This week Glenn Warner from the Referral Paradise Chapter of BNI in Northern Kentucky joins Dr. Misner to share a story about coach Vince Lombardi, who got frustrated one day and said to his team “This is a football. This is a yard line. You’re the players. I’m the coach.”
Sometimes it’s important to get back to the basics, even when you’re an experienced pro. We don’t always think about how important the basics are to our fellow BNI members. Some of the basics of BNI are to give each other great referrals, teach each other what we do with our commercial, open network with meaningful conversation about our companies, do our CEUs every week to better inform us as members, use BNI Connect, keep up with our Thank You for Closed Business, have One to Ones with other members to build relationships, and give great testimonials for other members.
And remember to complete your profile on BNI Connect.
If you don’t follow up on referrals, pretty soon you won’t get any!
Share an idea that you learned from a sport or hobby that you can apply to BNI.
Brought to you by Networking Now.
Complete Transcript of BNI Podcast Episode 343-
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 today?
I am doing great, Priscilla. Thank you very much. I have a guest on my podcast today. His name is Glenn Warner, and I met Glenn some time ago in St. Louis. He is a member of BNI in Kentucky, a new employee with American Computer Solutions. He has only owned the company for 32 years. 32 years with American Computer Solutions. Glenn, it is great to have you on the podcast. You are are with the BNI Referral Paradise Chapter in Florence, Kentucky. Is that correct?
32 years with the computer solutions company. We were reminiscing before we went live about the computer industry and how much it has changed in the last 32 years. We had one thing in common, and that was we both knew Kpro computers. Most people are going, what? But we remember those.
So listen, the reason that I have invited Glenn on the podcast today- and for those of you who don’t know, Florence, Kentucky is near Cincinnati. The reason I invited Glenn on is because he had this really great concept that he sent to me about Vince Lombardi and how Vince Lombardi and BNI actually have a few things in common.
Now, for those of you listening to the podcast and you don’t know who Vince Lombardi is- and we are a global organization so not everybody will know. Vince Lombardi is one of the classing American football coaches. He is probably the quintessential American football coach. The Super Bowl trophy is called the Lombardi trophy because he was an amazing coach. What is also interesting about Lombardi is that he did a lot of speaking engagements for business organizations, and the things that he taught as a coach are things that transcended into the business community. Business organizations would bring him in to teach.
So this jumped out at me when Glenn was kind enough to send me a copy of what he was doing as Education Coordinator for a BNI chapter. So Glenn, do you mind talking for a minute or two about why you used Vince Lombardi and then lets jump into your first point with Lombardi and the basics of BNI and the basics that Lombardi taught.
Thanks, Ivan. It was very interesting that Vince Lombardi got frustrated and blew his whistle and had everybody to gather around and started with, “This is a football. This is a field. These are the markers. I am the coach.” When I was reading that in a book a few weeks ago, it made me think about BNI, about how sometimes we don’t really think about the basics in BNI and how important they are to other members in our chapters.
I read that story as well, and I believe it is a true story. I want that to set in in everyone’s mind. These were professional football players who were probably on the low end in the early 20’s, but they had probably played football in college, in high school, and maybe even as a youngster. So holding up the football and saying, “This is a football. These are the yard lines”- that seems a little crazy, but the point that you are making and Lombardi made is that it is important sometimes to get back to the basics and say lets make sure we have an understanding of what the basics are. Correct?
How do you think that that fits with BNI?
BNI when they were starting. Well, with BNI, you know, when you are starting at the beginning- we give great referrals to fellow members. We teach each other what we do each and every week with the commercial. We open network with meaningful conversation about our whole company. We make sure that we do our receives each week to better inform us as members. We use BNI Connect so other members can refer us fast and not just waiting for the meetings each week. We keep up with out Thank You For Closed Business each week. We have One to Ones with other members to build relationships that lead to great referrals. We akso make sure we give great testimonials of our other members.
All these things are super important and sometimes we as members forget these simple things.
You know, I think it’s pretty easy for people to just go through the motions when they are talking about being in business and going through the motions or coming to an organization like BNI where you are going through the emotions. You are not really thinking through the basics and how to best apply the basics.
So what are some of the tools that people can use in BNI, in addition to the tools that you are talking about. Anything there?
The biggest think is BNI Connect. That is a wonderful tool that we have at our disposal. A lot of us don’t utilize it at all. I see a lot of pink slips every week, and I see it at other chapters that I sub at. It is very clear that a lot of people don’t embrace that technology.
It’s okay with us if they hand in the pink slip and do BNI Connect. I know oftentimes, people print it out from BNI connect and bring in a slip that they cut out from BNI connect. We are okay if they use the pink slips. We want referrals to be handed out at the meetings. That is okay. But your point is absolutely correct. We want you to hand them out in advance.
People say, really? You want to give it in advance and hand it out at the meeting? Absolutely. For almost 30 years, we would tell people if you have a referral, call the person. Let them know in advance. So what difference is there if you are going to use BNI Connect to do it or if you are going to call them? Strike while the iron is hot. If you have a referral, pass it.
I think that is your point, Glenn. I think BNI Connect is a great tool to use. Also, the profile. Don’t you think the profile is really important? How many of the members- I don’t want to put you on the spot, but do you have any members in your chapter who haven’t completed their profile?
Yes, we have.
I think every chapter does, and to me, that is amazing when you have basically this advertisement online and you don ‘t complete the profile. Priscilla, I said this a few weeks ago to you. It is sort of like having a one page ad in a newspaper and leaving it blank. You don’t want to do that.
I’ll let you know by the way- whenever I travel, I always look up for services on BNI Connect. If the profile is not complete, I don’t hire that member. I always go with members whose profiles are complete. So, BNI Connect is probably one of the most important tools, and then, of course, there are others in the organization.
The last thing that I would like to talk about, if you would like, Glenn, is follow up and how follow up is the secret to success in BNI. Do you want to talk about that and how that applies to what Lombardi taught?
Yes, absolutely. A lot of times, we don’t really understand the importance of following up quickly and BNI Connect obviously helps us with that a lot faster. If we don’t follow up, each person is kind of giving a part of them away every time they refer us. If you just don’t pay attention to that or don’t take it seriously, and follow up quickly – well, we are really not doing that other member justice as well.
At a certain amount of time, we will stop receiving good referrals and why are we in BNI if we aren’t going to follow up. It is super important to be successful in BNI. If you can’t help educate your fellow members and you don’t follow up, are just not going to be successful.
That is totally true. What do you think that Lombardi taught in coaching that would be relevant to this whole concept of follow up? I can think of at least one thing. The game isn’t all done on the field. The game is often done off the field.
You know, the success as a player in any sport, a lot of it takes place in between games. You know, the training that is necessary, the physical work in getting in shape, reading the game plan, you know, the plays. These are all things that take place after. Anything that you would add to that?
Yeah, that’s like our CEU’s. A lot of people don’t utilize the podcasts from what I see. That is a wonderful tool to help educate us better in BNI and in our personal businesses as well. It’s very important for us to keep training ourselves as members on how to do business the right way. You can’t do that in an hour and a half a week. You have to be committed. You have to do it all the time, in between the BNI meetings and between being at work. You really have to step up and educate yourself.
Yeah, I think the most successful people in business are people who are lifelong learners who are constantly honing their skill, trying to be better at what they do. Learning more and more about their business and how to be successful in their business.
So you know, where we started with this conversation was with the basics, following the fundamentals and using the tools and doing things beyond the actual game, beyond the actual meeting. Putting that all together takes time and commitment.
Any last thoughts about how you applied Lombardi and coaching to BNI? Any final thoughts there?
It’s remembering where we came from and don’t forget what we need to do to continue to go forward.
I think that is good advice for everyone, Glenn. What I would love for people who are listening to this podcast to do is to think about some skill that you have, that you learned. It might be a sport. It might be a hobby. It might be something that your parents taught you. What lessons were there for you in that sport or hobby that you learned that you can apply to your learning in BNI?
I really think that examples- and I love sports as an example for business because I think a lot of it can cross over. If you are listening to this podcast, share here below some idea that you learned from a sport or a hobby or something else that you can apply to BNI and make it relevant because I think that kind of storytelling helps to make connections for people and that’s certainly what connected when you sent this to me, Glenn.
I really appreciate you being on our podcast today. How long have you been a member in BNI now, Glenn?
Three years now.
Three years. We look forward to having you in the organization for years to come. I hope the next time I am in your area, that we have the chance to meet again.
Absolutely. Thank you very much.
Thanks, Glenn. Priscilla, back to you.
That’s it for this week. Thank you so much. 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. Thanks for listening. This is Priscilla Rice, and we hope you will join us next week for another exciting episode of The Official BNI Podcast.