Not Very Bright!

ImageAs I said in my last post, I am a member of a BNI Chapter in here in Mesa, AZ. We recently inducted a couple of new members into our chapter and look forward to meeting them, getting to know what they do…what kind of referrals are they looking for…how can I help them grow their business.

Problem is, it just doesn’t seem like one of the new members is serious, engaged, aware or ‘getting it.’ One of our commitments to the chapter when you are a member is that you will meet with the other members in a one-to-one situation. This is so you can really drill down and get your arms around what the other members do. What kind of person are they? What kind of business are they looking for? It is an incredibly important part of the membership process and an ongoing way to stay engaged with all of the other members.

So I engaged one of the new members and invited him to meet at a local coffee shop so I can get to know him. We were scheduled to meet at 2pm lat Friday afternoon.

2:05 no sign of him

2:10 nothing

So finally at 2:15 I called him to see where he was and much to mu surprise I got…”Oh I got busy. Sorry man,” That was it?

Now I understand that we all get busy and occasionally we may miss something, but why not say. I’m really sorry I wasted your time, how can I make it up to you? Can we reschedule, I’ll come to you…Let me make it up to you. Can I buy you lunch? Nope I got “Sorry man.”

So I was anticipating I would see him at our Tuesday morning meetings…Once a week we meet as a group to share, engage, learn and communicate with one another.

I was standing next to our president telling him about how the new guy blew me off on Friday. He then said to me…’Who do you think this is?’ He was showing me a text message from someone saying they wouldn’t make it…You’ll never guess who it was. OK, you probably did guess. The new guy. Out of the four weeks he has been a member this is the 2nd time he has missed the Tuesday morning meeting.

A text message. Not a call saying why…

So the three things I talked about in last week’s blog…Know me, Like me and Trust me…the building blocks of relationship building were ignored by the new member. How long before you think I will engage with him and help him grow his business? I’m guessing it will not be until there is some effort, commitment and awareness.

It just doesn’t seem that hard does it?



Relationship Building

ImageSo I am in a BNI Group and was asked to be the Educational Coordinator for our group.

If you don’t know what BNI is, it is Business Networking International. Basically it brings together usually small business owners and employees who are looking to help generate business through referrals. You meet with your group as a whole and then members individually to learn about each others business so you can help them spread the word about their business and the in turn spread the word about your business.

As the Educational Coordinator I am asked to speak to the group each week and try to embark some wisdom upon them as to how they will get more or give more from their experience with BNI.

This week, I shared with them the natural sequence of events that happen when you join the group in relationship to how people with accept you and begin the process of trusting you. So below, you will get an idea of how it works.

The whole idea of networking in any type of group really boils down to moving your relationship through a pretty specific series of phases that you will have with the others in the group.

Although we are talking about networking, the truth is that this is how relationships work in all walks of like but we just happen to be in an environment where we are focusing on building them and concentrating on them.

The message today is to reassure the newer members of the group that being in BNI will work, but it takes time and effort in order for the benefits to surface and depending upon what your profession is, the amount of time may increase as the complexity and value of your business increases.

1.     Know me…

  • What am I all about?
  • What do I do?
  • Where do I do it?
  • What else did I do?
  • Who do I know?
  • Where am I from?
  • What kind of family do I have?

Obviously there are hundreds of questions you can ask to get a feeling for the kind of person this is, but you must get to know them first.

2.     Like me

  • Am I pleasant?
  • Am I respectful?
  • Do I show up when and where I said I would?
  • Do we have things in common?
  • Do they seem to have similar values?
  • Are you extreme and if you are, do you realize that those view may affect the way people view you?
  • Are you likeable, it seems like a pretty easy question, but make sure that you are likable.

3. Trust me

  • Do people believe that I know what I am doing?
  • Have I demonstrated my knowledge to them or the group?
  • Do I have behaviors and habits that instill belief in me?
  • Have I problem solved for anyone?

Until you have moved through these three phases of relationship building with members of the group, you may feel like this BNI thing isn’t working, but have trust and faith in the system. Work to move your relationships with everyone through these three phases and then you will begin to see the fruits of your efforts.

If you would like to see any of my other educational moments, visit my site

Check out my BNI Chapter, the Early Bird All-Stars.

Learn more about BNI.


Outstanding Customer Service

ImageOften times as consumers and customers, we are met with lousy customer service. The person on the other end of the phone or in many cases a automated phone system just don’t have the interest or investment as an employee to make sure that the customer is helped. The customer isn’t always right, BUT they should be made to feel that they are.

I wanted to briefly share my experience with one of my vendors as a business, CloudAccess.net. They are a website hosting company that specializes in the Joomla platform. That part is not so important to the story, but what is important is that when you call in to their phone support they have a message that says “Please stand by to receive an insane amount of support” You know what… They deliver!

Yesterday I was having an issue with one of the websites they host for me. This issue was going to be happening on three of my sites so it was important that they solved it on the first one first. Their support engineer and I were one the phone for over an hour to get to the bottom of the issue. Never once did he do anything except make me feel like he was going to get to the bottom of our problem, fix it and make me feel good doing to.

Since this was not a simple fix, he had to get some additional support from his team. He asked me to hold while he did and check back with me often to let me know his progress.

After we solved the issue for the fist website, I sent him the materials to fix the other two sites. He did fix them in a timely manner. Send me an email saying that he was having a problem calling me to confirm they were fixed and then gave me his DIRECT EXTENSION to call him. He answered on the second ring and we had to work through another issue, however, he never once was anything but friendly, helpful and convincing that my problem was his problem.

Thank you to Taz and Jonathan at CloudAccess.net. Your support was truly insane because you did what you promised to do, fix my problem and as a customer I appreciate how you did it.


What makes sense for me?

Opoolne of the crippling and paralyzing thoughts that many small business owners have is what social networks should I be involved in? There are hundreds to choose from and I can’t possible keep up with all of them.
Well the truth is, of the hundreds of social channels that exist only a few have real traction for small business. It may not be super exciting as the cutting edge of the latest hipster, but the tried and true social networks have the best opportunity to drive business through the doors.
Facebook, Linkedin, Pinterest, You Tube and Twitter pretty simple. Small business owners should talk to their customers and learn what channels they use and how they use them. Only after they have some education and information should they initiate a social media strategy.
Don’t jump in the pool before you can swim.

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