Frequently Asked Questions

Building Trades Network – Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What makes Building Trades Network different from other network groups?

A. We are professionals who only work in the housing industry. Other network groups often have multiple level marketing businesses that try to sell directly to its members. We believe when we grow our relationships though weekly meetings, events, mixers and our non-profit work we are actually building trust and better understanding of each member. We really get to know their business ethics, knowledge, experience and specialties making it far easier to refer to them to other contractors, trades people, clients, family, neighbors and friends. Continue reading “Frequently Asked Questions”

Your Perception of Networking

It is important that people grasp the nature of true networking. How many of you have been in other networks. Raise your hand.

You may have even done this yourself. One month maybe two and gone. We have all seen people come and go in networks. Just when you start to get to know somebody they are down the road.

They are usually spreading comments like, “Nobody shares leads or referrals” or “That group is dead I only had a few people buy from me”

What is keeping them from success is their perception of networking .

Let's look at the definition of “leverage”

Here are a couple that suit our purposes :

Leverage (lev-er-ij )

  1. to use (a quality or advantage) to obtain a desired effect or result.

  2. The use of a small initial investment , credit, or borrowed funds to gain a very high return in relation to ones investment

Over here they are talking about money. But in networking, we are talking, time, relationships, trust. That is our initial investment and that is what will get you those high returns.

There are hunters and there are farmers. Hunters don't network. They don't even know the meaning. They bag 3 or four kills and move on to the next hunting ground. It sounds a lot like sales to me, and to me, that sound like a lot of work.

It is the farmer that and cultivates the relationships and lets them grow to cast their seeds to the wind. In time the farmer will reap the fruits of those relationships. As his relationships bloom, so will his business.

“ I would rather have one percent of the efforts of one hundred people, than one hundred percent of my own efforts.”

J. Paul Getty never knew what a network was. But his comment, is not only the quintessential definition for leveraging but it defines the core principle of networking as well

We are not here to sell to each other, that is just a bonus! We are here to leverage our time and our relationships, to help them multiply, to build our farm and to help our business grow.

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.