Season 3 / Episode #78 : Dalene Allen
Over 30 years ago, Dalene Allen signed up as an independent sales rep with Mary Kay Cosmetics and built a multi-million-dollar direct sales business. As both a woman and a new entrepreneur, building her business gave her experience that could be gained in no other way, and the company provided excellent training. Like any entrepreneur, she was always learning and growing as an individual and searching for ways to promote her business.
This career, through connections and sales, led her to find BNI. After attending her first couple of meetings, she was immediately impressed by how organized BNI was and that members were actually giving referrals. She was also delighted to learn about BNI’s core values, especially “Givers Gain,” which is much like the Golden Rule. She learned so much from other members; presentation and speaking skills, business experience and advice, and a boost of self-confidence and self-esteem. It is a commitment of time and money, but as with any investment, it takes time to grow your network – but BNI is truly the fastest and most effective way to build a huge network that works for all parties. You truly get to know people, and when they know, like, and trust you – referrals do happen.
After being a member and now the Executive Director of BNI Nova Scotia, she believes BNI’s philosophy and core values align with hers. It is a great way to live your life and build a business. Each BNI chapter becomes a real community and builds lasting relationships. This network opens up a world to connect with other women entrepreneurs, and she believes we are stronger together.
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In this episode:
[0:31] Dalene’s story of success
[2:01] What’s something that didn’t go as planned for Dalene?
[4:27] How did Dalene keep track of her clients?
[10:08] How does Dalene stay on top of her business?
[17:32] How does she get around to getting more clients?
[19:24] Anik Malenfant, the founder of Mastering Ascension, shares her wonderful experience with Tim Melanson
[25:41] How did Dalene learn all that she does now?
[29:27] How does Dalene keep learning?
[33:36] What’s new in Dalene’s business right now?
[35:00] Learn more about Dalene and BNI
Tim Melanson: Hello, and welcome to today’s episode of the work at home rockstar podcast.
Excited for today’s guest. We have the executive director of BNI, which is business networking international. And what they’re doing is they’re changing the world the way the world does business. And what she does specifically is she teaches you how to create referral partners to help you get better quality referrals, and to help you grow your revenue and find good people to work with.
Right? So we’re rocking out today with Dalene Al and Hey Dalene, you ready to.
Dalene Allen: I am ready to rock.
Tim Melanson: Perfect. So we always start off with a good note. So tell me a story of success that we can be inspired by in your business.
Dalene Allen: Well, let’s say one of the things that I think I learned early on when I started my first business was to not be afraid to ask for help if somebody was doing well, I would ask them, give me a secret, what’s your tip to success.
And it we’re really thanks to. Being comfortable asking for help that I truly believe was one of my superpowers because if somebody was doing well, I wanted to know how they were doing it. And what I found were people were actually pretty kind and would quite often share some of their secrets to success.
I agree with you completely. I I’ve also done the same thing asking for help is, uh, is really important, but people don’t always do that. Right. People seem to, but the, the, the funny thing is the reason why people are unwilling to ask for help is also the same reason why people are so willing to help when someone asks them.
Cause they like to feel like they know stuff.
And not only that, but the fact that really, when you ask a person an opinion, you’re always gonna get an opinion. That’s why it’s important to ask the question that you really want the answer to. It’s like, how’s the weather. Well, we all know everybody’s got an opinion.
It may not benefit. But if you say congratulations, I just noticed an achievement that you did, and I would love to hear your secret to success. And so at least if you’re asking a question, that’s gonna get that positive answer that you wanna hear. That’s also.
Tim Melanson: Yes, absolutely. So now along the path, not everything goes as planned so there are some bad notes that we’re gonna hit and things that aren’t gonna go the way that we want them to go.
So can you share something that just didn’t work out for you and how we can either avoid it or recover?
Dalene Allen: And here’s the thing I would tell you. I was the sort of person I was enthusiastic, but I didn’t have a frigging clue. Did not have a frigging clue, but I was willing to learn and I was willing to listen, but I do remember the very first box of business cards that I purchased.
I didn’t hand any out. And I remember what somebody said, well, how many cards have you handed? I said, well, they cost me much. . And it wasn’t making me any money. So you kind of go, okay, that was not the smartest thing in the book. And so I was a person who was very shy or uncomfortable in the beginning to talk to people.
I didn’t know. And you know, when you’re five or six years old and your parents say, don’t talk to strangers, that’s about the only time it serves you maybe to your 10 or 12 or whatever, but it doesn’t serve you when you open a business. Doesn’t.
Tim Melanson: Nope. Not at all.
Dalene Allen: yeah. So I learned to overcome that. And one of the things that I did was when I was in front of a client, cuz at that time I sold a consumable product.
If they didn’t give me a referral, the game I played was I had to go hand business card. So lemme tell you I could get a referral from anybody.
Tim Melanson: Wow. Wow. That’s really good. So games, I like what you said there. Cause playing games is a really good hack to get things done. ISN.
Dalene Allen: Oh, or what’s that reward you’re gonna give yourself on Friday afternoon or what’s the first thing you’re gonna do Monday morning when you get outta bed.
Cuz those are usually two very important times the start of the week and the end of the week.
Tim Melanson: Love it. Love it. And so now, uh, did you end up giving those, all those business cards out?
Dalene Allen: oh my God. Listen, I, I, even during COVID, you know, some people did not wanna take a card from you, but I still put them in every, you know, bulletin board outside the restaurant.
Yeah. You, you, you know, if you wanna get some call my business, Or just making a connection. It’s a lottery Reig you just don’t know where it’s gonna take you and the curiosity of, you know, how did I meet you? Uh, how’s that gonna go? Cuz we just had a conversation about that before we got on here, Tim it’s keeping track of that.
So having some way of keeping track of all those referrals, very important.
Tim Melanson: Yeah, I think that’s some gold right there too. So what, what was your system like? How did cause that, that’s the thing. I mean, when you get a referral, you, when you contact them, not knowing who the heck they are is not gonna be a good thing.
Well, so did you have some sort of system to keep track of like
Dalene Allen: definitely. Oh, Totally. And, and I always had a time limit again because my first business was a consumable product. The day I met the client, I immediately put a head in my calendar and I live by a calendar on my computer now, my phone, but back in the day and I saved my, my.
Calendars my journals, because you could go back, you know, six months or a year before, you know, when one year ended one started, I carried over any of the unfinished business into the next calendar year. So as soon as I met that person and usually if I was in front of them, I say, you know what, I’m gonna call you in about two days.
And I’m gonna call you in about two weeks and I’m gonna call you in a couple of months just to make sure you’re a hundred percent happy. And I would actually write that in the calendar when I was with. And I don’t know whether that gave them a little bit of confidence, but that was the first test of, okay, is she really gonna follow up?
And when I did that, quite often, somebody would say, wow, you said you were gonna call, right. So it’s developing those relationships, you know, that helps to build the visibility, credibility, which in turn leads to profitability. And isn’t that what, we’re all.
Tim Melanson: Wow. Really good. And, uh, I, I think you’re right. I think that that first commitment that says you’re gonna call and then actually calling, but also when you give them a bit of a warning too, I think that it makes them more likely to answer the call cause they know you’re not given up.
Right. Exactly. Like, uh, I always found that same thing when I leave a message saying, Hey, you know, if I don’t hear from you, I’m gonna call you back. And they, they tend to respond better that way. Cuz I, I think that sometimes they just assume you’re just gonna disappear if they, they ignore you. Right.
Dalene Allen: Well, and nine outta 10 people are never brave enough past that first one.
And I have to tell you, I got an email from a guy this morning that I’ve been doing, you know, the slow drip test. May I keep in touch? May I keep in touch? And he said, you know what? I think the time’s right now. And he. Mostly because I admire your persistence, right? And many people are not brave enough to do that, do it in a nice way, you know, and see if you can be of value.
You know, if you want to increase the credibility, you must offer a few samples, you know, what are you willing to do for that person? But it’s really all boils down to relationships. So many people are so quick to try to sell. They’re not trying to make the human connection.
Tim Melanson: Yeah. I. Think I’ve said that a few times too.
Uh, I admire your persistence. I think I’m gonna do business with you. I think I’ve actually done
Dalene Allen: that before. Yeah, but Tim, from, from the get go, we had that conversation. I learned enough about you that we could have a conversation. So even if we never did business together, It was the start of a friendship.
And if you find out, really listen not to respond, but really listen, because I’m curious about look at what you’ve done, Tim, you know, from that time, when let’s say that company you work for suddenly like you no longer worked there, but instead look at the journey that you’ve taken and what you’ve accomplished.
I think many times. You know, you said something about being on podcast, but you don’t realize just the achievements that you have done. Cut yourself on the.
Tim Melanson: Thank you. . Thank you. And you know what? I think that’s all of us, we, we don’t realize how much we’ve done, because we’re always comparing it to the next tier to the next level of what you haven’t done yet.
Right? Yeah. But if you look back, I mean, I remember there’s lots of people that we have on the podcast that talk about coaching and, and they’re like, yeah, but I’m, you know, I’m not a, a billionaire yet. How can I coach people on how to make, you know, what, there’s always gonna be someone. Who’s gonna be ahead of you and there’s always gonna be somebody that’s not that’s behind you.
And so, you know, the same thing with music, right? If, if I might not be able to teach Eric Clapton anything about guitar, but I can teach a beginner. right.
Dalene Allen: Well, but here’s the thing. If you had a conversation with, um, Mr. Clayton, that you would be able to talk because music is the common. And I, I don’t care what happens when you have a common bond.
Eventually business is just gonna happen. Organic. Right. Yeah. And that you just don’t know who they’ll introduce you to that again, extends the journey, if not just the sheer conversation, cuz I love his music. Can you imagine having a conversation with him?
Tim Melanson: Yeah. Oh, it’d be amazing. It’d be amazing. Yeah.
And, and also there could be a referral there as well because maybe, uh, Mr. Clapton is not, is not teaching beginners because it just wouldn’t be in his wheelhouse, but he might actually refer me to somebody. Who is a beginner that’s learning to learn. And then eventually he’ll grow up to, you know, getting lessons directly from him, which I don’t think he teaches, but whatever , you know what I mean?
Dalene Allen: Well, but, but here’s another way of looking at that as somebody ages to me, that’s when they’re older, wiser, and they had that much more to share. And you hope before he leaves that work and I said, his name, wrong or Clapton. Um, He would share that. Can you imagine if he offered a program with some tips that you just wanna go?
There is no end what a person can do with their life. It’s just whether they’re open to seeing opportunities and see I’m a person that never sees a dead end might be a detour, but there’s always an opportunity. If you look. Love
Tim Melanson: it. So let’s talk about practicing. , let’s talk about getting good at what you’re doing, honing your craft.
What are some of the things that you do to stay on top of what you’re doing and, and make sure that you’re moving with the times, I guess?
Dalene Allen: Well, a long time ago I realized. What my strengths were and what my weaknesses were. And not that not that I couldn’t work on my weaknesses to make them stronger, but it’s kind of like if I could, I made a list of everything that needed to get done in my personal life and my business life.
What could I delegate? What could I see that somebody? And let’s say, if you’re a new business owner starting out, if you need bookkeeping, does the service that you provide, but you barter with a bookkeeper for some services in the beginning. Cuz I will tell you one thing. I had a good accountant from day one and that was part of my success.
I knew nothing about bookkeeping, right. But I knew if I hired a good be bookkeeper, I could focus on making more. So I have learned from a very early age that if I wanted to increase my business, I to delegate some of it. And so my husband and I cuz for many years, we’ve worked together. It’s a matter of, okay, here’s the list of what gets done?
What do you wanna do? What do I wanna do based on our strengths and what do we, what can we farm out? Because we still wanna have a. And so prior planning prevents poor performance, but you know, sometimes we hold on so tight to everything. You, you, you do a poor job of many things. Yeah.
Tim Melanson: I think there’s a bit of programming there too.
Cause I, I know when I think about like school and even, even my own sign, like it brings home a report card. And what do we look at? We look at the lowest mark. And we go, you need to work on that. and so here we are trying to tr trying to grow our weakest and, and I mean, let’s just face it. I mean, there are just some things that we’re, we’re better at and some things that we’re not.
And so if we focus all of our attention on the thing, we’re not good at, that’s not gonna get us very far. Whereas what you just said, focusing on the things that you’re really good at and just farm out the things that you’re not that good at.
Dalene Allen: Right. Exactly. Now the unfortunate part is school. Doesn’t always look at it like that.
So there are some times that let’s say, and I’ve had to suck it up and say, okay, I’m gonna learn how to do that. You know, especially when social media started in a bigger way that, that there were things I did need to learn, but that was a choice, as opposed to me putting an expectation on myself. Like here’s the thing.
Every minute I would spend on bookkeeping, especially cuz I find a lot of entrepreneurs. You, you wanna go. The numbers sometimes frustrate you. If you hand that to a bookkeeper, they’ll give you a summary at the end, and then you can work with that number and be a whole lot more efficient in what you do.
Tim Melanson: Yeah, exactly. They can give you something that you can actually read. Right. And I mean, there is something to be said, cuz I’ve had, you know, a few people on the show. Who’ve said, you gotta learn a little bit about how to do something before you can. Uh, you can, you can delegate it because if you don’t then you don’t.
Know what you’re looking for. right. True. And, and also, you don’t know how to keep them accountable cause you know, nothing about what they’re doing. So there is something to be said for, you know, getting yourself to a certain level of knowledge about everything, every part of your business, but you don’t have to spend a boatload of time learning something you’re just not
Dalene Allen: loving well and, and a good point would be your business, Tim, because when you think about it for the amount of time, And energy a person would spend in trying to get a website up.
And if they’re really gonna pivot, like I’m so glad to see because of COVID people are realizing there’s a whole world out there that they never looked at. And so that’s the time that again, have counsel with that person and really sit there and go, okay. The investment I make in Tim for me to be able to the other social media aspects so that I can be, you know, eCommerce ready.
That again is an investment, but that’s also where you counsel people in the same way that a bookkeeper does. And, you know, again, ask for the opinions of who is good. Have they been good to you and a person always say to only take advice from somebody whose place you wanna change, you know, that you would be willing to say, okay, that’s a person I admire.
I respect. I wanna be in their position, talk to those people cuz there’s a lot of people give advice that are not necessarily in a position to give that advice. Right. Oh.
Tim Melanson: And that, that advice is all over the place and it’s very, very solid they really wanna make sure that you know, their, their opinions on things that they’ve never done before, too.
Right. Yeah. I mean, it, it is, it is okay to, uh, to, you know, recognize that there’s a cautionary tale in someone who’s failed at something that, you know, they’re telling you about. But if they’ve failed, it means that they didn’t do something. Right. There’s something they were missing. So go find someone who’s been successful at it and find out what they did differently than the person who, who, who didn’t do it.
Dalene Allen: Well, and one of the things that I was smart enough because of the company I worked for, they really helped with certain systems, but because I’d never been in an office situation where I had to handle anything office that I found a person and, and in the beginning I bared, but it’s like, will you come in and set up my office?
So that I understand the processes, cuz I used to have an assistant. So he handed it to the assistant and in, in any previous, really full time career that I had. So it was a matter of, okay, I know I need a system and that that’s really where my husband comes in. These mechanical engineers said Dalene. I can’t teach you, but find somebody you can.
So that’s what we did. And so once my home office, because I worked from home long before most people ever ran a home based business. And I have to tell you, I never got a whole lot of respect, even though, you know, my business did 3, 4, 5, 6 million, right. I was in the business for 30 years. And, but I knew that in order for me to be effective, certain things had to be in place.
And that’s where again, Um, asking for help is something that sometimes people are timid to do. And let me tell you, get over that because I’ll tell you I’ve gotten some of the best advice from people that totally revolutionized my business over single cup of coffee, like just.
Tim Melanson: I, I agree a hundred percent, but that’s one of my things is it’s my go to is if something’s not working in my business, I go online.
I go find somebody who I I think is successful. And I ask them if they’ll go for coffee with me, and I’m surprised on how many of them are willing to do it, first of all, like, uh, I’m thinking, oh, you’re too busy to go for coffee with me, but they do and you end getting really.
Dalene Allen: Oh, and just, again, it could be just that one little thing that just, you kind of go totally different.
And so even though, you know, again, what I find many people, you know, if you’re in a certain industry, you talk to other people in certain industries, you go to conferences for those industries, but yet you’re kind of in a bubble. Whereas when you can learn from different professions, That still are customer, whether it’s business to business or business to customer, consumer, that I don’t care what they’re doing.
They’re gonna give you a totally different approach that you go never looked at it like that, right? Yeah. So, so having a variety of people to get counsel from, or, or ideas from huge
Tim Melanson: right on, okay. Rockstars need fans. So tell me, how do you go. Getting the raving fans, getting the people that love you.
Dalene Allen: Well, you’re doing game cred, visibility, credibility, profitability.
So first of all, the human connection I find once you have a client is to really listen, not listen to respond, but listen, to really hear the pain points. And I’ll tell you, Tim, you could likely rhyme off four or five of the most typical things that people tell you. About what your services are, right.
Testimonial: Hi, my name is Anik Malenfant from mastering Ascension, and I’ve been working with Tim Melanson and the creative crew agency for a number of years.
Now, Tim is my go-to guy for all things technology and his team have helped me to really. Create the platform that I need that represents my brand, my message, and connects me directly to my ideal clients. What I particularly love about Tim is before he starts to dive into the technology, he always makes sure that he understands what your global view is, what your ultimate goals are.
So then that way you’re not wasting a lot of time back and forth. Switching around technology or platforms. He creates something from the get go that is scalable, which is highly, highly, um, beneficial for any business. What I’ve experienced from Tim and his team is they’re highly responsive. They are a wealth of information, and they’re gonna offer you the tools that you need to really make the mark that you wanna make in the world.
So that’s my recommendation for Tim. He’s awesome. You’re gonna love every. You won’t regret it.
Dalene Allen: So when you hear time, money, blah, blah, blah. Right? They’re gonna tell you everything. So once you’ve been in the business a little while, what you do is the first four or five things, you’re gonna talk to that perspective, new client about, are you gonna turn into questions?
The most typical things you get back and you could say, okay, Jim. So when it comes to my website, uh, or when it comes to a new website or to update your website, have you thought about. This and this three of the most common objections you get from people right up front, and most of them will go, Tim, how did you know you wanna go?
Well, because I’ve dealt with a lot of clients and these are the ones that come up now, isn’t that interesting, you know, a game you’re not the only one. When you can make a person feel like it’s not just you, this is how other people are feeling. And what I have found, feel felt and found was this is how we help them.
It’s like Tim, You just answered my question, suddenly getting to the, the close of a sale because you gotta understand ABC always be closing, but how you start, the conversation has to be about them and what’s going on. But Tim, you know, the 3, 4, 5 questions or pain points that most people talk to you about.
Tim Melanson: Yeah. And you know what I’ve also found. So people don’t like to look weak, they don’t like to look like they don’t know what they’re doing and they don’t look to look like they’re struggling. And oftentimes what I’ve found is that, um, in, in, in all the businesses that I’ve done is that the first objection that you get to, whatever it is that you’re, you’re promoting is never real.
It’s something, whatever . And, and the irony is that it’s, it’s often time and money. You mentioned them. And if, if money is the real objection, they’ll usually use time first and vice versa. And, and I, I think that, that, uh, that when you, like you just said, when you, when you preempt it, when you kind of like address it first, I think you make them feel a little, a lot more comfortable because they didn’t even wanna tell you that they didn’t even wanna tell you that that was their problem.
Dalene Allen: so well. And, and oftentimes, you know, again, and Tim, you can borrow this whenever you want. I’m gonna teach you things you didn’t even know. You wanted to know because that’s what you. Because people don’t know all of the things that they can put into their website or the services that you offer until you, because they likely haven’t really understood it as well as you understand what you do.
Tim Melanson: Yeah. And I will like, I’m, I’m making a connection now because during my initial calls with clients, I will often, I, I usually tell them what I envision. Like I, like, I find out all about their business, find out what they do and find out what they’re trying to accomplish, and then I’ll tell them what I think it should look like.
Right. Yeah. Here’s what other thing you should do? Here’s the services that I think you should hook in. This is how it would work if it were me. And then oftentimes you’re right. They’ll go like, oh wow. That’s a really good idea. So, so it, it’s, it’s funny that oftentimes when people come to you for business, they don’t even really know what they want.
And that makes sense because that’s not their, their, their strong point. How would they know? You’re the, you’re the professional, right?
Dalene Allen: Well, exactly. Or how to best present it. So, and then the other question I always love to say to people, you know, tell me about you. And, and most people will stop for a minute and.
What do you mean? I said, well, just I wanna know all about you. What’s important to you. What, what do you like, what do you, right. And what’s your, why are you doing this business? Tell me, you know, what prompted you to get into this business? And Tim, I have a feeling you should have been in this business all along, but it took, um, something that felt like maybe not a good thing in your life, turned out to be the biggest blessing ever.
Tim Melanson: Yeah. Oh, and that, that happens all the time where the thing that is the low point in your life turns out to be the blessing in disguise.
Dalene Allen: Right. But until if a person has never been in that, they don’t get it, Tim. And that’s what we try to uncover in the discussion to, to really zero in it. And, you know, I like to say people are a lot like onions.
You gotta peel a few layers off, cuz like what you said, they don’t wanna admit that. You know, again, vulnerability. I don’t know why, because anybody who’s going through a hard time. There’s so many people who reach out for help that it’s only, then that they kind of go, well, I didn’t know, people cared and you wanna go, if you do that just a little bit more, you would likely find you’ll have those alliances that lift you up as well.
Tim Melanson: Yeah. Yeah. And, and you know what, I think that, that’s why a lot of the times when people ask for advice with their first question, which is not real, it they’re more or less trying to convince you on why they’re not where they want to be. right. Yeah. Yeah. Whereas you already know that you can help them get there.
So why not preempt that and, and sh and say, Hey, this is what I’ve found is people are struggling with and give them the confidence that you can get them where they wanna be.
Dalene Allen: Exactly. And that’s also, I find one of the things that I would tell you when we are dealing with people for the first time is to really.
Give them the confidence of I checked your profile and look what you’ve done. Congratulations. If you know again, cuz not, not to be insincere, but to be totally sincere and say, you know what? It’s so great. You got to this point, are you ready to find some ways to get you to the next point, but you’ve really gotta check the profile to be able to speak sincerely about.
And usually when you’ve done that, that somebody goes, okay, they’re, they’re seeing me, you know, we wanna be seen and we wanna be heard. And that’s where, when I’m talking to people, I’ll usually say, do you mind if I make some notes? And, and the reason I make notes is I really wanna listen, listen, listen.
But it’s usually just a few key words. So I’ll say, okay, now let, let me, let me tell you what I think you said to me and they’ll go, wow. You know, sometimes they don’t say anything, but it’s like, they’re going the, the positive affirmation that, that you didn’t just listen to talk, you know, I wanna talk, but to listen, to really make sure that we’re now on the same page for the conversation to move forward.
Tim Melanson: Wow. Wow. Let’s talk about how you have learned all this stuff.
Dalene Allen: so, well, first of all, it was the fear of handing out a business cart and the game I played when I was in front of somebody, it was like, I have to get more business, cuz if I don’t get a referral or have this person help me develop more business, because it was a consumable product, I would offer incentives.
People would introduce me to other people, you know, I’d value your opinion of the product. Is there anybody else that you could connect me to, um, that I could offer samples to? If they become a client, you, you get, you know, Some sort of incentive and because it was a consumable product when I looked back, cuz I did keep good track, you know, you, you, you wanna see what each client uh, does with you.
And I did that manually on paper for years and years and years in my little system and my follow up system and whatever, and anybody, they referred me to got added to her name on the list. And about 60% of my referrals came from about 10. Whoa.
Tim Melanson: That’s some really
Dalene Allen: information, but if you don’t keep track, you don’t know that, right.
You may think you have referral partners, but if you’re not keeping track, you don’t really know. And so. So being able to do that meant that I would leave there with another connection to go make without having to hand out a business card to a stranger. Right. And let me tell you, I could get, I could get, right, right.
And so I would give everybody five or six of my business cards and I’d say, write your name on the back of that business card. When it comes back to me, there’ll be incentive for you. And so, you know, again, it would be these people would be calling that sometimes I’d say, I’d call cuz I sold skin carried cosmetics and they’d.
My friend told me I really needed you. And I’m thinking, okay, she wasn’t really diplomatic. I need to be okay. But the other thing was at the end because I had a lot of clients and I knew a lot of people and it was like, I wanted to be of value and to be of service. Thank you so much for your business. I really appreciate you as a person and as a client.
Thank you for referring me because that is the greatest compliment you could pay me, but more important. I know a lot of people, is there anything I can help you personally or professionally with? And you have no idea that 99% of the time they go, oh my God just got my insurance bill and way up, I know an insurance person.
right. Or they’d say, oh, our mortgage is coming up for renewal. I know a mortgage broker, you know, and what I would say to anybody that I would refer to, if you’re not nice to my client, you’re never get another referral. So I didn’t realize early on, I was a connector, had a client. Now I sold my other business about eight years ago and she calls me and says, Dalene.
I was about to press Google. And she said, you and I haven’t talked since you sold your business. And I just wanted to connect. I need three. I said, oh, you’re not gonna ask how I am. I wanna hear how the family is. We have that conversation. She said, I need this, this, and this. Two of them were my BNI members.
So immediately got a great referral. And because. You know, when I give a referral, there’s a trust level involved. So when they call that person, they know they’re gonna do business with them. Cuz I recommended them. Third person ought to be and B and I they’re not, but I still send them business. And so again, if customer, I say you have to tell me if they’re not nice to you, they’re not nice to you call me back and tell me and I’d have a conversation.
And that person would say, oh, I’m really sorry. I said, well. You don’t get another referral. If that ever happens again, he said, you call back my client. Do you make it right? And a lot of times, same thing that person would call back and say, look, it was a really bad time. Sorry. I’m gonna fix it for you cuz they knew they’d never get another referral.
Tim Melanson: Yeah. Yeah. And you never know where people are in their life too. So sometimes things are just not going well. Wow. That’s amazing now. Okay. So what about, uh, what about learning from the best? So now you mentioned that you like to go for coffee and pick, pick brains and stuff. What other things, uh, do you do to learn more?
Dalene Allen: Um, I go to networking events and here was the person I was back in the beginning. I would run around and hit everybody, my business. Stupid. So like not make a human connection at all. I would be this like Energizer bunny that got nowhere. I’d leave with a ton of business cards and you’d think.
You know, I, I had to go home and do all that work. So if I, if I’m going to an event, cuz sometimes on event, right, you can go in and see who else is registered or you know, if it’s a conference and things like that. So I go in with the intention of, okay, who am I gonna meet now? The first networking things I ever went to.
Cause I went to everything. I would stand in the corner with the deer and the headlights look. And after a while, you know where I’d go talk to somebody. I knew, I thought this is not working. This is not. And so I, my I’m a, I’m the child of a military, uh, father. So if you’re not 15 or 20 minutes early, you’re late.
I’m always on time. I’m always early. And I would get into a room, let’s say at a chamber after hours event, I’d have my I’d always wear clothes in that pockets in it left pocket was my card. Right pocket was the person’s card. So I collected, if not, I was handing back the cards that I had just received.
I’ve done that too many times too, but anyway, so I would hand out, um, I would wait until someone. The first person that walked through the door that looked scared to death that I didn’t know. Yeah. And I go over and say, you look really uncomfortable. Is this your first time? Oh my God, thank God you came to talk to me.
I said, look, let me, let me take you around and I’ll introduce you to people. And they’re like, oh, you’re so nice. So I’ve now made one new friend. Okay. And sometimes. This would, I’d be in a room where I didn’t know anybody, cuz that was what I wanted. And I go over and say, excuse me, this is her first time year.
This is his first time here. When I introduce myself, my name’s Dalene Allen, here’s my card. And this is who this person is. And let’s see if we can make some connections. And now when I go to events, people that don’t, that that know me go, okay, I’m following you around tonight. Delete and I go, as long as I have someone into Bruce.
It’s taken the pressure off me and I’m focusing on that person and it’s just so much easier. I wished I’d learned that 20 years ago,
Tim Melanson: Tim. I love that. I love that. That’s such a good idea.
Dalene Allen: well, because again, when you take the focus off you. Suddenly you put it on somebody else. Number one, it makes you feel good.
Makes them very appreciative because they likely would not have done that turned around and walked out and said never doing that again. And I, I want people to know. Yes, you can do that. Yeah.
Tim Melanson: Yeah. And like you said before, I mean the, really the goal there is not necessarily, uh, directly to get business it’s to make friends connection, right?
Dalene Allen: yeah. Yeah. If, if I like the person. Right, because I think we all have had some customers that we don’t necessarily like, but take us extra time. Cuz learning to define your dream referral is also very important in growing a business because really, if you look at your customers and I fired a few of them, um, even though it was consumable product and they were usually really mad at me and, and I would say, look, I’m just not meeting your.
But I’m gonna introduce you to someone who I think your personality, that you have a lot more in common than with me. And nine times outta of 10, if I ever ran, they’d say, you know what, Dalene you’re absolutely right. And, and you know, again, that’s not an easy thing to do. You can tell anyone where to go, just try to make sure they enjoy the trip.
Tim Melanson: exactly. And, uh, now you’ve actually gained more credibility with that person and they might actually refer someone back to you that they don’t really connect with. Exactly.
Dalene Allen: Yeah. Wow. I mean, again, what can we do to make somebody feel better, a little more important, a little more valued. Cause if we all did that just a little bit more, I hope we’re coming out of this with people just caring a little bit more, such a difference that makes, uh, I agree.
Tim Melanson: All right. I could talk about this forever, but it’s time for your guest solo. So tell me what’s exciting in your business, right?
Dalene Allen: Well, can you tell, I love to connect people. I’m a very curious person. I love to hear people’s stories. Everybody has a story, and it’s always, I learned something new from everybody I talk to, but here’s the thing.
If you’ve got a business and you wanna grow it to the next level, or if you’ve got a network already a great network, but most people with a great network want a better network. Really? The relationships and understanding what a referral partner is or creating a power team where you all deal with the same client, but in a complimentary not competitive way.
And of course, I tell you, come out to visit any BNI online networking event. And I guarantee you’ll make some great connections. We live with a giver’s game philosophy. And if you start to look at that, that way at building your business, see if I’m in a networking event and I’m doing a talk, I. Who came here to sell something today.
Guess what Tim everybody’s hand goes? I said, I go into a networking event to learn something new, to find a new business, a new person, something that I can learn from. And if my business fits, it’s easier for me to get the point across when I know more about them. Two ears, one Mo listen, accordingly.
Tim Melanson: I love that so much.
And that is so cool. So now how do we find out more about B and.
Dalene Allen: Um, WW dot BNI, maritimes.com. We have the regions of Nova Scotia, new Brunswick and prince Everett island. But if you live anywhere in the world, BNI is in 76 countries and you could just Google BNI connect and you can likely visit an online.
Networking chapter anywhere in the world. Here’s the thing. If you’re a solo entrepreneur and perhaps you wanna make a trip somewhere, wanna go to Hawaii or Spain, Google B, and I, uh, get the low down before you ever get there and the best places to stay and you’ll have a whole network of people to visit.
When you go there, go to a few BNI events who knows you could call it an income tax deductible travel. Wow. That’s such a great
Tim Melanson: idea. Now, Dalene, you know, that I was part of BNI chapter back when I first started my business at being self-employed and I mean, the, the, the ideas of these referral partners was great.
I mean, I, I had a few friends that were firing me people before I got to BNI, but BNI was great because it got me an opportunity to meet more people, create more relationships and get more business now. This right now with this whole zoom thing is a huge opportunity. I think cuz now, uh, we don’t have to go in person to a meeting to learn about BNI.
We can actually sit in our home and work from home and uh, and actually attend these BNI meetings all over the world.
Dalene Allen: Oh Tim. And when I talk to somebody like you, who really can do global, or when I talk to somebody like you, that finally Atlanta Canada is on the map for a wonderful place to live and they wanna come and do business here.
They need to talk to somebody like you before they ever get here. And we, you know, we’re an aging population in the Maritimes. We need people to come here and see the opportunities that sometimes we don’t see, but when we see them. Seeing opportunities here. I believe it makes us more motivated to also see the amazing opportunities that are here for all of us.
Tim Melanson: Love it, love it. All right. So if you’re interested in BNI, make sure you go visit their website. and it’ll be in the show notes as well. And if you’re in the Maritimes and you want to start or be a part of a BNI chapter here in the Maritimes, make sure you contact Dalene, cuz she can help you to set a chapter up.
Dalene Allen: Exactly. And for Moncton, this amazing man, Tim, Lanson starting a chapter in Moncton, so contact both of us and we’ll help grow your business.
Tim Melanson: Awesome. So thank you so much for rocking out with me today. Dalene, this has been a lot of fun.
Dalene Allen: Oh, listen. I love it, Tim. Thank you. Have a great
Tim Melanson: day right on and to the listeners, make sure you subscribe right in comment, and we’ll see you next time on the work at home rockstar podcast.