Insights on BNI

Be Specific: 5-Point Checklist For Networking Commercials

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During business networking meetings, such as BNI or Chambers of Commerce, you will have one minute or less (usually less) to do your weekly presentation (in BNI) or a round of introductions (Chambers and other networking events). This “commercial” is your chance to make an impression and ensure that others know what you do and exactly what kind of referrals you seek.

Your commercial should be divided into five sections:

  1. Your introduction.
  2. Your focus.
  3. A story or testimonial.
  4. Your Referral CTA (call to action) or ask.
  5. Your closing and memory hook (or tagline).

Your Introduction

How you begin your commercial should be the same every week, for members and visitors to hear who you are, the company you are with, and the range of services you provide. Use this as a template for your introduction:

I’m [YOUR NAME] from [BUSINESS NAME], and we help [YOUR TARGET CUSTOMER] to [THE BENEFIT YOU PROVIDE].

Example: I’m Steve from Left-Handed Widget Global, and we help inventors to make machined parts quickly

Your Focus

Next, you’re going to let your audience know what kind of referral you are seeking. Start this off by saying ONE of the following:

  • This week I would like to focus on…
  • Recently, I have had several people come to me for…
  • This week I would like to increase my business in the area of…
  • Today I would like to talk to you about a specific type of business/person…

Example: This week, I would like to focus on 3-D printing.

A Story or Testimonial

Now tie this to your focus above by telling a story, or share a customer testimonial highlighting your expertise, relating to it,. If you share a customer testimonial, be sure to tie it to your brand positioning by highlighting your Unique Selling Proposition (USP), your value-added services, the benefits of your services, and/or the differentiating factors from your competitors.

Example: 3-D printing has become a valuable tool for makers and inventors, but the equipment cost is prohibitive for most of today’s home-based garage inventors.

Your Referral CTA (call to action) or Ask

Ask your “Sales Team” to take action by saying any of the following:

  • Who do you know who …(requires your services)
  • An ideal referral source for me would be a ….(target market)
  • A contact sphere that I am looking for…(target market)(BNI Specific)
  • A great referral for me this week…(target market)

Example: A great referral for me is a hobbyist or “maker” that needs one-off parts or prototypes for their projects.

Your Closing and Memory Hook (or tagline)

The more powerful your memory hook, the more it will be in the minds of your “Marketing Team” and translate into more business opportunities for you!

Here is a simple closing template you can use:

I’m [YOUR NAME] from [YOUR BUSINESS], [your tagline or slogan]. 

Example: I’m Steve from Left-Handed Widget Global; we make ideas take physical form.

Now that you know how to construct a weekly presentation or commercial, let’s take a look at the entire example again:

I’m Steve from Left-Handed Widget Global, and we help inventors to make machined parts quickly.

Today I want to talk to you about 3-D printing. 3-D printing has become a valuable tool for makers and inventors, but the equipment cost is prohibitive for most of today’s home-based garage inventors.

A great referral for me is a hobbyist or “maker” that needs one-off parts or prototypes for their projects.

I’m Steve from Left-Handed Widget Global; We make ideas take physical form.

Final Tips

It would be best if you aimed for a variety of commercials each week. It’s also a good idea to practice your commercial to have a smooth delivery and don’t go over your allotted time. Check out the website Convert Words to Minutes for a calculator to see how long your commercial is based on word count and how fast you speak. It might be a helpful tool if you need to cut your commercial down to 20 seconds for larger BNI chapters.

If you are struggling with your introduction, memory hook, or tying what makes you unique to testimonials, then you might have a brand positioning challenge (meaning you don’t know what yours is).

 

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