Be Specific - BNI Tips from the Best

Be Specific in your 60 Seconds - BNI Tip from the Best


At BNI meeting you get 60 seconds every week to educate your fellow members on the kind of referrals you're looking for.

A couple of weeks ago, at a business networking meeting here at BNI Reading Oracle, Mitch from Big Yellow Self-Storage stood up and asked for an introduction to someone at Reading University in the Admissions department or with connections to organisations of overseas students.

What's remarkable about this is how rare it is to hear people ask for something so specific. And what makes it so remarkable is the fact that it makes the job of getting referrals so much easier, In fact, people in the room with Reading University connections couldn't wait to get up and tell Mittch: "I know someone at the University".

Some people find it easier than others to identify potential targets, so here are a couple of extracts from blogs by leading BNI practitioners to help you be more specific in your own 60 seconds...


Being Specific is Easy!
by Charlie Lawson

So let’s start by me telling you about Julia, who runs a Virtual PA business; she asked me the same question that I’ve heard countless times before from other networkers: ‘I know I should be specific, but how do I actually do it?!?’

The question I asked was a simple one:

‘Who’s your best current client?’

Julia’s answer to this was a chiropractor. Then, I asked her whether another chiropractor would be good, or was there any other profession that would be good for her. She told me that a doctors’ surgery would be a good opportunity for her.

Then, I just had to keep asking questions:

‘Where would you like this doctors’ surgery to be located?’ – South East London

‘Which doctors’ surgery in South East London?’ – The Hurley Clinic in Kennington

‘Who would you need to speak to at the Hurley Clinic in Kennington?’ – The Practice Manager

‘Do you know the name of the Practice Manager at the Hurley Clinic in Kennington? – I’ve no idea.

This often happens when asking these questions: we may not know the answer to all of them. However, it isn’t difficult to get the information we need – all it needs is some research...

Help people recommend you to others
by Andy Bounds

Here’s how to trigger more recommendations.

#1 Know who you want to be recommended to

I once asked a chiropractor who he wanted me to recommend him to. He said ‘anyone with a spine”

How helpful. I know thousands of people with a spine. But I didn’t know where to start. So I didn’t start.

So be crystal clear who you want to be recommended to – for example ‘I want to speak to the Sales Director of X Plc”. This makes it easier for your referrer to start.

#2 Know why it’s in your target’s interest to see you

“Please can you refer me?” sounds like you want the referrer to do something that’s only in your interest.

“Please can you refer me to the Sales Director of X Plc. I can help her win easy business, by showing her new routes to market that her competitors aren’t aware of” makes it easier to refer you. The referrer knows that he is helping his contact, which in turn makes him look good to her.


These are edited excerpts. Please visit the original blog posts by Andy Bounds and Charlie Lawson for the full text and further insights.

And then come along to one of our weekly business networking meetings in central Reading and try these techniques out for yourself.

Book now!