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Monday, April 04, 2011

Twenty Percent of Success Is Showing Up | BNI

So how are you going to follow though in a way that makes you stand out from others? The way I suggest is to handwrite a card. The fact that you send a card instead of sending off a brief e-mail immediately sets you apart. And the fact that it is handwritten is even more significant. I once read that on 5% of businesspeople consistently handwrite cards. Be one of them and enjoy the dividends.

Another suggestion is to mention something in particular from your meeting the other person. It could be a topic of discussion. Perhaps it’s the fact that you complimented his tie. Whatever it may be, it provides the other person a way to quickly remember exactly who you are.

Follow though vs. Follow up

You may have noticed that I use the phrase “follow though,” instead of “follow up.” This is with intent, and I believe it makes a difference. “Follow up” has the connotation of being a separate act. This leads many people to believe that as long as they have done the first part well, then the second one is not necessarily required. However, the phrase “follow through” provides the connotation that it is the completion of the first act. Consequently, going without it causes the first act to be less effective.

Following through is much like a pitcher or quarterback following through. You often hear commentators say that a ball was thrown high because the pitcher or quarterback did not follow through. The same holds true for a golfer. The proper alignment, stance, grip, backswing, and downswing can all be wasted when followed by a poor follow through.

Following through as opposed to following up is a mindset, but it is an important mindset – one that supports my theory that 20% of success is showing up and 80% is following through.

Build credibility. Build relationships.

Following through does not stop with sending a card. In fact, proper follow-through with prospects, clients, and valued business associates never stops. It is an ongoing process. It is about staying in touch with them – often in a way that keeps you connected without overtly selling. It is about connecting them with others who may benefit them. It is about finding business opportunities and referrals for them without asking for anything in return. It is about, as Dr. Misner would suggest, building credibility. In actuality, it is about building strong, meaningful relationships.

So, here is my last piece of advice. If you want to make a movie, you should definitely turn to Woody Allen for direction. But if you want to be visible, develop your credibility, and build a profitable business, be certain to consistently follow through.


As a speaker, author, and coach, Peter George helps self-employed professionals, solopreneurs, and other small business owners achieve the success they've been striving for.

His highly-acclaimed More Clients More Profits Workbook provides small business people throughout the world the opportunity to consistently attract not only more clients but specifically more profitable clients. It includes contributions from noted experts, including Ivan Misner, Bob Burg, Debbie Allen, Susan Roane, Scott Ginsberg, and others.

Start attracting more profitable clients now! Download your free copy of "101 Ways to Attract More Clients" at

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 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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