BNI provides a positive, supportive, and structured environment for the development and exchange of quality business referrals. It does so by helping you build personal relationships with dozens of other qualified business professionals.
Last year, members of BNI passed millions of referrals that generated billions of dollars of business for each other. Belonging to BNI is like having dozens of salespeople representing your business, and in return you are representing their businesses. What goes around comes around. If I help you, you'll help me and we will both benefit as a result.
Networking requires commitment. The most successful chapters of BNI are comprised of participants who are sincerely committed to helping one another through networking. They are a team. As a participant in BNI, you are responsible for complying with the policies and guidelines of the organization.
What You Should Know
- Weekly meetings last for 90 minutes. Members need to arrive on time and stay for the entire meeting.
- Only one person from each professional specialty is accepted into a chapter of BNI.
- All participants must represent their primary occupation.
- Attendance is critical. If you cannot attend a meeting, you may send a substitute.
There is an initial application fee, annual membership dues, and chapters may have a venue fee. Please see the chapter Secretary/Treasurer for exact information. When you apply to participate in BNI your application will be reviewed by the chapter's Membership Committee and you will be notified of the status before the next meeting.
- Increased exposure to many other business professionals
- Substantially increase business through referrals
- Learn to effectively talk about your business
- Sharpen your presentation skills
- Participation in up to 52 networking meetings per year
- New Member Packet: Business card book, name badge holder, orientation CD, BNI pin
- SuccessNet newsletters with educational material on networking, public speaking, and business
- Member Success Program workshop
- Advanced Education Series workshops
- Leadership Team Training
- Participation in business tradeshows
- Participation in local conferences
- And much, much more!
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
Q: Can anyone join a chapter?
A: We only take one person per professional specialty. So if you are a residential real estate person and we already have one, we can refer you to another chapter, or allow you to open another chapter. Of course, if you are a commercial real estate person, you could be eligible to join this chapter.
Q: How do you know new members are reputable?
A: The application asks for references and we have a membership committee that checks them. It's word of mouth, so before they even come to a meeting they have to have spoken to someone or been invited by someone in the group. Everyone has to have a sponsor, or one is assigned to them, and they interview them.
Q: What if a member gets a referral and does poor work?
A: We have an ethics committee and it is imperative that anyone who gives a lead and finds out it was not satisfactorily handled must report that to the membersh committee, who will investigate.
Q: What occupations benefit the most from networking?
A: It is not the occupation, it is the individual. The occupation can be anything. If you're focussed and you have a dream and you're willing to make a sacrifice, you are the person we want in the group.
Q: Are members supposed to bring visitors?
A: You're encouraged to bring visitors for those occupations that are open, after the visitor has been prescreened, if they're a viable candidate. It's pretty much a closed meeting except for potential members.
Q: Do ethical rules for certain professions prohibit participation in BNI?
A: BNI understands the importance of the ethical concerns governing certain professions and acknowledges that rules can differ by location. As such, BNI therefore requires its members to uphold the rules of its profession so as not to violate the professional's ethical obligations. In the event that BNI's general rules could potentially violate a professional's ethical code, BNI's rules are superseded by the dictates of the professional's ethics' code. Significantly, a primary objective of BNI is to educate its membership in ways to market and grow business. It is BNI's intent to ensure that this is permitted.
Q: If I specialize in a field within my profession, am I expected to be an expert in all aspects of my profession?
A: BNI understands that many professions are broad and that people often specialize within their profession. BNI does not expect, nor does it encourage, any professional to participate in an area in which the professional does not have expertise. On the contrary, BNI prohibits professionals from acting outside of the scope of their abilities.
Q: My profession does not let me directly solicit business. Is BNI still right for me?
A: BNI's primary objective is to assist its members in ways to improve their business and to educate them concerning how they can effectively network. Business people get business when their expertise is known and others reach a comfort level with them. BNI provides a forum that allows members to meet other business peers who need to know effective and efficient business people.