by Carrie Langston-Dorhout
"People do not buy goods and services. They buy relations, stories and magic." -Seth Godin
What is a testimonial? One online consulting company tells us that testimonials are written or recorded statements that support your credibility and level of expertise. They also strengthen your reputation by expressing the trust that other people have in you and your business offerings.
Google defines a testimonial as "a formal statement testifying to someone's character and qualifications."
I like both of these definitions and find them to echo some core fundamentals of BNI and why BNI works for thousands of business owners across the globe. Let me explain. BNI is built on the principle of the VCP Process: Visibility, Credibility and Profitability. We talk about these a lot with our new members in the Member Success Program. Building our credibility with our members is key to our success in BNI.
As we look at the definitions of a testimonial above, we can see how positive and encouraging statements about our fellow members can rapidly and dramatically increase our level of credibility. Credibility also requires trust. When we give or hear testimonials, it is one of the quickest ways to earn the trust of our members. This is one of the reason why BNI is the most powerful networking organization in the world. BNI members have the opportunity every single week to give testimonials, expediting the speed of trust, creating favorable conditions for profitability.
Ahh, Profitability, the ultimate goal of networking, right? It can start with something as simple, yet powerful, as a testimonial. When was the last time you gave a testimonial for one of your chapter members? Are you creating opportunities for your members to be able to give testimonials about you? Give it a try at your next chapter meeting!
(Acknowledgments; CompuKol.com, Google, for definition of a testimonial.)