7 Steps to Become a Stand-Out Member of BNI That Everyone Will Talk About:
(BNI – Business Network International is the largest networking and referral business organization and is well know in small businesses)
I have been a member of BNI for over 12 years and wanted to share my secrets to getting the most out of your BNI experience.
If you are familiar with BNI, are a new member, or even a future member of this organization, then you know that they track the dollars earned through the referrals passed between members, business closed in each group, and by each individual.
My best year while being a member of the Andover, MA chapter, was in excess of $360,000, with total closed business close to $ 1,000,000.00.
Yes. That is ONE MILLION dollars.
Let’s Rock Your Next BNI Meeting With These 7 Steps:
1. Arrive Early.
Not just 5 minutes early, but 20-30 minutes early.
Few members or visitors will be there so use this to your advantage!
This is a great time to have the attention of a couple members; greet everyone who walks through the door.
If needed, help set up for the meeting and pick the best seat.
2. Always Volunteer.
Committees and leadership positions are often hard to find volunteers for, so be on the lookout and volunteer.
If you are an early bird, volunteer to be a Greeter, this will allow you to meet everyone who walks through the door and strike up the first conversation with them.
A BONUS is if they are a great fit for referrals for your business is having them sit next to you.
3. Make Your Commercial Memorable.
Your commercial is the MOST important part of the meeting.
This is what you say for the next 60 seconds that will be remembered for the next week or more by all members and visitors.
You only have a few seconds to catch your audience’s attention, create an attention-grabbing hook!
Prepare, plan, practice, and do NOT be boring.
Shake the room up, be different and be so interesting that they remember you for the next week.
Keep notes of what others are asking for on a notepad. When you write it, you remember it.
4. Keep Audience Engaged During Your 10-minute presentation.
Similar to your commercial, again, Prepare, plan, practice, and do NOT be boring.
This is when you explain who you are or what you do.
Utilize visuals and do NOT hand out any written material during your presentation as the attendees will turn their attention to reading and take their eyes off of you.
Hold them until the end and then pass out your material.
5. Pay Attention.
To all commercials and presentations, do NOT browse your phone, leave to answer calls, or chat with a neighbor.
Remember, you wouldn’t want someone else distracted while you are speaking, so make sure to stay focused on the speaker.
It is amazing what you will learn from each person at this time.
They might mention something that is your golden referral.
The reason I mention this is that we had a Mary Kay cosmetic lady in our meeting which I honestly had very little interest in and one day I receive a referral from her that led to over $ 400,000 worth of business and it is still producing revenue for us today.
Keep your eyes on your prizes!
6. Give Genuine Referrals.
Be prepared, do not quickly jot something down, and do not give a half-hearted testimonial, be genuine.
When you pass true referrals on a consistent basis, people will want to talk to you and do business with you.
Don’t be the person who talks about nothing or just blows hot air.
7. Stay Connected & Follow Up.
When I noticed my incoming referrals were coming in less, I stepped back and realized I was not doing what worked in the past, which was having one-to-ones with the members.
Coffee, drinks, golf, keep in touch, this keeps you top of mind to them.
If you’d like to learn more tips on staying top of mind, it is Step 9 of the DYB System.
Anyways, if you are like myself, when someone does something for me I want to repay them, it’s the law of reciprocity.
This is the same throughout BNI and it’s members; just like the Mary Kay lady every time there is a raffle or silent auction I call her and ask for her to make me an awesome basket to donate.
I may not need any cosmetics for myself but I will do everything I can to repay her for the business she has brought me.