April 30, 2013
You can’t count the apples in a seed.
We are all looking for quick results. We live in a fast-food, microwave society and business is moving at the speed of thought. With our hand-held devices, we can now do in 5 minutes what used to take weeks to do (literally). I can get a message to the other side of the world in less than a second! Meals are served up in 2 minutes or less and the expectation for immediate results is becoming the norm. In the past, if I wanted to meet with someone face to face, I had to get in a car or get in an airplane. Today we just open our computer! Have you noticed that the more connected we become, the less connected we become? It’s the great paradox of technology. It conjures up visions of the family of 5 sitting around the dinner table all on their “smart” devices texting. We have a greater need for human interaction than ever before. Kody Bateman says that our #1 human need is the need to love and be loved and I don’t think anyone would dispute that!
I find it interesting that most people that have the desperate mindset of wanting or needing it now, are also the same ones that struggle financially year after year. If it’s not going fast enough they change companies, then they do it over and over and over again. Most of them never attain what they are looking for. I learned some fundamental lessons in business years ago that I believe still apply today. In fact, I would wager that these principles will withstand the test of time regardless of how fast things go. I would even go so far to say that the faster things move because of technology, the greater the need for human interaction and relationships.
DR IVAN MISNER, “The Father of Modern Networking” and author of multiple New York Times Best-Selling books. Ivan is the Founder of BNI. He is the leading expert on networking:
When asked why so many people resist taking the time to network one reason given is:
“You’re impatient for results.
Often people don’t network because they expect immediate results. They deny the fact that networking works because they personally don’t follow up with the people they connect with and get no results. They are impatient and don’t understand the value of taking the time to build fruitful relationships. It hasn’t worked for them in the past, because they go for the “close” as opposed to establishing trust and the relationship first.”
We live in such a rushed society these days, expecting – even demanding – immediate results for our efforts. Networking is not a “get-rich-quick” scheme. As I’ve often said, a successful networking effort is much more like farming than hunting. We have to cultivate good relationships that pay us back over the long term, year after year.
Most movements (things that go viral) are a result of people telling people about something they like to people they like. Who do you listen to? Who do you trust? Who are you most likely to follow through with? When you find something that you love, who do you want to immediately share it with?
In a few minutes I’m going to reveal six things that cause ideas and businesses to go viral. But before I do, let’s talk about networking and networks.
I tell you, then you tell a few others, then they tell a few others and so on and so on. That’s how networks are built. Some people are more connected than others. We don’t always know who will resonate with our idea and who will not. A good idea can travel fast when it enters the right network of people.
I know of and have experienced many circumstances of interactions and relationships that resulted in huge networks of people and business that would not have developed if the person or people introducing the idea were impatient and desperate. Most importantly, when business becomes #1 and the relationship becomes #2, most of the time the business never happens. You’ve heard the phrase, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care!”
When I hear the phrase, “Why should I take the time to sign up a preferred customer when I only make $1.55 per month?”, this tells me that the person doesn’t get networking at all. This is the phrase that comes from a salesperson, not a network marketer. If you want to be a salesperson, then Network Marketing is probably not for you! There are many things you can go sell and make money. You’ll probably never walk away with a large residual income, but you can make money. It’s the difference between buying liter bottles of soda for 25 cents each knowing you can resell them for $1.25 vs. placing vending machines that sell soda in multiple locations around your town. One provides massive leverage and the other doesn’t. It shouldn’t matter whether you sign someone up on a FREE GIFT ACCOUNT, a retail customer account, a preferred customer account or as a distributor. YOU CAN’T COUNT THE APPLES IN A SEED! I didn’t know if Jim Packard would be interested in being a customer or a distributor. I could have said, “why should I even meet with him?! He doesn’t even know how to use a computer!!” I could have viewed it as a waste of my time! Networking is about building personal connections with people. Getting to know them. Understanding their needs. Listening. Offering them something that will make their life better. It doesn’t even matter to me whether someone knows how to use a computer. Jim had a big network of people that already trusted him! I am looking for 1). People that have a network of people that trust them. 2). People that are looking for an opportunity to improve their lives in some way.
There is a woman in another network marketing company that had an event planned for her company in another city that was 2 hours away. At the last minute, the person in her downline that planned the event cancelled, but one of the guests that was planning on coming still wanted to meet. The upline was trying to decide whether she should take this 2 hour trip just to meet with one woman. She decided to go. The woman went on to become her top performer with thousands of distributors in her organization. YOU CAN’T COUNT THE APPLES IN A SEED!
Here are a few things you can do that can help you in mining the gold in your network:
- FOCUS ON THE RELATIONSHIP FIRST – Make people, not business, your priority. We are a “People First” company! It’s what sets our culture apart from the rest.
- RECOGNIZE THAT PEOPLE ARE MORE LIKELY TO DO BUSINESS WITH YOU IF YOU HAVE INVESTED SOME TIME AND SOME INTEREST IN THEM.
- ASK YOURSELF THE QUESTION, “WHO DOES BUSINESS WITH PEOPLE WHO WOULD DO BUSINESS WITH ME?”
They typically already have a network of people that they are connected with that would be good potential business builders.
- ONCE YOU GET DOWN TO BUSINESS, GIVE PEOPLE ALL THE OPTIONS BUT SIGN THEM UP FOR THE OPTION THAT IS BEST FOR THEM – Be more concerned about serving them vs. what you are going to get. These are the people that will be with you for the long haul.
- PEOPLE WILL DO THIS ON THEIR SCHEDULE AND NOT YOURS – People will sign up when they are ready and not when you want them to.
- BUILD A LIFETIME NETWORK – When you serve people, your network will be with you for life!
- SEND PERSONAL CARDS – It’s one of the best ways to build lasting relationships.
- PLAY YOUR BEST GAME – Learn the business of networking inside and out and always play at your highest level. Over the long haul, no one will ever be able to compete with that.
- USE TECHNOLOGY TO YOUR BENEFIT ” Also recognize when you are hiding behind technology to avoid doing the fundamentals of relationship building. Technology gives us the tools to get to the relationship quicker but understand that trust is built over time and destroyed in seconds. By giving, staying in touch, being more interested in the person than getting their business, etc. you build trust. The technology simply helps you to connect with more people sooner. How do you like to be treated? Would you prefer to business with people who treat you like a number and a prospect or with people that treat you like a valued human being?
- FOLLOWING UP, CARING ABOUT PEOPLE AND STAYING IN TOUCH ARE KEY – In ALL cases a successful business is built on the foundation of these principles.
When an individual joins any network marketing business and their income explodes, it is because of one of two reasons:
a. They joined and they already had a LARGE network of people that trusted them (a large list) and they approached that group about the business.
b. They quickly sponsored someone that already had a LARGE network of people (a large list) that trusted them and they approached that group about the business
This seems to be true in ALL cases.
The fundamentals of networking will never change. People connected to people through a common bond will outperform any technological scheme over time. Imagine muscles that are injected with steroids. In the short run the muscles will appear to outperform those that follow a stringent fitness regime however, the healthy person will always win over the chemically induced performer in the long run. Some technology schemes create massive growth but in the long-run they fall apart because they aren’t built on the basis of relationships.
Think about you and your friends. When a trusted friend asks you to check something out, are you more or less likely to consider it (if it’s a good idea) than if a stranger approaches you on the internet?
WHAT MAKES AN IDEA OR COMPANY GO VIRAL?
(As we go through these, ask yourself if we are well positioned to go viral?)
by Nadia Goodman
Ten years ago, had you ever heard of the hand sanitizer Purell? It existed, but nobody really used it. Then one day, it was everywhere. Grocery stores placed dispensers at the door, nail salons gave it to clients, and people started carrying travel size bottles in their bags. With little advertising, how did Purell catch on?
Jonah Berger, an assistant professor of marketing at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business, has dedicated his career to answering that question. As he explains in his new book, Contagious: Why Things Catch On (Simon & Schuster, 2013), every viral product has six key features in common — features that can be replicated to make any product go viral.
“People often think that contagious products just get lucky,” Berger says. “But it’s not luck and it’s not random. It’s science.”
According to Berger’s research, specific circumstances and attributes empower consumers to share a given product. Any business can leverage those insights to create a viral hit. “You don’t need a huge advertising budget,” Berger says.
Related: Creative Problem-Solving Strategies to Test Your Business Idea
As many as half of consumers’ purchasing decisions are driven by word of mouth marketing — it’s trustworthy and far more targeted than traditional advertising. Plus, the majority of those interactions happen offline, where advertisements can’t reach. “Authenticity is a big reason word of mouth impacts behavior,” Berger says.
To create a viral product that consumers are inspired to share authentically, incorporate these key elements.
- Social currency. Consumers are more likely to adopt a product if it makes them feel special or ahead of the curve. For example, Gilt’s exclusive sales helped it become one of the hottest online shopping sites.
- Triggers. Products that catch on become part of our everyday lives, so successful products create reasons and reminders to return on a regular basis. For example, Facebook and Twitter drive you back to their sites every time they email you to say you have a new message or mention.
- Emotional impact. People tend to evangelize a product if it affected them emotionally, whether it solved a stressful problem or brightened a bad day. For example, if a Buzzfeed article makes you laugh, you’ll likely share it with friends who need a lift.
- Visibility. Giving a product a distinctive feature, such as a standout logo or color, helps consumers notice when others are using it. For example, you immediately recognize iPods because Apple made the headphones white when other companies all used black.
- Practical value. A truly useful product that helps the user become more effective is more likely to be recommended often. For example, Evernote is very good at helping users remember and organize information, so it’s often recommended for research.
- Stories. If people are going to share your product, they need to be able to tell its story. That can be as simple as a clear statement about what the product does, or as complicated as a really interesting origin story. For example, people who buy TOMS shoes love telling others how one pair is donated for every pair you buy.