by CEO on January 6th, 2016

Follow up. Follow-up. Follow-up!

You can get away with an awful lot if you just do consistent follow-up. I’m always amazed at the lack of it. We seem to live in a world where the promise is more important that the actual behavior. However, behavior is what will create your reputation (not your promises).

So what is a good follow up system? Bottom line: you don’t need anything expensive. You don’t need a lot of software (you may not need any). And you don’t need anything fancy. What you DO need is something you feel comfortable with and something you’ll use – regularly.

One issue I find to be prevalent among business owners is they get really, really overwhelmed with the prospect list. It’s too long and they don’t know who to call/contact when and for what reason.

Here’s a list of what I think a good system should have:
  1. Basic contact information. However, you don’t need to keep every little piece of information on a person. How do you reach out to your prospects? Phone? Text? Email? Snail-mail? Depending on the answer – that’s the information you need to have. Simple.
  2. Written out script. Yep, that’s what I said! You need to write out the script of what you’re going to say (whether it's spoken or written)! It doesn’t need to be every single word, but the basics. If you don’t know what you’re going to say, then there’s room for you to talk yourself out of doing the follow up.
  3. Date of next call. So, you’ve met them, you may even have called them what’s next in the system and when does it happen?  I like to use Excel’s filtering option for this but you can use reminders in Outlook too.
I devised a combination of Outlook and Excel years ago that I still use to this day. It isn’t fancy but it has worked for me. Bottom line: do what works and keep trying until you find something that does. If you want more info on how to put together a system, contact me – I’d be glad to help!

Raeus Jae Cannon is the CEO and founder of REO (Referral Excellence Organization). She’s built two strong businesses by doing simple face-to-face networking!

by CEO on January 4th, 2016

What’s it really mean to net-work? Is it just going to social events? Is it just handing out your business card? As we enter the New Year, I’d like to dive into the idea…

So, what is networking? Networking is the process of meeting and creating a relationship with possible prospects. However, networking is only a part of your marketing mix. To be effective networking must work in tandem with a couple of other things. If you only go to social events and pass out business cards, networking isn’t really effective by itself. 

If networking is the process of meeting and creating a relationship with possible prospects then what else needs to be part of the mix?

1) First: you must have a succinct and effective answer to the #1 question you’ll get asked (everywhere, not just networking events).
2) Second: you need to know who your prospect is otherwise you’ll waste time and effort talking to three types of people:
  • Those that don’t need your product/service
  • Those that can’t afford your product/service
  • Those you really don’t want to work with (we’ll call them PITA’s: Pain In the As..’s)
3) Third: you need to have a good follow-up system. A good follow-up system is one that you’ll use – and use regularly.

If you have all three of the above, your networking will be much more effective! Over the next few days, I’ll cover these three things in detail. Meanwhile, ask yourself – are you going to keep doing what you’ve been doing OR do you want this New Year to be more effective?

Raeus Jae Cannon is the CEO and founder of REO (Referral Excellence Organization). She’s built two strong businesses by doing simple face-to-face networking!

by Raeus Jae Cannon on August 27th, 2015

When we take a road trip, many of us get out a map. Maps have a lot of interesting things on them: small roads, interstates, small towns, large cities, attractions, parks, points of interest, etc. 
Marketing our business is similar to that map. There are many ways to market a business: advertising, direct mail, internet, word of mouth, trade shows, printed materials, etc. Each of these, fall into one of two categories: passive or active. Most business people choose to use passive marketing because it's easier and requires what appears to be less time representing our business in the market place. Networking is active because it directly brings in prospects, but it does require our time and consistent effort. 

Every business wants positive word-of-mouth! It can be the difference between a company going from zero to 60 in seconds or going from 60 to zero! In fact, According to a recent 2013 study by Nielsen, 84% of respondents in 58 countries said: “Word-of-mouth recommendations from friends and family...are still the most influential.” Your branded website is only trusted by 69% and 68% said they trusted online opinions posted online. 

So, how do we meet these people that are willing to talk about our product, service or company? It takes personal time – our time.

But in order to network well we should create and follow a map. Our map should contain all the face-to-face networking events (i.e. cities/towns we’ll visit) that we would find our target market at. 

First step: Be Strategic
Attend specific events where you'll find people that need or want your services. Your local library will have an extensive list of local business associations (believe me - in this case it is WAY easier than an online search). Make a list of groups or associations that are (or reach out to) your target market (and that you'd enjoy attending or have interest in). Once you make this list – attend – and attend regularly. Attending regularly isn’t difficult if you make it a priority. Strive for 100% attendance, that way if you miss once or twice it won’t be a big deal. If you attempt the 100% attendance, you may not make it, but you’ll be close and that helps you to create a good positive reputation.

An important concept to remember is that word-of-mouth and reputation are built on our actions (not our promises). Example: I've known a local sales rep for a couple of years. He is a likeable guy and I always enjoy talking with him. He shows up at a lot of the events that I attend and we almost always have a brief conversation. He always tells me that he is going to attend my upcoming class (whatever it might be). The first three or four times, I believed him and looked forward to seeing him there. But, he never showed up. So now, when he tells me he’s going to do something (almost anything in fact) well, I don’t believe him. He's eroded my trust. 

Step 2: Drive 
When I network, I want to meet and create "drivers." Drivers can drive business to you (or away from you). They're what others call "Influencers" because they've proven their credibility, character and their reputation by being consistent as well as helpful. Drivers are a small elite group within your circle of influence. Drivers should be no more than your top 30 people. They personally drive business to your door and you should take extra good care of them by keeping in touch with them regularly and driving business to them. This is the basis of the thinking behind Referral Exchange Groups such as REO.

The points of interest/cities along your trip are the events that you show up at. On this trip, you want to consistently make strategic stops and make the trip to those stops often. 

If you draw out your map, consistently attend events and keep up a positive reputation, then you'll quickly get to your word-of-mouth destination. 

Raeus Cannon, CEO, is the founder of REO, Referral Excellence Organization in Knoxville, Tennessee. She works with professionals that want to connect with more prospects, quit making cold calls, and make more money! She's a trainer and published author of both books and curriculum on networking, word-of-mouth marketing and referral marketing. She's not made a cold-call since 1997 and she is quoted to say: "If You Network Well – You Never Need to Sell!" Raeus can be reached by email at ceo at reomeetings dot com

​Articles may be reprinted electronically in it’s entirety however, it must include the entire authors byline with an active link back to
Please send a courtesy copy of to ceo at reomeetings dot com. You may not print this article in a paid-for arena or for any commercial use.
Contact the author: Raeus Jae Cannon, CEO and Founder of REO, Llc: Referral Excellence Organization
© Copyright 2015 Raeus Cannon

by CEO on April 9th, 2015

​Where Do You Wear A Name Badge?  

I've heard the argument: "​The name badge goes on the right side where you "Follow the arms of the handshake" - Right?
This common belief stems from a study that “someone” did. However, no one seems to know who conducted the study or where it was done. Supposedly, this study concluded that while shaking a person’s hand, people’s eyes follow the line of sight along the arms and thus the name badge should be placed at the end of that line of sight – the upper right chest (just below the shoulder).
But that just doesn't make sense if you...
Follow the Money!
The truth can often be flushed out when you “follow the money.”  So, let’s start by asking three questions:
Question #1: When spending money to purchase logo wear (specifically shirts or jackets), does the promotional products company default to place the logo on the LEFT side?
​Answer: Yes! Promotional Products companies automatically print any logo on the upper LEFT side of a shirt or jacket (as people look at you it would be the upper right quadrant of your body) unless you request otherwise. Is it hard to find anyone’s logo? Not at all – logos are all in the same place. We’ve been conditioned over many years by the promotional products industry (and even clothing companies) to look for logos in the same place – the LEFT side of the shirt (the right as we look at someone wearing it).  See the YELLOW nametag to the left…
Question #2:  Do you want your name associated with your logo or company name?
Answer: Yes! Of course you do! Make it easy for people to associate the two. Don’t make them read your name and company in two different locations. If your name badge is on the opposing side from your logo – you are mentally and physically disassociating yourself from your company! When you place your name badge just above or below your company logo – you link the two in sight and mind.
"So, what if I don’t wear a logo?" Well, when people are looking for your logo – viola – your name badge is exactly where they expect to find the logo. So why wait until you shake someone’s hand? Put your name badge exactly where they expect to find it – BEFORE they shake your hand!
Question #3: When advertising, will you pay a premium for the top RIGHT corner of the page?
Answer: Yes, you sure will! Savvy advertisers pay a premium to be located at the top RIGHT corner of the page. Why? Because study after study have found that people’s eyes are drawn to the top RIGHT corner of every page first – yes, before looking at anything else! And that holds true whether it is a magazine page, a web page, a computer screen or your body.
So, imagine the body in a similar fashion to an advertising page. Put the most important information where people will instinctively look – in the top RIGHT corner as they look at you (LEFT on your body - you know, where you place your hand while saying the Pledge of Allegiance).

Wear Your Name Badge on the LEFT Side of Your Body
Wear your name badge in the money spot – the top LEFT corner of your body (where you put your hand during the Pledge of Allegiance) and just above or below your logo so that when people approach you your name badge is seen in the RIGHT hand side of your chest.

Steer away from dangling nametags that hang on a lanyard. Unless the name is typed in VERY large letters it will draw people’s eyes down to your stomach (or your cleavage) and away from your face.

Rule:  Follow the Money – When it comes to name tags or name badges – LEFT is right!

Raeus Jae Cannon is the Founder and CEO of REO, LLC; a relationship based referral exchange organization that creates networks for all professionals to be well connected and prosperous. She has been training professionals to network effectively since 2004 and is available to speak or train at corporations or associations. For information about REO, Llc click here.
© Copyright since 2006 Raeus Jae Cannon

This article may be reprinted electronically in its entirety; however, it must include the entire author byline with an ac­tive link back to Send a courtesy copy to ceo at reomeetings dot com. You may not print this article in a paid-for arena or for any commercial use.

by CEO on July 17th, 2014

Net In Progress

One of the questions I’m asked most often is “Where should I network?” The simple answer: “Network where you have the best chance of meeting your prospect.”

Get involved with at least three of the following types of groups. You may already be involved in one or two and not recognize the group as a networking opportunity.

Networking Groups – There are two types of networking groups: Chambers of commerce and speed networking. The main reason people participate is for networking opportunities. It is classified as open networking: anyone can participate and you will find your competitors there. Chamber events usually have little structure while speed networking has highly structured events.

Interest Groups – There are seven basic types of interest groups: hobby, educational, political, homeowner, alumni, sports and athletic, and cultural. These groups vary as to how often they meet and in structure. However, they have one thing that is beneficial to the networking professional – they’re relaxed. So why’s that a benefit? Well, people aren’t there to do business yet people like to buy from people they feel comfortable with. Let members know what you do without trying to sell to them. Give a little ‘free advice’ on occasion and be a resource for members. But more than anything – enjoy yourself and get involved.

Professional Groups – There are a variety of professional groups ranging from single occupation to business associations to private clubs. These groups usually have membership requirements based on your occupation or professional categories. The benefit of becoming involved with these groups are keeping up with trends in your industry (or an affiliated industry); sharing of ideas; learning new skills; and developing friendly competition.

Gender Groups – This category consists of men’s and/or women’s clubs, fraternities and sororities, and fraternal orders. You may or may not find your competitors at these groups. The benefits of becoming involved are varied and personal to each member.

Referral Groups – These groups are closed contact groups meaning you have exclusive membership and will not have your competitor on your team. These include groups such as REO, BNI, LeTip and various independents. Before joining one of these groups look at who the target market is of each of the members NOT the members themselves. Also look at the quality of referrals (ask to see the copies of the referrals passed that day).

Service, Spiritual & Support – Groups in this category include charitable groups, support groups and religious groups. Doing business at these groups is frowned upon (if done openly and aggressively) however, business is done within these groups every day. Join them for the community connection, do business as a side benefit.

You may reproduce this information in any electronic format as long as you include the following: Author: Raeus Jae Cannon, CEO & Founder of REO, LLC (Referral Exchange Organization).