5 replies
I called the President in my state and got information and I'm supposed to be going to 2 meetings for 2 chapters to get a feel of how it is.

Anyone have experience with them? Seems like a good way to get referrals and business but is it actually that simple? I'd like to hear what you guys experienced with them.
#bni #opinions
  • Profile picture of the author Bennette
    I've been to several BNI's. I will give you the Pro's and Con's in my opinion.

    • Only one person per industry
    • Build relationships
    • Generate leads

    • Only one person per industry- this can be a con if you have a member in a group that you're not comfortable giving leads to because they don't provide the level of service and quality that you would want to be associated with.
    • You can only missed x (can't remember the amount) of meetings
    • You can find a replacement to go in your absence (most people try to have substitutes that will fill in)
    • You're encourage to get more people to join the group and visit weekly meetings
    • Membership can be denied if you don't produce enough leads to the group
    • Can be put on probation for several things
    I've never joined BNI because I don't like the rules but for many it's great. I do get referrals from members that don't like the current person in their group so they will send me leads.

    That's based on my experience, others may have a different opinion. They allow 2 visits before joining so I would suggest you visit a couple chapters to see how you like it.
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  • Profile picture of the author mrmatt
    Highly recommend it.

    Do visit all of the chapters in your area if you have more than one. Reason being is you will see the different energy levels, where you would best fit in etc. After visiting them all you will see which one you like best.

    In a year I did over $18K with my group.

    I like the structure, the rules, etc. It keeps the group focused on why you are there....to get and give referrals.

    I will give you this piece of advice. The more you put into it the more you will get out of it.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan
    It takes commitment and you have to bring business to these people!

    Be a giver to become a getter.

    Your group has to reach a certain size, like 18 or 20 members, to hit critical mass. Anything smaller is not a good use of your time.

    And they all have to buy in to the idea.

    There have been lots of BNI threads...use the Search function for more info.
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    • Profile picture of the author RimaNaj2011
      Yeah the one I'm supposed to see tomorrow has 37 current members in the chapter. The main negative points I see are:

      It's 7 AM (I get things done at a much later time. 7 AM meetings means I need to wake up at 5 AM)

      I don't see how I can bring in referrals consistently. Mostly because I'm young (20) and most of my friends don't need these services like lawyers, accountants, home remodeling, etc. And I don't want to spend my time trying to find business and referrals. And I really don't like the idea of recommending friends to businesses who I've never tried. I find it weird to say "hey, go here for your kitchen remodeling." when I have no idea if this guy is going to do a good job or not.

      Anyways, hopefully I can wake up in...5 hours...doesn't hurt to sit in and look around to get a feel for it.

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  • Profile picture of the author SuzyBlack
    It totally depends on the group - if you live in an area where there are a few - visit them all, as they are all different.

    I have been to ones that were stuffy and stuck to the rules, and gave a real bad vibe. Others are great, relaxed with happy members - its about finding what will fit for you.

    Yes there are heaps of rules, yes you have to commit yourself to going and doing your talk each week, and yes there will be members you don't like, or give you anything and vice versa.

    But remember, if you are a visitor, your not committing to anything.

    I used BNI to get started in Business and did really well through them - made $40k in my first year just from them.

    Is it so simple as just getting business - yes and no. I found it hard to find referrals to give others, but my group didnt worry about that. And i found t took time to build peoples trust before they would recommend me. But in the long run, it was a winner for me.

    Pop along and see what you think, remember you can go twice before committing to join, and if you have questions, ask away, they want you to join as the more members they have the better it is for everyone in the group.
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