We’ve all seen people at networking meetings who promise that their products or services will deliver something that they themselves obviously don’t have. If you are promoting yourself as a wellness coach but you’re frequently sick and you’re overweight, there’s a jarring incongruence.
No one is going to refer business to someone who is not congruent with their message. If you’re a professional organizer, is your briefcase a mess? If you do car detailing, what does your own vehicle look like? If you’re a personal trainer, are you in shape? Congruent actions and words inspire trust. Walk your talk. It works.
Share a story in the comments–don’t name names–about someone whose message was not congruent with their actions.
Brought to you by Networking Now.
Complete Transcript of BNI Podcast Episode 270 -
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 am Priscilla Rice, and I am coming to you from Live Oak Recording Studio in Berkeley, CA. I am joined on the phone today by the Founder and Chairman of BNI, Dr. Ivan Misner. Hello Ivan. How are you?
I am doing great, Priscilla, thank you very much. I have what I think is an interesting topic today, one that is important for BNI members everywhere. I call it congruent in words and actions. I recently saw someone’s Twitter update. They were telling me about how his vitamin line will not only make me skinny and healthy but will also make me wealthy.
You see this stuff all the time. There is nothing objectionable, to me anyway, about any of those outcomes. Skinny and healthy, making someone wealthy, that’s great. But the reality. It was sort of a jarring reality for me was that the man that promoting this incredible opportunity to me was neither skinny nor healthy looking. He had been posting updates a week or two before this that he was desperately trying to dig himself out of debt. He said you, too, can become wealthy. Just come on into this system and you can become wealthy and healthy.
He didn’t look healthy at all and he was a few weeks earlier complaining about debt. To me, you see a disconnect here. I am sure that we have all seen people at networking meetings and events who will stand, introduce themselves and deliver a promise- a monologue about how their product or service will bring you all kinds of things which they themselves obviously do not have the benefit of enjoying. What is missing is congruency.
When you professional image or your professional message is not congruent with your personal situation, your networking efforts are not going to be effective. If you are promoting yourself as a wellness coach and yet you are often sick and are carrying 20 or 30 extra pounds, there is this sort of jarring congruence for which it is really hard to compensate. When I want to refer my colleagues to a wellness coach, I am going to refer them to someone who is healthy, fit and who obviously is achieving the results that he or she is promising.
I can’t tell you how many times I have gone to events and I have seen fitness coaches. You look at them and think, wow, this guy looks like a fitness coach. He is in congruence with what he does. I meet cosmetics consultants, Mary Kay and others, who talk about image and, wow, they look really good. They are very congruent. But every now and then, I see somebody who just doesn’t line up with what they are selling.
This kind of seems logical, but I have often seem people around the world that have that kind of incongruence. So you have to ask yourself- how congruent is your message with the way you are coming across? If you are a professional organizer is your briefcase or office a mess? If you are a car detailer, how does your vehicle look? If you have never done so, take stock of your message and evaluate what you are saying are the benefits of your products and services and compare that to what you are showing people.
I think it was Emerson who originally said what you do thunders so loudly above your head I cannot hear the words you speak. I love that phrase, what you do thunders so loudly above your head I cannot hear the words you speak. In his book, Inside the Magic Kingdom, Tom Connolin- I know Tom and I love this book. It’s been out for a number of years. It’s a really good book, Inside the Magic Kindgom. He quotes that and calls it walking the talk. How are you doing when it comes to walking the talk in your business? It has a definite effect on the success of your networking efforts.
So that is my message for this week, Priscilla. Be congruent in your actions and your words, particularly when it comes to networking and you are trying to build relationships with people.
I just have one quick story. In our chapter, we had a time management person who would never stop talking. She absolutely would always go over the number of seconds allotted for her infomercial. That kind of stuff was very, very funny. Everybody noticed it. It was really obvious.
Well, sure. If you are a time management person and you can’t stay on time, what kind of credibility does that give you?
Yeah, exactly. I don’t know about you, but have you ever looked at the hair of somebody who cuts hair to see as an example? I know I have.
Right. And if their hair doesn’t look good. It’s a little bit objective to some extent, but if their hair is in shambles, then come on.
I’ll tell you, I spoke once to the National Association of Professional Organizers. I was curious. How good and how organized is this conference going to be? After I spoke and was there for a little while, I found one of the organizers of the event and said, “You know, you should be proud. This event was one of the most well-run events I have ever been at.”
He was like, “Well, we are professional organizers. It should be.”
I said, “Yeah, yeah, I get that it should be, but not everybody is always congruent with what they should be doing.” That organization was very congruent with their message and it gave me great confidence. Here is where it rubbed off- not only the organization but it gave me more confidence about professional organizers. So it’s about giving people confidence and you have to be able to walk the talk. A time management person needs to be on time. An organizer needs to be organized.
A hairdresser needs to have a good haircut.
Absolutely. I think that is pretty easy. And you know what? In BNI, we need to bring people in through word of mouth. People are always looking for some kind of magic bullet. There has to be another way to bring people in. No. We are the world’s largest referral marketing organization. We need to walk the talk and build our organization through referrals, through word of mouth.
So here is what I would like to ask everyone. And if you have something else, Priscilla, feel free to jump in. But here is what I would like to ask of everyone. Share a story here on the podcast about someone. Don’t name names. Do not name names. If it is someone in your existing chapter, change the gender. Change something so you don’t get in trouble. Share a story with me about someone whose message is not congruent with their actions. I would love to hear other stories here on the podcast. That’s it for today, Priscilla. Is there anything you want to add?
Oh no. I think you’ve covered it.
Okay. Great. I would just like to remind the listeners that this. This podcast has been brought to you by networkingnow.com, which is the leading site on the net for networking downloadables. Thank you so much for listening. This is Priscilla Rice, and we hope you will join us next week for another exciting episode of The Official BNI Podcast.