This week Bob Burg, author of It’s Not About You: A Little Story About What Matters Most in Business, joins Dr. Misner in honor of International Networking Week.
Bob reminds us that people only do business with those they know, like, and trust. While they might do business with you for a while if they don’t like you, as soon as they find a competitor they like better, they’ll switch.
Trust puts you ahead nine steps in a ten-step process. People need to trust both your character and your competence. Competence is in greater supply than character, so your character has great economic value.
It’s also important to understand the difference between price and value. Value is what brings worth to a product or service—the reason people are glad to exchange their money for it. We need to give our clients more in value than they pay in money.
So if it’s not about you, who is it about? It’s about those whose lives you choose to benefit.
You can download the introductory chapter to this book and 3 others at www.burg.com.
Brought to you by Networking Now.
Complete Transcript of BNI Podcast Episode 242 –
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 and where are you?
Hi Priscilla. I am at BNI HQ this week because it is International Networking Week. It was started by BNI. It was an initiative of BNI’s. We started it a few years ago. If you are listening to this podcast, go to InternationalNetworkingWeek.com. You can find out more about it.
We have as a guest on the podcast this week- I can’t think of a better guest to have than Bob Burg. Bob shares information on topics that are vital to success for today’s business person. He regularly addresses audiences of anywhere from 50 to tens of thousands of people. He was for many years known for his book, Endless Referrals. But over the past few years, his business parable, The Go Giver, authored by John David Man, has really captured the attention of readers. Of course, any book called the Go Giver has to resonate with BNI members and our philosophy of Givers Gain.
Bob has another book, It’s Not About You. Hopefully, we’ll have some time to chat about that. He has been on a number of best sellers’ lists including the Wall Street Journal. He and John David released their newest book, which is a parable focusing on influence and it called It’s Not About You. Bob is an advocate and supporter of the free enterprise system and has been a real friend to BNI. He is one of a few people who have written books on networking that I highly recommend. You have to go out and buy one or all of his books on business networking. I promise you it integrates very well into what we do in BNI.
Bob, welcome to the BNI podcast.
Hey Ivan, it’s so great to be with you. Thank you for having me.
If anyone wonders, wow, Bob has a great voice, that’s because you used to do television, didn’t you, Bob?
Yes. Enough people said that I had a great face for radio that I had to get out of television.
That’s not true. That’s not true at all. But very funny. So, Bob, every book you write, you manage to include what you believe is the key to effective networking, what you call the Golden Rule of Business Networking. That is what we titled this podcast. We are going to cover a couple of things, this being the first. What is the golden rule of business networking and why do you feel that way?
Basically, it’s simply that all things being equal, people do business with and refer business to those people they know, like and trust. I think we can take all three of those words. It’s fairly intuitive. Obviously, people have to know you or at least know who you are in order to do business with you. Likeability is very important, and yet, that is where the disclaimer “all things being equal” comes in. You might say, really, do that have to like you to do business with you? They don’t have to.
If you are the only game in town and they just absolutely want, need and have to have what you sell, no they don’t have to like you, but there inherent challenges with that. One is you are probably not the only game in town, not these days. But two, they will only do business with you until someone else comes along who has equal to or even close to equal to what you have and then that person who is nicer will get the business. Third, and the most important reason, Ivan, is the people who are listening to this are nice people and you want to like those who you are serving and you want them to like you.
Likeability is very important. In his great book, Influence: Science and Practice, Dr. Robert Chaldini talked about likeability being one of those six keys, and I think for very good reason. And we talk about trust. I think really, it comes down to in a low trust world, that person who can very quickly and effectively inspire trust from others, I think that person is really nine steps ahead of the game in a ten step game.
When it comes to trust, talk about character and competence because those are very important and our mutual friend, Stephen MR Covey discusses that in a new book that he’s got, Smart Trust. So talk a little bit about character and competence and how you think that would apply to my audience, which are people who are out there everyday.
Sure. Well, you know, Stephen’s books are so great. The Speed of Trust. I think he has a new one that was just released, Smart Trust. He talks about character and competence. Really, trust is defined as the assured reliance on the character, ability, strength or truth of someone or something. We can take those first two, character and ability, and we can say character and competence. That is really what it is about. Stephen talks about both of them, character and competence, being important. I really think it is. If someone is going to buy from you, they need to, assuming the product or service is of any kind of significance, they need to have trust both in your character and competence. If you are considering buying from someone and you think that person has very high character but low competence and just don’t know what they are doing, you are obviously just not going to buy from them.
On the other hand, you can feel as though they have very high competence. They really know what they are doing. They really know their stuff. But they have very low character. Well, you are certainly going to have real feelings about doing business with them. You are probably not going to.
So I think we really have to have both. We talk about there being real economic value in trust. Well, there is. I think that while both are important, competence and character, competence is simply the baseline item. It’s that thing that puts you into the game. It matters. But you know what, it’s really a dime a dozen. A lot of people have competence, although we can always persuade and we see all sorts of blog posts that these days, people can’t do anything right. Well, you know what, there are a lot of people who can do things right. There are a lot of talented people. Competence just kind of gets you in the game. A lot of people have it.
Character, though, is that rare precious gem in a sense and anyone who possesses it is worth a great deal to the world around them. Why does character have more economic value than competence? Because competence, while it is in demand, is also in pretty great supply. Character, however, while it is these days, I think, more than ever in great demand, it is not in as great of supply. Supply and demand says that when people really crave something and it’s not really in great supply, the economic value, it’s worth, goes way high. I think that is where it’s at right now.
The word “value” has become almost a buzz word, whether someone is creating an amazing number of referral relationships through BNI, meeting people in situations in current everyday life, or even in various social networks. Isn’t providing value really what it’s all about?
Yeah. It really is. The big thing is understanding the difference between price and value. Price, as you know, is a dollar amount. It’s finite. It is what it is. Value, on the other hand, I would define as the relative word for desirability of a thing to the end user. In other words, what is it about this product, service, concept or idea that brings with it so much worth that someone will willingly exchange their money for it and be absolutely glad, absolutely excited that they did?
There is an economic law that is immutable. It is unchangeable. It says people exchange their money for that which they feel is of equal or greater value than the money they are exchanging it for. What we need to do is make sure that we are that added value. We find ways to make that exchange even more valuable on that other person’s part.
Just a very quick example. Let’s say someone refers an accountant who is in their BNI organization. This accountant takes on a client and they charge the client, we’ll just use round figures, $1000 to do their tax returns. That is their price or their fee. But for this $1000, they save this person $5000 in taxes. They save them 30 hours of work and provide them with the piece of mind and security of knowing it was done correctly. So what this accountant did was he or she gave more end value than they took in payment. So the client just feels great about it and the accountant made a very, very nice profit.
That’s the kind of relationship that we want to have with anyone when we do business. We want to give them so much in value or use value that they feel terrific and we make an excellent profit. Really, the way we do that is, as you teach in BNI, is to focus on providing value to that other person. We know that money is simply an echo of value. It is the thunder to value’s lightning.
The way to do that, obviously, is rather than focus on the money, focus on providing value to that other person. When you do that, the person is going to feel so good about you. They are going to know you, like you, trust you, respect your judgment, and they will exchange their money for the value you provide.
This is a great message for BNI members. The whole idea of focusing on the value that they bring to the table. Great message. I am going to change lanes on you here, and we only have about a minute left. Your book, It’s Not About You- I have to ask you a question. If it’s not about you, who is it about, Bob?
That’s a great question. I think the answer is all about what BNI and Givers Gain is about. It’s about everyone whose lives you choose to benefit and add value to. Of course, it can include family, friends, employees, team members, committee members, whomever. What we have to understand, of course, is when we say it’s not about you, that shouldn’t be confused with being a doormat, martyr or self sacrificial in any way. It’s not about that. It just means when you focus on others, when you focus on providing value, that is simply a good and effective way to build others, which ultimately helps you accomplish your own goals.
Of course, the key to this is that it needs to be done with a genuine, authentic caring about others, never manipulative or with impure motives.
I couldn’t agree more. Your message is so powerful for BNI, Bob, and I really appreciate you being on this podcast. I want to let all of the BNI members know that they can actually download an introductory chapter to this book and to some of your other books by going to www.burg.com. You have a great blog there. I visit it. You get a lot of action on your blog. I’m really impressed. There are a lot of comments. It’s quite impressive.
Especially when I interview you. We got a lot of hits on that. Congratulations on your newest book. That is absolutely a terrific book.
Thanks, I appreciate it. BNI members, go to www.burg.com. Take a look at what Bob has. His message clearly, if you’ve heard this podcast, fits with BNI very will. Bob is one of the few guys I have met who is a public speaker with well-known great books and absolutely walks the talk. I love working with you, Bob. I would love to do more with you. Thank you so much for being on this podcast today.
Thank you so much. I’m honored, Ivan.
Thanks Bob. Back to you, Priscilla.
Thank you so much. That was just great. I think that’s it for this week. I would just 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. 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.