Collaborating Instead of Competing – by Paolo Mariola
International Networking Week: “A New World of Opportunity” stories from various international BNI leaders
Submitted by Paolo Mariola
National Director – BNI Italia
When we talk about work, or more generally about the changes we are dealing with everyday, a word is often recurrent: the word opportunity. A word that, in the right phrase at the right time, create in the listener a series of thoughts, and hopes of reaching a goal or to realize a project. One of the synonyms of opportunity is a favorable occasion, that brings with it a positive change (almost everytime). And if we think about it, we live in an age where many opportunities are at hand. But above all, we live in what we could define the most relational age ever. The age in which relationships are not a way but a real aim.
When I think about this, I begin to reflect on the great opportunities that referral marketing has brought and continues to bring to professionals and entrepreneurs all over the world. And I always pause on one in particular. When we talk about marketing strategies, we usually declare “beat the competitors”, “doing better than competitors”…and so on. Referral Marketing turns upside down this point of view by finding in collaboration and not in competition the real opportunity for growth starting from a precise assumption: the global result coming from collaboration is larger than the sum of the single results that would be obtained individually. It is an approach to the business world that looks at the Other not as a competitor but as an opportunity: a great resource from a professional, intellectual, human point of view, able of enriching us and giving us the possibility to reach goals that we would not be able to reach alone.
For years I have worked as an entrepreneur in information technology and business processes. I have always realized that if I had tried to go on looking only at my interest or I had kept for me every business opportunity that came from my client, I could not say today that I had succeeded as entrepreneur. One of the fundamentals of my success, is that I have always been able to have competent and specialized people around me in those fields where I was not up to the task or who did not represent my specific preparation
Seeing today many Italian entrepreneurs and professionals who apply this approach to their business is certainly one of the things that makes me proud. Approaching the market by practicing the culture of abundance brings positive benefits for the customer, for suppliers, for the market and for the whole economy in a larger scale. Therefore, thanks to Referral Marketing and the culture of abundance, a new world of opportunity opens up to us. An opportunity as big as the world.
Wishing everyone a fantastic International Networking Week 2019!
Paolo Mariola | National Director – BNI Italia
One thought on “Collaborating Instead of Competing – by Paolo Mariola”
It is important to know when you are “out of your depth” and beyond your expertise. At those times, having experts to whom you can refer is a service to your client, but also a good reflection on you. Particularly in the medical field, attempting to be the expert in all matters is dangerous to the patient; and patients will recognize that your ego is more important than their best health choices. Your referral professionals will reciprocate with patients/clients of theirs for whom you may be the expert they need. Making appropriate referrals also increases your credibility.