Networking Tips

Givers Gain or Colleague Drain?

Submitted by Maripat Abbott, Circle of Excellence Chapter, Sewickley, PA



When a BNI chapter member asks, “How’s business?” Does your response emulate Givers Gain, or lead to Colleague Drain?

Be honest. Stop and reflect on how you’re talking about your business. Do your answers sound something like these?

“I’m crazy busy. I can’t even find time to make it to my daughter’s soccer games.”

“I’ve been putting in 60 hours a week and STILL not getting it all done. I can’t even breathe.”

What kind of messages are you sending to your referral partner? Our goal is to GIVE to the person across from us, not burden them with our struggles. Networking is about connecting, not whining.

Business owners who cannot manage their own time don’t engender trust or reliability. Remember, your BNI partner is a part of your sales team – you’re asking them to sell you and your services. If they sense that you are too busy to return a phone call or an email from one of their contacts, they won’t pass a referral to you.

There are legitimate reasons for being overwhelmed – a CPA at tax time, or an event planner over the holidays. But even then, there are creative ways to reframe your situation.

Be a leader in your chapter by giving positive responses like:

“I’m so grateful that my business is thriving. Let’s look at our calendars and schedule a 1:1 to keep the momentum going in each of our businesses.”

“Busy and loving it, thanks! Let’s look at our calendars and schedule a 1:1 to keep the momentum going in each of our businesses.”

Adhering to the Givers Gain model keeps the focus on the person across from you, and not your own perceived busyness.

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