One of the most prominent differences between BNI and other networking organisations is that we only deal in qualified business referrals.
Not tips, not leads, but qualified referrals.
So what is the difference?
A tip is a little like a cold call - and we all know how easy they are to convert into sales.
A lead is where a potential need has been identified but where no real ground work has been done to assist you in building a relationship, let alone getting a sale.
A referral is a golden opportunity! The prospect knows about you and is expecting your call. They have heard about your reputation, know that you can be relied upon, have apportioned the reputation of their friend onto you, and already have some confidence that this will be a satisfactory experience.
You know what they are looking for and have prepared for the call and subsequent meeting.
It takes a little more effort to get a qualified business referral. But so what, when the results are just that much better.
And besides, you can then look forward to basking in the rap your fellow chapter member gives you at a subsequent meeting.
So which would you prefer to deal in - tips, leads or referrals?