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You wouldn’t classify Sandra as a new BNI member, although her BNI journey started in 2018. Representing Golden Avenue Technology, Sandra Bhojwani discovered BNI with a little help from her husband. Also a BNI member, her other half let her know about the launch of BNI Warriors. In her words Prem said, “You must go and visit this chapter being launched by Sajith, whatever he touches turns to gold.”
Intrigued, Sandra attended the meeting, “When I went, I was mesmerized by him and BNI. I signed up straightaway the same morning.” A part of the core team for BNI Warriors, she joined the team in November 2018 and the chapter officially launched in 2019.
Almost immediately after joining BNI Warriors, Sandra was chosen as Vice President in the first leadership team. “It seemed very daunting, I thought I didn’t know anything about BNI,” she says. Since then, she’s always held a role at the chapter. “I was in the membership committee and I’m still a Community Builder in Warriors.”
So how did Sandra become an ambassador for BNI Champions? As her term as Vice President was coming to an end, Pankaj Gupta, the BNI Warriors Director Consultant asked “What’s next?”
“I wasn’t sure what more I could do in BNI.” Sandra says. Pankaj asked, “Why don’t you become an ambassador to another chapter where you can help other members grow and understand the journey of BNI.” Remembering the family values instilled in her, Sandra took up the challenge. “My parents always told me ‘If you have an opportunity to help someone in any way, always extend your help.”
Contact vs. Contract
Learning is an important part of any journey, and discovering the importance of building meaningful relationships has been something Sandra has witnessed firsthand. “When we join it’s mainly for business.” she elaborates. “Everyone is passing referrals to each other. But these referrals in my opinion are a contact of a person. Between contact and contract the only difference is an ‘r’ but that ‘r’ is very important because it stands for relationship.”
Having the time and willingness to invest in a relationship with referrals has been a vital learning. “Without a relationship with that contact, I cannot convert it into a business contract.” Sandra added. “I heard it many times before but I realized when I practiced myself. When I spent time getting to know that client that someone has referred me to, more than just the business requirement, that’s when I realized I can get further more referrals from him that has gone beyond a business relationship.”
This has resulted in repeat clients and referrals from those clients. And Sandra has been passing on the information to new members. “Don’t just accept the referral as it is, try to create a relationship with that client.” she says.
Another tip Sandra shares for new members is to take up leadership roles. “Visibility leads to credibility which leads to profitability and I’ve experienced that myself.” Her final advice, “Be amongst the best, surround yourself with people you always want to aspire to be.”