Success in BNI comes when the rest of the chapter members trust you enough to open up their best referrals to you. If you have been in your chapter for more than 18 months and all you are getting are inside (transactional) referrals, then you need to take a look at how you can build more trust with people.
How do you do that? You have to treat your fellow BNI chapter members as if they are your clients. This helps them experience your work and professional skills, which can be beneficial for you and your business.
Let’s take a look at five ways to “play full out” in BNI for fun and profit.
- Show up each week to your meeting. You will want to arrive well-dressed, wearing your name badge and most importantly, your smile. When you arrive each week, you want to be on-time, ready to greet visitors and guests and participate during open networking.
Why is weekly attendance important? If you aren’t at the meetings, you’re not fresh in your chapter members’ minds, which means they probably won’t think of you when they are standing in front of a good referral. Secondly, if you don’t show up or you regularly show up late, your chapter might assume that’s your way of doing business and that you’ll do the same thing with the people whom they might refer you to.
- Participate in the networking time that begins at the start of every meeting.
Which of these four things should you be doing in the first 15 minutes of our meeting?
- Pay for the meeting
- Get your meal
- Catch up with other members about chapter issues
- Meet with visitors and new members
The last option is the ONLY answer. A good rule of thumb is that you should be networking until the president calls the second part of the meeting to order. Sure, your food might grow cold if left alone, but so will a visitor. Your food won’t bring you any business.
- Give 100% of your participation in the meeting. Treat whoever is speaking as if they were the biggest client you could possibly land. Listen carefully to their weekly presentation and take notes. Think about it this way:
Would you walk out on a big client to take a phone call?
Would you talk to the person next to you when a client is speaking?
Would you send text messages while your clients are talking about their needs?
If you do it at a chapter meeting, your fellow members may assume you’ll do it with the referral they send you.
4 and 5. Attend BNI trainings and embrace a culture of education. Being a frequent attendee at BNI trainings means becoming a familiar face to BNI members while also constantly having the opportunity to meet new contacts and create new business relationships, which leads to more referrals.
You should always remember to hold on to and enjoy the education BNI provides.
This membership enhances both your business and skills as a networker.
To summarize, follow these 5 steps “to play full out” in BNI for the most fun and profit:
- Show up on-time each week
- Attend Trainings
- Seek More Education
Everything that you do inside and outside of your BNI meeting is either moving you up or down the confidence curve. If you want to be trusted and get the best outside referrals, you have to do the things that will move you into a more trusted position. This gives your fellow chapter members confidence in your character and the ability to do what you say you will.
How else are you building trust with your fellow chapter members? We’d love to hear your comments below!
ABOUT HAZEL WALKER
As a strong, inspiring woman, mother, and entrepreneur, Hazel is focused on helping you tap your full business potential. In the process, you’ll be motivated, rewarded, and transformed; she will challenge your thinking, call you on your excuses, and help you create a new vision for yourself, your business, and your life. Based both in Perth, Australia and Indianapolis, Indiana, Hazel travels the globe speaking to women’s organizations about the importance of building strong networks both locally and globally. She has become known as the Global Referral Expert. Organizations big and small turn to Hazel for her whip-smart, fun, and insightful perspectives on understanding behaviors implementing change, and what it takes to reach the greatest levels of success in your own backyard and around the world.