In his popular book, More … Word of Mouth Referrals, Lifelong Customers and Raving Fans, professional speaker Matt Ward introduces the concept of the Personal Care Package as a means of really staying on the radar of your best referral sources.
He shares, “To cut through the noise of marketing and advertising that bombards your contacts every day, you must find some very clever ways to reach them. Developing your personal care package is the key. This is a series of things you do to ensure that you remain on the top of your contact’s mind.”
Ward essentially asks, “What is it that you could send to your best referral sources?” And he shares that it has to show that you’ve taken note of who they are, what they’ve said, or what really matters to them.
Maybe it’s a unique trinket … an article or other information … or maybe chocolate-covered bacon. Figure that out and then take action.
In the summer of 2005, Kyle MacDonald shared on the Internet that he was attempting to own a house by trading up from his starting position –a red paper clip. Immediately he traded the paper clip for a fish-shaped pen.
Another person saw more value in the pen than in the handmade doorknob he had. And similar logic followed as the doorknob was exchanged for a camp stove, followed by a 100-watt generator, then a Budweiser sign, which ultimately garnered a snowmobile.
From here, MacDonald secured an afternoon with rock star Alice Cooper, which he traded for a KISS snow globe, which converted into a paid movie role. Finally, someone offered a farmhouse in exchange for the movie role.
This is a wonderful metaphor for networking. The things you offer up to your network have more value in the hands of others. And what you get in return has a whole lot more value to you. In short, networking arithmetic is a whole different breed of math.
Think of the last person you spoke to. What qualities about them do you admire? Did you somehow convey that sentiment to them? Why not?
Now think about this. When you discover that someone admires qualities you possess, do you tend to have a heightened degree of admiration for them? I bet you do.
So, it stands to reason that a super simple, highly effective and very inexpensive means of drawing others to you is to let them know what you sincerely appreciate about them. You only need a moment to say it. Or a few keystrokes to fire out an e-mail. Or a postage stamp and a little ink on a handwritten note.
With this little bit of effort, you set in motion powerful forces that serve to amplify your relationship with whomever you choose.
So, what’s stopping you? It’s easy to do. And the rewards are amazing. So, let someone know why you appreciate them.
As Brian Ahearn reminds us in his book Influence People, “Studies show people are more likely to comply with a request when it comes from an expert.”
While that’s insightful, it likely begs the question, “How can I make this influence tactic work for me?” Well, Ahearn offers insight for that too. He shares, “Studies show you can increase your trustworthiness – and in turn your authority – simply by admitting a weakness early on. Then, be sure to share your strengths immediately afterwards.” According to Ahearn, this approach will ensure that people remember your strengths more than your weaknesses.
So, to ensure you have a lasting impact with your message, say something like, “No, I don’t know anything about the political implications. But I’ve spent a year studying the financial implications. This pays for itself in a year or less.”
As Ahearn reminds, your authority is built through your weaknesses and then on to your strengths.
You want a productive network. You know you do. One that keeps you flush with people you can turn to for great referrals, insightful information and additional priceless contacts.
You want this. Everyone does. How do get such a productive network? Simple. Make it a priority to share great referrals, insightful information and priceless contacts.
It’s no secret. To get things out of your network, you first need to build those same things in your network. When you contribute to others – family, friends, colleagues, clients and even people you hardly know – you build those relationships. And you set in motion amongst your network a powerful desire to contribute to you in return.
So, every day commit to doing something to contribute to your network, as each action is a step towards building the network you want. What are you doing today to build your network?
Famed basketball coach, John Wooden once shared, “Be more concerned with your character than your reputation. Character is what you really are. Reputation is what people say you are.”
Wooden’s words are insightful. Your reputation is never truly accurate. It’s based on tiny moments of your life over time. These small snapshots or sound bites are only notable moments that others have chosen to seize upon as being important based on their limited perspective of you.
Your character, however, is true. It’s what you are. It’s who you are. It’s not a simple portrayal of some fleeting instant where facts and circumstances are limited. It’s what permeates your thoughts and actions even when no one is there to witness it. It beats in your heart 24 hours a day.
Yes, focus on character over reputation, as character is what you are. And not just what others think. If you do this, in time your reputation will closely align with your character.
On the How To Be Mesmerizing podcast, host, author and thought leading psychologist Tim Shurr shares a fun, but very effective exercise for improving your listening skills. Shurr encourages you to listen for the last word your conversation partner utters when you’re at an event or even casually chatting with family and friends. Simple, right?
Then your next question or comment needs to start with the last letter of the last word spoken. Now, as an example, the person says, “Every day, I go for long walk with my dog.” Given the last word is “dog,” your response should start with the letter G. Get it? Then you might say, “Good for you. Where do you go for these walks?
So, doing this makes you to pay attention, listen and learn. Now, if you replay this piece, you’ll find that this program follows Shurr’s exercise. Every sentence starts with the last letter of the last word of the previous one. Excellent, huh?
In 1959, Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Harvey Haddix faced off against the Milwaukee Braves, winners of the last two National League pennants. Haddix was fearless in his approach, downing the first three batters in the first inning and not given up a run, walk, or hit.
Then, he did it again in the second inning. Then, the third. The fourth. Fifth. Sixth. And so on. In a perfect game this continues for nine innings. After 11 innings, Haddix still had no blemishes on his effort.
Unfortunately, the game went to a 12th inning. The Braves scored a run, winning the game. Sadly, rather than having a perfect game on his record, Haddix was credited with a disappointing loss. Despite this, his effort is referred to as the greatest game ever pitched.
The lesson is this: Don’t be hemmed in by the standards of others. Whatever your work is, do your very best, and know that it can be characterized as great, even if the result is not exactly what others hoped for.
You’ve got big dreams. No matter who you are or where you are, you’re aspiring to something more than what you have now. It’s simply human nature to want for something more.
At times, however, that ambition can seem so big that it’s daunting; so huge that it’s impossible to start. Don’t be deterred. Simply ask yourself, what’s the thin edge of the wedge.
This idiom refers to a time before equipment and machinery when people used wedges to move seemingly immovable objects. If they could just get the narrowest side of a wedge into a gap, that would allow them to do bigger things, in time.
So, what’s that one small, minor action to get you started on realizing your dreams? Act on that. Then look to do something a fraction larger. And then again. And again. Eventually your aspirations are realized. And, it all started with the thin edge of the wedge.
Growing AmSpirit Business Connections just got a little more ReWarding!
How this works!
Its simple. Every time you refer a new member to AmSpirit Business Connections, you get a ReWard! Credit. Accumulate 3 ReWard! Credits and you get to choose 1 (one) memento from a selection of various items. (which items do change from time to time. Some items are limited) Accumulate 3 more ReWard! Credits, choose another item…and so on. See Below for the Official Rules and Regulations.
Click on the above link under the picture and see all the exciting gifts you can earn in our ReWards! program.
Don’t miss your chance to earn your AmSpirit ReWards!
Introduce someone to the benefits of membership in AmSpirit Business Connections today!
AmSpirit ReWards Official Rules and Regulations
Every time you refer a new member to AmSpirit Business Connections, you get a ReWards! credit.
Accumulate 3 ReWards! credits and you get to choose a memento from a selection of various items.
Each time you accumulate 3 AmSpirit Rewards! credits you will get to select one of our various AmSpirit ReWards! Items.
To get credit for referring a particular member your name must be specified under the “How did you hear about AmSpirit Business Connections?” section of the New Membership Application & Agreement.
AmSpirit ReWards! credits do not accumulate for members reinstating their membership with AmSpirit Business Connections. The member referred must be a new member to the organization.
AmSpirit ReWards! are not transferable to other members or others transferring into a corporate or individual membership.
We will notify you of your ReWards! through the email address we have on file.
AmSpirit ReWards! referral credits never expire and they carry over from year to year until the program ends or you as a member leaves AmSpirit.
Prizes and awards can change at any time without notice.
This promotion will continue at the discretion of AmSpirit Business Connections. If terminated, 90 days notice will be provided to the membership.
AmSpirit ReWards! credits or prizes cannot be redeemed for cash or as a credit against current or outstanding Quarterly Dues.
Once 3 credits are accumulated and you have been notified, you have 30 days to make your selection.