Part 2 of : Am I the Type of Person People Want to be Around?

Last week, I shared with you my thought process of examining myself with the question “Am I the type of person people want to be around?”  This week, I am going to finish with the last two parts.  As I explored these two subjects, I made a promise to be completely honest with myself.  So, I encourage you to do the same.  In order for you to truly evaluate yourself, remember complete honesty is key.

1. What kind of presence do I leave with people?

Defining someone’s presence is a hard quality to explain.  Basically, it involves how you are in regards to socially, self-confidence, and body language.  Believe it or not, these three characteristics are hard to fake once you get over that first impression.  Let me break these three characteristics down for you to understand better:

  • Socially- It’s also about – are you an Extrovert – get your energy from others, or an Introvert – getting your energy from being alone and recharging?
    • Are you the type of person who has a hard time talking or being around others?  An introvert?
    • Or are you someone who can easily start a conversation with anyone around you?  An extrovert?
    • If you are the second type, chances are socially you are the magnet others are drawn to in a group.
    • If you are the first one, the only way you are going to be that magnetic person is to take a risk and get out of your comfort zone.  Push through your fear to start a conversation.

The key is to simply BE
YOURSELF – otherwise you are going to appear awkward and the situation may be
more uncomfortable. I find being honest is always best
.

  • Self-Confidence vs. Arrogance
    • There is a huge difference between being arrogant and self-confident.
    • An arrogant person knows everything and does not want to hear any other opinion but their own.
    • A confident person will take the time not only to listen to other’s but also is curious, open minded, and wants to hear others thought processes and beliefs.

A confident person
attracts others naturally by their self-belief to get any job/task done, being open-minded,
and showing others respect in all areas of life. 

  • Body Language
    • Body language often speaks much louder than verbal words.
    • If your arms are crossed, you avoid eye contact, you are constantly moving your foot or fingers, and slouching, you are sending a verbal
      message.  This type of verbal message is not a good one.  All these movements tell someone else that you are not approachable and do not want to be bothered.
    • Positive and welcoming body language includes direct eye contact at all times, arms are in a relaxed position, you are engaged in the
      conversation, smiling and asking open ended questions.

Sending positive body
language is an open invitation to anyone around you.  People will be drawn to approaching you
rather than being scared or shy. 

1. Am I honest?

Honesty is always the best policy when it comes to communicating with others.  If the people around you know they will always get an honest answer from you, then it’s easier to trust.  Not only that, honesty communicates openness automatically.  If someone needs advice or has a problem they will come to you because of your honesty.  This does not mean you have to reveal every single detail of your life. At the same time, don’t exaggerate or make things up when sharing something with others.

Hopefully, you as a reader have been inspired to examine the type of person you are around other people.  Remember, in order to be effective and make an impact on other’s life, you have to be willing to examine yourself and change if needed.

Am I the Type of Person People Want to be Around?

In my last blog, I encouraged you to pay attention and be aware of whom you’re hanging out with. As I wrote and posted that blog last week, the thought came to mind “Am I the type of person people want to be around?”  I am going to share my thought process as I evaluate if I truly am the type of person someone wants to be around.

1.      Do I personally encourage others? 

Believe it or not, there is a real and fake way to encourage others.  Can you identify a real encouragement versus a fake encouragement?

  • Encouragement One: (You and someone that works for you – you tell this to someone else.)

You: “I think Melanie is the glue that holds our business together. 

Department Manager: “Hiring her as Project Manager` was the best thing for our business”

You: “She really has done an amazing job at re-vamping the daily project flow.  We have gotten three more clients in the two weeks since she started as Project Manager.” 

  • Encouragement Two: (You and Melanie, someone that works with you.)

You: Melanie, you really have a natural talent at organization.  The amount of work you have been getting done this past two weeks has been phenomenal!

Melanie, Project Manager: Thank you.  I am glad you gave me this opportunity to prove to you what I can do to help your business. 

You: Keep up the good work-especially with getting new clients!  I have full faith in you and your potential! 

If you said, Encouragement One was a fake way to encourage people, than you are right!  Granted, before I explain this, know that both options are good ways to encourage others but option two is more personal.  Telling  how much you appreciate Melanie, who works with you, is a form of encouragement.  The reason it’s fake is you are not taking the time to tell Melanie as well face to face like in encouragement two. When you encourage others, PERSONALLY tell them.

2. Am I always saying “No” to new ideas or offers? 

  • In Your Business:

When it comes to running a business or overseeing a group of people, this is something where you must find the right balance.  I am not saying to always
say “Yes” to all the off the wall crazy ideas someone may come up with.  In doing this, your business may run the risk of going off track and losing its main focus.  What I am saying is this: If someone presents you with an idea that comes with a detailed proposal, don’t say NO right away.  This is especially true if they hardly ever share ideas or is relatively new.  By saying “NO” right away, you are presenting yourself as unapproachable.  At the same time, pay attention as you can apply this principle to your personal life as well.

  •  In Your Personal Life:

Do you hear your friends often say “You’re going to say no but I’m going to ask…”?  Have your friends all of sudden stop asking you to go out with
them?  If yes, you might want to evaluate how much of a friend you are being by always saying no.  It’s true you have to find a balance between family and friends, but both need attention and that can be challenging. The key is to find the right balance best for you.

Tune in next week as I cover the last two parts of my thought process in answering the question “Am I the type of person people want to be around?”

You are Who You Hang Out With…

Have you ever heard this before?  I didn’t start hearing this until after I hired my Executive Coach, 12 years ago. The concept of hanging out with people and becoming more like them was a total foreign idea to me. I had really paid no attention until my coach and I started talking about it.  And it’s funny, once I started paying attention to it I got it and knew I had to make some changes in my life…

There were some very negative people in my life who were totally zapping my energy, (My coach called them “Negative Norberts.”) not too mention the ones who were more like time sucking vampires.  And I started noticing how I felt when I hung out with those people and realized after I was with them I didn’t feel good and felt mostly drained.  That’s when I started making the difficult change of moving those folks out of my life. It wasn’t easy to do it, and it took some time. For the most part I was simply honest and said I was making some positive changes in my life and they were welcome to come along or not.

Before I met my coach I was an incredibly negative person, I know hard to believe those of you who know… Yet it’s true.  I was surrounded by it 24/7 and I grew up in it. And it wasn’t until my amazing coach pointed this out oh so gently to me on more than a few occasions that I started to make some “positive” changes in my life.  It certainly wasn’t easy to change my attitude and my way of looking at things over night. Yet I have to say, the more I surrounded myself with amazingly wonderful and positive people, the easier it was for me.  Plus I also read a ton of books on the subject and that helped too.  Reading Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich was huge, along with all of Esther and Jerry Hick’s Abraham books.

Well that was a while back and thank goodness there have been many wonderful changes in my life since then.  And it wasn’t until after I started my own business 5 years ago and had to go out and find new clients, that this concept reared it’s ugly head again and again… “You are who you hang out with” kept
coming up.  So I focused on attracting clients who my same positive, successful attitude and it worked like a charm.

One of my favorite quotes that I was told many times and that truly helped me was—“If you hang out with 9 broke people, guess who will be the 10th? — You!” And certainly I didn’t want that to me. So this totally helped me find and hang out with much more successful people. In fact, it’s always good to hang out with people who have a bigger vision and play bigger in their work and their life, this way it gets me to do the same as well.

The lesson in all of this is simply to pay attention and be aware of who you’re hanging out with. And know that that one or more people out there could have a huge impact on you and your life. So take a chance, make a change, and hang out with those folks who make you feel good and encourage you to be the best person you can be in this world.

The positive side to negative testimonials

When it comes to customer testimonials, there will come a time when you receive a negative testimonial.  Now if you are new in business or even a veteran, the way you respond will determine whether it can turn positive.  The worst thing for a business to do is to post only customer testimonials that are positive.  Nothing in this world is perfect, so portraying perfection will turn potential customers away.

There are three simple steps to remember when dealing with negative customer testimonials.  Remember, how you handle these negative customer testimonials will speak volumes about your business character and integrity.

1.  Never Over-React

By you posting this negative customer testimonial, it gives the opportunity to build a loyal customer base.  By responding rationally as well as offering some kind of “peace offering,” this shows your business cares and takes care of all customers.

2.  Timing is Everything

Before responding to any type of customer testimonial, you want to think it through first.  If there is a problem, investigate all angles of the complaint.  The worst thing to do is assume the customer is over-reacting or claiming something false.  Like I mentioned before, no business is perfect and by investigating, you are identifying fault or no fault.  By taking the time and thinking through the response, it could turn a negative into a positive.

3.  Respond With Care

Prior to this step, you have investigated as well as thought through the appropriate response.  Now, choose your words carefully and make sure your tone is portrayed as positive not negative, hostile, angry, or even defensive.  If there was a mistake made, admit to it and have a solution ready to implement.  And ALWAYS make it right!  If they want to return your product and are really unhappy, give them their money back, it’s not worth it having that negative energy around.  If you were wrong or someone from your business  did something that upset them— Always do what’s right—apologize, tell them you made a mistake, and even overdo it with the apologies and they will be incredibly grateful to you.

Overall, remember that there will be times where a customer is displeased or angry with your product or business.  The key is turning a negative customer
testimonial into a positive experience, which will in turn bring more potential customers your way.

Creativity + Testimonials = Results

In a fast pace world of marketing, one of the best ways to stay ahead of your competition revolves around one word: CREATIVITY.  So today I am going to show you how combining a little bit of creativity with your testimonials yields great results.

No matter where you are using your customer testimonials, you want to present them in a way that pops out to the reader.  Be honest – how many of you have visited a website selling a product and you find at the bottom of the page a BUNCH of writing and small pictures?  Now be honest again – because it is in a format that seems like “a lot to read”, you skip over it, right?

You do not want your potential customers to skip over a wealth of information that sings your praises.  To help you out, I have created a list of creative ways to use your testimonials:

1. Put a Name with a Face
• By putting a picture beside a testimonial, it allows the potential customer to be able to relate especially if they are the same gender, race, age, etc.

2. Hearing is Believing
• Adding an audio clip or video gives the testimonial an additional level of believability.  It allows the potential client to hear or see the exact emotion from the testimonial.  Think about it – when you read something, it is hard to see how excited or disappointed a person is.  This takes out all the guesswork and delivers a message with real emotion.

3. Visually Creative
• The best way to set up testimonials on a page is by putting them in a gray or yellow box.   By taking the time to create a page that is visually appealing will bring in more clients and ultimately better results.

The most important thing to remember is to put your testimonials in a positive and appealing position on the website.  You want to make sure the potential client is not just scrolling past them.  Instead, they pop out and draw the potential client in to wanting to read what others have to say about you.
Tune in next week to discover how potential clients respond to testimonials.

The four types of testimonials that get results…

In my previous blog, I gave you a simple overview of testimonials. Today we’re going to dig a little deeper.  In fact, I am going to let you in on a secret that most people don’t know:  There are four types of testimonials and each are used to overcome different objections that potential customers may have.

1.  Benefits:

  • Apprehension to trying a new product/service is a normal reaction, especially in this tight economy.  Many people have to watch how and what they spend their money on, so often they stick with what they know.  With this type of testimonial though, people are not only seeing others buying your product/service but also their opinion.
  1. Objections:
  • When it comes to trying a new product/service, people are not only looking for benefits.  They are also looking for flaws or problems current customers may have experienced.  Nothing is perfect in this world – this includes your product/service.

Example: “I was hesitant on hiring Shannon because she was new to being a Virtual Assistant.  Shannon put my mind at ease by suggesting doing marketing strategy report as a test.  This impressed me because she knew there was hesitation in hiring a new person.  I am so glad she was willing to put herself out there because hiring her was the best thing I did.”

  1.  Personality:
  • This type of testimonial takes the focus away from the product/service and puts it on YOU.  It is important for a potential client to see
    the personality behind the product/service.  It’s like an instant referral for a potential client to see why other clients chose you.
  1. Case Studies:
  • The previous testimonials are so important for potential clients but this one adds the icing to the cake.  Not only are you giving them testimonials but also solid facts about your product/service.  Potential clients want to see upfront exactly how your product/service will further their business. 

I want to share a story with you.  A manager of a very successful restaurant knew the importance of a positive testimonial.  Before every shift, this particular restaurant manager would share these words with his entire wait and hosting staff.  There was not one shift meeting where he did not end with these
words:

“All it takes is ONE negative dining experience to effect daily business in the restaurant industry.  We have ONE chance to show them why we are their top choice when it comes to dining out.  Think about how many people ONE dining guest knows.  For every person this dining guest knows, will equal a negative opinion about our restaurant. It will not stop there because the people told will then tell another person.  Any time after that, if someone mentions our Restaurant that one negative experience will come to mind.”

Commit to Your Plan to Create Success

I was recently listening to a panel discussion made up of several well known marketing experts and one of the panelists said something that really jumped
out at me.

The panelist was Jay Conrad Levinson who is known as “The Father of Guerilla Marketing.”  He said that he believed “…a mediocre marketing program with commitment will always prove more profitable than a brilliant marketing program without commitment. Commitment makes it happen.”

As soon as I heard that I knew he was right… but I was not really sure why.  So I thought about it for a while and came to a conclusion.

Commitment is when you—

Create a marketing program – good or bad – and then commit to it.

Include the message in all your communication.

Know everyone in your organization follows the program.

Give your customers the same marketing message from you over and over for a long period of time.

Send regular emails, or a newsletter, or have a blog.

Then something happens…You create consistency. This consistency then creates a feeling of trust for you in your customers.

A few weeks ago in my post The “Oprah Factor” and how you can create your own “ X Factor” I talked about the trust that Oprah’s fans feel with her and how this led to very strong and deep emotions they felt about her and this in turn led to the tremendous influence her opinions have on her audience.

Let’s face it.  There is a lot of uncertainty in the world right now.  Your customers are craving consistency and dependability.  They are looking for people to do business with they can rely on.

What you need to do is to develop a strategic marketing plan and commit to it.

If you haven’t created one, or I you’re not sure where to start with developing a marketing plan, I always suggest of course surveying your customers.  Even a very short questionnaire with one or two questions about what they are worried about, what keeps them awake at night, or struggling with right now in their business, will give you a great starting place to build your marketing plan.  Here’s where you can get more info and examples about surveying your customers.  www.createamazingsurveys.com/replay.html

And if you need more help, this is what I do with my clients— create marketing roadmaps/plans for them so they can have a more successful business.  Click here for more info. www.marketingimplementer.com/uploads/Find_Hidden_Money_Article_App.pdf

Whose Shoes Are You Walking In?

Your customers, (this includes those that have not bought anything from you but who have read your blog and subscribed to your newsletter or visited your website) look to you for help, motivation, advice, entertainment, and valuable information.

To really do this effectively you have to walk in your customers shoes.

Everyday I encounter businesses that really miss the mark on this.

One way to really get this is to BE your customer.  Go to your website, cruise it like a potential customer, sign up for your optins. Even better, get your friends, colleagues, and those that work for you to do the same.  Have them document what they see and how they feel during the experience.  There’s a lot to be said about doing this. In fact there’s a huge business that focuses just on that and it’s called “mystery shoppers,” having someone pose as a potential customer and they document their experience. This works well in bricks and mortar places like dentist offices or doctor’s offices.  By doing this, you will be very surprised by the results.  In fact, you could take it one step further and create a short survey for anyone to answer who you ask to go to your website, your newsletter, etc., and get them to document their experience on your survey. For more information about surveys and how to use them to make more money in your business— www.CreateAmazingSurveys.com

What I would recommend is that you start paying closer attention to your own everyday encounters with other businesses, colleagues, bosses, or clients that are either less than satisfactory or extremely pleasant. Really be aware of your own thoughts and reactions when you are annoyed or frustrated or if you find yourself very impressed.

Anytime you encounter something that starts to make the little hairs on the back of your head stand-up, stop and think about why.  What is causing your reaction?  It could be something that seems to be very small but is in actuality significant.

Maybe you are trying to download a free report and you are being asked to fill out a lengthy form to get it.

Or you sent and email to someone and they only responded back with one or two words because they are on their mobile device.

Or you get asked for your zip code at a particular store every time you buy something, even a pack of gum.

Or you visit a website for the first time and immediately get a popup asking you to rate your experience before you even have a chance to look at the site.

Now think about what the other party could have done to make the encounter better for you and really make you eager to return or do business with them again.

Could they have given you just a bit more information that would have been helpful?  Could they have answered your question themselves rather than just pointing you to a document
or FAQ?

Could they have listened to you more carefully to better understand your situation?  Could they use less jargon on their web page to make it easier to understand?

Now go back to your own business and look at every place you interact with your customers, colleagues, bosses, employees, and others.  Really pay attention to how you present
yourself, your information, and advice.  Are you really providing the best possible experience?  Are you really avoiding the mistakes and behavior that annoy you when you are the customer?

Don’t make yourself difficult to do business with.

Let’s face it.  Standards seem to be dropping everywhere you go.  The real key to creating a successful business is paying close attention to what your customer’s experience is with your business…  This is a real opportunity for you to shine and create an amazing experience for your customers.  That is the best way to stand out from your competition and create a much more successful business.

Are You a Guest Blogger?

Let’s take a step further and talk more about a terrific technique for developing content – it’s guest blogging on other sites and inviting guest bloggers to your site.

This technique allows you to get fresh content for your site without taking up a big amount of your time. It’s all about leveraging other peoples content.  At the same time if you are guest posting on another blog you can repurpose a post or article from your archive.  You are in front of a new audience so to them it will be a brand new post.

Guest posting shows that you are connected to other experts in your field and also helps build your credibility.

When you bring in a guest blogger you bring in new insights and points of view and this will often be enough to wake your readers up and move them to reply and interact with you.  And if you can get one or two people who are fairly prominent in your field you can really hit a home run.  Not only will your readership go up because they will promote their guest spot on your blog but your credibility level will go up.

So how do you find places to guest blog?

You probably already know people from events and networking that have blogs that would be appropriate.  Or do a search and find a blog that is similar to your business niche.

Then call or email the blog owner and request permission to write a guest article.  Be sure to send them a link to your website so they can easily review your site. If the blog owner agrees, make sure you can have one link to your website. The key though is to place your website link at the end of your article, preferably below your name, and not in the body of the article. And this alone will drive traffic to your site.

Of course if you like the blog you are requesting to guest on it would also make sense to offer that blogger a guest spot on your site as well.  Then you have immediate fresh content for your blog.

I really love this technique and I have gotten my biggest bumps in traffic on my websites immediately after I have been a guest poster on other blogs.  Just being a new entity creates a lot of curiosity and you will see a lot of people clicking your link to check you out.

So now you will have many people viewing your great content.  You will grow your list and ultimately add new customers to your business!

What’s all the Fuss About EzineArticles.com and Content Anyway?

Having a blog should be a key part of your strategy to drive traffic to your website.  Search engines love blogs because they are so timely and are constantly adding things to keep folks informed and up-to-date.

Yet, here’s the deal: if your content isn’t any good, all the search engine results in the world will not help you.  You really have to develop your valuable content first. High quality content is crucial to fuel your business and increase traffic to your website.  Content alone can entice the reader to check out your website and return for more.

Therefore the content you deliver must be valuable, giving helpful tips and tricks, ideas on ways to improve___,  you know all those simple easy things to make your life a bit easier and your business that much more successful. Hopefully you already have great content on your website. But how do you get organic traffic to view this amazing information?

Here’s one simple way that I have used very successfully and recommend for you:

Yours truly and Chris Knight!

Write articles and post them on the different article websites like ezinearticles.com. (In fact I just met Chris Knight, CEO of EzineArticles.com at an event I just managed for Alex Mandossian and T. Harve Eker called Ultimate Internet Boot Camp 2.0 in Las Vegas. He’s such a nice guy and filled with amazing ideas and just really a genuine soul.)

Yes, there are many, many sites to post articles.  Some are general and have many categories of articles.  Many others are very niche oriented and you can probably find one or two good ones for your particular niche through a quick Google search.

The thing I love about EzineArticles.com, not just that Chris is a terrific guy, but that he has millions of articles and he gets loads of traffic to his site daily!  AND you can go to his site, find articles and refer to them on your blog, or EVEN post them on your blog as long as you give the author a byline.

So something to keep in mind about articles is they don’t have to be a book. We’re talking about 400 words or so where the content is what is important and about teaching and adding value.

Remember: Your goal here is not to tell the reader everything you know about the topic or to educate them completely.  Your only goal is to show the reader you have knowledge on the topic, give them some tips and some value, as well as entice them to go to your blog in order to learn more.

You are the expert about your business so write that way. You have valuable information to share – that is your content. And at the end always include your name and website address, a sure fire way to bring traffic to your business.

Here’s a bonus, I’d encourage you to check out EzineArticles.com and look into being a premium member, it’s not a whole lot of money and you get huge benefits.  One cool thing is when you get to the point of having a ton of articles on there you can acquire diamond level status as an author like Alex Mandossian has among others, something to aspire to.