How behavioural styles affect business

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It is always common that every individual around us have different attitudes and ways of doing things. Their way of thinking, networking and interacting with people might change. During a networking session, meeting or a gathering, it is important for the Marketers to understand different behavioural styles of people in order to effectively network.

Philosophers invented a model called DiSC in order to develop better understanding of behaviours. In fact, now DiSC is a universal language that has been documented and validated in over 25 countries around the world.

When I was in USA for the BNI Conference, Dawn Lyons conducted a very interactive session regarding this with various group activities.  I found it very useful and thought of sharing it with my readers.

10734186_10154805451010497_1315823072294186447_n“Room Full of Referrals” Trainig by US Referral Marketing Expert Dawn Lyons

Generally, in any networking room, you will get four types of people: Go-getters, Promoters, Nurturers and Examiners. Understanding the behaviour of these four types of behavioural patterns is vital for marketers to network and understand anyone in the room for better communication with adaptive style.

So, who is a Go-getter?

A go-getter is a busy and innovative individual who would be equivalent to the “D” in DiSC. These individuals are generally very driven, result-focused, quick paced and even often impatient. Simply put, these are people who have a “get it done right now!” attitude. They are strong believers in pragmatism and are never hesitant to bend a few rules. They are the type of people who understand that it is a lot easier to ask for forgiveness rather than having to beg for permission. They are also so incredibly focused that people may take them to appear detached. They are so ambitious about their ideas and goals that they forget to take the time to enjoy other things.

Go-getters attend networking events in order to gain new business prospects and rub shoulder with the successful people in the event.

Who is a Promoter?

Promoters are people who are energetic supporters. They urge and use persuasive means to popularize or sell something. Promoters are comparable to the “i” in DiSC. They are very friendly and positive people who have the happy-go-lucky attitude. Known to be fun lovers, promoters love to be on the go and always look for enjoyable ways of doing things. At the same time, they are the type of people who tend to avoid confrontations and would prefer to casually mingle with clients over a meal rather than working on a serious proposal in the office quarters.

Promoters are also often dreamy individuals who have a plethora of ideas in their head and always manage to get others excited about their ideas. They would even be bold enough to take risks and generally stay away from researching information or doing their homework before making decisions. Instead, they rely solely on their instincts.

Promoters attend networking functions to meet new people, have a great chat with friends and make sure that they are noticed in the event. In short, they love to hang out.

Who are Nurturers?

Nurturers are the kind, helpful, caring and incredibly patient people who graciously gives gentle care to a person in order to assist in their growth or development. They are equivalent to the “S” in DiSC. Nurturers are wonderful listeners who like things to be slower paced than go-getters and promoters. They like dealing with things in their own way and in their own time and do not like being rushed or pushed into anything. Rather, they are grateful for quality time with people and their comfortable temperament makes it easier for others to approach them. Due to their relaxed nature, they have the gift of developing strong networks with others. As dependable and supportive individuals, nurturers are amazing team players. They tend to stay away from risks and would rather tolerate a difficult environment than having to put themselves through a change.

Nurturers attend networking events to connect with others they are already acquainted with and also meet down-to-earth people. Their focus in attending these events is to strengthen and deepen their interactions and relationships.

Who are Examiners?

Equivalent to the “C” in DiSC, examiners are people who carefully analyze and inspect other people in detail and further test their skills and aptitude by asking questions. Examiners are highly efficient and methodical individuals who are driven by their tasks. They are very focused on finding information and acquiring knowledge and they love to check off things in their extensive “to do” list. Due to the fact that examiners love information, they take a lot of consideration and time ahead of making any decision. You could call them perfectionists.

Examiners are very good communicators due to their extensive knowledge on a variety of topics. They are careful about expressing their emotions and are rather guarded people who can sometimes be rather uncomfortable around individuals who are lively and expressive, such as promoters. Examiners will always see the complex side of things and their natural intelligence and cleverness gives them their own unique style of wacky humor.

Examiners attend networking events solely to promote and market their business and as soon as they achieve their goal, they will leave the events as promptly as they can.

In conclusion, once you start to have a clearer understanding of these four behavioral patterns, it will naturally become far easier for you to identity what category any individual falls under, thereby allowing you to adapt to their style and making them feel good and comfortable.

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Business Network International (BNI): Growing via Referrals

In this post I am going to discuss the importance of Referral Marketing and Networking for a successful growth and expansion of businesses. In the Sri Lankan context, the country has started to upgrade its socio-economic affairs within the country limits as well as outside of its geographical boundaries. This will soon impose stagnation in almost all industries where the competition will be high while the profit making abilities and widening the revenue channels may become difficult. In such situations the businesses should be ready to proactively face the maturity stage. In such circumstances, my personal view is that the Marketing sphere should differ from the status quo. The dynamic features of marketing such as Offline Advertising, Online Marketing, Branding, Loyalty Marketing etc. should be combined with Referral Marketing and Networking.

It has become apparent that a business, being a sole entity, cannot survive anymore in this fiercely competitive business world. For example unlike ever before, most of the value chains have started to shrink and the entities have started to invest more in backward and forward integration while making mutually benefiting agreements with the value chain members. Hence the phenomena of marketing via referrals and networking will be the dominant feature of the forthcoming business era. Though this is a global trend which has not yet thoroughly dominated the Sri Lankan context, this will soon be the trend in Sri Lanka as well. Hence Sri Lankan Entrepreneurs should be ready to welcome such a transformation.

Recently I came to know about one of the world’s largest referrals and networking organizations, Business Network International (BNI). I got to know about this organization through my Business Partner who resides in California, USA. As I have stated initially, I strongly believed that referrals and networking can render immense benefits to businesses in Sri Lanka, especially small scale ones and start-ups. Hence I was interested to know more about it and soon experienced the worthiness of such an organization in the contemporary world. This encouraged me to become a member of its Sri Lankan wing too. Resultantly I am writing this post by connecting the importance of referrals, word-of-mouth and networks and the experiences I collected to this point as a member of BNI, Sri Lanka.    

Word-of-mouth is arguably one of the most effective forms of Marketing, and has an especially significant effect in the B2B market. While referrals are not guaranteed sales, clients who have been directed towards your business through mutual intermediaries are much more likely to become loyal customers. However, in order to conduct proper referral marketing, a company must first establish a network of business contacts. This can be especially hard for new business owners and young entrepreneurs in Sri Lanka who are yet to forge healthy, lasting business relationships, which is where a business networking platform like BNI comes in.

Chapter members hold regular meetings in order to foster stronger business relationships with each other. At these meetings, each member is given a chance to describe their business and the services they offer to the others, and what kind of referrals they are looking for. When a member comes across a potential client looking for a service provided by one of the other members, they recommend the member to the individual and provide them with a referral slip at the next meeting for them to follow up on. This is how the business network uses word of mouth marketing for the mutual benefit of members. These meetings are also useful to culture professional networking skills, and will aid members in making long-term business relationships.

BNI has recently established chapters in Sri Lanka, and is currently looking for new members. This provides valuable networking opportunities for new entrepreneurs and established professionals alike; bringing together high level decision makers that can contribute towards each other’s success. The current roster of members includes recognized businessmen from the fields of Digital Marketing, Media, Hospitality, Textiles and Education, among others, and is looking to expand through the addition of new members. This is assured to facilitate the growth of the local business network by putting several professionals in regular contact with each other.

As its name suggests, BNI is an international network, and has over 150,000 registered members in several countries around the world. This network is accessible to all BNI members through BNI Connect, and is an invaluable resource for business owners looking to upscale their operations globally. I strongly recommend all business professionals, both new and established, from all fields to take advantage of this opportunity and join this growing network.

For more information on how to get involved and expand your network of referrals, contact me on 071 303 2422.