We recently completed a wonderful 1-2-1 contest where members were charged with trying to meet with every other member of the chapter during a six month period. This is a real accomplishment when you think that the normal BNI member will do 1, 1-2-1 per week, and with a chapter of 40 members this is asking you to average 2 per week. I am so proud of the members that had the fortitude to complete the challenge, but I want to spend some time discussing, do these meetings (1-2-1) matter?
At first I found this challenge to be great, and one that I hoped to win, but I quickly was discouraged by people not showing up on time or not showing up at all! I consider BNI to be my number one source of business with over 30% of my gross revenue dollars, and it makes me mad when people are late or do not show up. I have been in BNI for 10 years and can confidently say that the behavior of people in dealing with timeliness and respect of others time normally translates into their ability to deliver their product or service on time. Would I refer a business person that does not call to notify that they are running late or does not show up at all? That is the first thought running through my mind.
The next component of this equation is that yes, I get 30% of my business from BNI, but that also means that 70% comes from other efforts. If I have taken the time out of my business schedule to make an appointment and people are either late or don’t show up then I am losing money! I take BNI very serious and I make sure that every minute that I am out, I am listening for the opportunity to refer my fellow members, but their behaviors do affect whether or not I will make the referral. I learned years ago that passing a bad referral is embarrassing and can cause harm to the relationship you have with your client.
So I ask again, do 1-2-1 meetings matter? You bet they do! You want to increase your gross dollars from referrals in BNI then make sure that you are doing all the little things right. I am a huge fan of the 212 degree from the Simple Truth and I can assure every person reading this that the difference between Success and failure is a very small line. The next time you have a 1-2-1 and are potentially running late just pick up your cell and call. I have been late hundreds of time, but I acknowledge that I have a meeting and I call my person and say I respect your time and apologies, but I am running late. They are happy and when I arrive we have a great business meeting!