Successful business networking is based on developing relationships with the people in our networks. When people get to know, like and trust each other, they are willing to make introductions and referrals to contacts in their other networks. Those referrals can turn into new customers and clients, adding new sales for our business. That is how Relationships + Referrals = Revenue.
To create success and harmony in our lives, it is important to build and maintain our relationships – in our home, in our work, and in our community.
HOMEWe get busy with day-to-day life, especially if we are working from home, and sometimes we take our family for granted. Remember to:
– Be grateful. Tell the people in our homelife how much we appreciate them. Be specific, be sincere, and tell them often.
– Show gratitude in a way that means something to them. We often treat others the way we like to be treated. Understanding behavior styles and recognizing the preferences of the people in our lives allows us to share our gratitude in a more meaningful way.
WORKWhether we are an entrepreneur or an employee, we spend a lot of time at work. We have business relationships with our team and co-workers.
– Say thank you. YOU know how much you appreciate them, let them hear it.
– Be helpful – ask, “How can I help you?” to create beneficial teamwork.
– Avoid the “it’s not my job” attitude. Expect that everyone contributes in whatever way is needed to achieve success for all.
COMMUNITYWe are part of the community that we live in, whether it is small or large. Our community pulls together when times get tough and celebrates together when things go well.
– Get involved with a service organization or a service project in your community.
– Commit to regular attendance and participation with the groups you are part of.
– Contribute your time, treasure, or talent to help others.
We know that it takes time for others to have the confidence in us to get referrals from our network. When we have invested the time to establish strong relationships, and have given referrals to our networking partners, we move from visibility to credibility in the VCP Process®. Remember to:
– Actively listen and look for potential referrals for members of your network.
– Follow up with networking partners to learn how the referrals you gave turned out.
– Thank your referral partners for connecting with and taking care of the people you referred to them.
We can only move to the “P” in the VCP Process – Profitability, after we have obtained credibility with our referral partners. This is after we have built strong and deep relationships, asked others how we can help them, and given referrals to them. That is when we begin to receive referrals for our business, and the revenue comes naturally as a result. Those referrals may come directly from people we gave referrals to, however, they often come from other indirect sources. When we give to others, in our home, our work, our community, it comes back to us in a variety of ways.
In BNI, we call this Givers Gain® and it is our principal Core Value. It is based on the age-old concept of what goes around comes around. Our relationships bring us referrals, which lead to revenue. When you help others, and they help you, everyone does better.
About Dr. Ivan Misner
Dr. Ivan Misner is the Founder & Chief Visionary Officer of BNI, the world’s largest business networking organization. Founded in 1985 the organization now has over 10,000 chapters throughout every populated continent of the world. Each year, BNI passes millions of referrals resulting in billions of dollars worth of business for its members.
Dr. Misner’s Ph.D. is from the University of Southern California. He is a New York Times Bestselling author who has written 26 books including one of his latest books – Who’s in Your Room? He is also a columnist for Entrepreneur.com and has been a university professor as well as a member of the Board of Trustees for the University of La Verne.
Called the “Father of Modern Networking” by both Forbes and CNN, Dr. Misner is considered to be one of the world’s leading experts on business networking and has been a keynote speaker for major corporations and associations throughout the world. He has been featured in the L.A. Times, Wall Street Journal, and New York Times, as well as numerous TV and radio shows including CNN, the BBC, and The Today Show on NBC.
Among his many awards, he has been named “Humanitarian of the Year” by the Red Cross and has been the recipient of the John C. Maxwell Leadership Award. He is proud that he and his late wife, Elisabeth, are the Co-Founders of the BNI Charitable Foundation.