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I’ve been reflecting on my 7 years in BNI. And I’m not only really grateful for the one million dollars in closed business I have received. I’m really proud that I have been able to give a similar amount.

And that’s got me to thinking about the techniques that I have employed from time to time over the course of my tenure that has led to that success.

Now I know that all of us want to give and receive more referrals, but nothing worthwhile comes without a price, and that price is an extra 5 minutes in the time you commit to networking every week.

Can I get you to commit to that extra 5 minutes if it meant potentially doubling your referrals and maybe closed business? …Awesome!

Before we get into the tips, please dispel yourself of the notion that you have to wait for people to ask you for help before you try to make an introduction, but this comes with one caveat, and that is that your fellow member must want the introduction as well.

Please take out your pens and get ready to write. I’m going to give you 5 tips that will double the amount of referrals that you give and receive, and hopefully it will double the amount of closed business for all of us.

Jay Wright gave his 5 minute presentation last week and it got me thinking of whom he might be able to help and during his presentation, I made a list of 3 of my clients.

After the meeting, I proactively reached out to each of them with the following email:

Subject: You ship your stuff in from overseas, right?

Body: Mary, I just had breakfast with Jay Wright, CEO of InExpress. They provide discounted overseas shipping services.

He told me that he gets the largest discount possible, reserved only for highest volume shippers, from DHL, and then he passes those savings on to his small business clients.

Since you spend a significant amount on shipping, I thought of you.

Jay is also a big networker, so he’ll probably be able to refer business to you as well.

Would you like an introduction to Jay to get a competitive quote?

No worries if not, and I hope all is well otherwise.

… So I sent that unsolicited email out to 3 of my clients, and while it wasn’t a good fit for 2 of them, the third requested an intro and I made that happen this past Sunday.

Now it’s up to Jay to close the deal, but the door is wide open for that to happen.

And the email template I just gave you will work for any of your fellow members.

  • You had breakfast with someone important
  • They told you something valuable
  • That nugget of information made you think of them
  • You asked if they wanted an introduction

The worst case scenario is that the person thanks you for thinking of them and says it’s not a good fit.

The best case scenario is that you proactively opened a door and gave your fellow member a chance to close a deal.

So here are the 5 things I want you to commit to with regard to proactively trying to open doors for your fellow members:

First, for each of the featured speakers each week, please pay close attention and write a list of 1 to 3 contacts who might benefit from being introduced to the speaker.

Second, pick one commercial each week and write down at least one of your contacts who might benefit from being introduced to the member that gave that strong commercial.

Third, during every one of your 121s, you and your fellow member should make a list of at least 3 contacts whom you can introduce to one another, and then use 5 minutes during your 121 to actually send out the email.

One of the easiest ways to come with that list of 3 contacts is to pull out a laptop or phone, and then review each other’s linkedin during your 121.

Fourth, while referrals aren’t necessarily directly reciprocal, that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t try to return a favor immediately. Every time you get a referral from someone, go into your contacts and see if there is anyone that you be able to proactively introduce and then make that happen.

Fifth, every time you end a meeting with one of your contacts or clients say something like this “Now that our business is concluded, what is your next biggest challenge this week?”

Then listen and they will tell you who to introduce them to.

To sum it up, if we can commit to doing this extra five minutes of networking, than referrals and closed business will definitely go up for all of us.

I’ll post this to our blog shortly, so you can copy my email template. Thanks!

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