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The Common Misunderstandings of Prospecting, Networking, and Referrals

The Common Misunderstandings of Prospecting, Networking, and Referrals

Since my company specializes in Prospecting, Networking, Branding, and Referrals (and it says so on all of our marketing materials) people often ask me, “Aaron, what’s the DIFFERENCE between Prospecting, Networking, and Referrals?” (they usually can understand the ‘branding’ elements of it)

Well, it is my personal belief from the thousands of salespeople I’ve had the opportunity to speak to and work with that the three are VERY different, but must be used together to achieve ultimate efficiency…Here’s how I see them:

**PROSPECTING – Prospecting is the act of doing research to compile “attack lists” of potential prospects, business partners, strategic alliances, and referral partners.  Prospecting does not actually require CONTACTING the individuals, but identifying WHO you need to meet and build relationships with.

Prospecting can be broken into a few simple steps:

1)      Ask yourself, “What’s my perfect prospect/client like?” Start LISTING the qualities/characteristics of your perfect prospects.  Try to avoid focusing strictly on income, but focus on what your RAVING fans are like.

2)      Next, decide what areas, communities, organizations, and clubs these people (or types of people) are involved in

3)      Compile attack lists of people you’d like to meet & do business with

After you’ve identified your prospects,

**NETWORKING can become the focus. Networking is the physical act of meeting with people who could help influence your business. This can include attending events of the organizations listed previously, or by strategically inviting prospects to lunch (or other appointments) to add them to your sphere of influence.  Focus on meeting people who are WELL CONNECTED to the community.

*REFERRALS require asking your clients, referral partners, and business allies for names of people who you may be able to HELP.  The goal is to utilize a warm introduction from someone who is already part of your sphere of influence. Again, Focus on meeting people who are WELL CONNECTED to the community!  Ask your clients, “Who’s the most well-connected person you know?” or “Who’s the most popular person you know?” and make it an effort to CONNECT with them.

Here’s where it gets good:

Keep a list of “People I’d Like to Meet” and periodically ask your “MAVENS” (referral partners) if they know anyone on the list.  If you’ve been doing a good job of finding the best networkers in the community, this step will be MUCH easier.

This was the secret I used to land multiple celebrity clients when I was a Cutco-selling College student.  As I continued to ask all my clients for the most well connected people they knew, and my “People I’d Like to Meet” grew, I showed it to EVERYONE.  All of the sudden, new connections were constantly opening for me.

(HELPFUL HINT:  Connect with your clients and referral partners on Facebook.  You may find that your friends are friends with your prospects.)

Once you know that these three areas are separate AND important, make it a point to focus on them this year.  How many books can you read on the three topics?

 

Your Marketing Warrior,

Aaron

Owner/CEO Orlando Branding Agency

“We specialize in helping agents craft strategic appreciation programs for their clients to help cultivate relationships and referrals”

AARON’S BOOK RECOMMENDATION: One of the best books on Referrals I’ve ever read is called “7 Levels of Communication” by Michael J Maher. I am in no way affiliated with this book, but am a huge believer in the message. You can purchase the book by clicking this link or on the picture below http://www.sevenlevelsofcommunication.com/michaeljmaher/products-page/

(7L) The Seven Levels of Communication

3 Tips for Unforgettable Networking

We’ve all heard the phrase “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know…”
In today’s sales world, the REAL truth, is that business success is much more about

1) Who knows YOU
2) Who TRUSTS you

It means NOTHING to know somebody… Anybody can be “facebook friends” or “Acquaintances”, but to have an actual, personal relationship with someone is CRUCIAL to business success.
What matters MOST is whether people know and remember YOU!
How many of your “clients” or “prospects” would recognize you in public? The larger the number, the greater networking you’re really doing. If people don’t recognize you, you’re not significant…you’re not relevant to their life at all.
On the flip side, if you’re someone who is known as an expert in your field AND a great/personable person, people will talk about you constantly, and your business will EXPLODE!

In 2012 and beyond, your NETWORKING abilities (on & offline) will dictate your success.
Here are THREE tips for Unforgettable Networking:

1) Meet People Everywhere
Don’t prejudge ANYONE you meet. Your next big client (or next spouse) could be found in the strangest of places. Don’t be afraid to approach people EVERYWHERE! Talk to waiters, clerks, cashiers, people you pass on the street, people you share an elevator with, EVERYONE!

ALWAYS stay positive, upbeat, and polite. You’d be shocked how many people you’ll meet and impress simply by smiling and saying “HELLO!” Whenever I go out to a store or restaurant, I make it a point to immediately ask the server for their name, and begin treating them like a long-lost friend- a real human person! Too often we forget to treat the people we encounter as a unique individual.

Most of us stop listening between asking “What’s your name?” and hearing their name.

2) Greet People Like a Puppy
How do puppies greet everyone? They greet them with ENTHUSIASM, EXCITEMENT, SMILES, and LOVE.

Puppies remember EVERYONE, and they are always THRILLED to see you!

You don’t need to lick everyone’s face, but treat them like you’re THRILLED to be with them, even if it’s for a brief moment.

Remember: people love puppies because puppies love people.

3) Treat People Like a Rockstar
Everybody is important.
Let me say that again…. EVERYBODY is important. There is no person you’ll meet who shouldn’t be treated as if they matter. Every client, every prospect could be the most important person you’ll meet this year. Treat people like they are ROCKSTARS. The easiest way is to communicate your sincere appreciation, respect, or gratitude for others.

Instead of making simple small talk and polite formalities, take a REAL interest in people. There’s nothing people love more than to talk about themselves, and to feel great about something they’ve done. SHOWER people with your attention, enthusiasm, and respect.
Think of ONE person right now who has made a drastic impact on your life…someone who DESERVES your appreciation. Stop reading, and quickly send them a text saying something like “I want you to know how important you’ve been to me” or “I want to express my sincere gratitude for everything you have done to help me with _________” or “I just want you to know that I love and appreciate you greatly”. Send someone a SINCERE “Thank you”, but make sure you end it with “you are a ROCKSTAR!”

Lastly, remember one thing:

“People may not always remember the things you say, but they will ALWAYS remember how you make them feel”

PLEASE TAKE A MOMENT TO SHARE AND REPOST! “BE THE CHANGE YOU WISH TO SEE IN THE WORLD” – Ghandi

Your in Success,

 Aaron

Be Assertive

Welcome to the new AaronLudin.com.  I think this new layout is pretty sweet!

Please feel free to leave comments, thoughts, or ideas.

Check out the “Be Assertive” workshop

Aaron Ludin – “Be Assertive” Workshop from aaron ludin on Vimeo.

NEVER trade TIME for MONEY

Here’s an excerpt from my newest book The Scholarship Revolution: How to Condition Your Mind for Success & Turn Your Student Loans into Millions.
This is one of several Laws & Mantras of Success…
Law # 1: Never trade TIME for money:  You will never exceed your financial goals by trading time for money.  Time is FINITE – there’s only 24 hours available daily.  Therefore, if your income is directly dependent on TIME spent working, you put a cap on your income.

o   You should NEVER put a ceiling on your income.

Let’s use a real life example:  If you work for $10/hr, and there are only 24 hrs in a day and 365 days in a year, your MAXIMUM income would equal $87,600.  Meaning, EVEN if you found a way to work every second of every day for a year, you still would NEVER make six-figures.
Then, if you factored in taxes, you’d realize that your income and lifestyle choices are SEVERELY limited.
You are undoubtedly worth MORE than your hourly wage (whether you know it or not).  The key to maximizing your value is to position yourself in a way which allows you to offer more VALUE than you do currently.  If you change your value proposition from trading TIME for money into trading VALUE for money, your potential becomes INFINITE and UNLIMITED.
REMEMBER:
Never trade TIME for money; Always trade VALUE for money.
*****************************************************************************************
When I was in High School, I worked at a clothing store called Hollister.  I worked about 15 hrs a week for $6.40 an hour. .. I laugh when looking back at how excited I was to someday receive a $0.35 raise after a year of employment.  I remember counting down the days and months until my raise…
Not only was this pathetic, but also, my job was simple enough to train a monkey to complete.  I was in charge of “Go-Backs”, meaning – all the clothes that people tried on and didn’t buy, I had the pleasure of returning to their shelves.  The mindless, monogamous days passed by, and I slowly racked up my $6.40, making less than $50 on a good day.
In this situation, I was not positioned for success; not only because I was trading time for money, but also because I wasn’t positioned to OFFER value exceeding my wages.  There’s only so much you can do to get good at putting clothes on shelves.  Also, from a corporate business stand-point, there was little I could do to bring more value to the company: It’s nearly impossible for my folding & shelving abilities to make any significant impact on Hollister’s corporate revenue, no matter how amazing my abilities were.
However, when I launched my own DJ business, I quickly learned how to leverage my time by increasing my value- a DJ brings much more value to an event than a “go-backs” employee brings to a retail store.  Thus, I was able to re-position myself to leverage my time and maximize value.

Although I was still trading time for money, my time was worth $100-$250 an hour!   I had increased my hourly worth by about 2500%!

If you can calculate your AVPH (average value per hour), whether you’re on salary, hourly-wages, or commission-based, you can focus on constantly improving.   Calculating this is simple: just add up the hours you spend working (ANYTHING related to work or creating business) and divide it by what you get paid.  If you’re a commission-based sales person, you can take your revenue, divided by total number of hours a week spent on your business.
Knowing your AVPH is one of the most crucial elements of creating the wealth abundance you desire.


APPLYING THIS TO YOU:
Ask yourself:
1)      “Does your current position ALLOW you to exceed your responsibilities?”
2)      “Are you positioned in a way which you CAN offer more value?”
Today, I teach students everywhere to leverage their time and provide MORE value.  Before you can make a shift, it’s important to assess your current situation.  You have to determine HOW you’re currently positioned, and decide how you could provide more value.
There are two possibilities for you right now:
One possibility is that you are NOT in a position to provide more value: if you’re working within a confined job description, completing non-specialized tasks, or are responsible for little greater than yourself and your behavior, you have a low barrier of entry for competition.  In essence, you are EASILY replaceable in your company’s business structure.
If this is the case, my advice is to create an exit strategy: GET OUT OF THAT JOB ASAP!  It’s nearly impossible to find fulfillment in a job which requires little thought, responsibility, or individuality.
Use the ideas, strategies, and resources in this book to create a new income strategy – a plan which will guide you to the financial and physical freedom you desire!
The second possibility is that you’re already positioned to offer exceeding value.  If you’re a manager, an independent contractor, a small business owner (OR not currently employed), you’re in the PERFECT position to start offering more value than your wages.
When the value you give exceeds the value you receive, your income will inevitably increase.  It’s impossible for your friends, family, clients, coworkers, and managers to miss it.
Now I’m sure some of you are probably thinking, “That’s not true! I’ve went above and beyond before for bosses or clients who NEVER noticed.”
As a lover of “playing the devil’s advocate”, my response is:
“You didn’t exceed expectations ENOUGH!”
The truth is that when you provide an exceedingly valuable role and you strive to continuously increase your value, you transform into someone who is IRREPLACABLE.
 Everybody loves working with people who exceed their expectations and deliver monstrous results. 
One simple secret: Adopt the mentality of being PROUD to give more than you take.  I pride myself on exceeding my clients’ expectations: if they aren’t OVERLY impressed, I did a horrible job…
If they are only mildly surprised, then my performance was decent.  If they are simply satisfied with my performance, I failed MISERABLY…
In essence, good is not only bad, it’s AWEFUL!  Doing a “good-job” is an absolute death sentence for any entrepreneur or employee looking to increase their value and reputation.  ANYBODY can complete a task satisfactory, but it’s RARE to find someone who can provide a “WOW-factor”
One of my favorite books is called “The Encore Effect” by Mark Sanborn.  In this book, Mark discusses a concept that the world is a stage, and you should strive to deliver an ENCORE performance in everything you do.  (I highly recommend purchasing Mark’s book.  I’ll provide a link below)

 If you provide OVER-the-TOP customer service, and deliver “encore performances”, people will flock from all over the globe to do business with you.
Yours in Success,
Aaron Ludin - Speaker, Author, Coach, & Entrepreneur


(Stay tuned for Law #2:  True wealth comes from CREATION, not
 from competition)

(You can buy “The Encore Effect” here http://www.marksanborn.com/store/The-Encore-Effect-How-to-Achieve-Remarkable-Performance-in-Anything-You-Do-Hardcover-p-16192.html)



**For more about Mark Sanborn, visit http://www.marksanborn.com/ or http://www.marksanborn.com/blog/)

Success comes to those who INVEST in it

Just like anything else, it takes time to learn HOW to be successful. It’s easy for most people to say “Yes, I’d like to be successful,” but its much harder to actually invest the time into learning how to be successful.

Whenever someone comes to me and asks how to improve their life or business, one of my first questions is usually, “How many hours have you spent researching the topic?” or “How many books have you read on the subject.” Usually, my clients look at me stunned or puzzled by the question. It’s not rocket science, if you invest your time in learning about what you want to achieve (and you take action), you’ll inevitable achieve your desired result.

The truth is: “Success comes to those who INVEST in it”

Period. Success knows whether or not you deserve success. You can’t fake it or find a quick fix. Success comes to those who continuously improve, constantly learn, have definite goals, and NEVER give up. There’s not much more to it. There’s no hidden “Secret” or formula.

SUCCESS COMES TO THOSE WHO INVEST IN IT

Ask yourself “How much of my time is invested in LEARNING about success?” and

“How many books have I read that have grown me as a person?”

It is said that to succeed in most businesses, it takes about 20% skill and technique and 80% motivation and psychology. How much of your time do you spend learning how to MASTER your psychology?

People and plants are always in two stages: growing, or dying. There isn’t anything in between. You’re either nourishing your mind with ideas and growth, or you’re dying inside.

People are like plants and ideas are the sunlight and nutrients necessary for their life . If you continuously nourish your mind with proper reading, you will thrive.

If you read 10 pages a day about personal growth and the psychology of achievement, over the course of a year, you will have read at least 10 books by the end of the year.

How much of an impact could TEN new ideas make on your life and business?

Brian Tracy says that “Successful people are willing to pay the price for success in advance, while unsuccessful people are not.”

Successful people are willing to take the time to STUDY the science of success and achievement. Unsuccessful people “don’t have time” or have “better things to do.”

How can you implement this? Commit to daily reading of personal growth and development related material. This can be through books, blogs, audios, and seminars.

(***You could always subscribe to my blog below. =:^) ***)

“If you INVEST your time in success, success will invest its time in you” – Aaron Ludin

Yours in Success,

Aaron “ The Catalyst” Ludin

"Your Thoughts are Things"


Ask yourself, “How much of this creation am I consciously controlling?

Your thoughts are actual things. When you hold an image in your mind, it is created somewhere. As Stephen Covey says in his book “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People”, everything is created twice:
First in the mind, then in reality.
Everything that exists in your world today is a direct reflection of a thought that exists in your mind.

You have two choices when it comes to creation. You can live on autopilot, forfeiting your control of conscious creation. Thoughts in your subconscious will inevitable come to fruition, but they will seem random to you because you’re lack of control. On the converse, you can take the time to actively create the things you want in your mind.

How do you do this? You can start by spending 10 minutes a day consciously creating your future through visualizations. You can spend time daily FOCUSING on the things you appreciate about your life.

It has been said that “What you appreciate, appreciates” – what you focus on GROWS.

If your life is incomplete, gloomy, boring, depressing, confusing, or stressful, it is SOLELY because you have chosen to focus on the things around you that are gloomy, boring, depressing, confusing, or stressful.
If your life is full of abundance, success, happiness, joy, and love, it’s because you’ve chosen to focus on the things that make you FEEL abundance, success, happiness, joy, and love.

“What you appreciate APPRECIATES”

Don’t forget to live with appreciation and gratitude.

I appreciate you for taking the time to read this. You can subscribe to my blog below.

- Aaron Ludin

Ludin’s Sales Steroids

New video channel for Cutco reps and managers.

http://vimeo.com/channels/scholarshiprevolution

Who Are You Inventing?

Who Are You Inventing?


You are an inventor. Every day you wake up and are given the opportunity to invent WHO you are. You might not realize it, but who you are today is a product of what you’ve chosen to invent for yourself. Your fitness level, education, happiness, social status, are all a product of the choices you’ve made.

Today is the perfect chance for you to keep inventing. Today is your chance to take another step towards the YOU that you really desire. Who do you want to be?

Do you have goals for your health and fitness that you’ve been putting off? Are there actions you could take today to further yourself financially? Are there certain beliefs and thought patterns that aren’t serving you? Today is your opportunity to make a LASTING CHANGE and eliminate these patterns.

Jim Rohn once said that “Success is something you attract by the person you become”—so instead of being who you are right now and WANTING to be the best version of yourself, just start being the best version of yourself today…NOW!

How do you start becoming the best version of yourself? It’s easy – make the SMALL, simple decisions that unsuccessful people are not willing to make, adjust the SMALL habits which you’ve chosen to keep, address the SMALL activities that you’ve chosen to neglect… In essence, do the little things in a BIG way.

Remember, EVERY decision and EVERY action either moves you closer to, or further from your goals. There is no “Neutral”
With each tiny decision you make today, ask yourself, “Who am I inventing today?”

Yours in Success,

Aaron

Will you Remember Today?

Will You Remember Today?
Fast forward to 10 years from now. If you looked back on TODAY, would you remember exactly what you did? Who you were with? What you learned?

If not, I challenge you to raise your expectations for how you live your life.

Today, I was chatting with a friend of mine who is a serial entrepreneur. He has started many companies and created quite a brand for himself. When I asked him about what he does to stand out so much, he responded, “ I try to live each and every day in a way that I could remember this exact day, 10 years from now”.

I know what you might be thinking… How can EVERY day be that memorable? (If you’re like me, you probably have some whole weeks which weren’t memorable)

One way, is to wake up and DECIDE to have the best day ever.

I know this sounds corny, but when you wake up, tell yourself, “TODAY IS GOING TO BE A WONDERFUL, amazing,fantastic, day, one that I’ll NEVER forget!!”

Just this quick reminder on a daily basis will make a dramatic shift in your daily life.

Anthony Robbins says that “The quality of a person’s life is determined by where you spend your time (referring to which emotional “states”).”

What types of activities do you choose to invest your time in? Are you doing things that thrill, excite, and inspire you – or are you spending your time on things that drain your energy?

Another way to make each day memorable, is to “always weigh on the side of adventure;” meaning, whenever life presents you a set of options, always choose the greater adventure. See each day as a blessing from your creator, a wonderful gift of opportunity to experience life’s joys and pleasures. Choose the things that JUICE you! Take a walk, sit in nature, swim, bike, run, climb, go to a beach, kayak, do SOMETHING that makes you feel ALIVE, DAILY!

Lastly, take time to APPRECIATE. They say that “What you appreciate, appreciates.” This saying could not be more true. When you take the time to be thankful, to tune out all of the distractions and noise around you, and focus on sincerely APPRECIATING the people and things in your life; the energy rooted deep within your heart and soul is UNLEASHED. This process brings more of what you appreciate.

So today, when presented with opportunities, choose to live with PASSION. Choose to make EVERY day an UNFORGETTABLE ADVENTURE.

Yours in Success, and LIVING an empowered life,

Aaron

http://www.ScholarshipRevolution.com

http://www.facebook.com/AaronLudin

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