Networking reputations are in the spotlight at every networking event you attend. Make sure you don’t make this one big mistake.
We know that personal reputation is hard won, easily thrown away. So why do people think so little of their reputation that they dilute it each time they pass a lead.
Let me put this in perspective. If someone was to pass you lead at a networking event you would be pleasantly surprised and possibly, get excited. However, in my view, at a referral meeting like BNI (Business Network International), it could be seen as the lazy option and actually destroy your reputation.
Unlike ordinary networking meetings, BNI focuses on qualified referrals (personal introductions). When you receive a referral at a BNI meeting you can reasonably be assured that a) the person you are being introduced to known to be in the market for your product or service and b) they are looking forward to your meeting in anticipation (maybe excitement).
I don’t know about you, but if someone gives me an introduction based on this criteria, it’s something to be excited about. A genuine opportunity to do business and my reputation has been expanded upon by the person making the introduction.
A lead is merely the passing on of a name we ‘think’ might be an opportunity. Three important elements are missing. a) neither of us knows for sure if the person is in the market for my services b) they are not expecting my call c) they know nothing about me as the person making the introduction has not actually made a personal introduction.
When someone passes me a lead, especially one disguised as a referral, I make an immediate judgement on the person who has given it to me. I am either impressed with the effort they’ve made and for thinking of me or I judge the person to be either lazy or half-hearted. Experience has shown me that where a lead is concerned, a wild goose chase and frustration follows.
Someone’s reputation for trust and integrity is silently highlighted in everything we do. A hard won reputation, so easily thrown away.
My advice. Don’t pass leads, seek qualification and build your networking reputation.
Rebecca Cross provides support for the BNI Dorset region as personal assistant to the Executive Direct, Paul Haley and as Director Consultant for a number of BNI Groups
Rebecca is also an Award Winning Virtual PA with a background experience working with IBM and the Wall Street Journal, amongst others. She specialises in providing creative business and administration support for entrepreneurs and business owners who understand the value of working on their business, rather than in their business.
She is especially looking to work with business start-ups, entrepreneurs and professionals who travel extensively Linkedin Profile