BNI is a lot like Weight Watchers

Just taken a call from one of my directors reflecting on the progress of his chapter.

Naturally, he wants his group to get as much from the BNI system as he has but the reality is that everyone it different. Often people think that all it takes it submitting their application, turning up and collecting the referrals. It doesn't work like that and we need to understand why.

BNI is simply a word of mouth marketing system, clearly the most effective in the world, when it comes to generating referrals. A lot like Weight Watchers.

Weight watchers is a system proven to help people lose weight but it doesn't do it for you.

Turning up isn't enough. It is all about what you do in between the visits, no?

Sometimes I have heard people actually say, "tried Weight Watchers, it didn't work". Bullshit. They didn't work Weight Watchers - they took shortcuts.

If you were presented with a system that was proven to work, would you follow that system or would you just pick out the bits you felt comfortable with. People often take the least line of resistance and there is not much you can do about that.

So if someone tells me that BNI didn't work for them I would ask, 'which part of the system did you leave out?'

Was it the Givers Gain bit?
How involved did you become in focusing on how you can help others in the group.

Was it the people you invited to meet your colleagues - the one's who didn't turn up?
If you invited 10 and none turned up, do you think it could be something to do with the way you were inviting them? Saying too much, focusing on BNI and the details, rather than the fact that all you want to do is connect people to see if there could be the potential to develop some working relationships?

Was it the one2one's that you didn't do?
Investing time in getting to really know how you can help others and how they can help you?

Was it the one minute presentations? The one's that were rarely prepared and merely repeated a list of what you do each week that bores the pants off everyone? Where you left members waiting for you to be specific about what you wanted and left to guess.

Was it the absences, without explanation or substitute? Did your actions signal to the group that perhaps you were unreliable and less than interested? A commitment is something you decide to do, long after the mood in which you said has passed.

Was it the time someone really worked hard to get you in front of a potential new customer?
You know, the one you turned up late too with the apology that 'you forgot!" This was the double whammy. The customer wasn't impressed with your time keeping and so you didn't get the job. But they fed that information back to the person who recommended you and you aren't going to get more referrals from them, because they can't trust you won't embarrass them next time.

Harsh! Not at all. A lot of BNI members will agree with me.

These are real life observations and yet, some people tell me that BNI doesn't work!

Weight Watchers take a bad rap from people who won't take personal responsibility for following the system they bought into.

"Mea culpa! Origin Latin, 'by my fault.'

But that's life ... next.

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