Insights on BNI

3+3+3=9 Minutes

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Here are some secrets for planning and preparing for your 10-minute featured presentation. You’ll learn about the 3+3+3=9-minutes rule.

Please listen to this very carefully: what you put into your featured presentation is what you’ll get out of it. Don’t use your time to sell your products. Use it to educate & equip your ‘sales team’ with methods that work for you, so you can use our eyes & ears to generate referrals for you. Give us clear marching orders.

Please don’t get into the nitty‐gritty details of your business, which we’ll never remember anyway. Instead, focus on basic sales tools we can use, pointed questions we can ask, and target markets you want us to look out for.

Using PowerPoint will enhance your presentation ‐ use before & after pictures ‐ any other visuals ‐ short bullets ‐ don’t be wordy!! Caution: Talk to your audience & not to the screen. Be creative ‐ act, bring props, demonstrate, roleplay, include staff & fellow BNI members ‐ make it more fun to be more memorable. Smile, relax & have fun, but don’t let the entertainment overshadow the promotion & education.

Remember the 3+3+3=9-minutes rule. Spend about 3 minutes on each of the following points:

1. What sets me apart: My background, education & experience. My company, where I do business, what services we offer, how innovative we are. ASK YOURSELF, “Is this useful to my BNI sales team?” If not, scrap it!!! Most folks run out of time on point 3 because of giving us unnecessary details we don’t need here.

2. Stories, features & benefits: People will forget most of what you say, but they will remember the stories you told. A skillful speaker will always include real-life stories & testimonials to demonstrate his/her point. Stories & testimonials always spice up what could otherwise have been a boring talk.

Telling your story is easy, natural, enjoyable & convincing ‐ it’s conversational talk straight from your heart. If you don’t have your own story, borrow someone else’s from your company or industry to drive your point home. Stories & testimonials seal the deal ‐ they sell you ‐ your tenacity, ability, experience, excellence & integrity.

Spend more than 30 minutes preparing for this talk. Spend a year or a decade ‐ that’s what a story does ‐ it illustrates how your lifetime of experience equipped you to accomplish what you did skillfully. You earned the right to tell us this story.

Testimonials allow you to use a third party to brag about you ‐ telling of your best without sounding arrogant. Stating product/service facts followed by benefits produces conviction in the hearts of your hearers. Here you may also want to quash industry myths.

3. Call to action. Describe 4 or 5 ways that people can find referrals for you. What we need to listen for ‐ conversation starters ‐ pointed questions ‐ make these as short as possible so they’ll be easy for your sales team to remember.

What ‘sales tools’ can you put in our hands, so it becomes a no‐brainer for us to promote your business? Who is a good referral for you? What other professions would best get referrals for you?

And finally…Practice, practice, practice.

Practice your timing. If you can finish your presentation in 9 minutes at home, you know you can relax & not have to rush that all-important ending (as so many do). You really should allow a full three minutes to cover your all to action properly. And maybe you’ll have some time to take a question at the end about King Kong.

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