BNI Education Slots

Know, Like and Trust

I’ve got some bad news for people. If you’ve joined BNI thinking you’re going to get loads of referrals just because you turn up for meetings, then I’m sorry, you’ve been missold. Because it doesn’t work that way. Referrals are quite difficult to find, they’re hard to give and not everybody is as good as everybody else at finding referrals. Actually, that’s a bit of a lie. We all give referrals every day, we just don’t realise we’re doing it. We all give referrals to people who wouldn’t know a BNI if you were to walk up to them and staple one to their forehead. I’m not suggesting you do that to anybody, by the way.

I’ll give you a for instance. Chris Taggart, what do you like to do in your spare time? Scuba dive? Okay, you’d like to scuba dive. Cliff, you play pool I believe? You play twice weekly or weekly? Two or three times a week. And you play with the same team? Do you play with different people? You meet them a lot? Yep, okay. When you scuba dive, do you meet the same people? Do you meet other people you talk to? (Not underwater) Okay, work with me here Chris, work with me. You also go to the pub a lot, I believe you’re a big drinker like myself?

Whatever you may do, whether it’s play pool with people, whether it’s go to the pub, whether it’s go dancing, whatever it is. You meet people all the time and you see them on a weekly basis or a twice weekly basis and you get to know their names, you get to know the kind of things they talk about, the kind of things they do. You get to know them, and that’s the important thing. You know them, you know who they are. The more you talk to them, the more you find out the sort of things they like to do and you get to like them. If you didn’t like them, you wouldn’t keep talking to them. Once you get to like them, you get to talk to them a bit more, you find out sort of things they do in their business and because they always turn up every week, they always buy their round, they always turn up for the pool game, they always play or they always turn up for scuba diving and they chat to you under the water (thanks for that one Chris), then you get to trust them. And if somebody were to ask you for a recommendation for someone who does what they do, even if you’ve never seen examples of their work, it doesn’t really matter because you know them on a personal level, you like them and you trust them, so you would have no hesitation in recommending them.

Now, if we were to bring that back into the BNI room, how do we get people to know, like and trust us in here so that we get more of these? Well, the first thing you can do is you can turn up to the meetings early, because a BNI meeting around here is only about 90 minutes, that’s not enough time. If you turn up early, that gives you more time to network with other people so they get to know you. Steve, I believe you were the first person here this morning. What time do you get here? 6am? Then the meeting started at 6 o’clock and we were all late because Steve was here networking with people. Who was the second person here? Tony. And did you speak to Tony? Yeah, did you have a chat with Tony? So Steve and Tony were networking with each other at stupid o’clock this morning when we could have been doing that and helping build relationships for our business. So turning up early is essential. It’s about the open networking, not just what happens in the meeting.

The next thing you can do is the one-to-ones. Now I know I bang on about one-to-ones a hell of a lot, but they’re not some box-ticking exercise. They’re not something that gets you free points, they’re opportunities for you to get to know the other person on a personal level. Now I’ve done a lot of one-to-ones, and as a result I’ve given out a lot referrals from people because I’ve got to know them a little better and I’ve got to like them a little better and find out what they’re all about. So one-to-ones are essential.

The third and final thing you can do is the socials. Now we don’t have a lot of socials with the chapter. I believe Chris, you’re organizing the Christmas party? I will definitely be there. I like a beer, Chris will definitely be there, he likes a beer. But it’s not about the beer, it’s not a social, it’s not something that’s a bit of a jolly, something you think “oh, I could go to that, I’m not sure if I could be bothered”. It’s about getting to know people on a personal level, getting to know them a lot better so that you can get more referrals. It’s about getting to know someone, to like them and to trust them. And that’s today’s ed slot, thank you.

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