Better Blogging for Better Results - 8 Tips to Generate Opportunities from Blogging
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Better Blogging for Better Results - 8 Tips to Generate Opportunities from Blogging

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On September 3, 2005, the screaming and shouting stopped. I finally gave in to writing my first blog. Back then, I did not have the appreciation for the power of blogging that I have today. ...

On September 3, 2005, the screaming and shouting stopped. I finally gave in to writing my first blog. Back then, I did not have the appreciation for the power of blogging that I have today. Well-written, organized, and timely blogs offer tremendous benefits. If you look at social media today, blogging is rarely mentioned as a top application. And the irony is that, more likely than not, sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter refer back to a blog entry as the source of the information. Here are 8 tips to generate more opportunities to connect quickly to your target audiences.

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    Better Blogging for Better Results - 8 Tips to Generate Opportunities from Blogging Better Blogging for Better Results - 8 Tips to Generate Opportunities from Blogging Document Transcript

    • Helping busy business executives maintain their competitive edge. Networking as a Sales Tool 5 Sure-Fire Steps to Increase Sales Success By Ira J. Koretsky April 2009 I n 2002, I started my business and started networking like never before, attending some 20 events per week, which quickly became exhausting. After analyzing the events versus success, the clear trend was that I went to too many of the wrong events. Together with the preparation, follow up, and meetings, I was misdirecting my own energy from the prospects and events that mattered. Obvious, right? It took a lot of frustration to make me realize that my lack of success was due to my random and unstructured approach to networking. Because of my analysis, I retooled my approach and developed a deliberate process. That meant being patient and, most importantly, being deliberate. Networking is all about the deliberate development of professional relationships. Just as with personal dating, business dating takes time. You wouldn’t expect to get married on the first date. The same holds true with networking. Expect to get a signed contract only after the appropriate time has been spent building trust, sharing experiences, and demonstrating capability. Benjamin Franklin said it best, “By failing to prepare you are preparing to fail.” Here are five sure-fire steps to make your networking more focused and effective to capitalize on opportunities, eliminate distractions, and increase your sales success. 1. Develop an Ideal Client Profile Successful networkers know their target audiences. During my travels, I ask workshop participants and clients, “Do you have an ideal client profile?” It no longer surprises me when most people respond with “No.” An Ideal Client Profile (ICP) spells out the specific characteristics of a prospect that would most likely buy from you. A short list of examples include: professional services, $15 to $50MM revenue, >250 employees, in business at least five years, located in north east, and in the financial sector. Marketing should have a standard ICP that spells out each of the characteristics important to your organization. This way, the sales team pursues only qualified leads. 2. Develop Your Networking Event Plan Now ask yourself, where do the key decision makers at these ICP organizations network? What associations and social clubs are they members of? Search the Internet or ask colleagues to locate events ® Copyright © 2009. ThinkBusiness Magazine and The Chief Storyteller LLC. All Rights Reserved. 1 of 3
    • Helping busy business executives maintain their competitive edge. that will help you to meet them. Look for opportunities throughout the week, from 7 am to 7 pm. Overall, breakfast and dinner events yield the best results. 3. Use a Compelling Business Story You have arrived at your event ready to meet your ICPs. Since you only have a few minutes to make a first and lasting impression, you need to make the most of your time. Be prepared to answer “What do you do?” with a compelling answer that screams, “Wow! Tell me more.” Your answer is a high-level, executive summary of your core business story. Commonly referred to as your elevator speech, it should take you 30 seconds or less to say. An elevator speech is in a way a litmus test. Told well, it engages people prompting a good conversation. If it is not engaging or interesting, people tend to transition away from you fairly quickly. 4. Circulate and Locate Generally, a networking event is one big blind date. You never know who you will meet next. He/she could be your next best friend, next best client, next best partner, or not. Stop listening to your mother. Talk to strangers! Heed Stephen Covey’s habit number five: “Seek first to understand then to be understood.” Circulate through the room starting conversations that your ICPs will be interested in. Read the magazines, websites, blogs, newsletters, and books that they read. Within the first few minutes of meeting someone, qualify that person as an ICP, ideal business partner, business friend, or other. Based on your assessment, deliberately choose how you will direct the conversation, how to follow up, and how to politely exit. Transition to a new person every 5 to 10 minutes. You are looking to locate people that you can help and those that can help you. The object here is to be deliberate with your conversations and patient with the results. 5. Evaluate Your Return on Networking Many people comment that networking is neither rewarding nor fun. It can be both if you consistently evaluate, measure your results, and respond appropriately. Experience shows that you should spend four to six months attending events and meeting people before you will realize any substantial results. As you network, evaluate your success. Didn’t meet the people you wanted to? Think of different or complementary venues to attend. Perhaps you did not make any meaningful connections? Ask yourself if your story resonates with people? Is the event filled with prospective ICPs? Over the course of time, decide what, how, and if you need to change your approach to networking. Conclusion “Work smarter, not harder” always resonated with me because it helped me focus on priority activities. It simply was not a matter of putting in long hours to show results. The true test lay in the results. This is what being a deliberate networker is all about: making the most of your time. It is deciding who you need to meet and cultivate to increase your business success…and sticking to your plan. It is hard work cultivating a promising contact over time, as is allocating your time at events. It will pay off in the end. If you stick with the networking event plan, your evaluations will show more success and you will find yourself having more fun. Ira Koretsky is the president of The Chief Storyteller®, a firm that turns your business stories and messages into results, with keynotes, workshops, and consulting. He can be reached at: tbmag@thechiefstoryteller.com ® Copyright © 2009. ThinkBusiness Magazine and The Chief Storyteller LLC. All Rights Reserved. 2 of 3
    • Helping busy business executives maintain their competitive edge. Not for resale, give-away, display, or duplication. Not to be published in whole or part without prior written permission from ThinkBusiness Magazine™ or The Chief Storyteller®, LLC. Contact ThinkBusiness Magazine™ at: info@thinkbusinessmagazine.com Contact The Chief Storyteller® LLC. at: tbmag@thechiefstoryteller.com About ThinkBusiness Magazine™ The mission of thinkbusiness is to help busy business executives maintain their competitive edge through concise, easy-to-read business articles and management tips. Founded in 2005, thinkbusiness is a media company that provides highly customized business information to business decision makers. thinkbusiness is the publisher of thinkbusiness magazine, a monthly digital, interactive magazine. The Company also publishes weekly custom newsletters on sales, marketing, finance and management and operates the thinkbusinessmagazine.com Web site. Visit www.thinkbusinessmagazine.com for monthly articles on sales, marketing, human resources, management, money, planning, technology, and biz trends. To subscribe for your own free monthly subscription, please visit http://www.thinkbusinessmagazine.com/ About The Chief Storyteller® We turn your business stories into results. Business stories are messages you share verbally, in print, and online. Your answer to “What Do You Do?” (Elevator Speech), presentations, brochures, proposals, position papers, website, and everything in between are all examples. We develop and implement high impact business storytelling and strategic messaging programs. These programs help you achieve the revenue/outreach/development results you want. Charles Schwab, CDC, and the American Diabetes Association have trusted us to help tell their stories. Visit www.TheChiefStoryteller.com for articles, blogs, and tip guides on marketing, business storytelling, communications, and messaging; relationship building and networking; sales, development, and outreach; presentations; human behavior; and a variety of other topics.. ® Copyright © 2009. ThinkBusiness Magazine and The Chief Storyteller LLC. All Rights Reserved. 3 of 3