Submitted by Jackie DesLauriers, Office Environments, Prestige BNI, BNI Vermont
We all have an idea how we should present ourselves to our potential clients, new clients and clients who have done business with us for many years. Whether we are trying to do business with someone new or not, we should always carry ourselves in a manner that makes them feel comfortable around us. We want them to trust that we will deliver and get the job done well. We should look at members in BNI®, those in our networking circles and those outside of our group, and adhere to those same expectations.
How would you submit a proposal? Would you want it to be neat, with clean pages and easy to understand? Would you pay attention to the request and make sure to address it thoroughly in your response? Would you submit it in on time? Or would you submit it with crumpled pages, hard to read, late and maybe miss some of the points they were hoping to get answers to? Now compare this to how you present yourself to your referral partners. Are you showing them you are reliable by showing up on time to meetings? Are you delivering everything you say with a clear and concise message? Are you following one of BNI’s Core Values, Givers Gain®, by continuously looking out for your peers? These are some things that we, as business professionals, should think about when we think of networking and how we present ourselves.
Every week in BNI when we meet with the members of our chapter, we are educating them on who we are, how we do business and asking them for a qualified referral. How we present ourselves to the members of our chapters should align with how we present ourselves to our clients. We are, after all, training them weekly to trust in us as business professionals and to give them the confidence that we will take great care of the referrals they have passed on to us.
Along with presenting comes preparation. You should always be prepared with your ideal referral and something new to share about your business. Presenting the information clearly and effectively is key in getting your message across and presentation skills are in some capacity required in almost every field. A common goal for all BNI members is to continuously improve your weekly presentations. Career growth necessitates presenting your ideas to others, and your presentation skills are important to not only individual success but to also the success of an organization.
Presentations are your opportunity to educate your network, and give them the marketing content that they take with them for the week to find you qualified referrals.