- Thou Shalt Not Sell to Me.
- Thou Shalt Understand the Law of Reciprocity.
- Thou Shalt Not Abuse Our Relationship.
- Thou Shalt Not Be Late.
- Thou Shalt Be Specific.
- Thou Shalt Take Your Business Seriously.
- Thou Shalt Follow Up on Referrals.
- Thou Shalt Communicate.
- Thou Shalt Protect My Reputation.
- Thou Shalt Prepare for Success.
What do you think of this list? Would you change or add anything?
Brought to you by Networking Now. Special offer for podcast listeners: use coupon code “freesixmonths” when you sign up.
Complete Transcription of BNI Podcast Episode 099 -
Hello everyone, and welcome back to The Official BNI Podcast brought to you by NetworkingNow.com, which is the leading site on the Net for networking downloadables.
I’m Priscilla Rice, and I’m coming to you from Live Oak Recording Studio in Berkley, California, and I am joined on the phone today by the founder and the chairman of BNI, Dr. Ivan Misner.
Hello, Ivan. How are you, and where are you?
I am doing great, and this week I am on Spring Break with my family up at my lodge in Big Bear. We’re relaxing, and I’m pulling away a little bit to do a podcast.
That sounds like so much fun. What do you have to share with us?
Well, as associate of mine who is part of the author mentoring program, which I mentioned last week with Paula Frazier, who was a guest on my podcast, adapted some material from My Ten Commandments of Networking and created what she calls the Ten Commandments of Business Networking. Her name is Melinda Potcher, and Melinda came up with some great content, which I’ve put on my blog and I’d like to share here on this podcast. So what I thought I would do so go through the Ten Commandments which was adapted from my material and, really, is substantially different, but it’s very powerful, and I appreciate Melinda sharing it with me.
So here they are.
One, Thou Shalt Not Sell to Me. Now, if we’re going to help one another get more business, you’ve got to tell me your target market. When we’re out in the world, we speak of one another and refer one another, don’t try to sell me. I’m a referral source. If I need your product or service, know that I will absolutely call upon you and use our relationship to sell through me to get to those people that I know. That’s part of the first of the Ten Commandments. Don’t sell to me; build a relationship with me.
The second is, Thou Shalt Understand the Law of Reciprocity. “If I’m sending you business,” Melinda says, “please keep me top of mind. Giving me a new client is the best thank you I can receive, and I’ll continue working to find you referrals if I know that you appreciate me.” By the way, the Law of Reciprocity is part of social capital theory, and in BNI, we call that Giver’s Gain. If you help me, I’ll help you; we’ll all do better as a result of it.
The third of the Ten Commandments of Business Networking is Thou Shalt Not Abuse Our Relationship. Sending bad referrals just to – particularly in a BNI context where you can give a referral every week – giving a bad referral actually hurts the relationship, and you want to make sure and give good relationships and you don’t want to abuse the relationships, because that’s a great way to lose respect for one another and not appreciate one another.
The fourth of the Ten Commandments of Business Networking is Thou Shalt Not Be Late. If we have a meeting set to get to know one another and just strategize and how we can refer each other to business, don’t reschedule unless it absolutely critical. Don’t be late. People block off a chunk of their time; they block it off for you. It’s important to respect that and to be there. And I think that also really applies to BNI meetings. These are appointments with your referral partners. Be there; be there on time.
The fifth of the Ten Commandments of Business Networking that Melinda wrote is Thou Shalt Be Specific. She says, I love this phrase, “Specific is terrific.” You’ve got to be specific. If you can tell your target market how, in a laser sharp way, to refer you, that’s going to be more effective. Saying “anybody” or “everybody,” that means “nobody” to me. When you say, “Anybody who does this” or “Everybody who does this,” that doesn’t mean anyone to me specifically, so the more specific you are, the easier it will be for me to find your business.
Number six, Thou Shalt Take Your Business Seriously. As your networking partner, I need to know your intentions. If your company is a hobby business, it will be difficult for me to assist you. If it’s a part-time business, you’re limited in the time you spend working on your business and working to find me referrals and others referrals. However, if you’re working your business really striving to make it full time and take is serious, then we’re here for you 100 percent. You have to be 100 percent in your business in order for us to feel comfortable in referring you.
Number seven, Thou Shalt Follow Up on Referrals. When I send you business, please follow up with that prospect in a timely fashion. I recommend the same day, whenever possible. If you’re going out of town or you won’t be available for some time, a quick email or a phone call to that person to let them know when you will be available will preserve your credibility and protect my reputation in recommending you to someone that I know and care about.
The eighth of the Ten Commandments of Business Networking is Thou Shalt Communicate. If I do something to upset you, send you a bad referral, or cause you to have ill feelings towards me, you’ve got to communicate that with me as soon as possible. I may not be aware that I’ve caused a problem for you. If so, you need to tell me. Referral networking is all about relationships. Relationships and referrals are the heart of a business. Clear, open, honest, direct communication, that is the best way to build a relationship based referral network.
Number nine, Thou Shalt Protect My Reputation. Most people would rather die than risk their reputation. If I received feedback from a referral that I sent you that’s disparaging or derogatory, it just cuts me off at the knees. So please do what you say you will do and live up to the ethical standards of your profession and protect my reputation by doing a good job. I’ve often said to many people and I’ve said it in this podcast, when you give a referral away, you give a little bit of your reputation away with it. If you give a good referral, it enhances your reputation. If you give a bad referral, it hurts your reputation. And that’s what I think Melinda is saying here.
The tenth of the Ten Commandments of Business Networking is Thou Shalt Prepare for Success. If you really want to grow your business, then prepare to receive it. I’ll move mountains for my networking partners to ensure they get referrals on a consistent basis. Melinda says I’m a Ninja networker; you may not always see me working on your behalf. But I think that’s a great way of putting it, and that’s really what BNI is all about. Many members are Ninja networkers; they are out there working for you and helping you behind the scenes in other places, and you may not know about it, but it’s happening. That’s when you have a really, really great chapter when you’ve got a chapter full of Ninja networkers, as Melinda says.
I want to thank Melinda Potcher for contributing this to me. It’s a great list. You can visit her Web site at HomeLoansAlbuquerque.com. HomeLoansAlbuquerque.com. She’s the one who put this list together.
I’d like to end this with a question to all of the listeners. What do you think of these Ten Commandments of Business Networking? And would you add anything to this list? I know you can’t really have eleven commandments, but play with me here. What would you add to this list? If you could add something to this list, I’d love your comments up here at BNIpodcast.com.
I want to thank you again for listening to these podcasts, and I have a special offer for those of you who’ve listened through this podcast, I have a special offer to you. It’s from the sponsor of BNIpodcast.com Networking Now. If you would like to try the Networking Now downloadable Web site which has a lot of my content and content for many, many other people as downloadables, when it comes to the coupon code, put in this code, lowercase, one word: freesixmonths. It’s all spelled out as one word, and the six is spelled out, not a number. So its F-R-E-E-S-I-X-M-O-N-T-H-S. When it comes to the coupon, put in freesixmonths, and those of you who’ve listened all the way through this podcast, you can have six months free with the sponsor of this podcast, NetworkingNow.com.
Thank you very much, Priscilla.
Well, that was great. Thank you so much, Dr. Misner.
Well, I just want to remind the listeners that this podcast has been brought to you by NetworkingNow.com, which is the leading site on the Net for networking downloadables. Thanks so much for listening. This is Priscilla Rice, and we hope you’ll join us for another exciting episode of The Official BNI Podcast.