Getting Referrals through BNI (Business Networking International)

One of the people who really supports me is the chair person for the local BNI chapter (Business Networking International), which I’m thinking about joining too.  He told me they track the money that flows from referrals… takes about 6 months for people to get to know you and start referring, and after a year the money is really flowing from referrals.

Should I join?

Saying it takes 6 months before you see any results is a load of crap.  Just like a newpaper ad rep saying you must run your ad 21 times before anyone will answer it.  People that say this are ignorant of how good marketing really works, or they are just trying to sell you a long term agreement.

If you actively network with the people in the group, you’ll get referels much faster.  BUT you have to teach them what it is you do and how to find your ideal clients.  Remember, don’t sell hypnosis, sell the benefits and make it easy to understand.

Also, make it easy for others by being an expert in 1 or 2 niche areas. It’s easier for someone to find overweight people or people with phobias, than it is to remember the menu of what hypnosis can work with.

Where these groups usually fail, is when everyone in the group is struggling just to find their own clients.  When you are worried about your own rent coming due, it’s hard to find other people business.

So make sure the chapter you join has long established businesses, not a bunch of 6 month old startups.

Also, people assume just joining the group will get them business. Bzzzt, wrong answer.  You need to have a plan and a strategy of how you will use the resource.  And you need to have measureable goals so you can decide when to pull the plug if it’s not getting decent ROI.

Lastly… offer to give each member of the group a Stress Reduction (Relaxation) session for free.  It’s a chance for them to really learn what you do, and a chance for you to get to know them much better.  I’ve spoken with BNI members who have done this and they got a lot of referrals.  It’s easy for someone to talk about hypnosis if they have already experienced it.

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