Articles Tagged ‘networking’

Generate Leads Through Community Service

Sunday, December 22nd, 2013

Think that community service during work hours is a waste of time?

Far from it!

Building relationships with other professionals who are concerned about a common cause can be one of the best ways to create connections that lead to referrals.

The reason most managers think that volunteering and association engagements are a waste of time is because they don’t have a strategy surrounding how to generate leads through community service.

Well, here’s how to do it:

1. Identify Your Passion – What angers you or gets you excited? What would you do every day for the rest of your life even if you weren’t paid to do it? Find out what really gets you going, and then find an organization or association that supports that cause. Examples could include homelessness, cancer, abuse, animals, politics, children – the list is endless.

2. Call Development Directors – These folks like two things; volunteers and money, because one usually leads to the other. Call the person at your organization of choice who is in charge of raising money. Let them know that you would like to get engaged with the organization in a volunteer leadership capacity. It makes no business sense to just show up and plant a tree. As a professional using cause-based relationship marketing, you need to work with the people making decisions. Volunteer at a high level. The board of governors typically has committees that are open for non-board member service. This is a good place to start.

3. Show Up – We’re not in high school anymore, and you’re not looking for a resume builder. If you join a board just so you can add another line to your resume, you’re not going to generate a lick of leads. Get involved and actually show up, speak up, and make a change.

4. Do One-on-Ones with Interesting People – This is NOT the time to sell yourself. Cause-based relationship marketing is six-degrees of separation networking at its best. Have coffee with the people you’re volunteering with, get to know them, their work, their ideal clients, and primary strategic partners. Work to introduce them to people in your network who can bring them business, and guess what – they will do the same thing for you.

Generating referrals from service in community and professional organizations takes time, but it can be worthwhile, profitable, and fun.

Tell us about some successes you have had generating business through non-profit service.

Jamar Cobb-Dennard
jamar@jamarspeaks.com

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Do You Know Your Referral Percentage?

Wednesday, November 20th, 2013

I regularly meet with prospects and help them understand how much business they are getting from their network and what is being left behind. It’s a very enlightening exercise and students are always dismayed to learn how little they are actually tapping into thier network.

How about you, do you know your referral percentage? No? Don’t worry, most people don’t know and have never given it much thought. So, grab a pencil and a calculator and I will help you find your referral percentage, here we go.

1. List 4 people in your network (not clients) who have passed you the most business by referral this year. For instance Tom, Sue, Bill, Kim.

2. Now, for each person write the number of referrals they have passed you in the last 12 months. For our example, Tom=4, Sue=12, Bill=5 and Kim=8

3. Think about each of those people, how many people do you believe each of them know? On average, we each know about 250 people. So, Tom=300, Sue=500, Bill=800 and Kim=200

4. Next step, add all of the referrals you have received together, in our example it would be 29, next add all of the people your network knows together. In our example, it would be 1800.

5. Last step, you will need your calculator to complete the process, divde the number of referrals you have recieved by the number of people in their networks. For our example, 29 referrals divided by 1800 equals .016%

What is your referral percentage? Are you surprised? Did you have 4 referral sources? The very first time I did this exercise I got .010 and I was speechless as many of my students are when they are taken through this exercise.

So let me ask you the most important question; what are you going to do to change this percentage? What steps can you take to develop a higher referral percentage?

Hint: Stop adding people to your network! Most of us already know everyone we need to know to make a wonderful living. If we just learn to develop our relationships and put a system in place that supports both ourselves and our network we would see an increase in our results.

Start with the 4 people you listed here and if you did not have four then work on the ones you have. When you are sure that you have developed that relationship, then move on to create a new one, until your have your “Four”. Manage the 4-6 closest relationships and you will raise your referral percentage.

Take a look at Hazel’s ebook, 26 Strategies for Generating Referrals.

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

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10 Marketing Tips for Growing Your Business with LinkedIn – Part Two

Thursday, April 25th, 2013

SerinaKelly

Previously, we covered five marketing tips to help establish yourself as an expert on LinkedIn and ultimately grow your business using this professional networking site with over 200 million registered users in over 200 countries and territories.

Here are the next five tips in our 10 Marketing Tips for Growing Your Business with LinkedIn:
1.Participate in discussions on a regular basis through each joined group – I personally think groups are the true strength of LinkedIn – join a few groups and be active on them – showcasing yourself as an expert in your industry
2.Ask your first-level connections for introductions to their first-level connections who would be a good strategic fit or possible prospect – you may be surprised how many people are more than willing to help you out if they know you and the connection well enough
3.Interact with LinkedIn on a regular basis – even though it is more of a professional business networking site, it is a social media site, so be social and interact with others regularly to keep yourself top of mind
4.Link to articles and content posted elsewhere with a summary of why it is valuable – sharing content from others only adds to your credibility as a trusted advisor
5.Find experts in your field and invite them as a guest blogger, author or a speaker at an event – what a great way to show your appreciation for others’ expertise, and many will want to return the favor in some way

LinkedIn can be a great way to find new clients, providers for services you need, and some great strategic partners. Good luck!

Serina Kelly
Relevate
www.getrelevate.com
serina@getrelevate.com
317-203-7740

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Chaos in the World of Business Networking

Friday, December 21st, 2012

Referrals, leads, word of mouth, buzz marketing, viral marketing, networking, seven second introductions, elevator speeches, referral groups, business networking and social networking. It all blends, causing confusion, misunderstanding and a muddied mess in the business world.

You see it everyday, one networking event after another, business cards being passed, people shaking hands, and those ever so famous seven-second introductions being pitched. It’s the same people at every event, giving out the same cards, same pitch hoping for a different outcome.

We hear about networking as a way to grow our businesses, and everyone calls themselves networking experts. If you put the words “business networking” into Google, you will get 186,000,000 hits So called experts teach classes and workshops on how to do better seven second pitches, how to hand out their cards, what to do after the event, how to give more, and do more.

Recently I ask a young man how he got most of his business, “90% by Referral” he stated. When I ask what kind of system he had to generate and track that level of referrals his answer was; “I have a great yellow page ad that generates a lot of referrals for us.” While having a Yellow Page ad will create a lot of visibility for you it is not generating referrals.

What’s missing here? What is the plan? Where is the system? People who are networking have no idea where their business is coming from, who their referral sources are, what target market they are connecting with, or even if they are networking in the right place. When asked what their ROI is on all of their networking activities they will say things like, “Great” or “I have made a lot of business contacts and friends while networking”. Rarely if ever do they really know the ROI.

If business professionals are going to build their business by referral, there has to be a plan that goes beyond, what most networking gurus are teaching. Word of mouth does not mean business by referral, and Networking does not mean you will get referrals.

If you really want to build your business by referral, you have to develop a plan, a system. Much the same way as you developed a Marketing Plan.

Who are your customers, where do they live, what do they do, are they other businesses or are they consumers? Companies spend thousands of dollars every year identifying their target market, their customers. How much time have you spent, is your customer anybody who needs or wants your product or services:? What do you offer to your customers, and why do they come to you? Have you asked them? Who are your Referral Sources and what system do you have for motivating and training them?

Networking is very valuable, but learning how to develop a system is more important. Once the system is in place, and you know whom you want to connect with and whom your referral sources are you will then be able to choose the right places to network.

If you’re going to build a house you need to take some time and do your preparation, lay out the design, build the foundation, then build the building. Every step must be followed in the proper order. The same holds true when you are building your business by referral. Where is your plan, how is the foundation, or did you forget all of that and just start networking, hoping for best.

Here are 5 Tips for building a foundation before you start networking.
read full article »

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