This week Dr. Misner brings us a great metaphor from a BNI director in South Dakota and a BNI member named Bill:
Networking will never work if you’re here for yourself. You need to take off your bib, put on your apron, and learn to serve other people.
Here are 12 ways to do that.
- Provide referrals.
- Make introductions.
- Arrange a meeting.
- Invite people to meetings.
- Endorse people’s products and services.
- Display their literature in your office.
- Distribute their information.
- Announce their events.
- Nominate people for awards.
- Follow-up on any referrals they give you.
- Serve as a sponsor.
- Publish information.
Brought to you by Networking Now.
Complete Transcription of BNI Podcast Episode 125 –
Hello everyone, and welcome back to The Official BNI Podcast which is 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 Berkeley, California, and I am joined on the phone today by the founder and the chairman of BNI, Dr. Ivan Misner.
What do you have to share with us today?
Oh, I’ve got a great metaphor. I just love this. A few weeks ago, I received a message from a BNI director in the United States, and it read, “Ivan, I’m working on a chapter kick-off in South Dakota, and I had a salesman named Bill sit through the whole meeting, then not get up to leave when I ended it. And he sat there gazing into space.” He said, “Bill’s a 30-year veteran in the sales business.” And I asked him if I could help him, and he said, “You know, this whole networking thing will never work if I’m here for myself.”
Now, he just sat through, basically, a kick-off introduction, this is what it takes to kick off a successful BNI chapter. And he watches this meeting, and he tells the director, “This networking thing will never work if I’m here for myself. I need to take off my bib and put on my apron and learn to serve these people.”
I thought wow! Wow! If that’s not the concept of Givers Gain, an incredible summary of the concept of Givers Gain, I don’t know what is. Take off your bib and put on your apron. Stop coming to networking events looking for ways to feed yourself and look for ways to help others, to serve others.
There’s really not much I add to that sentiment. I think truly effective networking is about taking off your bib and putting on your apron. It’s about helping other people succeed through the activities that go along with that process and you build your business and you prosper.
I just want to thank the director and the member. I think it’s an incredible metaphor to live by in BNI.
I agree, and I was wondering, do you have any ideas on how to implement that?
Absolutely. I’ve written a little bit about ways that others can promote your business. And so let’s flip that on its head. Here are 12 simple ways that you can help other people in their business. I’m going to give you 12 things real quick.
The first, of course, is provide referrals. BNI, that’s really important, is you’ll look for referrals for other people. But there’s more than that.
You can introduce people to prospects. Make introductions to other people, number 2.
Number 3, arrange a meeting, set up a meeting where you’re not just introducing two people via e-mail, which is one way, but you actually set a meeting to connect with these people.
4, invite people to attend meetings with you. That’s a great way. You go to a meeting with somebody else and you promote them. Say, “Here’s my friend. They’re really good at such-and-such.”
Endorse people’s products and services, do a testimonial letter. I do endorsements for books every month. I probably do two or three a month, and I keep doing them because it puts my name out there as an expert, and I think doing endorsements for other people’s products or services is a great way to put your name out there, but also to help put others’.
Display their literature and products in your offices or homes, particularly offices. If you have an opportunity to display other people’s material, I think that’s great.
Distribute their information. If you’re sending out a newsletter, include some information from somebody else.
Make an announcement. If you’re attending meetings or speaking groups and, let’s say, somebody’s got an event going on, promote them. Say, “I’ve got a good friend that’s doing an event locally.”
Here’s an unusual one. Number 9, nominate people for recognition and awards.
That’s a great one.
Nominate them for recognition and awards. A lot of times there’s local organizations that recognize business people one way or another, and I think that’s a great way. And it could even be nominating for their community service. That’s a great one.
Here’s 10. Make sure to follow up with referrals that have been given to you. You want prospects to be really, really well taken care of. So when somebody gives you a referral, you do a better job for them than you do for anyone else. Believe it or not, that serves them, because when you give a referral, you give a little bit of your reputation away. When you give a good referral, it enhances your reputation. So if somebody decides to give you a referral, you better do a better job than normal; you better to the best you possibly can, because that makes them look good.
Serve as a sponsor, if you have an opportunity. Number 11, serve as a sponsor. If you can fund or sponsor a program for somebody else, I think that’s excellent.
And one more. Publish information. If you write, if you have a newsletter, if you have a blog, do any writing at all, those people that you’ve got a relationship with, make sure to recommend them. Look at BNI SuccessNet. We have a section on SuccessNet that says “BNI Recommends.” Here are products, books, services for people that have supported me, that have supported BNI, and we try to reciprocate and do that same for them through that section.
So there’s more. This is just some real simple ideas that you can apply, 12 simple ideas on how you can take off your bib and put on your apron and serve others more effectively in BNI.
Those are great. I especially like the idea of giving people recommendations on testimonials. I think they’re so powerful in the meeting. You just can’t say enough about somebody, and they can’t say it about themselves, so I think that’s a great one.
Well, it’s very true, and you bring up a good point. It’s never as effective, you talking about yourself as having somebody else talk about you. It’s one of the reasons why, whenever I do a speaking engagement, I never open up by giving my background. Sometimes organizations say, “Talk a little bit about yourself so we know more about you.” Never, I never ever do that. I have a set bio and somebody else reads that bio, because if somebody else says, “He’s done this; he’s done that; he’s done this,” it’s much more impressive than you talking about yourself.
So the idea of an endorsement is, I think, really valuable. You’re right.
Yeah. Well, great. I think those are wonderful ideas.
I do, too, and I want thank, again, the director from South Dakota and the member, because I think it’s a wonderful metaphor that we can all use, take off your bib and put on your apron. Great concept.
Okay, thank you, Dr. Misner.
Well, I just want 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.