Don't Underestimate Their Network

Last week one of my networking friends and I met for a cup of coffee after her BNI meeting. Leslie is a very active networker and has a long history of employment with some very prominent companies in the Midwest. I love meeting with her, she is a great source of information and connections.

People have a tendency to underestimate Leslie and her network of powerful connections. Earlier that day in her BNI meeting a guest was asked to share with the chapter what he liked about the days meeting. His comment, “It was a great meeting, but I don’t think it would be able to help me. I only do business with large companies.”

Leslie laughed as she was telling me this story because the very company that he said he wanted a connection for, was one of the companies that she had worked with for several years and had a great relationship with the company. She said she was certain that she could have helped him, had he not just written her and her fellow members off as unable to help him.

This happens so often that it becomes laughable. People have a tendency to look at a room full of people and determine that they are not good fits for them. What they forget is this: It is not about me, it is about who I know. You do not know another persons circle of influence therefore you should not judge that a room full of people probably cannot help you.

It happens so often all I can really do is laugh. I am sitting in a BNI meeting last week listening to the members ask for referrals, then visitors also standing and letting other know who they wanted to be connected to. Later in the meeting the members went around the room again and referrals were passed. Each of the guest were asked to stand and let the chapter know what they thought of the days meeting.

At this point one of the guest, a young man, stands and says the following. “I really like the meeting and I can see how it helps each of you. But, I do business with very large businesses and don’t think it would be a good fit for me.”

After the meeting one of the members and I went out for a cup of coffee. Leslie has been a member for a little over a year pursuing her second career after years of working in the corporate world. We were discussing the days meeting and the guest who were in the room, Leslie and I laughed because the last company that she worked for as an executive was at the very company the had said he wanted to be connected to.

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