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The Game of Networking… Is it really a Game?

Posted on | February 24, 2006 | No Comments

And Can a Professional Sales Person use this Technique to have more Success:FULL Sales?

By Kevin Barrett http://www.kjbarrett.com

I had a question posed to me today…. That inferred that “Networking” was really a “Game” and you need to know the rules of the Game to play it…

Or in the words of Kenny Rogers’ song, “The Gambler”…. “If you are gonna play the game boy, you gotta learn to play it right…..”

So is networking a “Game”?…

And is “Sales” a Game”?

I would tend to agree with that term, but not so much from the word itself, but from the emotion that is invoked from the participation in the act of Networking and Sales.

A “Game” is “Participation”, the act of playing.

I have spent most of my life traveling for business making connections world wide and developing friends on a Global basis.

Some of these connections have lasted a week, some have lasted a life time.

ALL have had a meaningful impact on my life and those that I have interacted with during those “Connections”.

The emotion that drives me in this “Game”, is “Excitement”… another word that covers the feeling is “Enthusiasm”….

It is the same feeling I experienced on each and every trip I ever made… “Who am I going to meet?” and “What great things will we accomplish, together?”

I also find that I have two distinct networks…. One is my close sphere, friends that I am in daily contact… friends and family where we share a deeper bonding….this sphere has a deeper involvement… and it is one where I can more readily see a positive impact from the relationship. (This can be on-line and off-line)

The other sphere are “Connections” that are there… occasional but none the less important.

In business, I teach companies that they are to develop what I call a “Loyalty Ladder” of Customers, not just a “Revolving Door” type business. To develop this “Loyalty Ladder”… they must have “Open” regular communications with their customers.

The same hold true for “Networking” and developing the “Connections”….

My challenge is this, “How, Kevin can you maintain “Open” Regular communications to nurture these “Connections”?.
How do I come to grips with maintaining this growing “Network” of “Connections” that I would like to grow into “Friends”?

In a Communications Model, derived from the field of NLP… out of the millions of bits of information that we are processing at any one point in time….

We are only able to be consciously aware of 7 +/- 2 bits of information.

The rest is handled below our conscious level of awareness.

I use the analogy of our Conscious Mind and Unconscious Mind, as a means of describing my growing Network….

I have 7 +/- 2 connections that I can concentrate on at one time… I guess these are the intense, in depth relationships…..

The others are there, just below the surface…… to be accessed when required…. Either by me or by the other party.

So much more is below the surface than above the surface.

I also know that when a connection is formed, with in us as a human, the stronger the emotional attachment associated with that connection, the easier it will be to access that in the future….

So, with “Networking”, I am aware that to have this “Connection” be meaningful, I must be the one to form a strong link…. Not the other person…. Although the strongest connections, are when each person takes care of their end of the link…..

For example, I have not had “Open” regular communications with people over the last so many years…. And when we catch up…. It is like no time has passed… we pick up where we left off…

Developing a Global network takes active involvement to develop… it takes a commitment to the “Long Term”….

And most importantly, when do I listen and respond to the urging of my Unconscious Network to make a Conscious connection again…. Just to say hello….

In business, I recommend effective use of emailing to maintain “Open Regular” communications with clients and customers…

These can be “Automated” and “Personalized” at the same time… and I have been using a product called Mailloop 6.0 Pro to accomplish this…. The product is truly amazing at keeping in contact with my sphere network, just below the surface…. (click on this link for more information Mailoop 6.0 Pro)

In addition in it is important to recognize that every connection is meaningful and can be profound.

The importance of this was etched into my mind… no my spirit…. At a very young age…

When I was growing up every summer vacation my family would go camping at a State Park in Finger Lakes region of New York State. Always a lot of fun.

When I got to High School age, it was also fun… there was always the opportunity to meet girls from all over the country….

In my 2nd year of High School, I invited a Football buddy of mine Mike.. to come along..

Every night we would invite all of the people we had met to my family’s campsite and we would Sing around the campfire…. Good memories…

There was a particular girl, whose name was Mary… everyone was calling her “Crazy Mary”… She was an attractive girl, and was always by herself and had a sad look in her eyes….

My friend Mike and I were walking along the beach and as we passed Mary some other people were shouting there is “Crazy Mary”…

Well, I followed Mary back to the Cabin, she and her mother were staying in and started talking to her…. She was a nice girl… just very lonely and sad…. I then asked her mother if it was ok if Mary came up to our campsite that night to sing along with us…

Mike my friend and I would walk her up and walk her home…. Mary had a great time, and I remember that the group of us…. 6 or 7 of us… were singing all the way back to Mary’s cabin…. Yes there was a full moon that night…

That was the last I ever saw of Mary…

4 months later I received a call from Mary’s mother… to thank me for what I had done for Mary… I don’t know all the details, but Mary’s mother told me Mary had tried to commit suicide, before going on that camping trip… she had been having trouble fitting into a new school, and not feeling very good about herself…

That one night, with us, changed her perspective on herself and about life…

The interesting part is I don’t know what caused me to follow Mary back and talk to her and her mother… I was usually a pretty shy person… maybe it was the sadness in her eyes or the pain I saw….

But I did and I moved out of my comfort zone and “Connected”….

It taught me, that every “Connection” is important…. And we may never know the impact that “Connection” might have….

Our responsibility is to make it a positive one… no matter how brief….

Hopefully, it provides a different perspective on the “Game” of “Networking”…

And how we can turn this into an effective “Professional Sales Technique”.

Or is this just the “Game of Life” we are talking about?

Kevin Barrett
http://www.kjbarrett.com

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As a Sales Professional, How do you know you have become an “Expert”?

Posted on | February 24, 2006 | No Comments

By: Kevin Barrett http://www.kjbarrettcrm.com

Or, Do we ever really become an “Expert”… at anything?

This question was posed to me awhile back.

I listened and contemplated the myriad of answers.

The answers ranged from the old standards like, “An expert is anyone that is 60 miles away from home.” I guess that answer is derived from a “Prophet is rarely ever accepted in their home town.”

Others commented that an “Expert” knows their area of expertise intimately.

Well, my take on this is that the world is changing at a very fast pace. When I was in Research and Development, the “Development Window” (Time from idea conception to commercialization) was 7 years.

Today, that “Development Window” is for the most part 18 months, and shrinking.

So, How does this impact the Sales Professional?

Notice, I have used the word “Professional”. Small distinction from Sales Person, but the power of that word is this…..as a “Professional” we tend to treat our careers as a true “Profession”. A sales person tends to treat their career as, well, I guess, like an employee. A True Professional takes the Responsibility, the lead, for their development.

I guess that means we are continually BE coming, that professional. BE coming, that “Expert”

An expert…..Strives for personal and professional excellence. To be the best they can be for others, you must first be the best they can be for themselves (Remember, we are the most important person in our world.)

They become a master of attitude, a master of goals, a master of belief in themselves, a master of achievement actions, and seek a daily dose of what’s new. From the school of N.L.P., comes the four levels of learning.

• Unconscious Incompetence – You don’t know, you don’t know. If you have never seen a car, you would not know you did not know how to drive a car.

• Conscious Incompetence – You know, you don’t know. Now you have seen a car for the first time, you know you don’t know how to drive the car.

• Conscious Competence – If you concentrate on what you are doing, you can do it. You are learning to drive now and as long as you remember to put in the clutch and watch the road etc. you can drive.

• Unconscious Competence – You do not have to think about what you are doing, you can do it. It is like being on automatic pilot. You can now drive, listen to the radio, carry on a conversation and still stop at a red light. (most times!)

I believe there is a fifth level of learning, which I have called:

• Super-conscious Competence – You are now able to link up to other areas in your Unconscious Competency data base and create NEW creative responses. That response is the perfect response for any given situation.

Those who operate at this level are the true “Masters of Life” and the true “Masters of their Professions”.

This is the Level that truly denotes BE coming an “Expert”.

The expert does not always know all the answers, but they are able to take, what they do know, and come up with the perfect….. quantum response… from their information “Data Base”…

Taking what you know as well as “Breathing” (Unconscious Competency) and being able to “Breath New Life” (Super Conscious Competency) into someone… that can not breath on their own…. And save their life.

Under that perspective, I guess, I will forever BE coming an Expert… as I continue to learn and add to my Unconscious Competence “Data Base”

This is what a true “Sales Professional” does. They learn “Professional Sales Techniques” place them into their “Unconscious Competency” data base, and “Create” new creative, quantum solutions, from the Fifth State of Competency… Super Conscious Competence.

Kevin Barrett

http://www.kjbarrettcrm.com

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Are Sales people really Entrepreneurs? Or Are Entrepreneurs really Sales people?

Posted on | February 24, 2006 | No Comments

………Or who really cares and does it really matter?

By Kevin Barrett http://www.kjbarrett.com

This past weekend I attended a marketing seminar, specifically related to the Internet… It was put on by IMC Internet Marketing Center, Derek Gehl. Derek brought quite a few of his staff…

I have used the “Insiders Secrets to Marketing you business on the internet”, by Cory Rudl for around 5 years. I recently purchased the new version again, my original copy is over in Australia and it has changed a bit in the last 5 years… actually very good information… but it has to be turned into knowledge and then we must use it to create something…. Information is not much use, until we use… it.

Some background… when I was in Australia, I was the Marketing Director for a start-up Dot Com company, and we were setting up a fully online educational institute, affiliated with three Australian Universities. We were offering Undergraduate, graduate and advanced degree programs… along with Certificate programs…

This was in the late 90’s, and at that time I “googled”, Internet marketing sales I know this was before google… but google is such a nice word…. And it is so much easier to say than “I performed a search of the internet to find information related to a topic that I was interested in that had the key words, Internet, marketing and sales”

After, obtaining information from a relatively unknown, young person… a non-traditional marketer… this Dot Com company had in 3 months over 150 students signed up for our Executive MBA (Entrepreneurship)

There were very few Universities in Australia that had that many MBA, students in their programs…

Well, needless to say, It reconfirmed my belief in the power of the Internet… and the impact on Sales and Marketing…

I should point out that I have been using the internet, long before it was called the Internet… I worked for 3M, and I was uploading my reports to our mainframe computer from around the world, using the telephone lines… The platform we used was the Defense Departments and piggy backed off that…

It evolved from there, so I have been using this for a very long time….

A year or so later I met this Internet Guru at a seminar in Sydney…. His name Cory Rudl…

Well, I have been using Cory’s techniques for a long time and they really do work….

Back to the Topic at hand….

Are Sales people really Entrepreneurs? Or Are Entrepreneurs really Sales people?

Somewhere in the early part of the seminar Derek Gehl asked the question:

Who of you are in Sales?

I raised my hand… and out of 300 some odd people, there were not to many more hands that went up…..

It’s interesting… people say that I am an owner, a business person, a marketer an entrepreneur…….

But people really hate to say that they are in sales or a sales person…It seems to be a dirty word… and I guess, Sell is a “Four Letter word”.

The truth is we are all in SALES.

Many years ago, when I was struggling with this perception of a Sales Person, one of my mentors, who was a Senior Vice President of 3M, told me

“that if we were ever going to succeed as a company…. And continue to be creative, innovative and become truly entrepreneurial (This was in the early 80’s)

We needed to stay close and learn from the most creative and entrepreneurial asset we have in this company….. The Salesman”. Today, he would have said “The Salesperson”.

I never forgot that…. The salesperson, is the connect, the nexus, to the market place.

Now, Ben the Vice President, went out into the field with the sales people… and became known as quite a good sales person…

“The best Sales Person in the Organization… Has to be the Chief Executive Officer…” quote Harvey Mackay, author and CEO Mackay Envelopes.

Interesting!

I wrote the following article almost 10 years ago, and it has been published it in several different forms.. This form was targeted towards the Sales Professional, but in reality it was put together as part of a “Pocket Guide for the Entrepreneur”

Feel free to read and download this article….

12 Faces of the New Millennium (a Pocket Guide for the Entrepreneur)

So in summary…

There is no difference in the characteristics of being a Success:FULL Sales person and being a Success:FULL Entrepreneur….

A company like 3M has known this little published SECRET, for many, many years…

And have consistently been one of the most innovative, creative and Entrepreneurial Companies in the world…

If it has worked for 3M, it can work for us….

What we think about we become…. What we think about ourselves we become…..

Perceptions are important… and perceptions about ourselves are even more important.

And that is why….

We need to care…… This small change in our thoughts as to who we are, will have a profound effect on our success.

Not only in our respective business, but also on our Success:FULL Sales….

Kevin Barrett



http://www.kjbarrettcrm.com

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