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Communicating to maintain effective client relationships

Communicating to maintain effective client relationships

How you communicate directly impacts your client relationships

How often do you get yourself in trouble because a situation has been misunderstood?

How often do you have to tell people what you “really” meant or that you didn’t like how you learned about a situation?

How upset do your clients and customers get about a product being unavailable?

How much do you dread letting them know that the product isn’t available because of how they will react?

All these scenarios often have nothing to do with what you need to communicate but rather with how you deliver the message.

How you deliver the message plays out both in what I like to call big “C” communications – big corporate announcements and organizational strategy – and in little “c” communications – emails and difficult conversations for example.

Believe it or not, much of the way we think and behave is unconscious. What we value, what we believe, our memory of a situation and past behaviours all feed into how we receive and deliver information.

When we become aware of how we come across we can take control of how we communicate with others.Click To Tweet

And this isn’t just the “soft stuff” of business.

Neuroscientists have been studying human behaviour for decades. I turned to Neuro-linguistic Programming for Dummies by Romilla Ready and Kate Burton to provide some scientific backing for what has been intuitive for me for a long time.

Here are four ways neuroscience tells us we can help our audience be receptive to our message. To conclude, I’ll give you five practical tips to put this science into use.

  • Mirror your audience’s actions and behaviours

    Have you ever walked into a restaurant or bar and noticed how people are interacting with each other?

    Have you noticed groups of people who seem to dress similarly, or how married people seem to come to even look alike over time? Matching and mirroring is when you take on someone else’s style of behaviour as well as their skills, values, or beliefs in order to create rapport.

    This will make your audience feel comfortable and more likely to listen to what you have to say. You can deliberately match and mirror someone by:

    • Body postures and gestures
    • How quickly you breathe
    • How quickly you speak or move
    • How your voice sounds

    CAUTION: You don’t want to mimic people. There is a fine line between moving in rhythm with someone and fitting in, or mimicry. People will know if you are being insincere.

  • Listen so you know what people are looking for

    If you want to really have people buy into what you are saying, then you must truly be present and LISTEN. And that means making sure they know they have been heard.

    Acknowledge their point of view, understand where they are coming from and above all, be patient.

  • Build rapport when communicating virtually

    To build rapport in today’s age of virtual offices, make sure you:

    • Speak more slowly to ensure people can hear you
    • Make sure you have people’s attention before you make your point
    • Use people’s names more often than you might in face-to-face meetings so they feel included and heard
    • Visualise the person at the end of the phone line as you listen to the conversation
    • If you are in a video-conference, look into the camera and appear to be visually present (no escaping to Facebook during teleconferences here!)
    • Summarise the meeting afterwards and confirm via email what was decided upon
  • Use multiple ways of communicating to make sure your message gets across:

    Find out who your audience is. If they are audio listeners, the words you use will be important. If your audience is more visual, then graphs, charts and pictures will help them remember information.

    Kinaesthetic audiences will focus on the tone of your voice and the feeling they experienced upon receiving the information.

So what does this mean for your daily interactions with your clients?

  1. Ensure you have their attention before sharing your message.
  2. Did they understand what you had to say? Ask questions to probe their response to your conversation.
  3. Use language and mannerisms your clients can relate to – use mirroring to deliver messages in a way that makes them feel comfortable.
  4. Follow-up with email after decisions are made to ensure you’re both on the same page.
  5. Have you inspired them to act? Find out what they care about so you can better motivate them to participate in your desired outcome.

Following the tips included in this article will shape how you deliver your message and guarantee improved communications with your clients.

Take some time to truly understand and internalize these techniques and you will be well on your way to avoiding difficult situations.

About the Author, Susan Elford

Kathryn Wilking

Susan Elford, PR Strategist & Leadership Coach, works with start-ups and seasoned entrepreneurs to help them get real about their strengths and celebrate them so they get more of what they want; clients, exposure and success, while living a life of balance.

Visit Susan at www.elfordcommunications.com for traditional PR support and www.susanelford.com for a look into how she works with her coaching clients.


The Networking Advantages of Attending Live Events

While on location at the WOW (Woman of Worth) Conference in Vernon earlier this year, I realized just how important it is to attend live events and do some good old fashioned business networking.

Today’s eTip shares some important things you can be doing while at a live event that can’t happen if you’re always hiding in front of your computer or smart phone:

 

Christine Awram is the founder and creator of these WOW events and she has them twice a year.

I have been enjoying attending them and that’s what had me creating this tip. It’s really important to get away from the computer and network in person. Attending events like this is a great way to build your business.

Even if it’s just a day-long event or if you can spare the time, a weekend or even week-long retreat.

Take the opportunity to Connect with the other attendees and find out what their challenges are. Many great business opportunities will present themselves once at the event.

Make an effort to get out and connect with your target market and build relationships.

Attending live events is a great way to build your businessClick To Tweet

Social media has made us comfortable sitting behind our cameras and smart phones but nothing beats a 1 on 1 live connection.

Do your homework and find out what events you can attend. Even if it’s just a luncheon it’s a great idea to get out and make those in-person connections.

If you have any questions at all please feel free leave a comment below and if you like these eTips subscribe to our newsletter and you’ll get an email every week with our eTips and articles designed to help solo entrepreneurs.

Until next time,
Susan Friesen

P.S. Are you ready to take your business to the next level? Our “All Under One Roof” boutique web development and digital marketing firm can help you make your vision a reality.
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The Business Advantages of Attending Live EventsClick To Tweet

About the Author, Susan Friesen

10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum ResultsSusan Friesen is the founder of eVision Media, a boutique web development and Digital Marketing firm of over 15 years that specializes in designing, building and marketing professional, unique websites for entrepreneurs, businesses and organizations.

Visit www.ultimatewebsiteguide.ca and grab your FREE "Ultimate Guide to Improving Your Website's Profitability - 10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum Results".

How Social Media Can Lead to New Collaborations and Work

Video marketing has been our hot topic lately.

Today’s eTip showcases a local videographer’s success story that happened while at my recent photo shoot.

 

Use your social media to make personal connections

A few years ago I was on Twitter and noticed something: someone from my local city was sharing and liking a lot of my posts!

Keith, a videographer, became a regular “fan” and naturally, I went and checked out his profile to find out more about him.

We eventually struck up some conversation and since then (after years of never even having met each other in person) we’ve been referring clients that have lead to paying work.

Through his efforts of becoming visible in front of me, he successfully got onto my radar if I ever needed, or knew of someone who needed, a videographer.

This video is about social media connections and in it Keith and I talk about the viability of social media and how it can be used properly from a business perspective to make connections that actually work.

Find your audience on social media

By using the #Abbotsford hashtag on Twitter, Keith narrowed his choices using a Twitter list within his feed to local businesses such as mine. This is a great tip for those who want to work with those local to them.

Twitter can be bogged down with international posts that won’t matter to you as much. Try Keith’s localization tip to nail down local connections.

Keith then reviewed who was using his localized hashtag as well and was able to start connecting and building out his business through social media.

By using his extensive background in video production Keith has been able to reach local clients for video shoots ranging from news reporting to corporate videos with great success.

Keith operates under Pathfinder Productions and you can find him on Facebook at: facebook.com/pathfinderproductions

This is a great example of how social media works. The trick is not to try tricks and use it honestly so you connect with other honest businesses. Localizing your efforts is a great way to find people who want to connect in your own area.

If you have any questions about improving your video quality to strengthen your online marketing, feel free to leave a message in the comment section below and I’d be happy to answer.

Until next time,
Susan Friesen

P.S. New to Social Media and online marketing or find it overwhelming and confusing? Check out Social Blast: eMarketing for Entrepreneurs. It’s a monthly group coaching program for those just starting out or wanting more advanced strategies to help with their online marketing and social media efforts.
>> CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS

P.P.S. If you found this article helpful, please share it with your Twitter followers:

How Social Media Can Lead to New Collaborations and WorkClick To Tweet

About the Author, Susan Friesen

10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum ResultsSusan Friesen is the founder of eVision Media, a boutique web development and Digital Marketing firm of over 15 years that specializes in designing, building and marketing professional, unique websites for entrepreneurs, businesses and organizations.

Visit www.ultimatewebsiteguide.ca and grab your FREE "Ultimate Guide to Improving Your Website's Profitability - 10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum Results".

7 Effective Strategies on Marketing Your Business Locally

7 Effective Strategies on Building Your Business Locally

When I was studying for my business degree and before eVision Media was formed, I was in need of an outlet to be around other like-minded women. Years previous I was a member of the local Valley Women’s Network so revisited their luncheons.

Even though funds were very tight at the time, it was important for me to have some human interaction – even if only once a month.

Little did I know, going to these meetings ended up being the catalyst for eVision Media’s birth.

During this time I connected with women entrepreneurs who where either eager to start a new business or take their business to the next level. Being the former webmaster for the Vancouver Sun and Province, it was a natural thing for them to ask me questions about branding and websites. I was more than happy to share my knowledge.

Eventually conversations evolved into them hiring me so they could get the help they wanted with their marketing presence.

The next thing I knew I was in business as a web developer!

That was over 14 years ago and I’m proud to say a handful of those women are still clients today.

I have to smile when I think about it because I really had no intention of starting my own business. I was going back to school with the idea of landing a CIO position somewhere.

Turns out my calling was much more important than that – helping business owners realize their dream.

The Many Benefits of Attending Local Live Events

Fast forward to present day, I still value the connections made when attending networking and other similar events.

Recently I was in Vernon attending the WOW-Woman of Worth Conference where I had an opportunity to get to know many incredible women I would never have met otherwise. (I was inspired to write these networking tips while there.)

I am also a member of the Business Professional Women’s Group and attend meetings in Langley and Abbotsford.

The connections found at events like these have been invaluable – not only professionally but also personally.

Connections found at live events are invaluable. Not only professionally but also personallyClick To Tweet

Social Media and Online Marketing is Not the Only Way to Generate New Business

Sometimes with Social Media and online marketing being so prevalent we forget about our own back yard and the opportunities available to us. All we have to do is simply step away from the computer and check them out.

My business was literally created by connecting with people locally. 

And just because Social Media has taken over the online networking landscape, doesn’t mean there’s any less value in building your business at that grass-roots level.

Building your business at a grass-roots, local level is just as valuable as social mediaClick To Tweet

Do you market your business in your hometown?

If hiding behind your computer has become the norm for you, I encourage you to explore local opportunities to get better known in your home town.

Here’s seven tips, ideas and suggestions on how you can take advantage of generating business through local efforts:

  1. Network where your target market is hanging out. First be clear on WHO that target market is and then do some research on where they gather.
     
    This is an easy one if you are a B2B business like eVision Media; there’s plenty of networking groups available tailored for that crowd.
     
    But you might have to look at other shared interests. For instance, if your target market is very health conscious, join a popular yoga group and get to know those people who attend.
  2. Volunteer at community groups. Volunteering in community groups are a great way to boost your visibility. Not only are they a great way to give back to your community but also an excellent way for you to showcase your skills and expertise.
     
    Do a search for groups that could use your skillset. A great example is if you are a bookkeeper or accountant – volunteer to be the bookkeeper for the group.
  3. Create your own Meet-up. Setting up local, more casual events on a subject you know would be of interest to your target market is a great way to build your brand visibility.
     
    These types of gatherings can be very beneficial to the attendees where you can offer something of value to them and showcase your expertise at the same time.
  4. Set up a trade show booth. Many trade shows have thousands of visitors. They are a great way to build your brand visibility and bring more awareness to your business offerings with the local crowd.
     
    Set up a professional display and strike up conversations with those showing interest in what you are offering.
     
    Be sure to have a way for them to get onto your mailing list by offering a draw or free giveaway. Just be sure they check off a box giving permission to receive your regular newsletters.
  5. Join the local Chamber of Commerce. Even if your target market is not business owners, there are still plenty of great reasons for you to get to know other business owners in your area by joining your local chamber.
     
    Not only can they be a great referral source for you, but they are still people who could be interested in what you have to offer at a personal level.
  6. Nominate others for awards. We had the honour of being nominated for, and won the Abbotsford Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence award in 2016 in the home based business category.
     
    I was also nominated for a WOW – Woman of Worth award in the Business & Prosperity category. The amount of free publicity and exposure we received for each of these awards was priceless.
     
    I encourage you to nominate someone for similar awards. Not only is it very gratifying to make someone else’s day, you also gain a lot of exposure from being the person who nominated them. Another option is to  be an award sponsor, again bringing you great satisfaction and business exposure.
  7. Don’t forget your business card! While some may poo-poo this, I’m still a believer in the value of business cards.
     
    Get professional cards designed and printed. Use them wisely – always ask the other person you’re talking with for their card first and reciprocation will ensue.
     
    Your business card is a first touch-point that person will see your visual brand so ensure you give off the right first impression with a professionally designed one.

Aside from getting out there and getting involved in local community activities, you could also take advantage of various paid advertising opportunities. Newspaper advertorials, radio ad spots, sponsorships and even billboards can all be taken advantage of at a local level.

Don’t Forget About Your Website

No matter what kind of activities we are doing when trying to drum up new business, don’t forget the importance of your website.

With every potential customer you meet, assume they will be heading to your website to check out you and your services. They might even do it right there so ensure your website is mobile friendly and shares the right brand messaging that will compel them into action and hire or buy from you.

Always be seeking opportunities where you can build your business exposure and double bonus points when you can couple those opportunities with giving back!

I’d love to hear from you – share below what ideas you have about local business exposure that’s worked for you?

To your success,

P.S. If you liked what you read here, you will want to sign up for my newsletter where you’ll get notified every Tuesday of that day’s blog post. Click here to also receive our free website guide: www.UltimateWebsiteGuide.ca

P.P.S. If you found this article helpful, please share it with your Twitter followers:

7 Effective Strategies on Building Your Business LocallyClick To Tweet

About the Author, Susan Friesen

10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum ResultsSusan Friesen is the founder of eVision Media, a boutique web development and Digital Marketing firm of over 15 years that specializes in designing, building and marketing professional, unique websites for entrepreneurs, businesses and organizations.

Visit www.ultimatewebsiteguide.ca and grab your FREE "Ultimate Guide to Improving Your Website's Profitability - 10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum Results".

What A Business Award Nomination Can Do For Your Brand

If someone nominates you for a business award in your sphere of influence, the advantages to your brand are pronounced.

What many don’t know is: your brand can also reap some killer rewards when you’re the one doing the nominating.

Business Advisor and Mentor Pamela Chatry explains in this quick interview after we were both nominated for a Woman of Worth Award:

 

What’s the value of nominating someone for a business award?

The value lies in reciprocity.

Of course, the act of giving recognition is, in itself, rewarding. But you can also use that opportunity to benefit your own brand.

Here’s how that works:

Usually, when you nominate someone for any kind of business award, they reciprocate, which opens up avenues for some wickedly effective networking.

Additionally, you get recognition from other influencers whose words have more weight than your average reference.

So, even if there’s a nomination fee, that amount means precious little when you consider the untapped return on your investment.

You’d be hard-pressed to find a more effective use of your advertising dollars.

If you have any questions about nominating a business for an award, feel free to leave a message in the comment section below and I’d be happy to answer. Also, if you’re looking to boost your digital marketing to the next level, sign up for my free newsletter.

Until next time,

P.S. New to Social Media and online marketing or find it overwhelming and confusing? Check out Social Blast: eMarketing for Entrepreneurs. It’s a monthly group coaching program for those just starting out or wanting more advanced strategies to help with their online marketing and social media efforts.
>> CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS

P.P.S. If you found this article helpful, please share it with your Twitter followers:

What A Business Award Nomination Can Do For Your BrandClick To Tweet

About the Author, Susan Friesen

10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum ResultsSusan Friesen is the founder of eVision Media, a boutique web development and Digital Marketing firm of over 15 years that specializes in designing, building and marketing professional, unique websites for entrepreneurs, businesses and organizations.

Visit www.ultimatewebsiteguide.ca and grab your FREE "Ultimate Guide to Improving Your Website's Profitability - 10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum Results".

10 Superstar Networking Tips to Grow Your Business

10 Superstar Networking Tips to Grow Your Business

One of the best investments you can make as a solopreneur or business person is in your personal development.  As a business owner you can only grow as far as your skills and knowledge can take you.

That’s why attending seminars, conferences and workshops is such a valuable experience.

I recently attended the WOW (Woman of Worth) Conference in Vernon BC and it was a fantastic experience. The founder, Christine Awram, has been holding these conferences for several years. Each event promises excellent motivational and inspirational speakers plus great opportunities to meet and mingle with like-minded women.

Dana Smithers - Law of AttractionThis year was exceptionally great due to one of our clients, Dana Smithers, being invited to be one of the keynote speakers.

She talked about the Law of Attraction and started a chain reaction of events that lead me to being up on stage taking a bow to a standing ovation! (The exercise was to put my intention out to the world that I am open to receiving speaking opportunities so hey, if you know of any….)

In addition to gaining next-level strategies, events like these offer an incredible opportunity to meet prospects, JV partners, and vendors.

So how can you make the most of your next event? Here’s some pro tips to network like a superstar.

  1. Rock Your Appearance

    Let your outfit be a conversation starter. Wear something that makes you feel like a million bucks and helps you radiate confidence.
     
    Bring a killer accessory like a unique pin, scarf, or pair of shoes that gets you noticed.  Make a great first impression that makes people think “I have to meet that person.”

  2. Prepare Yourself Mentally

    Know your purpose for being there.  Be passionate about what you do and let it shine.
     
    What do you want to learn? Look at the list of speakers and make a point to say hello to them. Ask yourself what 3 types of people you’d like to meet.  Get specific.  Visualize these people in the morning before the workshop or conference begins.
     
    This will help you attract exactly the right type of connections you will benefit most from.

  3. Show Up Early

    Arrive with extra time so you can grab a coffee, visit the vendor tables, and get to know a few people before everything starts to get busy. Be on the lookout for  people with whom you feel you can connect with and strike up a conversation with them.
     
    Attending early also gives you an opportunity to get a seat close enough to better see and hear the on-stage happenings.

  4. Be a Giver

    Have you ever met someone whom you feel wants to get something from you?  It gives off a bad negative energy, doesn’t it?  Avoid this from happening to you by shifting your energy to one of abundance and ask yourself how you can best serve others.
     
    When you meet someone be curious.  Get to know them.  Ask questions.  Find out how you can help this person.
     
    There is always a resource, compliment, connection, book, tip, or tool that you can offer to help someone.
     
    Can you interview them on your podcast?  Can you review their book on your blog? Can you co-host a webinar with them? While I was at the WOW event, I recorded 3 video eTips and did a couple of Facebook LIVE How can you capitalize on your time in a similar manner?

  5. Ask for Their Business Card

    It is always better to ask for the other person’s card.  Asking for their card feels better than shoving yours in their hand.
     
    Plus that leaves you in control so that you can send a follow-up when you return from the event.
     
    Write a note about what you learned or spoke about with them on the card so you can reference it when you write them afterwards.

  6. Share the Event Socially

    Social Media is a great tool for building and maintaining relationships. Take plenty of pics at the event to share on social media.
     
    Christine Awram of Woman of WorthDo Facebook LIVE on location. Your followers want to see where you are.  Take pictures with the speakers and other people you meet.
     
    This is me with Christine after the event was over. As you can see, wine is a big part of her brand. That and chocolate!
     
    Plus you can send these pictures to the friends you meet in your follow up.
     
    Try tagging them on social media and give them a shout out saying how nice it was to meet them.  You can attach a picture with them in a follow-up email.  This is a heartfelt way to share warmth with a new connection.

  7. Switch it Up

    Try sitting with different people at lunch.  Join groups for after workshop dinner and conversation.  Sometimes the chit-chat that occurs before and after the event can lead to the best connections.

  8. Step Up to the Mike

    If there is a Q&A opportunity, step up to the microphone and let your question be heard.  You’ll get a chance to introduce yourself to the whole room and get expert answers to your question.
     
    Often times people will come up to you afterwards and say how they related to what you shared.

  9. Give a Testimonial

    If you loved the event, be vocal about it. Tell the event coordinator and offer a testimonial.  You can also record a Facebook video testimonial and tag the event coordinator on social media.
     
    Email a written testimonial to the event host. They may post it on their website and give you massive exposure.

  10. Love ’em Up

    There is a Chinese proverb that says “A bit of fragrance clings to the hand that gives flowers.” When you get back home after the event, the most important part is following up with and nurturing relationships you made.
     
    Here it’s a strategy of quality, not quantity.  Sort through the cards you received.  Narrow them down to the few people you had a real connection with and send a warm, genuine email.
     
    Is there any further suggestion or resource you can send them as a follow-up to your conversation? You want them to experience their life is better now having met you.
     
    And don’t forget to post to your social media accounts and send an email to your list about your experience too!

Attending industry conferences or seminars keep you up-to-date with the latest changes that are occurring within the industry.  But equally valuable is the chance to meet other like-minded individuals and build connections that can last a lifetime.

What are your favourite networking tips?  Share your thoughts and experiences below.

Want to learn more about social media and the tactics you can use to help build your brand exposure?

21 Day Social Media Challenge April 17th

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To your success,

P.S. If you liked what you read here, you will want to sign up for my newsletter where you’ll get notified every Tuesday of that day’s blog post. Click here to also receive our free website guide: www.UltimateWebsiteGuide.ca

P.P.S. If you found this article helpful, please share it with your Twitter followers:

10 Superstar Networking Tips to Grow Your BusinessClick To Tweet

About the Author, Susan Friesen

10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum ResultsSusan Friesen is the founder of eVision Media, a boutique web development and Digital Marketing firm of over 15 years that specializes in designing, building and marketing professional, unique websites for entrepreneurs, businesses and organizations.

Visit www.ultimatewebsiteguide.ca and grab your FREE "Ultimate Guide to Improving Your Website's Profitability - 10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum Results".