by Dominick Giambona

9/4/12

Maybe you have been a member of Building Trades Network for a few months and you haven’t quite got the hang of it.  Or maybe you just joined and this networking stuff is all new to you.

The membership manual covers the plethora of subjects in detail.   But who reads manuals.

This isn’t rocket science.  When it comes right down to it common sense will rule the day.

A couple simple phrases is all you need to pull it all together.   So without asking for the moon or being unreasonable, ask yourself, “What would I expect of them?” or if I were them, “What would I expect of me?”

Let’s start with, “Building relationships makes for better networking.”  What do I mean by that?  It means the more you know about a business or person, the easier it is to recommend them.  So it would follow that you can’t build relationships if you don’t attend the meetings regularly.

So, what are the expectations?   Common sense says it all starts with attending the meetings regularly.  But we also encourage, what we at BTN call coffee breaks.

Coffee breaks are simple one on one meetings where you can learn more about each other and your businesses.

But, what if I can’t attend a meeting? I would expect BTN to allow absences.  BTN understands that you have a business to run and there will be times that you can’t attend a meeting.   But to network effectively you still need to build those relationships.

BTN has the simple solution…. A stand in.  It can be one of your employees, a partner or another business associate. Just fill out a stat sheet and give it to your stand in.  Or you can give them the stats and we will help them fill out the form.

A stand-in gives us a chance and to learn a little more about you and others who work with you.  The room is paid for anyway so it won’t cost your stand-in to attend.

This brings up another common sense thing.  Whether you attend the meeting or not, the coffee is still there, the room is still in use and you still have to pay your five dollars a week or pay a month in advance.  (Most chapters have have opted for the month in advance.)

What else would I expect from me if I were BTN?   I would want me to bring a visitor to the meetings.  If the category is open. They may want to join.   As BTN grows, so does your network.  It is a Win, Win, Win.

What would I expect of other members of BTN?  I would expect them to give my referrals prompt, honest, quality service and pricing.   I want them to make me look good and stand behind their work.

BTN wants all of our members to be accountable, for good and hopefully not for bad.  That is why we encourage all of our members to use the “RATE THIS MEMBER” link located on each BTN profile.

If there is an issue between members, we ask that the members first attempt to work it out together.  If that fails the appropriate person on the in the BTN leadership to address the situation would be Dennis Bishop (the membership foreman).

Other Expectations:

A BTN meeting begins with a short time in the beginning to mingle and network.  For this reason it is important for all members arrive on time to the meetings.

But it is equally important that mingling time is spent Standing-up.   When a visitor or a stand-in comes to the meeting, it is more welcoming to walk into a room where people are standing and mingling as opposed to walking into a room where everyone is sitting and their back is to them.

Also is it asking too much to silence your phone?

Accurate statistics.  In networking it may seem like he who has the most business cards wins.  But in business it comes down to dollars and cents.  Accuracy is important and it is a tangible that will actually help bring new trades to the group.  “Success breeds Success”.

True Networking is not collecting cards.  It is building those relationships.

BTN has a blueprint for success.  Professionalism and accountability, character and integrity, family and community they are the foundation on which success is built.  Your participation is the mortar that will build those relationships.

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