In this episode, Dr. Misner discusses the importance of simplifying your company’s story so that your sales team of fellow BNI members can better understand what you do and how to send you the very best referrals:
- Teaching Other Members To Send You Referrals
- Be Specific About Your Products, Services and Target Markets
- It Is Your Responsibility To Communicate This Information – Not For Others To Ferret It Out
- Don’t Assume Others Understand What Your Business Does
- Don’t Close A Sale, Train A Salesforce
- Clarify What Makes You Different and Better
- Write Your PVS (Personal Value Statement)
- Don’t Try To Be All Things To All People
Complete Transcription of BNI Podcast Episode 007 –
Hello everybody and welcome back to the official BNI podcast brought to you by networkingnow.com, the networking site on the net for networking downloadables. I?m Frank Felker in Washington DC joined on the phone today by Founder and Chairman of BNI, Dr, Ivan Misner, calling in from BNI headquarters in sunny southern California. How are you today Dr. M.?
Doctor Ivan Misner:
If I were doing any better it would be illegal, Frank.
I won?t ask you to go into details, but I am glad you are doing well. You have a very interesting topic for us today and it is something I think that every BNI member can benefit from, which has to do with simplifying your company?s story. What can you tell us about that?
I think that central to the referral marketing process for any BNI member is teaching the other members how to send you referrals. In order to do so, people have to know exactly what it is that you do, what product or services you offer, and under what conditions you provide them. The more specific you can be, the better.
The key is to remember that you as a member are responsible for communicating this information to other BNI members. It is very important that you communicate in a way that they actually understand. It may seem like a no-brainer as you know what business you’re in and what you do for a living.
The question is do your referral partners know what you do for a living very specifically? That is where I think it becomes a problem sometimes in chapters were people are just winging it at their presentation rather than really giving some thought to what they do and describing it effectively.
I think a lot of times, we all assumed that everybody else knows about our business the same way we do.
Sure. This is especially true with some businesses that are reasonably well known like the local florist, a banker, an attorney, etc.. There?s a lot about those professions that members don?t know and the more specific that you can be, the better.
I have probably said this before and the podcasts, but it?s worth repeating: when you are doing your 60 second introduction, you are not trying to close a sale, you are trying to train its sales force. Each and every week, you need to be talking about aspects of your business.
To ensure that the referral marketing process is as effective as possible, it is really important, I think, that members take a few minutes to get a clear picture of where their business stands today. Think about your business. Think about how it has gone over the years, and think about things like how does your business serve others? Who are your customers? What are your target markets?
Be really specific. Look at segments of your business to determine the niche or niches that you prefer to work with. What are your core competencies? What are the things that you do best and better than most of your competition? And of course, how well do you compete with your competition? If you do these kinds of things, you are helping to teach fellow BNI members what sets us aside from other people in the profession.
That makes sense, and it makes it easier for other people to refer you because they can feature whatever it is that makes you so different.
Absolutely. Answering these kinds of questions help you tell others what your business is all about and it makes it easier for them to remember. When they?re out and about in their normal business, they can think about some specific aspects of what it is that you do.
A really good friend of mine, Lou Cassara, wrote a book called From Selling to Serving. In the book, Lou talks about what he calls your PVS, which stands for personal value statement. It?s really important to be clear about your purpose.
Your personal value statement provides the opportunity for your clients, staff and BNI members ? Lou is a big supporter of BNI ? to market you effectively. You can build a distribution channel of people who can effectively communicate your values when you are clear about your value statement and how it integrates into the aspects of your business.
That makes a lot of sense.
A lot of business professionals and companies try to be all things to all people. I have seen this for years. When I was a management consultant, I saw companies doing this regularly. It?s a real important that BNI members don?t do that.
Focus on the things that you do well, and document those things and your vision in a way that you can communicate to others. By clearly understanding what you do, you are better able to communicate this to your referral sources. This helps teach your referral sources how they can refer you. That?s really what networking is all about. I think this topic is a great topic for education coordinators to use in their upcoming meetings.
And I agree completely. It?s a great discipline to try to narrow down the personal values statement into a 60 second or 45 seconds presentation. What do you say, I think, when somebody asks you what is your personal values statement for BNI?
Is important to do what you said, and I recommend that people sit down and actually create a curriculum of how they?re going to educate their fellow members.
Frank, as to what I say, I tell people that I am helping to change the way the world does business. We have a philosophy of givers gain, which is different than most business philosophies. BNI and myself, with BNI directors around the world, are trying to help teach people a different way to do business which is based on relationship building and ?farming? rather than ?hunting?.
That?s great. It is a very strong statement and I think it makes it very clear in a very short amount of time exactly what you and what you are all about. We?re just about out of time for this week?s podcast, is there any last pearl of wisdom relative to simplifying your company?s story that you want to share?
I think that?s just about everything. For any members who are listening to this, take this to your education coordinator and share it at a future chapter meeting because I think this is one of one of the most important topics the education coordinator can share.
For Dr. Ivan Misner, I am Frank Felker saying we will see you next week on the official BNI podcast.