Should you join a BNI® chapter? If you’re ready to commit to growing your business by referral, the answer is yes. Wondering what you’ll gain by joining a BNI® chapter? There are so many benefits to becoming part of BNI®, but who has the time to read about all of them?
When you join BNI®, you are joining a massive networking group full of entrepreneurs and business professionals who want to succeed. Each week, your connections with other members grow stronger, which ultimately increases the level of trust between members. When others trust and believe in what you do, they are willing and want to tell others about you.
By building trust within a group of hungry entrepreneurs, you are essentially building your own personal sales team. This is how BNI® helps you to get referrals. Referrals can come from within your chapter and within the organization, but also from outside of BNI® altogether. In fact, the hope is that as you continue to build trust with other BNI® members, they will refer you to other people in their networks, and these individuals will refer you to people in their networks, etc.
The whole notion of BNI® is to sell through others, vs. to them. While you may get many referrals directly from other BNI® members, the ultimate goal is to train your “team” of BNI® members to easily refer more and more customers/clients - outside of your chapter and BNI® - to you.
Yes, BNI® is all about networking with other businesses to get referrals for your business. However, it also becomes a network of service and product providers that you can tap into for yourself, your friends, family, and other members of your community. As your network grows, you will not only see an increase in referrals, but you will also gain access to some of the most talented and quality service and product providers out there.
Where else can you meet your potential new financial advisor, hairdresser, electrician, plumber, contractor, massage therapist, and realtor? The people in your BNI® chapter become some of your most trusted advisors on who to call when you need a specific service or product, and that’s something not everyone can say they have.
Knowing how to communicate effectively allows you to form stronger connections, both personally and professionally. It also helps you to influence and motivate others, which is particularly important when it comes to selling your business. Whether you use traditional sales methods, work only by referral, or a combination of the two - communication is the common thread that must be mastered in order to succeed.
Public speaking is one of the most essential communication skills in the professional world. If you master this skill, it can help you win over a crowd (or your BNI®® group), clearly inform others of what you do, and motivate others to either want to work with you, for you, or refer you to someone else.
At each weekly meeting, you are given 60 seconds to introduce yourself, your company, and the type of clients you are looking for. You are also put into a periodic rotation, where you will have an opportunity to give a 10-minute presentation about your business on a deeper level. These presentations provide an opportunity to practice and improve your public speaking and general communication skills every week.
Your BNI® chapter will become a source of support for your professional endeavors, as you will get to know and trust a group of people who genuinely want you to succeed. The core principle of BNI® is givers gain®. Your fellow chapter members want to see you succeed, not only because they are nice people, but because they believe that when you succeed, they succeed.
Everyone in your chapter is there because they want to be there, and they are there to do two things: train you how to refer their business, and learn how to refer yours. Your chapter members are 100% there to support you. Imagine meeting with a group of people who support you and your business, and are rooting for your success every week!
As a BNI® member, you are required to participate in at least one hour of chapter education units (CEUs) each week to help you succeed in BNI®, as well as in your business. BNI® has built a massive online educational resource platform, BNI® University, where you can easily access BNI® podcasts, articles, training modules, videos, and more. In-person training is also available periodically.
The amount of information and guidance provided is astounding; BNI® essentially provides you with a multitude of formulas for success.
Each BNI® chapter designates several leadership positions that are filled by members of the chapter. These positions include President, Vice President, Education Coordinator, Visitor Host, Secretary/Treasurer, Mentor Coordinator, Event Coordinator, and Social Media/Marketing Coordinator. Some chapters may have additional roles, depending on the size of the chapter.
The leadership positions allow members to take on important roles within their chapter, from which individuals often learn new things about themselves and their strengths. There are also committees that members can join if they prefer a less demanding role within the chapter.
Holding a leadership role significantly increases your visibility within the group. It can also further strengthen your connection to your chapter as a whole and help you form stronger relationships with other individual members of the group.