A good friend of mine (Melinda Potcher from Divine Mortgages) invited me to help her found a BNI chapter on the West side of town. BNI is the largest networking group and has an international presence. Each BNI is a little bit different as far as the personalities and the people but one thing is the same and that’s the commitment to help you grow your business. Here’s why you should at least visit a BNI chapter.
- Excellent training opportunities. If you want to be in business for long you have to constantly learn and adapt. BNI has a wealth of resources to help you better yourself. I recently listened to a CD on how to give good referrals. They also have many books that are available also on how to build your business through networking. Unfortunately there are very few colleges that will teach you how to build your business through word of mouth although most of them agree that word of mouth and referrals is the best way to build your business
- The group is committed. We have all been in networking groups that have more “getters” then givers. BNI is founded on the premise of “givers get.” Your focus is not only to grow your business by taking but to help others grow their businesses by giving. BNI is set up to be your mastermind group that is committed to help you succeed. You also focus on goal setting and the group holds you accountable and helps you achieve your goals. If someone is not a serious networker they will not join BNI because it is regimented. They have systems that work and you are held to a very high standard of business. The commitment level is high and so are the results
- You get referrals. One of the complaints that I have heard from people that were former members of BNI is that the referrals they got weren’t good. This is one of the reasons that you have to choose your chapter carefully. If you are in a chapter that focuses just on everyone having a referral for everyone then you will end up with bogus referrals. The chapter that we are forming on the Westside is focused on quality. We would rather have one good referral a year then hundreds of bogus ones that waste our time. With that being said we are highly committed to finding referrals for our members. We don’t have rules on how many referrals you have to give to stay in the group.
These are just three of the many reasons that you should visit a chapter. There are a few things to keep in mind. Flaky people don’t last long in BNI because it is regimented. The meetings are weekly and you are expected to be there and be there on time. You are expected to be prepared. There is homework sometimes. You will be asked to follow up immediately on leads that you are given. You will be held to a very high standard of business. If you are not able to adhere to these standards you will be asked to leave the group. The cost of BNI is a bit higher than other networking groups but you get what you pay for. Over the last two weeks I have gotten three referrals from the group that will more than pay for the membership and the quality of referral is a lot higher than any other group I have visited or belonged to. So if your business is struggling make the investment and the commitment to a BNI group.
You can visit the Westside chapter any time. We meet Thursday mornings at 8:00 a.m. at the Weck’s in the Riverside Plaza on Coors Blvd. Visit www.bni.comfor more information. Email me at [email protected] Friend me on facebook and follow me on twitter.