What is your tradition for the Friday after Thanksgiving? You know that day where usually sane and normal people go almost crazy scouring every flyer, newspaper and store internet site looking for those unbelievable “Back Friday” deals.
You might be wondering why am I talking about “Black Friday” when this post is supposed to be about networking? That’s a great question and I will share why as you read on.
For those who are not connoisseurs of Black Friday shopping, it’s is all about making sure that when that day in December comes there is a little something special under the tree for all to open and be thrilled. I am always amazed at the energy, time, and strategy that goes into planning a successful Black Friday trek.
What about your Rolodex? OK, what about your prospect, client and associates data base? As amazed as I am about the planning around Black Friday I am completely shocked at how little planning and strategy goes into preparing for a weekly BNI Chapter meeting.
The weekly BNI Chapter meeting should be like a little Christmas day where you bring your findings from all your business and social navigation during the prior week. As you are out and about each week are you capturing possible referrals for you folks in your BNI Chapter?
I keep a database (different from my phone address-book) where I put people I meet that might be potential referrals or BNI member prospects. At any given time I can pull up a list of those people I’ve marked as potential BNI members or referral possibilities and communicate with them to warm them up for a referral or invite for a chapter visit.
It’s my theory that the reason some chapter’s Visitor’s Day seems to cause so much angst is that members—that’s you and me—don’t have an organized database that they can easily sort to contact and invite someone to a visit a Chapter or search for referrals.
My challenge to you is this year; start to organize people you meet throughout the weeks and keep those contacts in such a way that you can mark them as referrals for the members of you BNI Chapter or to visit your BNI Chapter.
Here’s why. This is a part of an email I received from one of my clients that I invited to my BNI Chapter: “Thank you for inviting me to attend BNI this morning. It was a productive meeting for me in many ways. Besides two possible clients, I found business resources I’ve needed for quite some time – logo design, business card design and printing, banking, photography, credit card processing, and a massage therapist! Now that’s a productive morning!”
Let me know how you’re doing with this challenge. I’ll be more than happy to help you get started with a system like this.