People often quote Woody Allen’s saying “80% of success is showing up.” But is that accurate? It’s true that showing up at BNI meetings increases the number of referrals you get, but showing up is just the beginning. Part of the law of attraction is action. Here are five actions you can take for success in BNI.
- Create a 60-second introduction that changes each time. Train a sales force rather than trying to make sales.
- Schedule a one-to-one meeting with someone from your group every week.
- Take on a leadership role in your group. This raises both your visibility and your credibility–as long as you do a good job.
- Bring legitimate referrals for other members.
- Immerse yourself in referral education.
Priscilla also recommends using the services of the other members of the group–this makes it much easier to refer them.
What are your ideas about what it takes to be successful in BNI? What action steps have you taken? Let us know in the comments.
Brought to you by Networking Now.
Complete Transcript of BNI Podcast Episode 329 –
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, and I think I have an interesting topic today because people often quote Woody Allen and his often-quoted phrase, “80% of success is just showing up.” I think it’s a great phrase. There certainly is some truth to it. I have had members say that most of success, 80% of success is showing up.
However, I had to ask is it completely accurate? My answer is I don’t believe so. I do believe that showing up is the first step toward success but there is a lot more that has to be done besides showing up in order to have any significant degree of success.
Now, you are talking to a person who has witnessed first hand the fact that people who come to BNI meetings regularly generate a lot more business- that there is a direct correlation between attendance and absenteeism and referrals. So I believe that but, I really also believe that there is more to it.
I bring this topic up because a year ago, I had a conversation with a man about his participation in a BNI group. He used this quote that Allen had to argue that he should be experiencing significantly more success from his networking effort than he was because he was just showing up. I had to have a conversation with him about it. It takes a lot more than just showing up.
It is sort of the law of attraction, the thing with the secret, the movie and then the book. I am a believer in the law of attraction. The thing is the word “action” is part of the word “attraction”. I firmly believe that taking action beyond simply showing up is really the key in order to achieve real results. Putting it mildly, that didn’t particularly make him happy.
He was kind of agitated with my response but he felt that just being there regularly should have been it.
I said that based on results, it’s not. That is the beginning. It is critical. If you are not going to show up, everything else kind of falls apart.
A lot of people don’t know this, but I was actually filmed by Rhonda Burned for the film, The Secret, on the law of attraction. If you saw The Secret and don’t remember seeing me in it, that is because my segment was cut out. It ultimately ended up on the editing floor.
What did you say in your portion?
Well, it was quite a few years ago and I don’t recall, but it was very hands on kinds of things. It would be things like “action” is part of the word “attraction”. It was a different message that she was trying to get across, and I get that. In the initial plan, what she said to me was that she was going to do multiple movies. One on the general law of attraction and then several more. One on love. One on business. I was going to be used for the business. Since she didn’t go in that direction, my piece was never used.
I don’t believe that we have our own little genie, as presented there, that all we have to do is wish for something and it happens. I think you actually have to do something. But it begins with wishing. It begins with showing up. It begins with those things. If you don’t have a vision for where you want to go, you just don’t know where you are going to end up.
Going back to Allen’s assertion that 80% of success is showing up, showing up is certainly taking some action. That is the first step, but there are some other things that you have to do. So I want to talk about some of those other things that you might want to do. What you have to do depends on what you are trying to accomplish, of course.
The man I was talking about, probably about a year ago, wanted more results from his network. So some of the actions I told him that he needed- this is a part that might be of value to you, a BNI member, listening to this. I am going to give you five points.
One was create an introduction that changes every single time and that’s focused on a small element of your business. I told him it was important to train a sales force, not try to make sales. Don’t say the same thing over and over again. I have talked about it in previous podcasts.
Memory hooks don’t really teach anybody anything. I wish I had never written about them because people get so focused on doing memory hooks that they don’t educate people on how to refer them. So create a 60 second introduction that changes every single time.
Two, schedule one to one meetings with a different person from your group each week to build deeper connections and learn more about your fellow members- as well as them, of course, learning about you.
Three, take a leadership role of some kind within the group. This helps people stand out in the crowd. When they see someone take on a leadership role and do a good job. It rubs off on their credibility. It really does. When people see you as a leader of other people, they think of you as a successful business person and from the VCP process- visibility, credibility, profitability- it raises you above visibility and absolutely helps you get to credibility through some kind of leadership role.
I think that is one of the best reasons to be on the leadership team, in the membership committee or to be a visitor host. It gives you just so much more exposure and that leads to credibility, but you better do a good job. It could also affect your credibility negatively if you don’t do a good job in that role.
Four bring referrals, legitimate ones, for other members. If you want to get referrals, you have to be able to give referrals.
Fifth, immerse in referral education. Immerse in referral education. Read books, blogs, my blog of businessnetworking.com, our newsletter BNI Success Net. Clearly, I am singing to the choir to a certain extent because if you are listening to this or are reading this transcript, you know. You believe that. You are already involved in some education.
That is outstanding. Continue it. Go deeper. Read the blogs. Take a look at our newsletter. Anything to help learn how to engage the networking process more effectively.
These are the things that I recommended to him. There is so much more that I could have done but this list, I think, is a really good start for any networking action plan. I am pleased to say that to his credit, he actually took my advice. He was a little annoyed with me at first. Especially the point about immersing himself in networking education.
Not long ago, I spoke with him again. He shared with me that his referrals have gone up dramatically last year. Interestingly enough, we ended that conversation with him saying, “Woody Allen has got it partially right. 80% of success begins with showing up.” To that, I absolutely had to agree. So to that extent, Woody Allen was correct. But it is just the start. It is not the answer.
Okay. Can I add one?
I know you’ve got five but I have a sixth one. It is a little bit similar to doing one to ones, but I think that if it is possible, you should use the services of the other members of the group so that you can experience what they have to offer because that helps you in being able to refer them. If they do a good job, and you are enthusiastic about it, then it is so easy to refer somebody when you have experienced what they have to offer. That is my sixth.
I completely agree with you. I think you are absolutely right. I have stumbled on that literally in the first month or two. We only had one chapter. If I started to use some of the members’ services, I would be better positioned to refer them. You are absolutely correct and that is a good one.
Those five aren’t meant to be everything. They’re a start and that is a great sixth one. So unless you have something else-
That’s it. That’s all.
I would love to get your feedback, those of you listening to the podcast. What I have talked about here on this podcast. What are your ideas on what someone should do when they get started? I would even love your ideas about the law of attraction in relation to success. Any specific action steps that you have taken to make a dramatic different in your path to success in BNI. Things like what you shared, Priscilla, with that sixth one.
I would love to hear from you. Please post your messages here. I read every post that is put up on BNI podcast. I promise you if it goes up, I will see it and I will read it. Back to you, Priscilla.
Okay, great. Thank you, Dr. Misner. 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.