Ask Questions First, Shoot Bullets Later


giving-business-42Power Team networkers give powerful referrals, consistently turning opportunity into business. Real business. I’m not talking about passing a slip of paper with a prospect’s name and the good old “gave them your card, I hope they call you,” cop-out.


No, I’m talking about creating referrals that leave the prospect convinced your Power Team partner is the only person they should call for the product or service they need. In fact, the prospect is so excited, they give you their phone number so your Power Team partner can call them and get started ASAP!

How do these red hot referrals happen? Glad you asked. Here’s the deal: you must give enthusiastic and compelling recommendations, explaining to the prospect what makes your Power Team special as a person as well as how the prospect will benefit by working with them. And the best way to quickly get your points across is with a short little story called a Testimonial.

Art of Testimony

Testimonials are best when it’s your own personal story of working with your Power Team partner. Especially when you can honestly say how ecstatic you are with their product or service. 

man-on-pedestalBut sometimes it’s not possible to do business. For example, you are not going to sell your house just to have a great story for the REALTOR. Likewise, there are other people on your Power Team with a product or service that you simply are not in need of. That’s when you ask for third party testimonials, stories of other people who love what your Power Team partner did for them. 

Got a pen and paper? Write this down: even in the third party testimonial you can talk first hand about what makes your networking partner special as a person.

Do You Believe?

Its one thing to intellectually understand your Power Team partner is good at what they do. But there’s another level, an emotional level of how strongly you believe they provide value. Do you feel it? Do you get excited knowing that the prospect is going to love working with your Power Team partner?

Or, are you relying on a few facts about how long your Power Team partner has been in business and a vague understanding of what they actually do, hoping to convince prospects to take the plunge, follow your lead and do business? I hope not.

Do Your Homework

Powerful recommendations that consistently turn into business for your Power Team depend on how well you know your Power Team and how strongly you believe their business gives value to the prospect. 

As a Bragging Buddy, your primary job is to help the prospect like and trust your Power Team partner. And your success will be a function of how much you like and trust them yourself. 

In addition to doing business together and having a first hand testimonial whenever possible, it is absolutely imperativebiz-meeting-4 to meet face to face with your networking partners on a regular basis. Why? Situations change from day to day. Same with products and services. 

Bottom line: the more up to date you are with your Power Team, the more money making referrals you will give. Simple as that. 

And while maintaining an ongoing dialogue with your network is the key to long term success, there is no stage in the process more critical than your first face to face meeting. We will dig into the dos and don’ts of meeting with Power Team partners you already know some other time. For now, let’s focus on that oh-so-important first get together. 

Key Questions

Use the following nine question sequence to interview your new Power Team partners. The goal is to learn what makes your networking partner special so you can be an effective Bragging Buddy. 

As a Bragging Buddy your job is to help prospects like, trust, and want to do business with your Power Team.

(Tips on how you can use each question follow the question itself.)

1) How did you get started in your business? Great icebreaker question. In addition to getting the short version of the person’s history, be sure to ask “What (or who) motivated you to get into this business?”

2) What do you enjoy most about what you do? Telling a prospect that your networking partner loves what they do, and why, with details and stories, is very important in helping the prospect “like” your Power Team partner. Be sure to get a very short story or two you will be able remember and to tell a prospect.

3) What separates you and/or your company from the competition? You are looking for “Bullet Points” that can be told quickly and easily to illustrate why you can be trusted to do a good job.

4) What advice would you give someone starting out in your business? Asking someone for advice shows respect and is essential in building Credibility on the road to Profitability. 

5) What are the coming trends in your business? crystal-ball-2If your Power Team partner has detailed information and strategies on how to profit from upcoming trends you might learn something of value from them. 

Conversely, if your networking partner has their nose to the grindstone and is too pre-occupied with daily business to have any input here, it is an opportunity to help them with any trends you see that might impact their business. A great way to build repore is to show an active interest in your Power Team partners’ business and brainstorm ideas to help them whenever possible. 

6) What strategies have you found to be the most effective in promoting your business? This question leads to brainstorming ideas for each other’s business and is great for stimulating the exchange of ideas on marketing, promotion and business building in general.

7) What is your biggest challenge at the moment? The answer will provide insight into your networking partner’s business and life that will help you understand them and their world, as well as possibly uncovering referral opportunities they may not yet see for themselves.

8) If there was anything about your business that you could change what would it be? Another great repore building question, in addition to giving your Power Team partner an opportunity to vent, you may have an idea or suggestion to help make, or at least move toward, the change they are looking for. 

Very similar to Question #7, but with more of a positive spin. This question almost always results in referral opportunities if followed up correctly. 

9) What should I look for to find good prospects for your business? Talk to your Power Team partner about their Targets, Triggers and Bullets, so you can begin keeping your eyes and ears open for opportunities to create referrals.

Key Question Tips

Follow up on the other person’s answers with another question notebookor two to really get to know their thoughts and feelings. Use questions that begin with: Who, What, When, Where and Why, to uncover a wealth of information that will help you generate more referrals.

Also, take notes as your networking partner is answering questions. Keep a notebook with a section for each Power Team member for future reference. You may not think you’ll need it, but you will. How do I know? Find out next time, when our adventure in networking continues… Follow Me on Twitter!


4 Responses to Ask Questions First, Shoot Bullets Later

  1. I love it! I just forwarded the link to our entire BNI chapter in Richmond, BC

  2. Beth Davis says:

    This is a great article. What would you think of letting us run it in the next issue of Referral Success Magazine? Brian Tracy will be on the cover and will have feature article. We always like to have an article by someone from BNI.

    Please let me know as soon as possible.

    Best of Success,

  3. […] there are Visitors, talk to them first! Learn about the Visitor with the “9 Key Questions.” Go for it – chat ‘em up! Use the “2 Big Trigger Questions” to uncover referral […]

  4. […] most elusive and valuable element of the VCP Process® is the underlying emotion your networking partners bring to the table as your “Bragging Buddy” when…. Having a Sub who can speak first hand about what makes YOU special is the best type of Sub you can […]

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