The biggest fear that new members in BNI express is their ability to pass a referral and that is why they have not come to BNI sooner. Having been in BNI for eight years, I truly feel that passing referrals is a learned skilled and one that takes time to perfect. That being said, there should be no fear, as we have the systems, training, and people in place to help you become a master. Today I want to share some important tips that have helped me with passing great referrals. There are three components to passing a great referral.
First you have two ears and one mouth and must use them proportionately! The first lesson to passing a referral is to listen to the needs of clients, friends, and family. The second component is to share your passion for the person that you are referring. The benefit of BNI is that you get to hear sales manager moments on a weekly basis, do 1-2-1’s, hear implied testimonials, and share success stories of this person’s work. It is a pleasure to refer them and you share how working with them will make the recipient’s life better. If you truly feel this way then passing the referral will become easy. The final component is getting past the fear for rejection. So many people will not offer a referral because they are fearful of rejection, that their client, friend, or family will say they do not need the referral. Or you are fearful that people will find you pushy if you are trying to refer someone in your BNI.
I have found the opposite, but it took time to reach that comfort level. BNI is not a get rich quick scheme and it took time to develop the confidence to ask permission to offer a referral, but I found over time that clients really appreciated getting a referral from a person that they know, like, and trust!
So keep this in mind the next time a client expresses a need and listen to how a member in your chapter can enhance your client’s life.
Gibson Sotheby’s International Realty