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The ROI is Always in the Relationship!


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A New Twist on Greedy!

No one likes the taker, the guy who is always looking out for his best interests and asking what you can do for him. He’s greedy with what he can get from the world and thinks little about what he can give others.

Here’s a new twist on greedy…how about a greedy giver! When I say greedy giver I mean the person who is so anxious and enthusiastic to give it becomes somewhat of an addiction.

I network with a greedy giver, Heather. She’s hungry to help others, always on the lookout for ways she can build others up and connect. She has a truly amazing attitude about life and business. As a result, she’s a magnetic person! She gives fully while expecting nothing in return.

Heather makes you want to be a greedy giver and I have an idea on how you can! Set up a greedy giving day once a week. Meet with 5 professionals that you can get to know and help connect to people in your sphere of influence.

Stack your day to make the most of your time. Schedule breakfast with a business professional you know, like and trust. Make the meal all about them. Put them in the spotlight and ask what’s happening in their business. What challenges lie ahead and who they are looking to connect with. Think of someone you can introduce them to, mention the name and how they might help and then follow up on your promise and introduce them. Next you’ll meet with another professional and do the same thing. Your next few meetings will be all about the other person and what you can give them. Follow through on your promises and build outstanding rapport!

Think about the shift in thinking here! When you invite someone to lunch or coffee with the full intention of helping them it sets the tone for an exciting and comfortable interaction. You eliminate any sales talk, put the other at ease and immediately set yourself apart from other sales professionals. The irony is that people will naturally want to reciprocate and your business will grow. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow but your investment in giving will reap bountiful rewards tenfold.

Lead with “I’d like to take you to lunch so I can learn more about your business and how I might be able to send you more referrals”. Who would say “no” to that?!

Schedule your greedy giver stack day then post your success stories! Can’t wait to hear them!


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Have you taken dirty money? My guess is you probably have!

 

How do I know this to be true? Because with full disclosure I’ll admit that I have too, but that’s all changed.

I recently walked away from a $7000.00 deal. That’s right $7000.00 ready to buy an exclusive product we had sourced in my promotions business. So why did I walk away from cold hard cash? Because it was dirty!

Why was it dirty? Because the new client was disrespectful towards my team members, interrupted me when we had conversations and had unreasonable demands in terms of response time. He was suspicious that we would try to “pull a fast one” and send him damaged goods before we even placed the order.

Clearly, we had no connection and a serious lack of trust in the business relationship. If I’m honest, I saw the writing on the wall from the beginning but was excited about developing this new item that would serve his business exceptionally well. All along I ignored my intuition which was yelling at me to run for the hills.

See if you recognize the telltale signs of a dirty money client;
• Late for meetings
• Demanding of your time and energy
• Wants the lowest price for the highest quality solution
• Questions pricing
• Doesn’t pay their bills on time

I find it interesting that the clients who spend $25,000.00, $50,000.00 or $100,000.00 are reasonable, respectful, trustworthy and loyal clients. When we walk away from dirty money it frees us to serve these deserving people at a much higher level.

So the question is would you take dirty money? Would you walk away from an “easy” $7000.00 if that money clashed with your values and ultimately was not a mutually beneficial relationship?

Remember that the ROI is not necessarily in the dollar value but rather is always in the Relationship!


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How comfortable do you make your prospects feel?

My husband and I were discussing our workday over dinner on Friday. He shared with me an uncomfortable situation he had with an old school sales guy in his industry. My husband is a talented cabinetmaker and runs a bustling shop in Aurora.

Very often he has sales people who will stop by to try and catch him during the workday to sell trade products like lumber, sheet goods, hardware, shop supplies and tools. Most are pretty respectful of his time and like good sales people pick up on body language and mood when they enter the shop. They can tell if he’s busy working with his team figuring out a project or if he seems open to a discussion.

He’s had a few encounters with a certain sales rep who is pushy and insistent and often makes Simon feel uncomfortable with bold statements like “What can I do to have your business” as he glances around the shop with dollar signs in his eyes.

Even though my husband has told him on a number of occasions that he’s very happy and loyal to his existing supplier, this old school guy keeps pressing and pressing. You have to admire his persistence but his tactics are fruitless. My guess is that he’s barely scraping by with this kind of aggressive sales approach.

What would the conversation look like if instead he asked “What drives you nuts about our industry”? “What do you like most about working with your current vendor”? “I respect your existing vendor relationship however would you consider using us if your current vendor couldn’t pull through on an order for you”?

See how different that conversation would look and feel like? Chances are Simon would be more willing to sit down and talk rather than avoid the man like the plague!

My question to you is how comfortable do you make your prospects? Do you pick up on non-verbal cues like a rushed phone manner and ask if there’s a better time to speak? Do you arrive at a meeting and sense that the person is too distracted to meet that day and offer to reschedule? Or do you push through to make your point so you can count that sales activity for the week?

Trust and comfort are key components to great relationship marketing and sales. It is possible to earn someone’s business and woo them away from the competition. Do so with a humble and soft approach. Ditch the hard sell and awkward moments and pull information from your prospects in a non-threatening way. Build comfort and trust with genuine curiosity of what people really want and add more sales to your bottom line!


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Hard selling is hard on everyone!

So here’s the scoop. Most of us are lead to believe that to grow a business you have to spend a fortune on mass media and engage in cold calling. Or worse, you have to be aggressive, pushy or overbearing to have great sales. Nothing could be further from the truth!

You can absolutely build a killer business without ever having to do these things. The reality is that if you connect with and serve people, you can achieve explosive growth in your business. This means no uncomfortable cold calling!

Instead it means creating bonds with clients by giving them your undivided attention when you are on the phone or meeting in person. It means asking great questions about their business goals and objectives and expressing genuine interest. This warm questioning allows your client to be in the spotlight rather than pitching them your history and services. Think back to a time when someone stormed in to your office offering “the best solution” for your business before they even asked what it was you needed! We’ve all been there. It’s an uncomfortable meeting for both parties!

Now imagine that same individual gave you the opportunity to talk about what you really needed, listened intently and took feverish notes. Then, rather than jumping on a solution asked for some time to consider your unique situation and come up with a solution to fit your needs. This approach builds instant credibility and this is how I would encourage you to approach your client interactions.

Not only will you feel more comfortable and confident in selling situations but your client will react by trusting you as a consultant in turn opening up their minds and wallets!


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Rome Wasn’t Built in a Day!

We live in a world of instant gratification and immediate returns, however, relationships take patience.

Great relationship marketers recognize that a foundation has to be built with a prospective client or referral partner before they see any significant ROI.

I was prompted to write this blog because I had a colleague I network with admit that he wasn’t in a position to give anymore until he started receiving.

I bit my tongue and listened to his position. Theoretically he’s a brilliant business person however I know that this attitude will be his Achilles heel. Yes, he’ll continue to be successful but he will also repel a lot of partners and business along the way with this self-serving attitude. His return will come, it will just be slower and involve a lot more work!

On the other hand, I have a great partnership with an incredible woman who gives like nobody’s business! She never asks what I can do for her, how I will repay her, how quickly reciprocating referrals will come in. She operates with a truly giving attitude and genuine desire to partner people together and help them without expectation.

SHE will absolutely grow her business faster and more profitably than the other guy. Her selflessness and willingness to serve first will be the very foundation of her success!

Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither is trust in most cases. Invest in your business relationships with a giving attitude and you will see a prosperous ROI!

 

 


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Breaking up is never easy…

 

When it comes to any relationship whether business or personal, sometimes expectations or personalities just clash.

Sometimes it’s necessary to sever the relationship for the well-being of both parties.  Breaking up with a client can be awkward but sometimes necessary.  Think of the characteristics of a member, donor or client we’ll describe as a PITA (Pain in the !@#).

Let’s see if some of these traits ring true as you think of this individual.

They may be…

– Late for meetings – Exceedingly demanding of your time and energy – Expect excellent service and value but price-shop – Threaten to take their business, talents or donations elsewhere – Leave everything to the last minute – Are rude to you and your team members – Have unclear and unrealistic expectations – Perhaps they’re even abusive with their style of communication – Permit themselves 60, 90 or 120 day payment terms

I’ve only had a few circumstances over the past twelve years where I’ve had to “break up” with a client.  I think back ten years ago to a large client, their purchases attributed to the bulk of my annual sales at the time.  At a glance they appeared to be a great client by their sales volume, however there was a lack of respect and loyalty.  I had to re-evaluate the situation and let them go.  It was terrifying at the time but what I realized shortly after was that I had so much more energy and enthusiasm to share with the rest of my client-base. In fact, my sales actually GREW when they were no longer in the picture!

I had a similar situation while I was in a leadership role for a not-for-profit organization. Our group had a member who would consistently show up late to meetings, disregard the opinions of others around the table and was extremely demanding of the organization. After the team decided to “break up” with this member we had a surge of energy in the room, new ideas, new members join and quickly replaced his role with an outstanding contributor.

Breaking up IS sometimes hard to do but I encourage you to re-evaluate the worth of your business partnerships.  Think outside of the monetary realm, the commission, the volume of donations or influence of a board member.  Is the relationship serving your organization in a positive and mutually beneficial way?

Remember the value of your time, talents and energy that you bring to the table and don’t let your worth be sucked dry by a PITA. And for heaven’s sake don’t go out of your way to keep a PITA happy or they will refer you to their friends – other PITA’S!


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A simple please will do…

Common courtesy seems so uncommon these days. It’s also a critical part of building strong relationships with your clients, donors and the members you deal with.
I was prompted to write this blog after going through drive thru this morning to be greeted at the speaker with an abrupt “hold on”. Wait a minute, I haven’t even ordered and you’ve made this a negative experience! Not a great way to make your customers feel welcome and wanting to come back for more!
What happened to manners anyway? I remember working at Baskin Robbins as an ice cream scooper throughout high school. We were told to greet customers with a smile and “how may I help you?”.  If a customer said thank you after we handed them their cone our response was to be “thank YOU” and another smile.
Why is it then that we’re greeted with grunts and groans and we leave our purchases the only ones saying “thanks”? It’s a little twisted isn’t it?
Do you remember the last time you had a wonderful purchase experience? Chances are that the person serving you was warm and friendly and sincere with their appreciation.
Remember that clients, donors and members leave to work with other companies if they feel we’re indifferent to their patronage. So even if its a bad day or morning “hold on”, smile and show sincere thanks to the people you serve.  Mere manners will set you apart and keep them coming back for more!