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Archive for the tag “Direct Sales”

Activities that build relationships

We all know that it’s easier to do business with someone we know, at any level, than with a cold contact.

Often, however, I struggle with finding and getting to know “new people” to expand my circle of relationships, which is critical to growing my personal and professional network, and hence, my business.

This morning, during my daily study time, I found a great list of “ice-breakers” in Keith Ferrazzi’s fantastic book, “Never Eat Alone”.

From the chapter, “Share Your Passions”…

Your passions and the events you build around them will create deeper levels of intimacy. Pay attention to matching the event to the particular relationship you’re trying to build. I’ve got an informal list of activities I use to keep in touch with my business and personal friends.

Here are some things I like to do:

1. Fifteen minutes and a cup of coffee. It’s quick, it’s out of the office, and it’s a great way to meet someone new.

2. Conferences. If I’m attending a conference in, say, Seattle, I’ll pull out a list of people in the area I know, or would like to know better, and see if they might like to drop in for a particularly interesting keynote speech or dinner.

3. Invite someone to share a workout or a hobby (golf, chess, stamp collection, a book club, etc.).

4. A quick early breakfast, lunch, drinks after work, or dinner together. There’s nothing like food to break the ice.

5. Invite someone to a special event. For me, a special event such as the theater, a book-signing party, or a concert is made even more special if I bring along a few people who I think might particularly enjoy the occasion.

6. Entertaining at home. I view dinner parties as home as sacred. I like to make these events as intimates as possible. To ensure they stay that way, I generally will invite only one or two people I don’t know that well. By dinner’s end, I want those people leaving my home feeling as if they’ve made a whole new set of friends, and that’s hard to do if it’s a dinner filled with strangers.

Of course, we all need to schedule the appropriate time with friends and family, as well, or just to read or relax.

So, how about you? What are some of your favorite activities that build relationships? Please tell us about them, below.

– Perry

Never Eat Alone: And Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship at a Time
By Keith Ferrazzi, Tahl Raz

“Your network is your net worth. This book shows you how to add to your personal bottom line with better networking and bigger relationships. What a solid but easy read! Keith’s personality shines through like the great (and hip) teacher you never got in college or business school. Buy this book for yourself, and tomorrow go out and buy one for your kid brother!”

—Tim Sanders, author of Love Is the Killer App: How to Win Business and Influence Friends

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Customer Acquisition Training – 11/07/2011

Wow, what a great time I had last night!

It was my privilege to share some tips and insights on customer acquisition and retention (doesn’t THAT sound exciting?) for our business group here in Portland.

We took a look at sales, and customers, from the standpoint that you don’ have to SELL, if you’re the kind of person that people want to be around and be friends with.

Nobody wants to be sold to, but be a guy people can like and trust, and they’ll typically like and trust what you have to offer.

We also shared some practical applications and tips for preparation, making the customer call, research, writing the quote, and follow-up. I seem to remember that we talked about Facebook a lot, as well, and the subject of toilet paper came up somewhere along the line… I’ll post the audio soon, and you can listen for it!

Here’s the MP3: PerkinsCustomerAQ

As promised, here are my notes and the slides:

Customer Acquisition Slides

Speaking Notes PDF

Weekly Customer Aq Planning Form

And here are a few of the books we discussed…

The Go-Giver: A Little Story About a Powerful Business Idea
By Bob Burg, John David Mann

The Go-Giver

“This modern-day business parable, a quick read in the spirit of The Greatest Salesman in the World and The One Minute Manager, should do well with eager corporate-ladder climbers … Over the course of five days, a restaurateur, a CEO, a financial advisor, a real-estate broker and the mysterious “Connector” teach Joe about the laws of value, compensation, influence, authenticity and receptivity—concepts that make more immediate sense in this fictional context than they would in a formal business book.”
Publishers Weekly

Imparted with wit and grace, The Go-Giver is a heartwarming and inspiring tale that brings new relevance to the old proverb “Give and you shall receive.”

Go-Givers Sell More
By Bob Burg, John David Mann

Go-Givers Sell More

Most of us think of sales as convincing potential customers to do something they don’t really want to. This mentality sets up an adversarial relationship and makes the sales process much harder than it has to be.  As Burg and

Mann demonstrate, it’s far more productive (and satisfying) when salespeople think like Go-Givers. Cultivate a trusting relationship and focus exclusively on creating value for the other person, say the authors, and great results will follow automatically.

Drawing on a wide range of examples of real-life salespeople who have prospered by giving more, Burg and Mann offer tips and strategies that anyone in sales can start applying right away.

Never Eat Alone

Never Eat Alone: And Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship at a Time
By Keith Ferrazzi, Tahl Raz

“Your network is your net worth.  This book shows you how to add to your personal bottom line with better networking and bigger relationships.  What a solid but easy read!  Keith’s personality shines through like the great (and hip) teacher you never got in college or business school. Buy this book for yourself, and tomorrow go out and buy one for your kid brother!”

—Tim Sanders, author of Love Is the Killer App: How to Win Business and Influence Friends

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