Seven Ways to Destroy Credibility With Your BNI Members

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Seven Ways to Destroy Credibility With Your BNI Members

If you cannot build your credibility with members of your network you will not get business referrals from them. Amazingly people join groups like BNI with the idea that they can just show up and get referrals. What they do not consider is how long it takes to build their credibility and how quickly they destroy it. Here are the top 7 ways that BNI Members destroy their credibility one small offense at a time.

A large clock hanging up in a store window.

  1. Show up late and leave early. After all you are the most important person in the room and there is nothing like making a grand entrance. When people join a chapter they know what time the meetings starts and what time the meeting ends. Arriving late consistently sends the message of disrespect, that your time is more important than the time of the others in the room. I had the opportunity to pass a referral for some work that I needed to have done and I gave it  to a member who was regularly late to the weekly meeting. Sure enough he arrived at my home 30 minutes late. If you cannot come to a regular meeting on time, how can I trust you to show up on time at my clients?
  2. Go ahead and chat to your friends around the table while your fellow members are asking for their referrals. They won’t mind that you are talking over them, not listening to what they are asking for and it is a sure way to inspire them to want to help you too.
  3. Make off-color comments and jokes during the meeting, you are the king of comedy and, besides, if someone is offended they should just get over it, you are just being you and keeping the meeting fun.
  4. During the “I Have” portion of the meeting it’s a good idea to for you to say “I don’t have anything this week” because everyone is excited to hear about what you do not have. It’s great for your reputation to go an entire week and not be able to even generate a testimonial for a fellow BNI member.
  5. Wing your showcase presentation. It shows us how you likely do your work when you are with a client. That is sure to build confidence in each of us who are part of your network.
  6. Don’t pay your chapter dues on a timely basis, because the Membership Committee and Secretary Treasurer love to chase you up instead of running their own businesses.
  7. Never ever serve on the leadership team and give back to the chapter. After all you are a busy business person and you do not have time to be bothered, let the other members do it, they are not as busy as you.

The word connect written in the sand.

These are just a few things you can do to destroy your credibility, it’s pretty easy and it will cost you over time with fewer and fewer referrals. Your fellow business members may never say a word to you about it and they may even laugh, but the entire time they are thinking about how you might make them look if they give you a referral.

Every week, inside and outside of your BNI meeting you are either building your credibility or destroying it.


For more ways learning on credibility check out this Walker This Way video! 
  1. I’ve always had a very positive experience in my [previous] chapter. Have visited a few though and some of these (especially the talking over me) have been present – it can be a huge turn-off for visitors (after all, we’re all visitor hosts, right?)

    1. That is one of my pet peeves. Listening is very important if you are going to be able to pass referrals. When someone is speaking when I am, I just stop until they are completed.

  2. 9. I have given referrals and the receiving party did not bother to follow up on the referral, sure way that person would not receive any more referrals from me because I look bad in the face of the person whom I told ” I can refer someone that can Help”

    1. Chris, that is probably my #1 pet peeve. Everyone in BNI says they need more business. Why not follow up on referrals then?

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