There are four things to remember if you want to make use of the Law of Reciprocity, which is the principle behind “Givers Gain.”
- Givers Gain means helping others to achieve success. How can you do this?
- The person who helps you may not necessarily be the person you helped. Givers Gain is not a transactional process.
- Reciprocity can be measured. There’s a networking scorecard in Networking Like a Pro.
- Success takes getting involved. You have to do more than be present.
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Complete Transcript of BNI Podcast 419
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, California. I am joined on the phone today by the Founder and the Chief Visionary Officer of BNI, Dr. Ivan Misner. Hi, Ivan. How are you?
I am doing great, Priscilla. Thank you.
Where are you? I forgot to ask you that.
Well, you know what? I am up in Big Bear, California for the next few weeks. I have place up here. It is a wonderful retreat to do some writing, so I am going to be focusing on work that I am doing, including a new book that I will be announcing in a couple of months.
Oh, great. Well, we are looking forward to that? Meanwhile, what is this topic that you have for us today?
It is about the law of reciprocity. The law of reciprocity is part of social capital theory. Frankly, when I talk about givers gain, it is really the law of reciprocity. There are four things to remember if you want to use the law of reciprocity or if you want to use givers gain in your networking efforts. Here are the four things:
One, giving means helping others achieve success. You really need to think about and have a plan in your head about how you can contribute to other people. How much time and energy can you spare for this? Do you actively seek out opportunities to help people?
You can volunteer to help out with something that is important to someone in your network. You can offer advice or support when they need help, when they are in a time of need. Or you can even work hard to connect someone to a valuable contact of yours.
Givers gain means helping other people achieve success. So you need to carve out time to do this. A lot of people who are really mercenaries say, “I don’t have time to help somebody else. I have to help myself.”
Well, you know what? This is where when I say networking is more about farming than it is about hunting, this is what I am talking about because if you are helping other people succeed, they will do the same for you down the road. They will help you in return. So you can even be on vacation and get business because you have built relationships with people, but you have got to help others. That is tip number one.
Tip number two: the person who helped you will not necessarily be the person you helped each and every time. The person who helps you will not necessarily be the person that you helped every time. Zig Ziglar, who passed away a couple years ago- I had the opportunity to do a radio interview live with him once. Amazing man. He used to day if you help enough people get what they want, you will get what you want. In other words, what goes around comes around.
If you focus intently on helping others, you will achieve success in the end. And it is not a transactional process. It is not like you are adding up things in columns. I have given one thing to Priscilla. I have given one thing to Sam and one thing to someone else. You know, now, the transaction, you want a return. Now it is time to give to me.
That is not really the way it works now. It has to be more relational. There is nothing wrong with saying, “Hey, I have given you some business. I would like to talk to you about how you might be able to reciprocate.”
But just understand that if it is all about building relationships, it may not come back around exactly from the person you last helped. Does that make sense?
The third law of reciprocity is that reciprocity can, in fact, be measured. It is a myth that networking can’t be measured. In one of my books, Networking Like a Pro, my co-authors and I use a networking score card worksheet, which is also part of the Certified Networker Program which is offered by the Referral Institute to measure your networking efforts.
If you apply the law of reciprocity, you will see that your weekly total networking score will gradually rise over time. So take a look at that book, Networking Like a Pro. You can, in fact, measure the things that you are doing and the return on your investment of time. Remember that it takes time to get referrals and to build relationships, but if you track it over time, you can really see the efforts pay off.
The fourth tip in the law of reciprocity is that success takes getting involved. You have to do more than simply be present to be successful at networking. I see people show up at a BNI meeting and they are just waiting for the referrals to fall from the ceiling. It doesn’t work that way.
Whether you are in a chamber of commerce or you are in a BNI group, get involved. Get involved in the leadership team. I have found that people who stand out as leaders in a group are more likely to get referrals than those who don’t because people can see how good they are in business- even if it is not doing their business at a BNI meeting. Being on the leadership team, they can see how good you are as the President, Vice Resident, Secretary or Treasurer. That rubs off on what they think of you as a business person in general.
I think if you want to build a powerful personal network, you have to understand that networking is not the end, but it is certainly the means to growing a business. The law of reciprocity is all about giving and supporting and helping others so that they, in fact, help you in return.
So those are my four tips for the law of reciprocity.
Great. Thank you, Ivan. It is so important in your BNI group not to just show up- once you have joined and you have paid your dues and you just kind of sit there on a log.
Yeah. Yeah. You might as well spend some time building relationships and trying to help others.
I think people go to networking meetings and they are kind of desperate for business. Desperation is not referable. Let me repeat that. Desperation is not referable. What is referable are strong relationships and good service. You have to obviously provide good service, but you need to build relationships with the other people and the best way to build relationships is to help them in some way.
Right. And plus, it feels good.
It does feel good. There is no question about that. It is amazing. I have seen people who said, “My chapter president has helped me in so many ways.” Or, “This person in my chapter has helped me become a better businessman.”
It really makes a difference, and they want to give back because they have been helped by different members of the group. They want to contribute back. BNI is a very special place. Our core philosophy of givers gain is part of the core DNA of our organization. The chapters that actually practice that and live that are much more successful chapters.
That is all I have got for today, Priscilla.
Okay. Thank you so much. I think that is it for this week. I just want 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.