A chauffeur told Dr. Misner a story about a mine owner explained that it would take 11 years before his next mining operation would produce any revenue. Networking and referral networking can also take time to pay off.
When you’re digging a mine, part of the challenge is getting down through hundreds of feet of solid rock. In referral marketing, you have to deal with the time confidence curve. For some professions, the time it takes for a prospect to develop confidence in you may be very short; for others, it may be many months.
Your prospects will never develop confidence if you don’t keep participating in the activities that bring you business. Dr. Misner’s new book, Networking Like a Pro, includes a scorecard that measures these activities so you can track your success.
Brought to you by Networking Now.
Complete Transcription of BNI Podcast Episode 141 -
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 the beautiful 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. What do you have to share with us today?
Today I have an interesting topic, I think, called Referral Mining, and the idea came for it last year when I met a chauffeur in Arizona who drove me from the airport to a speaking engagement that I was scheduled to do. We talked about referral marketing and business in general, and he shared with me that he had a client that runs a mining operation. I thought that was little unusual to jump from referral marketing to mining, but he said that the client told him that his next big mining project was going to take 11 years before it started to bring in any revenue at all.
And the client explained to the driver that the mining operation is spending the first 11 years of the project but doing nothing but digging down to find a vein that it believed was there and that that would allow the company to start getting revenue from the project but that that mining operation, before it hit the vein, would take at least 11 years before any money whatsoever started to come in.
What I thought was really interesting is that the chauffeur said to me that “I imagine that digging a mine is a little like referral marketing. You have to give it time.
And I thought, “Wow, no truer words have ever been spoken about network referral marketing.”
And not only did the chauffeur immediately pick up on what sometimes takes really good networkers months or years to figure out, he put it in simple terms with on powerfully impressive analogy. Now, clearly, we don’t want people to have to wait 11 years in the networking process, but the driver really hit the nail on the head when he said that you have to give it time. And when it comes to networking, the simple truth is that it can take many, many months. It can take sometimes, depending on the profession you’re in, it can take a year before the referral mining and the relationship building you’re doing starts to yield any results.
So thanks to the driver who shared with me his mining story and his remarkably insightful comment about referral marketing, I think this is something that would make a great dialog for education coordinators with the chapter, because one of the things members need to remember is that different professions may take different lengths of time. One of the articles in Masters of Networking and in my latest book, which just came out this year, Networking Like a Pro, talks about the time confidence curve and how, no matter what profession you’re in, it’s going to take a certain amount of time before people have confidence in your ability to provide a quality product and service. Florists, the time confidence curve may be very short, but a financial planner, it can be off the chart, it can take many, many, many months. And that’s what we’re talking about with Referral Mining, that, depending on your profession, it’s going to take time before you build the relationship.
I just love that analogy, and I thought I would share it, and I hope that chapters all around the world share that with members.
Yeah, that’s good information. I think the hardest thing is to keep the member satisfied and happy and in the chapter for the amount of time that it might take for him or her to develop the relationships that are necessary.
Right. But, you know, it can be done. You have to remember that you just have to keep doing the activities necessary to generate the business. And many years ago when I was a consultant, I worked with insurance companies teaching them how to cold call. I got to be pretty good teaching them how to cold call. I did it long enough to know that I never wanted to do it again for the rest of my life. And it was interesting, because you kept track of the activities that you were supposed to be doing to get the appointments, and it was basically making those cold calls. And you knew that if you made 100 cold calls, you’re going to probably be able to talk to 10 people, and if you talk to 10, you’re going to get one appointment. And you needed about five to ten appointments to make a sale. So that means you needed to make hundreds of phone calls to make that happen. And so they were really good, most of these insurance companies that I worked with in consulting for them, were very good at keeping track and having a cold call scorecard.
Well, one of the things we did in networking like a pro is that we put in a scorecard of the activities that you should be doing in order to track the amount of business that you can getting.
So what’s in the networking scorecard, Ivan?
Well, the networking scorecard is a way of measuring the kinds of things that you should be doing in the same way that insurance companies measured cold calls and the number of times you called and the numbers of times you got through to people. It was a way of tracking success. In the networking scorecard, you track the kind of things that you need to be doing in order to achieve success in networking, and those kinds of things include sending a thank you card, calling someone in your networking and having a conversation, arranging a one-to-one meeting, attending a networking event, setting up some kind of activity to connect with people, giving a referral, sending an article of interest. I mean, there’s just a whole lot of things that you can do to track your networking scorecard, and that is part of the Referral Mining.
So if you are doing things that are listed in the networking scorecard in the book Networking Like a Pro, then you’re mining your network. And you know that although it may take time, you’re doing the things necessary to generate the business, and that kind of activity will make you feel a little more comfortable, because you know results are on their way, because you’re doing the things that you know will lead you to generating business in the same way that, when people do cold calls and they make those cold calls, they know that they have to do a certain number in order to get business. With the networking scorecard, you know you have to do a certain number of these things in order to get business. Same thing; it works the same way, and it’s a way to track it and feel better about the activities that you’re conducting.
That’s great! And that’s all in the book, right?
Yeah, it’s all in the end of the book, Networking Like a Pro, which just came out last month.
Well, that sounds good. I have that book, and I’m looking forward to reading it. Thank you, Ivan.
Thank you very much, Priscilla.
Okay, well, I think that’s the end of this podcast, and I’d like 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 next week for another exciting episode of The Official BNI Podcast.