9 Reasons to Become a Member

Business Networking is an invaluable tool to help expand knowledge, learn from the success of others, attain new clients, and tell others about your business. In the building trades it is a great way to gain new clients and to build a sustainable business. Here are the top 9 reasons to become a member of Building Trades Network (BTN).

  1. Generation of Referrals/Increased business

This is probably the most obvious benefit and the reason most business owners decide to participate in our networking activities and join our networking group.

The great news is that the referrals that you get through BTN are high quality and are often pre-qualified for you. In other words you are receiving much higher quality leads from BTN networking than other forms of marketing. The increase in business from networking can easily put an end to the income rollercoaster which we have all experienced at one time or another.

  1. Opportunities

With a motivated group of business owners in the building trades comes an abundance of opportunities! In fact this is where the benefits of business networking are huge!

Opportunities such as; joint ventures, client leads, partnerships, speaking and writing opportunities, business or asset sales the list goes on, and the opportunities within networking are really endless.

  1. Connections

Word of mouth is key in any business. Its not WHAT you know, but WHO you know. This is so true, isnt it? If you want a really successful business, then you need to have a great source of relevant connections in your network that you can call on when you need them.

Networking provides you with great sources and connections, and or course opens the door to talk to highly influential people that you wouldnt otherwise be able to easily talk to or find.

Its not just about who you are networking with directly either ? that person will already have a network you can tap into as well. So ask the right questions to find out if the person you are networking with knows who you want to know!

  1. Advice

Having like-minded business owners to talk to also gives you the opportunity to get advice from them on all sorts of things related to your business or even your personal life and obtaining that important work-life balance.

Networking is a great way to tap into advice and expertise that you wouldnt otherwise be able to get hold of. Because the advice is coming to you within the network you are more assured of getting solid advice from the right person ? someone that actually knows about what you need to know and is not just giving you their opinion on something that they have no or very little experience in.

  1. Raising your profile

Being visible and getting noticed is a big benefit of BTN. Make sure you regularly attend our weekly sales meetings and social events that will help to get your face known. You can then help to build your reputation as a knowledgeable, reliable, and supportive person by offering useful information or tips to people who need it. You are also more likely to get more leads and referrals as you will be the one that pops into their head when they need what you offer.

  1. Positive Influence

The people that you hang around with and talk to do influence who you are and what you do, so it is important to be surrounding yourself with positive, uplifting people that help you to grow and thrive as a business owner. Networking is great for this, as business owners that are using networking are usually people that are really going for it, positive and uplifting.

  1. Increased Confidence

By regularly networking, and pushing yourself to talk to people you dont know, you will get increased confidence the more you do this. This is really important as a business owner, because your business growth is very dependent on talking to people and making connections.

Networking is very advantageous for people that arent confident as it really pushes them to grow and learn how to make conversations and lasting connections with people they dont know.

  1. Satisfaction from Helping Others

Networking is a fantastic way to help others. BTN is full of business owners ?and clientele that have problems or issues that need solving, and there is great satisfaction from helping someone to solve a problem they have and get a fantastic result from it.

  1. Friendship

Lastly, this one is more personal related rather than business related, but is a big benefit none-the-less. Many friendships form as a result of networking because (mostly) you are all like-minded business owners that want to grow your businesses, and you meet and help each other regularly, so naturally strong friendships tend to form. Some of my strongest friendships have been started from networking.

Become a member TODAY! Contact us.

 

The BTN Vision

By Dominick Giambona
7/22/13

What is BTN?

Helping others,  that is how this whole thing got started. Laura, Paul McKelvey’s sister, would be asked, “Do you know a good window washer? A Rain gutter guy? A plumber?” She didn’t but she knew Paul did.

It got to the point they had a list of people they were calling upon. Then it hit them, “you know, we got something here, let’s figure out how to market this. ” They created their list put it on the internet and marketed it to various HOA’s
Back then, it was called the World Wide Web, it was nothing like it is now. Websites were pretty mundane, and everywhere you looked there was a list. List of jokes, list of saying’s, list of restaurants, celebrity lists, you name it.
Here is the interesting part, the internet changed and as it evolved so did Paul. It evolved to the Ganahl Contractor Directory, and eventually to Building Trades Network. He knew he would have to change or be left behind.
When he went to a BNI (Business Networking International) meeting. He looked around and said that format would work great if it were only trades people. So he took the basic business plan of BNI and tweaked it a little to accommodate contractors.
Why somebody hadn’t thought of it sooner is beyond me. But I am glad he did. We have all been going through some tough times, yet as I look back I can honestly say that BTN and all the friends I have made at BTN helped pull me through.
Helping others is what BTN is all about. We have been helping , Veterans First, Furnishing Hope, Canstruction and number of other organizations in our community. It is in our charter it is in our mindset, it is what makes BTN work.
We are here to lift each other, with the help of BTN, even Paul. He is always asking what’s next, he listens to our suggestions, he is looking for ways to improve, he is not satisfied with good enough if he knows it can be better.
That kind of leadership attracts more of the same. We are not looking for any contractors. We are looking for BTN contractors.

The BTN Vision
So what’s next?… The BTN Resource Center.

Why?…. Because a lot of us are small contractors, working out of our homes, because we can’t afford the overhead of an office. How many times have you had to meet a client at Starbuck’s or you always had to meet them at their home or their office, because you didn’t want them to hear the kids or the dog in the background.
Don’t laugh! You big contractors, I guaranty, you remember those days.
So what is a resource center?… It is your place of business.
Why do you need to pay for an office, utilities, insurance, internet, phone and all that overhead when you only need it for a 5, 6 or 10 days out of the month?  What do you do when business is dead in December and January but those bills keep coming in?
You go to BTN, that’s what you do. You pay for a conference room when you need a conference.  There will be computer terminals there, printers, staplers and punches. There will be a take-off room for you to go over plans.
If you have an extra truck parked in front of your house, there will be a limited Fleet parking.
If you have machinery or tools in your garage, there will be storage units for rent. Yes, for rent, not down the road or across town, but right at the place where you do business.
Your wife & kids will love you because now she can park in the garage and the kids can park in the driveway.
The BTN resource center is a place where big contractors and small contractors can meet with clients and other contractors and collaborate on projects. There will be Seminars for Marketing, Business Coaching to help your business grow.
Some of you need a showroom, or have a staff and need an office 50 weeks out of the year. But, I bet you wished that BTN was around when you started your business.   The BTN resource center may not be for everyone, it’s there for everyone.
Your place of business shouldn’t be the anchor that slows you down. What we have with BTN is a place with energy and opportunity for those with the BTN spirit.

The Right Time to Ask for Referrals

If we want to grow our business through referrals. We know we need to ask for the referrals. But when is the right time to ask?

Old School is, the first meeting or even prior to a meeting. It was not unusual for a Sales person to bring up the subject of referrals and tell people to think of a few people between now and the next meeting.

It is an aggressive approach that produced results to those who are persistent. Someone may begrudgingly give a referral but it wouldn't be thoughtful and sincere.

It is best to ask when your client has perceived or recognized value. When you hear a client say, “I have enjoyed this meeting” or “You have been a great help.” That is your cue to ask for a referral.

If they say, “I can't wait to get started.” or “I've put this off long enough”. This is a signal that means they are receptive to the referral process.

What if you don't get strong signals from your clients? Gauging how your meeting is going is necessary skill you should be doing every meeting at various intervals. So, starting about halfway through your meeting. You should ask “value seeking” questions. They need to be specific and not open ended. Like, “What would you consider to be the most important?”

Sometime they may respond with an, “I'm not sure.” Don't be discouraged. You need to know this so you can address the issues, instead of starting the Referral process when the perceived value is not there.

If you have filled a need and the value is there, why wouldn't they want to refer you to their clients and friends.

You can approach like this, “I'm glad we agreed on a solution. Perhaps you know someone with similar issues. We can offer them the same solution.” Notice, the process itself its a team effort.

The best referrals come from the perspective of 'We'. Helping someone together. Engaging the referral process once you have established a perceived value.

Success for the Asking

It is good practice to show your customers your appreciation. We have discussed this before. Now, let's look at this a bit closer. There is actually two parts to this equation. Something needed to be done for someone to show appreciation.

My Parents had ingrained this in me since I was a child.

When the waiter brings me my meal, I say thank you. When someone holds that door open for me, I say thank you. If I got two Items in my hand they allow me to go to the front of the line, I say thank you.

If I didn't say thank you, I knew what to expect. Ah, yes! But that was a different time.

Though the principle is the same, it is a bit different these days. People just don't seem to readily give out “Thank You's” anymore. Like treasure, they hoard them like a child stashing away the Halloween candy in the closet. You know, the candy that even your brothers and sisters have no clue about.

No! These days you need to ask for that thank you. More importantly it needs to be posted on the internet. It is called “Content”, and those with the most “Content” win.

Not everyone will submit a “Thank You”, a testimonial, a review or survey. It is unreasonable to expect that they will.

However, it is not unreasonable ask. In fact, I would go so far as to say, these days it is unreasonable to pass-up an opportunity to ask for that “Thank You”.

BTN has provided a convenient way for you to gather those “Thank you's” and add content, that may help you get noticed a bit easier.

I recently exercised the use of BTN's “Rate This Member” survey with positive results.

I emailed my customer his receipt and in the email I thanked the customer and followed it with the following excerpt.:

I also have a link to the BTN Website.”

http://www.buildingtradesnetwork.com/sitepage.php?first_letter=G&pageid=members

It should take you right to the page that has my picture. Underneath my picture is a link that will say “Rate This Member”.

Click on it, a small window will Pop-up and just check the boxes and leave a comment.

(Your personal information will not be posted, just your rating and comment.)

It is so critical these days to have content for your websites so a person can pop-up on the search results. I would really appreciate any kind words you can offer. This is content and will help me get noticed easier.

It has been a pleasure to have met and been of service to you. I want to thank you again and Brian

Sincerely… Dominick Giambona

Note the basic components of this email. :

Open with something positive. (I thanked him for the job)

State your business. (I enclosed his receipt)

Add your link. (It is right in front of them in the email. What can be easier?)

Explain what it is and what he can expect. (No Surprises)

Reassure them. (Trust is part of business. This is where it is tested)

Explain why. (Tell them why this is important to you.)

Close (I closed with a thank you. Redundant, yes, but people love thank you's and will always make an exception for them.)

You can copy this word for word or change it completely. This is merely a suggestion. If you do it enough, you will find what works best for you.

Everybody with access to the internet is can find information on you. The majority of people take most of it at face value.

You need to take charge of the information people see. You need to toot your horn. You need to ask for those referrals. You need to ask for the testimonials. You need to post them on the Net.

You need to put as much positive content out there as humanly possible. It will help you get higher results on the search engines and will push down negative results into the lower rankings.

You are in charge of your destiny. With the help of the tools BTN has at your disposal, success yours for the asking.