisions in life, be a better business leader and be the person others want as a part of their network, learn to listen and value your intuition.

Your Keep-in-Touch Plan to Stay Front of Mind in Your Network

You can’t simply build your network and forget about it. It’s vital that you nurture and maintain it by staying connected with people. It’s vital that you create a powerful “stay connected” plan to keep you and your business at top of mind with your contacts and those in your centre of influence. And it’s a good idea to reach out to your connections at least once every 90 days.

Simple ways to stay connected and stay front of mind.

Phone or Skype them to say hello.

Ask people in your network how they are first, and keep notes so you have something personal to reference during your the follow up. You can tell them about an event or big announcement about your company, product or service. Most importantly, don’t close without asking how you can help them or if there’s anyone you can connect them to. Always maintain the helping attitude.

A little extra effort goes a long way.

A note sent through the mail has the personal touch that works very well for developing a relationship. Notes take time, which shows that you value the connection. Don’t think you have to do this every time but once in a while, it’s a great way to be memorable, and stay front of mind.

Show, don’t tell.

Don’t tell your contacts how important they are, show them. Without reciprocity in a relationship, it will degenerate into a “What’s in it for me?” situation. We all know what that feels like – it’s not a feeling that makes you want to stay in touch with someone, let alone help them out. Send them thank you messages and check in regularly to let them know you value the relationship, you’re grateful for them and any referrals that they’ve sent your way. Always remember to ask how you can help them.