Think of your Accomplishments Differently

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Most people view an accomplishment as either a degree or a great hike up a great mountain, but few realise that an accomplishment means something different to different people.


Learning to think about your accomplishments differently will help you gain confidence and influence your future more productively.


In the process of an interview, a question like, “What is your greatest accomplishment?” can set anyone stuttering and stumbling over their words.  Interviewers class this type of question as a ‘behavioural interview question’ and most times is asked to get a better insight into someone’s psyche.  It’s a hot-button question.  Do they like talking about themselves?  Are they confident in what they have achieved so far?  What do they view success as?


The first and very important thing to remember whenever you are asked that question or something similar, is that your confidence in yourself must shine through, no matter the answer.


Your levels of accomplishment are very different to someone else’s.  The only common denominator would be how you view and express those accomplishments.


If you sit there, shyly look away and mumble out what you have achieved, even if it was qualifying as a Certificate CA, the person listening will most likely feel like you haven’t achieved much.


Delivery is everything.


The type of delivery you give can also be seen through the words you write and not only those that you speak.


From your online profile to the 30 second elevator speech you give at the next network meeting, your delivery needs to speak volumes.


Here are a few tips on how you can start thinking about your accomplishments differently and start making people aware:


Make the List

No matter how small or big you consider the achievement to be, write it down.  It could be that you managed to conceive a child to passing your drivers.  It could be clocking the 100th referral receipt at your network to hitting the R1 million mark in your investment.  They are all accomplishments. They are tasks or projects you set for yourself where you managed to reach a certain accolade.  Write them all down – they all count.


Read them out loud

As a general rule, most of us humans are not great with bragging about our achievements.  We don’t particularly like it when someone else goes on about what they have done and what they have mastered.  But, starting with reading your accomplishments out loud to yourself is a good way to feel more confident.  It is also in how you say it.  Always keep your tone conversational, but not too much matter-of-fact either.  A quiet informative, yet engaging tone is great. Remember, most times someone has asked you the question around your accomplishments and so you must answer – they are expecting you to answer.


Feel proud – be proud

When you feel proud about what you have achieved it will shine through in your face and words.  And, there is no harm in that.  It may even sound good if you start off with,  “I feel very proud in myself for …”. Or “It has been a great feeling knowing that I managed to …”. People will respond better to that kind of intro to your accomplishments.  You are stating a fact, but also showing some humility.


Testimonial It

If you still really struggle with just stating the facts about what you have achieved, put it forward in the form of a testimonial.  Stating what someone else said about you is a softer approach and then takes the heat away from you.  You will need to of course, ask your clients, colleagues and anyone who was involved to write up a testimonial.  You don’t need to read it out – that would be a bit nerdish – unless you are presenting.  Just keep it in your head for that right moment.  You could start out by saying, “Well, if my closest client could be here, he would tell you that I …” or “My college professor always used to say this about me …”



Again, accomplishments mean something different to different people and you need to be proud of your accomplishments, no matter what they are.

7 Reasons Why You Need Testimonials

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As a professional you strive to please your clients and leave them with a good impression.  And most of the time, you do just that.

You know you did a good job.

They know you did a good job.

But, no one else knows you did a good job.


Asking for testimonials from your clients after a job well done is one way of letting the world know, and of course, new potential clients, that your work is excellent.

Nothing has more power than word of mouth, and a testimonial is essentially the words from your client’s mouth.

Yes, you should be delivering excellent work all the time but reminding the public that you really do, can benefit you more than an advertising campaign.

A testimonial is essentially a “humblebrag”, whereby you would reciprocate the testimonial with a “This is just what we do.  All in a day’s work … etc., etc.”


Here are 7 more reasons why you need testimonials.

  1. Advertising for Referrals

When someone is looking to refer you to another, or you are being stalked out on LinkedIn, those testimonials will speak volumes.  They are your advertising bill board.  Those words are worth their weight in gold, and boy are they heavy!  The fact that the person has taken the time to put their heartfelt gratitude and happiness over your service offering into written words, is enough for most people to make contact with you.

  1. Shows your client loyalty

When you receive a testimonial, what do you do with it?  The idea behind a testimonial is to display it, show it off to the world and let others know what great work you did.  If you are sticking it into a file somewhere to show off to your grandchildren, then you have wasted good paper and a chance to sell yourself.

When you post your testimonials on your website, you show the client who gave it that you appreciate their words.  And, won’t that client want to keep doing business with you?  Of course they will!  Remember to always ask their permission before publishing their words.

  1. Learn from the feedback

Sometimes, unbeknownst to you, the testimonial you receive may not be 100% positive.  This would be a good time to review where there was an issue.  It may not have been directly with you, but perhaps with your staff or a process that went wrong.

This is the time to refocus and regroup.  Discuss how you can ensure that never happens again.  And, when you receive a vastly different and more positive testimonial from that same client later on, you will have realised the benefit of learning from a not so good testimonial.

  1. Optimise on the SEO possibilities

By publishing the testimonial and the story behind it as a blog on your website, you can optimise the SEO benefits through it.  Keep the words of the testimonial the same but create and develop the story around the job through a blog.  With the right words and structure, you can boost your chances of leads through to your website.

  1. Pimping the testimonial adds credibility

Publicising your testimonials via social media platforms and your website is great!  What is even better is if the writer of the testimonial publishes it.  Ask them nicely if they would write the testimonial direct to your LinkedIn profile and your Facebook page.  They can tag you in or you could re-share that post to your newsfeed.


Powerful stuff, these testimonials!

Remember to ask for testimonials after each completed job or sale.  You will be surprised at how many people are quite taken aback and very happy to give you a testimonial.

When is a Referral not really a Referral?

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BNI members know that word of mouth marketing is the most valuable tool in any business person’s marketing arsenal. A personal referral from a trusted contact can influence a potential client to buy your products or services over any other method of marketing. What makes a referral different from a lead is that, more than just the random passing along of a supplier’s information, a referral is passed on at the time at which your particular product or services are in need, and the quality of what you offer is personally vouched for in the process.  While referral does not necessarily lead to a guaranteed sale, it opens the door for you to do business with someone who is in the market to buy your product.

For this reason, and because good referrals are given in the spirit of reciprocity, of Giver’s Gain, it is very important to develop the habit of following a process to qualify the referrals you pass on to others in your BNI network.  After all – you would like them to do the same for you.

A qualified referral entails following a process with the desired outcome to be that when your recommended supplier, and fellow BNI member, calls your contact, they are expecting the call.

Here are the 6 steps to giving good quality, qualified referrals:

  1. When networking and interacting with people in your business or social spheres always listen out for a need. A good networker has two ears and one mouth, and uses them both proportionally.
  2. Tell the person you’re talking to that you know someone who can provide the service they need.
  3. If you’ve done business with the fellow BNI member under discussion, give a testimonial – tell about your experience.
  1. Give out the business card of the person you are referring and ask for the individual’s card to pass on to your contact. This is sure to impress the person you are talking to and is why your BNI business card caddy is such an important tool in your daily business kit – have it on you at all times!
  1. Ask if it’s okay to have your referee give the person a call.
  1. If the answer is yes, fill out a referral slip and hand it over at your next BNI meeting – or log the referral online at your earliest convenience for instant action.


Here are some examples of 3 degrees of referral – from super hot down to lukewarm

Hot Referral: Someone needs a phone system for their new office. A fellow BNI member gave him your business card and he is expecting your call.

Warm Referral: Someone is new to the area and needs a good chiropractor. A fellow BNI member of gave her contact your business card and she wants you to call her next week.

Tepid Referral:  Someone is shopping for car insurance and is interested in getting quotes.  A member of BNI gave him your business card and let you know you should call him soon.

Here is an example of a non-referral

You see a Facebook post where one of your ‘friends’ needs our fellow BNI member’s services, and so you share and tag them in the post.  This is not a referral because the steps to qualify it have not been followed. You can turn it into a quality referral, by simply following your referral qualifying process, vastly improving the chance of a good outcome.