BNI Elevate is a networking community organized to help our members make more money through structured collaboration and referrals.
Recently, we learned that we are sitting on a gold mine here at Elevate, and we’ve learned that the most important aspect of our gold mine is our fellow gold miners, both members and visitors.
Last week, I discussed getting your LinkedIn profile ship shape and then using virtual connection requests there to make real world connections here by inviting them to visit Elevate.
This week, let’s mine some gold from LinkedIn in the form of referrals, and you can use these tactics both on 121s or at Power Team meetings, but only if you have already built relationships with your fellow members and gotten past the ‘know, like, and trust’ phase.
If you haven’t gotten past the ‘know, like, and trust’ phase, please focus on building relationships first before using these proactive methods of referral mining.
So back to mining referrals on LinkedIn.
First, and most important, is to have the right mindset, and that is that you are primarily looking to help someone with something that might not be on their radar. Giving the referral to your fellow member is secondary to that. Be willing to help people and referrals naturally happen.
At your 121 or Power Team meeting, everyone there should open their laptop or smartphone to LinkedIn and/or their contacts file.
Then you go around the table and each member picks one job title, and gives one solid reason why a person with that job title would be interested in meeting them. The ‘solid reason’ must be a big idea.
Then we search for those people within each our LinkedIn contacts or client contacts.
Once we have a short list, each member will send out 3 to 5 email that read something like this….
I just had breakfast with John Cipollone. He’s one of the top CPAs in Manhattan with International Taxation expertise.
He said art galleries & their owners love chatting with him because they can advise on the cross-border tax issues that are common in the art industry, so I thought of you.
Let me know if you’d like an intro to John and I’ll make that happen. If not, no worries, and I hope all is well with you.
Most of your contacts will say that they are not interested, but each of them will thank you for thinking of them.
Now going back to my example, notice that I didn’t say John would like to sell you accounting services. I said people like you are interested in learning how John might solve their cross border tax issues.
Remember, the key to doing this effectively is the big idea, since the people you are emailing have not expressed an interest in meeting John, so the big idea should get them thinking that they need to examine something that is not currently on their radar.
This proactive method of contacting people is low key and low stress, just make sure you’re not overwhelming the same people again and again with these requests.
That means you should only reach out to a particular contact with this proactive method, once or twice per year.
If you do this effectively on every 121, you should end up 5 email that went out, and 1 lead coming back in.
If you do this effectively at your Power Team meetings, you should end up 20 email that went out, and multiple leads coming back in.
The result will be a dozen extra sales per year, so put these tactics to use at your upcoming 121 and power team meetings and I guarantee that you will make more money!