Tag Archives: referral

How to be Smart at Being ‘the Dumbest Person in the Room’

Growing up, we’re praised for getting good grades and doing well in school. So it’s no surprise that many of us might scoff at being told to aim at being ‘the dumbest person in the room.’ Not really the soundest advice, is it?

However, consider the endless instances when you’ve been around people who want to be the smartest at a meeting, or on an email thread. Their need for approval can become a detriment to any progress. Ironically, the most successful people are actually the ones who want to be the ‘dumbest’ at the meeting.

While highlighting your intelligence may seem important for your career or management, the opposite is true. Instead, by focusing on trying not to be the smartest person in the room, you’re more likely to be the most successful. Allowing others to be the ‘smartest; enables better input, more creative ideas and improved team performance. Here are some guidelines for how to be the smartest ‘dumbest’ person in the room.

Surround yourself with the best people available. Great people generate great results and you need to be willing to surround yourself with great people. These top performers are the ones who will drive success.

Everyone has good ideas. No matter how smart any one person is, there are millions of other very intelligent people on all levels, from the best physicists to the smartest marketers to the best product managers. While you may have some very creative solutions to a problem, do not think that others in the room do not have even better ideas. Letting everyone speak and respecting their ideas gives you the option of selecting the best one.

Great leaders are not great at everything. If you are a great leader, there is no way you are also great at every functional area you are responsible for. You may have wonderful leadership skills, but you should enable your team to do their best and defer to them as experts rather than trying to tell them how to do their work.

Measure on results, not sound bites. The measure of success of a meeting, or a working group, or an email thread is not how smart it made you look but that it generated the best possible results. These results are what will also drive your long-term success, not how much you impressed the others at the meeting or on the email.

Rather than trying to sound the smartest at a meeting, you should aim to be the dumbest. It is more important to surround yourself with great people who will bring performance to a level higher than any individual can achieve.

Referral Marketing “Dos” and “Don’ts”

How can you close the gap in your business? Don’t miss these referral marketing “dos” and “don’ts” that will help you proactively convert happy customers into reliable revenue-drivers:

  1. Do give customers the tools they need to promote your company.

For referral marketing to work, you can’t expect your referral partners or customers to invest time and energy into developing tools and assets to support your brand. Instead, you need to make the referral process as simple as possible. Most importantly, your referral partners need to know who your ideal customer is and how you can help them. Next it needs to be easy. This might mean having regular catch-ups with your referral partners, creating a hashtag that customers can share online, or developing email templates that ensure referral partners use the right language and share the right landing page URL.

Regardless, decreasing the effort required to deliver a referral is a critical piece of the referral-marketing equation.

  1. Don’t expect customers to always be thinking about you.

One of the biggest mistakes companies make with referral marketing is assuming customers always have their brands on the top of their minds. If you’re not constantly looking for opportunities to engage your most loyal customers so you’re staying front of mind with them, then you’re missing a huge opportunity to encourage and incentivize conversations about your products or services.

  1. Do think about who (and how) you ask for referrals.

To operate a successful referral marketing program within your business, you must consider who you’re targeting, where those people are most active, and which potential referral partners already have a relationship with them.

Regardless of where your customers fall on that spectrum, it’s critical to truly understand their motivations and preferences before you reach out.

  1. Don’t “set it and forget it.”

Once you start building your team of referral partners and get a referral coming in the door, it’s easy to fall into the trap of assuming the engine will run itself. Like all strategic marketing initiatives, referral-marketing requires your continuous engagement to work.  It doesn’t have to be hard, and simple is always better. Make sure you’re touching base regularly with your referral partners and customers so you remain front of mind.

Source: https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/254516


Exploring a Joint Venture? 10 Important Questions to Ask

Wondering whether you should start a joint venture? A joint venture is a step further than a referral partner or strategic partnership and there’s no straight answer to this question. The decision involves addressing various elements. Consider copying the following questions on a word processing document, so that you can constantly address and answer those important elements before and as you move forward. Here you’ll find 10 important questions to consider:

  1. Do I need to develop a know-how, which has already been developed by a company or by an individual?
  2. Is there a logical business partner that could help me develop a vertical or horizontal market penetration?
  3. Do I have all the human resources I need in marketing, R&D, production, or operations? Is there a company I know which would have resources complementary to mine?
  4. How do I feel about combining resources? Do I like to lead by myself and act as a solitary business hero, or am I fine with sharing the pie?
  5. Do I have access to the right legal resources to structure the joint venture and insure all aspects are duly covered?
  6. Are there local legal regulations I can bypass by partnering with a local business?
  7. Am I prepared to take the time to write a full-fledged joint business plan?
  8. Am I aware that in the vast majority of cases, merging activities, even when not necessarily identical, will result in an inevitable workforce reduction? How do I feel about letting go of some of my most faithful employees?
  9. Do I already know of a person or a company that I see has a real interest in partnering? Have I discussed this possibility with this person or with the person in charge of the targeted company? If yes, what is the general feeling? If no, then it is time to start a high-level discussion to gauge the level of interest.
  10. What are my strengths and weaknesses? What are the threats and opportunities in my target market?

Source: Happy About Joint Venturing by Valerie Orsoni-Vauthey. http://www.happyabout.com/jointventuring.php

Get the Most Out of Your Referral Partnerships – Your Weekly Check-in Agenda

Do you have a process in place that makes opportunities happen? What are you doing with your referral partners? Are you making the most out of your time together? Let’s have a look at what you’re doing and how you can improve and get the most from your partnerships.

The Purpose of your Weekly Catch-up

To keep the partnership strong and valuable, you’ll need to have a quick 10-15 minute catch up every week or two (max). Doing so keeps you front of mind with each other and allows you to be continually strategising and getting each other more referrals.

Always remember the purpose of the catch-up call. The reason for the catch-up is to stay front of mind, to strategise on how to get more connections for one another, talk about how to open doors, to get more exposure to a new and wider audience, how to share networks you both already have, and how to find the right types of people. This may seem like a lot but it doesn’t have to be long; the process is short and simple.

Your Referral Partner Agenda

  1. Goal Setting – Each of you discuss your goal for the week.
  2. Connections – Who do you want to be connected to that week?
  3. Helping – Each of you ask, ‘What are 3 things I can do for you?’

The next meeting, Do an accountability check and simply follow up on those 3 agenda items  Then, cover the same 3 things again for the next week. Just keep it going. It’s that simple.

There’s no point in the relationship if you’re not helping each other. So ask yourself whether you’re taking the right steps and having the right type of contact and communication with your referral partners.

If not, set a goal this week to work on it. Start with 1 referral partner and then work your way up. Your goal should be to have around 6 strong referral partners who you have a good, ongoing relationship with.

Are you Reliable? 3 Easy Steps to Prove Your Reliability (quickly!)

You can be significantly more effective while building your network, teams, and partnerships if you establish trust first. There are four variables that comprise trustworthiness — credibility, reliability, intimacy, and self-orientation—only

One way to establish trust more quickly is by establishing reliability. However, this actually takes time to establish. By definition, reliability requires consistency over time to demonstrate. Luckily, you can accelerate this process if you know how to do it correctly.

Make lots of small promises.

One aspect of reliability means to do what you say you’ll do (and when you’ll do it). So create opportunities for yourself to prove this by making lots of small promises. For example if you meet someone and say you’ll follow up with them, send something or help connect them to someone else. Make the promise clear and give a deadline of when you’ll do it by. Then set the intention and make sure you deliver. You can do this within your work setting too, for example, there’s no need to wait until the end of a six-month project to prove you can be counted on. You can start from day 1 by making lots of small promises, then following through on each one. “I’ll set up the meeting with our partners for Thursday.“

Be on time
If your appointment with Ashley is at 10:00am, let your actions convey that one way you keep your word through punctuality. Then go the extra mile to make sure you’re fully prepared. Whether you’re meeting in person or via an online platform, arrive/login with plenty of time to review your notes, get your mindset and intentions in order, and take a couple of deep breaths. In other words, take an extra few minutes to be fully present.

Use their own words

Did you know reliability is rooted in a feeling of familiarity? People experience others as being more reliable when they feel connected to them and when they feel familiar. You can make this feeling stronger by using others’ jargon, instead of your own. This is a great way to create that feeling in your very first encounter. If you say “public offering” and Michael says “IPO,” go with IPO. Be aware not to do this too often though or you risk losing your own authenticity which is critical to establishing trust.

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.