The LCD in the title does not mean “liquid crystal display.” It stands for Least Common Denominator, a term from mathematics. If you can break your business down to its smallest components and focus on just one aspect of your business in your weekly presentations, it works much better than providing a laundry list of things you do, or a vague and meaningless term like “full-service.”
For instance, a real estate agent might do 60-second presentations about first-time home buyers, condos, single-family-homes, investment properties, house flipping, downsizing your home for empty-nesters, buying a larger home for a growing family, the communities you focus your business on, and so forth.
No matter what your business is, you know enough about it to break it down in the same way. If you do a whole series of LCDs over the course of a year, by the end of the year everyone in your chapter will know so much about your business that they can give you great referrals.
Make up a quick list of ideas for LCD presentations right now. Share your list–and your stories of how LCDs worked for you–here in the comments.
(Hear more about this topic in Episode 221: Your Business 101.)
Brought to you by Networking Now.
Complete Transcript of Episode 471 –
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. Hello, Ivan. How are you and where are you?
I am in Charlotte, North Carolina today at BNI headquarters doing Director Orientation Training. BNI Directors from all over the world come to the global headquarters and get trained. So I am visiting. They go for three days of training, 24 hours. They get out there and hopefully help members worldwide grow their businesses.
That’s great. So-
Today – oh go ahead.
I was just going to ask you what this LCD episode is about.
You know, I just realized somebody was asking me about LCDs the other day because I talk about them in Givers Gain. I think it is in our orientation audio as well. In fact, I am sure it is.
So they asked me about it and I said to look up a podcast on it and get more details. Then I looked up a podcast just to make sure it was there and I have never done a podcast where I do a deep dive into LCDs. So that is what today is, to give a little bit more description to people.
LCD stands for least or lowest common denominator. It is actually part of algebra, where you take your least or lowest common denominator when you break a number down to its smallest increment. Believe it or not, this actually works in networking or doing presentations as well.
If you can break your business to their smallest piece, it works so much better in BNI. So you talk about your business and really chunk it down and talk about just one aspect of your business, we have found that it works much more effectively than trying to say everything that you do.
Now, I talk about this in a different variation in episode 221, so if you are listening to this one, go back and listen to 221, where I talk about Your Business 101, where you break it down. The usual term that I use with this is the least or lowest common denominator.
You see, people will come into a BNI meeting and they will do one of two things. The first thing that they will do is give you a laundry list of everything that they do. “I do this. I do that. I cover this. I make this part of my business. Whatever you need, I can do it.” Or they will come in and simply say, “I am full service.” My favorite one is the printers. “I am a full service printer. I can do any kind of printing. It doesn’t matter what you want. I can do it all.”
That doesn’t tell us anything. There is no educational aspect to that. What I urge members to do is take your business down to their least or lowest common denominator. I was having this conversation at a chatper. I had a real estate agent say to me, “I am a real estate agent. What in the world can I do to break my business down into really small chunks?”
I said, “I am not a real estate agent, but I bet I could break it down to two months’ worth of content in 60 seconds.”
She said, “Okay. How?”
I said, “Do you work with new homebuyers? Do you work specifically with people who are new to the market, have never owned a home, and it is their first time? First time home buyers.”
She said, “Oh yeah, absolutely.”
I said, “Okay, that is topic 1. What is it like working with a first time homebuyer? What do you focus on? How do you help that person in a way that is different than maybe other people who have had homes before? Do you sell condos?”
“Oh yeah, of course I sell condos.”
“What are the pros and cons of condos and how can you help somebody who is maybe looking for a condo as opposed to a single family home? And oh by the way, what about single family homes? There is the third one. I am guessing that you do a lot of work with single family homes, so talk about the pros and cons of a single family home versus a condo.”
Then I said, “Do you ever sell any investment properties when people want to buy a home but they want to buy it as an investment property?”
“Of course I do,” she said.
“Okay. There is your fourth one. One week, talk about investment properties. I bet you could talk about- you could probably do a month on investment properties one week at a time, just talking about different kinds of investment properties. You know- multi units, single family homes as investment properties, condos as investment properties. Each one of those could be a different week. What about fixer uppers to flip? Not where you are just buying an investment property to rent, but you are doing a fixer upper. You buy a place, you fix it up and you sell it at a profit. Have you ever done those?”
She said, “Not a lot but yes I have.”
“Okay. That’s a topic. What about people who-” Now, I am having a conversation with her, right? This is on the spot. “What about people whose family has grown up. Their kids are out of the house and they are downsizing? Do you ever work with people like that?”
She said, “Yeah, absolutely.”
I said, “Downsizing, that’s a great topic to talk about if someone actually wants to maybe move up to a better neighborhood but they want to downsize. Or what if your family is growing and you need a bigger house?”
“Of course I do that.”
“Well, that is a topic. What communities do you focus on?”
Now, those of you listening to this podcast may be thinking “this has now relevance to me. I am not a real estate agent.” It has all the relevance in the world to you because you know your business. You can break your business down, just as I did the real estate agent. I am not a real estate agent. I was just able to figure this out.
“What communities do you really focus the majority of your real estate business on?”
She said, “There are about six communities here, six cities, that I do most of my work in.”
I said, “Of the six cities, are there pros and cons of each of those cities?”
She said, “Of course.”
What about a case study? “So and so family came to me.” You don’t necessarily have to name them, but “a family of five came to me and they wanted to list this kind of house.” Maybe if you haven’t done it, start taking photographs of the houses that you have sold. Most real estate agents, of course, have done that. “They came in looking for this kind of house. This is what I could provide them, and this is what were looking for.” Then people can see the types of work that you are doing.
Now, in the last two minutes, we just gave what had to be easily three months worth of presentations. That is what an LCD is. You take your business and your break it down to the least or lowest common denominator. A new home. A condo. A single family home. An investment property. Different communities. Case studies. All of these are breaking their business down to little pieces.
For those of you listening to this podcast, think about your business. As a matter of fact, when you are done with this podcast, just make up a little list. Just do a quick list of your business and how you can break it down into bite-sized, where you are sharp shooting your presentation, not shotgunning you presentation.
Never, ever, ever stand up and say, “I am a full service whatever. I can do it all,” and stand there. You know, maybe you want to start there, but I don’t even recommend it because after a couple weeks of that, they are just going to tune you out. Instead, you just want to hone down and get really specific.
If you really want to do a good job, say, “This week, I am going to talk about this topic. Next week, I am going to be talking about that topic.” So you will have people prepared. They are going to know what your next topic is and they are going to be prepared for it.
Over the course of a year, if you have done a whole series of LCDs, you have taught them so much about your business and given them such a clear idea of how well you know your industry that it makes it much, much easier for people to give you referrals.
Does that make sense?
Yeah. There is a plumber in our chapter that does that so well. Each week, he comes in with a story about toilets, faucets or hot water heaters. One time, he did a ten minute presentation and brought in all the different little pieces of plumbing attachments that he works with. He just specifies one thing each week. It is very fun.
Yeah. He is doing it the right way because first of all, it shows his breadth of knowledge and secondly, it is almost like training a dales force, which you have heard me say many times. You know, your weekly presentation is about training a referral team, training a sales force. It is not about closing sales. You want to teach people how to refer you. The way to teach people to refer you is just get laser-specific and talk about one element of your business. That is what the LCD is really, truly all about.
Here is what I would love from those of you listening to the podcast today. I would love to hear your story. If you have used your LCD, you have really broken your business down into one little piece and someone then came up to you and said, “Wow. That was helpful. I didn’t know that you did that. That makes it easy for me to give a referral to you.” I would love to hear stories from people who used the LCD process and got a referral as a result of it, because I have seen it happen many, many times. I would love to have that posted here on our podcast.
Great. Well, thank you, Dr. Misner. Do you have anything else to add?
No, I think that covers it for today. Remember LCD. You want to do this every single week. Break it down. You have to prepare your presentation. Don’t wing it. You know, you have to spend like 10 minutes preparing for your weekly presentations. Not much time, but that preparation rather than winging it will make all the difference in the world in the amount of referrals that you are going to get.
Okay, you are so welcome. 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.