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Team up

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“If you support the community, they will support you.” ~~Jerry Greenfield

Promotion is a key component in expanding a company’s or organization’s reach. Sponsorship of local events is an accessible method to consider.

Let’s look at the bigger model. If you look at any NASCAR vehicle (or driver’s uniform, for that matter,) you can see that every inch sports a sponsor’s logo. An attorney I know started his business by sponsoring a local race team. Certainly, his objectives were to have the car go around the track and never get a dent. The driver was more interested in winning the race anyway possible. The lawyer knew, though, that some of these people would get speeding tickets on the way home and wanted them to call him immediately.

In fact, the sports world exemplifies big business sponsorship to the point that Super Bowl ads have become more important in many circles than the game itself.

This applies well at the local level, too. There are a number of benefits to consider in sponsoring events:

  • Promotion of your brand. This is enhanced when you line up your business with the proper demographic.

  • An opportunity to showcase your products and services.

  • A chance to meet and greet potential prospects and strategic alliances.

  • An occasion to deepen an alliance partner relationship.

  • A way to make a difference in your community.

On the other hand you must evaluate each sponsorship situation carefully. There are more opportunities than you could possibly support and more are being created all the time. Not every one of them is a fit. Here are some questions to consider first:

  • What is the target market for this event?

  • Do I get direct access to this audience?

  • How does this align with my networking goals?

  • What kind of exposure do I get for my investment?

  • Does it make sense to be there?

  • Can I get this exposure without this type of investment?

  • How does this enhance my credibility with the person I am helping?

  • Are there any competitors as other sponsors?

  • Are there any other alliance partners as sponsors?

  • Why should I do it?

  • Why should I not do this?

 

Action for this week is to consider those in your network that are holding events—a conference, an open house, a fund-raiser—that can use your support. In order to strengthen your relationship offer as much help as your business can provide and realize it may not all be financial.

 

© 2017 by Stephen Hand of Triangle BNI.
All rights reserved. No part of this document may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without prior written permission of Stephen Hand of Triangle BNI.

 

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Written by bniguy

July 2, 2017 at 6:55 am

Make a Difference While Making a Difference

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“Take time to deliberate, but when the time for action has arrived, stop thinking and go in.” ~~Napoleon Bonaparte

Do you remember the VCP model? Visibility is the first component to networking success and gaining visibility is the theme of this week’s post.

One way to increase visibility in a non-sales way is to volunteer. Find a cause that resonates with you. The key is to get involved. That is, be prepared to apply some of your limited time helping the organization motivate its members and meet its mission.

People do business with those they know, like, and trust. Volunteering is a way to expand on that. People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. This week’s exercise—once begun—goes a long way towards demonstrating that.

Here is a five-action plan:

  1. Consider what matters to you. Answer these questions:
    1. What do you enjoy doing for yourself in your spare time?
    2. What hobbies do you enjoy?
    3. What sports do you know well enough to teach?
    4. What brings you joy, satisfaction, and a sense of accomplishment?
    5. What social, political, or health issue are you passionate about due to personal experience in you, your family, or friends?
  2. Find three organizations that address these areas and interest you. Choose the one that most appeals to you and research that group online.
  3. Once you find a crowd that aligns with your personal goals visit them in person.
  4. If that visit was unsatisfying, return to step 2 (maybe step 1) and find another candidate. If it was satisfying then consider if you want to commit your time and effort.
  5. If so, identify three members in the group to interview and assure you of the decision. I recommend three different tenures:
    1. Brand new: When you join you can get involved together
    2. Seasoned: Two or three years vested
    3. Mature: Someone with five or more years

 This process will, hopefully, be followed up by your involvement and leadership. The world can always use another pair of helping hands.

 © 2017 by Stephen Hand of Triangle BNI.
All rights reserved. No part of this document may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without prior written permission of Stephen Hand of Triangle BNI.

Written by bniguy

April 30, 2017 at 10:50 am

Posted in HowTo, volunteer

Deepen the roots

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“A line has to be drawn somewhere between what is essential and what is peripheral.” ~~ Sargent Shriver

By now we have set the stage for taking your networking skills to a new level. Some of this work has been easy and some has not. Some of this work has already yielded solid results. This week I am asking you to consider making a significant difference in one single relationship.

Throughout the series we have touched on a few elements to help you identify your strategic relationships. Specifically these were Field Your Winning Team, Who’s Who to You, and Revisit Your Contacts Low Hanging Fruit on the Family Tree is another although these people are less likely to be in the situation where you need to deepen the relationships.

The Bible tells the story of reaping and sowing and shares the efforts of an ambitious farmer with excellent seed. The farmer keeps on sowing the seed against the birds that take it, the thorns that choke it, and so on. Some of the seed falls on ground where the soil is shallow. The little seeds start to grow but on the first hot day the little plants wither and die. These plants could have kept the farmer’s family fed all year but the elements were stronger than the plants.

All of our relationships exist in an environment that is partially of our making and partially not. Market forces, health, genetics, circumstances, and more all have an impact on those relationships. If we do not take the time and make the effort to nourish the roots and strengthen the bonds of those relationships they will inevitably succumb to the overwhelm of outside forces.

This week I would like you to consider one relationship you would like to both protect and expand. How well do you know this person? Not just on a business level but on a personal level. Are there ways you could expand this relationship and make a difference in the larger scheme of things?

I don’t want to limit your thought but am doing a disservice if I don’t give you some ideas that will help. Imagine your friend is a builder and also cares about the environment. You may or may not know their spouse and children. Imagine working together on a Habitat for Humanity project. Imagine taking a beach weekend together—your family and theirs. The possibilities are endless and can have a very profound effect on the relationship.

This week’s action is to identify one person you want to strengthen the bonds with. Meet with them and take time to get to know them better. Learn things like:

  • What would they like to accomplish in business this year?
  • What obstacles are in the way?
  • How can I help you achieve those goals?

Look at the same considerations for their personal lives.

The important thing is to have the conversation and truly listen. This prepares you well for next week’s section, too.

© 2017 by Stephen Hand of Triangle BNI.
All rights reserved. No part of this document may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without prior written permission of Stephen Hand of Triangle BNI.

 

 

Written by bniguy

April 9, 2017 at 3:51 pm

Make a Difference

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“Mentoring is a brain to pick, an ear to listen, and a push in the right direction.” ~~John C. Crosby

Mentors provide leadership, guidance, and support.  Their interest in our success may be unexpected or actively sought.  It may be provided with patient step-by-step counseling or delivered in more fleeting, sometimes cryptic teaching moments.  No matter the method it is offered in a sincere desire to help and received—when fully understood—gratefully.

Mentorship embodies the “Giver’s Gain” philosophy.

By serving as a mentor you have the chance to make a significant difference in someone else’s life.  Less apparent is that a mentor has a golden opportunity to sharpen their own skills.  In teaching we learn.

Think of your mentors.  They took some time to help and made a difference.  What feelings do you have for them?  Gratitude is the most compelling emotion.  If they called and asked for some help you would set other things aside and give this effort the attention it so fittingly deserves.

We have been together for fifty weeks and it is time to begin paying it forward to others while deepening your personal understanding, as well.

Here are some key characteristics of beneficial mentoring.

http://sonic.net/~mfreeman/mentor/mentchar.htm

Characteristics of a Good Mentor

All successful business people do not necessarily make effective mentors; certain individuals are more effective in the role of developing others. Whether or not an individual is suited to the role of mentor may depend on his or her own stage of development and experience. For example, a fairly successful individual may have had a specific, or limited, background and may not have enough general experience to offer. Prior to entering into a mentoring relationship, the protégée should assume the responsibility of assessing the mentor’s potential effectiveness.

The qualities which are essential in an effective mentor include:

  • DESIRE TO HELP Individuals who are interested in and willing to help others.
  • HAVE HAD POSITIVE EXPERIENCES Individuals who have had positive formal or informal experiences with a mentor tend to be good mentors themselves.
  • GOOD REPUTATION FOR DEVELOPING OTHERS Experienced people who have a good reputation for helping others develop their skills.
  • TIME & ENERGY People who have the time and mental energy to devote to the relationship.
  • UP-TO-DATE KNOWLEDGE Individuals who have maintained current, up-to-date technological knowledge and/or skills.
  • LEARNING ATTITUDE Individuals who are still willing and able to learn and who see the potential benefits of a mentoring relationship.
  • DEMONSTRATED EFFECTIVE MANAGERIAL (MENTORING) SKILLS Individuals who have demonstrated effective coaching, counseling, facilitating and networking skills.

Your action step this week is to assess your own mentoring potential and seek suitable candidates that deserve your attention.  In some cases you may need to break the ice and inform these candidates of your intention and availability.

© 2011 by Stephen Hand of Triangle BNI.
All rights reserved. No part of this document may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without prior written permission of Stephen Hand of Triangle BNI.

Written by bniguy

December 11, 2011 at 2:04 am

With a Little Help For Your Friends

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“Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile.” ~~Albert Einstein

I considered using the famous quote from The Three Musketeers by Dumas, specifically, “All for one and one for all” to open this week’s entry.  It is also appropriate and reflects how a Master Networker, like you, is ready to back up your business partners when the opportunity presents itself.  Trust me, they always do.

We talked about ten traits to develop in week seven.  The bottom five include:

6: Commitment to networking 24/7.  Master networkers are always tuned in…

7: Gratitude.  The more you do this the more chances you will have…

8: Helpfulness.  Master networkers actively seek out solutions…

9: Sincerity

10: Dedicated.  The master networker is dedicated to working their network…

These five traits are wonderfully combined in this week’s strategy.  The cornerstone is sincerity and integrity.  If you do this just to gain a competitive edge, you will not have the success as it is designed.  It is far better to wade in and help someone without keeping score.  A friend of mine refers to this is NATO-Not Attached To Outcome.  Golf certainly benefits from this attitude some weekends.

In two weeks I will elaborate on reading the newspaper with the Giver’s Gain mindset.  For now, consider many things that affect your business partners directly and have no apparent impact on you.  These can include regulations, construction, events, etc. to simply name a few.

Let’s say that a local government initiative is underway to change how a strategic partner’s business is run.  Imagine that the state board is holding a public hearing to discuss requires that Realtors pay for property staging service.  Right now, your Realtor friends may or may not use staging services, as needed.  Some pay for this by building it into their fee.  Others recommend the benefit and let the buyers negotiate directly with the stager.  For others, staging is not likely to have significant impact on the transaction or not welcomed by the buyer.

If you see that the board will hold hearings about this you can mobilize your support by writing a letter to the editor of your local newspaper about this.  You can also send that letter to trade journals that are Real Estate specific and send a copy to every Realtor and Mortgage Broker you know.  You can do the same for other professionals that work closely with these experts—such as Closing Attorneys, Home Inspectors, and so on.  Home Stagers, too.

Again, check your motivation against the list of five traits above.  If you do not have a strong opinion about home staging, do not dive in.  If you are only doing this to shine the spotlight on yourself, do not join the fray.  If, however, you feel strongly that this would have an impact and feel your voice will add value then dedicate yourself to the cause.

When professionals see this some will call to thank you.  This is a great time to deepen the relationship and influentially make referrals to other professionals that can enhance the Realtors own Power Team.

We will go a little deeper in this arena in two weeks and your action this week sets you up to gain more benefit now and then.

First, figure out what your partners are reading—their trade journals.  That is an easy question to ask and also stay tuned in while in their offices, in their cars, meeting them outside, too.  Certainly, align their interests with your own.  If you don’t care, don’t bother.  When you do care, however, the passion will motivate you and cement your relationship, as well.

Second, once you have some background and find an issue that matters to you, ask your strategic partners if and how it might affect them.  The process alone is valuable.  Once you uncover an issue that resonates take the third step and offer to write a letter on behalf of their industry.  One for all and all for one.

© 2011 by Stephen Hand of Triangle BNI.
All rights reserved. No part of this document may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without prior written permission of Stephen Hand of Triangle BNI.

Written by bniguy

November 6, 2011 at 2:00 am

Make a Difference While Making a Difference

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“Take time to deliberate, but when the time for action has arrived, stop thinking and go in.”~~Napoleon Bonaparte

Do you remember the VCP model?  Visibility is the first component to networking success and gaining visibility is the theme of this week’s post.

One way to increase visibility in a non-sales way is to volunteer.  Find a cause that resonates with you.  The key is to get involved.  That is, be prepared to apply some of your limited time helping the organization motivate its members and meet its mission.

People do business with those they know, like, and trust.  Volunteering is a way to expand on that.  People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.  This week’s exercise—once begun—goes a long way towards demonstrating that.

Here is a five-action plan:

  1. Consider what matters to you.  Answer these questions:
    1. What do you enjoy doing for yourself in your spare time?
    2. What hobbies do you enjoy?
    3. What sports do you know well enough to teach?
    4. What brings you joy, satisfaction, and a sense of accomplishment?
    5. What social, political, or health issue are you passionate about due to personal experience in you, your family, or friends?
  2. Find three organizations that address these areas and interest you.  Choose the one that most appeals to you and research that group online.
  3. Once you find a crowd that aligns with your personal goals visit them in person.
  4. If that visit was unsatisfying, return to step 2 (maybe step 1) and find another candidate.  If it was satisfying then consider if you want to commit your time and effort.
  5. If so, identify three members in the group to interview and assure you of the decision.  I recommend three different tenures:
    1. Brand new: When you join you can get involved together
    2. Seasoned: Two or three years vested
    3. Mature: Someone with five or more years

This process will, hopefully, be followed up by your involvement and leadership.  The world can always use another pair of helping hands.

© 2011 by Stephen Hand of Triangle BNI.
All rights reserved. No part of this document may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without prior written permission of Stephen Hand of Triangle BNI.

Written by bniguy

May 1, 2011 at 2:47 am