Do you know BNI? It’s the world’s largest business referral organization.
I’m a big fan and I’ve visited several chapters in Canada.
Today, I was the guest of the great folks at a B2B Chapter, Corporate Edge Toronto and was reminded of 3 reasons why BNI is the best business networking structure I’ve ever encountered.
1. John, the incoming President reminded us that networking resolutions are like health goals. Everyone says in January “I need to network, I need to network, I’ve got get out and network!” and they do. But come March, the gyms and the networking events are empty. Like already healthy people become fit because of the structure of a personal trainer, so do business professionals gain greater success by joining a highly structured group like BNI
2. Josh the current President is a business owner in IT. He confessed there are a LOT of people offering online marketing solutions. But none of his competition has a lawyer, photographer, speaking coach, designer and insurance consultant on staff. His trust built by meeting with his chapter members every week means they are like his own team. Together they engage in millions of dollars in closed business a year, they refer each other weekly, they create opportunities for each other weekly. At this meeting, someone on vacation has three referrals waiting for him when he gets back – this is not a network being nice, it is a referral machine at work.
3. I’ve blogged before about a chapter I really love, and the power of the 45 second stand up pitch. That you’re timed and cut off, you’re critiqued for improvement and primed for success. I can’t stress the structure that BNI brings to ever part of their meetings. That they track networking sit downs, dollars referred, recommendations are read aloud. It’s the kind of positive environment that breeds success, builds community and relationships of great value.
“Givers Gain” is their motto. I love that abundance attitude.
Have to thank my personal host today, Jeff Good who I know because he helps my social-profit charity network specializing in real-estate rental or purchase for nonprofits.
If you love networking, here is BNI’s founder sharing the 10 traits of master networkers and below a 2 min video on BNI, FYI. Enjoy!