Monday, November 28, 2016

Stop The Madness!

Many of us just love the holiday season – so many special events going on, so many memories from years past, so much good food and fun gifts!

The only problem is that all of these things are going on IN ADDITION 
to all the regular duties of your normal work weeks. And that can make it easy to get OVERWHELMED – which can lead to exhaustion, illness, costly mistakes or other business busters that leave you unable to carry on with your important business activities.

So here’s a word to the wise: When you start feeling overwhelmed, or too rushed, or desperate for a break – STOP.   

STOP THE HOLIDAY MADNESS!



  • Stop in your tracks, or as soon as you can.
  • Re-schedule! Go to your calendar, your scheduling book, and look for anything you can possibly re-schedule or cancel.
  • Plan! If you’re going to holiday parties to network, realize that you are “working” and you will be “on” during those events. So plan your networking times as work events.
  • Keep healthy! Keep your routines going, as much as possible. Eat well, exercise, and rest.
  • Don't do it! Decide what can wait until life slows down a bit.

It’s far better to move that important meeting to another day when you’re not so busy, when you can come in refreshed and make your best presentation.

A huge benefit of having our own businesses is that we CAN control our schedules, to a certain extent. We can choose to tackle our tasks without feeling frenzied or pressurized. We are our own boss. And we’re responsible to avoid getting overwhelmed. 

You’ll find yourself with a better attitude when you build in time between appointments for a quiet, healthy meal, or even a quick cup of tea or coffee and a few deep breaths, before you jump right into that next call.

Let’s keep control of our lives and schedules this holiday season! Let’s build in time for self-care during the hustle and bustle, and feel the peace and confidence that comes from being at our best for each event and appointment we choose to put on our schedules.

You AND your business will reap the rewards of this decision!


My best – Beth

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

HOLD STEADY - FOCUS

NOW SMILE..

Holiday Season is already here! You haven't even bought the turkey,  yet Thanksgiving items, Christmas trees, ribbons, and wrapping paper are filling the center aisles at our local stores.

Some business people are not big fans of this early parading of holiday products – and I wanted to chime in, early on, to make a suggestion for us all:

I recommend we use this seasonal landscape as an effective reminder to keep our Focus on our businesses. If we do, then we’ll be the ones smiling when the holidays are over!
 As a Gold Star Referral Club member, you’re working to build and manage your own successful business, and to help your peers grow and enjoy their own businesses by referring buyers or clients to them. 

For all of us, our businesses need to stay profitable these last two months of 2016. If you follow trends for small businesses during the holidays, you’ll see that often small businesses suffer during these times.

·         One reason is that the buying public, people who would normally be utilizing our services and products, begins directing their thoughts and dollars toward making the holidays dazzling and exciting for their friends and family.

o   They sometimes put off or cancel purchases or services that don’t directly relate to this annual extravaganza.

o   Sometimes their budgets get so stretched that even services and products they normally buy or ones that would relate to their holiday plans have to be crossed off the list. It just happens.

·         And business owners, too, can get sidetracked.

o   Bills still come due during this season, even though we’d like to focus more on the fun times. We can lose sight of the fact that business must keep rolling, every day, in order to bring in the money needed for regular expenses.

o   We can forget to refer a friend or acquaintance to that relevant Gold Star member because we get caught up with all the conversation about what we’re getting our grandchild for Christmas or Hanukkah.

o   As we enter the holiday hype, we might subconsciously “take a break” from the referral priorities we normally carry out. Perhaps, in our busyness, we just don’t take time to follow through even if it occurs to us that what our acquaintance needs could be supplied by that Gold Star member who sat next to us at the last meeting.


The Cost of Forgetting to Focus on Our Business – and on Referring to Others’ Businesses

In the hustle and bustle of planning gatherings, shopping for food and gifts and sending our cards, it’s easy to get distracted from the business of … our business. We can stray from the proven path of constant, intentional investing of our energy, time and money into building this important part of our financial security.  If this happens, lean and sad times can be ahead when the holidays are over and we look for that harvest from referrals ourselves, or watching other members face hard financial facts due to their lack of referrals from us.

KEEP THE FOCUS PEOPLE!

As busy business people, let’s be determined to keep that necessary Focus on our business, and on referring others to Gold Star members’ businesses this Holiday Season. Having that intentionality and purpose for our community means that we can produce sparks that will become blazing flames of success – and make us all smile in the New Year of 2017!


Best of Success, 
Beth

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Great People Don't Always Do A Great Job

Gold Star Referral Clubs meet weekly to give and receive referrals.




I recently heard Lee Cockerell speak and no one knows more about leadership than Lee Cockerell, the man who ran Walt Disney World® Resort operations for over a decade. After I heard him speak, I immediately ordered his book, Creating Magic, 10 common sense leadership strategies.

I listened when he said,  "Great people don't always do a great job unless they have great training, the training is enforced and they are proud to be a part of the culture."

When I think about the people that we've hired over the years as Gold Star Directors, some of them have turned out great and some... not so great. Some are great at doing the main things, the basics over and over again, and some never even figure out how to do the basics.

The more I read from Lee Cockerell's book Creating Magic, the more I learned about how to help Gold Star Directors become great leaders. 

You see, hiring the right people is good, but training the right people to do the right things is invaluable. At Disney, they train, train, enforce and re-train their employees. Each individual gets the right training for the right job. They get to know each person as an individual, not just a face in a flock of employees.

Gold Star Director are independent contractors, not employees, but each one is special and appreciated. Even though we have directors and clubs in about 16 states, we try to connect with them as much as possible with calls, training, emails and video conference sessions. Yet, we could do so much more. I want to do a better job. I am totally inspired by Lee.

If you get a chance, order Lee Cockerell's book today. I highly recommend it. He will make you want to become a better leader. 

Lee also said: "Leadership is more than a role, it's a responsibility."



Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Your Referral Partners

"Your clients, friends and neighbors can become your passive sales team, advocates and referral partners; always working on your behalf." 

DEFINITION of an advocate: “one who pleads the case of another.”  When a person becomes an advocate for your services, you have achieved a rewarding relationship of closeness and trust. They become a valuable referral partner, anxious to send you more business.


Why referrals are better:

1. You will spend half the time selling a referred prospect than non-referred.
2. When referred, people come ready to buy.
3. Referred prospects have greater loyalty.
4. Referred clients are more likely to refer you to others.

 Four ways to convert clients into Referral Partners:

1. Give them something to talk about with memorable stories about other clients that you have helped.
2. Spend some one-on-one time with key clients who can be a continual referral source for you.
3. Deliberately nurture key relationships with care and reciprocal referrals.
4. Be there for them. Commit to helping them grow their business.

 Your Referral Partners will GLADLY refer you when…
  • You make them look good.
  • You give them great success stories to re-tell.
  • Follow-up promptly on all referrals.
  • Say thank-you every time.
  • Return the favor and refer business to THEM.
  • You nurture the relationship and stay in touch, with visits, calls and emails. 
Develop and build a list of people that know, like and trust you; those people who will gladly and continually refer to you, as you do the same for them. They are your Referral Partners. Treat them right!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

No More Whack-a-Mole




The other day, Tony Cooke, a friend of mine and a great leader, reminded me about the old game Whack-a-Mole in his newsletter. Have you ever watched someone play Whack-a-Mole? They stand  in front of the game and hold a padded hammer. The challenge is to whack the head of the moles as they pop up before they go back into the holes.

The longer you play, the faster and more erratic the moles pop up. It can get a little crazy.

Now the real question is: Have you ever felt like your business is like a Whack-a-Mole game? There you stand, just waiting for the next crisis to pop up and you only hope you're fast enough to resolve it before another "mole" sticks it's head up... and the next and the next.

Living from crisis to crisis can affect your sales and many times is the reason behind what we call, "the roller coaster sales process." It's hard to prospect for new business when you're busy finding solutions for current business. Many business people tell me that it's like a roller coaster, one minute they have more business than they know what to with and the next they are without leads or prospects.

You know what I'm saying? 

That is why the having a referral system is important. 

What is a Referral System? It's the process of predictably giving and receiving referrals based on a logical and specific set of predetermined and measurable actions.

Michael Gerber, who wrote The E-Myth, said, 
“Systems permit ordinary people to achieve extraordinary results…predictably.”
Here are three suggestions on how to get your own Referral System started:

  1. Join a business networking group like Gold Star Referral Clubs and build referral relationships with other like-minded business people in your city.
  2. Communicate on a regular basis with your clients and connections, reminding them about your referral program and any incentives that you have. I suggest using ConstantContact. It's a great way to track your referral partners and to send emails.
  3. Seek out businesses that are natural referral sources for your industry and form referral alliances, like a fan club that recommends you on a regular basis to their clients and customers.
Finally, subscribe to this blog and let me help you develop your referral strategy. I can't promise to stop the Whack-a-Mole crazy times, but I can help you increase your business with referrals.



Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Make More Money by Creating a Referral System

Every business person (or those serious about making money) should develop a system for giving referrals. 
Yes, GIVING referrals.
Brent, an insurance agent and Gold Star Referral Club member since 2007, said: 
An Insurance Agent in a business networking group can lead the way with referrals because we talk to so many people. 
Our best system is when we meet with customers for bi-annual reviews.  Financial Advisers, Realtors, Attorneys and Accountants could also develop a similar system.
When we visit with our clients, we ask the following questions:
1. Do you have a monitored alarm system?  (Alarm system referral)
2. Tell me about your Health Insurance plan?  (Health insurance referral )
3. Do you have a Will in place?    (Referral for an attorney)
4. Do you like your accountant?    (A Referral for an accountant)
5. For Business Owners, we ask:
a. How is your website traffic working out?  (Website design or SEO referral)
b. Tell me about your retirement plan?  (A referral for the Financial Adviser)

Here are some referral generating statements that just about anyone can use:
"If you need someone for plumbing, electrical or HVAC, we want you to know that we can recommend a few companies we know, like and trust."
OR 
"I don’t just let anyone touch my computer (tutor my kids, repair my car etc.), could I refer someone to you?"
OR 
"If you need someone to help you in your business, let me know, I know some great people and you don’t want to go with a stranger."
OR 
"Consider me your go-to-guy (or gal or person) when you need to find someone to help with…"
OR 
"No problem, I know a guy (or gal) who can help."

  _________________________________

When a business professional joins www.GoldStarClubs.com, we help them grow their business by demonstrating how to be a Go-Giver first, which sometimes means giving THAN receiving.

What a great way to strengthen a business relationship!

My friend, Bob Burg, author of Endless Referrals, likes to say that the GOLDEN RULE OF NETWORKING is:
"All things being equal, people will do business with, and refer business to, those people they know, like and trust."
You want to make more money with a successful referral system? Start with creating a way... a systematic way, to refer to business people that you know, like and trust. 

And in return - they will refer to you. It's amazing and rewarding to see how this works out to be in the best interest of everyone involved - the giver, the receiver AND the client. Everyone wins!


Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Connecting to Your People

It’s a people-base not just a database!
It’s about People.

Look at your list of names, email addresses and phone numbers. Now shift your thinking to the fact that it represents real people, with personalities and needs. 

It’s a people-base not just a database. When you see them as people, it will be easier to connect with them.


Treat your people like valued partners.

Separate out your top 15 or 25. You want to call them more often than the rest. Yes, that means picking up the phone and actually making a call. Connect with them in a deeper way, let them know that they're important to you.

Visit for awhile, then ask them,
"How can I help you today… or someone you know? I want you to know that if you or any of your family or friends have any questions about (whatever you do) please call me. I'm happy to help."
Be supportive of your top 25 people. Keep them informed and communicate to them often. Treat them as a community of people who really love and respect you, and they will.


Have fun.

These are your people and they want to hear from you.  Sometimes, it may be appropriate to text them or message them on Facebook.

Is one of your favorite business people a great photographer? Take a photo with your phone of something unique and text him the shot, with a message like:

“I knew you'd appreciate this sunset with the city in the background, we’re on the balcony of Top Hat Restaurant.” 

Ask for their invaluable feedback.

What do you think of the new website? Do you like the video? Which photo do you feel will work best on my new business cards? You may consider surveying your people-base on various aspects about your service or industry, or even get their thoughts on a new way of marketing.


Receiving more referrals from your people-base.

As you get to know your valued list, you will see that there are a few business people that would be ideal candidates for becoming a member of your Gold Star Referral Club. Invite them to join you at your business networking meeting.

The best ways to get someone to give you referrals is to:
  • give them a referral
  • introduce them to one of your best clients
  • invite them to meet other referral partners
  • thank them when they send their valuable clients to you.

 You are welcome to subscribe to this blog to learn more about growing your business with referrals.