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…”
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.