Will anybody please stand up? Anybody? Will explain how to receive quality referrals in BNI!
One of these days I am going to meet the entire community of Anybody. I have never met the Anybody’s but they are very popular to business people. There seems to be a whole clan of them worldwide but they are as scarce as hen’s teeth.
Do you know Anybody?
If you do, I know several thousand people who have products and services for you to buy, use or try.
Week after week BNI members stand up and ask for the same thing over and over again. “I sell widgets they are the best widgets in the market, so anyone who wants widgets should contact me.”
It appears that Anybody wants not only widgets, but also carpets cleaned, make up, chiropractic care, new cars, new homes, insurance, banking, loans, mortgages and on and on. Anybody is looking for everything and can buy anything.
BNI members complain they are not getting good referrals. In fact, they are just getting leads, but they are getting exactly what they are asking for—Anybody. When we use the word “anybody” that is a request for a lead. When BNI members get leads they call them junk because that is usually what a lead is.
So the question is….if you do not want leads why you keeping asking for Anybody? There was a real estate agent in my network who always said that she was looking for anybody who wanted to buy or sell a home. Over and over I would try to find her referrals and couldn’t find one before they put a for sale sign in the front yard and no matter how many times I asked her if she could tell me more about who she was looking for or how I would recognize them? The best she could do was tell me that she could help “anybody” who wanted to buy or sell a home.
One day I saw a man on the side of the road with his dog, I had seen him there many time so I stopped and started a conversation with him. I asked where he lived, would he be interested in a home for himself and his dog. Of course he said yes, but he had no money and could not get a home. I let him know that it might not be a problem I knew someone who said that she could get “anybody” a home. I gave him a few dollars and told him that I would talk to my friend, he laughed, said thank you, and I moved on.
I gave the real estate agent a referral for “Bob” and told her that I finally found an Anybody who wanted a home. I recommended that she follow up with him as he was expecting her visit, he was a very nice man. She told me all the reasons that she could not help him, he had no money, he could not qualify for a loan, she specialized in home $300,000 and up on the North side of town, primarily with families in a particular school district. She had never told me any of these things in the past.
How can you ever expect someone to find business for you when you do not tell them how to identify the person you want? Once the Real Estate Agent was able to describe who she wanted and then taught me how to identify people who might be preparing to sell, I became a regular source of business for her.
Your task is to do your homework, prepare for your BNI meeting and let your fellow business members know who your clients are, where can they be found, what do they do, how to recognize them, and what to say to them.
That means you have to take the time to figure it out. If you cannot do it on your own, a good business coach or marketing expert certainly can support you in identifying your ideal client.
Take the time to create an Avatar of your ideal customer or client and share it with your network. Remember it is your responsibility to teach them, it is not their responsibility to figure it out for you!
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.
Below is a Walker This Way video which will explain how you should be asking for your ideal client: