I’ve been in BNI (Business Network International) as a member for around four years now, and I’ve done the roles of Director Consultant, and Area Director Consultant. Now I’m a mere member again, but very much actively involved in my chapter.
I’m going to update this post from time to time with BNI education slot scripts that other members might find useful.
Before I start, apologies in advance if I’m quoting an education slot you invented. Please send me a message and I will be happy to add your name. A lot of these are just education slots I’ve picked up from visiting other BNI chapters and speaking to other BNI members and directors.
Here are my favourites, in no particular order:
What kind of chair is this?
Go to one of the chairs that has nobody sitting on it, and ask if there are any furniture suppliers in the room. Then ask, if anyone has any idea what kind of chair it is, have people call out types of chairs.
Then explain that in fact it is an “empty chair”. Although the correct number of chairs were put out today, someone hasn’t turned up.
Question whether it matters if someone turns up or not. Point out that not only are they going to miss out on referrals this week because we don’t know what they are looking for that week as they haven’t sent a substitute, but the room is going to miss out too.
The 10 minute speaker is missing out on one person who could have watched their carefully prepared presentation, and they could have been the one person who knew the key contact that member was looking for this week.
The chapter director has carefully prepared the meeting today, how will the chapter director feel that someone has not turned up to the meeting and not sent a sub?
Also, every member in the room is potentially missing out on referrals this week, because a member has not turned up and not sent a sub.
On the flip side, point out a substitute in the room, use their name, and point out that they can take notes when members go round and do their 60 seconds, they can give referrals, and they can also potentially double referrals – how? Because they can give the referral to look for sheet to the member so he/she can look for referrals, and of course if they opportunity comes up they will be able to look for referral opportunities because they have heard all the members educate us about what to look for in their 60 seconds.
So to sum up, lets have less of these (empty chairs), and more of these (substitutes), and we will generate more of these (referral slips and thank you for the business cards).
Whose on your phone?
This is a really simple stand-by education slot you can keep up your sleeve.
Say, who has one of these? (take out your mobile phone)
Who would like to know some very simple ways you can use your mobile phone – which most likely you carry with you everywhere – to generate more referrals for your team? (people put their hands up)
Right, well let’s quickly brainstorm as many ideas as we can think of. Who wants to shout the first idea out?
(Use a flip chart to write down some ideas).
When they have shouted out 2 or 3, say here are some you have already written down, and write out the rest:
* Programme in all the members mobile numbers so that if a referral opportunity crops up, you can text them to check on details, or even call them and if convenient pass the phone over to the person who has a need for their product or service and discuss it there and then.
* When it is safe to do so you can text local businesses when you see their sign written vehicles and see if they would like an invite to visit your chapter. Chances are if they have a sign-written van they are open to generating more business.
* When you do a 1 to 1 with another member at their premises you can take a photo, and tag them in on social networks. This is a great way to get added exposure for your fellow chapter members.
* When you go to a BNI training event you can do a status update or social check-in to say you are at the venue, tag fellow chapter members in, and help raise awareness about the side benefits of BNI, ie. personal and professional development.
So there you have it, it’s not just a mobile phone, it’s a personal referral magnet!
Members will come up with other suggestions to – please feel free to add those in the comments and share them with other visitors to this website.
Who’se here to sell, who’se here to buy
Another simple one. Start off by saying let’s be honest, there’s one reason we are all here today isn’t there, it’s to generate more ______________. Members will suggest money/business/referrals.
Fantastic, so hands up, and be honest – who has come here today because they want to make a sale today? (Put your hand up – see if others go up, normally this will trick people!)
Awesome, so we have 10 hands go up (or however many put their hands up), that’s fantastic. So the other people in the room don’t want to sell anything I presume? 🙂
OK, so we’ve established we all want to get more sales, so hands up again, who here wants to buy something? (less hands will go up – put your own hand up only half-way this time)
Ooh.. looks like we have a problem then. We all want to sell something, but only a couple of people want to buy anything! What do we do now? (Scratch your head)
When I first joined BNI, I made the mistake of thinking that I was there to sell my product and service to people in the room. I wasn’t looking at the big picture.
OK mobiles out everyone – take your mobile out. How many contacts are in the average phone? 50? 100? 150? We’ve all got lots of contacts outside of BNI, is it fair to say? OK. mobiles away again! (put phone in pocket).
So, rather than all trying to sell to the two people in the room who want to buy something today, might it be a better use of everyone’s time if we all see if we can help each other generate some referrals for next weeks meeting?
I didn’t believe it would work at first, until I tried it, and found when I switched my thinking from selling to everyone in the room, to recommending them to my contacts, and educating them about the type of contacts I am looking for in my business, that I started actually getting results from my membership.
Before then I’d be networking for years and was wondering why I wasn’t getting any business from it! (adapt this for your own story).
So to sum up, effective networkers think less about the 30 people in the room, and more about the 500+ people they know.