Home » Why are one-to-ones important at BNI?

Why are one-to-ones important at BNI?

by Richard Foulkes

One-to-ones help you to be visible and credible and can lead to profitability. The fact is, we can’t learn enough about a member, their business and their ideal referral just from listening to them each week during the meeting. Networking is about farming, not hunting – you will need to build relationships with those in your chapter before you can expect to start receiving referrals. Take every opportunity to get to know your fellow members and their businesses better. The better rapport you have with each member, the more referrals you will both be able to find for each other.

8-6-2018 6-07-41 PM

How many one-to-ones should we do per week?

Your chapter may already have a goal or requirement but the recommended MINIMUM is 1 per week. In many chapters the expectation is much higher. Why? Because when done effectively, one-to-ones are proven to lead to more business being passed between members.

How can we make sure our one-to-ones are done effectively?

Chapters don’t have a goal for the number of one-to-one’s just so that they can meet or to raise the colour of the chapter traffic lights. The reason goals are put in place is to help all members gain more business – the ultimate reason we all join BNI. So, one-to-ones shouldn’t just be a social catch up.

We should have an initial one-to-one with everyone in our chapter as soon as possible, prioritising members of our hub. Each one-to-one should be held at one of the members’ work premises and a subsequent one-to-one should be held at the other member’s place of work. It is important that you see your fellow members in their work environment and the extent of their day to day operation.

To make your one-to-ones more effective is it highly recommended that you email an up to date BIO and GAINS SHEET to the other member BEFORE the one-to-one. It is also recommended you update your online BNI Bio every six months.

Reporting one-to-ones

One-to-ones should be recorded by one member in the App. Each member involved in the one-to-one receives 1 credit for their participation. If the second member attempts to record the same one-to-one they will be given a warning message where they can see that the other member has already recorded the one-to-one and they can cancel their additional entry.

At the meeting, during raps and referrals, the member should mention the one-to-one and something of value that they learned, that would be useful to the chapter. Saying it was “good” or “we had a few drinks” doesn’t add credibility to either party. Instead you could say “I had an enjoyable one-to-one with Michael at his premises and I learnt that his new sheet metal cutter runs 24 hours a day which means he can be up to 20% less expensive than his competitors”. This will help you both to become more credible and is more useful information. During the referrals and testimonials section of the meeting we shouldn’t discuss one-to-ones we want to book, have booked or missed, only those that we have completed.

How many one-to-ones will you book this week?

Related resources can be found in BNI University; be sure to log your CEU credits once you complete them:


You may also like