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BNI - The World's Largest Referral Organisation

BNI is not the Tinder of networking groups

Creating relationships in BNI is not like using a dating app like Tinder. It’s not that immediate and the relationships (hopefully) are more meaningful and long-lasting. Niki Gunning, Regional Director Consultant – Lower North Island, Nelson Bays & Marlborough, reflected on this when she raised a key question often asked by new members to BNI:

Do my chapter members have to refer business to me, because what is the point in me paying for a BNI membership if this is not the case?

This is an important question for existing members too since it’s easy to lose touch with the key philosophies of BNI – including Givers Gain – once you have been in a chapter for some time. The question could be asked in a different way, however, that puts the focus back on your role in creating success at BNI.

Farming not Hunting

What actions do you need to take to build trusting relationships with your fellow members so they feel confident in sending business your way….

 The currency of BNI is trust and trust takes time to build – remember this isn’t Tinder. So rather than thinking there is compulsion in a BNI chapter to give fellow members referrals based purely on their membership, lets focus more on the actions you can personally take to build those trusting relationships so your fellow members are actively looking for referrals for you.

  1. Do your 1 to 1’s. It is number 1 because we know it is the key to BNI success (Ivan Misner’s words). It is the quickest way to build trust, show fellow members that you are in the game for them as well as yourself and it gives you the opportunity to invite them to do a 1to1 with you. So, action Numero Uno.
  2. Turn up – when you are at the meeting to hear members’ 60 seconds, their 10 minutes and involved in that ever-important networking before and after meetings, it tells members you take your commitments seriously.
  3. Give great qualified referrals. One of the mistakes new members can make is to believe it is about quantity. No, it is not. A great member gives referrals that require little work from the member referred because they have qualified the prospect well.
  4. Be positive – it is amazing how often a member will use their precious 60 seconds for a moan or to talk about something personal. BNI is a positive business meeting and you tell us a lot about yourself by how you use that time.
  5. Bring visitors – every visitor you bring, before even joining, gives your fellow members an opportunity to present their business to another person who has a minimum of 250 contacts. When they join of course, we have an increased opportunity of exposure to those 250 contacts. This is the magic of large chapters full of great people.

BNI is likened to farming not hunting and that is an accurate description. It does take time to get your first referrals, particularly if you are in a high trust category. However, if you focus on taking the actions that build trust then BNI can produce magic results.



Read more on the BNI blog:

19th  May 2017: BNI is not the Tinder of networking groups  
12th May 2017: Use the Follow-up Formula to turbocharge your networking  
4th May 2017: Are you up for the challenge of living every moment BNIers? 25th November 2016: Growing means working ON the business not just IN it
1st May 2017: If you don't measure it, you can't manage it 18th November 2016: Challenge those that say BNI isn't for them
21st April 2017: Move beyond your FOMO at BNI with these 4 top tips 4th November 2016: Are you really happy in your work life?
13th April 2017: Smile at BNI! Build your relationships with body language ... 28th October 2016: At BNI great business opportunities will come if you keep....
7th April 2017: Great leaders need great vision 14th October 2016: No matter how great the talent or efforts, some things ....
31st March 2017: Tradespeople help build stronger chapters 7th October 2016:Trump or Clinton? How a transition of power can make your .....
27th March 2017: The Butter Fly Effect in Networking – explained ........ 30th September 2016: BNI is all about celebrating the successes of our members
20th March 2017: Hard work always pays off in the long run for you and ......... 23rd September 2016: Would you play football without rules?
10th March 2017: 5 questions your chapter should be asking to ensure success ...... 16th September 2016: Follow Apple's success: build on your foundation by ...
3rd March 2017: Let visitors know about BNI’s unique formula to success 9th September 2016: Use your connections at BNI to help overcome your ....
24th February: Great networkers make great leaders for your chapter 2nd September 2016: Be brave with your networking
17th February 2017: Serial substitution can be corrosive to the chapter  16th August 2016: Be prepared and send the right message to your fellow member
10th February 2017: Referrals may takle time but the returnms are worth the .... 19th August 2016: Make your leadership team a gold medal winning one!
3rd February 2017: Important tips so you don’t become “Person Invisible” at BNI ... 13th August 2016: How genuine are you being at BNI?
27th January 2017: Make a positive impact on your business and staff this year 5th August 2016: Try “Bring a Sub Day” at your chapter this month
20th January 2017: $73 million+! Record TYFCB total for BNI New Zealand .... 29th July 2016: The BNI Hour of Power 
13th January 2017: Get back into the swing of things after the New Year with BNI 22nd July 2016: GRACE at BNI – An NZ member of 15 years shares his approach
16th December 2016: Bye bye 2016 15th July 2016: Avoid roadblocks as your chapter grows by following these 3 ...
9th December 2016: Outstanding end of year learning lessons from a  long time .. 8th July 2016: An important new mind-set that is developing amongst networ...
2nd December 2016: Clear out the Clutter for 2017 1st July 2016: Half a dozen benefits of BNI not to forget BNI

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