Start by saying…
I want you to listen to a step-by-step process that many of you will be familiar with.
· You have just heard something that sounded like a need for a referral.
· Someone has said or done something that triggers a memory hook, visual, or conversation starter of one of the members of the chapter.
· You go through the normal steps of listening, asking, clarifying, building credibility and seeking permission to refer them.
· Finally you are ready to pass on the details of the member to the referral, get their card, and move on.
Can anyone tell me one more step that may make this referral even better?
Seek responses, repeat a few, and then say…
The next step that can bring so much more value with a referral is to ask the referral whether they would like to meet the member in person.
In many instances, the referral is a potential member of your chapter.
If they are in business, they are at least a potential member of BNI. At best, they are a potential member of your chapter.
Yet many of us overlook the very people who are suited for BNI as potential members, and they fall into two basic categories:
1. The referral that has yet to experience the service/product of your member but is impressed with the amount of effort you have just gone to assisting them with solving the problem they have.
2. The referral who is already satisfied with the work done by one of your members as a result of an initial contact.
Both of these people already know something about BNI and its reputation, credibility and professionalism. They have just seen it in action.
Who better to invite to a BNI meeting than one of these people?
Many times we at BNI hear members say that they have invited everyone they know. While this is rarely true, the same person is also giving out regular referrals each week.
The next time you find a referral for a member, mark that person down as a potential guest.
They can be invited at the time you are asking how you can help them or you could make a note to ask them later after they have experienced great service from one of your members.
Just don’t overlook them totally.