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Monday, September 06, 2010

BNI: Want More Business? Get Other People To Find It For You!

What’s the main purpose of your business? Making widgets? Mending cars? Filling jam doughnuts? I think not. The primary purpose of your business is making a profit. Otherwise, what’s the point? You can’t provide employment or train people or make the world a better place unless you make more money than you spend. So it’s a fundamental truth that business must be about winning more good clients and improving your profitability.

How do you achieve that? Well, another fundamental truth is that people who are recommended (or ‘referred’) to you, are more likely to use your products and services than those who come to you by chance. A good referral is great for everyone – it’s an all-round winner. The customer feels confident that they’ll get the product and/or service they really want, and the supplier adds a new name to his client base.

It also works the other way round, of course: if people lack confidence in you, they won’t signpost other people towards your business. Worse still, if you’ve given them reason to be upset (perhaps you didn’t get back to them when you said you would, or you provided poor service or shoddy goods) they might well tell others to stay away from your business, and you really don’t want that.

Or maybe you lack confidence in yourself or what you offer... and it shows. Confidence then, is a two-way process in business. By building your own confidence, you can build your prospects’ and clients’ confidence in you. If people have confidence in you, they’ll:
· buy from you
· pass your name on to other people.

Brilliant! So confidence can equal referrals. And provided you give them the respect they deserve and act on them promptly, referrals really are the best kind of business you can get. In fact, I’d suggest that referrals are critical to your future business success.

People I coach often say at this point, ‘Yeah, but… They offer all sorts of excuses (sorry, reasons!) such as:

‘Yeah but I don’t know enough people with the right contacts.’
Are you sure about that? If so, do something about it. It’s much easier than you
might think. Join a networking group and meet people. Whether you do that face-to-face or virtually; learn to listen and ask.

‘Yeah but I’m shy.’
Well one thing’s for certain: you’re in good company! Lots of people are shy, but you don’t need to allow that to stand in your way. If it’s a major barrier you can conquer it with the help of an expert, maybe a trainer or NLP counselor. Or perhaps you just need to meet with others who feel just like you do, go to any networking meeting and they’ll be there!

‘Yeah but they’ll think I’m rude to ask.’
Why? Be polite and be specific about what you’re asking for and most people will be happy to help.

Whatever the issue (and there are plenty more where those came from!) understand that every hurdle can be jumped, stepped, or even tipped over so you can move to greater success. Build your confidence and instill it in others, and they’ll want to help you take your business forward.

Iain Whyte is the Managing Director at Big Man Talking a consulting and coaching firm. He is also the Executive Director For BNI Scotland South and East and the author of Life, Business and Speedboats.

With over 5,500 active chapters, and over 100,000 members throughout every populated continent worldwide, BNI is the largest and most successful business referral organization in the world. BNI was founded in 1985 by Dr. Ivan Misner and the organization, which allows only one person from each profession to join a chapter, offers members the opportunity to share ideas, contacts, and most importantly, referrals. Last year alone, members of BNI passed 6.2 million referrals, generating 2.6 billion dollars’ worth of business.

For more information on BNI, please visit or call BNI Headquarters at 909.608.7575.

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The Emergence of The Relationship Economy

The Emergence of The Relationship Economy
The Emergence of the Relationship Economy features TNNWC Founder, Adam J. Kovitz as a contributing author and contains some of his early work on The Laws of Relationship Capital. The book is available in hardcopy and e-book formats. With a forward written by Doc Searls (of Cluetrain Manifesto fame), it is considered a "must read" for anyone responsible for the strategic direction of their business. If you would like to purchase your own copy, please click the image above.


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