BNI Education Slots

Getting Over the Line

Today, we’re going to talk about getting over the BNI line.

First, imagine there’s a line drawn down the centre of this screen. On the left-hand side, imagine it says “it’s easier to quit”. On the right-hand side, imagine it says “it’s easier to stay”.

Now, when you first join a networking group like BNI, or even if you’ve been here for a while, it’s very easy to quit. You get up in the morning, and it’s ridiculously early and very dark. You may have to defrost your car, and you could think “why am I bothering? I’m just going to go back to bed”.

You’ve not invested that much in BNI – I realise it is obviously a financial investment, but it’s not a huge sum of money for a business – you’ve not necessarily made any relationships, you’ve haven’t got any business through it yet, so you think “let’s just call it a day and go home”. That’s what happens when you’re on the left-hand side of the line.

On the left-hand side, it’s very easy to give up. We need to make sure we get people over to the right-hand side of line, where it’s easier for them to stay than give up.

So, what can you do to make sure that you and other members get over to side of right-hand side of line, where it’s easier to stay? For starters, when you join, you can proclaim. Now, I love a bit of proclamation myself, and what I mean by that is you can tell people on social media, whether that’s on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn, for example, that you’ve joined BNI. Tell friends and family, customers and clients that you’ve joined BNI.

Once you’ve done something like that, it’s then harder to go “I’m going to walk away from it”. You could even bring customers or clients as visitors once you’ve told them, and it’s now very difficult to just walk away – it’s easier to stay now.

Now, the reason we’re all here of course is money. Now, let’s give the example of Damian. Damian’s a relatively new member, but he’s already given people quite a few referrals, but no one’s given him one yet. The fact that Damian’s given out quite a few referrals means that he’s a good member, and we’d like him to stay, but he’s only going to stay if he’s getting business in return.

So, rather than just thinking “right, BNI tomorrow, I’ve got to turn up”, or “I’ve got to think about what to say for my 60 seconds”, you need to be thinking about what you can for other people in the room. Think about what you can do to get them business, because if you help people like Damian get business, who have already shown that he can help you get business, that would make it more difficult for them to leave – it makes it easier for them to stay.

The next action you can take to get yourself and other members over the line is attending events. Not the training events, but socials. These are so important as they help you build relationships and friendships, they help you get to know the people you’re networking with. If you’ve built up relationships, you’re more invested in the people that you’re with, and you stay over on the right side of the line, meaning it’s easier for you to stay.

Training is another point. If you go to training, you learn more about how to make BNI work for you, you make new relationships with people outside the chapter, which in turn helps you get more business. Training is very important and helps you stay on the right side of the line.

You will feel this pull of the left-hand side of the line during your time at BNI. You’ll question why you’re bothering, and others will too. That’s why you and every other member needs to make sure they have given everything they can to stay on the right side of the line, so that it is easier for them to stay than it is for them to leave. It’s fairly simple – all you need to do is go out and do it.

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