Pot of GOLD

pot-of-gold “A book is a pot of Gold;” provided you read it.  So is every engagement in your life provided you mine it.   Last month a Dear friend Sridhar Sampat couriered me an invitation to a BNI meet.  I appreciated his gesture but did not take action.  Few days later I called him up for a referral and he remarked Vinod did you receive my invitation and are you coming?  I asked what’s in it for me and he replied we are expecting over 100 guests; bring in lots of visiting cards.  The phrase “100 GUESTS” struck my curiosity and promptly said  I will be there for the event. 

Sunday morning I got up early; left home early and still managed to reach the BNI event 30 minutes late.  BNI meets begin @ 7:00 in the morning and my excuse for being late was “Dubai – Sharjah traffic.”   The meeting hall was packed to the capacity but beyond the capacity there was tremendous learning because I could relate BNI practices to the business.  And I would like to share few BNI practices that every business can benefit from.

I came and I saw ? :  I believe as a standard practice in every BNI meet, members are expected to share four points in 60 seconds

  1. Their sales (elevator) pitch
  2. How many referrals they have created for others during the week?
  3. How many referrals they received during the week?
  4. How many received referrals were converted into business and how much revenue was booked during the week? 

Important thing is that members are recognized for the number of referrals generated for chapter members. The focus is you  whereas in our professional world, our focus is always “I me and I.”  BNI practices;  sharing referrals among chapter members and this builds a cohesive team with an attitude called “What can I do for my chapter members?”  Assume the club has 30 members. And when 30 members work on philosophy “what can I do for my 29 team mates” you begin experiencing positive outcomes for your business as well.  Call that as Law of Reciprocity – I scratch your back and you scratch mine.   This is one important practice that has a void in every sales organization.  Members of sales team stop thinking beyond themselves and ignore opportunities that come across for their team members    What if we develop a culture of proactively prospecting  for our  team members  – call it upsell or cross sell.

2nd thing I would like to bring out is the elevator pitch. BNI is the perfect platform to practice elevator pitch.  Was the elevators pitch clear to the members – if their answer is yes you are a success;  if not, you work to create a sticky elevator pitch. More sticky your elevator pitch means more business referrals.

3rd and the final lesson I would like to share was the lesson learned from member’s elevator pitch.   I learned from the sales pitch of BNI member Ramez .   I am taking Ramez elevator pitch and paraphrasing it for inbound marketing – LinkedIn pitch.   He said Success in sales is

  1. How many prospect you meet?  (Inbound marketing LinkedIn pitch = How many Groups, Companies and Connections you  engaged through sharing, commenting and posting content)
  2. Who did you meet? (Inbound marketing LinkedIn pitch = What types of connections you are engaged with – their Location, Industry, Company  and Title)
  3. How often you meet  them? (Inbound marketing LinkedIn pitch = How often you engage with your smart connections)
  4. Quality of your meet?  (Inbound marketing pitch = Did you take your engagement to next the level, did you move your serious engagement onto 1 to 1 skype or face to face meet) 

Friends in conclusion I would reiterate; there is a lesson in every engagement in our life provided we mine it.  Next time when you attend an event, seminar or a forum  – prospect for Gold, mine for gold and be the GOLD.