May 16, 2017


by Brandon Souba

If you have ever gone through Member Success Program with me you will know I push one to ones A LOT! There is no better way to improve your VCP (Visibility – Credibility – Profitability) then meeting with another member on a one to one basis. Unless you waste the time vs. having a productive conversation.

How do you waste time in a one to one? Having a conversation that won't result in referrals or give you opportunities for your business. We can all go grab a drink or play golf with friends and grow the relationship between us.  Those friends might even be a fellow BNI member, but if you are going to spend an hour with a fellow BNI member and make it count, then I guarantee you will get more referrals. One tool we recommend to use is the GAINS profile.

G – Goals
A – Achievements
I – Interests
N – Networks
S – Skills

I believe this is a great way to have focused topics for a one to one, but most can be answered in one or two words. So I wanted to use this blog to turn the topics in to questions. This way, if the member you are meeting with doesn’t read the Heartland Blog, then you will have some skilled questions that are sure to impress.


Instead of asking what their goals are, ask “can you tell me about your plans?”
The plans can be for their business, their sales, their goals, anything really. And if they ask, “plans for what” then let them answer their own question. Respond back “you choose” This way you are letting them think about what is really on their mind. If you listen to the answer that will allow you to ask how you can help them with their plans, be it a referral or a connection.
“You will get all you want in life if you help enough people get what they want.” ~ Zig Zigler


Instead of asking what are their achievements, ask “What are some of the greatest things you have done, and how did it effect the people around you?”
Everyone likes to talk about themselves, but nobody likes to brag. When you follow up with how it affected the people around you, it gives the person the opportunity to brag on what they did but also show how they affected others. This way it is not the “me” show, but it shows how you achieved something that helped others. One of my achievements was sitting third chair at the UNL honor band. Once I shared that I made it, other tuba players asked me to give them lessons to help them improve. It was amazing to make the honor band, but even more amazing to help another musician.
“The starting point of all achievement is desire” ~Napoleon Hill


Instead of asking what are your interests, ask “What do you wish you could spend more time doing.”
An interest can be something you rarely do. I have an interest in the sport curling but it is only on TV a few times a year and every four years during the winter Olympics. Some of you may find this cool (probably not) but it doesn’t mean much when talking about referrals. Yes, you could debate that if the person I am talking to likes curling we have something to talk about, but will it help me with my BNI goals? Probably not. So when you shift the question to what they would like to spend more time doing, it may open up an opportunity for you to help them. If it is volunteering, maybe you have some volunteering opportunities you can offer them. If it is family time, maybe you can connect them with someone to clean their house so they have more time on the weekend. No matter what the person says, they are interested in doing something and if you can help them do it more it will only come back 10 folds for you. Once you know someone’s interest, help them have the opportunity to do it more, if you can.
“We can’t help everyone, but everyone can help someone” ~Ronald Regan


Instead of asking what are your networks, ask “What is your next big event that is non-work related.”
This takes them out of their business mind set and opens it up to talk about other networks they are involved with. If I am asked this question I almost always have one or two events coming up, be it for events around town or an Optimist club event. No matter what the answer is I am going to guess there is an opportunity for you to join them or be part of the organization putting on the event. Either way what a great way to build a current relationship and possibly grow new ones.
“No one accomplished success by themselves.” ~Malcom Gladwell


Instead of asking what are your skills, ask “what is your greatest strength and how do you use it?”
Strength finder is a book that allows you to answer a lot of questions and based on your answers it breaks down your 5 top strengths, then you can find the summery of that strength and how to use it. If you have never done strength finder I highly recommend you buy the book and take the test. When you ask someone about their strength they instantly think of what they do well. Those are the skills you want to know when in a one to one. That is how you can find if they can help your clients leading to referrals for the member you are meeting with. Skills are things we use for a hobby most of the time, but a strength could be what has led to success for that member in their business.
“Build your own business team. Survival in business requires a synergy of skills” ~ Richard Branson

Once again try asking the following questions at your next one to one. I am sure you will find it to be more productive and lead to many opportunities for you and their business.