Episode 284: Passing Referrals Online

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Synopsis

Jeremy Walsh, director of support for BNI Connect, returns to the Official BNI Podcast. If what Jeremy talks about is not available in your area, contact your executive director. If you don’t yet have a BNI Connect username and password, go to support.bniconnect.com and submit a ticket.

  1. New Landing Page shows you all your stats the minute you log in.
  2. Easier Navigation. Every function is one click away.
  3. Customizable Links and Shortcuts. The reports & tools you need, ready for the chapter webmaster.
  4. Entering Referral Slips Online. Send the referral by e-mail. (You can print slips or fill them out in the meeting but mark them so the vice-president doesn’t double-enter them.)
  5. Thank You for Closed Business Received. Only you can see this. Only the online submissions are tabulated.
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Brought to you by Networking Now.

Complete Transcript of BNI Podcast Episode 284 -

Priscilla:
Hello everyone and welcome back to The Official BNI Podcast brought to you by NetworkingNow.com, which is the leading site on the net for networking downloadables. I am Priscilla Rice, and I am coming to you from Live Oak Recording Studio in Berkeley, CA. I am joined on the phone today by the Founder and Chairman of BNI, Dr. Ivan Misner. Hello Ivan. How are you?

Ivan:
I am doing great, Priscilla. Thank you very much. I have a guest today, Jeremy Walsh. Jeremy has been on a couple of podcasts already. We have brought him back. Jeremy is the Director of Support and Training Documentation for BNI Connect, BNI’s online program. Together with the BNI Connect team, they help get people connected worldwide through our new and exclusive online social media platform. And a member- not only the Director of Support and Training- he has been a member of the BNI field chapter in Rhode Island for more than 10 years and of course, is a Director there too as well.
He is the owner of Right Click computer support and networking company. He drags you clicking (not kicking but clicking- and screaming into the 21st century.

Jeremy, you are the only technology support person that I have ever worked with that everyone who talks to you loves you. You even have your own fan club and I am not kidding. I don’t know if you know this, Jeremy, but at a recent conference, I had a photograph given to me of you and was asked if I would like one. Anyone with one is officially part of the Jeremy Walsh fan cub. I am not a member of the Jeremy Walsh fan club.

Listen, it’s great to have you on again. We are going to talk about some of the BNI connect functionality again, in particular, passing referrals online utilizing BNI Connect. So you have 10 points, a lot to cover. If you are a member, you really want to pay attention to this. We are going to cover a lot of things. If what we talk about is not available in your area, I want you to contact your National Director or Executive Director and ask, “Why don’t we have this in our area yet? I’d like it.”

We want all regions to have this. In about one year, we are going to flip the switch and it will be everywhere. But some Directors are a little uncomfortable. It’s change and it’s different, so we are letting everyone go into it slowly. There are about 12 countries on it now and we will have everyone on it next year. If you like what you are hearing and it is not in your area, contact your Executive Director but make sure that it is not there first before you contact them.

Jeremy, you are going to start with the new landing page.

Jeremy:
Absolutely. The first time that you log into BNI Connect, what you are going to see is this great new landing page, and the great part about it is that all of your stats are right there in front of you. Whereas we always had to go back through and pull the PALMS report, or look at the PALMS report or wait till our vice president passed us the PALMS report, all the information is right there in front of you. Your last 12 months of activity, all the referrals that you have passed, all the thank you for closed business that you have given, all the visitors that you have brought, the one to ones, the CEUs. It’s all right there in front of you the minute you log in.

Not only that, but we have also been able to go back through and get your numbers for your lifetime. So myself, as an almost 11 year member, I can go back and see almost every piece of activity for my lifetime. It’s great to be able to see that return on investment right in front of us as soon as we log in.

Ivan:
No, before you hit the second one, if you have not gone to BNI Connect, go to www.bniconnect.com and put in your user name and password. If you don’t know it, check with your Director, your Executive Director or your Director Consultant and get your user name and password. Is there another way that they can do that other than contacting their Director, Jeremy?

Jeremy:
Absolutely. You can contact us support@bniconnect.com or online at support.bniconnect.com. Start a ticket and we will be happy to help you out.

Ivan:
Everyone will then have an idea of the things that you are talking about if you are not on BNI Connect yet. The second one was easier navigation.

Jeremy:
Yeah. We have heard you. Over the last year or so- BNI Connect has been up for about two years. “Sometimes we have trouble. We can’t find that report. Do we go to operations? Do we go to reports? Do we go to admin? Do we go to tools?”

Now we have these customizable menus where we put every function that you want to use one click away. You can change the order, change what shows in the list, what doesn’t show in the list. We have some great walk-throughs on support.bniconnect.com site that show you exactly how to do all of this stuff, but keep in mind that with just one click away, you can do everything that you intend to do on BNI Connect.

Ivan:
Excellent. Stats at your fingertips.

Jeremy:
It really takes networking to a whole new level as far as going back, looking at your membership and really doing the things that you need to do with this online social media system that we have.

Ivan:
That is an important one. You really want to take a look at those. Customizable links and shortcuts.

Jeremy:
Again, with these customizable links, just one click access, so reports that you need, tools that you need, just click one button and go in and start editing your website.

Ivan:
Here is another one: Entering referral slips online.

Jeremy:
This has to be the best thing that has happened to my membership since I became a member ten years ago. I can tell you for the last 10 years when you pass a referral or a one to one, you end up with all of these stacks of paper. If you need to go back historically, you know, if you pass a referral and they come back to you a a couple of days later- I am sure it has never happened to you, but they say they lost the referral slip and can you give them the details again? So you go back the yellow slips that you have collected and look for the name and address. Now, that can all be passed electronically online. So with the click of one button in BNI Connect, if I have a referral for a member in my chapter, I can fill it out with BNI Connect. They immediately get a notification email to their regular email with all of those contact details. And it stores them in a report permanently on BNI Connect.

I can go back at any time- and that goes for the referrals, one to ones, thank you for close of business and for the CEUs. It eliminates that duplication just by going back and looking at my historical activity in BNI Connect.

Ivan:
Priscilla, when we were talking before we started recording, you made a comment that some people asked about referral slips online at a meeting. Do you want to throw that in here so we can address that now?

Priscilla:
Yeah, sure. At our chapter, it seemed that one of the things that you had to do in order to participate in the door prize was print out a referral slip on your computer, take the time to cut it up, and bring it in and all that. It seemed like a lot of hassle.

Ivan:
That’s a common question, isn’t it?

Jeremy:
We do get that question quite a bit in support. To be clear, you have a choice, there is a personal meeting activity report. This is a great report for that portion of the meeting. Keep in mind that we absolutely 100% want everybody to be recording their activity in this par t of the meeting. That is one of the most important part of the meeting. But this personal meeting activity report organizes it all for you. So as Priscilla said, you can print this report out ahead of time. It will order out the referral slips and you can cut them out with a pair of scissors and be eligible for the door prize. Also, what is in a nice orderly fashion? All of your other activities so you can report easily on the one to ones, the CEUs, and the thank you for closed business.

Now, not all of us have a printer at home or remember to do that the night before. If you still want to be included in the door prize, just grab a referral slip, fill it out like you normally would, and before you drop it into your bin, bucket, basket or whatever else is going around the room, just put an X through it, right through the middle of it so your Vice President knows not to count it.

For all you Vice Presidents out there, when members enter these online, they are automatically entered into the PALMS report. It cuts your out of meeting responsibilities as far as getting the slips entered into the system. It can cut your time by half or maybe more.

Ivan:
You and your team like to call it “automagically”. I love that. It happens like magic. I think it is really important to say here that the process does not really change. You do not have to change the meeting. As a matter of fact, we urge you not to change the meeting. We still want you to pass referrals. You don’t have to take the printout, cut it out and put it in. You can use the referral slip. As more and more members are using the online system, I believe what we will do and what we are talking about now is adding another box that lets you check “Already entered into BNI Connect.” What Jeremy is suggesting is that you put an X right through it so that the vice president, or in some countries, it is called a membership coordinator knows that this has been entered. Or you can write on there “Already Entered.” Whatever. Have a system at your chapter until we add a box so that it is not double entered. But do not change the process. The meeting should still run like a meeting and referrals should still be handed like referrals. We are just adding an online element so that they can be immediate in terms of giving referrals.

I know we have a couple more points and we are almost out of time. Do you want to go over your last two points?

Jeremy:
Just one final point that I really want to hit on is that there is a new thing that we are able to track now in BNI Connect. That is your thank you for closed business received. Because of the privacy functionality on that, you can only track thank you for closed business received when you submit a thank you for closed business form online. So as you continue to submit your thank you for closed business to the members who have provided you with referrals in the chapter, it will now start to tabulate the thank you for closed business received for yourself and only you can see that. Even myself with god-like access in BNI Connect, I cannot see that information. It is 100% confidential and secure- only to you.

Ivan:
Now, at the time of this interview, it has only been out for a few days. In just a few days, how many thank you for closed business have been out?

Jeremy:
We have just passed the 10,000 online slip mark with well over $2.5 million in thank you for closed business reported.

Ivan:
That is amazing. It has only been up for a few days and we have that. Remember, last year in 2011, we literally had over 6 million referrals generated and over $3billion US dollars generated in BNI. We are hoping to be able to see all of that on BNI Connect.

Jeremy, any last comments before we wrap up?

Jeremy:
I thank you very much. Join us on support.bniconnect.com. Join us on Facebook as well facebook.com/bniconnectglobal. We have a YouTube channel with a ton of training videos on it: youtube.com/bniconnectglobal. If you are in BNI Connect, check out out group where we discuss all the webinars. That is BNI Connect Webinars in BNI Connect.

Ivan:
Jeremy, thank you so much. I appreciate you so much. I appreciate your time. If you are listening to this podcast, go to bniconnect.com and take a look at it. Thank you everybody. Back to you, Priscilla.

Priscilla:
That’s it for this week. Thank you both very much. I would like to remind the listeners that this podcast has been brought to you by networkingnow.com, which is the leading site on the net for networking downloadables. Thanks for listening. This is Priscilla Rice, and we hope you will join us next week for another exciting episode of The Official BNI Podcast.

Comments

  1. says

    I think that we should have a non-carbon referral slip to use to fill out our online referrals to put them in the “I have” bag. I think it will save money to print on the regular paper instead of the carbon papers.

Solutions-focused comments are welcome