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How can we find referrals for others?

by Richard Foulkes

Givers Gain® is about the law of reciprocity and that if you help me, I’ll help you. And of course, it just makes sense that if we aren’t looking for opportunities for others, why would they be on the lookout for us?

There are two ways that we can help find referrals for others. Passively and pro-actively. 

Passive Referrals – When we hear of someone asking for a service or product and we recommend a fellow member. For instance, someone complaining about their accountant, wanting to sell their house or a Facebook member asking for a plumber. This is when we accidentally stumble across a referral opportunity. This type of opportunity is less likely to provide a constant supply of referrals between members.

Pro-Active referrals – When we actively ask for referrals on behalf of our fellow members. This greatly increases the stream of referrals by a multiple factor. When members are actively doing this, we see referral rates per member go from around .5 -.75 per member per week to 1 and above. This level of referral business represents a much better return on investment in BNI.

How can we make pro-active referrals possible?

Pro-Active referring works best between members in a hub who are working with clients with similar needs i.e. someone building a house needs a lot of different services that are often present in a BNI group as might a business that is implementing a new marketing plan. What other examples can you think of?

Pro-Active referring means that the member working with such a client would seek to help their client further by asking questions that would lead to them being able to recommend other members of their hub to the client. Often, we see members being able to make multiple referrals when this is working well.

So how can you become a pro-active referrer?

Start by conducting frequent and purposeful one to ones with members of your hub that focus on objectives like;

  • Current clients/types
  • Preferred clients
  • Workload/pricing/availability
  • Preferred referrals
  • The type of clients you are currently working with
  • How and where you can introduce them into a conversation with your clients

Once you have established frequent one to ones with members of your hub, work on having the whole hub meeting regularly as well. Hub meetings where the members of the hub discuss potential overlaps in services, how they can all work together and potential members they should invite to BNI to help strengthen each hub even further.

Pro-Active referring is more likely to create external referrals and/or spinoff/tier three referrals which are the true “gold” that all business people are striving to find at BNI.

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