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: http://moneyonthetablebook.com/YOUR_Namer_on_the_Cover.html

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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!


Networking Story of the Week: “Gifts of Gratitude”

September 6, 2009

by Lee Abraham

Jenifer Anseth – M.R. Designs & Gifts: Commercial Furniture and a Grand Opening Two-fer

“I have a Power Team partner who is in Commercial Furniture Sales and after he finishes furnishing an office he likes to send one of our Gift Baskets for the office’s Grand Opening. From my standpoint, he not only does something to promote his company, but he creates an in for me with the new company.

He also promotes me to the other sales people who he works with for their Grand Openings and a different way to show client appreciation. I can’t begin to tell you how many great referrals he has given me!”

AZ Gift Baskets

AZ Gift Baskets


Sudden Impact – Beyond Hot Referrals

April 10, 2009

by Lee Abraham

money-in-the-bank2jpgEveryone loves a hot referral. On the receiving end it’s called money in the bank… Ca-CHING! For the giver, it’s more of a feeling. A warm and fuzzy tingle you get every time your networking efforts help build the business of someone you like and trust. Not to mention, a networking partner who is helping build your business in return.  

Two words: “Givers Gain®!

Coined by Dr. Ivan Misner, founder of BNI (Business Network Int’l), the world’s largest business network, Givers Gain® is BNI’s philosophy of helping others first and then benefiting in return.

That said, hot referrals are great for both the giver and receiver. And yeah, as a result, everybody around the networking table walks away viewing you with a little more Credibility. But if you really want to rock the house and lift the energy of every single person in the room, bring a Visitor to the meeting!

Inviting Visitors 101 – Invite Visitors to VISIT, not join your group

Obviously, the primary reason you invite visitors to your networking meeting is to grow the group. Even a group that is productive at its current size needs to have a steady flow of Visitors simply to cover the natural attrition of losing people due to relocation, downsizing, changing careers or not renewing membership for some other reason.

Plus, even Visitors who do not submit an application to join your network are likely to do business with someone in the group. Studies show each Visitor does an average of $2,500 with one or more people in the group whether they join or not. 

Most important: A Visitor brings fresh energy and even if the other members aren’t consciously aware of it, everyone becomes a bit more animated. visitor1During Open Networking at the start of the meeting, every Visitor is a potential customer for each member of the group. The sense of new opportunity impacts everyone in attendance. And as the person who invited the Visitor, your VCP skyrockets! 

In short, Visitors are the lifeblood of a weekly networking meeting. Your ability to attract Visitors to the meeting plays a major role in your VCP with the other members, and in turn, the benefit you get out of the group. 

What to Say

Good news! Everyone can be successful at bringing Visitors to the meeting. Keep it simple and you’ll do fine. Here are a few basic tips to increase your results: 

1) Avoid creating obstacles that get in the way of someone who might otherwise visit your meeting. Top of the list: suggesting they consider joining. It’s counterproductive.  All the suggestion does is trigger questions of “How much does it cost to join” and “What’s the commitment?” Not good for your Visitor to Invitation ratio!

Let me repeat: Invite Visitors to Visit, not Join your group.

Why? Less pressure and greater probability of success. Trust me, run a good meeting and it will sell itself. Your job is to get the Visitor to the meeting. If joining is a good idea, singerVisitors will see it on their own. 

2) When Inviting, sing the group’s praises, tell the potential Visitor about how great the networking group is for your business and that you would love for them to see how it works. 

3) Tell the prospect about other business categories and people in the group who would likely be a good connection based on Contact Spheres and Power Teams.

For example, if the prospect is a Home Inspector, they would be interested to meet the Realtor, Mortgage and Insurance person in the group. A Photographer would love to be introduced to your Florist, Caterer and Event Planner. Capiche? Click here for a post on Contact Spheres and Power Teams.

4) Ask the Visitor to bring a stack of business cards and be ready to connect with a room full of your networking partners, people who might become a source of referrals for them. 

5) When inviting let the prospect know that there is no cost or obligation to visit, other than maybe a room or meal charge if you have one. Most structured networking groups allow Visitors to sit in on two meetings and then ask the newbie to either submit an application for membership or quit freeloading. 

More Than What You Say, It’s How You Say It

Best practice: be excited, show enthusiasm and speak from first hand experience. What do you enjoy most about the meeting? Talk about how your networking group has benefited you and your business. What business categories might be natural networking partners for the Visitor?

If you genuinely feel great about your group, the person you are talking with will feel it too. bull-by-the-hornsAnd like it or not, we make decisions based on emotion. Be smart. Tap into your positive feelings. Use your emotional energy to direct that quirky thing called “human nature” to your advantage.

I see the look of determination on your face. You are ready to take the bull by the horns and start inviting like never before. The problem? You aren’t sure who to talk to. Got it! Join us next time when we look into who you should invite to your networking meeting and why, when our adventure in networking continues… Follow me on Twitter!