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by Dr. Ivan Misner

In the early days of BNI, there was only a “referral” portion of the meeting. If you didn’t have any referrals, then you wouldn’t stand up and say anything.

That all changed when one guy refused to stay silent.

He said, “Well, I just want to talk about Dr. Rubin. I went to see him last week, and I went in and got this X-Ray, and he showed me all around his facility, explained all the things that he did, and then he did an adjustment. Now, I’ve had this lower back pain for about seven years. Nothing incapacitating, just a nagging ache that if I stand up too long it starts bothering me. For the first time in seven year, my back doesn’t hurt! You’re all crazy if you don’t take him up on his offer!”

And the testimonial was born.

This is a positive way of giving support to another member in lieu of an actual referral. It was quite valuable, not only in giving the individual moral support but in bringing other members’ attention, and quite possibly referrals, to the individual’s products or services.

So, when giving a testimonial, be specific. Talk about the experience and how it affected you and not just say that the person was great. You want to make sure that what you are about to say educates fellow members.

But, to stay mindful of the time, shine the light on one person each week. And give the next deserving person their own spotlight the following week. And so on and so on.