Networking Success and the 12x12x12 Rule Podcast #14

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Networking Success and the 12x12x12 Rule Podcast #14

People make snap judgments. It takes only 1/10th of a second to form a first impression about a person. Cys Bronner, BNI Executive Director and CRO (Chief Referral Officer), wants you to get the most out of your BNI membership by talking about the 12x12x12 rule and how it can increase your profitability.  

Hi, I’m Cys Bronner, Executive Director of BNI’s Greater Los Angeles regions, BNI4Success.

Today I want to talk about the elephant in the room – the 12 x 12 x 12 Rule. People make snap judgments. It takes only 1/10th of a second to form a first impression about a person.

The 12 x 12 x 12 Rule comes from Dr. Misner’s book Networking Like a Pro, where he asks 3 important questions:

How do you look from 12 feet away?

You want to come across as professional

How do you look from 12 inches away?

Make sure that your body language and your attitude send the right message.

What are the first 12 words out of your mouth?

Start by asking about the other person.

But in today’s world – none of that matters if you don’t know the 4th rule …. Making this 12 x 12 x 12 x 12

How does your Member Page look – What 12 things does it deliver?

Don’t leave money on the table by omitting simple business content about you and not making any impression.  

BNI provides each member a FREE marketing tool in the form of your very own webpage – think of it as a silent salesperson or doorway to your profitability.
These webpages are almost paint by numbers for each member to complete. They serve the purpose of representing you and your business to not just someone doing a web search for you but potential BNI referral partners – and there’s over 270,000 of them!

Your Profile Photo
Leaving this blank seems like you didn’t really care. It’s the first thing folks see and it gives people an impression of who you are.
Oh, and here’s a tip: According to research, having wide eyes in an image makes you look afraid or uncertain. So, remember to squinch your eyes.

Frankly, it just adds to your professionalism and recognition. There’s a reason companies invest so much money and time with focus groups to deliver the best logo for their brand identification. Take advantage of that and add credibility without effort.

Contact details
Did you know that there are different internet laws all over the world? We’re a Global organization and we need to make sure that our websites are compliant for all members. To that end, your email and phone number visibility are off by default. Simply go into BNI Connect and turn that on. Viola! Instant connectivity with the outside world.

Having your website on your Member Page is just one more call to action.

By this time, you’ve attracted them with your member page, now let’s work on converting them with a way to go even deeper by visiting your own company website.

There’s a rumour floating around that keywords are dead. No, they are not, but like everything else since the web has evolved from that first Doogie Howser Green Screen post in the early 80s, their use has become just one portion of what it takes.  However, they remain an important part of SEO; or Search Engine Optimization. If you think about the way you find something on the web, you’ll agree that keywords are words or phrases that people search for and lead them to your pages. Knowing your topic and keywords are a terrific way to get stronger results. So, don’t overlook adding those to your information in BNI Connect.

Compelling Content
I like the way our TOPS asks us:

What is your Ideal Referral
Top Problem Solved
Ideal Referral Partner – which is different than ideal referral.
My Favorite BNI Story
Top Product

That’s 5 of the ways that you can activate interest and connect with your referral partners and future clients.

Unique Selling Proposition or USP
Your USP is a unique selling point or slogan that differentiates a product or service from its competitors and a great marketing tool to help position and sell your product or your business. One of my favorite examples of this is Geico’s “15 minutes could save you 15% on car insurance”

I would suggest that you add your USP into that first section of the page where it says My Business.

Social Media Links
I love this! It’s right there with your contact details, which means that BNI knows the importance of your social networks and how hard they can work for you. What better way to follow you and find out what you are up to on a frequent basis!  
I have 9 of mine listed with room to add if I chose to. Building those networks and sharing them are incredibly proactive steps in your VCP (more on that in another podcast, I promise).

Knowing that people make snap judgments, and it takes only 1/10th of a second to form a first impression about a person, I’ll ask: are you thinking of more ways you can get the most out of your member page now?

Thank you for listening today.

I look forward to seeing your comments and stories at

In networking: The more memorable (positive and helpful) you are, the better the results.

Questions? Feel free to call BNI Executive Director Cys Bronner 866-889-3466 or email her at
Her motto: BNI, making word of mouth marketing work for you

Click for more information or to join a BNI chapter in the Los Angeles area

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2 thoughts on “Networking Success and the 12x12x12 Rule Podcast #14

  1. Dear Cys, I have been a member of BNI since 2004. This is by far the best business decision that I ever made. Thank you for the presentation on 12 x12x12x12?

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