The 4Csstring(7) "The 4Cs"

My friend and co-author of Work Your Network with The 4Cs, Dr. Oudi Abouchacra, joined me on the BNI Podcast to talk about his networking journey and how he developed the concept of The 4Cs, which it led to us writing the book together.

He shared that is started when he was 27 years old and had just opened his chiropractic clinic in Toronto, Canada. His father told him he needed to go out and network instead of waiting for new patients to find him. Dr. Oudi says, “I’ve got to tell you, the word networking was intimidating. I don’t even think I really knew what it meant. I just knew it meant getting out of my office, the comforts of my walls, and going out there and meeting people and strangers and having to talk about what I do.” Well, he took his dad’s advice, began to network and was introduced to BNI®.

What are The 4Cs?

As a new BNI member, Dr. Oudi wondered why some people got more referrals than others did. After 20 years in BNI, he was able to distill the answer down to The Four Cs, which are the foundation of all relationships. I believe that understanding them is critical to generate referral business.

Is someone good at what they do? We need to know that their skillset enables them to do what we need them to do to help solve our problem.
Do you trust them? In personal and business relationships, we have to know that our
loved ones and our projects are safe and in good hands.
Do they communicate well? We want clear communication with the people we engage
with. And we need clarity of what our networking partners need in order for us to give them referrals.
Who does this person know? Connectivity has to do with the quality and quantity of their connections. People who are well connected can help their referral partners make the connections they need.

Challenges with The 4Cs

As a new business networker, Dr. Oudi found his biggest challenge was Clarity of communication. He struggled to be concise and precise, and really get a message across in a networking context. He felt that the lack of clarity cost him time because it took longer for his referral partners to clearly understand how he could help the people they knew. He says that it also cost him confidence because every time he spoke ineffectively, he would second-guess himself and lose confidence for the next presentation.

Most people think that they are effective communicators. However, if you were to ask peers, they may say, “I don’t really get what they do. I don’t really understand them.”
To get better at each of The 4Cs, it’s important to ask the members of your business networking group and/or the people that you are very close to for honest feedback.

Keep in mind however, that many people find it hard to give critical feedback and may not necessarily tell you what they really think. So, Dr. Oudi developed the Peer-to-Peer Assessment, an anonymous survey that can be sent to your BNI chapter members, or to members of other professional groups.

Imagine if every member of networking group rated you anonymously on each of The 4Cs. You could have a scorecard showing that you’re 9 out of 10 with Credibility, Competence, and Connectivity. However, you scored 3 out of 10 with Clarity. Now you have real feedback from people you know, which helps identify what you need to work on for better networking success.

The Peer-to- Peer Assessment is in our book, Work Your Network with The 4Cs, which is available at I’ll be talking more in-depth about the other 4Cs in future blogs.
I’d love to hear your thoughts about The 4Cs and your results of the Peer-to-Peer Assessment. Feel free to come back and share in the comments.

Work Your Network With The 4Csstring(30) "Work Your Network With The 4Cs"

I am excited to tell you about my new book, co-authored with Dr. Oudi Abouchacra, called “Work Your Network with the 4Cs.” Our goal with this book is to empower businesspeople, BNI® members, and other professionals with the fundamentals to create a powerful personal network.

In the book, we refer to our four key fundamentals as The 4Cs. They are:
Credibility – trust or trustworthiness
Competence – knowledge and skill
Clarity – understandable communication
Connectivity – quantity and quality of connections

Consciously or subconsciously, we all assess the people we interact with in terms of their credibility, competence, clarity, and connectivity. And they, too, are evaluating us with respect to the 4Cs. In future blogs and podcasts, I’ll dive into the details for each of these four, exploring how they apply to the business world, and how you can build a greater network and work that network effectively. 

Business from Networking and Referrals

For anyone who has been in business, even for a limited time, you recognize that a percentage, and it’s often a large percentage, of business referrals that you receive comes from your professional network. In fact, for small business owners, regardless of the industry or sector, networking referrals are typically a very significant proportion of their business.

A few years ago, we did an online BNI survey, open to the public, that had almost 4000 participants worldwide. We found that 73% of businesses reported getting most of their business from networking and referrals. That is a compelling statistic!
The other ways they got business were advertising – about 12%; P.R. was less than 5%; cold calling was less than 10%. And 73% was from networking and referrals!

The irony in that statistic is that more than 87% of the people in the same survey said they had never taken a college course that covered networking or word-of-mouth marketing. Forget about an actual class on networking; we’re talking about a course that just even discussed the topic of networking. It’s ironic that most people get their business from networking, and most people have never been taught how to network.

This is disturbing on many levels. Business students are almost completely unaware of how crucial networking will be to their future success. Business professionals are not investing in a source of income – networking and referrals – that is potentially responsible for nearly three-quarters of their livelihood. Additionally, they are not investing the necessary time in growing their network. 

Many businesses are leaving opportunities on the table and those opportunities could be the ticket to taking their business to the next level. Dr. Oudi and I want this book to do what colleges and universities have failed at doing.

The 4Cs are designed to help you gain more referrals with every handshake and with everyone you meet. Each of our Cs – Competence, Credibility, Clarity, and Connectivity, has the potential to affect the referral quality, quantity, significance, and consistency within your personal network.

Special Offer

Right now, the Kindle version of “Work Your Network with the 4Cs” is on sale for only 99¢ USD. You can download your digital copy at (you don’t need a Kindle device; you can get the free Kindle app).
This offer is at only and may not be available in all areas.

This special offer ends on Sunday, August 21st, 2022, at 3:00 am EDT USA.