A 3 Part Series
by Brandon Souba
Let’s start with the basics: What does VCP stand for?
- V – Visibility
- C – Credibility
- P – Profitability
When I first learned about this it was presented as an equation. If you have Visibility plus Credibility it would equal Profitability. But Ivan himself did a podcast on correcting this (https://www.bnipodcast.com/2015/08/19/vcp-is-not-a-formula/). It is not an equation but a continuum. You are always working on all three and just because you have the pieces in place it may not lead to Profitability right away, but it can. However, even when it does you are still in need of keeping the VCP process top of mind.
In this blog I will focus on Visibility.
I ask all my Member Success Program classes, “What is the best way to build Visibility in a BNI Chapter?” No matter where I am in the region I receive the same answer. “Show up to the meetings.”
It is that simple. Show up to the meeting. When you attend your weekly meetings you are building you visibility so members know who you are and what you do. Think about this; how can people refer you if they don’t have you top of mind. Did you know originally, when BNI was The Network 33 years ago, they met every other week? That’s right; it was not always a weekly meeting. A member asked the question, “What if…” What if we meet every week vs. every other week? Ivan figured you would pass the same amount of referrals as you would before, but you would pass less at a time vs have 2 weeks’ worth built up. Regardless, the chapter took on the challenge to meet every week and what happened was a surprise to everyone. The referrals went up 52% by meeting every week vs every other! “Why?” you may ask. Because the businesses were top of mind for all the members each week. It made a huge impact to the BNI world!
With that knowledge, can you see how important your visibility is? If you are not at your weekly meeting people will not have you top of mind and you are less likely to receive a referral because of it. On top of that, the more weekly presentations you give the more you are educating your fellow members. The more they know about your business the more they can actively look and find your referrals you ask for.
Now let’s take this idea outside of BNI. I have a family tree that lost a few branches along the way. It is sad, but the selling of a farm tore my mom’s family side apart. Thanks to Facebook I have an idea on what my cousins are up to, but if you asked me to tell you the names of their kids or even how many they have, I would fail. The reason for this is I have no visibility with them. I have not seen my cousins in ages and I have never seen their kids. So how could I know who they are and what they are all about? It is the same situation with you and your business in BNI. If members don’t see you they won’t know who you are.
What about going to networking events. When you go to events and not many people have met you before you are just starting the visibility process. I think this is the biggest challenge to overcome when you start networking your business. I find it frustrating to see the Chamber members that attend all the events and know everyone. It frustrates me because I want to start there vs. start with the first step of visibility. People must first learn who you are and what you do. But think about how many events you attend a month. Is it one or two or maybe three? Regardless, I am sure the number changes on a monthly basis due to family, travel, or busy times for your profession. But think about this number game; you go to BNI 4 times a month. On top of that you have 1 One-to-One a week and maybe attend a social event with the chapter on a quarterly basis. That is basically 9 opportunities a month to build your visibility with your fellow members. That means you would need to attend 9 networking events a month to get anywhere near the visibility you build in your BNI Chapter. Sound like work? You bet it is! But we can all agree attending 9 events a month would make you known in that group real quick, but the visibility would not come without the hard work.
I hope I have shown you that Visibility, be it one of the easiest of the VCP process, still takes work and dedication. We are lucky BNI creates an environment and gives us the structure to stream line the opportunity to build our visibility with our fellow members, but you need to make the commitment on your side to gain it. Show up to your meetings! If you can’t show up, have a sub. You build credibility with the chapter when you have a sub, but I don’t want to get a head of myself. Credibility is for next month!
My challenge for you is to start focusing on building your visibility; be it with your chapter or your friends. Having strong visibility creates stronger relationships. If we all have stronger relationships inside and outside of our business it is more likely to have a stronger profitability in life.