By Kerry Lehmann, Business By Referral BNI Chapter, Ottawa Canada & BNI Ambassador
Are you familiar with the networking scenario where someone approaches you ready to throw their business card at you like a Ninja throwing star before you even have a chance to say hi?
Have you ever utilized someone’s products and/or services, then never again heard from them?
Yes, we have all encountered that ‘Transaction’ minded business person – someone who is running around with a singular goal of filling a quota or hitting a benchmark just trying to make more money.
However, in this day and age consumers are all looking for that personal touch. Everyone has the ability to choose who he/she will do business with or won’t. Customers truly want to know that they matter and that we value them. I challenge you to consider whether you are a ‘Transaction’ or an ‘Interaction’ Mindset/Business Person:
- Goals (tends to think in terms of ‘my’ benefit)
- What do I Need (Shorter term & focus on ‘self’)
- Survival (focused on my needs, discourages Relationships/Trust)
- Using Head (logical approach, products/services = sales)
- Convince (hunter/prey approach)
- Perceived as Cooler Approach
- Cost (Sentence may sound like ‘The COST is…’)
- ‘$’ (Dollar) Sign (see others with a ‘$’ on their forehead)
1) Goals (tends to think in terms of ‘our’ benefit)
2) What do we want (Longer term vision & Collaborative)
3) Thriving (focused on OUR needs/fosters strong Relationships/Trust)
4) Following heart (emotions, caring = customer loyalty)
5) Share (emphasis on the mutual Benefit and Value)
6) Perceived as a warmer approach
7) Invest (Sentence may sound like ‘The investment is..’)
8) ‘V’ (Value) Sign (see others with a ‘V’ on their forehead)
Of course, with different mindsets come different approaches to networking. Which of these approaches most closely fits you?
- Give A Business Card – Approaching others and being the first to GIVE your CARD as you introduce your business
- Sell a product/service and move on to next client
- Customer Care – Once sale is made no further transaction
- Mission, Vision, Values Statement – based on company’s business/financial goals
- Expect Referrals
- Get a Business Card – Approaching others asking for their business card and asking them questions about their business (only offering information about yours when asked)
- Share a product/Service..(which results in a sale) follow up with the client within two business days
- Client Care – Keep a log of interactions, know their Spouse/Children Names, Birthdays, if they mention their off on a vacation make note of that and ask about it on your next interaction/call
- Mission, Vision, Values Statement – based on both company’s business/financial goals and servitude/commitment to Clients, Employees, Managers for common interests and benefits
- Give Referrals
By focusing on an interactive Mindset and Approach, you can see customer loyalty for life and referrals when you make the emphasis on others first.
A final thought … Approach each BNI Meeting with the following additional mindset, and in this order:
- Learn – What can I learn from each of my fellow Chapter members, what are the obstacles and challenges they have overcome in their respective journeys that I can reflect upon to make ME a better person and leader?
- Serve Others – How can I SERVE my fellow Chapter members, how can I support their respective business offerings/needs, how can I increase the referrals to them?
- Referrals/Revenue for me – (truly if we focus ONLY on the first two steps.. the third will be abundant in nature back to us)
Richard Branson said- “If you aren’t in the business of helping others, you shouldn’t be in business, its that simple.”