BNI, Chamber of Commerce, Meetup, etc.

10 replies
Do you get any serious business from these meetings? Throughout the years I've had some great success from attending the meetings, but only during the first 2 times of meeting with the owners.
#bni #chamber #commerce #meetup
  • Profile picture of the author sbishop
    BNI really helped me when I had a computer repair business 10yrs ago I got lots of referrals. The biggest help was to keep me on the marketing mindset.
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  • Profile picture of the author wordsandthebees
    Originally Posted by Justin Lewis View Post

    Do you get any serious business from these meetings? Throughout the years I've had some great success from attending the meetings, but only during the first 2 times of meeting with the owners.
    It's very rare. I generally find that people go to these things to talk about themselves and what they can offer (not a criticism, just an observation) rather than go with the view of looking for someone to fill a need that they have.

    Very occasionally something beneficial will come out of these meetings but when I have to attend functions such as this (I'm not the world's best networker!) I always go with the view of making one or two genuine and valuable connections which will hopefully be beneficial further down the line. This, for me, is a better strategy then throwing around as many business cards as I can!
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  • Profile picture of the author animal44
    I prefer to build my own network based on merit rather than someone paying a fee...

    And I didn't like the hard sell from BNI.

    If you're after new customers, JVs are far more effective than any networking meetings...
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  • Profile picture of the author cartoadhal
    Networking groups like BNI can be very good IF you have the right product or service. I have been involved in them for the better part of 10 years. When we owned a sign store it was good, everyone needs a banner or T shirt from time to time. For the advertising business I now own (and have for the past 3 years) I have gotten very little in return and am dropping my BNI membership of 2 years (prior were independent loose network groups) The ones who do well in networking groups are auto repair, tire dealers, sometimes chiropractors, sometimes radio/TV/Newspaper ad sales, then it drops way off. Usually have a number of MLM people. I think being involved in Chamber, and if you can afford it Rotary for long term is better. If you are looking at BNI go to as many different chapters that you can, sometimes big differences between, and some have a major push for you to give leads, so a lot of folks phony up leads to turn over.
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  • You never know when a network meeting will pay off. In some cases, if you're really needed, you'll get a client right away. It could be weeks or months down the road or you may walk away with a referral partner. However, I once got a client 3 years after our meeting. The person kept my business card and called me out of the blue asking for website services. Needless to say, $3,000 later, I was glad I was at the network meeting.
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  • Profile picture of the author Digital Traffic
    Here's what I do for BNI groups.

    I'm in the lead generation business, so it was hard for me to join them, then offer free leads back to the group for every meeting.

    So then I thought, why not use the groups website to find the group members, who are all actively looking for leads, then send them an email or call them up asking how the lead group is working for them.

    From there, I try to segway the conversation into a soft pitch for my services offering them a few leads for their time and then follow up.
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  • Profile picture of the author fandbworld
    I've been a part of a BNI group for about 2 years. Works a lot better with business to residential. The contractors and real estate companies in my group do very well. I do okay (I think last year got an extra 20k). Not sure if I will join again next year, still debating it.

    At the moment I am leveraging my networks connections to get connected with sepcific people who are better for me in terms do doing JV's.
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  • Profile picture of the author moneymagneto
    Hey I love this question. NO THEY SUCK. Here is proof - I went to over 300 meetings for all of these combined.


    BNI - I know a lawyer who gets a couple of leads from there but it's mainly from the internet and people calling him from Google. I guess it can work depending on what you do.

    Meetups - very introverted socially awkward people most of the time. Good luck getting business from anyone here.

    Chamber - A lot of broke and desperate people. I was involved in a NYC based Chamber and it was just filled with broke predators. I left it quickly.

    There are tons of organizations but you are better off building a solid brand and not relying on office politics to get business.
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  • Profile picture of the author Justin Lewis
    It's been since July that I attended my last meeting at any of these networking meetings and now I've moved up to Oregon.

    I want to point out that I have some very great clients from those meetings that are still working with me, but now they're doing it 100% remotely and it's outstanding. Along with this I've built up my business to rely primarily on internet based leads that have turned into clients. I'm doing much better than I have for the last 2 years because of this.

    I'd like to point out the most valuable meetings I've attended were those based in nonpaid membership meetings, typically just quick events where you're only meant to meet once.

    I do appreciate what BNI did for me, Chamber of Commerce helped me meet some more influential people and Meetup typically failed unless for recreation.

    My advisement however would be to use BNI as an advantage online for acquiring Google reviews from people who know you are legit. If you can do this, it helps those online get a clearer picture of your objectives.
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    • Profile picture of the author Ron Lafuddy
      Originally Posted by Justin Lewis View Post

      It's been since July that I attended my last meeting at any of these networking meetings and now I've moved up to Oregon.

      I want to point out that I have some very great clients from those meetings that are still working with me, but now they're doing it 100% remotely and it's outstanding. Along with this I've built up my business to rely primarily on internet based leads that have turned into clients. I'm doing much better than I have for the last 2 years because of this.

      I'd like to point out the most valuable meetings I've attended were those based in nonpaid membership meetings, typically just quick events where you're only meant to meet once.

      I do appreciate what BNI did for me, Chamber of Commerce helped me meet some more influential people and Meetup typically failed unless for recreation.

      My advisement however would be to use BNI as an advantage online for acquiring Google reviews from people who know you are legit. If you can do this, it helps those online get a clearer picture of your objectives.
      Of course you could also show up and do 5 minutes at the local rotary and lions club. They're all business people.

      And, they are always looking for speakers. You'd have their complete attention.

      Ron
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