ANY SUCCESS WITH BNI GROUPS ?

by Gurnell 17 replies
I'm thinking about joining a BNI group to get more exposure. Has anyone had GREAT success getting clients or referrals from BNI groups? Also I visited one group and it was $495 a year to join, is that normal ?

Thank you for your response.
#offline marketing #bni #groups #success
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  • Profile picture of the author Seantrepreneur
    Hey Gurnell,

    Yes $495 seems about right. I know the one I was looking at was $365 plus a $100 one time fee for joining. So that's right in your $495 range.

    I think these groups can be extremely beneficial to really grow your business. It's really what you make of it. Some people might not make much from it because they are not very involved in the group and don't seem to care.

    Also, make sure you join a good one tho. Visit a couple of them first and ask what their referral income is year to date. That will help you make the decision if that's the group you want to join. Depending on what your doing for business, a lot of times one referral will pay for your yearly fee.

    I think it's really worth it and I will be joining one in the near future as well. Good luck!

    Sean
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  • Profile picture of the author ryanzona
    The price is similar to what I was quoted. I think you have to be outgoing in personality to benefit most. They will let you attend the first meeting free I think.
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  • Profile picture of the author mrmatt
    BNI ROCKS!

    Best decision I have made. You can attend twice. Do check out multiple groups before you make a decision. Some are better than others. I have made my initial investment back many time over and I have only been doing it a couple of months.

    The mentality is givers gain. Give referrals and get them back. I am working with 4 members of my group and got another client through another networking function hosted by BNI. Already getting kick ass results for them. They are happy.
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  • Profile picture of the author Sondor
    The thing that turned me off from BNI is their strict attendance requirements. If you haven't considered that aspect, you may wish to look into it.

    I believe they kidnap your first born child if you miss more than two meetings in a year.
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    • Profile picture of the author marciayudkin
      I think you have to be outgoing in personality to benefit most.
      I don't believe that's true. As a mentor to copywriters, I have watched some introverted - quite shy and quiet - people I've mentored succeed wildly with BNI.

      Since I wasn't there to observe them, I can only speculate that this is due to their being known within their group for doing great work for other members and getting constant referrals. Respect often comes the way of introverts when they are not a star at schmoozing.

      Marcia Yudkin
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    • Profile picture of the author Headfirst
      Originally Posted by Sondor View Post

      The thing that turned me off from BNI is their strict attendance requirements. If you haven't considered that aspect, you may wish to look into it.

      I believe they kidnap your first born child if you miss more than two meetings in a year.
      If you miss meetings it degrades the value of the group as a whole and shows you have a lack of commitment. If you miss two meetings and dont send a sub, you should lose your seat. Someone more reliable deserves it.
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      • Profile picture of the author Sondor
        Originally Posted by Headfirst View Post

        If you miss meetings it degrades the value of the group as a whole and shows you have a lack of commitment. If you miss two meetings and dont send a sub, you should lose your seat. Someone more reliable deserves it.
        Originally Posted by Headfirst View Post

        That being said, that $495 price tag is there to protect you. If you're not fully committed to your business, thats going to be a hard pill to swallow. This ensures you aren't wasting your time networking with part-time, wannabe entrepreneurs that don't have any decent leads to pass anyways.

        Remember, GIVERS GAIN! You'll have a bunch of leads to pass your first month, then it gets hard to come by leads to pass. Make sure you don't show up empty handed.
        Gee Headfirst, not trying to flame, but your responses come across like a classic MLM tout.

        To the OP, BNI is a networking organization. Nothing more, nothing less.

        In most cities where BNI has a strong presence, you may get more out of Chamber meetings for a lower (generally) initial expense, and less rigid time commitments imho.

        If you are already comfortable networking and wish to expand into another group, then BNI may well be a great addition to your arsenal.

        I'm not trying to suggest the members weren't 'newbie friendly' (they were!), but the expense and commitment make them more well suited for somebody who understands the commitment (financially/time).

        Based upon the nature of the networking organization that it is, I have no doubt you WILL get some business out of it.

        Does the business gained justify the expense and the time commitment? That's the question to ask yourself.

        Perhaps the single best benefit to joining is the intangible. If you aren't already a seasoned public speaker and networker, you will no-doubt grow immensely in an environment that's not as intimidating as many others are.

        Since you can't miss meetings, you either lose the initial investment ($650 in my city) or become damn good at participating!

        They were nice people just hustling to make a buck in their profession as we are.

        Btw Headfirst, thanks for letting us know you can offer a substitute if you can't attend. While I never thought to ask, it was never addressed with me.
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        • Profile picture of the author MRomeo09
          I have an issue with the rigidity of it. I'm an entrepreneur because I want to do what I want to do when I want to do it. Me and bosses just don't get along. So that was my problem with BNI, and groups like it. Plus I travel so much that being in one place every week just doesn't work for me.

          With that said, I do believe it can be useful if you have the type of flexibility that allows for a weekly commitment. There is definitely a lot of business that is generated from groups like this.

          It's worth checking out 2 group meetings to make sure. And don't be afraid to ask the difficult questions.

          Marcos
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        • Profile picture of the author Headfirst
          Originally Posted by Sondor View Post

          Gee Headfirst, not trying to flame, but your responses come across like a classic MLM tout.
          I'm not a fan of MLM's at all. Don't lump me in with that crowd, ok?

          That being said, I did drink the BNI kool-aid years ago and firmly believe in that style of hard referral networking.

          You're right, its not for everyone, but if it is for you it can work great.

          I got introduced to it about 6 years ago as a manager for a fortune 500 company. One of our biz dev guys went out on a leave and asked me to fill in for him for a few weeks. I got hooked quickly with a string of sales.

          When I decided to go off on my own I found a group near me and joined. It worked just as well for my business.

          It does require a lot of commitment to work though.
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          • Profile picture of the author Sondor
            Originally Posted by Headfirst View Post

            I'm not a fan of MLM's at all. Don't lump me in with that crowd, ok?

            That being said, I did drink the BNI kool-aid years ago and firmly believe in that style of hard referral networking.
            ...LoL, and fair enough
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  • Profile picture of the author Headfirst
    Originally Posted by Gurnell View Post

    I'm thinking about joining a BNI group to get more exposure. Has anyone had GREAT success getting clients or referrals from BNI groups? Also I visited one group and it was $495 a year to join, is that normal ?

    Thank you for your response.
    I'm getting ready to head out to my weekly meeting now as I write this. BNI is one of the best sources for new business that I have.

    I cannot stress enough how valuable it is.

    That being said, that $495 price tag is there to protect you. If you're not fully committed to your business, thats going to be a hard pill to swallow. This ensures you aren't wasting your time networking with part-time, wannabe entrepreneurs that don't have any decent leads to pass anyways.

    Remember, GIVERS GAIN! You'll have a bunch of leads to pass your first month, then it gets hard to come by leads to pass. Make sure you don't show up empty handed.
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  • Profile picture of the author Headfirst
    Originally Posted by Gurnell View Post

    Has anyone had GREAT success getting clients or referrals from BNI groups?
    I didnt answer your actual question in the last post. Yes. Yes YES!

    In a month of joining my current group I had closed ~$4,000 in business from group referrals. I haven't done the actual numbers, but I think my seat is probably worth about ~$30,000/year in sales for me.
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    • Profile picture of the author Bennette
      I do a lot of networking and have visited several BNI's so I will give you my opinion.

      BNI is good is you're looking for a structured group. You must attend weekly or find a substitute to go in your place. You're limited to one person per trade and they encourages dances which are 1 on 1 meetings with group members.

      The down side to exclusive groups is, you will not connect with everyone as far as their style of doing business. That's not a bad thing but that's the truth. If I'm not comfortable with you, (after meeting you a couple times 1 on 1) but don't trust you and feel like you're credible, I will not refer you... period.

      I'm a substitute for a couple BNI chapters and I do get referrals from their members.

      I prefer other networking groups because I don't like BNI rules, it's too much like working a JOB for me.
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  • Profile picture of the author ryank
    I'm from Indonesia and was invited to the BNI meeting. It just started and looks promising.

    Headfirst, What is the main benefits that you get from the BNI meeting? and how long have you been in the group?
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  • Profile picture of the author cscarpero
    Any form of networking is a LONG TERM deal. Don't do it unless you are willing to stick around for at least a couple years and don't count your $$$ from the first year. Most people quit networking before it pays off.

    I've been in offline since Jan 2010 and networking relentlessly and I'm just now starting to get some good referrals from it.
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  • Profile picture of the author David
    Originally Posted by Gurnell View Post

    I'm thinking about joining a BNI group to get more exposure. Has anyone had GREAT success getting clients or referrals from BNI groups? Also I visited one group and it was $495 a year to join, is that normal ?

    Thank you for your response.
    Absofrigginlutely they're valuable

    ... but I get invited to be a guest, I don't have to pay

    Who doesn't wanna be number one in Google?

    the BNI needs me more than I need the BNI

    I'm still making money off just a few guest appearances

    Hell.. the BNI should pay us (the SEO's) to attend, we keep their paying clients paying up
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    David Bruce Jr of Frederick Web Promotions
    Lawyer Local SEO - |

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  • Profile picture of the author mattbaehr
    I have been invited to a meeting on Tuesday and will probably attend. They need a web designer/seo person. But do they really want you to attend every week? That seems a bit excessive.
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