Where There Are Systems There’s Success

I’m excited to tell all the readers of this blog that my next book, Business Networking And Sex (not what you think), will be released in January.  There was a substantial amount of survey data(*) that my co-authors and I were unable to use in the book so we plan on sharing much of that data on the BusinessNetworkingAndSex.com blog.

The following table shows the response to a question about having a “system to track money” in relation to whether or not the respondent felt that networking has “played a role in their success.”   As you can clearly see in this graph, people who had a system to track their business were more likely to have felt that networking has played a role in their success.  Even more notably, those who did not feel that networking played a role in their success were almost twice as likely to not have a system for tracking their business!

This is a powerful finding for people who wish to produce a referral-based business.  Clearly, those people who do not use “systems” to track their business are much more likely to feel that they are not successful in their networking efforts.

(*) Survey data is based on a survey of over 12,000 people from every populated continent in the world.  This survey is the basis of the book – Business Networking and Sex.

The lesson here is to start creating systems to help manage your referral marketing and business networking efforts.

Question – Have you used systems to manage this process?  If so, what have you done and how has it worked out?

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17 thoughts on “Where There Are Systems There’s Success

  1. I do track various measures of my involvement in BNI, much like the PALMS report. That way I can make sure I give credit for income from my fellow members’ referrals, as well as when I gave a referral, when I had one-to-ones with people and much more.

    A simple excel spreadsheet with a column for each week makes it easy to keep it all in one place and have a quick glance at what I’ve done over time. I even keep track of my infomercial topics and when I give presentations. Having a printout and bringing it to the meeting gives me all the info I need and a place to take notes.

  2. If you are in business, you had better be tracking all of your marketing efforts. How else do you know where to put your marketing dollars? My history tells me that each new customer gained is a earned at a lower cost (as opposed to shotgun approach advertising of almost any kind) and the lifetime value of those new clients are unlimited. The easy to use, flexible, CRM that is able to track an accurate referral tree/customer value and can interact with social media still eludes me. Any suggestions?

  3. For the last 2 years, i am using a great CRM named salesforce.com

    I track all the biz leads and customers.

    I know if the customer find us by our website (including the page he use to contact us), BNI referrals, Word of mouth, Social Media and many more.

    Since i join BNI a few months a go, i add a new feature that track the BNI referrals.

    I can add information about the referral, how, when, status and more. This is not only for referrals i got, also for those i give and thank you notes.

    I know from experience the importance of tracking biz information.

    The few dollars i spend every moth for this great system is the best investment we did in all our 7 years.

    And no, i do not have stocks in salesfore.com. i just a very happy customer.

  4. I have recently joined a BNI group; I think it will be a good system to track business. I am also on LinkedIn, but the networking is completely different.

  5. Dear Cristina,

    The CRM becomes very powerful after you have lots of information in it.

    today i am sorry that i wait so many years and so much info i have in Emails, outlook, documents and more put the CRM.

    FYI, the entry level for simple version that i use, is only 5-6 US dollars a month per user. so it is really cheep.

    In any case, good luck

  6. I am new to the sales world, as well as BNI, so I am trying to learn as much as possible. I recently registered with relate2profit.com. Does anyone have experience with it? How does it compare to salesforce.com?

    1. Stephanie, I too am a fan of Relate2Profit. They integrate my VCP Process (with my permission) into their system. I recommend them.

  7. Hi Stephanie,
    I too use Relate2Profit.com. I haven’t used SalesForce.com. The best things (for me) about Relate2Profit.com:
    -All of my contacts are in one place
    -All of the activities are in one place (including referrals given and received)
    -All revenue generating activities, including income is in one place
    -The system includes space for GAINS information that I learn; including linking people to networks (BNI, Chamber, Prospects, etc.)
    -I can look back over weeks, months, and years to see where our relationship started and what we’ve done to help each other

    I recommend this to everyone who wants better results from networking.

  8. I am in business but just starting a new one that depends on my freelance work.

    I know CRMs and I know salesforce.com. However, for the moment I don’t need to use one, I might have to, but not at this moment.

  9. Stephanie, I’m a big fan of Relate2Profit.com. Using it as a tool allowed me to create a retention program involving several touch points and actions. We increased from 38% to a more productive 76% in 6 months and have exceeded and held that average for 2 years now.
    Since then, I’ve used other tools within Relate2Profit that show me what is in my pipeline, what I need in my pipeline plus allow me to work with projections to create results.

  10. What I like most is it tells me my conversion rate of referrals turning into business. This helps me a lot to identify how well my referral network has been trained (and what I still have to do 😉

  11. Well, it seems I will be using a CRM before I had in mind doing it!

    You have so much interesting information to share that I am grateful I commented and had all your precious inputs, including, of course, Dr.Ivan Misner’s!

    I am in Portugal, recently joined a BNI group and I am already doing BNI networking and finding referrals to my chapter fellow members.

    I love the group and the concept, it is different from LinkedIn, but I can have great feedback from my LinkedIn connections to help me help my BNI group.

    Thank you for sharing great information!

  12. I’m a member from December 2008 but started tracking my referrals received and given recently from July 2012 after attending the Referral skill training 4th or 5th time and has experienced the following benefits:-

    – All referrals received and given tracked on one sheet. (5 – 10 minutes every week).

    – Better follow up with clients, giver and receiver as all column needs to be filled up. (Better coordination enhancing my credibility manifold with all involved.)

    – Referral received on July 27th is still fresh because of tracking sheet. (First I was traveling and now client is out of Country but referral is not lost).

    – I can identify my power buddies, can track business potential of referrals and even money slips in pipeline due to weekly update of the referral tracking sheet.

    EVEN THE BEST SYSTEMS ARE LEARNED & PICKED OVER A LONG PERIOD SO WE MUST HAVE PATIENCE FOR END RESULTS.

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