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The road to great referrals is not built on good intentions, but on daily work!

As a 16 year veteran of BNI and a director for 5 years, it dawned on me that a lot of new BNI members worry more about things, (like what are they going to say this week for their sales manager minute) instead of doing something that will increase their credibility and help them get more referrals.

The most common question I hear from new members is "How do I create my sales manager minute"? "Where do I start"? "How do I know what to talk about"?

Well here is a simple idea you can use to get you started. "Begin with the end in mind"! This profound quote from Steven Covey is where you start.

Lets say you're an insurance agent and you want to have a boat or motor cycle owner as referrals, write down what they look like. Where do they live, eat and work? What kind of vehicles are they using? How much do the vehicles cost? Ask your self lots of questions about what the referral looks like.

Here is another way of understand who you want. Think of your last ten customers. What were they like? If you're new to the industry, what were your associates last 10 customers like?

Step two is also easy. Create a short story that describes how you can help this specific referral with your product or service. Your story should contain the customers pain, use emotional word that evoke action and it should show that you were the solution. It may be beneficial to show how you are different from your competition.

Finish out by telling your referral partner how to introduce you. An example would be "to ask your partners give a short testimonial about you, tell them to give the prospect your card and ask when it would be OK for you to call.

I have taught hundreds of BNI members how to create great sales managers minute. My advice to beginners is don't try for perfection, instead start by creating a finished product that has a good chance of producing results. You have to crawl before you walk so the sooner you start creating sales manager minutes the sooner your skill will improve.

As a new member in BNI, you have to build trust and credibility before your sales manager minutes really start to work. A Consistent, clear and specific message will help build that trust. So will educating your fellow member during your weekly 1-2-1 meetings. Make sure you tell them your sales manager minute again when you have their undivided attention!

Be patient and keep at it. Create a new 60 second presentation weekly (if not daily) for at least 3 or 4 months. These 60 presentation can be similar but need to be different enough to keep other interested. Test them on your partners during your 1-2-1 meeting and see which one strike a cord and produce results.

Before you know it your sales manager minutes will be producing light bulbs above members heads and bringing you the specific referrals you asked for.

If you have specific questions regarding your Sale Manager Minute write me at


  1. If it wasn't for Hector, I would probably not have lasted in BNI. Thanks Hector!

  2. Good work Hector. This is one of the hardest items a new member has to work on. Ask your memtor to give you feed-back. Ask to try it on them first and work together. What is a "memtor"? Ask Hector


Thank you for reading my blog and for keeping the discussion going. If I can be of service let me know. Sincerely,

Hector Cisneros

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