John Meyer returns to the podcast to continue the “Get Connected–Stay Connected” series. Participation in BNI Connect has been increasing, so the campaign is having an effect.
Today’s topic is giving testimonials on BNI Connect. John would like to start by clearing up the difference between a thank you and a testimonial. Everyone understands the importance of saying “thank you” for referrals, but not everyone understands the definition of a testimonial. A testimonial is an explanation of why somebody should do business with a person. The stories that you see on SuccessNet under “I’m Connected” include many examples of testimonials for BNI.
Testimonials that you write for fellow BNI members appear on their BNI Connect profiles and are visible to the public.
Struggling to find the time to get your testimonials posted? Have your chapter schedule a BNI Connect testimonial week.
Every time a member gives a testimonial during a chapter meeting, have the leadership team prompt the person who gives the testimonial to add that testimonial to BNI Connect.
Brought to you by The Global Networking Show.
Complete Transcript of BNI Podcast Episode 355 –
Hello everyone and welcome back to The Official BNI Podcast brought to you by the Global Networking Show, which is hosted by Andy Lopata and Dr. Ivan Misner. 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 and where are you?
Hi Priscilla. I am in Germany this week doing events for BNI Germany. What a great group! They all like my wife better than me, which I guess isn’t too uncommon, but she speaks German fluently so she gets along real well when an American can speak the language. We are doing great.
By the way, the Global Networking Show is a new sponsor for the BNI Podcast. I urge listeners to go check out the Global Networking Show. Andy Lopata and I do a show once a month on Google Hangout and we bring in experts from all over the world. We will invite Andy to a podcast, Priscilla and do a podcast with him.
This week, I have gotten back an- I was going to say an old friend but John is not that old. A long term friend of BNI Podcast, John Meyer. John probably has the record for being my guest more than anyone else on BNIpodcast.com. He is the US National Director for BNI. He has over 6200 chapters under his management. I’m sorry, how many members do you have now under your management?
3800 members under your management. 6700 chapters now worldwide and John is in the Toledo, Ohio area. He is also a contributing author to Masters of Networking and loves golf. I could do a whole podcast on you talking about golf.
Alright. But today, we are here to continue the series, Get Connected, Stay Connected, which was John and his team’s idea.
John, it seems to be working pretty well. Participation is going in the right direction. It is going up, which is good in this organization.
It really has. We did a study to see the impact of the Get Connected, Stay Connected campaign earlier this year. It is truly amazing the impact. At least, we are thinking that is the impact of the usage of BNI Connect and how many members are utilizing the program. The word is truly spreading how powerful this program is.
It really is and for the first time in the history of this company, it is a global network. You can connect with people all over the world via BNI Connect. This month’s topic for Get Connected, Stay Connected is “Promote a Fellow Member.” Do you want to talk about that a little bit so that people can get an idea of what we would like you to focus on in BNI Connect this month?
I would. Before I get into the actual topic, I want to talk real briefly on the definition of a thank you versus a testimonial because I think there may still be some confusion and I think you see that or hear about that in your travels as well, where people understand the importance of a thank you but they don’t understand the definition of a testimonial.
A testimonial truly is an explanation or a promotion of why somebody should do business with somebody else versus a thank you of thank you for giving me a referral or whatever and a nice bottle of burgundy or some kind of bottle of wine or a gift when somebody gives you a referral.
The first thing is we don’t want to confuse a thank you for a testimonial. However, in this topic, we want to focus on the testimonial aspect and how you can incorporate that in BNI Connect. We have the testimonials in the chapters. Now we want to take it a step further and make it visible to all BNI members around the world.
You know, we have asked forever since BNI started, practically, for people to share their testimonials at a BNI meeting. Now we are suggesting an additional thing. In addition to doing at the meeting, put it in writing and put it on BNI Connect because it will show up on a member’s profile. Isn’t that right?
It will. It is interesting that you mentioned earlier that we truly are now a global network thanks to BNI Connect. The aspect of SuccessNet, where we have the “I’m Connected” stories, we start to see members connecting with other members around the world on referrals that are being passed.
So this aspect of Get Connected, Stay Connected-: Promote a Fellow Member- ties directly into the success stories that we are starting to see on SuccessNet. Now they can take those stories, put them onto that member’s actual profile in BNI Connect that all members get to see.
So when you talk about a global network, this truly falls into place with that philosophy.
It does and the profiles are visible to the public. So having testimonials on your profile certainly can help prospective buyers of products or services see the kinds of things that you do in relation to how other BNI members feel about your services, which I think is pretty important for most people.
It really is. And it is fun to watch the testimonial build when people start to get involved in writing up or publishing the testimonials on BNI Connect. Pull up a couple people’s profiles and you will see four, five, six, ten, twelve different testimonials from different people who have used this member’s services.
How easy is it to post a testimonial? I know you are not in the role that Jeremy Walsh is in, and he can just tell you where to point, but I have done it. It’s pretty easy. Do you want to tell people about where they would go and what they would do?
Actually, part of the BNI Connect program is connecting with people, so if the connection that you have made- you are automatically connected with all the members in your chapter. If you just click on their profile, there is a way that you can click on “Give a Testimonial”.
You can write up your description. I believe it is limited in the number of characters. You can’t write a War and Peace novel about the experience, but you can definitely provide a very nice Reader’s Digest version of how people or why people should do business with the person whom you are giving a testimonial for, which is really easy.
Finding the person’s information. Clicking on the “Give a Testimonial” button. Filling in the blanks.
I have given several testimonials. It is pretty easy to do. You actually do have plenty of space. You are actually right. It can’t be War and Peace, but you have plenty of space to deep and thorough of why they did such a good job.
I think the truth is that all of our members know that testimonials are really important. It is just a matter of taking the time to do it, so one of the things that I recommend if you are listening to this podcast, go back to your chapter and as a chapter, schedule a week that is BNI Connect testimonial week. This week, every member is going to post at least one testimonial for one other member. This week, every member. What do you think of that idea?
I love that idea. That starts to drive the chapter to get involved, and that is ultimately what we are looking for. I think what you can do on top of what we just said is during the chapter meeting, have the president, vice president, secretary, member- ever time a member stands up to give a testimonial in the chapter, write down who gave the testimonial and who the testimonial is about and target them to put that on BNI Connect.
It happens in the meeting. So let’s just move that to the BNI Connect site as well.
Yeah. In addition to as opposed to in place of.
We are out of time today, John. For the listeners, John is joining me most month, not ever month, but many months the first week of every month for the Get Connected, Stay Connected podcasts that we are doing for 12 months in a row. This is, I think, number seven or eight or something like that.
It is great to have you on again, John, and we will be talking to you again next month.
Okay great. I love that idea. I am going to take it back to my chapter this week. Thank you so much for listening. I would like to just remind the listeners that this podcast has been brought to you by the Global Networking Show, which is hosted by Andy Lopata and Dr. Ivan Misner. Thank you so much for listening. This is Priscilla Rice and we hope you will join us next week for another exciting episode of The Official BNI Podcast.