The 29% Solution: Give to Others First

Week Five – Give to Others First – working through The 29% Solution in 2014

Have you heard the phrase ‘Givers Gain’? It is the ethos of the networking organisation BNI and underlines everything its members do; it is the principle that you give to others first – if I refer business to you, you will want to refer business to me.

This is the timely focus of Week Five of The 29% Solution – so after creating your networking plan, blocking out time to network, profiling your ideal client and recruiting your word-of-mouth marketing team it is time to put others first!

Whoever you are, you have a wealth of referrals to find and give to those in your network, in your word-of-mouth marketing team. Yet this can prove tricky and as a Director Consultant with BNI Berkshire it is the question I am most often asked – ‘how do I find referrals?’

As the authors Dr. Ivan Misner and Michelle R. Donvovan put it:

You are the gatekeeper to the resources locked inside your network.

Within BNI we offer training for finding referrals as there are so many different approaching to unlock those gates and belying the American origins of BNI they use good old Charlie Brown and his catchphrase of ‘Good grief’ which he utters every time life doesn’t go his way.

The book argues you can use ‘good grief’ to find referrals to match with others in your network. It suggests when people complain about their problems and challenges, as they so often do, instead of nodding sympathetically, why not solve them by telling them about someone in your network who can solve the problem – and then when you have permission you can ask the problem solver to get in touch with them.

Establish a reputation for this and people will seek you out for help with their problems and deliver you a wealth of potential referrals, making it easy for you to give to others first.

This networking strategy can go one step further the book explains, you could email your network listing the proven professionals and trades in your network and inviting people to contact you if they need help from any of them. Clever eh?

It suggests a text for this email or letter and urges you to send it out to your network as one of the actions and the other action is to ensure you have a ready supply of business cards from all those people you refer business to.

What do you do to find referrals? Share you tips here as after all, Givers Gain!