The primary reason almost every BNI® Member has for joining this amazing organization is the opportunity for referrals. It’s what we do here at BNI. However, passing a referral is just the first step in the process. It’s important to follow up on referrals to ensure that they are properly taken care of — and that they result in successful outcomes for all parties involved.
Following up on referrals is important for several reasons. First, it helps to build trust and credibility between the referring Member and the recipient. When a referral is passed, the referring Member is putting their reputation on the line by recommending someone to their client or contact. If the referral goes unanswered or unacknowledged, it can reflect poorly on both the referring Member and the recipient. Following up on referrals shows that the referral giver is committed to helping their clients and contacts, and that they take their recommendations seriously.
Second, following up on referrals can help to ensure that the referral is properly qualified and that the recipient is a good fit for the referral. Not all referrals are created equal, and not all referrals will result in successful outcomes. By following up on referrals, the referral passer can ensure that the recipient has received the referral, that they understand the referral, and that they are the right person to follow up with. This can save time and effort for both parties involved — and can help to ensure that the referral is a good fit for everyone.
Third, following up on referrals can help to close the loop and generate new business for both the referring Member and the recipient. When a referral is passed and followed up on successfully, it can lead to new business opportunities for both parties. For the referring Member, it can lead to new referrals from the recipient, as well as increased credibility and trust with their clients and contacts. For the referral recipient, it can lead to new business from the referral, as well as increased visibility and credibility within the BNI network. Best of all, it can lead to a reciprocal relationship where both parties continue to give business to each other in their dynamic power team.
So, how can you ensure that you are following up on BNI referrals effectively? Here are a few tips:
When you make follow-up a priority, you maximize the value of your referrals and build strong, lasting relationships within your Chapter.