In my last article (Click here) I discussed what it takes to build the beginning level of credibility as a new member in a BNI Chapter. It does not take a lot of hard work to build that first level of credibility. You just need to show up, follow up and do what you say you are going to do.
When you build strong credibility with your members you will begin to get reactive referrals from your fellow members. If you have 40 people walking around carrying your message and remembering what referrals you are looking for, you can make a very good living.
The second level of credibility is strong credibility and it takes more time and more effort to build. If you have made it thru the first level of credibility and people are beginning to trust you it is time take intentional steps to move your relationships to a higher level of credibility. Here are some action steps you can take to begin to develop a higher level of credibility with your fellow members:
- Do a GAINS Exchange with those members who are in your contact sphere. Take the time to get to know your members at a deeper level. Don’t expect to get the entire GAINS Profile completed in one sitting and don’t worry about doing it in order.
- Learn more about your fellow members. Where have the worked in the past, who is their spouse, do they have children. What are there birth dates? Do they have pets?
- Volunteer to serve on the leadership team. When you are serving the chapter, you are showing your competency and building trust when you do it well. Serving your chapter demonstrates “Givers Gain.”
- Be a mentor to a new member. This will build your relationships deeper and more quickly when you are willing to help others. Once again this is also shows the value of Givers Gain.
- Talk to your director about being an ambassador. This will allow you to build even more relationships and to build your competency level. The more that people see you are developing your level of education, the more you are going to be seen as highly credible.
- Find referrals for you members. Take the time to develop referrals for the members you have had one-to-ones with. Show them that you are willing to give before you get. When you give others referrals they feel a sense of wanting to help you too. It will build your credibility to a very high level.
- Give it time. It will take 18 months to 2 years before you get the level of credibility you want.
The higher the value of your product the longer it will take for others to trust. A florist will get referrals early on because it takes very little trust to buy some flowers. But it will take the financial planner much longer to establish enough trust for you give them all of your money to invest.
Once you have built these relationships it is important to maintain them. The longer you maintain the relationship with your BNI members the deeper the trust and the more valuable the referrals will be.
There is more to networking than just showing up; you have to invest the time to build strong relationships. If you are willing to do that—put in the needed time and effort—you will reap greater rewards.
Keep It Simple
There are few women better at building a global network than Hazel Walker . Renowned for her straight talk and no-holds-barred approach, Hazel is a globally sought after speaker.