Practice Givers Gain With Those Who Earn Credibility

Practice Givers Gain With Those Who Earn Credibilitystring(52) "Practice Givers Gain With Those Who Earn Credibility"

Imagine living in a world where you spend your work week meeting with highly qualified potential clients; returning calls and emails regarding quality referrals from current customers and other business associates; and having a trusted group of like-minded professionals who are eager to help you succeed. It sounds wonderful, right?

The Three R’s of Networking

Many successful people live in this type of world through the results of their business networking efforts. They know the Three R’s of Networking and invest the time to use them effectively.
Relationships – building a strong foundation with others
Reliability – building credibility with networking partners
Referrals – receiving referrals from your networking group and giving referrals to them

Giving and receiving business referrals in mutually beneficial relationships that are built on trust is what the Givers Gain® philosophy is all about. It’s about helping others, knowing that “what goes around, comes around.”

Giving opportunities to others would be a fine way to spend our days. Is it possible, though, that this giving could go wrong? Yes, we need to be aware that it can.

The VCP Process

When giving referrals, always keep the VCP Process® in mind.
You are in visibility with someone when they know you are and what you do. You are in credibility when they know who you are, what you do, and that you’re good at it. You are in profitability with someone when you are receiving referrals from them on an ongoing reciprocal basis. It takes time to move through the VCP Process.
What’s the lesson here? Practice Givers Gain with those who have earned credibility… lest it become Givers “Pain.”

This is a story about a friend of mine and a referral that turned into a painful experience.
Ryan loved boating with his friends and family during the summer. However, he found it rather “unfun” and time-consuming when it came to winterizing and storing the boat for the winter. He decided that he would gladly pay someone else to do it for him. He asked a good friend and boat dealer whom he recommended for those services. Because the friend was someone that Ryan trusted, he took his advice and hired Simon to winterize his boat. Well, Simon took four times longer than he promised, which meant the engine was not winterized by the first frost of the winter – not a good thing. He also left the boat uncovered in the rain and sleet for five days, soaking the interior. He didn’t return Ryan’s calls, compounding the bad experience.

As the giver of the Simon referral, Ryan’s friend felt terrible, yet Ryan felt that he was unlikely to take any more recommendations from him in the future.

Three Ways to Practice Givers Gain

Here are three ways to practice Givers Gain so that it will not become Givers “Pain.”

  1. Understand the disclaimer: No matter how solid the relationship you have with your referral partner, always let the person you are referring to them know that your experience with them in the past is your best indication of how they will perform in the future. No one expects you to be a fortune teller. They, too, will be surprised if a deal goes poorly if you have shown them all the reasons this person is a good choice. Nonetheless, there are no guarantees in life; we all understand that.
  2. Set the stage: Lean positively on the relationship and give the referral with accountability. If Ryan’s friend had first made a call to Simon and said, “I am going to send you someone who means a lot to me, and I need you to take care of them,“ that call could have changed everything. A personal call should be the minimum. In the example, what if all three of them met at the boat dock to walk through the expectations as a team? Would the referral have had a better outcome? Possibly. Yes, it may sound like a lot of work on the part of the referral giver, but considering how poorly this recommendation went, do you think he wished he would have done this? Absolutely.
  3. Realize that time always proves worth: I have witnessed thousands of visitors attending BNI® networking meetings over the years and am always amazed when I see members pass immediate referrals to first-time guests, and vice versa. I often hear later that some deals went poorly, or someone never followed up. There was no time investment to build credibility and prove reliability with the new acquaintance before giving a referral.

Remember, building relationships that lead to business referrals takes time. Proving yourself over and over, and over again, is the way to earn trust and referrals from your networking partners. Taking the three steps above when giving referrals can help avoid Givers “Pain,” making it a good experience for all.

Beware the Networking Disconnectstring(32) "Beware the Networking Disconnect"

Many people confuse direct selling with networking. They show up at a networking event wanting to make a sale. However, nobody attends a networking event hoping to buy something. In this video, I share a story about the Networking Disconnect.

This video is part of my Master Class from the BNI®  2021 Global Convention.

 

 

Networking is NOT Cold Calling

Unfortunately, people still use networking events as a face-to-face cold calling opportunity. They meet someone new and immediately go into sales mode. They want you to do business with them without asking any questions about you, your business, your interests, or your needs. Understandably, the people who have experienced that type of interaction at an event say that they dislike networking.

However, business networking done right can be enjoyable AND profitable. Master networkers know that networking is more about farming than it is about hunting. It is all about developing relationships with other professionals. They know that networking events are about moving through the VCP Process®, not about closing deals. They attend events to increase their visibility or to establish credibility with people they know. Sometimes they meet with a long-time referral partner to continue their profitable business relationship. 

The best way to network is to CONNECT with people. Get to know them. Build a relationship and learn about their business so you can help them get more business. Referral marketing works because of the mutually beneficial relationships built within the Givers Gain® philosophy of helping others.

resist networking

Why People Resist Networkingstring(28) "Why People Resist Networking"

Every year, people continue to resist networking even though successful people have used networking to grow their businesses. Networking provides a great return for a much smaller monetary investment as compared to the cost of traditional advertising. Why are so many business owners still not networking as a way to grow their business?

The four reasons why people resist networking

  • They are frozen by their fear

Having a fear of rejection keeps people from networking. The fear of interacting with strangers is paralyzing. Having low self-confidence, shyness, or an under-estimation of what they can contribute are reasons why they resist networking. Giving in to these fears is just plain bad for business.

  • They are too busy

Not having time to network is another excuse many people use as to why they are not networking. People believe that they are too busy already. They think that it is not worth the time or stress it takes to network. They resist networking because they believe that their current time obligations are more important. Being “too busy” is an excuse when people are not clear on their networking goals.

  • They are “hunting”

People resist networking because they expect immediate results. They are impatient and don’t understand the value of taking the time to build strong relationships first. “Hunters” want a quick sale as opposed to following up and establishing credibility over time with others. They do not follow up with the people they connect with and get no results.

  • They are talking more

People often resist networking because they pitch their sale in a room full of competition. I was at a big networking event with more than 500 people in the UK one year, and the person who spoke before me asked the audience: “How many of you came here hoping to do some business–maybe make a sale?”  More than half the people in the audience raised their hands. He then asked, “How many of you are here hoping to buy something?” No one raised a hand–not one single person! This is the networking disconnect and they are not listening.

The four reasons why successful people network

  • They are focused by their fear

Successful people are not blocked by fear. They are focused on meeting others when networking. Not only are they building their business visibility, but successful networkers also have a good time building new relationships with others.

  • They value their networking time

Successful people have clear networking goals. They know what they want to gain with their networking time. Successful networkers have learned that breaking out of their routine is an enriching experience. They have found ways to incorporate networking into their schedule.

  • They are “farming”

Networking is not a “get-rich-quick” scheme. Successful networking is more about farming than it is about hunting. We have to cultivate good relationships that pay us back over the long term, year after year. Networking works by building credibility with strong relationships.

  • They are listening more

Networking is not like “cold-calling.” It is not something you do to someone. It is something you do with them. Networking is a conversation. It involves more listening. Don’t forget that a good networker has two ears and one mouth and should use both of them proportionately.

Networking involves building a strong relationship. The first of the three phases of networking is visibility. You and other individuals become aware of each other. When networking, you become genuinely interested in the other person as you get to know each other. This interest in each other leads to credibility with each other. This credibility will build and will create opportunities over time to provide referrals. Those referrals will ultimately lead to profitability resulting from your networking efforts.

VCP process

The VCP Process with Tiffanie Kellogstring(36) "The VCP Process with Tiffanie Kellog"

We simply can’t achieve success at networking without strategically building VCP = visibility, earning credibility, and then ultimately gaining profitability.

VCP is a referral process, not a sales process. If the majority of your clients aren’t giving you referrals, then you are only at Credibility with your clients, not at Profitability. It’s possible that you can have a lot of Visibility and a lot of Credibility, but NOT have Profitability. Rather than a formula, VCP is a continuum. Before you can refer to someone, you will need to know, like, and trust them.

In this guest video blog, Tiffanie Kellog, a trainer for Asentiv Florida, explores the three stages of the VCP process. Click here to watch.

In short, your goal should be to first enter Visibility with people, then perform activities that will help you build trust and Credibility with them, and finally through time and the strengthening of that relationship, they will most likely pass you consistent referrals in the Profitability stage.  After all, “It’s not who you know, it’s who knows you.

VCP process

“Frustrated You Are Not Receiving More Referrals ” by Tiffanie Kellogstring(73) "“Frustrated You Are Not Receiving More Referrals ” by Tiffanie Kellog"

Learn about the receiving more referrals in this video.

Tiffanie Kellog, trainer for Asentiv Florida, explores the VCP process as it relates to what stage of the referral relationship you are in with others to build referral sources. #vcp

The VCP Process®: V + C Does Not = Pstring(37) "The VCP Process®: V + C Does Not = P"

Lately I have seen a lot of people who have been using the VCP Process® (Visibility, Credibility, Profitability) like it’s a formula: Visibility + Credibility = Profitability.

The fact remains, however, that VCP is a referral process, not a sales process. If the majority of your clients aren’t giving you referrals, then you are only at Credibility with your clients, not at Profitability. It’s possible that you can have a lot of Visibility and a lot of Credibility, but NOT have Profitability. Rather than a formula, VCP is a continuum.

Once you achieve Credibility (and not before), you then need to start asking for referrals in order to achieve Profitability. Profitability does not result automatically from Visibility and Profitability.

If you were previously unfamiliar with the VCP Process and have questions about it, please ask them in the comment forum below.  I believe that VCP is the single most important concept in networking and I’m more than happy to answer your questions.  Also, if you’re familiar with VCP and you’ve been using the process for a while, please share some of your experiences–I’d love to hear them.

Don’t Make a Mess of Your Message — “Navigating the VCP Process® to Networking” Seriesstring(99) "Don’t Make a Mess of Your Message — “Navigating the VCP Process® to Networking” Series"

TR Garland (pictured with me in the photo below) is a friend of mine and co-author of one of my most recent #1 best-selling books called Building The Ultimate Network

TR-and-Ivan-Blue-Backgrou
For some time now, we’ve both observed a need to drill down on one of the most important and foundational concepts to networking – The VCP Process®.  A while ago, we started a much-anticipated 12-part series of blog posts which addresses this and contains some very timely information for networkers across the globe. Today, we’re proud to share with you Part 11 of the series. Enjoy.

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DON’T MAKE A MESS OF YOUR MESSAGE
(Part 11 of 12 of the “Navigating The VCP Process® To Networking” Series)

In Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 , Part 4, and Part 5 of this series, we introduced and re-introduced the concept and steps of The VCP Process® to Networking for our readers through brief anecdotes, relevant comparisons, and sometimes even humorous situations. For Parts 6 and 7 we even shared with you video trainings from the both of us.

In Part 8, we suggested some behaviors that you can use on a weekly basis to increase the number of referrals you receive. And, as a result, we got a couple phone calls complimenting us about how that particular blog post clearly outlined what type of behaviors a successful networker should be practicing on a weekly and monthly basis – and we were asked to provide more. We fulfilled that request in Part 9.

And, in Part 10, we addressed that ‘Mindset’ has as much to do with your success in networking as ‘Skillset’.

Today, we’re going to build upon all of the varying topics and techniques we’ve used to help you understand how best to Navigate The VCP Process® To Networking.

Let’s begin by asking you a very important question–What is the MOST famous speech in the history of the United States?  (Yes…we understand that many of our readers are internationally-based. We appreciate that very much. With that said, please bear with us and you too will be pleasantly surprised by the end of this post at what you’re about to learn.)

Okay. Now back to the question. What’s the MOST famous speech in the history of the United States?  Anyone? . . . Anyone?  Was it President John F. Kennedy (i.e., JFK) in which he said, “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.”?  Was it Dr. Martin Luther King (i.e. MLK) in which he said, “I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up, live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal’.”?  Or, was it Abraham Lincoln (i.e. Abe) in the Gettysburg Address in which he said, “Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.”?  Have your voting ballots been placed? Are you ready for the answer?

Well, it was the Gettysburg Address by Abraham Lincoln. Yep, the Gettysburg Address.The SECOND most famous speech was Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I Have A Dream” and the THIRD most famous speech was John F. Kennedy’s “Ask Not What Your Country Can Do For You”.

Now, here are another 3 questions for you:  How long was MLK’s speech?  It was 1,651 words.  How long was JFK’s Inaugural Address on January 20th, 1961?  Well, it was 1,366 words.  How long was the Gettysburg Address? . . . Anyone?  It was only 272 words. It was only 2 minutes long. It was only 10 sentences.  Therefore, one could interpret that it was CLEAR, CONCISE, and COMPELLING. And, by being all three of these, the audience who was listening “got it” the first time Abraham Lincoln delivered his speech.  Did you know that there was actually a Featured Speaker that same day that spoke for over 2 hours? We didn’t. And, most people don’t know that either. His name was Edward Everett and this proves our point today.

So, our recommendation to each and every one of you reading this today is to tell this story to your BNI Chapters, Chambers of Commerce, and other Networking Groups you’re involved in.

We understand that many of you are from a variety of different countries. Yet, this doesn’t matter. It doesn’t dilute the important point that’s been made. After you tell your BNI Chapters, Chamber Members, and others whom you network with this story, let them know that you are going to work with everybody to make sure that their “messaging” is CLEAR, CONCISE, and COMPELLING.  Because, if it’s not…it simply won’t be as effective in today’s networking environments.

When people are concerned (i.e. fuss and complain) about what to do when the time allotted for their introductions (in BNI they’re called Sales Manager Minutes) gets cut down to 45 or 30 seconds due to a growing group or Chapter….reference this story.  When people are concerned (i.e. fuss and complain) about their Keynote Presentations getting cut down from 12 and 10 minutes to 8 and 6 minutes….reference this story.

In closing, let’s take a very valuable lesson from the History Books. If Abraham Lincoln could make such a difference and be remembered decades & decades later after delivering only 10 sentences, what are YOUR 10 SENTENCES that will make a massive impact on your network?
We thank you for reading today’s post and extend an invitation to be on the lookout for next month’s contribution to this series – Part 12 called “Using Social Media To Navigate The V-C-P Process®.”

 

Are You on the Right Track with Career Networking?string(50) "Are You on the Right Track with Career Networking?"

Despite what a lot of people might think, there are actually many more similarities between business networking and career networking.  In this short video, I point out some of the key similarities between these two types of networking and explain the ideal time for people to start thinking about their career needs and making efforts toward career networking.

Watch the video now to learn the five magic words that can completely change the dynamic of potentially challenging conversations and open the way to form important, lasting connections and beneficial relationships in your networking efforts and throughout your career.

Also, if you have a story about how you have used basic networking skills within your job, before you were looking for a job, or as you were starting a job, I’d really love to hear from you.  Please share your story in the comment forum below and be sure to submit your story at www.SubmitYourNetworkingStory.comWhen you submit your story via SubmitYourNetworkingStory.com, it will be considered for inclusion in the upcoming networking book I’m writing with Jack Canfield and Gautam Ganglani.  Thanks in advance for your participation–I’m looking forward to reading your stories!

The Darkside of the VCP Process®string(33) "The Darkside of the VCP Process®"

The dark side of the VCP Process® occurs when people get disconnected from what networking is really all about–they’re not carrying out the VCP Process as it is meant to be carried out and that’s when everything goes wrong.

As I mentioned in the video blog I posted last week, Jack Canfield, Gautam Ganglani, and I are currently working together on a book about networking.  Today’s video is, again, one of several short videos I’ll be posting which cover networking topics that we will be focusing on in the book.  These videos are the result of brainstorming sessions for the book and in this particular video, I explain the networking disconnect–the unfortunate occurrence which takes place when everybody comes to a networking event to sell yet nobody comes to buy.

If you have a story relating to the ‘networking disconnect’ which fits the criteria I describe in the video, please visit www.SubmitYourNetworkingStory.com to submit your story for a chance to be published in the upcoming book on networking that Jack Canfield, Gautam Ganglani, and I will be publishing.  Also, I’d love for you to briefly summarize your story in the comment forum below as well.  Thanks in advance for your participation!

The VCP Process® Explained–What’s Your VCP Story?string(62) "The VCP Process® Explained–What’s Your VCP Story?"

As some of you may know, Jack Canfield, Gautam Ganglani, and I are currently working together on a book about networking.  This short video is one of many others, some of which I’ll post in the future, that cover networking topics which we will be focusing on in the book.  The videos are the result of brainstorming sessions for the book and in this particular video, I explain each step of the VCP Process® approach to networking in careful detail, emphasizing that credibility is really the key to networking success.

I share a personal story which demonstrates why trying to drum up referrals from people you’ve never met before is an exercise in futility as you’re not even at the visibility stage with them, and I outline the absolute best way to establish credibility with others.

If you have a story relating to the VCP Process® which fits the criteria I describe in the video, please visit www.SubmitYourNetworkingStory.com to submit your story for a chance to be published in the upcoming book on networking that Jack Canfield, Gautam Ganglani, and I will be publishing.  Also, I’d love for you to briefly summarize your story in the comment forum below as well.  Thanks in advance for your participation!

 

Hyper-Active Visibility Is Not a Good Thing!string(44) "Hyper-Active Visibility Is Not a Good Thing!"

Years ago, I met a woman who was known as the consummate networker – she had hundreds (if not thousands) of contacts, giving her a wide-ranging network made up of people from all walks of life.  She was well-known as the go-to person if anyone needed anything.  Then, one day during a conversation she and I were having, she dropped a bombshell . . . she said that her networking efforts weren’t really paying off for her.  She went on at some length about all the groups she went to, all the people she met, and how she had made all these contacts and was continuing to make more all the time but wasn’t actually getting any solid business from her efforts.

Why wasn’t she seeing real results?  Because despite her great talent for making contacts and gaining visibility, she was never really getting to the heart of what networking is about–building relationships.  She was so busy running around and making appearances that she wasn’t ever learning how to actually “work” the networks she had built in order to build deep relationships with people and develop credibility with them.

It’s true that she was visible in the community–very visible, actually.  The problem was that she viewed “activity” as an “accomplishment” when it came to her networking efforts.  Her network was a mile wide but only an inch deep.  She had not taken the next, and most important, networking step with the many, many people in her wide-reaching network–she never devoted the time to developing the kind of rapport with any of them that would allow them really get to know her, like her, trust her, and want to pass her business.

I bring this up because I just recently saw the same thing with someone I’ve known for a few years.  He made a consistent habit of going to every single networking meeting/event he could go to and he was incredibly visible.   Not only was he always at networking meetings but he was always full of energy and enthusiasm from the time he arrived to the time he left.  Again, the problem was in no way due to a lack of activity, effort or enthusiasm in regard to putting himself out there and meeting new people; the problem was that he was running around so much that he never stopped long enough to spend the time necessary to establish the kind of long-term roots that lead to an ongoing, reciprocal referral relationship.

If your goal is to significantly grow your business, networking with your main focus being solely to make as many contacts as possible will not help you achieve your aim.  If you’re networking in this way, you’re also guaranteed to get burned out on networking because constantly being on the go and trying to keep track of hundreds of people who you don’t really know is exhausting.  There needs to be a balance between the visibility-creating aspect of your networking efforts and the credibility-creating aspects of your networking efforts.

What are your thoughts on the ideal networking focus/approach?  What do you feel your main networking focus is currently?  I’d love to hear your thoughts and, also, if you know someone with the type of  hyper-visibility networking style I describe in this blog, please share what you’ve observed as far as their networking technique and how you think it has worked out for them.  Thanks!

 

Want Visibility, Credibility, & Profitability? First You Need One Thing . . . Relationshipsstring(96) "Want Visibility, Credibility, & Profitability? First You Need One Thing . . . Relationships"

I’ve mentioned the VCP Process® time and time again throughout the years on this blog site because we simply can’t achieve success at networking without strategically building visibility, earning credibility, and then ultimately gaining profitability.  The key to all three of these things, however, is found in one thing . . . relationships.

In this short video, my good friend Lisa Nichols and I explain how building quality relationships is the single most powerful thing you can do to position yourself for success and fulfillment in every area of your life.  As Lisa puts it, when you nurture your relationships with good intention, people will innately want to give back to you.  Lisa talks about how she has built her entire business through investing in quality relationships (as have I) and because of this, her business has grown by double digits each and every year.

Lisa and I are a perfect example of how building quality relationships with others can enrich your life and your business in amazing ways.  Over the years since we first met at a TLC Conference, we have developed a deep respect for one another and an irreplaceable friendship through our mutual dedication to helping each other in any way we can.

Watch the video now and think about how you might take specific actions in the coming weeks to invest in building quality relationships with those around you . . . who would you most like to approach and ask, “How can I help you? . . . Is there something I might be able to do for you in order to help you meet your goals?”

I would love to hear your feedback on this video or how you are going to take action in the near future toward nurturing your new and existing relationships.  Please leave your ideas and thoughts in the comment forum below–AND . . . I’ll send a surprise gift to the first ten people who add to their comment the correct answer as to where another of my good friends (Bob) is hiding in this video.  He may not be so easy to spot this time but I promise he’s there just begging to be noticed!  (NOTE: To ensure you receive your gift, you’ll need to send your full name and mailing address to Erin@bni.com after you leave your comment in the comment forum below).  Thanks in advance for your input and participation!

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Also, Bob says he really recommends that you click here (www.MotivatingTheMasses.com) to read more about Lisa and the inspiring work she does on a daily basis. 

 

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