Dec 1, 2015

REFERRAL MARKETING, BNI, IS RELATIONSHIP MARKETING TOO

by Ivan Misner and Vince Vigneri


In Masters of Sales (Entrepreneur Press; September 2007), Ivan wrote a piece entitled “The Truth about Relationship Selling.”  He mentions in the piece how Dr. Harry Olson, author, speaker, and executive coach, helped me understand that the key to relationship selling lies in one’s ability to build relationships.  Dr. Olson stated:

“Relationship Selling works best when prospect and seller, in the course of meeting, discover a natural affinity or shared interests between them. This facilitates a common bond outside of the business context. The sales person who can create an emotional bond with the customer has the winning edge – hands down. This requires artful skills in relationship-building.”

Naturally, Relationship Networking applies the same foundation. Those that truly want to build a firm networking foundation know that they need to nurture their future referral partner and build up a relationship with them.  However, some businesspeople still make the mistake of assuming their phone will magically start ringing with referrals simply because they make a habit of handing out their business card to potential referral partners. 


In Reality, of course, simply handing out your business card to others is only a tiny step in the process of Relationship Networking—you must follow up with your contacts and continually make efforts at building successful relationships with them. According to Dr. Ivan Misner in the book Business By Referral, there are five things you should get to know about anyone you wish to establish a relationship with. These five points are outlined in what’s called The GAINS Profile.

Goals
Accomplishments
Interests
Networks
Skills

To supplement the five points in The GAINS Profile, I have slightly altered the Five Tips on How to Succeed at Relationship Selling, given by Dr. Harry Olson, to be:

Five Tips on How to Have a Successful Networking Plan

  1. Relationship skills must be worked on by both parties.
  2. Focus on methods and actions to work together.
  3. Get to know your referral partner’s business and support team.
  4. Identify “best practices” to find qualified referrals and implement a follow up system.
  5. Find ways to help each other outside of the business setting.

Building a true Networking Plan takes some effort, but the rewards are great. 


Remember, it is not NET-SIT
or NET-EAT,
It’s NETWORK! 


And if you work with your NETWORK, your business will prosper.