Every now and
then, and regularly enough that one might think I would be less surprised
by it, I get smacked in the face with a Flash Of The Bleeding Obvious
(FBO). Yet it catches me off-guard every time! I experience
surprise every time I encounter another one of those obvious things that
was as if invisible to me, and apparently, invisible to others, as we go
about doing what we do all day.
of those recent FBO moments concerned invisible but obvious items
relating to the way that we can work with business clients.
I bumped into this latest one as I was relating to a client about a
networking group that I had stumbled upon somewhat by happy
accident. Business Network
International is a group that was set up over 20 years ago in the US, in what was I
suppose, a BFO for the founder Ivan Misner. As fate would have
it BNI was operating in Australia and even more
fortuitously, I was invited to attend a meeting close to home to
investigate first hand how BNI works.
Now here is
the thing. I have been to enough so-called networking events, and staged
more than a few myself. I have banged the drum trying to get referral
networks working and without exception, they have been largely
unproductive. The idea was great, yes, everyone was interested, but when
push came to shove, nada. Oh,
some referrals but nothing that sustainable and all too often, only one
way. What was different with
the BNI methodology was a strict criterion on selection, critical
evaluation of the proposed members, a formal structure that is enforced
and which has the effect of installing that thing that is most often
missing; some accountability! And a
financial and time commitment at the outset that each member must make,
if they wish to participate and be accepted.
you have joined and what happens? Now you have at least 15, but more
probably 25+ business owners, who are influential within their circle of
colleagues and clients, who know
what you do, and how to communicate that to others, and have been
trained to identify a possible client for you. Imagine that!
More than two dozen people respected in their field, trained to
recognize opportunities for your business, and committed and able to
communicate your point of difference to someone who needs what
you do. That takes my breath
is where it gets even sillier. Just
suppose for a moment, that you are an accountant, or a business advisor
of some kind, or indeed anyone who deals with other businesses in the
course of your business. And while you think about how you would
like more referrals from your clients too, think about what it
would be like if your job was not just to do what you do for your
clients, but what if you were to adopt an attitude of care for your
clients that included a commitment to help those people to develop their
business too. Can you possibly imagine how strong would become the
relationship with your clients? You know, even if you never thought
about it until now, that nobody cares about our business like we do. And
you know that it is true, when I say that when someone else takes
an interest in my business, and my success, then I am genuinely
interested in finding out more about that person. Because
they have demonstrated values that are important to me.
They mark themselves as a person that is important to me, and
because I value people who are important to me, then this relationship
will develop and get stronger over time.
So you are a business advisor taking an interest in your clients
business, beyond just serving their regular business needs as you always
do, but now also a part of a mutual success team.
let me say, this is possible. This is doable. And this is not something
to even attempt to fake. If you cannot genuinely
be interested in your client's business, then this is not something to
even consider. If, on the other hand, you have an attitude to others
that allows for the development of an authentic and caring relationship
between your clients and yourself with a view toward
growing each business to its fullest potential, then start making
a list of people who you know care about their business enough to want
to get active too. Do it now
and keep adding to it. Then
do what you have to do, to get your message clear about what you do in
your business, who you do it for, and how you do it. And while you are
at it, think about what purpose this business that you have put your
heart and soul into is supposed to serve for you. Think about whether it
is meeting that objective and if there is a gap, then get some help to
get you back on track to reach the target you set for yourself when you
What Do I Do?
I help owners of small businesses to focus on what they want from
their business and life. Discover and articulate their vision, review
the business, so as to streamline operations, improve productivity,
reduce waste and grow more profits.
article, copyright Lindy
Design Business Engineering. All rights reserved.
marketing, customers, influence, business coaching
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