On networking groups part five

Online networking web sites. Are they really networking and are they really working?

They have been springing up all over. They are based on contact management. They are direct in messaging, emailing, and even in the six degrees of separation. They go by many different names and have various methods of finding people. The problem with these sites is that they are not really networking. Do you disagree?

To be effective in networking requires building a relationship with another person. This is difficult to do through messages and email. If you have ever had a discussion with a person through email or instant messaging, I would like to ask if you ever found yourself in a situation where you had to actually pick up the phone to find out what a person was really talking about?

In relationships conversation is extremely important. The communication is key. The thing that we may not really pay attention to is the importance of tonal inflection in the voice and the added benefits of body language in expressing ourselves. These are the things that online networking is lacking.

Since the most important aspect of having a relationship with another person is based in trust, it is difficult to develop trust in someone that you have never seen nor heard. It is even more difficult to get a person to do business with you without some type of face to face contact.

With this in mind, will these web sites last or are they merely a passing craze? Are they popular simply because we are looking for success in any way that it might come to us? Time will tell.

It is my advice that if you are looking for new contacts, step away from the desk and out into the community. Online networking is less effective for getting business than it is putting your resume online to get a job. All of the people are faceless and voiceless and no one really wants to do business with an email. Or do they? With the thousands of people out there who are selling what you need, including those in your own community, how do you decide what to buy? My guess is that you end up buying most premium products and services from someone that you have met in person, even if it is just a clerk in a store. I am of course excluding buying products through an online store.

So then what is the future of online networking? You are in control of it. Please take a moment and send me your opinion of online networking. Please be sure to tell me if you have ever gotten any business from it exclusively. I am guessing that you probably haven't and you probably won't.

Networking events - use your time wisely

Networking events provide an effective way to meet and connect with potential clients. What you need to do when you attend these networking events, though, is quickly determine if the person you are talking to is a "sweet spot" client.

Is this person part of your small business target market?

Is he or she a decision maker or influencer?

Does this business have the potential to become a regular, long-term client?

To get these answers you need to work the room at a networking event efficiently and productively.

"Working" A Networking Event

At networking events you want to talk to people that own or manage a small business. These are the people who have potential to become your sweet spot clients. At the very least, the people you talk to at these networking events should work in, or for, a small business

You DON'T want to waste time at networking events talking to people who work for:

Big banks

Fortune 1000 companies

Organizations with large in-house IT departments

Government or non-profits

When you connect with a person who fits the small business criteria, ask some subtle questions to determine if he or she meets the sweet - spot profile. Questions to ask people at networking events include:

What kind of systems do you have?

Do folks use a lot of computers at your office?

Do you have a network?

What kind of network do you have?

How many people are on the network?

The answers to these questions will help you lead the discussion and give you a lot of great insight as to where to go next.

The next step is to determine if you are talking with the appropriate person in the organization. A good question to ask for this purpose is, What kind of systems do you use?" If they can answer the question then you can be fairly certain they are a decision maker or are close enough to the decision maker to be an influencer. Asking these types of questions at networking events helps you determine if you should push further or walk away.

The Bottom Line on Networking Events

Networking events offer a short window to connect with as many potential clients as possible. You want to use your time at these networking events wisely. By asking direct and specific questions you can quickly determine the sweet - spot potential of the people attending the networking event. If there is potential, then follow-up questions to determine if the person you are talking to is a decision maker or influencer are in order. If not, then you can be confident in your decision to say good bye and move on.

Copyright MMI-MMVI, Small Business Computer Consulting. com. All Worldwide Rights Reserved. {Attention Publishers: Live hyperlink in author resource box required for copyright compliance}

On networking groups part four

What is a leads group? Leads groups seem to be the most popular form of networking judging that comment by the fact that there are more leads groups in existence that have been around for a long time than most other types of groups.

Leads groups are often referred to as closed groups. This means that there can only be one type of a business represented in a group. Lets say that I am a web designer. In a closed group I would be the only web designer represented in the group. Other web designers would be allowed to visit, but if they wanted to join the organization they would have to find a group that did not have a web designer. If there was no opening in an existing group for a web designer, the person would have to go on a waiting list until an opening became available, or a new group was formed.

Most leads groups meet once a week. There are some that only meet once a month. Leads groups offer something that a lot of people need. Structure and discipline. What do I mean by this?

Structure - In a leads group you do not have to be a master net worker. As a matter of fact, you can be a shy person and still have success in a leads group. Most leads groups allow a given amount of time to tell other members about your business. This usually ranges from one to five minutes. In this allotted amount of time you can go into great detail about your business including describing what type of leads you are looking for. The format is usually accomplished by sitting around a large table, and a leader moderates the time and asks questions. The meetings are generally held early in the morning or at lunchtime.

Discipline - In a leads group you are expected to show up for the meetings. Theoretically, if a leads group had only 15 members and several people did not show up, it would be difficult to have a reasonable meeting. To insure against this happening most groups require that you assign a substitute when you can not attend. This substitute should be a person in the same industry as you so that the balance of the group is not affected. In this situation, if you have a tendency to miss a lot of meetings, it would not be good to join a leads group. If you miss a lot of meetings without a sub, you will be ejected from the group.

The upside? In a leads group you will get to know people very well over time and get an idea of their abilities to fulfill the needs of a referral. This is good if you do not have time during the week to meet with people one-on-one in order to get to know them. A dedicated group will provide you with a steady stream of leads that you can utilize to expand your business.

The downside? Well, sometimes the leads become a paramount obligation and people feel pressured to pass them. If they are passing leads that are just names and numbers without a true expressed need, the leads generally lead you nowhere. Another issue is a member of the group whose quality of product or service does not meet the standards that you would want to refer to someone. It is difficult to pass a solid qualified lead to someone who will not provide the kind of service that you would expect them to.

There are also a few groups in existence that are in essence leads groups. They allow freedom to go to any meeting you wish as long as you are a member. The format is the same, seated at a table, and there is usually a time limit. The problem with these groups is that people wander in and out and without a lot of time to talk individually, you still have to set appointments outside of the group to really get to know someone. Without the discipline, the freeform leads group usually does not last for a long period of time. Often these groups open and close with great regularity leaving the members to search for another meeting to attend.

In closing, I would like to add that there is no wrong or right group to belong to. Visit groups and you will find the ones that are right for you. It is often beneficial to belong to three types of groups to get the most out of your networking efforts.

Network marketing training -- arm your new distributors for success

: “Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune Or to take arms against a sea of troubles, And by opposing end them.” - William Shakespeare, Hamlet, Act III, Scene i (58-90) Hamlet may not have been talking about network marketing, but his words do apply. Almost every network marketer has experienced the “slings and arrows” of the naysayers, those often well-meaning friends and relatives that stand in the way of our making an “outrageous fortune!” Experienced network marketers, clothed in the armor of past success, are less vulnerable to outside influences. The new distributor, however, is vulnerable, and that “sea of troubles” can act as a barrier to reaching their true potential. What did the knights of old do to prevent an injury? That’s right – they armed themselves. Their armor was heavy and cumbersome, and they needed a squire to help them prepare for battle. Well, the same is true for your new distributors. While the armor they must use is less cumbersome than that of the knights, you must help them arm themselves for success. In other words, you must be their squire. What do I mean by “arming for success?” When a new distributor joins your network marketing organization, they are moving into an environment that demands strong armor. There are a lot of “slings and arrows” that can hurt their chances for success and create a sea of troubles -- of doubt, disbelief, even failure. As Rich Dad, Poor Dad author Robert T. Kiyosaki points out, most people in this world are afraid to experience success. They are held back by negative thinking, and consequently suffer the pain of mediocrity. Because they have not been armed for success, and are more focused on security and survival, they subject themselves to a life of servitude and poverty and being someone else’s employee. Arm your new distributors from negative thinking and potential disaster. How? By understanding why so many people are negative about network marketing and the prospects of the success it can bring. Let’s face it. There are a lot of people out there that do not want you to become successful. When you are successful, you point out the lack of success in their lives. When you take away any excuses they’ve been hanging onto and you force them to look at their lives as they really are, it makes them very uncomfortable. You’ve heard of the expression “Misery loves company.” Well, it’s true. Doug Firebaugh, network marketing guru, calls it the "Unspoken Understanding," which is simply the silent agreement that most people have with each other, namely “don't mention my mediocre life, and I won't mention yours.” Your success and the success of your new distributors, just points out the naysayers’ mediocrity. Leaders help others. If you are going to be successful in network marketing, you must arm your new distributors against people who will try to convince them their business won't work. Show your downline you want them to be successful. Encourage them. Show them how the most successful network marketers have achieved their success, and teach them to model those attitudes, habits, and actions. Remind your distributors that they are the CEO of their lives. Arm them with the power of positive thinking so they don’t let others live their lives for them with their negative attitudes. To paraphrase Hamlet, by opposing negative thoughts, we end them. Bruce Bailey, Ph. D.

Business groups - make the most of your membership

Business groups provide excellent marketing and networking opportunities. There are many different ones to join. What you need to do is make sure you join the right business group for you and your needs, and then you need to be an active member of the business group.

There is usually more than one business group in your area. You don't want to spend all your time going to different business group meetings so you need to choose carefully. When you are looking for a group to join one rule is almost always universal:

The bigger they are the better they are. Big business groups will pull more active members out to networking events. Generally the more people that are in the room, the better the odds are that you are going to connect with the right kind of person who could be a future sweet spot client.

Regardless of the exact business group you join you have to actually attend the meetings. You won't make contacts through osmosis. When I hear someone say that they tried a business group and it didn't work for them 9 times out of 10 they went to one meeting; for whatever reason they didn't like the meeting and never went back.

Business group marketing is no different than any other type. If you are going to do a cold call campaign and the first person is rude and hangs up on you, do you retreat to the woods never to be heard from again? No. Here are some tips to help you find, persist with, and make the most of your business group membership.

Don't go into a meeting with a negative, intimidated or apprehensive attitude. This will show through to the business group members.

Check out all the business groups within a one-hour radius. Don't settle on the first one you come across.

Go to at least two business group meetings before you decide it is right for you.

Be patient. Don't go in expecting to meet your magic client within an hour.

Force yourself to move out of your comfort zone and mingle and schmooze with the best of them. Seek out other people who look awkward and start by talking to them.

Find the accountants, engineers, controllers, operations managers; all those analytical types who aren't tremendously gregarious or who aren't born talkers. All these people make fantastic contacts for future referrals and business because a lot of them are the IT decision makers in small companies.

The Bottom Line on Business Groups

Business group membership gives you access to the decision makers in the companies your business is targeting. The most important thing to remember is that you will get out of your business group experience what you put in. Don't give up at the first sign of disillusionment. Find the right business group to join and make the most of every meeting.

Copyright MMI-MMVI, Small Business Computer Consulting. com. All Worldwide Rights Reserved. {Attention Publishers: Live hyperlink in author resource box required for copyright compliance}

Network marketing the simple way

But it network marketing could be tricky. A lot of persons are aware that they could be scammed or could be webbed into something they could not get out of. But of course, this all depends on the legitimacy of your network marketing business. Provided that your business is 100% permitted, then here are various tips to do network marketing in a very simple way.

1. Think Positive. Your outlook will all determine it. Imagine of all those revenue that you can earn. Remember, the hardest customers you will encounter are the first ones. So don't give up. If you can handle to get your first two referrals or recruits, the rest will follow as easy as pie.

2. Focus on the advantage. Yes, it could happen that your friends and family will listen closely to your sales pitch but will put you off eventually. They always appear to say no, although nicely. Well, you need not push them. But if you emphasize what they could be missing if they don't sign-up, the tables might turn. You might get a lot of down lines than you could ever hope for.

3. Use the internet. Networking is simple if you can reach out to a lot of people. Produce a website. Begin forums and threads. Tell everyone you come across the internet about the great opportunity. The law of averages applies. The more persons you talk to, the more persons you may persuade.

4. Select your market. If your network marketing business has a certain product, let's say bath soaps, you will appeal more to women than men. You will save a lot of pains and energy if you pre-select your candidates than just barking on every tree you encounter. Pre-qualify, but be cautious not to overdo it.

5. Be Educated. You have to demonstrate your customers your trust in your product and the business. You have to totally grasp all its bits and pieces. This way, you can explain the process entirely in one run. If you know a lot around your products, more individuals will believe in you.

6. Have First-hand Experience. It would be simple to sell if you, yourself, have proven that the structure works. You can show your prospects your own earnings, paychecks, and collectibles. Show them how effective it is with you. If it has worked for you, chances are, it will work for them too.

7. Give Referrals. A network marketing business occasionally is being solely based on the company's and your personality and character as its marketer. This is remarkably true if there is a demand for an primary investment. Show them it is legal. Show them you are trustworthy. You needed to do that to get into them.

8. Demonstrate the Company's Financial Capabilities. If they wanted to earn big, they intend to get it. Individuals should feel that they won't get turned away when the show up and collect their income. If they can see the company's financial backing beforehand, then they won't have doubts about their income being held or not given on time.

9. Be of Full Support. Individuals who are getting second thoughts about all of these would require additional direction and assistance. Be certain to spot individuals who are just buying time because they can't make up their minds on the spot. Help them decide. Be present to their needs. Address their apprehensions. Summon all your convincing ability

10. Use Every Online Tool Accessible. The internet has different avenues and tools you can use freely. Build your own blogsite. Advertise with different websites. Join affiliates program. There are so numerous useful things online that you can take advantage of.

Network marketing is a concept which can make you earn residual income quite easily. Although it becomes easy just when your first line of referrals are all doing as well. But past that, network marketing is sure to give you riches, especially if done the proper way.

Top networking marketing opportunities is there such a thing

Top networking marketing opportunities, also known as multi-level marketing opportunities, run rampant on today’s Internet. You’ve no doubt received some kind of solicitous e-mail or seen some kind of advertisement in the margins of a web site you’ve visited that talks about amazingly easy ways to earn thousands of dollars with a simple home based business.

The truth behind many of these “top networking marketing opportunities” is that they are using the sign-up fees from new members to pay dividends to existing members rather than actually generating any revenue from legitimate products and services. So no matter how much money they promise to make for you, if you can’t see any discernable product or service of value involved in the opportunity, you can assume that this is one of those “top networking marketing opportunities” that is actually an out and out scam.

The truth is that for many of these top networking marketing opportunities, only one out of every fifty or a hundred people who get involved actually make the kind of returns that the opportunity dangles as a carrot in front of you. In fact, the actual numbers might be far less than this. It’s never as simple as “pay for the secrets and start raking it in right away.” Anyone who does make returns on these so-called top networking opportunities work hard to sign up plenty of other affiliates, many more than the “it’s so easy” testimonials make it sound like you need.

When you come across one of the “top networking marketing opportunities” on the internet, guaranteed to help you retire and live easy within a year, be wary. Do your research and find out what people who have been involved in these opportunities actually have to say about their results. Make sure you research these opportunities on objective third party sites, not testimonials on the opportunity’s home page. Keep your common sense, and good luck!

On networking groups part two

In "On Networking Groups - Part One", I spoke briefly about the four types of networking groups. Now, let's take a look at a category of networking groups.

One category that most people are familiar with is the Chamber Of Commerce. Chambers serve a long standing role in the business community. It is a role of development and support. A Chamber Of Commerce can offer business both small and large with networking opportunities, training programs, legislative assistance and a host of other benefits. A Chamber Of Commerce can be a local, statewide, national, or international organization with separate memberships for each. If you belong to an area Chamber of Commerce, you do not belong to a state or national Chamber. Each plays their own role in the business community.

Some Chambers of Commerce take more of a role in the community to influence policy while others might focus more on business development. Most of them however have a wealth of information for the member that goes unused by most.

For example, let's say you have a business and you have a question about a city ordinance that relates to your business. Most often a Chamber of Commerce can provide you with the answer to your question. Each of them has a database of members that can often be accessed through some point. Usually computers are made available to members with databases that can be searched for information on other members.

When looking for networking opportunities within a Chamber Of Commerce, most people think only of leads groups or the common after hours. The reality is that any function hosted by a chamber of commerce holds opportunities for networking with other business owners and business leaders.

Chambers of Commerce generally have a yearly membership of several hundred dollars for an individual or company. There are various levels of membership that can be had. Most Chambers offer an executive level membership that includes exclusive meetings between a more elite level of business people. When looking for this type of prospect, you can often gain access to them by joining at this level. The problem you might have is actually paying for this level or attending the functions as they are provided.

I and many other experts on networking recommend anyone who networks to be a member of several groups. This should include a Chamber of Commerce. Keep this in mind when considering a Chamber of Commerce. If you are involved in your community in other business networking organizations like the Rotary Club, a local Merchant's association, or smaller networking group, you might want to consider joining a Chamber of Commerce in another part of town. This will make you a part of that community as well and open the doors to increased prospects and opportunities.

In any event, you should always attend a Chamber of Commerce function in any area several times and find out what types of assistance they can offer for the growth of your type of business. Do not join any group just for the sake of joining a group. Find out what types of members attend the functions that are offered to determine the amount of exposure you will have to your target prospect.

When you attend a Chamber of Commerce meeting for the first time, look for the most popular person in the room, the one who everyone seems to want to talk to and get to know them first. This way you will make faster connections to the rest of the group. Often the leaders of the group can help you to get in the mix quicker.

Look for people who do what you do and analyze their strengths and weaknesses for opportunities to build alliances with them. If they have been a member for a long time, it is likely that they have most of the business in their industry at this point in time. It is hard to compete in such circumstances, so try an alliance before you bang your head against the wall trying to compete or just giving up.

Chambers of Commerce have been around for many years and there are all types, including minority and international. Be sure to visit many before deciding which to join and your membership dollars will serve you better.

She loves me - she loves me not the bottom line about what mlm really means

Remember the old commercial that pitched some women’s shampoo. It went something like; "if you tell two people, who tell two people, and so on, and so on..." The point it tried to make was if everybody who used the product told two other people about it, soon everybody would be using the product. That is exactly how MLM (Multi-Level Marketing), also called Network Marketing works.

It is referred to as Multi-Level, because your business consists of different levels. In theory, as you go to each lower level in your business there are more people. Each MLM has it's own structure, or matrix.

In the example, I am using a 3 x 5 matrix. In other words, in your business, you may have only 3 people on your first level. And, your business may be five levels deep. Think of it as, "if you get three people, who get three people, and so on..." In this example, only you are on your first level.

Level 1 - This level consist of you.

Level 2 - This level consists of the first 3 people in your business.

Level 3 - This is the first 3 people in the business of those on level 2.

Level 4 - This is the first 3 people in the business of those on level 3.

Level 5 - This is the first 3 people in the business of those on level 4.

When level 2 is filled, there are 4 people in your matrix. You and 3 others.

When level 3 is filled, there are 13 people in your matrix.

When level 4 is filled, there are 40 people in your matrix.

When level 5 is filled, there are 111 people in your matrix.

If you recruit 3 people then your 2nd level is full. These 3 people can recruit 3 people each for their 2nd level. That fills your 3rd level. This process repeats all the way down. If you recruit more than 3 people, then these recruits go downward in your matrix to fill the 1st empty position. This is known as spillover. So, some of the people in your matrix will have their matrix partly filled by you. And, your matrix may be partly filled by the person who recruited you.

OK, so what does this mean?

When you decide to join an MLM, or network marketing business, you are going to be selling, or marketing, some product, or service. For your efforts, the company that owns the product or service will be paying you a commission. Sell 10 products or services in a month, you get 10 commissions that month. If that product sells for $15 and you get a 20% commission, then you earn $30 on 10 sales.

But, with MLM, your efforts are duplicated. You will be earning commissions on the efforts of all the people in your matrix. Now, the commissions you earn on them will usually be less than the commissions you earn from your own efforts. And, each MLM will have it's own commission structure. You may earn a different commission on sales on each different level of your matrix.

The key is in this duplication. If each of the 110 other people in this example matrix also makes 10 sales, then you would not just earn commission on the 10 sales you made. You would earn commissions on 1110 sales that month. In other words, if you earned 5%-10% on sales made by the people you recruit, and if they made 10 sales each, you could earn about $1300 for the month, even though you only sold $150 of products yourself. That's the power of duplication.

Let me include a bit of a disclaimer here. This matrix structure almost never works the way it does in the examples. First, you will probably never get a full matrix. Second, you may never get many of the people in your matrix to actually make many sales. It is entirely up to you to generate the sales. You may need to motivate the others to sell.

In a MLM, or network marketing environment, there are three types of people. There's you, your upline, and your downline. And, you are all three.

Your upline consists of the person who introduced you to the business. This person is sometimes known as your sponsor. The upline also consists of the person who introduced your sponsor to the business, and the person who introduced them, etc. Think of the upline as your parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, etc. in the business. Most MLMs require your upline to provide some type of training to help you succeed in the business.

Your upline will usually earn commissions on the products you sell. So, in reality, the better training, and help they provide, the more commission they will make. Also, the better they train & help you, the more sales you will make. And, the better you will be able to train the people in your matrix.

As soon as you recruit someone, you become part of an upline.

Your downline consists of your matrix, which has already been explained. Everyone you bring into the business, and the people they bring in - are your downline. You earn commissions from these people. As your 'upline' should have trained you, it is up to you to train them. The better you train & help your 'downline', the more sales they can make. They are also better able to train their downline, some of which is also yours.

Does this really work?

Yes and No.

How's that for being evasive?

The fact is there are many bad MLMs. Most of these MLMs work only for a few people at the top of the original matrix for the company. Most of these rely mainly on recruiting new people, filling the matrix, and paying a "sponsoring bonus" for each person recruited. There is little emphasis on selling a product, if there is a real product at all.

The good news is there are also some good MLMs. The good ones provide lots of training. They also put the most emphasis on the products. The products are not leads, mailing lists, recipe swaps, or anything like that. The products are real products that anyone & everyone may use.

So the bottom line answer is, if you are in a good MLM, yes it can work. Tips on how to find a good MLM, or network marketing business, are covered my article, "My Dad Can Beat Up Your Dad: How To Pick Which Networking Business Is Right For You".

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This article is copyright © 2002. Dan Levy.

All rights reserved, except as noted. You are granted

distribution rights, but this article may not be sold.

Leverage the power of networking events

Copyright 2006 Marketing Maven

Networking is, without a doubt, one of the best and most cost-effective ways to build long-term relationships with prospects and referrers. With remarkable networking, you also build a super powerful sales force that will work tirelessly for you to spread the word about your business and services. Their referrals hold more weight than you might know.

Remember, EVERYONE you speak with is a potential client, referrer, center of influence, or joint project partner. Once you start viewing each person you meet as one of these assets, it becomes easier and easier to talk. Don’t be shy – speak from your heart about what you do. It’s what you believe in, so speak with passion. Get out there and TOOT your horn! Why keep yourself a secret?

Here are several things you can do to stay in front of your prospects:

1. Go to Targeted Events: Join associations and groups where you can rub elbows with your prospects in large numbers. Attend these regularly. Plug meeting times into your calendar for the entire year. You have to show up to networking groups consistently and persistently to build relationships. Keep in mind that you are building relationships with clients for the long haul. People are mulling it over. Just keep reminding them how remarkable you are, and eventually they will do business with you or refer an associate.

2. Get Business Cards: A lot of people think their objective is to pass out business cards like mad. So, they run around an event, throwing their cards in front of people and sprinting onward to the next table. A much more effective – and enjoyable – approach to networking is to ask other people for their cards. Business cards are connections to people, and networking is about building relationships. If you end up with 5 cards from people you really connected with, you are better off than handing your card to 20 people who probably threw it away anyway.

3. Make an Impact: When you are asked, “So, what do you do?” make an impact. Develop a unique marketing message that explains the solutions you offer to your target audience. Remember, this person may be a potential client or might refer your next DREAM client.

4. Take Notes: When you return to your table or during the next break, write a note on the back of the business cards you just collected to cue you about the conversation. This will help you remember more about the person later.

5. Follow Up: Make sure to send people you met a friendly e-mail. You can use the notes on the back of their business cards to add a personal touch to each e-mail you send. If appropriate, a phone call or a hand-written note is an even better touch. Then, continue to keep in touch in the future.

Networking events can be an amazing addition to your marketing repertoire. Make sure you are leveraging them to their FULL potential. By following the tips above, you will fill your contact database with amazing people, and you’ll be astounded by the added impact these powerful relationships will bring you. Some may be new clients, and some may be your best source of referrals.

Networking for success the 3 phases of small talk

: In my mind, small talk basically consists of 3 phases:
  1. The ice breaker
  2. Get to know you better
  3. Graceful exit
So let’s go ahead and briefly touch on each phase and in turn give you some concrete takeaway strategies that you can apply immediately for each. Phase 1: The Ice Breaker So you attend a networking event… you make eye contact with someone you want to meet, you approach them and introduce yourself… now what? Well having a few powerful, open-ended ice breaker questions should certainly do the trick. For example:
  • A tried and true ice breaker is the proverbial, “So Jeff, what do you do?” In other words “Jeff, what business are you in? Now people love talking about themselves and their business so the idea here is to get them started talking. Most people also love to hear the sound of their own voice so the ice breaker question is critical and essentially sets the tone and potential for the conversation.
  • Another good ice breaker could be, “So Jeff, what brings you here today?”
Now notice on these sample ice breaker questions I’ve repeated the person’s name. First off by doing this it will help burn that person’s name into my head so I don’t forget it. Secondly, people love the sound of their own name – so don’t be afraid to use it throughout your conversation. Phase 2: Get To Know You Better Depending on the results of the ice breaker questions you should by now be able to determine whether or not it makes sense to get to know this person better. If not, simply skip this phase and go into your graceful exit. But if you do see a synergy here, by all means try some of these again open-ended, getting to know you better questions:
  • So Jeff, how did you get into that business?
  • What types of challenges keep you up at night?
  • Jeff, help me out here, draw me a mental picture, what does success look like for you and your business?
  • What’s new in your industry these days? Any events or trends that are shaping it?
Now you can use one, two, all of these questions, or more if the situation permits. However, be careful here not to dominate and monopolize someone’s time. If you’re at a networking event, there’s a good chance that they’re there to network and meet other people as well, so it may make sense to go to the graceful exit phase and encourage that you two get together in the near future. Phase 3: Graceful Exit It’s vastly important how you leave a conversation – as this is the last impression you make on that person. We’re not looking to create any animosity here by rudely blowing someone off. The key here is as this phase’s title states, is to exit gracefully. A key difference between the types of questions or statements you make in this phase as opposed to the previous two phases is that now you shift to using close-ended ones. For example:
  • Introduce the person to someone else that may be of interest to them and then politely excuse yourself. The dialogue can go something like this: “Hey Cindy I’d like you to meet Jeff. Jeff’s in the xyz industry as well and I just felt that you two should meet.” Now they exchange pleasantries and you immediately exit the conversation by saying something like, “Well you two probably have a bunch to talk about. Cindy I’ll catch up with you later and Jeff, it was great meeting you.”
  • Another example of a graceful exit may be: I can certainly see some synergy between what you and I do. Can I give you a call next week to set up some time to talk further?
  • Or, it’s been great meeting you, will I see you at future meetings?
  • And lastly, wow, this is quite an event don’t you think? Well we should probably keep moving… it was great meeting you Jeff!
So now you're aware of and armed with some actual strategies for the 3 phases of small talk. The key now is to get in the game and practice, practice, practice and you too can see the results you would like for your business.

© 2006 Online Marketing Muscle -- All Rights Reserved.

Probuilderplus review a venture into world of mlm

I want to start with simple statement – I have always told myself that I will never fall for Multi Level Marketing or as it’s called most often MLM. I have always believed that most MLM business opportunities are nothing more than glorified pyramid scheme brought online. So what changed my mind? How did I, a self taught Internet Infopreneur got sucked into it? Read on … to learn how, why, get the skinny on the latest hottest MLM opportunity and see my real day-by-day experience.

So, lets start with why. I run a website dedicated to affiliate marketing and home based business. I investigate and share my experiences with anyone willing to read my articles and make recommendations on what I consider a solid opportunity. I make my money on Yahoo ads and on multiple affiliate sales I get, when people do follow my recommendations. In last two month I have gotten at least 10 emails from my visitors asking me about different MLM programs and my personal opinion. Since I have only had experienced myself only with SFI, a known affiliate MLM I could only answer based on that, which wasn’t enough … So here I was. I have picked the hottest MLM I could find currently running and one of the youngest with low membership fees – ProBuilderPlus. This review is dedicated to my readers and hopefully my experience will help you make your decision.

Now to the how part we move … How do you make money using ProBuilderPlus business opportunity? It’s really a quite simple forced matrix with 3 levels of payoff but quite a bit more intricate system of payments. Once you build a matrix of 9 people in your downline, doesn’t matter how far, you guaranteed a weekly check of $30. But it doesn’t stop there. You also get $10 for each paying member you personally refer and then $3 for second level from that member and $2 for 3rd level. All this in addition to payments based on maintaining your minimum matrix. As your matrix grows, so does your weekly income.

The system is quite simple but let’s have a look at how effective it is and what does it takes to recruit new members…Actually this is the part that surprised me most and quite pleasant surprise it was. It was designed to be used by anyone, with no marketing experience and no prior knowledge and recruiting is a lot easier than I thought was possible. I have joined this system for free, while doing evaluation of multiple MLM programs about 7 or 10 days ago. As soon as I did I started receiving emails with interesting subjects:

"Here you go Alex, we put Kathy under you..."

"Here you go Alex, we put James under you..."

"Another One Alex - Joseph just joined YOUR Powerline..."

"Alex - AWESOME Mark just Upgraded to Member in YOUR DOWNLINE..."

And they just kept on pouring in. Before I knew it I had 587 pre-enrolled members, free members but all interested to learn how to make money, all with an open mindset and just waiting for a push to be converted. And believe you me, emails with subjects like I shown above was powerful push even for a skeptic like me, so I decided to join, reasoning that I can always cancel.

And now I move to the tools that system provides, and their quality. It comes pretty much with everything one might require:

1. An autoresponder follow-up system that makes you want to upgrade.

2. A matrix structure and pay plan that almost guarantees you make money.

3. Lead capture pages that get the job done.

4. A traffic rotator that allows you to funnel traffic to your downline.

5. Online training that highlights simple steps to success.

6. A Contact Manager that allows to to stay in touch with people you personally sponsor.

7. A tool that allows you to send a voice message to thousands of people per MINUTE.

Quality design shows in every tool and all of them quite compelling as far as MLM goes.

Day 1-3.

All we are left with is my personal experience. I have had accounts already with several traffic exchange programs that require members to click on your add and actually look at page. I have found them quite effective for building my mailing lists, so I figured I would just add my link from ProBuilderPlus to rotation and see what it brings. Completion of that part only took me a few minutes and once done I had a chance to have a closer look at all tools I described above and specifically training. Nice day of work, if I can say so myself …

Day two went pretty much on autopilot, due to my preoccupation with regularly scheduled job and I only had an opportunity to check my stats on third day. To my surprise I had over 530 views of my signup page and one paying member! That is $10 back to my pocket, 2 more and I will return my investment. Not bad, not bad at all.

To do a quick summary – I don’t know if you can become filthy rich using this system or not but looking at weekly leaderboard I can see people with over 414 paying members enrolled, and that is for one week. So what I will do is continue to investigate this opportunity and post updates on my regular site, so feel free to visit and read them if you liked this article or just want to learn more from a person who is doing it and honestly sharing. No hype, no fuss, just an honest opinion.

Can you increase business without putting more time in

: As business owners or managers we often find it difficult, even in the best of situations to get out and seek new business. You've probably thought that if you could just find a way to squeeze that into your day without spending more time away from your family or working weekends, you'd be all set, right? Guess what? You can and all that it's going to take is a little preparation. 1. Keep a box of business cards in your car. That way, you can always keep a stack of cards in your wallet or business card holder.
  • The next time you go out to eat, leave a card on the table when you leave.
  • Drop a business card in each bill you mail out.,/li>
  • When you're at the book store, slip your card into some of the books related to your industry. Be sure to put them near the middle of the book so they don't fall out when someone is casually flipping through.
  • Place a card rack full of your business cards on the counter of your dry cleaner. Most of them are more than happy to help out a good customer.
  • Give each friend a stack of your business cards to hand out.
2. Make a goal of meeting at least one new person each day. If you overhear someone mention your industry or a hobby of yours, make a point to introduce yourself. Start a conversation while you're waiting in line at the bank or the Office Depot. You may never see or even talk to these people again, but chances are good that you will. 3. Never eat alone. You have to eat and so does everyone else, so why not use that time to catch up with friends and associates? There are a few benefits for both of you here.
  • You can keep in touch with people without taking a lot of time out of your work day.
  • By interacting with people that you enjoy being in the company of, your stress levels will go down.
  • Your name stays at the front of their minds - great for referrals!
4. Network in one non-work related organization. It can be anything - a baseball team, a church or charity, a community group - pretty much anything. The idea is to have the ability to network without the usual competition that you would face in a Chamber of Commerce or other business related organization. If you don't currently participate in something that's not related to work you should seriously consider it. It will help you create a balance between your work and your personal life while opening up a channel for new business.

Beware - borders and boundaries

Have you ever had someone get right up in your face when they are talking to you? So close in fact that a letter "S' results in an unwanted shower? Often when we are out networking, we find ourselves in a loud environment as people try to talk louder to be heard over people trying to talk louder to be heard. This results in a roar that makes regular conversation difficult.

The temptation in this atmosphere is to get very close to another person so they can hear you and you them. This can result in being too close to another person sometimes making them very uncomfortable. This discomfort is heightened when we have been consuming alcohol and the person we are talking to have not.

Each of us has our own comfort zone boundary. This is a space around us that when another person enters we begin to feel uncomfortable. A good way to relate to this is to remember if you have ever had an argument where someone got right up in your face and possibly even pointed their finger very near to it. Remember how that made you feel? In most cases it makes a person feel more angry.

In a networking environment it is important to maintain a distance from a person that you are talking to. This distance should be almost an arms length. Most peoples comfort boundary is about the length of their arm. If you find yourself getting very close to someone in conversation, imagine if you raised your arm and that is the distance that you should be from the other person. If they move closer to you in the course of conversation, it is acceptable to them to be closer. If it is acceptable to you then continue with the conversation at that distance.

You can sometimes tell if you are standing too close to someone if they seem to be moving back while you are talking to them. If they appear to be getting further away from you, do not move to be closer to them. They will stop when they reach the distance that they are comfortable with. If they turn and walk away of course it is time to find someone else to talk to.

To be most effective in your attempts to build relationships with others, it is most important to keep these things in mind. Remember that it makes no difference what you say to a person if they are not engaged in the conversation. Good observance of boundaries can give you the edge you need to make networking work.

What it takes to be number one

Do You Strive To Be Number One?

Today I want to talk about Games and what it takes to be number one, and what happens if you’re not number one! Well let’s go to the ball field and take a look at sports.

First off there is a recruiter.(this is where you are) then there is a coach (your up line)

Then there are the players ( your down line) and then you have tryouts (your prospects)

Now you know in order to have any sport be successful you also have a big back office to take care of the money end of the deal! (your accountant, Financial advisor, stock investor , Lawyer and so forth.) Only the winning teams get the biggest Money deals so they all Jockey for the number one spot.

You should be no different! Advertisement takes on a whole new meaning when you have the means to do it! Let’s take for instance the super bowl games. Look at how much is dropped for a 30 second spot at half time! Does that spot become that important? Well we made it that way you and me and everyone else in the US! Same thing happens with other countries with different sports. Let’s stop here for just a sec.

Have I got you thinking yet?

You’re a recruiter you’re looking for the best of the best to put on your team! How do you find them? Do you beat your head against a wall trying to get the big shots of marketing in your down line? No you recruit the bad news bears or something and the coach will take them from last place and form them into a winning team! And you just continue recruiting! Does the recruiter get in the coaches way? Well if you want confusion then go right ahead! Here is where matching comes in. You match the peoples needs to what your business is all about. You ask questions that require yes and no answers and you sort through all your leads and contacts.

Are you getting the picture yet? I want you all to understand one thing and one thing only. You are in this group of people to learn how to change what did not work in your life to something that could! What it takes is Knowledge and understanding Devotion and perseverance. There is more to it than just this to be a recruiter but we will start here.

What kind of people do you want in your business and what are the requirements to make the cut on the team? I will tell you all this Pam Black is one I want on my team she is moving in a direction to change her whole life! As for the rest of you! You sit there like bumps on a log! I would not want that type of a person on my team!!!

I want action and dialogue from people in my down line not people that just sit there and say I will do it tomorrow! I want you to do it today get going recruit! Get your business plan in order and move it! Pick up the phone or get out there and shake hands make some friends along the way!

If you want to get into profits then you have to learn and take action!

Your friend on the net

Work your network

If you’re networking with strangers, you’re wasting your time. A consultant friend of mine recently complained, “I’m doing 2-3 networking events a week – and I’m worn out.” When I asked why she felt networking was important, she replied, “One of my marketing goals is to do at least 1 networking event a week.” (I pointed out that she just admitted to doing 2-3 a week – and perhaps doing 1 a week is smart and doing triple that goal is causing some of the fatigue.) But there’s much more to the great American business myth of networking.

Myth 1: The more you network, the more effective your networking activities become.

Truth 1: It’s much more important to become well-known in 1-2 circles than to spread your networking activities over many different groups. Depth beats breadth every time.

I then asked her how networking was working for her. She said, “I don’t think I have gotten a shred of business out of it in the last six months.” Her rationale for doing networking: “Everybody knows that you build a business by networking!” Does this make any sense? Or worse, does it sound familiar?

See if this networking scenario has happened to you:

You meet someone for 30 seconds. They mumble something about real estate as you are tuning them out. They ask you what you do, and you say you are in insurance. After 10 seconds of staring blankly at each other, you both head to the celery sticks for lack of anything better to do.

Myth 2: The cocktails and miniature wiener circuit is the way to network to success

Truth 2: Networking with strangers to build business is about as effective as going to a bar to get married. In the words of Dr. Phil, “It simply ain’t gonna happen that way.”

Here’s why you’re not going to meet your business soul mate at a networking event:

1) You aren’t going to do business with someone after meeting them for a few minutes and getting handed a poorly printed card.

2) Businesses are built on relationships and not “30-second commercials,” no matter how effective and intriguing.

3) Most of us have major trouble in explaining what we do, much less getting past that explanation and listening for what prospects need.

4) Networking with strangers is not targeted or specific and in fact is completely random. For some people, networking is exactly as effective as cold calling, which is the least effective marketing tool there is.

So am I saying that networking is a waste of time? Absolutely not. What I’m saying is you need to start networking smarter.

Here are a few thoughts to jog your noggin:

* Network by having coffee or lunch with people one on one. Get to know them and their business. They may become a prospect, alliance partner, or referral source. But aim first and foremost to make them a friend. The rest will follow naturally.

* If you’re going to network with strangers, go with the goal of making 2-3 lunch or coffee dates with people you find interesting.

* Ask every happy customer you have (they’re all happy, right?) for just one referral of someone who would be interested in your type of goods or services, then call and use their name. (“Hi I’m Fred and Ginger said I should call you. Isn’t Ginger great?”) You already have one thing in common – Ginger!

* Create a network “hit list” of the exact kind of businesses you want to network with – maybe you sell software and you want to meet IT managers at medium-size companies. Make the list and put it in your little black book or PDA. Focus your networking and outreach activities on only those people – or others who can refer you to those people.

* Join non-business groups and spend time doing non-business activities: Civic, social, religious, recreational, musical, athletic... the list is endless. Establish relationships with people in your group. Perhaps you’re a Moose and a realtor. A Moose, as it turns out, wants to by a house from another Moose. If so, you have the Moose Market cornered! Are you into hand-drumming. Guess what? A hand-drummer will want to do business with another hand-drummer. Get it?

* If you do go to a “mixer” go with a targeted goal in mind. For example, your goal might be “to meet three people on my target list and get their card so I can follow up for breakfast, lunch, coffee or badminton.” A traditional “networking event” now becomes simply the first phase of your targeted plan for global domination, and not an end in itself.

Here’s a final thought to shake up your networking mindset: Network with people who already know you, like you, or have done business with you.

Myth 3: Networking is all about getting more people to know what you do.

Truth 3: Networking is all about getting people that already know you to share opportunities where you can be helpful to each other.

Make 2-3 phone calls a day to connect with people from past jobs, former clients, or influential people who have expressed interest in you in the past.

We all have a “fan base” that we grossly underutilize.

Think about tapping into friends, colleagues, mentors, and family to mine the connections you already have at your fingertips.

So get out there and network – but make it worth your investment of time and energy by networking smart. As your mother always said, “Don’t network with strangers.”

Networking is more than just handing out business cards

At a Chamber of Commerce Business Card Exchange several years ago a well-dress woman walked up to me, business card in hand and, in perfect form held it in both hands in front of me, gesturing for me to take it. I took the card from her and smiled. She looked up and in a polite voice, said "Thank you," and walked away. How sad. Here was this obviously well-intentioned woman, who most likely owned an interesting business but never learned what to do at a card exchange. Somewhere she bought into the idea that you were suppose to hand out as many business cards in as little time as possible. Clearly, this does nothing but waste business cards. Great for card businesses, not so great for yours.

The other extreme is the person who spends the entire time at a card exchange talking to the same individual, sometimes even people from their own company. Again, this is quite unproductive. The purpose of a business card exchange is to get to meet new people in a pleasant atmosphere.

While there are many good books to help you hone your networking skills including, Sue Roane’s How to Work a Room, the essence of networking is quite simple.

Businesses run on relationships. I’ve always felt that everything that we do is about personal relationships and a business just gives us a playing field on which to do it.

Following that theme, growing your business is about developing and nurturing relationships and card exchanges and similar networking events are really the starting point to begin what will hopefully become a mutually rewarding relationship.

Since your time is limited, it is a good idea to spend only a short time speaking with people, especially those you already know. If you feel a resonance with someone you’re talking with, make arrangements to follow-up your connection at a later date and move on to meet someone else. I’m sure the shy looking person in the corner, who is probably there for the very first time, has something interesting to say. Why not go over and extend your hand.

The other big faux paus I see over and over again, are the people who approach the networking meeting with a "me, me, me" attitude. A better approach is to learn about the other person first. You then have the option of explaining how what you do might be of interest to them. This establishes a stronger platform for communications, for as speaking legend Zig Zigler says, "You get what you want by helping other people get what they want."

Care about the other person

There are better ways to network and meet prospective business contacts. For openers, (no pun intended) people are more responsive if you first show some interest in them and what they do. There is an old clichй that says we have one mouth and two ears for a reason. If you listen more than you talk, you will automatically find people more interested in talking with you and being around you.

Marketing guru, Jay Abraham, once said that "Discovery is the fuel of competitive advantage." Get curious. Become interested in other people and what makes them tick. Really care about the other person. If you take the time to investigate, you will find that even those people who appear quite ordinary have a story to tell. If you show an interest in them and their lives, you will not only increase your chances of doing business with them but you may gain a friend as well.

How do you do that?

When you do introduce yourself, do so in a way that states the benefit of doing business with you. Saying "Hi, my name is Mary and I sell insurance" is not very exciting. However, if you were to say, "My name is Mary and I help people prepare for the uncertainty that may be in their future." This causes the other person, if they are at all curious, to ask, "How do you do that?" At this point, you have opened the door for a further explanation or "commercial" for your business. You can go on to explain the benefits of your products and services.

As an exercise, devise three or four ways to introduce your business. Let each one focus on a different benefit of your product or service. Test each of them at your next networking event.

Remember: people do not buy products or services, they buy benefits and solutions.

The more you focus on communicating the benefits gained from using your products or services, the more you will benefit from the increase in business.

With prospecting new business becoming more and more difficult, a personal relationship is even more important and the Chamber of Commerce Card Exchange offers the perfect playground for you do it, besides the food is usually pretty good too.

Three places to find new clients without a lot of work

: 1. Don't ignore your own "Acres of diamonds" - ask your existing clients to refer some of their family, friends and associates to you. If they're happy with your service they will be more than happy to do it and your job will be much easier since they are coming recommended by someone they trust. 2. Former employers and associates in other fields can be a great resource for finding new business. Give them a call, or better yet - have lunch and catch up with them but don't be shy to ask for referrals! 3. Ask your current prospects who they know that may need your products or services. It may sound odd at first but give it a try and your opinion may quickly change. Especially if you've gone out of your way to help them. Remember that most good people generally enjoy helping others when you make it easy for them. When you ask the people inside your circle of influence to help you by referring new clients, you're helping yourself, you're helping them by enabling them to help you, and you're helping the potential clients by providing a quality product or service that they need.

Network marketing home business

Many people that think operating a business from home is glamorous, exciting, and filled with freedoms that you can never experience if you work for someone else. Without the obligations that come from reporting to an employer everyday and they then think the money is easily acquired. This article will look at both the positives and negatives of owning a home-based business.

An important part of working from home is letting others know you have a business and this is done through networking. Network marketing is not always easy for everyone. There are individuals who are very natural at talking with others and find it quite easy to be in a room full of strangers and talk about what they have to offer. Then there are those terrified of the idea of network marketing and would prefer to stay home and pay someone else to do this portion of the business for them. Network marketing does not have to be a horrible experience for you and you do not have to have a panic attack at the thought of attending one. When you prepare for network marketing and do not go in with your eyes closed, you will find that it will make an enormous difference in the productivity of your business. Network marketing can be beneficial in building a plethora of resources and contacts that you can have at your fingertips to propel your business forward.

Decide in advance how many people you want to talk to and do just that. If it is your first time, you may only want to talk to three people. Although once you are there, you will probably find yourself relaxing and notice that you came home with more than three contacts. Do not forget the business cards of the people you meet. In the excitement, you may forget their names. It is a good idea to jot down some relevant information on the back of the card to help you remember why or why not you like that particular contact.

In order for your home business to be successful, you have to make your presence known. You can do this through advertising and word-of-mouth. However, staying inside your protective home and never letting anyone know whom you are will not generate many clients or bring an increase in your profits. Go out, have coffee, and talk to others about your services. Walk into businesses that you think will profit from your services and let them know what you have to offer. If you have children in school, you can offer your services to the PTA or other groups that your child may be involved. Do not discount your sphere of influences because it is from this circle that your business will grow.

Five stumbling blocks to successful networking and how to overcome them

The ability to connect with people is essential to success in any business. Professional networking events present opportunities to interact with others on a personal level and to develop profitable relationships. These occasions are critical for anyone who wants to grow a business or promote a career.

Many people are simply not comfortable walking into a room full of strangers and striking up conversations. Here are five common stumbling blocks that you may face and tips to help you overcome them.

A RELUCTANCE TO TALK TO STRANGERS. You were taught at an early age not to speak to people you don't know. It's not safe. In certain situations today this is still good advice. In business, however, talking to strangers is a way to generate interest and support for your products and services. If you only talk to the people you already know, you will miss out on opportunities to make new connections and establish valuable contacts.

To get past your discomfort in talking to strangers, set a goal for yourself before you attend any networking event. Decide how many new contacts you want to make or how many strangers you want to meet. In some cases, you may specifically target individuals whom you'd like to know.

Next come up with some icebreakers or conversation starters. Have questions prepared that you can ask anyone you meet at the event. You may want to inquire about other people's business, their connection to the sponsoring organization or their opinion of the venue.

LACK OF A FORMAL INTRODUCTION. It's much easier to make a new contact when there is someone else to handle the introduction and pave the way. If you wait for another person to make the move you may not meet anyone. At networking events, the goal is to meet as many people as possible.

This is the time to take the bull by the horns, walk up to people you don't know, introduce yourself and start a conversation. You can do this if you have prepared your self-introduction in advance.

You will not introduce yourself the same way on every occasion. Perhaps it is your first time to attend an association meeting. In that case, you might want to say that as part of your introduction. Let people know who you are, why you are there and give them a reason to ask more abut you.

FEAR OF BEING SEEN AS PUSHY. You may think that you will turn people off if you are assertive and that if they want to talk to you, they will make the first move. If this is your line of thinking you will find yourself spending your time alone at the reception or meeting function and leaving without a single new connection. Being open, friendly and interested does not turn people off.

You will not come across as overly aggressive if you seek out the "approachable" people. These are the ones who are standing alone or who are speaking in groups of three or more. Two people talking to each other are not approachable because they may be having a private conversation and you would be interrupting.

THINKING THAT OTHER PEOPLE MAY NOT LIKE YOU. There is always the risk that the other person is not interested in you and doesn't want to meet or talk to you. It happens. If that is the case, don't take it personally. Nothing ventured is nothing gained. When you get a cold shoulder, smile, move on and say to yourself, "Next?"

HAVING YOUR INTENTIONS MISUNDERSTOOD. Approaching someone of the opposite sex to begin a conversation may seem more like flirting than networking. This is more of an issue for women than men. Women have an equal place in the work arena and need to make professional connections the same as men do. Women in business can no longer afford to hold back when there is opportunity at hand.

Neither men nor women will have their motives misinterpreted if they present themselves professionally in their attire and if they keep the conversation focused on business issues or topics that are not personal or private.

Whatever your stumbling blocks, face them before the next networking event and devise a personal plan for getting past them. Once you do, you will find yourself connecting with confidence and courtesy on every occasion and the results will be reflected in your bottom line.

(c) 2005, Lydia Ramsey. All rights in all media reserved.

Business organizations - finding the best ones to join

Business organizations are a great place to do some relationship marketing. By joining business organizations you meet key business owners and leaders in your community. By getting active in these business organizations you can use relationship marketing to its full potential.

The most common business organization we think of joining is the Chamber of Commerce. There are a number of other organizations out there however that are worth checking out.

Finding Business Organizations

Read your local newspaper and watch for mentions of business organizations in your community.

Subscribe to a business journal in your area.

Visit government offices, business assistance officers, and economic development offices and ask for referrals to business organizations that people join for economic purposes.

Research the Gal Group Encyclopedia Associations.

Ask the reference librarian the names of some good business organizations in the area.

Use your network. Ask everyone you know whether they know of an appropriate business organization you could join.

Start with national organizations and then drill down to the state, country and city level.

Look at Business Referral Networks to get leads on business organizations. Two good ones are BNI. com and bltip. com

Don't forget civic organizations. They aren't business organizations per se but lots of business owners are members. Some popular ones are Rotary, Kiwanis and Lions. Don't forget religious based organizations like the Knights of Columbus.

Then there are the specialty business organizations:

Minority business owners associations

IT related business organizations

The ICCA, Independent Computer Consultants Association

International Association of Microsoft Certified Partners for Microsoft certified partners

The “F” group, which is one of the bigger IT related business organizations for resellers

The Bottom Line on Business Organizations

Business Organizations are a great way to meet other business owners and potential clients. Don't stop your search at the local Chamber of Commerce. There are many business organizations out there and one may be perfect for you. Check out the web, the library, your contacts - be proactive in your search for business organizations. Your payoff will be lots of good leads and great opportunities to network and use relationship marketing.

Copyright MMI-MMVI, Computer Consulting 101. All Worldwide Rights Reserved. {Attention Publishers: Live hyperlink in author resource box required for copyright compliance}

How well do you know them

It is often said that it is not who you know that matters, it is who knows you. Well I would like to extend this statement by saying that it is not only who you know and who knows you, but how well do you know them and they you?

In business, networking is the ultimate form of promotion. It can help you to obtain new clients, a new job, or even help you to move up the corporate ladder. It is the process of building relationships. Any time that you attend a meeting, trade show, or a social function, you are networking whether you realize it or not. It is the relationship that you have with people, a prospect or a client that makes the difference between success and failure.

Often we fail to realize the reasons that we have for doing business with an individual or a company. In the case of products that we regularly buy, what helps us to make the buying decision? There are those that will buy a specific brand of product because they trust that brand to be of a high quality or durability. There are others that will make a buying decision based on price, although this is less frequently the case. Often we simply do business because we feel good about it. In fact most purchases or decisions to do business are based on two things. Trust and comfort. Trust is a very intangible emotion or feeling. How do you measure it? How do you develop it?

Trust is measured by the feelings that are generated by a process of letting someone get to know more about you than just product, features and price. I know a gentleman who provides a seminar on selling to C-level executives. He says that to sell to the C-level executive you have to be more than a salesperson selling a product or service. To sell to the executive level, you have to be more of an advisor. You have to find needs other than the ones that you can fulfill and help them to fulfill these needs. In doing this, you become a "trusted advisor". They feel "comfortable" that you have their interests in mind more than just making a quick sale and a commission.

In our daily process of seeking prospective clients, do we often just look for a person to pitch, or do we spend a bit more time getting to know them before we try to sell?

When we take the time to know a persons desires, dreams, and needs, and make an honest effort to help them realize that these things are important to us, we are really on the fast track to doing business with them. We are building the trust, confidence, comfort level, and most importantly the relationship that is needed to not only make the sale, but to create in them a resource for endless referrals.

As we go into the community meeting people who are prospective clients, we should keep the following in mind. The customer is a person just like me. The customer has needs other than the one that I can fulfill. Until I understand what the ultimate goal or dream of the prospect is, I cannot fulfill it with my product or service.

Selling and networking are about relationships. You sell in everything that you do whether you realize it or not. The time is now for more effective selling. Change the way you think about the prospect and the prospect will change the way that they think about you.

Why network marketing sucks

On the face of it, network marketing should be very effective. You buy a product, recommend it to all your friends and earn a commission on what they buy. This 'word-of-mouth' advertising is what the big TV advertisers most fear: your product endorsement to your friends actually carries much more clout than an expensive tele-ad.

So, you earn a few pennies or bucks on each sale. But the big money comes (or is supposed to) when you recruit your friend to do as you have done - to recommend the product to all their friends - and recruit them into the network, too. And you get a few bucks on their sales, and as your network grows exponentially, so does your income. So why doesn't it work? Why do 97% of network marketers fail?

There are two main answers. First, the compensation plan. To earn anything at all you have to shift product. Suppose that you get $1 on average for each order that flows through your downline. That means that you and your team have to make 100 sales to make you $100. That's not much. To live the life you dreamed of, to give up your day-job, to spend more time with your family, to pay off your mortgage and car loan and credit-card debts, you're probably going to need $500,000 (at least!) At $1 a pop it's going to take you a long, long time.

Which is where the 'recruitment' part of the business comes in. If only you could recruit enough people into your team you could shift all that product and get rich. But you've run out of friends, and anyway, most of them don't want to know or are lousy at networking. So this is the second reason why network marketers fail. To expand your downline you have to go out and recruit strangers. And most people hate doing this. It's difficult, demoralizing and exhausting. So 97 networkers out of 100 give up and fail. The dream withers and dies.

So what's the answer?

Making a fortune $1 at a time is not the way to go. And cold-calling strangers is about as much fun as pulling your own teeth.

Just forget about the traditional network marketing model: instead look at it from a tycoon's point of view. You'll make more money for less effort if you sell a big ticket item. Instead of making $1 profit per sale, why not make $500? And if selling to strangers gives you a pain in the head, why not delegate? Pass the job over to the experts and let them do all the schmoozing, selling and closing. This is what I do and you could do the same.

You can operate this system from anywhere in the world from behind your computer screen. This is not a pyramid, neither is it MLM. And you can do it even if you are a complete and out-and-out introvert.

The hidden power of networking

: We all make use of traditional forms of getting new business in – advertising, direct mail, brochures etc but networking is one form of marketing which, has been under-utilised. Until now that is. Small business owners are finally beginning to under stand the power of networking and what it can do for their sales figures. But what is networking? In its most basic form, it’s word-of-mouth advertising but originated by you, not your customers. It involves taking every opportunity to raise awareness of your product or service amongst the people you meet. At a more sophisticated level, networking can be achieved by taking advantage of the formal networking groups or events that have been arranged purely with the idea of putting potential partners together. But how can you, as a small business owner, become a more effective networker and take full advantage of the opportunities presented? We are going to give you some key tips and ideas on how to be a better networker. What are the key advantages of networking? Networking has some very good advantages over the traditional type of marketing: • It’s free! Talking to someone costs nothing except your time • It’s targeted marketing in that it’s likely the person you are talking to has a direct interest in your product or service. Consider newspaper advertising, which will mostly be read by people who have no interest in what you have to offer • It’s face-to-face marketing unlike direct mail, adverts and telephone calls. You have the immediate opportunity to establish rapport and get an understanding of the person’s problems • You have the chance to mix with business owners in other industries, which may open the door to new opportunities you had not previously considered • It’s not only a way of creating business but also a great way to solve problems and seek advice. Why sweat over a solution when someone has probably already experienced and solved the same problem? Ask and find out who can help you Where to find a network Finding a place to network, where like minded business owners are present, is not that difficult. Whilst you should be networking all the time – taking the opportunity to promote yourself where ever you can – it’s more effective if you can meet people who are there to do the same thing; you can get onto the same wavelength that much quicker. Here are some possible networking opportunities to think about: • Your local Chamber of Commerce, BNI group or business club - as well as hosting their normal meetings (which are great networking opportunities anyway) they may hold regular networking sessions which are dedicated to putting business people together • Government advice agencies – most countries have government bodies which have the remit of helping local small businesses, some of them may already hold network meetings where they bring together a batch of ‘new recruits’. Check out you country’s small business advice agency web sites to see what support they can offer • Trade Associations – your industry may have an association which holds regular meetings. Although you are interacting with businesses in the same line you will still be able to find solutions to problems and pick up new ideas. Who knows, if you establish good rapport with another business, they may be happy to refer surplus work to you or tap into a unique specialisation you may have? • Seminars – keep a look out for seminars being run for small business owners. As well as being informative, they are a great networking opportunity, especially over coffee and lunch when you have the chance to start a conversation going along the lines of, “How do you think you’re going to apply that point we learnt this morning in your line of business?” In just this one question you will have found out what business they are in and one of the problems they are currently facing. If you’re lucky, you may be able to offer help as well – one extra sale! • Anywhere and everywhere – remember to network all the time! Never miss an opportunity to tell people what you do. You may only get a successful hit in one out of a hundred contacts, but one sale may be enough to make it all worthwhile! Where and when are meetings likely to be held? Formal networking events can be held over breakfast, lunch and dinner. Breakfast sessions are popular because it allows business owners to start the day on a positive note, leaving the remainder of the day free for ‘business as usual’. But how good are you at holding a sensible conversation at 7 o’clock in the morning? If you don’t look or sound your best in the early morning, then you had better find an alternative! The best networking events are where you are free to ‘work the room’ and not be tied to a table with food being served. What to prepare As with any marketing promotion, networking should be thoroughly prepared for. Badly presented sales pitches lead to lost sales; the same goes for networking. So what should you do before attending a networking session? Step 1: Know your products and services inside out. If you are only just starting out, make sure you are fully briefed on all the inn’s and out’s of your product. Step 2: Write and rehearse an opening statement to the question “What do you do?” This may sound an easy question but try thinking an answer on the spot and at the same time making it some good! Not so easy. Write a clear and concise statement, which encapsulates everything about your business. Remember, this is your chance to impress! Having decided on your opening line, rehearse, rehearse and rehearse. It has to be word perfect and confident sounding. Step 3: Make sure you have enough business cards. You don’t want to scribble your number on the back of a napkin! Not very professional. Step 4: Double check the venue and time. You don’t want to turn up late and miss any opportunities or appear to be lacking in time management skills. Step 5: Dress to impress. Make sure you are neat and tidy – everything a successful small business owner should be. Step 6: Leave your house/office in plenty of time to make sure you don’t arrive totally stressed out You’re off! You have arrived at the venue and if this is your first time, what are you likely to do? Find the nearest corner and pray that someone doesn’t approach you! Networking, especially the first time, can be nerve-wracking. It does take a degree of confidence but over time this gets better.

Local networking events

Have you ever been invited to a networking breakfast? Or a networking lunch? These may should sort of strange to the person who has never been to one before, but these types of situations are key to moving yourself to talk with others about what you do, how you do it, and what you provide in the form of services and products.

Many areas have their own type of networking events

These include business meetings to talk about the economy, or business meetings to set new ordinances for the local surroundings – everywhere you have people; you have the opportunity to ‘do’ additional networking. The more people you know and talk with the stronger your network of business contacts and customer contact is going to become.

The first step to successful local networking is going to involve doing it

You need to get out there, and be where other business owners are, or at least where large groups of people are going to be found. Next, you need a good opening question. The best question you can ask a person when you are networking is, what do you do? This is not only going to open the door to talking with another person, but also it is going to open the door for that person in turn to ask you what you do – which is just what you want them to ask you!

Networking should be done in conversation when you are in situations where you don’t know someone all that well. Business cards are often given out, and passed around. If you are heading off to a club meeting, or a networking business affair, you should also have marketing materials with you, such as a brochure or some type of printed matter to show and tell others what you do. As others find your materials handed to them, or presented on a table of information, they have something tangible to take with them, read later, and to think about later.

Collect phone number, emails and information about other businesses. As you collect information about others, you will soon learn that you can use this information after you are back at the office, back at your own business. Create a marketing package for each individual that you have met. Mail out the information with a personal note from you, that it was great talking with you, and you just wanted to share some additional information about your business with them, in case they ever have a need for a product or service that you provide. This is very straight marketing, after the initial networking event, make it work for you!

Performance metrics - measure your networking effectiveness

Performance metrics in the area of networking are those measurements that will tell you whether your efforts are resulting in business. Networking and relationship marketing are time intensive so you want to spend that time wisely. Performance metrics are the keys to this analysis.

Your networking should include a variety of business organizations. To find out which ones of these are worth pursuing you need to define, measure, and evaluate key performance metrics. These performance metrics need to be measured on a regular basis. Marketing through organizations and through networking is a marketing medium just like direct mail, e-mail, offline, or print media.

Your marketing plan would certainly include analyzing performance metrics for your advertising through television, radio, newspapers, and magazines. Similar performance metrics for networking must also be monitored.

Example Performance Metrics

Direct costs associated with the networking

Number of events attended

Number of contacts generated

Number of sales leads generated

Number of referrals

Number of sales

Number of service contracts

Dollars generated from direct contacts

Dollars generated from referrals

Analyze your performance metrics per organization on a regular basis. 6 months is a decent time horizon. If the performance metrics don't show promise within this time frame, drop that particular organization and move on.

Stop spending so much time with organizations that aren't working out over a period of time. Foster deeper ties with those organizations and events that show the highest returns. Your performance metrics will separate the duds from the performers very quickly.

The Bottom Line on Performance Metrics

By tracking performance metrics you can determine very easily which of your networking efforts are paying off and which are simply eating up your time. Use performance metrics to compare one organization to another. Also use these performance metrics to compare your marketing performance via networking with your other marketing vehicles. This will tell you overall, what works and what doesn't.

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Network marketing - why is it so great

If you've ever heard of Network Marketing, you've probably heard it said that it is essentially a people's business. Some have also labeled it a people's franchise because of the similarities between the business models of network marketing and franchising. Advocates of the industry name it as the ultimate people's business and say there is nothing quite like it. People that are in network marketing will immediately respond positively to this.

One of the unique characteristics of the network marketing type of business is that every individual distributor is in business for themselves but never by themselves. They will always be part of a larger organization and the compensation models are designed in such a way that every person can count on some form of support from their upline.

It is no secret that fortunes can be made in this type of business and many have done just that. Of course this is not the majority of network marketers, but every individual distributor does have the same chances. Success or failure in network marketing is not dictated by politics, race, age, background or gender, but always by results. In that respect it is probably also the fairest business model in the world.

For many people however the true value of their home based business is not directly in the financial return. The lessons a person can learn while building his or her own network marketing business are truly priceless. Many people are totally transformed through the personal growth they experience as a direct result of their challenges in their MLM businesses. It forced them to get out of their comfort zones, grow, and in many cases become a better person.

So what is so unique about network marketing in this respect? Doesn't every entrepreneur have to deal with challenges? The answer of course is: Yes, they do. And they also experience personal growth as a result from this. However there is a significant difference. Most entrepreneurs are self made and many of them learned their trade largely outside of formal education. Either they were taught by a family member, a mentor or perhaps they learned everything the hard way: by trial and error. Very rarely will you find an entrepreneur that has an extensive library of books and tapes on personal development. Most businesspeople don't attend seminars and motivational trainings. They think it's all a bunch of hype. While in some cases this can be true, there are many trainings and seminars that teach the principles of success better than any textbook found in business schools.

One of the great things about network marketing is that this type of education is built into the training systems of all good companies. There is no business on the face of the earth that places such a strong and direct emphasis on the importance of personal development as the network marketing industry. Many companies might argue that they spend a great deal of their budget on education; training employees and as such assisting them in personal development but in most cases what they are actually talking about is personnel development. Although the words are almost identical, their meanings are vastly different.

Network marketing is all about building people. It is probably the best school on the planet if you want to learn about what it takes to be successful in life and you don't need rich parents or some kind of scholarship to enroll.

Everything i need to know about successi learned through networking

Copyright 2006 Red Ladder, Inc.

As a Consultant, I attend a lot of networking events, industry association programs, and one-on-one meetings for breakfast, coffee or other food-related events. Whenever I network or attend events, I always tell people that it was worth my time and money if I gained just one creative idea or contact from the experience. This past month I really put that concept to the test by attending numerous networking meetings, including one tele-networking event!

Here are a few nuggets that I picked up as I networked my way through the past month.

1. Be Bold! The Woman's Club of Minneapolis recently featured motivational speaker Ann Ulrich, who said, "We create our own possibilities for success by boldly creating opportunity from possibility." According to Ann, combine possibility with perseverance and professionalism and you have your own personalized recipe for success. How do you create your own possibilities? By being bold of course.

2. Think Big. Sandra Wakefield, an advocate of Brilliant Living (her TV program bears that name), is also an advocate of brilliant networking. She recently brought together a group of like-minded women with the intent of connecting them with an organization that could help make their business goals and personal dreams come true. Not only did she inspire these women to think big she inspired them to think about how taking their businesses to the million dollar (or more!) level. Now that's thinking big.

3. Tell Your Stories. Tom Bengtson, owner, publisher and editor of Northwestern Financial Review, has been in the industry long enough to know what connects a writer to the reader or a speaker to the audience: personal stories. He encouraged me to share my own personal stories in my writing and my speaking engagements. According to Tom, "We learn something about the person who shares their stories, and there is value in that. But the real reason to share your stories is to learn something about yourself." The message? Sometimes the best lessons in life we teach ourselves.

4. Develop a "kitchen cabinet." Erin Dady works closely with aspiring women political candidates. A panelist at the recent Joint Dinner of Women's Professional Associations, Erin shared some advice that highlighted the importance of having a trusted group of advisors on your team that she called, "your kitchen cabinet." These were the trusted men and women that you surround yourself with around your kitchen table. This powerful network is a key success factor when running for office. It can also be the key to success if you are climbing the corporate ladder (think mentors) or a growing a successful small business (think advisory board). Net, net, regardless of what you call them, no woman should be without the equivalent of a powerful "kitchen cabinet."

5. Filter Advice. Judge Susan Burke, recent panelist at the Joint Dinner of Women's Professional Associations, spoke about her recent experience in running for public office. In the early stages, every person she encountered (including her boss, husband and parents) gave her a list of reasons why she shouldn't run for office. That being the case, what finally compelled her to run for office? "I learned to beware advice from people who have a vested interest in the outcome," stated Judge Burke. The lesson? Seek advice but ultimately you need to make the final decision.

This past month I was lucky enough to obtain the five great nuggets I shared with you above. To recap: don't be afraid to be bold, think big, or tell your stories. But during the process, remember to surround yourself with trusted advisors but be sure to filter any advice you receive. Not bad for a month's worth of networking. Don't you agree?

Finding targeted mlm leads

The objective of multi-level marketing (MLM) is to sell the product or service and to encourage the client to become an independent distributor, who then sells the service or product as well. Leads are vital for any business to grow, and in order for the business owner to have the greatest success, the leads must be curious enough in the business opportunity to have expressed an interest. The prospects that have expressed an interest in becoming distributors are known as Targeted MLM Leads.

To find targeted MLM leads, business owners must first have ample knowledge of their target market. Are they self-starters? Do they have the commitment necessary to be part of a network? Business owners must also understand the product or service, the company mission statement, and its goals and objectives well enough to offer a good sales presentation. Delivering a presentation, however compelling, to someone that has not shown interest in the product, service, or business opportunity is a waste of time and resources.

Business owners can acquire targeted MLM leads from various sources. The most convenient sources are the companies that compile and sell lead lists. The business owner, however, should be careful when choosing a lead list source, as some may be fraudulent. Some targeted MLM leads are identified through telephone interviews or direct mail response. Business owners can also obtain targeted leads from promotional give-away programs that have high traffic. Usually a person will fill out a simple survey to claim the promotional item, and the business owner can then use the survey to assess whether he or she will be a quality lead.

Strategies for successful business networking

There are a variety of organizations that run networking groups across the country. The largest group is probably BNI, which offers members the chance to attend weekly meetings and develop new professional relationships to help them grow their business. some chambers of commerce are now organizing "leads groups" for their members as well. These groups are intended to offer members a way to connect with each other and potentially refer each other business.

In most "leads groups" each group allows no more then one representative from any industry, so if the group has a mortgage broker other mortgage brokers have to join another group or wait for the seat to open up. The idea is that by restricting membership, you eliminate competition within the group.

The agenda at most structured networking meetings is pretty straightforward. Each member is given an opportunity to introduce themselves, then there is a short presentation by one or two members (each member gets the chance eventually). The meeting ends with members discussing potential referrals for each other. This means that most of the members get about one minute to present who they are and teach the other members of the group how to refer to them.

Most people do a great job of presenting themselves. However, most people do not think to ask for referrals. At most networking events, you are not expected to ask for a referral or explain what a good referral for you is. However, at a leads group it is not only acceptable, it is expected!

I am involved in a number of networking groups and have used the simple outline below to create my elevator pitch (quick introduction). When I deliver my elevator pitch to a leads group, my goal is to educate everyone in the room about my company and what I do, as well as to teach them the best way to refer others to me. In addition, I want to make sure I actually ask for a specific referral. I will go through each piece of the outline in detail, but here are the basics.

* Introduction

o Name

o Position + company name

o Location of the company

o Overview of services

* Tell a story

* Call to action

The introduction piece of your presentation should stay the same every time you give it. You might say something like, "My name is Joe Smith. I am mortgage broker at ABC mortgages in Anytown, USA. We offer a full line of residential and commercial mortgage products." You can add some additional detail, but you should really focus on keeping this short and on point.

At each meeting, you will have the chance to differentiate yourself from the competition by telling a short story during your presentation. The story can be related to a specific challenge you helped a client overcome, a unique feature of your product or service, or you can simply talk about a new development at your company. Consider writing out your stories in advance so you know what you are going to say at each meeting. In addition, you can schedule the content so that the other members of your group learn more and more about you at each meeting. You need to focus on educating your group a little more each week.

The "call to action" is very important and the piece that most people overlook. You need to tell the other members of your group exactly what type of referral you are looking for. For example, our mortgage broker, Joe Smith, might say, "Today a good referral for me would be a Realtor at XYZ real estate company." Joe may also say, "Today a good referral for me would be anyone who purchased their home more then 10 years ago."

I alway recommend that your "call to action" is as specific as possible. If Joe stands up and says that a good referral would be anyone who needs a mortgage, the rest of the group will have a harder time thinking of people to refer. If Joe asks for an introduction to a specific person at a specific company, someone in the group may know that person or know someone at that company who can facilitate Joe's introduction. The more specific the request, the more likely it is to trigger someone else in the group's memory.

A last minute hint:

Keep focused on the networks of the people in the group, not on the people themselves. In other words, when you are participating in a networking or leads group, you should not focus on gaining the business of the people at the table. Instead, you should focus on gaining their trust so that they will refer you people in their network.

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