Saint Yourself Scratching Others’ Backs

Almost every small business I meet gets most of their clients from referrals. However, almost all of them agree that they’re not getting enough clients.

Well, I’m here to help speed up your lead pipeline. There are 5 ways that I get referrals that I think you might find useful.

The first way to get a referral is through your existing clients. They think you’re the cat’s meow because hellooooooooo-they’re already working with you! Your clients’ success is a cause for celebration and what better way to celebrate than to suggest they tell others about how well they’re doing?

The second way to get referrals is to niche properly. In other words, when people actually understand and are able to remember exactly who you help and what you help them do, you will get more referrals.

The third way to get referrals is to send a thousand thank yous. When you do get referrals, recognize them in some significant way. Nobody HAS to refer you or remember your name or even take the trouble of forwarding your information to anyone. They do so because they believe you can help their friend. Don’t take it for granted.

The fourth way to get referrals is to Do Onto Others. This is a version of ‘you scratch my back and –well you get the idea…’ in reverse. You MAKE it your business to help those who have connections to your ideal clients and everybody wins. Remember never to expect anything in return and almost Saint yourself referring your heart off to everyone else. I guarantee you will get more referrals if you give more referrals.

The fifth and last way I get referrals is to actually have a cross referral program which tells ideal joint venture partners up front that I can actually provide them with a gift for thinking of me to refer to first. The last bit of advice about referrals is about follow-up. If you aren’t following up your referrals properly, you’re missing an obvious opportunity but you’re also letting down your referring partner. So pull up your follow-up socks and don’t forget to wine, dine and drop a line to your referrals.

Need more chicken soup for your biz? Follow me on Twitter, friend me on Facebook, watch me on YouTube or connect with me on LinkedIn –and let’s talk

Take The 2-Second Why-You’re-Not-Rich Test

richI have to admit, I’ve been reading T.Harv Eker again. Yup, I’m forcing my hubby to listen to it, I’m talking to friends about it over coffee and I’m incorporating it into my sales conversations and it’s powerful. You think you’re spared from this as my blog reader? Not a chance.

In his famous talk (based on his book, which spawned an empire of training companies) titled Secrets of The Millionaire Mind dear Harv had even my eyebrows up when he made the audience (and me, listening in my car) take a test to determine what is holding us back from becoming rich.

Why Be Rich?

Being rich was never an ambition until recently. Until I learned that ‘I just want to be comfortable’ is the surest way to be UNCOMFORTABLE. That to claim to want nothing more than to cover my few luxuries is the fastest way to continual stress, strife and worry about money. I now know that if I were aiming at being rich, then I could probably get to comfortable but without even entertaining the thought of aiming higher, I was shooting myself in the foot.

If you’ve ever thought ‘money’s not important to me’, chances are you were in the same position as me. As Harv asks, if you said to your husband ‘you’re not that important’ how long would he be around? Same goes for money! Harv baby makes some compelling reasons to be rich. To live nicer and to provide better for your family is a big motivator. Another one is to give in a bigger way. Sure, we do what we can but imagine how much more you could do if you were truly rich.

Why You’re Not Rich?

If you’re already a millionaire and have 0 stress around money, I’ll excuse you and you can stop reading right here. If you’re not, then you can probably learn something from this.  The decisions I see being made by my clients every day are testament to why some are significantly more successful than others. As soon as you were born, you started filling your mental filing system with information to base your future adult decisions on. This info you stored away is the source of your decisions around money and your business.

I can see when clients will continue to make bad decisions for their business based on files that were downloaded to them by people who themselves had no money or no success around money. This is the single biggest reason why they are perpetually in the same miserable cycle of never having enough money.

The Test

So if you’re ready for it, here’s the test: Write down what you think  you’ll be making at the end of the year, say $300 000. Now put a 0 next to it and say to yourself “I’m going to make $3 000 000″. What is the first thought that pops into your head? For me, it was “I’ll have to work too hard”, for another friend it was “That’s impossible”, for another it was “I don’t need all that money”. Whatever thought first popped out for you, that’s the belief that’s in your filing system and every decision is made by that thought. Isn’t that scary?

So re-consider your files that cause your relationship to money and no matter what kind or level of business you’re in, you will benefit from accessing mental money files of more successful people than you.

Need more chicken soup for your biz? Follow me on Twitter, friend me on Facebook, watch me on YouTube or connect with me on LinkedIn –and let’s talk

 

Are You Letting Your Competitors Decide Your Marketing?

competitionNothing in the world gets me as fired up as small businesses doing something to market their business because they’ve seen their competitors doing it. It happens so often that it’s like some deeply buried, embarrassing secret of all entrepreneurs.

Why A Copy Cat?

The major reason why I see this happening is because small business owners don’t really HAVE a business strategy or a plan that goes along with it. They not only don’t have it, they don’t really even know HOW to get one. They guess at their own target client profile. They rarely have a focus on what 1 thing they’re an expert in. They are unsure about where to go out and find clients. They are simply coasting by while doing what I sarcastically call the-trial-and-error marketing.

When you don’t know how to market your business, the best resource is to do what someone else is doing. Isn’t it? Wrong!

Competition Who?

In my world, if you are very focused on an ideal target group of clients and have a crystal clear expertise to offer to them. You don’t truly have competition. In addition, if you’ve differentiated your brand by virtue of using your own personality to put a stamp on your marketing and your business, there is simply no other business exactly like you.

When you have done the work to get the right strategy and plan in place, you are in a class of your own. That’s when you can stop looking at others for your own plan of action and blaze your own trail so others who don’t know what they’re doing can follow.

Be An Original

The number one way I know to be successful in this sea of competitors is to be different. You don’t have to be a creative genius to decide how to do that. Just be yourself and reject the tried and true way. Do it your way instead. Put some thought, get some help, ask your customers HOW to be different and how to continually generate customer centric marketing. What you focus on grows. When all you think about is being An Original, there is nothing that can stop you.

What About Tried And True Wisdom?

I want to point out that until you figure out your own way to do things, by all means adopt the commonly established rules of marketing. For example, offer an irresistible download on your homepage to collect lead information, blog often, public speak. You can do all those things but do them in line with your own niche, your own plan and in fitting with your own brand. That STILL doesn’t mean you should let your competitors dictate your web design, your ad copy or your marketing plan.

Need more chicken soup for your biz? Follow me on Twitter, friend me on Facebook, watch me on YouTube or connect with me on LinkedIn –and let’s talk

The Internet Is Not Going To Save Your Business

funny-superheroes-3There are so many of us out there, so called marketing experts. I dare you to ask any one of us WHY we’re doing something and if they say ‘it’s expected in this industry’ or ‘it’s the latest and greatest technology’, then I say they can’t help you. However, if they have a great, customer driven reason for every single thing they are doing to help your business, then you should save that person’s card.

Here are some of the things that I see my clients expecting to save their business:

The Internet Is Not Your Saviour

I once had a client who built a whole marketing plan by doing great market research and refused to implement it because it was too hard to go to targeted networking events, and too hard to get speaking engagements at targeted venues and associations. She then upped and unbeknownst to me, hired an SEO specialist without even giving him the benefit of our target market, our research around keywords or any of the work we’d done to date. Half a year later, she’s still waiting for clients to come begging from her website to throw money at her to help them.

The internet isn’t going to save your business. Garbage in, garbage out. If you don’t know your strategy or do the research around keywords, you might as well not bother hiring an expert for anything online.

Social Media Isn’t The Next Best Thing To Sliced Bread

When I meet businesses spending a fortune on social media without doing the strategic work first to figure out who they should be connected to, what topics they need to blog about and how to actually drive sales from their social media streams, I get frustrated. After spending more than a few bucks on these ventures, so do these businesses. Social media is only one small piece of the puzzle. Unless you’ve got a solid direction for your business and a good idea of who exactly is your ideal golden target client, you will continue to waste time and money on this newfangled marketing tool.

Advertising Online or Off Won’t Flood You With Clients

Similar to clients who spend their brains out on SEO and social media and their website design, I see clients who dump all their funds into ads. The refrain I often hear is ‘I have no time to do face to face marketing so this does send a few people my way’. When you do the math, you are investing in a losing proposition. The reason most business owners don’t have or make the time for marketing is because they sorely need plans, systems and processes in place to get them to spend their hours more productively. Advertising rarely if ever is able to make up for those things that are missing in a business.

So please please please heed my advice and don’t skip actually investing in your strategy with someone who actually knows why you’re doing every piece of your plan and why you spend each dime to grow your business. “Just because” simply isn’t good enough anymore.

Need more chicken soup for your biz? Follow me on Twitter, friend me on Facebook, watch me on YouTube or connect with me on LinkedIn –and let’s talk

Love What People Criticize You Most For

self love dogAfter years of going to the I Can Do It! conference, I walked away from this year’s with this amazing insight. Ready for it?

Think about what people most often criticize you for. Most likely it’s what you beat yourself up the most for. Maybe it’s perfectionism, maybe it’s being too passive, maybe it’s giving too much, or talking too much. I learned at this weekend’s conference that that’s the exact thing that you’re supposed to embrace and love about yourself the most.

Here’s why…

Dying To Discover The Truth

I’ve been a fan of Anita Moorjani of the dying from cancer and coming back and writing a book fame. In her talk at the conference, she talked about the lessons that she learned while she was floating out there. The main thing that she learned was that we are exactly the way we’re supposed to be. No more, no less. It’s our reason for being here. Otherwise everyone would be the same. She said that people are miserable, living someone else’s expectations. And finally she said that we have to love that very trait that people criticize the most because it is the essence of who we are.

Why Do It

When Anita talked about how her lemon sized tumors along her lymphatic system spontaneously healed after her near death experience, she did it by simply loving who she was and recognizing the beauty in her own person. She said that nobody else’s opinion, expertise or thoughts about her or even her health mattered. Doctors doubted her healing so they kept dripping poisonous chemo into her even though the tumors had shrunk 70% within days. Didn’t matter what the doctors said or did to her, she knew she’d be ok. She just knew it.

Not loving who you are at your core robs you of the ability to heal, to cope and ultimately it inhibits your life. It even stops you from being able to fully love and accept others. Think about a world where you start to praise your spouse’s faults. How would your life change? How would theirs?

How To Do It

In the 2 years since I’ve had my coaching practice, I’ve often been accused of being too aggressive, too direct and too forward. I had come to terms with most of this but hearing Anita’s message really clinched it for me. I have been telling everyone I meet, all my clients and the audiences I speak to about this “new” thing. I catch myself slipping into self-criticism and I replace it with loving thoughts about why it’s so cool to be those very things that I used to hate about myself. I feel so relived. I can’t even describe the freedom. Even if I do change those so-called undesirable traits about myself, I’ll be changed because of loving my imperfections. As another amazing speaker Robert Holden put it, criticism doesn’t help. Love helps.

Need more chicken soup for your biz? Follow me on Twitter, friend me on Facebook, watch me on YouTube or connect with me on LinkedIn –and let’s talk