The Power of Referrals

One of the BNI basic KPI’s is referrals, which is especially relevant to a key principle, givers gain. The principle of givers gain is where we start in collaborating: we operate from the proposition that the more you give in business the more we will gain. Sales opportunities and closed business flow from that principle through referrals which ultimately leads to our success. It is important to hold ourselves accountable to each other which is one of the reasons we have an average seat value in CBD Evolve of $213k. It’s something we keep working at between our Tuesday breakfasts to get better performance.

So, here are five ideas to help keep improving how we generate referrals.

  1. Deliver a clear picture of your ideal clients and referrals. Explain how you listen for need, so others can do the same
  2. Expect the same: a clear picture of other member’s ideal clients, needs and referrals
  3. Don’t leave it to your Tuesday morning pitch. Plan and build activity as a weekly operating rhythm. Build momentum so you are identifying and acting on needs
  4. Add value to CBD Evolve colleagues and their businesses. It’s really satisfying to help grow a business and make someone more successful
  5. Buy into your power groups

Two points on identifying need:

  1. There is a natural buying cycle that we can’t change. A buying cycle generally involves three steps: recognition of needs, evaluating options and resolving concerns. The conversation is different for each step.
  2. Understand “the need behind the need”. i.e. search for the real driver of a statement of need. For example, I need a recruiter vs I have a big staff retention problem. Or I need to win tenders vs Our team doesn’t understand how to pitch.

The importance of power groups.

A power group is a team of members from related professions that work with the same clients but don’t take business away from each other. In a successful chapter 67% of referrals will come from a power group members and 33% from the rest of the chapter.

The power of like minded power group members is amazing:

  • They all deal with the same person at the client
  • They usually all operate in very competitive environments
  • They each represent a step in a clients’ buying cycle
  • Collectively, they are a more powerful think tank that individually

It’s so much more powerful that operating as an individual in how we think strategically and pass opportunity between us.

What could be a better place to improve referral results?

Phil Hunt, MBA,
Hunt Consultants
Building Competitive Advantage