Happy Spring! Do You Keep Waiting For Flowers To Bloom?

I hope that you are as excited as I am about today, today is the first day of Spring!

With all of this winters storms, this day is so much more special.

I know that it is just a date on the calendar, but it gives us reason to hope that the weather will be changing really soon.

I like to start my week with some words of wisdom,

“You’re frustrated because you keep waiting for the blooming of flowers of which you have yet to sow the seeds.” -Steve Maraboli

Do you have a stack of “stuff” that you intend to let go or get to, but never do?
 
I swear that my wife Kathy is the master of getting things done. She hates to see “stuff” stacked up anywhere. It’s a mindset. I have said before, she is super organized, she has a plan and is amazingly detailed on what she wants and does not want. It’s an addiction for her. Our son Matthew is just like Kathy, Jonathan and I are the exact opposites.
 
Stop Letting Things Pile Up
I have a silent little secret. It’s books, specifically the buying of books. I have decided that I am not going to buy any more books until I read (or given away) the ones that I have piled up. I’ve purchased many books thinking that they would be great reads, or that I would get some great ideas from them, but some have not even been looked at.
 
I have started taking notes on all the ideas that I think are useful and want to incorporate into my business and personal life from the books that I am reading. I am using Evernote to keep track of these ideas.  I will work on implementing these new ideas as hard as I work to read the book.
 
I want you to do the same. I bet you’re subscribed to too many newsletters. Unsubscribe from the ones that are not serving you. And I mean MY Monday Morning Message and our connection, too. If you do not find my writing interesting, or useful, click Unsubscribe at the bottom of the email, or unfollow me on Linkedin. It won’t hurt my feelings at all.
 
You see, I am a believer in the philosophy of “out of everyone you meet, 25% will automatically take a liking to you, 25% will automatically hate you and the other 50% is undecided.” I write these messages for the 25% that like me and the 50% that are still undecided.
 
Stop Adding “Stuff” to Your Life
Are you one of those people who has a plan, not really following it, and so you start looking for a new plan? You may be thinking that you’re not the problem in this equation. You are. And I am too, sometimes.
 
Work on ONE plan. Give it all your effort. Execute that plan. THEN, if it’s not working you can abandon it and try another. You are better off having learned from this failure rather than never having tried it.
 
But neither you nor I have permission to think, “Hmm, I’m not actually doing this anyway, so I’ll go find something else to not do.” Give it your 100% or abandon it completely: half-hearted efforts are a total waste of your time. You won’t be helped by doing this… that’s last year’s mentality.
 
One at a Time
Setting habits is like farming – you need to plant the right seed, tend to it, water it, and with the right amount of sun, air, and fertilizer, you will soon be harvesting the benefits of your hard work. You can’t just throw your seeds into the fertile soil of your business and expect them all to sprout. They’ll choke each other out, be encroached on by weeds or be eaten by the birds (your competitors). It’s a waste of time, effort, and treasure!
 
Plant one seed variety at a time. Nurture it. See the results. And then grow.
 
Spring is here
Start cleaning now. Clean out the sources of information you’re no longer using. Clean out the abundance of half-started plans in your world. And work on what resonates with the one goal you need to work on FIRST.
 
It’s time to shut off the spigot of knowledge and ideas and drink what we have poured. Get into a more measured approach. Choose a path and let that guide you forward.
 
If you need some help elevating your business to the next level, I may be able to help. I have worked with some amazing people who needed help, and I have room to coach a couple of local business people. Just reply to this message and we can set up a time to meet so I can learn about you and your business and see if we are a good fit!
 
Have a great week!

Carlos

PS If you or a client, coworker, family member or a friend who would benefit from our high level of attention to service and competitive rates we provided, I would sincerely appreciate your recommendations.Please text our agency at 617-409-0329 or Click here

PPS What I learned today, “What was Leonardo Da Vinci’s real name” Click here to read more.

Storytelling Is A Powerful Tool

“Storytelling is the most powerful way to put ideas into the world today.”
– Robert McAfee Brown

Humans are born storytellers, and we do not relate to visual communication very well. Storytelling brings to life a scenario and makes an emotional connection, provoking feelings of ecstasy, sorrow, or peace, and captivating an audience. This is exactly what you need when it comes to your marketing strategy.

We all love a good story, especially when it catches our attention and draws us in. Stories have the power to captivate and increase our customer conversions and referrals from our customers. They also make your audience think of you as the local expert in your field, with the help of your satisfied clients.

Every good business has customers that have had such a wonderful experience doing business with us that they rave to their friends and family about their experience. We should capitalize on these satisfied customers to help promote our businesses. In order to best learn from these customers, you must listen to them.

Making sure that you have people, processes, and technology in place to put your customer first is critical. But none of it matters if you don’t activate it the right way. If you don’t act on feedback or show your customer that you and your company cares each and every day, you are missing out on a big opportunity!

My friend Peter Shankman says in his book Zombie Loyalists: Using Great Service to Create Rabid Fans that these are the customers that you should turn into Zombie Loyalists by getting them to share your story.

“You get the customers you want by being beyond awesome to the customers you have,”
-Peter Shankman.

According to Peter, “Zombie Loyalists” are fervent fans that help companies massively increase their customer base, brand awareness, and most importantly, revenue. After all, why should you have to tell the world how amazing you are if you can have your existing customers do it for you? Imagine an army of customers who will do your public relations, marketing, and advertising without being asked, each and every time they interact with your business. These are Zombie Loyalists. They are ready to buy what you sell, respond to your email offers and demand that their friends do the same.

So…, are your satisfied customers telling your story?

Zombie Loyalists will disappoint you if you are looking for a science fiction horror story about blood-lusting zombies. Instead, this book is for anyone who is in customer service, sales management, and marketing. It will serve as a reminder of what customers – like you and me – deserve from the businesses we patronize.

Your business will see an increase in revenue if you begin taking care of your current clients and giving them an amazing experience every time they have an interaction with you and your company. Let them know your story and ask them to share their experience with their friends and family. Then you will be well on your way to creating your very own army of Zombie Loyalists!

Remember, I’m always here to help you and your clients win. It’s what I LOVE to do.

Carlos

Fear And Confidence

 

“If every lover was treated like they matter every day, Valentine’s Day wouldn’t be so special.”
-Mokokoma Mokhonoana

I am enjoying a great cup of Brazilian Mogiana coffee locally roasted by our friends at Flat Black Coffee. What are you drinking? Reply below and let me know!

I thought that I would drink this coffee and write a Valentine’s Day message, but nothing has come to me. It’s Thursday and it’s snowing outside, so Instead, I have decided to write about Fear and Confidence.

You remember my message from the past on Fear, and it seems only natural to follow that up by walking through how to build up your Confidence. I can tell you that one of the core element of being successful in business (and in life) is confidence. But you know this – mostly because you know how bad it feels when you lack confidence.

How is your confidence?

It turns out that the more small successes you rack up, the more you’ll feel ready to take on something bigger. You need wins. Believe it or not, I learned this from playing video games with my sons. In most games, the first few minutes are dedicated to teaching you the mechanics. Angry Birds teaches you how to hit a green pig with a bird. Super Mario Brothers teaches you to hop on goombas and break bricks. Pac Man (my all time favorite game) starts out simple and gets more complex.

The real world is a bit more tricky, but you can steal the same mechanics of gaming to build your confidence. When you take on a job, no one gives you an “easy” level when you’re starting out. When you go into business for yourself, it’s often that sense of being “thrown into the deep end.”

However, you are the owner of your experience. You can decide that you want to “level up” the way you do in video games. How? The answer is simple – “wins.”

Confidence runs on wins: More wins = More confidence

Let’s take sales, for example. If you’re in business of any kind, you need more customers. Of this, I have no doubt. So what are you doing right now? Most of the people who read this newsletter are wondering just how much blogging, Tweeting, Snapchatting, and Facebooking they have to do to get a customer. You’re probably losing faith. Your confidence is dipping.

Instead of getting down, make some small wins for yourself. Here are a few examples of tasks that will create these wins to boost your confidence:

  • I’m going to make 10 specific “asks” to 10 different people who might be the right fit for what I sell. The WIN is that you ask, not whether they buy.
  • I’m going to write a sales letter by Monday afternoon. The win is that the letter is written.
  • I’ll send that letter Tuesday (another win).
  • I’ll follow up in personalized emails. I’ll make sure I do 20 a day. Another win.
  • I am going to call 10 of my past clients today, and see how they are doing (don’t start thinking that they will be upset, it’s too long since I last called, etc. Here’s a secret – people think a lot less about us than we think they do).
  • Everyone that I meet I will FROG (ask about their Family, Recreation, Occupation and Goals).
  • I will add to my referral network (if you need help doing this, I’d love to help)
  • I will get at least one more sale this week than I did last week. Win.

See what I’m doing? Take the bigger task and break it down a bit. Find what will constitute a victory and accomplish it. Stack up more and more of those and you’ll see your confidence rise.

This is true of everything you want to accomplish. Need to lose 30 pounds? Make a win be going to the gym for 3 days this week. Make another win be drinking one gallon of water every day. Once those little victories start stacking up, you’ll have more confidence to tackle bigger tasks.

Are you scared of public speaking? Start with a blog post. Then a video. Then a free speech to a small group. Then a bigger group, etc.

Set up paths that take you from the simple wins to the bigger ones. Everything works better this way, I promise. The world may not line up neatly, but you, the owner of your destiny (and your fear), can line it up.

Go! Do it now.

And know that you are loved.

PS: Should you know of anyone who has an insurance question or need an honest insurance quote or review, I would be honored if you would keep our agency in mind. Click here

PPS: Here’s what I learned today ” How to spot a fake friend request” Click here

 

Friends Are The Most Important Ingredient

“Friends are the most important ingredient in this recipe of life.”
– Dior Yamasaki

I thought this week I would give you a few Facebook tips that I have found very helpful in our business.

In the presentations that I do, I’m often asked for tips and strategies to create and connect with friends and customers on Facebook.

Here’s a few:

  1. When a person “likes” your Facebook post, always respond with a comment with their name in it. Use their name to personalize the comment.

If you start to type their name in, Facebook will fill it in, and it will tag them.  If you want to make it more personal, you can back out their last name, which is what I suggest.

Here are some examples:

Mary, I love that you enjoyed this.

Mary, I knew this message would resonate with you.

Mary, I love it when you like what I share.

2. In the beginning of the post that you do, encourage people to share it with others. What I do is simply write on the top of the post:
“This is worth sharing with your friends.”

Or

“Please share.”

Put a message either at the top of your post or at the end of the post encouraging people to give it away.

  1. When someone shares your post, send them a “private message” thanking them for doing so.

    Here are a couple of examples:

    Mary, thank you for sharing my post.

    Mary, I am so glad that you found my post helpful, thank you for the share.

    Mary, thank you for the share! I hope that you are well and business is going well, let’s meet for coffee soon.

  2. If a person comments, always “like” their comment and respond to it with a question.

For example, if a person says, “That is really cool”, you would comment and ask them what is it about his that you found to be cool?

Just have some fun with it.  When people comment, don’t let them hang, go back and say something about what they said.  You want to encourage and facilitate a conversation and therefore build the relationship with them.

  1. Don’t forget to wish your friends a happy birthday on their birthdays.
  2. Use the list feature to sort our your friends, clients, colleagues, acquaintances, etc.  Learn more about Facebook lists here.

Why is this Key?  I call it the “Law of Familiarity”, the more communication, in whatever form, you have with people, the more familiar they become with you.

The reality is that people love to do business with the people they know, like and trust, and they love to refer others to people they are familiar with. Facebook is the ultimate way to create a high level of familiarity with others.

I LOVE connecting with people. In fact, if there was just one thing I feel that I am THE EXPERT in, it is branding and marketing. I use what I have learned to work with a few local business folks on how to connect and grow their brand both online and offline.

I am so committed to these local business friends that we have a Monday accountability call each week. The good news is that I have room for a couple more of these Monday accountability calls. So, look at 2017 – if you’re trying to START or GROW your personal brand, let me know. We’ll spend a little time together, and I will give you an assessment and a clear direction on HOW TO CRUSH 2017 to BOOST YOUR PERSONAL BRAND. Want to meet in person? We can do that too. All you have to do is comment below now, and I promise to make time for you because you are important to me.

Must Have Apps for Real Estate Professionals

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A smartphone is a must in today’s world, especially for a Real Estate agent. You probably use yours several times a day to talk to clients and schedule showings, but are you using your phone to its fullest potential? Here are four areas where you may be able to leverage your app store to make your life easier:

  • Social Media – Social Media doesn’t rest, so you need to be prepared to post and interact with clients and followers at all times. Your phone is a key player in having your profiles at your fingertips. You obviously need Facebook, but also try apps like Instagram, Vine, Snapchat, HootSuite and (my favorite) Buffer
  • Organization – Staying organized on the go is a key trait for Realtor success. Apps like Dropbox, Tempo, and (my favorite) Evernote and more will help you have all of your documents and appointments at your fingertips, no matter where you are.
  • For Showings – Did you know that there are apps that you can use to help you with your listing appointments? Route 4 Me helps you determine an optimal route to get clients around town efficiently, and Supra eKey can turn your smartphone into a lockbox key!
  • For Listings – In addition to using your social media accounts to promote your listings, you can use apps like Camera+ to take and edit pictures of your listings for your social media posts, or you can use your iphone like I do.  There is also a DocuSign app to help you send, track, and sign documents digitally to help sales go through smoothly.

What are the apps that you can’t live without? Tell us about the apps that we missed, and we may use them for another app feature in the future! And, as always, stay tuned to the blog for more technology tips.

Support Small Businesses This Holiday Season

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The end of the year is quickly approaching, and for many people that means it’s time to start shopping. Whether you need presents or hostess gifts, you’re going to have a lot of options of where to shop this holiday season. Instead of going to a big box store or ordering online, try shopping at local small businesses! There are many amazing small businesses in our area, and supporting local small businesses has lots of benefits:

  • Encourages local character by promoting individuality
  • Increases community involvement and well-being
  • Keeps wealth local and encourages local prosperity
  • Boosts the local economy with more jobs and better wages
  • Fuels entrepreneurship and innovation in the community
  • Helps sustain the environment and reduce pollution by reducing sprawl

In addition to helping the community, you may find that you benefit personally from doing your shopping at smaller establishments. You will find more unique items than at larger retailers, and you will often receive more personalized and more attentive customer service while at smaller businesses.

If you want to take your support of small businesses to the next level, shop locally for the ingredients to your holiday meals! You can find great local produce around the Greater Boston area, and it will be fresher than what you get at the grocery store.

And one more thing – if you need insurance, you can get the same benefits that are listed above by shopping locally. Ask us for more information about why getting insurance from a local independent insurance agency is the way to go.   We can help you with your Massachusetts automobile, homeowners, business and life insurance.