2 Degrees of Separation

Backstage Pass (Access All Areas)

Who has ever paid a lot of money for a concert ticket, walked from miles away, lined up to have their water poured out, paid way too much for a replacement beverage of dubious quality in a plastic cup, gone into the stadium only to stand at the back with the view obscured by a 7ft Hells Angel? 

Yet others get a backstage pass, meet the band, eat canapes, get free band merch and get to watch the band right at the front of the stage. Why the difference.. mostly it’s because of who you know, or who you know that knows the right person. 

Selling is like that. Getting an introduction to the right person by the right person opens up doors and opportunities, where you are seen as helping not selling. Who has experienced that? Who has knocked on doors only to have your way blocked by a doorkeeper in the form of a receptionist or business prevention officer who acts like a 7ft Hells Angel and gets in your way of meeting the right person that you know will want your product or service?  

BNI exists to help you get those backstage passes to be introduced to the person you need by the right person. But how do we get more of those backstage opportunities?

2 Degrees of Separation

With the digitization of the world, what was 6 degrees of separation has now become 2 degrees, especially in a small country like New Zealand. Chances are that someone you know, knows someone you want to know, they just don’t know you want to know them!

So, in BNI, we have to be very clear about who it is that we want to be introduced to. By using a specific referral request in your weekly presentation and during your one-to-ones (an Education for another day) members will know who it is that you would like to know.

Specific Referral Request

Every weekly presentation should include a specific referral request – not a generic “Who do you know that” but someone’s actual name and the company they work for; someone that you’d like to be introduced to, that also relates to the rest of your weekly presentation, especially if you are in a business-to-business industry.

Even if you are in a business-to-customer industry you can also ask for a specific referral source by name and company. Ask that if anyone knows them, come and talk to you after the meeting to see if it is appropriate for you to be introduced by them, and how that might work. It’s really a specific introduction request, don’t expect a referral during the meeting.


This is a long-term strategy, don’t expect introductions every week but those you get can open up amazing opportunities to get past that Hells Angel backstage to a whole new world of opportunity.