Go the Extra Mile

On a daily basis, I am surrounded by people who know that connecting with others to network their businesses is extremely important. However, I am often surprised at how many people don’t put enough effort into purposefully strengthening their network relationships. The fact is, you want to be in solid with the people who constitute your network, and vice versa. You want to be the first name that comes to mind when those in your network scratch their heads and wonder, “Hmmm . . . Whom could I go to with that problem? Who would be a good fit for that referral?”

Going the extra mile provides you several ways to stand out and be positively memorable. Focus on things that you can do to demonstrate the unforgettable value you bring to the table as a network member. Even though our networking is about business, not social relationships, you have to admit that people like people who help them. If you help someone, he or she, in turn, wants to help you.

Take the initiative in developing a relationship with someone who could be of help to you in networking your business. Here are some strategies on how to do this:

1) Be a value-added friend. Focus your attention on the kind of value you bring to the relationships you form.

2) Become a catalyst. Take the lead and be the person who makes things happen.

3) Find an accountability partner–a person to whom you can be accountable, responsible and answerable, and who cares whether (and how effectively) you implement networking strategies and meet the goals you set for your business.

4) Volunteer as a way of building visibility for your business.

5) Send thank-you cards. This is a simple but powerful two-minute activity.

6) Timely follow-up is extremely significant and it is tremendously important in pushing a relationship forward.

Going the extra mile with the people in your network not only expresses your sincerity, but it also opens the door to accept what the law of reciprocity has to offer you and your business.

12 thoughts on “Go the Extra Mile

  1. I don’t know if you have seen this, but there is a new online business networking service — Passitto.com — that provides an incentive (i.e., money) for users to send referrals between themselves. Practically, this seems to reduce the ineffeciencies of sending referrals via traditional methods (as described in your piece). I wonder if this means the death of the traditional methods of referral marketing? Is techology going to the point where it makes us all more efficient AND it makes the client-business connection more efficient? Am I asking for too much?

  2. I think the technology has taken over. Few examples is the Social Networks which are out there. I don’t know by how much those network have changed the way we refer people to products and business but my guess will be a little higher than WOM. The only question in my mind is “How can you trust someone you don’t know when s/he refer you? The internet can answer that question through few opinions and coments found all over the net if you take an extra step to do your research.

  3. NOTHING will ever replace face-to-face (as opposed to Facebook)communication and building of relationships.

    Nothing. People crave contact with one another. To know and trust someone means having all the senses engaged (seeing, hearing, to some limited sense touch – even if just a handshake), over a period of time. You can’t do this on a computer, I don’t think even audio video suffices. We need to be with each other, at least initially.

  4. I am in complete agreement with Margaret – AND I recognize that improvements in technology and networking sites such as LinkedIn or Passito have a role to play. The technology is the tool. – The power lies in the “connection”, or ability to be trustworthy and trust someone. Thanks Margaret.

  5. I too support Margaret’s point of view. There is nothing like a personal relationship as a firm foundation for passing referrals. The ideal setting for developing such relationships is within a BNI chapter. It’s all about trust not commission or a hand out. I speak from experience! Thank you Dr Misner for reminding us that networking does involve work cultivating relationships, not sitting back and waiting for it to happen.

    Sabina L A Brown, Battle BNI, East Sussex, UK

  6. I share the points put across by Martgaret. All senses are required to develop a good long lasting business. If not all the time at least initially its is must. One has to walk that extra mile to build the sound foundation.
    Narendra Damani Awesome BNI Bangalore India

  7. Coming from the IT field into Real Estate, I can tell you that you can do a lot with technology but it will never replace face to face contact and relationship building. Margaret is the right one here. To think that the idea that personal referrals could somehow be dead due to some technological achievement is silly.

  8. I have been a member of BNI 1 year later than Dr. Misner began the 1st Chapter. I recently had the opportunity to listen to Dr. Misner at a networking dinner. He gave us profound information once again as a great leader and networking guru. BNI is the Best Network Invented and I’m honored to be asked to become an assistant director here in the SW Las Vegas area. I look forward to helping people realize the importance of the agreement they sign when they agree to join a chapter. I also have an online travel business. If people are failing in their business it’s probably because they are not doing what is required of them to be successful. Many times that is the case with a failing member of BNI. There are reasons for the structure.
    Without structure things collapse. Good selling to all!
    Suzanne Burt whitefoxtravel@helloworld.com

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