Collaborate, Learn, Grow

Building Trades Network is an extraordinary collective of building and design professionals who have a long-standing and proven track record of reliability, fair business practices, competitive pricing, punctuality, and accountability to all other members within the BTN group. With weekly meetings throughout the year, we hone our business practices, engage in learning sessions with guest speakers, and collaborate with one another to strengthen our businesses and develop opportunities for quality projects within our shared client bases. If you are a Building Trades professional or in a related profession, we welcome you to come visit one of our chapters and see for yourself the benefits of joining our growing, collaborative network of Building Trades Professionals.

Why Join BTN?

Collaborate, Learn, Grow

Come to a meeting as our guest!

Tuesdays 7:00am – Newport Beach

Newport Beach Tennis Club

2601 Eastbluff Drive, Newport Beach,CA

Meetup link:


Thursdays 7:00am – Laguna Hills

Nellie Gail Swim & Tennis Club

25221 Empty Saddle, Laguna Hills, CA

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Your Best Brand

Personally, you are your business, you are your brand. You want to make a memorable impression because that is the impression people will have of your business.

You want people to remember you, in a positive light. Here are a few things that may help.

First, there is that sweet spot to being memorable. It lies between blending into or getting lost in the crowd and swinging from the chandelier and breaking the ice with your best fart jokes.

You don't have to try to hard or hog a conversation. After all, I prefer my doughnuts glazed not people. Spewing out mindless chatter is the quickest way for people to glaze-over and shut out.

The rule is engaged and attentive. Think of it as a value thing. Less is more. Understanding the subject and one really smart comment during the conversation is all you need to make a memorable impression.

When it comes to what you do. Keep it short. People won't remember if it is long. People will remember few things. You want them to remember the key elements:

Your name

Your business name

Your product or service


For example:

Last week I ordered a product from a company called Gallina. I told the lady there that Gallina was Italian for chicken. I am Italian it was a short conversation. Since then, when we speak, we almost always have a cordial comment or two before we get down to business.

She recalls my order details and even all the products and questions I asked about that aren't on the order in front of her. I can't forget Ashley and her company (Gallina) and likewise she will remember me.

So if there is a special story about the name of your business or your one of a handful of people that do a particular service, or you sell widgets that turn twinkies into vitamins. Concentrate on the key elements and incorporate one or two into the conversation and keep it short.

The common misconception is “Great Logo equals a Great Brand” But a truly great brand is much more. A great brand incites emotions and value that you can't forget. It's a reflex that triggers your memory.

In networking situations and one on one's, no one is better at planting those reflexes than you. You're your best brand and your best brand is 'YOU'.

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.”

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.