Motivational speaker and author Brian Tracy makes a comparison between networking and using an exercise machine. Back in 2008 he was interviewed by BNI founder, Dr Ivan Misner, and asked to explain his thinking. Here’s what Brian Tracy said.
One of the things that people often ask is does it work? They want to know if being a member of BNI works. Is it helpful? I ask the question, what is the best-selling piece of exercise equipment in America? After a few guesses, we conclude that to the best-selling is the treadmill. They sell $8 billion or more worth of treadmills every single year in America.
Now if you buy a treadmill and you take it home, what determines how much value you get from the treadmill? I ask this of my audiences and people will say how much you use it. I say, yes, that it is actually a combination of two things. It’s how often you use it and how long you use it each time. And everybody agrees.
Then I say now here’s the question. Is there any it doubt whether or not the treadmill works? The answer is, of course, no. That’s already been decided. That’s why it’s so popular. Everybody knows that it works. It’s been proven over and over again hundreds of times, millions of times, at every health club in the world that the treadmill works as long as you use it on a regular basis.
Now, it’s the same thing with networking. And that is the point that we are discussing. The same thing with networking – throughout the last hundred years of business, the most successful business people are those who know the most other people in business and know them in a positive, favorable way. So the only question about BNI and the only question about networking is how often you use it and how long you use it each time.
One of Brian Tracy’s specialist areas is sales. Dr Misner asked him to give his top tips on becoming more successful at selling.
One is you have to make more calls. The key to success in sales is to make more calls on better prospects. Make more calls on better prospects. Of course, that’s what BNI does. It gives you better prospects, but you have to make more calls. There is a direct relationship between the number of calls you make and two things. First of all, the number of good calls you make. And secondly, how good you get.
The more you call on people, the better you get. The second thing is to present well. This requires continually upgrading your skills in selling. Never, never be complacent. You get better and better at what you do. The first thing, of course, is ask for the order. At the end, just ask for the order. “Do like what I’m showing you? Why don’t you give it a try?” Ask for the order.
This is a skill that you can learn, again, through practice, repetition, books, tapes and so on. I would say that the key to success in sales is frequency of activity. Make more calls. Make more presentations. Ask for the order more often.