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No Time for Small Talk in Networking

People often mistakenly perceive what goes on at networking meetings and events as making small talk with a bunch of strangers.  Real business networking , however, isn’t about making small talk at all; rather it is about building meaningful, mutually beneficial relationships with other business professionals and small talk isn’t generally something that helps further this aim.  Serious networkers, recognizing that they have limited time to introduce themselves and convey the essence of what they do, generally avoid lengthy small talk.

If you want to build your business through word of mouth, you must give a message that’s heard by others.  You need to create a positive message and deliver it effectively–who are you, what do you offer, and to whom do you offer it?  When you properly position yourself with an effective message instead of trying to connect through making small talk, you save time because others quickly understand  what your company represents and offers.

Take the time to plan your introduction and prepare some concise and descriptive overviews of your products or services.  Then, when you meet someone for the first time, you can give him a good explanation of what you have to offer.  I recommend that you develop several scripts that you can readily use when attending networking meetings.

Show pride in who you are and what you do.  As an example of this, I often mention a fantastic quote from Martha Taft.  When she was a young girl in elementary school, she was asked to introduce herself to a group of people.  “My name is Martha Bowers Taft,” she said.  “My great-grandfather was President of the United States, my grandfather was a United States Senator, my daddy is Ambassador to Ireland, and I am a Brownie.”

If you have honed your message and have crafted an introduction which has been very effective for you at networking functions, I encourage you to share it in the comment forum below and to explain how you went about constructing your message and your introduction.  You never know who you’ll help by sharing your insights. Thanks!

 

Source – [BusinessNetworking]

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The Six Levels of Customer Service

405764_338908089551369_488844152_nLast month I met a client in Indonesia. We went to lunch at a nearby mall where music poured into the public area from every shop. Just as we passed one storefront, the music stopped and the shopkeeper let out a growl. I looked inside and saw something most of us have not gazed upon for years. The shopkeeper had been changing the music in his boom box and as he pulled out the old cassette, all that thin metallic tape came spilling out in a dusty mess on the floor.

Remember that? But when was the last time you saw it? Do you remember phonograph records that scratched and screeched? Or cracked CDs? Today’s music is skip-free, scratch-free, instant, mobile—and never gathers dust.

Of course, it’s easy to see how advancements in technology are constantly changing our lives. Companies that manufacture products understand they must always be introducing something new, faster, easier, or better to keep their customers engaged. If they don’t, they will be left in the dust when their customers upgrade to the next new product.

Very few companies, however, understand that service is exactly the same—it’s always changing, and your job is to stay ahead of the competition and ahead of the curve.

Here’s what I mean. To start, let’s figure out the level of your current service. Basically it fits into one of these six categories.

• Criminal service is really bad. It’s service that violates even minimum expectations, the kind of service that your customers remember never to use again, and are angry enough to call you and complain about.
• Basic service is disappointing. It’s the point of frustration that can turn into anger—but when it’s over the customer is not disappointed enough to complain. However, he will tell his friends, and will remember not to call you for that kind of service again.
• Expected service is nothing special. It’s the average, the usual, the norm. The customer might come back to you, but only if no better options exist.
• Desired service is what your customers hope for and prefer. They’ll do business with your organization again because you do things for them just the way they like it.
• Surprising service is something special, like an unexpected gift. It gives your customers more than they expected. This makes you an organization that customers enjoy and will come back to again and again.
• Unbelievable service is astonishingly fantastic. This is the level of service your customers can’t forget, the legendary treatment they will tell all their friends about.

Can you see where your service stands today? Great. Now consider this: Each level of service is just like a step in a staircase. Companies that truly understand the power of great service are continuously looking for ways to climb to the next level.

But here’s the rub: Moving up is not another step on a solid staircase; it’s like trying to climb up a down escalator. Each level is consistently sliding downward because your competitors are also working to raise their service. One day you offer surprising service, but the next day everyone in your industry is doing the same thing—oops, you just slipped down to Desired. Wait another day, and oops, you just fell to Expected. The next thing you know, you’re the cassette player of service trying to compete with the iPod. Keep your service stepping up, or find yourself lying in the dust.

How can you step up your service? Three ways. First, keep service improvement as a key focus of your business. Don’t just hit the service target; aim for one or two steps higher. Next, ask your customers what else they would like, appreciate, or value. What are you not yet doing that they would love you for if you did?

Finally, benchmark your competition and those outside your industry. What’s new in one arena soon finds its way to others.

Ron Kaufman is coming  for a day of Service leadership workshop in  Dubai. Book your tickets now - http://www.facebook.com/events/115258795305816/

Source – [Ron Kaufman]

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Aligning Goals with Your Purpose

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Many people subscribe to the Protestant work ethic, which says you must work hard to prosper. But success does not require struggle  and suffering. It can be effortless, meaning that you are having fun while pursuing your goals, even when you’re working incredibly hard.

The key to unlocking effortless success lies in the goals that you choose to pursue. The more your goals are aligned with your purpose, the more fun you’ll have … and the more easily you’ll achieve the success you desire.

The Key to Effortless Success

We each have a unique purpose to fulfill here on Earth. Identifying, acknowledging and honoring this purpose is perhaps the most important action successful people take.

Without a purpose in life, it’s easy to get sidetracked and end up accomplishing very little. But with a purpose, everything seems to fall into place. The people, resources and opportunities you need naturally gravitate toward you. The world benefits, too, because when you act in alignment with your true life purpose, all of your actions automatically serve others.

What Alignment Means

We’re all gifted with a set of talents and interests that tell us what we’re supposed to be doing. Once you know what your life purpose is, organize all of your activities around it. Everything you do should be an expression of your purpose. If an activity or goal doesn’t fit that formula, don’t work on it.

For example, I frequently am invited to participate in multi-level marketing companies and have on several occasions. But when I have, it’s left me feeling drained, even though the companies and their products were superior. The reason is that hosting meetings and selling opportunities to others does not support my purpose – to inspire and empower people to live their highest vision in a context of love and joy. I’ve learned through experience that the best way for me to work with MLM companies is by speaking to and training their distributors, an activity that allows me to fulfill my purpose.

Aligning with your purpose is most critical when setting professional goals. When it comes to personal goals, you have more flexibility. If you want to learn how to paint or water ski, go ahead and do so. If your goal is to get fit and lose weight, move ahead with confidence. Nurturing yourself emotionally, physically and spiritually will make you more energized, resilient and motivated to live your purpose on the professional front.

However, don’t ignore the signs that your job or career is not right for you. If you dread Monday mornings and live for the weekends, it may be a sign that it’s time to follow your heart and pursue the work you long to do.

Are You Aligned?

There are a few ways to gauge whether your goals are aligned with your purpose. The first is to simply check in with yourself and ask whether achieving the goal supports your life purpose. If not, the goal is not something you should pursue.

Conveniently, human beings are equipped with an inner guidance system that tells us when we are on or off purpose based on the amount of joy we are experiencing. When you feel like you are in “flow,” you are on purpose. When working toward your goals is a chore or success is extremely difficult, stop and evaluate whether your goal is aligned with your purpose.

A final technique you can use is to probe deeper into your desire to achieve a particular goal. Ask yourself, “If I achieve this goal, what would I have then that I don’t have now?” When you have an answer, ask the question again. Continue the process until you’ve reached your root desire. Then ask whether you truly need to achieve the goal to get what you really want.

For example, you may say that you want to earn $1 million. But upon further examination, you may realize that what you really crave is the joy of pursuing what you really want to do in life, which you would be able to do wholeheartedly once you had enough money to ensure financial security. Must you become a millionaire to experience joy? Of course not. Instead, consider all the ways that you can experience what you truly want to feel and be, then make those your goals.

At its heart, effortless success is about fully embracing and expressing who you are. It means following your inner guidance to ensure that you are living your very unique purpose as much as you can. Use the tips shared in this article to identify the right goals to pursue in 2012 – and watch how much easier it becomes to achieve your dreams.

Want to learn align your purpose with your goals…Register for Jack Canfield seminar in Dubai - http://rightselection.com/events/john-gray-live/

Source – [Jack Canfield]