My BNI Chapter

I’m writing this from my hotel room in the Steinberg Conference Center at the University of Pennsylvania. I’m here helping with a Wharton Executive Education class this week. On the flight over these great United States, I read “Networking is a Contact Sport” by Joe Sweeney. Much of the content was familiar to me, but it’s always good to get a refresher. There was one main theme and one tactic that I thought I’d share today.

The overarching theme is the same one that is shared by BNI (see my chapter photo from last month above) which is “Givers Gain.” Of course, it’s worded differently in this book, but the sentiment is the same. First, be open to giving. Don’t foster a relationship just so that you can gain something. How can you help the other person? Who do you know who can be of assistance to them?

The specific tactic is called the 5/10/15 program by Joe Sweeney. This calls for 5 meetings , 10 correspondences (email/snail mail) and 15 phone calls. Let me define these for you so it’s not quite so overwhelming though. The 5 meetings are just face-to-face interactions. So, talking to someone in line at the coffee shop will ‘count.’ The 10 correspondences include any personal (not mass) email or snail mail messages. And yes, there really are 15 phone calls. I must admit that I’m not a ‘phone person’ so this last part sounds quite daunting to me. That said, I’m ready to give the basic idea of setting daily goals for interactions a try when I’m back in Berkeley.

The underlying concept of both the Givers Gain idea and the 5/10/15 program is related to paying attention to the behaviors that will yield the results that you want. This is especially important when there’s a lag between the behavior and the outcome (more customers) that you want. So, what behaviors are you taking that will yield the results you want for your business?