More work for you

Pete Caputa has suggested that I should read other blogs that I find interesting. I found a blog on Marketing & Sales written by Philippe, a fellow Linked In Blogger. He talks about the Entrepreneurial Mind, Cold Calls and Word of Mouth. Gatekeepers and whether leads are qualified or unqualified.

Go read some of Philippe’s Blog, comment about his posts and tell him about this blog.

Thanks for reading.

Rick

Making Introductions

I was talking with Mr. Insurance tonight. Believe me when I tell you that this guy knows everything that there is to know about insurance. I want him to talk to everybody that I care about and make sure that they have the right insurance. The right kind. The right amount. The best value. Everything. And he knows how to do it.

How should I refer him? Should I say, “Pete, I was talking to Doug today and I’ll bet that he knows everything that there is to know about insurance. I think you should talk to him. Give him a call”

What can happen? Pete might call Doug and Doug might help Pete and they’ll both thank you. More likely, Pete’s gonna say, thanks anyway. I’ve got enough insurance and never call Doug. Not only that, but Doug can’t call Pete because he doesn’t have his phone number. You wasted the introduction. It did no good.

Here’s my suggestion. First decide whether or not you trust Doug. If you don’t, don’t introduce him. But if you do trust him and you do want him to help Pete if he can, make Pete want to talk to Doug. Try this.

“Pete, I was talking with Doug today and he was telling me about some of the magic that he was doing for someone just like you and I don’t know if he could do the same stuff for you, but I asked him to call you.”

Now, what happens. Doug is in control. He can call. Pete is probably wondering if Doug can help. And honestly, who’s more capable of explaining what Doug does, me or Doug?

It’s easy to make a referral if someone asks you if you know anybody who’s any good at insurance, but supposing your best friend didn’t know that he had a problem with his insurance. Wouldn’t you want Doug to fix it if he could?

Something to think about.

Dueling Bloggers

So, tonight, I check out Pete’s blog, and I see he’s debating social value and entrepreneurial success with Greg Narain. So, how do we measure social value? Does wealth count? Does recognition count? How do we know that Bill Gates made a contribution to society? Because he a gubillionaire? Or because of all the good stuff that we can do now because of Microsoft? How about all the guys that came up with f=ma and pv=nrt? Did they stay up nights thinking, “I’ve got to make this thing work so I can pay the rent? Does it matter how much money they had? Who added more value to the world, Michaelangelo, Picasso, et al. or the likes of Ford and Rockefeller?

I’m kind of sorry that I started this because I don’t know what the answer is. I’m sure that every person mentioned in the above paragraph was excited when they reached some milestone or completed some task. I’m sure that every one of them said, “This is important.” at some time or other. I’m also sure that every one of them also asked, “What’s the point?” at some point in their lives.

So, here’s my take. Pete, cut Greg some slack. According to this, Edison holds the record for total number of patents. Maybe he also had entrepreneurial ADD. How many of them did he commercialize? I think you’d have a tough time convincing anyone that he didn’t change history. It’s not all about money. It’s about staying interested. If you happen to make money, that’s a plus.

Go get it

How many of you sat in the office today waiting for somebody to call and say that they wanted you?

Get this!

I was working the Corridor Nine Expo the first week in February. While there, this very sharply dressed young lady shakes my hand, introduces herself, and a couple of minutes later, I knew that she was a recent grad looking to work in event management.

The next time I saw Joelle LeMarbre, was at the Corridor Nine Chamber Speed Networking event. She was working for the chamber. And today, the chamber trusted her enough to handle the setup, registration, greeting, and check out process for the “Closing the Sale – Scoring!” seminar presented by Dave Kurlan.

Did she send out a bunch of resumes and sit home waiting for somebody to call and say they wanted her?

No. She went out and got it! and now she’s working.

Watch this one. She’s good. Joelle LeMarbre. Corridor Nine. What a country!

Suggested “Reads”

I was talking with a client yesterday about our upcoming seminar, her practice, and “stuff” in general. She mentioned that she was going on vacation at the end of May and asked if I knew of any good books that a self employed accountant should read. Of course, I asked her if she had read Dave Kurlan’s books, Baseline Selling and Mindless Selling, because I ask everybody every day. But she was thinking more along the idea of “How to run your own small business” type books. I told her that I’d ask you. I’ve recommended The E-Myth Revisited by Michael Gerber to people that are looking to grow a business, but here’s the question.

What have you read lately?

Use the comments link and let us know the title and if you wish your opinion, highlights, etc. Thanks in advance for your help.

Networking vs Cold Calling

Last week, Doug posted:

Rick, I was debating with a fellow networker today the pluses and minuses of networking to get referral leads vs. cold calling to get leads.

Networking takes a significant amount of time, and since you need to give to your network and spend time developing it, it could take months before you get a decent referral. Once you start getting them, they are of good quality referrals with a much higher hit rate.

With cold-calling it’s all a numbers game. How many cold-calls do I need to make to get a certain number of appointments to get a certain number of customers. While not glamorous if you work the system right it seems much more predictable.

The question is, can you really compare one to the other and decide which is best for your business? I tend to shy away from cold-calling because it’s not my strong suit, but how do I know that it might not be a better process when you look at the total amount of time spent cold-calling vs. the time spent over months to build your network.

I know the theory is that my network will grow exponentially and eventually will require less time for the amount of quality referrals it brings, but how do you really know?

Any hints?

Yes, but not anything that you want to hear. Make cold calls. Don’t stop networking. Don’t stop doing anything else. Do trade shows (from both directions). Do a blog. Do advertise and market. Do everything, but do everything to support your cold calling effort. Here’s why.

You can’t control whether there’s a networking event, trade show, or some other opportunity tomorrow, but if your plan says to make 20 calls between 9 and 11 tomorrow morning, you have absolute control over that whether or not it happens. I’ve made my calls from my office (Surprise!), my deck, the beach, my car, a coffee shop. If I’m committed, it happens.

You can stay focused. When you’re networking, it’s a two way street. They’re networking with you, too. So, you have to politely listen to their drivel before you can start telling them how awesome you are. (You know that’s not in my head, but don’t be surprised if you ever run into it in others.) When you’re making cold calls, it’s all about you. True, they may be trying to get you off the phone, but it’s different and planned for. You might find yourself actually getting interested in someone’s drivel at an event, and you forget what you’re there for.

I have an associate, Mike Eagan, who is very wise. One day, in his wisdom, he realized that “Successful people regularly do the things that they don’t like to do.” A lot of people prefer to network. Wine, cheese, chicken fingers, nice hotel or restaurant. You get none of that when you cold call.

When I started my collection agency, twenty years ago, I did no advertising and little networking. I went to little league, soccer, and basketball games and practices with my sons at night. I went to parent/teacher meetings, concerts, and plays. I was busy not networking, so I had to do something else. My plan was to make 30 cold calls starting at 9 every morning. 30. Not 29. Not however many I could make between 9 and noon. 30. Monday through Friday. Usually I was done by noon, but sometimes I was still calling at 2. I didn’t make appointments for mornings. If a prospect (or my dentist or anybody else) asked me for a morning meeting, I booked it three months out. If they were serious and needed me sooner, they’d find afternoon availability. I called every business in Holden. Then I called every business in Rutland, then Paxton, then Princeton, then West Boylston, then Sterling. Then I started calling businesses in Worcester, but I never finished. Here’s what happened. I know this is hard to believe, but my cold calling actually worked and I got clients. I was actually spending afternoons being billable. Go figure! I was also actually satisfying my clients, so I was getting a fair amount of referrals. Eventually I got to the point that I was getting enough referrals to reach my growth goals without cold calling and without networking. So I weaned myself from cold calls. Now, the only time that I make cold calls is when somebody asks, “Can you show me how to make a cold call?” and they pay me a ton of money. With all the humility and modest that I can muster, I’ll tell you that they are always impressed; it’s always worth the money to them; and I always have fun. Now, how come it worked for me?
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> I was one of Dave Kurlan’s first clients. I signed up when I was 32. I had been to engineering school and had my business degree. I was making money, but realized that I didn’t know it all. I became an avid student. I went to extra classes. I practiced. I asked questions. I got coaching. I hung out with and watched the best. No matter what anybody tells you, you cannot learn it alone. You need to read it, be shown it, have it explained to you, practice it, do it, have somebody watch you do it, have somebody tweak it, until it works. So, if you’d rather do anything, than make cold calls, you’re normal! Don’t sweat it! Call Mike Eagan, TODAY! Tell him you read my blog and you’re ready to be evaluated. Don’t be surprised if he says something like, “I’ll be the judge of that.”. Just suck it up and do what he says.

#1 rule………..Have fun!