Category Archives: business lessons

5 Secret Questions hold the key to life

Often times I’m asked how it is so easy and seemingly effortless for me to meet strangers and soon have them turned into friends.

It begins with my genuine interest in people. It has always been my belief that I can enjoy anyone for at least 20 minutes. Sometimes 20 minutes is enough; often times a lifetime is not nearly enough. People genuinely interest me. They all have stories and I love to pull those stories out.  You see, I have discovered to make others feel important, show a genuine interest in them. Once they feel valued (important) they will open up and shortly thereafter a relationship is born.

To be successful, be genuinely interested in other people. I always learn so much from other people. It’s so easy to be interested, so why not be interested

To make others feel at ease with me, I’ve honed a specific set of easy-to-answer questions. Soon you will learn these questions. Commit them to memory (write them down until you have them memorized) and soon you can make everyone you meet comfortable with you.

When we build bridges with people we are more likely to create great relationships, to get cooperation and to conduct business. Talking with other people becomes easier when you realize that everybody’s got a story. And those stories, in most cases, are very interesting. These stories are so fascinating to me and it’s amazing how much I learn in about five minutes. We can all learn so much from the challenges, successes and adventures of others. When you meet someone new and find a way to allow them to talk, they will quickly hold you in high esteem. They will feel comfortable with you within minutes and they will often want to talk with you further. So, how do I get so many people to talk with me so easily? Getting people to talk with you becomes simple when you have specific, easy-to-answer questions that you can use every time. These questions will make you feel confident and make the person you are meeting feel important. Anyone will find these questions easy to answer. Make sure your tone is inquisitive and calm when asking these questions. No inquisition here.

Question 1:

I’m just curious, where are you from originally?

Starting this question with “I’m just curious”, relaxes the person you are asking. They are disarmed and comfortable right away. This question always leads to the beginning of a person’s story.

Now Question 2 can go two directions.   If the person you asked are from a place different from where they are now, ask:

What brought you here?

If they are from the same place where you are asking the question, ask:

Have you lived here all your life?

Question 3 is:

Do you have a family?

This questions immediately creates great relationships. People love talking about their family.

Question 4 is:

What do you do? 

Question 5 is:

What did you want to be when you were growing up?

Because I owned a toy manufacturing company, I often also ask

What was your favorite toy when you were growing up?

Every person on the planet played with something when they were kids and this question is a wonderful ice breaker.

Everyone likes talking about their roots and about their families. Once you get someone started with easy questions, they’ll usually find it easy to keep talking. If the person you’re talking to is someone you’d like to speak with again, or do business with in the future, make note of the answers to these questions as soon as you have a moment. When you speak in the future, you can refer to some of their answers. This wins massive brownie points and showed you truly cared enough to remember. People are honored when we let them talk and even more so when we refer to something they told us in the past. That shows that you were genuinely interested and took the time to remember.

Many people have related to me that they were amazed with how much they learned about other people when they started using these questions. These questions will give you an easy and non-threatening way to start conversations and to make people feel important. You will see the magic this process creates in your ability to talk with others.

If you found this post useful, please forward to 5 people you know would like these questions. Please suggest they go to my website to learn more about me ~ www.marciareece.com

Remember:

It’s All About Relationships

– truly everything is!

Now practice your questions and let me know the results you achieve. Have fun and get to know some incredible new people with these fail-proof questions.

Marcia Reece, the inventor of Sidewalk Chalk, is the #1 Bestselling author of Secrets of the Marriage Mouse and The Ultimate Online Media Directory. She serves as the founder of Aspen Support Group. Her latest book is available on her website at www.marciareece.com or on Amazon.com

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Nike is absolutely right. Just Do It!

Despite what we may think about the power and flood of information coming at us from a multitude of different places, there is still something we all crave: consistency.

We want it.

We need it.

We value it.

So Just Do It; right?

No matter what your platform, no matter how you send out your information, the importance of consistency can’t be overlooked. 

We all have so much coming at us all day long, but we do look at what resonates with us.  If you have your message targeted to your key audience, they will want to read what you have to say.  

If you’re sending to people who have no interest in your work, they hit the delete button.  This makes it critically important to know your audience and give them what they want.  Each and every time!  If you expect your favorite show to be on a certain channel at a certain time each day, you will stop what you are doing and tune in – regardless of how busy you are.  

We are creatures of habit. 

Keep your followers happy by giving them what they want when they expect to get it and they will continue to follow you and pass the word to their networks who are interested in what you have to say.    

The value of being consistent became very Real to me many years ago when I was trying to get Wal-Mart (when they had only 66 stores) to buy my product.  I called my buyer every morning, precisely at 9:00 a.m.  I did not call at 8:57 a.m. and I did not call at 9:02 a.m.  I called for 46 mornings in a row precisely at 9:00 a.m.  On the 46th morning, my buyer’s assistant told me my buyer would see me at 11:00 a.m. that day!!  Well, the rest is history and the consistency of that phone call started a chain of events that changed my life and grew my company to 72% worldwide market share … far beyond my wildest dreams.  

Those on the A-Team or the TCO Groups are learning about the value of consistency. I know consistency continues to make a difference in my world every day.

Marcia Reece, the inventor of Sidewalk Chalk, is the #1 Bestselling author of Secrets of the Marriage Mouse and The Ultimate Online Media Directory. She serves as the founder of Aspen Support Group. Her latest book is available on her website at www.marciareece.com or on Amazon.com

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View Yourself as Your Brand

If you were senior VP of marketing at Pepsi, you would have no problem tooting the horn of the product line you represented. Why is it different when You are the brand you must toot.

We were all raised to be humble and modest and that’s well and good.

To successfully market you and your work, you must be able to step out of your being and view yourself as the “work of art”, “the product”, the brand”. It’s very hard to do at first, but practice and you will develop the confidence to see the points others need to learn to KLT (know, like, and trust) and you will be able to promote You.

One place to start may be to write up You in the form of your marketing plan. You will be able to see how You stack up against your competition.

What are 3 things you can say about You, your work, and You, the brand in your Marketing Plan? Let’s start there.

If you get stuck, call me. I’ll be glad to help you view yourself differently than ever before.

Marcia Reece, the inventor of Sidewalk Chalk, is the #1 Bestselling author of Secrets of the Marriage Mouse and The Ultimate Online Media Directory. She serves as the founder of Aspen Support Group. Her latest book is available on her website at www.marciareece.com or on Amazon.com

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One Thing NEVER to Forget

 Last week while at two invigorating events, I noticed how few people had business cards to distribute.

I jokingly told a friend that  I’d rather forget to wear underwear than to forget to have a good supply of business cards always in my pocket, wallet, or purse!!

Now, never fear, I always have on clean underwear but that’s how strongly I want you to understand the lost value when you show up without your “leave behind”. Remember the old American Express commercial which asked, “What’s in your wallet?”  Put a post a note on your steering wheel which says, “Do I have plenty of business cards”? If you don’t; don’t start the engine until you do because you can’t start the engine of your business without good legible business cards.

Here’s some ideas to get you thinking about your business card:

1)Have a card that stands out. Mine is inside a see-through vellum envelope. It ALWAYS stops the recipient and I get a chance to say, “I think outside the envelope” which opens up very interesting conversations.

2) Quality counts ~ this card is your first (and lasting impression). Don’t skimp on money when it comes to business card. You want to have good stock paper, print that doesn’t bleed from a drop of water, an embossed logo, and the card should feel substantial and pleasing to the touch. A poor quality card implies your business has poor quality products and services.

3) Using an Oversized Card may look chic to a designer, but common sense dictates the use of the traditional and standard 3.5 by 2-inch business card. Anything bigger will not fit in wallets or most business card holders.

4) If you give your card to someone and they can’t read it without their reading glasses…big NoNo.  A good guideline is to use a type size no smaller than 7-8 point. Your name can be 12 point, and your company name will work at 9 point.

What’s been the most memorable business card you have ever received? Do you still have it?

Remember, you are your brand and let your brand start with your business card…and Don’t Ever Leave Home Without a Big Stack of them.

Marcia Reece, the inventor of Sidewalk Chalk, is the #1 Bestselling author of Secrets of the Marriage Mouse and The Ultimate Online Media Directory. She serves as the founder of Aspen Support Group. Her latest book is available on her website at www.marciareece.com or on Amazon.com.

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Boost Your Brand

Boosting Your Brand Builds your Business

Build a strong professional image everywhere you go and everywhere you show up.  That means on and offline.  Emphasize your strengths and make sure your brand supports your goals.

Clean up your online presence.

If someone who wants to know more about you checks you out online, what would they find? A well-branded online presence sets the tone and is critically important today, more than ever before. Google your name and review the first page of results. Does each listing support or weaken your professional brand? Take the steps to improve these results by overhauling your online brand.

Early birds still get the worms. When you next attend an event, get there early and grab a seat at the table so you don’t end up in a chair on the outskirts of the room. This way, it will be easier to join in the conversation and voice your opinion. If you have something to contribute to the discussion, speak up – don’t wait for an opening to appear, as you may miss your window.

Never stop learning. The best way to maintain a strong brand is to never stop learning. Seek out professional development opportunities through relevant webcasts, Meetups, and other membership associations.  Prove that you are a valuable resource to your following by sharing what you’ve learned that may help others.

Get involved. There’s no better way to become know and to build your brand in the process of having fun.

Recruit a mentor. When I first began to think about having my book published, I knew I didn’t know anything about that industry.  I joined a professional association and quickly found a mentor in that group. The right mentor can shape your professional skills, teach you the ins and outs of your industry, help you navigate, overcome adversity, and introduce you to the right people and resources to advance your work.

Toot your own horn. If you want to get ahead, you not only have to deliver results above expectations – you have to be recognized for your accomplishments. If you’re working on a project that’s going well, don’t be afraid to share your enthusiasm with your following. Let them know your milestones. Share your results.

All of the above steps will each in their own way help to grow you and your brand.  What are your most successful tips and don’t be afraid to also share your biggest failures…we all have those and they cease being a failure as soon as we learn from them.

Marcia Reece is the #1 Bestselling author of Secrets of the Marriage Mouse and The Ultimate Online Media Directory. She serves as the founder of Aspen Support Group. Her latest book is available on her website at www.marciareece.com or on Amazon.com.

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Where are you headed today?

Business opportunities are like buses: there’s always another one coming. – Richard Branson

Might be wise to remember, however, that all buses are not going to the same bus stop.  Sometimes you end up in the coolest locations when you step outside your comfort zone.

Where do you want your bus to take you today?

Marcia Reece is the #1 Bestselling author of Secrets of the Marriage Mouse and The Ultimate Online Media Directory. She serves as the founder of Aspen Support Group. Her latest book is available on her website at www.marciareece.com or on Amazon.com.

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46 mornings in a row precisely at 9:00 a.m.

The value of being determined and consistent became Very Real to me many years ago when I was trying to get Wal-Mart (when they had only 66 stores) to buy my product.  I called my buyer every morning, precisely at 9:00 a.m.  I did not call at 8:57 a.m. and I did not call at 9:02 a.m.  I called for 46 mornings in a row precisely at 9:00 a.m.  On the 46th morning, my buyer’s assistant told me my buyer would see me at 11:00 a.m. that day!!  Well, the rest is history and the consistency of that phone call started a chain of events that changed my life and grew my company to 70% worldwide market share … far beyond my wildest dreams.   

This lesson came back to me on Friday while lunching with a group of colleagues. One in the group said he had called a potential client 3 times and he stopped after the third call assuming she didn’t want to do business with him.  I told him my Wal-Mart story hoping it would inspire him to continue his chase.

I do believe today we need to find unique and clever ways to reach those we want to do business with. Maybe 46 consecutive calls won’t work today as well as it did back in the 1980’s.

So many emails…Too many voice mails…Snail mail; what’s that?? 

What about reaching those folks by giving them something that will help with their work load. Send them information they can use with no expectation of getting anything in return – except you implant the thought in their minds that you are someone who is generous, knowledgeable, and helpful. Quietly kill them with kindness and they will take your call and be more receptive to your needs. 

Please share what tips you have that helps you reach hard-to-reach contacts. I know there will be some interesting techniques from which we all can benefit.

I look forward to hearing from you.

My best to you,

Marcia

http://www.marciareece.com

#1 Best Selling Author

Secrets of the Marriage Mouse

The Ultimate Online Media Directory

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