Aug 15, 2018


2018 BNI National Conference
April 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada

by Nellie Nutting

Can one person or event make that big of a difference?  If I miss this one meeting, will anyone even notice?  If I have that one piece of cheesecake will it really throw me off my eating plan?  Who cares if I miss that one workout?  I can jump back in tomorrow!

Do any of these sound familiar? These are conversations I have with myself daily.  I am a seasoned negotiator of all things regimented.  If I have the chance to adjust any schedule, my natural tendency is to do that, in every area of my life. Now that I am self-employed, more than ever in my work life, I flex my schedule (or try to) often.

The Book, The One Thing, by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan, talks about the importance of keeping the main event THE MAIN EVENT.  To pay attention to the ONE THING that you and ONLY YOU can do.  That THING that will make a BIG difference or IMPACT in your life and your business.  Do you have an idea of what your ONE THING is?  What about the IMPACT of YOU and what only YOU can do in the lives of those around you and your business.  This was the theme this year at our BNI National Conference held in April in Las Vegas.  I thought I would share the ONE THING that IMPACTED me at conference this year in hopes that it will be powerful information for someone else as well.

This was only my second BNI National Conference. Other than connecting with people, which I always find valuable, my favorite part both years has been the message and interaction with Dr. Ivan Misner.  He is so personable and approachable, and a great teacher!  If you haven’t listened to his podcasts, watched his videos, or visited his Facebook page, put that on the list for your next CEU’s (Chapter Education Moments).  As our BNI founder, he gives us a culture and a legacy that other organizations do not have. This year his message was his list of “forehead slapping moments” when he realized he had, “messed up real bad” or wondered, “What was I thinking?!” Those moments where we all find ourselves.  He gave us the top 12 list of things to do and NOT do when hoping to build a relationship with someone within our business world.  Just so we are on the same page I will list them below.  I have taken the liberty to apply, when appropriate, to our BNI business interactions, specifically 😀
  1. Don’t sell to them. This should not be the focus of your meeting.  Think of your 1 2 1’s – are you focusing on “How can I help you?” or “How can you help me?”
  2. Hang out where they hang out.  Have you been to their place of work?  Are you familiar with their space or do you expect them to come to you and find you.
  3. Whenever possible, Google them. See what they have listed on BNI Connect.  Look into their business so you can ask appropriate questions.
  4. Don’t forget diversity – you need many different people to influence your life.  Perhaps it is within a different contact sphere where you could find that great business partnership.
  5. Embrace discomfort.  The magic always happens outside your comfort zone.  So what if you are not sure you have anything at all in common – reach out and you might be surprised. 
  6. Don’t complain to them.  That will only work if you never want to see them again.  This is not the time to vent about your BNI chapter or a member.  It is also not the time to complain about their business specifically.  This is relationship time.
  7. Don’t be a sycophant – don’t work them to death.  Don’t ask them to volunteer for all YOUR important projects or ask for too many favors.
  8. Work within the context of setting - when and where you meet.  Is it a gym? Wear your tennis shoes.  Are you meeting after work?  Be casual.
  9. What are they interested in?  Find your overlap.  Ask lots of questions.  This is where you find your common ground.
  10. Add value to them.  Remember 1+1=3 is best.  Refer to them.  Share with them. Ask how you can help them.
  11. Don’t assume they remember all the things you have told them about you – assume nothing and don’t test them.  They may not have seen your latest Facebook post.
  12. Don’t sell to them.  Think that is #1 as well 😀

Now that we have a context of our networking with others, let’s take a closer look at what I believe was the key, the ONE THING in our BNI chapters that will make the greatest IMPACT in our success.  BUILDING STRONG RELATIONSHIPS.  Here is the beauty of the IMPACT of ONE.  One strong BNI connection within my chapter can “pay” many times over in my professional and personal life.  One person who teams up with me and has a synergistic relationship can bring energy to the whole team.  One missing connection found can link me to business contacts that will keep my business going for months or beyond.  The IMPACT of ONE is that powerful.

So, this is my challenge to you: Study the 12 strategies from Dr Misner.  Select someone in your chapter to develop a new or deeper relationship.  Start working on THAT – the ONE THING – for the next couple of months – on purpose.  See where it takes you!  Share your findings with your chapter and help them find their IMPACT.

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