We often talk a lot about the processes in BNI that make the system work so well. With the accountability that BNI incorporates, there are a number of tasks we commit to doing as part of our membership to ensure we see a return on our investment. But what about the things we can do that aren’t obligations? Those members who are pro-active find their BNI successes come swifter and larger.
Being in a Chapter full of industry professionals can provide us with lots of opportunities. It also gives us the ability to create some great opportunities too. It’s often these opportunities we create ourselves that can be the most beneficial.
The most likely circumstance in which we can create profitable opportunities in BNI is in our Power Team. That team within the Chapter who have closely related, or complimentary professions that don’t offer competing services or products.
Power Teams such as the “Trades” or “Marketing” professions are great examples of this.
An electrician is in constant contact with customers who also need the services of a handyman, or painter, or plumber, etc. Likewise, marketing professionals such as web designers are always dealing with customers who also need SEO services, or copywriters, photographers, and the like.
Power Teams such as this can be an endless source of referral business for each other.
But pro-active Power Teams can do even more.
It’s quite common to hear of Power Teams within Chapters who take it upon themselves to offer united services and market themselves pro-actively toward their shared target market. As a team, they pool their resources and offer a more complete or expanded service than they could individually.
Joint ventures can work well for some industries, for some others, say in the consulting services, it can be more effective to ask skilful questions that flow very naturally, to systematically uncover referrals for their Power Team.
For example, back when I was a member of BNI working in the recruitment sector, it was very natural for me to ask a client why a position had become vacant. If it turned out that they were experiencing staff churn, it was very easy for me to introduce them to the HR Consultant and / or the Business Consultant, who could look at my client’s policies, procedures and systems to ensure their staff were properly supported and would want to stick around. It was also very easy for me to refer the commercial lawyer to review employment contracts etc.
I didn’t wait for the client to ask for these services, I had prepared questions built into my “needs analysis” that would regularly generate pro-active referrals for my Power Team partners and, in return, they’d do the same for me.