Are BNI Network’s worth the time and effort?

This is one of those big YES -- and maybe “no” answers.
There is nothing better than a steady flow of referrals. Referral Marketing is the best, and I love teaching how to create a referral engine.
But all is lost when you join a network group such as BNI and you don’t have a clear and concise message.
Some people may call that the elevator pitch.
I call it your brand message or tagline. It’s the short version of how you -- specifically-- can help someone.

What follows is a true story.

One doctor I consult with took the place of a previous practitioner (in this case a Naturopathic doctor) at a morning BNI group.
As the one on one presentations proceeded, Dr M explained concisely what she specialized in... Hormone Balancing, Diabetes and Weight Loss. (She is a 90 Days to Practice Transformation member and has her branding down).
Suddenly, one of the BNI members said, “You know, we never had a clue what the other Naturopath did. She just kept telling us she was a Naturopath, and we did not know what that meant…”
Wow!
So…do you balance hormones? Do you practice primary care pediatrics? Are you a specialist at IBS?

Unless you focus the prospective referrer, they will have no idea how they might recommend you.

Here are a few of my tips:

  • Write down your elevator pitch and rehearse it. Yes, say aloud, it to yourself, in the mirror. You can even make a little You Tube video of your speech.
  •  Include NO MORE THAN 3 things that you are expert in. Don’t be afraid to use the word expert. (If you are not an expert. Well, then, they need to see someone else, don’t they?)
  • Think of the questions referrers might ask.
  • Have a list of other doctors at your fingertips that you might refer to. This is important for BNI and networking conversations in general.
  • Don’t be afraid of saying-- “I am not an expert in XYZ” but make sure they know what you are expert in. You’ve just boosted your credibility as a trustworthy professional 1000%

BNI’s can be a powerful source of referrals.

Without the proper focus, however, they are a monumental waste of time.

Never Profile Your Patient’s Pocketbook!

Those of you who have attended my lectures or participated in one of my programs often hear me say:

“Prescribe what’s needed. If you don’t, or if you profile your patient’s pocketbook, you will not help them heal -- and they will not, in turn, refer you to anyone else!”

Ok, well, this principle bears repeating.
So, here I go again, this time with a vivid illustration.
Dr M had a patient who looked like she was homeless. Her clothes were rough and worn. She always cycled to the office. Dr M assumed that she did not even own a car.
After a few months of trying several low impact, or simple, in other words “not costly” solutions, the patient called complaining of chest pains and shortness of breath.
Dr M is not a heart specialist and so, of course, urged the patient to see a specialist right away.
One month later the patient returns carrying a shopping bag almost overflowing with supplements, easily $1000 worth. She begins to chat about her visit to a high profile clinic known for its concierge “full on packages” that start at $2500. PLUS testing.

The patient was excited!!

Finally, she had found someone who was going to get to the bottom of her health issues.
Dr M had not even discussed testing or a comprehensive supplement program, because she assumed the patient would be unable to afford it.
There you go.

DO NOT PROFILE your patient’s pocketbook. Prescribe what is needed.

Let the patient decided how they will budget for their health