Episode 417: Good Referrals from Unexpected Sources

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Synopsis

Sometimes good referrals come from completely unexpected sources. If you develop a powerful personal network, you can increase the volume of your business because of the people within that network. In BNI, you are potentially linked to a vast network beyond your own. And you never know when a simple referral will lead to an amazing opportunity.

Here’s a story to illustrate:

A few years back, a BNI member in the window blind business was asked by a fellow BNI member to help his elderly neighbor put a blind in her back window because she wanted more privacy. Most companies had refused it as too small a job. The woman baked him a plate of chocolate-chip cookies and explained that her son would normally have done this, but he was on an extended business trip.

A month later, a stretch limo pulled up in front of the BNI member’s store and asked whether he remembered installing a small blind for an elderly woman, and introduced himself as her son, who was building a 6,000-square-foot home and needed window coverings. That was the most profitable job that BNI member had ever received.

You don’t need a room full of CEOs to network with. You need to network with people who care about you.

If you have a story about an unexpected referral, share it in the comments.

Brought to you by Networking Now.

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Episode 416: Specific Is Terrific for Referrals

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Synopsis

If you’re engaged in referral marketing, it’s very important to teach others how to refer you. In this episode, Dr. Misner leads listeners in a live exercise.

  1. For the next 15 seconds, write down as many silly things that people have done in the world as you can.
  2. In 15 seconds, write down as many silly things that your children have done (or children you know if you don’t have any) as you can think of.
  3. In 15 seconds, write down as many things that are white in color as you can think of.
  4. In 15 seconds, write down as many things as you can think of that are white in color that you might find in a refrigerator.

Did you get more answers for 2 and 4 than for 1 and 3? Most people do, because it’s easier to respond to a specific request. Referral marketing works just the same way: the more specific you are about what you do and who you do it for, the more referrals you’ll get.

Brought to you by Networking Now.

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Episode 415: Don’t Promise, Just Deliver (Classic Podcast)

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This is a rebroadcast of Episode 315.

Synopsis

This week, Brennan Scanlon, Chapter Director Consultant of the Commonwealth Chapter of BNI joins Dr. Misner to talk about the topic “Don’t Promise, Just Deliver.”

When it comes to making referrals to their fellow BNI members, about 10% of members over-promise and under-deliver. As the Texans say, “All hat, no cattle.” These don’t follow through on their promises; they leave their referral partners hanging. In most cases, they make the promises because they want to help, but they destroy their own credibility by not following through.

Most BNI members take the approach “under-promise, over-deliver.” They say “I think I might be able to do this for you” and keep their referral partners informed of their progress along the way. They don’t make promises they can’t keep.

The third way to do give referrals, and the one Brennan recommends, is “Don’t promise, just deliver.” These people don’t talk about what they can do, they just do it. They take notes at every meeting about what kind of referrals everyone is looking for and go out and find those people. Then they surprise their fellow BNI members with great referrals. The key to this approach is attentive listening and good note-taking.

Brought to you by Networking Now.

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Episode 414: Kiss Fewer Frogs

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Synopsis

When you’re generating referrals for your business, you want to spend less time with the networking frogs and more time with the princes and princesses. And you want to be a prince(ss) rather than a frog, too.

So how do you find like-minded referral partners and avoid the networking amphibians? Here are a few indications that you might be kissing a frog:

  • They’re always asking you for referrals, but don’t reciprocate.
  • They don’t make the time to find out about your business (e.g. GAINS Exchange)
  • They take forever to return phone calls and emails.
  • They rarely go out of their way to help you.
  • They talk excessively about themselves and their businesses and don’t ask questions.
  • They move from person to person at networking events, handing out cards and not making connections.
  • You feel a little slimy after interacting with them.

So how do you identify the princess and princesses?

  • They’re always willing to make referrals.
  • They introduce you to their referral partners.
  • They go out of their way to help you with your business.
  • They make the time to learn about you and your business.
  • They listen actively when you talk to them.
  • They share information gladly.
  • They follow up on referrals and return calls and emails.
  • They greet everyone with a smile and make introductions at networking events.

You might also be interested in Episode 389: Kissing Frogs.

Brought to you by Networking Now.

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Episode 413: You Achieve What You Measure (Classic Podcast)

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This is a rebroadcast of Episode 243.

Synopsis

In the course of research for his book Business Networking and Sex (Not What You Think), Dr. Misner found that people who had a system for tracking the money they generated were more likely to feel that networking played a role in their success.

Systems for tracking success

(Click to see a full-sized image.)

Without a system, it’s very hard to tell how successful you are. BNI has developed a protocol to measure referral success in a way that doesn’t inflate the numbers. You can click here to download it from SuccessNet.

Read Dr. Misner’s post about this topic on SuccessNet.

Brought to you by Networking Now.

 [View the entire transcript of this episode]