Take The Rap

 
Take The Rap

In networking speak, a ‘Rap’, is a statement of appreciation. Giving a good Rap is a fantastic way to help other members understand the work someone has done, but like all forms of praise it needs to be done correctly and effectively to have the impact you intend. We have all suffered through award acceptance speeches, where people thank everyone from their cat’s physiotherapist to the person who showed them to the table that evening. We all turn off and dismiss these Raps as being meaningless.

Raps are over used at networking groups either by members who have done nothing during the week to get a referral or by people who do not understand their special role. You will know if someone is swinging the lead at your group as they will give a lot of Raps, and not give a lot of referrals.

Watch out for the ‘I would like to thank the group as a whole’ type speech, though occasionally these are heartfelt and genuine, I hate to say it, they are also used by people who have no referrals to give and have done nothing else to help the membership at all recently.

If you thank someone in the meeting for turning up and doing a quotation, it really is a waste of time for everyone. After all, that is what they are expected to do. But if you have been so impressed by someone, for example, the member might have solved a problem that seemed unsolvable, the Rap is the ideal way to help to promote them.

As with all things about networking, do not just give a Rap instantly and on the spur of the moment. Take the time before the meeting to write out your thanks and bring it to the meeting as a written testimonial. Then when it is the right time in the meeting, read the testimonial out (or at least the pertinent bit) and hand the paper to the member you are praising.

If you have referred someone to a fellow member and they have been impressed why not ask them to do a written testimonial? It is one thing to write our own and hand them out, but the impact of delivering a third-party testimonial is even more impressive.

One suggestion I would make is have a Rap book on the signing in table and keep a copy of these testimonials within it. This could then be shown to visitors to allow them to see the excellent work that the group is doing.

Writing your testimonial and giving it physically shows the group that you really do appreciate what the other member has done, which enhances their reputation. Additionally, it will inspire others to do the same and then what will also happen is that Raps will be appreciated themselves as a true form of praise, not just as a ‘get out of jail free card’ for lazy members who haven’t made any effort to be active.

One last thought, if you are conducting Recon meetings on a weekly basis you will never need to give a ‘fake rap’ again as you will be genuinely thanking the member for their time, even if you have no referrals that week.