The reason business owners join a BNI Group is to receive Qualified Business Referrals, not tips or leads. BNI studies show that a Qualified Referral that is followed up in a timely fashion has an 80% chance of turning into business for the member.
So how do we make sure the referral is qualified?
There are two simple rules to remember: A qualified business referral has to be high in recommendation and high in information.
What does this mean?
The person you are referring to your fellow BNI Member must be given information about your fellow member and their business.
This would include what they do, and how they can help and sharing stories about how they have helped you or one of your colleagues. You also must get permission for the member to contact them.
Has someone here had a situation where they called up a referral and they didn’t know who you were? How did that make you feel? Did you lose respect for the member and their business?
Gaining as much information as you can about the person you are referring’s needs is very important.
This information will help your fellow member be as prepared as they could possibly be when they call or meet the person. This also makes you look good as the person you are referring will feel that you have delivered a great service to them in referring them to someone who is professional and prepared.
And finally the acid test; before you pass a referral, ask yourself this question: If I was this member would I be happy to receive this referral?
If the answer is no, do some more work on it. You and your business’ reputation in the group will depend on it.