Assumptions are networking folly.
No-one knows everything about networking. And when a new member joins BNI, great knowledge and advice become available to them. Today I’m going to touch on one specific piece of advice I like to share with new members which is…
“Avoid making assumptions”.
This piece of advice is on my mind after recently speaking to one of our five-year members. He told me of an interaction he had with a new member in his Chapter recently. This five-year member is in the marketing field, and the new member is a tradesperson. Our five-year member introduced himself to the tradesperson and tried to spark up a conversation. He did this with the intent of booking a One-to-One with the new member.
Apparently, the new member was dismissive and didn’t really give the five-year member the light of day. Perhaps they didn’t feel that the marketing professional could be of use to him when it came to referrals. Established members of BNI would understand the folly here straight away. Marketing professionals, like all members, have extended networks who need all kinds of services, including those of tradespeople.
But it gets worse…
Although our five-year member works in the marketing industry, he used to manage a business that utilised the services of tradespeople constantly. He still holds a controlling interest in that company too, and as such, is in an excellent position to contract the services of tradespeople.
So, you can see how important it is to not make assumptions about your fellow members. There should be no need to make such assumptions anyway. We use the process of One-to-Ones to learn and understand more about our fellow members. This puts us in a position to more easily send and receive referrals and avoid making unhelpful assumptions.