Networking Tips

The Referral Confidence Curve

Submitted by Justin Brande, BNI Vermont Director Consultant



When was the last time you attended a Member Success Program session? Did you have a favorite lesson from the course?

Every time I attend or teach Member Success Program, my favorite part is always the Referral Confidence Curve. This important lesson encourages us to make wise decisions and practice wise behaviors in all of our interactions with others, BNI-related and not. When we do something wise and other BNI Members witness it, their confidence in us goes up. The more confidence in us they have, the more likely they are to send us better and better referrals.

It reminds me of something that pops up on the internet every so often: “Would a foolish person do this?” Would a foolish person jump off a bridge into a river without checking if it is safe to do so? If we ask ourselves that question about any action we are considering taking, and the answer seems to be yes, then maybe we should think twice.

Let’s use that same framework to create a question specific to the Referral Confidence Curve. “Would a BNI Member trying to increase others’ confidence in them [insert the following]?”

  1. Would a BNI Member trying to increase others’ confidence in them use their smartphone during their meeting? Nope.
  2. Would a BNI Member trying to increase others’ confidence in them skip a One-to-One? Certainly not.
  3. Would a BNI Member trying to increase others’ confidence in them treat a customer or another member disrespectfully? Absolutely not!

Ask yourself that question about anything you do or don’t do in BNI.

Climbing the Referral Confidence Curve is easy, it just takes time. Crashing back down to the bottom of the Curve is even easier. It can happen with enough small poor choices, or even happen in a single instant if the poor choice is severe enough.

It may seem like the goal of climbing the Curve is just to get more referrals (and that is often one of the outcomes), but it’s more about the behaviors that come before that. Let’s make good decisions in our life, and let’s make good decisions in BNI. Not because we expect reward, but because it’s the right thing to do.  

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