Articles Tagged ‘BNI’

USE THESE 3 STRATEGIES TO BUILD CREDIBILITY WITH WOMEN

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

After surveying 12,000 men and women world wide about referrals and networking we learned that, knowing a person’s level of competency was the most important characteristic for referring a person for women, and
women more than men felt that they needed to try the persons product or service prior to giving them a referral.

This is key information for you to know if your referral strategy is to gain more referral from women to their network of other women. Many women feel that it is important to try your product or services prior to recommending or referring them, unfortunately we cannot try every persons products and services. This is one of the reasons that Angie’s list became so popular, it made it easy for women to read what their neighbors were saying about the people hired to do work for them. I was never a subscriber to the list but many of my friends were and I could call them and ask them who was getting the best reviews. Unfortunately, many of my friends have dropped their subscription as the list went public, but I know that I can still call my friends and they will give me their opinion on local service people they or their friends have used. I can count on it!

So, what can you do to help women trust your level of competency if they themselves have not used your product or service? Here are 3 Tips that will help you gain trust and word of mouth with women in your network.

1. Give them free samples, free trials or a one time reduced cost. Companies have been doing this for years when they are trying to engage females in a word of mouth campaign. Women will often do this with products between friends, I had a friend using a certain type of hair product called WEN that I was interested in but it was a little bit pricy so I was reluctant to order it with out trying it so Lindsay gave me some her to try out. Today I have a standing order for the WEN products. Companies like Mary Kay Cosmetics have always known that if you let them try it out first they will buy more later.

2. Get great testimonials! Ok, I know you know this one but are you doing it? Are asking for testimonials? When you get them what are you doing with them? Go beyond the written testimonial, while they are great to have, the best ones are the ones where you ask your clients if you could interview them while you tape the interview with a flip cam. Companies like 12StarsMedia make the flip cam video branding seamless, easy and cost effective. When I go to a website and see video after video of testimonials from customers, I am more likely to choose your services over a competitors and that is even higher if someone I know has used the service and spoken highly about it.
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NETWORKING OR CREATING A REFERRAL STRATEGY

Thursday, March 8th, 2012

Networking, one of the most popular activities in the business world. It is written about, talked about, videos are done, trainings are held, books are written, and blogs blogs blogs all about networking. Most of them say the same things over and over, leaving you with “Tips” and “Sure Fire Way” to network better. If you are networking as a way to grow your business, then you really want to create a strategy for developing referrals and business from you networking activities.

There are steps to creating a referral strategy for your business, and it starts with creating the foundation. Understanding why you are in business and what drives you to do what you do is key to having a business you love. When there is passion in what you do it comes through and people are attracted to you, they want to be around you and they are happy to refer business to you.

Hazel Walker
Referral Institute, llc
BNI
hazel@bni.com

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Make More Time for Your Network With a Strong No

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011

We all know that building a strong business network is key to being the most successful in life and in business. Building a strong network requires two things, time and education, with the key requirement being time. After all it takes time to invest in our education.

Here is one tip to help you, learn to have a strong No! No, I cannot serve on the PTA Board this year. No, I cannot chair that fundraiser. No, I cannot take on that project at work. No, I cannot be the carpool mom for this activity. It is better to have a strong No than it is to have a weak Yes. A weak Yes ruins your credibility, and shows you as someone who only half commits. A strong No shows that you know you limitations and how to give effectively.

Take a look at what you are trying to accomplish, do your activities really support that? Instead of taking on new activities, take a look at the things that you are already doing and figure out how they are supporting you in building that network that you need. How much time are you spending at unproductive events? Would your time be better spent going to events where you know you will be able to connect with people already in your network? Do you really need to add more people right now?

Next ask yourself, how much time have you set aside for your personal and professional development? If you want to build a network of people who help you build a business you love, you need to set aside time to learn the skills it takes to build the relationships that help to build a business and life you love.

This week, take time to list all of your activities, how are they serving you? How are you serving them? Which of them do you need to give up? Where in your life, are you doing things out of a sense of duty versus a passion for the activity? Where in your life are you not really giving 100%?

When you do that, you will know what you need to give up and what you should say No to.

Hazel Walker
Referral Institute, llc
BNI
hazel@bni.com

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