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Who wants a red-hot business referral?

by Richard Foulkes

Serial 1-2-1 Postponers

Occasionally we all might have something come up that means we can’t make a scheduled 1-2-1. Life happens. But, in some BNI chapters, hopefully not ours, some members serially postpone or cancel 1-2-1s. Why? Often the reason they give is that they are too busy. 

However, everyone has the same amount of time, it’s just where we choose to use our time, or what has a priority for us. For serial 1-2-1 postponers, yes, they are busy, we ALL are, but they don’t see 1-2-1s as a priority, more an optional activity, so they defer them or cancel them quite readily in favour of other “more important” activities.

What can this mean for their VCP, their relationships with other members, and for the chapter as a whole?

Postponing Referrals

When members constantly postpone 1-2-1s they also postpone referrals for themselves and the other member. It can leave their fellow member feeling that they are not valuable enough for their time and effort.

If members constantly defer 1-2-1s (or never have them) then they won’t develop the deep and meaningful relationships, they need for greater success in BNI.

Additionally, it can send a message to the rest of the chapter that they have other priorities they view as more important than their relationships within BNI which can weaken the network.

Reality Check

What if the 1-2-1 was a meeting where the member had a potentially red-hot referral to discuss?

If they told the other member that, would the other member defer or cancel the 1-2-1? Probably not. Every 1-2-1 has the potential of uncovering a red-hot referral.

If your time is short because you have other pressing priorities, then make sure your 1-2-1’s are conducted effectively. This benefits everyone.

New Members

When new members join, we tell them that 1-2-1s are crucial for success in BNI. They will reach out and book 1-2-1s with the other chapter members.

Existing chapter members must show leadership and set an example by having 1-2-1s with newer members. It’s also crucial for existing members to retain a connection with the chapter by maintaining a level of 1-2-1’s.


Life happens, and unexpected events can get in the way of our planned schedule. This happens to everyone.

Let’s all book in at least 1-2-1 each week, make them a priority and make them happen!

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