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 amazon.com. 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.