Saturday, November 22, 2008

How Gratitude can bring an increase in your bottom line!

I hauled myself out of bed the other morning at 4AM in order to attend a Breakfast networking meeting that was entitled 'How Gratitude can bring an increase in your bottom line!' When I first got the invitation to this meeting, I thought Oh Boy! This is right up my alley. But after a long week at getting up early going to meetings and then attending more late night meetings also, not to mention suffering from a head cold and sinus infection going on 4 weeks now, when the alarm went off, I thought, OMG what was I thinking. I got ready anyway because I had to pick up my team mate who had registered and paid for us to go.

It was very well worth the trip. It was not your typical business meeting. This is a new group focused on all the right aspects of business. The very first exercise we did was to talk with those at our table and to tell what we were grateful for not in our business, but in our life. That was different, but it is close to Thanksgiving, so I could understand. But as the presentation went on, I began to see the true theme of the meeting and the organization. It was very refreshing because it hit right on my core values and beliefs, that of building relationships with people and trying to establish a helpful giving attitude will come back to you ten fold.

I go to a lot of face to face networking meetings of all kinds and meet a lot of people. My primary purpose, of course, like everyone else, it to find new business. Along the way I meet a lot of people who are doing the same thing. Now we all know we can’t all do business with each other, however we can try and help each other. How you ask? Listen and ask questions. Find out about the person and their business, what makes them unique and different from others in their industry. One of the questions that you can ask, which was presented in this meeting, “Why should I do business with you?” Try that one sometimes and you’ll be surprised at the answers you get. Also think about what you would say if someone asked you that question. Now you still might not need their services at the moment, but you can use that information in a number of ways.

Here are five things you can do:

• Introduce that person to a good referral partner for them. Example: Introduce a Real Estate person to a mortgage broker.
• Suggest/invite them to other networking meetings, groups, organizations, etc. that they might attend. I have a ‘Networking Opportunities’ list posted on my website that I refer people to.
• If it’s someone you really want to establish a relationship with, make the effort to follow up with them. Send them a note or card. Call and set up a meeting for coffee with the intention of ‘How can we help each other’ or ‘I want to get to know you and understand your business better.’
• File their info, so you will have it when you hear someone needs that service. Establish yourself as a ‘Who do you know that does?”
• Refer that person whenever possible.

Here is an example of how gratitude helped my bottom line this week. I help co-host a women’s monthly networking meeting. We had a professional organizer who attended our meetings a few times. She impressed me because besides just introducing herself and telling about her business, she would offer helpful tips on organizing. We established some rapport and she started using my greeting card service for which I was grateful. When someone asks if I know an organizer, I refer them to her. One of the referrals was to my sister in law, who just raved about the ideas and information she provided, and she would definitely be using her services. I also asked her to be a speaker at an upcoming business meeting in January. So even though I have not used her services personally, I know she’s very good and knowledgeable at what she does and she is very reliable.

Here’s where the story gets interesting. I recently acquired a new client for my greeting card business and when I talked with her and asked how she found out about me and my service, she said she had been a speaker at a recent meeting of which my friend the organizer had sent her a thank you card. Do you turn cards over to see what brand it is? My website was printed on the back of the card. She liked the card so much, she set up her own account, tried it, liked it, and then upgraded. Was I grateful? You better believe it. I not only sent a Thank You card, but a gift as well.

So, I believe, the point of all this is showing gratitude and appreciation and helping others can help to build your business because they in turn will do the same for us.

I leave you with these quotes:

God gave you a gift of 86,400 seconds today. Have you used one to say "thank you?" ~William A. Ward

Silent gratitude isn't much use to anyone. ~G.B. Stern

“Send Out to Give” Kody Bateman

“What goes around, comes around” - Proverb quote

Happy Thanksgiving to You and Yours!

In gratitude,
Annette S. Walden

Are your Holiday Cards done yet? Log on and find out how to create, personalize, and mail your cards with just a few mouse clicks. Register for a Gift Account and send them a REAL greeting card with my compliments at Painted Greeting Cards.

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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Being Gracious in Business

It’s the holiday season I can already tell. It seems that this time of the year people’s nerves seem to be on edge. Or is the economy or a combination of both? Or is it that some individuals who are in business just don’t understand that being gracious in business dealings will help to build a lasting relationship with a client or potential client. And hopefully that lasting relationship will lead to future business and/or referrals.

Here are some of my recent musings that have prompted me to write this blog.

Sometimes people may not need your product or service when you initially talk with them. If you’re gracious during your interaction, they might remember you the next time someone says, “Do you know someone who sells XYZ?” Or they may even come back to you months later and say OK now the time is right and I want to buy your product or service.

Sometimes you may order something and when you received it, it just wasn’t what you expected. And if the person is gracious about letting you return it, you might be more apt to try and do business with them the next time you were looking for other products that they sell.

Sometimes people just don’t respond to your time table. People are busy. Life happens. People forget. Your priorities are not their priorities. I’ve always heard that sugar works better than vinegar or if life hands you lemons, make lemonade. Sometimes a gentle nudge as a reminder works a whole lot better than sending a nasty gram/email. You never know what problems or issues they may be dealing with.

Sometimes having a cheerful, positive, and helpful attitude will promote you and your business far more than you know. I recently helped to put together a Holiday and Gift Bazaar. We did a lot of work promoting it, but we did not have the turn out that we had wanted. Most everyone was gracious and understanding and blamed it on the economy, etc. I was very impressed with one individual whose attitude and actions went far beyond my expectations. She even sent us a thank you note telling us how much she appreciated how professional everything was done and that she appreciated all our efforts. Now, she sells a product that I typically purchase from someone else, but because of her graciousness, the next time I am in need of this product, I will be ordering from her, referring her, and finding ways I can help her with her business.

And Sometimes I have been know to lose my cool as a consumer and pull out the ‘B’ card. I regret it when I do. Recently I had been trying to get an issue resolved. The person I was dealing with had done a wonderful job except for one little thing and she was a friend. She had to work through her company for a solution. I have to give her credit; she handled herself and me very graciously. She found and provided me with an acceptable resolution. I had been giving her glowing testimonials, but after that I am even more ingratiated to her. I recommend her every chance I get and I will do business with her again.

Here are some quotes to consider for doing business. I offer them for us to ponder this holiday season and throughout the year.

• Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
• If you help enough people get want they want, you’ll get what you want. Zig Zilar
• Givers Gain – Ivan Misner
• Courtesies of a small and trivial character are the ones which strike deepest in the grateful and appreciating heart. ~Henry Clay
• Gratitude is merely the secret hope of further favors. ~François Duc de La Rochefoucauld
• It's nice to be important, but it's more important to be nice. ~Author Unknown
• Treat everyone with politeness, even those who are rude to you - not because they are nice, but because you are. ~Author Unknown
• Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see. ~Mark Twain
• The fragrance always lingers in the hand that gives the flower

I hope the saying that ‘Nice guys (gals) finish last’ isn’t true. And even if it is, I would rather be remembered as being gracious in my business dealings.

In gratitude,
Annette S. Walden
Marketing Solutions Consultant

"Helping you and your business look good!"

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Monday, November 3, 2008

The Artful Table

Today's blog is about a fun event that took place locally this past weekend, 'The Artful Table.'

The Dawson County arts council held it’s second “Artful Table” luncheon this past weekend. It was a fund raiser for a local art council. Tables were decorated for the luncheon. All types of people and groups signed up to decorate tables using all types of themes. The men who were the servers for the luncheon are on the board of the arts council. This year was a sold out event with over 100 people attending.

I had the idea to sign up to decorate a table using greeting cards with the theme ‘Send Out to Give.’ I talked two of my friends and fellow distributors into helping. I knew between the three of us, we could come up with a beautiful table. After some tedious planning and staging hours, trips to the store, the washing and polishing of dishes and silver, we pulled it all together. Our table was beautiful. I think we even surprised ourselves.

The luncheon was wonderful. We met lots of wonderful people, had lots of comments and compliments on our table, and some interest in the greeting cards. Each person who attended voted on their favorite table. The tables were incredible. The creativity was just unbelievable. Although our table didn’t win, we had a great time and it was a very enjoyable day.

Here is a link on my Facebook account to view all the tables:

In gratitude,
Painted Lady Enterprises
"Helping You and Your Business Look Good"


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