Not so Fast Hot Shot!

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Not so Fast Hot Shot!

Don’t be a hot shot in your BNI chapter learn how to give a good referral and not just a lead!

John, a member in your BNI chapter, stands and asks for referrals to _______ (pick a common category or type of business), let’s say bankers. This seemingly simple referral request initiates a flurry of referral slips being filled out and passed to John that very BNI meeting. Probably six if not ten slips were passed to John.

Months later when it comes time for John to renew his BNI membership in your chapter he decides he didn’t receive value for his investment of time and money. How can that be? You distinctly remember the day John asked for business referrals to bankers and you know he received at least six if not 10 referral slips.

Here’s the problem with this story, John didn’t receive even one referral that day he asked for referrals to bankers. You say, “wait a minute, you said in the first paragraph, he got six if not ten referral slips.” I did say that.

What happened that day was John received six to ten leads written on referral slips. The BNI chapter members wasted a bunch of referral slips by writing leads, not referrals on those slips.

When John went to follow-up on all those names on referral slips, he got nowhere and fast. John became frustrated (although he didn’t say a word about it). You might have noticed after that day John was late a couple of times and then missed a meeting or two. John was emotionally checking out! Then, when renewal time came, John thought it really wasn’t worth his time (time is worth more than the money, always) because his participation in his BNI Chapter wasn’t really paying off for him.

Ironically, the more he felt that his BNI Chapter wasn’t paying off for him, the more he was late for a meeting, left early or missed BNI meetings. You see John was making sure he was right about his participation not being worth his time.

What should have happened?

When John, or any member of your chapter, asks for a referral, that means you (or the person giving the referral) has contacted the referral, told them about John and then made an introduction to John. This introduction can be either face-to-face, via email or conference call. Rarely when an “ask” is made in the chapter is it possible to give a good, quality referral at the same meeting. A good BNI referral takes time and effort.

Remember the words from Wyatt Earp, “You have to be fast, but you have to take your time.” The same philosophy is true with passing and following up on referrals. Give them quickly but take the time to make sure it’s a referral. Follow up fast but take your time to build a relationship with your referral.


Jack Klemeyer is a member of Achievers Network in Brownsburg, a part of the BNI Central-Indiana Regional Team and a Certified John Maxwell Coach, Speaker and Trainer helping business owners and leaders who are so busy helping others they don’t always take the time to work on their business. Jack always appreciates referrals! 

This Walker This Way video discusses the one key to success for any relationship. Come see what that is!

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