Episode 303: A Good Referral Is in the Eye of the Beholder

Synopsis

Susan Goodsell, BNI Executive Director for BNI Riverside and San Bernardino Counties (and also a BNI employee who works on branding), joins Dr. Misner to explain why a good referral is in the eye of the beholder.

All BNI members understand that a referral is the opportunity to do business, not a guarantee of business. But not everyone educates their fellow members with enough specifics about what’s required for a good referral.

The first time I give a poor referral, it’s my fault. But the second time I give a poor referral, it’s probably the receiver’s fault.

Each of us has a different definition of what counts as a referral. Listen to what counts as a referral for your fellow members. Don’t try to define referrals for other members.

If you’re a printer and you don’t want referrals for business cards because you don’t make much money from them, stop mentioning them in your 60-second spot. Talk about the products that do make money for you. Mention the price point for referrals.

If you get an off-target referral, go to the member who made the referral, thank them for thinking of you, and educate them on the kinds of referrals you do want.

As long as you are laser-specific, you’ll get good referrals. Wherever you set the bar is the level of referrals you’ll get.

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Podcast intro recorded by Tony Wolfe.

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Episode 298: Following Up on Referrals

Synopsis

A BNI member named Gary asked Dr. Misner the following question:

I have passed a referral to someone on two occasions and they have not followed up on either. This happens to be someone in my own chapter. I am now wondering whether they actually want me to pass them more referrals or don’t want the work.

Following up on referrals is part of BNI’s Code of Ethics.

The first thing to do is talk to the member you gave the referral to. Clear, open, honest, communication is generally the best way to address a problem like this. It doesn’t have to be a confrontation.

Some of the possiblities are:

  • It wasn’t a good referral, even though you thought it was.
  • They lost the contact information or dialed the wrong number.
  • They’re disorganized and haven’t followed through.

If it’s not a good referral, find out why. If the person hasn’t gotten around to following through, explain that when you give a referral, you give away part of your reputation. If the member still doesn’t follow up, you can contact the membership committee.

Don’t complain about this member to anyone BUT the membership committee, and don’t talk to the membership committee UNTIL you talk to the other member. Gossip will destroy the morale of a BNI chapter. Remember: clear, open, honest communication.

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Podcast intro recorded by Tony Wolfe.

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Episode 289: Thank You for Closed Business

Synopsis

This week John Meyer, U.S. National Director of Field Affairs for BNI and Executive Director of BNI Ohio, joins Dr. Misner on the podcast to talk about the Thank You for Closed Business (TYCB) system, which measures the business passed between BNI members.

Why do we report closed business on TYCB slips?

  • We want to thank the people who give us referrals that turn into business and provide recognition.
  • We want to make sure that members pass qualified referrals.
  • We want to maintain accountability within the chapter.

 What is reported on TYCB slips?

This varies by type of business, but in general it’s the gross income to the BNI member as the result of the referral. For more details, click here to download the “Thank You for Closed Business” Explanation PDF.

How is TYCB reported?

You can either fill out a green TYCB slip at a meeting or online through BNI Connect, where you can also track your own closed business. If you are not on BNI Connect, or if the Member Module has not been enabled in your region, talk to your Executive Director.

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Episode 286: Finder’s Fees in BNI

Synopsis

Today’s topic was suggested by a BNI member who couldn’t find the topic covered in the podcast. He said “A member came to me with a referral, and said that if I did business with the referral, they would like a commission.” He was shocked; he had never heard of such a thing before. He asked what BNI’s policy about this was.

There’s no formal BNI policy about referral fees, but here is Dr. Misner’s own very strong opinion about it.

“Givers Gain” does not mean “Give me some money and I’ll give you a referral.” It means that I’ll give members referrals and in return they’ll support me by giving me referrals. It’s based on social capital theory, on the law of reciprocity. It’s not a transactional law, it’s a transformational law.

BNI is about relationships. Asking for finder’s fees in BNI is a really bad idea. And offering them rarely works, though there’s nothing wrong with a thank-you gift. (For more on that, read Dr. Misner’s article about finder’s fees on Entrepreneur. com.)

Brought to you by Networking Now.

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Episode 284: Passing Referrals Online

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.
Join BNI Connect on Facebook and YouTube.

Brought to you by Networking Now.

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