Why A Referral Request?


Soon you will start to hear the term Referral Request in BNI Meetings and Training Sessions. This has been introduced to replace, the terms; Sales Manager Moment and Infomercial.

Why is this, you are probably thinking? Let me explain.

The term Sales Manager and Sales Team has been used in BNI in the past, but, really you are not selling for the members, your role in this is to introduce them to someone who has a need for their products or services.

The same with the term Infomercial, which BNI has not used for many years, but some older members still use the term. An infomercial is designed to sell to it’s audience. If you focus on selling to the group, how big is your market?

If you answered as big as the number of people in the room, you were right.

Remember you are not selling to the group you are selling through them, to the 150* plus people they know. If they need your product or service, don’t worry, they will go to you first because they already have a relationship with you.

The whole idea of referral marketing is as simple as 3 steps:

1. Look / listen / find someone who needs or could use my products or services

2. Tell them about me.

3. Introduce me

Things for members to remember when doing a referral request:


1. Target market; who needs or could use my products or services, you need to know this first.

2. Tell them a story about how you helped someone or solved their problems, a point of difference is always good here too.

3. How to Introduce you.

4. Who you want to meet – be as specific as possible.

Keep this in mind when you are planning your next Referral Request and remember, be careful what you ask for, you just might get it.

*Quoted from Dunbar’s number theory

Brent is BNI Australia’s longest serving BNI Director, and Executive Director of BNI Melbourne South. You can contact him at brent.edwards@bni.com.au.

Categories : Referrals


  1. Paul Loveday says:

    Infomercial means to “inform commercially” and I think the term is completely appropriate.

    “Referral request” while in no way offensive, seems to be the result of someone playing with words. It smacks of substituting activity for achievement. None of this is a big deal, it just doesn’t seem important, like dropping “Dancecard”.

    Yes, I have been a member for a few years and I don’t find the endless tinkering with terminology to be the hallmark of a well run business – it’s the sort of thing for which the Public Service is famous.

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