Body Shops, Panel Beaters and the International Language of Referrals

February 7, 2012

Translating Money on the Table into the Local Lingo Helps More BNI Members Make More Money

by Lee Abraham
Money talks. No translation needed. Currency exchange, yes, but translation, no. Anywhere you go around the world, people know how to trade money for goods and services.

Same with referrals. Regardless of culture, folks in every continent on the planet prefer to do business by word-of-mouth with people they know, like and trust.

And just like each country has its own currency, words and phrases can be as unique as the local cuisine.

For example, in the USA, an automobile collision repair business is commonly known as a “Body Shop.” However in Australia, the locals send referrals for wrecked cars to the “Panel Beater.”

Universal Message, Local Lingo, Global Network

As a trainer, speaking the local language is critical if you want students to achieve maximum results. More than just words, images can also be tailored for familiarity and maximum impact.

As publisher of Money on the Table, Referrals in the Bank along with my co-author Dr. Ivan Misner, FAST180 Press works with BNI National and Executive Directors from across the country and around the world to customize training material for the benefit of their local BNI members. We see this as an essential role in effectively serving BNI’s global network. Not to mention very rewarding and a lot of fun!

Thanks in part to our “Personalized Foreword” program, where local leaders can contribute to the book and get their name on the front cover and local branding on the back, FAST180 Press is honored to report that Money on the Table is quickly becoming an international sensation!

Since its release less than a year ago, the book has been published with local flavor in Malaysia, Canada, the USA and now Australia!

Check out the latest version of the cover, featuring Australian currency and a personalized foreword by BNI Australia National Director Frederick Marcoux on the front, and BNI Australia branding on the back!

In addition to the obvious changes to the front and back cover, the Australian version of Money on the Table talks about “panel beaters” not “body shops” and many other local terms and phrases to help local members of BNI Australia learn how to create Power Teams and as a result, make more money.

Just listen to the scuttlebutt around the BNI coffee dripper… “Members Making More Money” sounds good in any language!

For more information about how you can create a Personalized Foreword version of Money on the Table, please visit:


Retrospective Significance – Got Yours?

March 13, 2010

“Retrospective Significance” is the notion that some things you choose to do today potentially create an impact on your life that grows over time.

Here are a few examples of potentially positive retrospective significance: 

  • meeting new people
  • engaging in meaningful conversation with someone who needs help
  • writing a book or a blog post
  • having a baby
  • starting a new business

 “Retrospective Insignificance” is the opposite, doing things today that have NO impact on the rest of your life: 

  • watching TV
  • complaining about the economy, or anything else
  • playing video games
  • wandering around the shopping mall
  • listening to the radio while driving, rather than instructional CD’s or Audio Books

What are you choosing to do today? Will your actions today have any impact on tomorrow, next week or next year? If so, will the impact be positive and productive?

Race to Keep Pace – Business Networking Jump Start

March 6, 2010


The race to keep pace with society’s limited attention span is impacting more than just the book publishing industry.

Business networking is a perfect example. On a local level, go to a “Speed Networking” event where you have just a few short minutes to connect fact-to-face with a rapid fire parade of new prospects and potential referral partners. On the internet, the opportunity to build a personal brand with social media in virtually any industry has every hot blooded entrepreneur racing to create visibility online with more people in less time and as a result, make more money.  

As a business networker, our goal is to create referrals for our networking partners, in turn, they find business for us. Clearly, the most effective way to motivate someone to become a “Bragging Buddy” who tells other people why they should like, trust and do business with you, is to first send money making referrals to them.

But as the world spins faster and we seem to have less time to do more and more, being efficient is just as important as being effective. Got a pen and paper? Here is a powerful, yet deceptively simple tool to create business for someone you’ve just met, as well as your network of referral partners,  in less than a minute. Ask the following Trigger Question at networking events, chamber mixers, online messaging or anywhere else you interact with other business people: “How can I help find the type of customers you are looking for?”

This is a simple twist on the age old, direct question “How can I help you?” that cuts to the core of referral networking. The payoff is a result of active listening and recognizing which people and business categories in your network also serve the desired Target Market. Whenever there is a Target Market match, your networking partner is a potential Golden Goose referral source for this new contact, and vice versa. 

Proceed with caution. This Trigger Question is a powerful tool that will jump start your business networking results and create new referral opportunities. Pause for a moment once you’ve found a Target Market match. Take time to learn more about your new contact before sending business in their direction. Protecting your good name is a priority that cannot fall victim to the limited attention span syndrome.

Passion Is Everything – CRUSH IT!

March 2, 2010


All entrepreneurs dream. Successful entrepreneurs take action. Lot’s of it. Some are calculated, carefully plotting and planning every move. A rare few bring an artistic approach to business. Guided by passion and intuition, these natural born empire builders always know what to do, how to do it and when to make it happen. One more thing. They really enjoy what they do!

Meet Gary Vaynerchuk, New York Times best selling author of CRUSH IT! Why NOW is the time to cash in on your passion. Grab a cup of coffee my friend and settle in for a good read. The guy has an interesting story to tell.

At the tender age of eight years old, Gary V. operated multiple lemonade stands and hired other kids to actually sell the lemonade. In the eighth grade he ran a successful, money making baseball card business and at age 15 began working part time as a clerk at the family liquor store. Within a few years of going full time, Vaynerchuk grew annual sales at the store from $4 million to over $50 million!

How? By parlaying self taught sales and marketing skills learned as a childhood business mogul. Oh yeah, he also took the family business online with his wildly popular internet program Wine Library TV.

There are several core elements to Gary V’s success. Passion, fun, commitment to family, hard work and being the best in the world at something are a few of the biggies.

But there’s more to CRUSH IT! than philosophy. A master of personal branding, social media and video blogging, Vaynerchuk serves up an easy to follow blueprint for success. That’s right, your success!

I said easy to follow, not easy to implement. One of Gary V’s principals is to identify your passion. So go ahead, ask yourself, are you passionate about something? Do you have an all consuming, burning desire to achieve a specific goal or manifest a life long dream? Yes? Now is the time to get started. Read the book. CRUSH IT!

Society’s Limited Attention Span – Blame Seth Godin!

February 22, 2010


Video didn’t kill the radio star. Neither did TV. And digital media hasn’t buried ink and paper books. Never will. Sure, the latest and greatest digital delivery systems like Kindle, the IPad and whatever’s next, continue to morph the publishing industry with mind melting speed. But regardless of where change takes our old friend the book, ink and paper will always have a role to play in the marketplace of ideas. 

Standing firm in my belief that ink and paper survives, changes are fast and furious. Not only the vehicle of delivery, but content itself. Face it, society is suffering an intellectual crisis and publishers are scrambling to adapt to our increasingly limited attention span. 

Blame it on Seth Godin. Godin’s brilliant series of short, smart and wildly popular best selling books like “Tribes” and his current gem, “Linchpin,” have set the standard for every aspiring New Times best selling author and thought leader wannabe.    

Got something to say? Say it clearly and quickly. Be authentic, clever and lead a tribe of passionate, like minded people who resonate with you and your message. Become irreplaceable by being as much of you as you can be. Of course, it helps to be a genius with valuable insight and a meaningful perspective, but there’s only one Seth Godin. That would make him a “Linchpin” of media transition and trusted tour guide on our collective adventure to whatever’s next.

Be a Linchpin yourself! Just don’t take too long to show us what you’ve got! Right? Write!

New Babies and Big Referrals

February 8, 2009

new-baby-3Dave the Nutrition Guy is talking to Ima Newmom, a young woman in her early 20’s. Ima is expecting her second baby in less than two years and was referred to Dave by her Mom, the Realtor in Dave’s Networking Group. The topic is Ima’s lack of energy and finding the right pre-natal vitamins.

A top notch networker, Dave’s referral radar is on alert. Why? He recognizes the “New Baby” Key Situation as a one of the biggest Power Team Targets he’s been trained to look for.

After answering all of Ima’s questions, making product recommendations, and placing the order, Dave puts away his product information and price sheets. He pauses for a brief moment, then looks deep into Ima’s tired but cheerful eyes. With a simultanious tilt of the head and slight squint of the eyes, subtly signaling sincerity, he asks, “So, how is everything else going with getting ready for the new baby? Are you changing things around at the house, and doing all the planning stuff like writing your Will and getting Life Insurance to protect the baby?”

Suddenly Ima is a little less cheerful and a little more weary. The look in her eyes acknowledge that Dave hit a nerve. Dave smiles. For starters, he is going to help Ima in more ways than just Nutrition. And to do that, he is about to create a few money making referrals for his Power Team!

Networking Sharpshooter

For those of you taking notes, Dave has not only identified the Target (New Baby Key Situation), he just pulled the Trigger, with a couple of carefully crafted questions to expose a need he can convert into a referral for someone on his Power Team.  

Guess what? It worked! Ima and her husband want to convert a covered patio off their master bedroom contractorinto a sitting room to use as a nursery for the new baby. Bingo – referral for the General Contractor! 

And yes, they’ve thought about a Will and know they need Life Insurance, but the young couple have been too busy with everything else to make those arrangements. No worries. Dave’s people will make the process easy! 

In fact, Dave gave such compelling recommendations, not only about the products and services, but how much he likes and trusts the people, Ima agreed it was time to get the growing family’s affairs in order and meet with Dave’s Power Team partners. Ima was so eager to get started, she gave Dave her number and asked that his Power Team partners call her right away! 

Lucky Guess?

Why didn’t Ima’s mom see the connections between her daughter’s needs and the prodcuts and services of her Power Team? Because she is more of an “Order Taker” than a referral “Creator” and overlooked the opportunity. She never asked and Ima hadn’t mentioned that among everything else going on in their busy life, she and her husband were thinking about a room addition, not to mention a writing a Will and taking out Life Insurance. 

Does that make Dave the Nutrition Guy lucky? Absolutely not. Dave knows that along with his Nutrition Business, which is in the Health and Wellness Contact Sphere, businesses in the Home Improvement and Finance Contact Spheres also share the New Baby Key Situation as a gold mine of referral opportnities. By asking a couple of Trigger questions to expose a need pertaining to the products and services of his Power Team partners, Dave has demonstrated masterful use of his networking Ammo belt:

Find Target: New Baby Key Situation
Pull Trigger: Asked two questions to expose a need
Fire Bullets: Gave compelling recommendations that resulted in money making referrals.

next-timeWouldn’t you like to have Dave the Nutrition Guy on YOUR Power Team? Better yet, wouldn’t you like to have a Power Team full of networking sharpshooters just like Dave, regardless of what business they are in? Hang on amigo, because that’s where we are going next time, when our adventure in networking continues… Follow Me on Twitter!

Targets, Triggers and Bullets – Ammo Belt for Networking Sharpshooters

February 4, 2009

hunter2Power Team networkers know that building a business with word-of-mouth referrals is more about “farming” than “hunting.” More about nurturing relationships and cultivating credibility over time than the one-and-done, churn-and-burn cycle of today’s hype driven mass marketing. 

That being said, here are three words of war that typically strike fear into the heart of a dove (and boil bloodlust in the belly of the hawk) which we are going to give a FAST180 and redirect into the peace and love, good karma, Givers Gain® philosophy we hold so dear. Ready? Aim…

Target: As in Target Market: Who do you want your Power Team to find for you?

Triggers: – Questions your Power Team ask the Target to uncover a need leading to a money making referral. 

Bullets: Key “Bullet” points your Power Team shares with a Target in an enthusiastic and compelling recommendation explaining what makes you special, and why the prospect will benefit from working with you. 

OK fine, we’ve got some fun terms to play with. Now let’s put the concepts into perspective.

Targets = Six Key Situations

Your ability to recognize Targets that stare you in the face every day, yet hunter-2continue to overlook, starts by setting your networking radar to alert you when you come across, or hear about, anyone in the Six Key Situations:

Getting Married
Having a Baby
Building a Business
Getting Healthy
Building/Buying a House
New In Town

Triggers = Questions

Terrific! Now you know what to look and listen for. What next? Pull the Trigger! Ask a Trigger question that will uncover a need and create a money making referral for someone on your Power Team.

Last time out we looked at 20 Questions which are specific Trigger questions to ask someone in the Getting Married Key Situation. Guess what? We’ve got 20 Questions for each of the Six Key Situations! That’s 120 money making referral opportunities you are probably missing on a regular basis. 

Bullets = Value

And finally, once a need is uncovered, your ability to hit the bulls eye with a powerful recommendation biz-team1that consistently turns into business for your Power Team depends on how well you know your Power Team and how strongly you believe their business gives value to the prospect in the any of the Six Key Situations.

Find Target, Pull Trigger

As we said, the search for money making referrals begins by setting your networking radar on alert for the Six Key Situations. That’s your first task. But waiting around for someone to mention that they, or someone they know is getting married (or going through any one of the Six Key Situations) and then pulling a Trigger question is a slow draw. Too slow. Yes, you will occaissionally give some good referrals, but the idea is to give a lot of great referrals on an ongoing basis

Listen up: recognizing a referral opportunity is not about luck. It’s a skill. And it requires focus. As well as intention. Are you motivated to create high volume, high quality referrals for your Power Team? Yes? Here’s a secret: Opportunity is around the corner waiting to meet you! 

Two Big Triggers

So rather than sitting back, waiting for the Six Key Situations to cross your desk, be proactive and start searching. How? Talk to people and get in the habit of asking the following two “Big” Trigger questions in every conversation:

What is your biggest challenge at the moment?”

“What is the next big event coming up for you?”

Whatever the other person says in reply will lead you to a referral opportunity. How well you play the role of Bragging Buddy for your Power Team will dictate the number and quality of money making referrals you generate. More on that some other time.

Right now I simply want you to commit the Biggest Challengeand Next Big EventTrigger questions to memory. Trust me: the two Big Triggers will transform your life as a Power Team networker!

next-time-21In fact, they are so simple, and so powerful, I need to let the smoke clear so we can ask questions first and shoot bullets later, next time, when our adventure in networking continues… Follow Me on Twitter!