Do you want to be selling to strangers or helping a member of your referral network by connecting them to people you already know? I wrote this for members of my BNI (Business Networking International) chapter for our April 6th meeting. I've just taken on the role of Education Coordinator and my goal is to help the members of the Ithaca Thumbs Up chapter be more effective in helping each other in BNI.
"How to Give a Referral"
At each BNI meeting, members are invited to tell all of the other members what they are looking for this week. This could be an ideal prospect, a contact with a certain title in a specific business, or a specific name that they'd like a personal introduction to. Here are steps to helping out at least one member of your BNI chapter (or of your referral network):
1. Write down what everyone is looking for, you may have 15 or 30 or 40 ideas of what people are looking for.
2. Pick one person that you can help from the list, based on what they are looking for
3. Circle that name and 'who' they were looking for
4. Call the 'who' by noon
5. If you don't have that 'who' - ask the first 3 people you meet on Tuesday if they know that 'who'
6. Continue all week (asking the first 3 people you meet, until you make the connection).
7. Bring that person's contact information and permission to call to your BNI chapter next week
8. Repeat this each week and give 50 referrals a year!
Additional Information: You Know the Prospect
Can I introduce you to (name of BNI member), the owner of the (BNI member's company name), who can help you (service BNI member provides)? He/She has helped me (how have they helped you?) and I’m seeing the results in my (business / life / health / family / can you provide an effective 3rd party testimonial here?).
Let me know if I can make this introduction.
--You Ask someone you know if they know the prospect--
Hi _(name of friend)_,
Can you do me a favor? I’m trying to help my friend _(BNI member first name)_ by connecting him/her to a _(who are they are looking for this week)_.
Do you know a _(Business Owner / Person / Someone)_ that you can introduce me to that fits that description?
--Your follow-up contact with the prospect--
Hi _(Prospect Name)_,
(Your Friend) gave me your contact information – she/he said you were a (who your BNI member is looking for this week).
Can I introduce you to (BNI member), the owner of (BNI member company name), who can help you (how can they help?)? He/She has helped me (how have they helped you?) and I’m seeing the results in my (business / life / health / family / can you provide an effective 3rd party testimonial here?).
Can make this introduction?
Repeat this and you too can bring 50 referrals a year to BNI.