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Getting Your BNI Ducks in a Row

BNI is great – Keren has been an active member for 7 years, and has seen all sorts of people from all sorts of businesses come through the system. Many left without seeing the benefits, but there always seemed to be a correlation of INPUT and OUTPUT. Our business here at Top Left Design is built on referral and we still can track a majority of our incoming enquiries back to people we wouldnt have met if it werent for Keren’s membership at BNI.

The best members of BNI have a good attitude. This means they HONESTLY believe in BNI and understand that nurturing relationships takes time, effort and good intentions! Givers gain and all that!

My top eleven tips to make your BNI membership a sure-fire success!
(Important – these tips work for ANY breakfast group of a similar nature to BNI!)

  1. Come every week
  2. Have a clear speaking voice and a clear message when you do your 60 seconds
  3. Be specific in asking for referrals
  4. Consider who your introducers would be in your business – parallel companies who can partner up with you – and ask for those as well as direct referrals.
  5. Make an effort to help their fellow BNI Members – by making introductions, giving advice, giving feedback – and avoid conflicts if you can!
  6. Spend time helping the running of the chapter itself – by taking on roles like visitor hosts/commitee members or leadership team roles.
  7. Be welcoming to visitors and follow up on them – you may be the only one in your group who does so, and they may come back to visit again because of you – or become a good contact for you.
  8. When receiving a referral, no matter how small it is, make an effort to follow it up.
  9. Have regular 1-2-1s with other members.
  10. Spending time preparing your 10minute speeches, and doing a good job with this opportunity.
  11. Attend training, at least until you feel you are comfortable – there are plenty of great ideas given at the BNI training days, plus great networking with members of other chapters.
  12. Try subbing and seeing how other BNI groups run – it really helps to expand your network and make the most of your membership.

And even with all this, you have to have a good attitude and believe in BNI. Then it works wonders!

As a bonus for reading to this point, here are some 60 second specific tips for you – FREE!

BNI 60 second tips:

  1. Don’t sell TO the group – you are asking for introductions to THEIR contacts
  2. Stand up to do your 60 seconds and also for the rererral/contributions part of the meeting too
  3. Remember – the referral part of the meeting another chance to market yourself, so make an effort to speak clearly and be specific there too!
  4. If you are doing your 10 minutes that day, the worst thing is to say “I wont bore you with my 60 seconds” – the 60 seconds part is another time to promote yourself and you need to make the most of it! A very common mistake.
  5. Use your memory hook (also known as a tagline!)
  6. Be specific when asking who you need to meet and why – as for specific companies or sectors

Related links
Hook Line and Sinker – secrets to a great memory hook
Networking – combining online and offline

Tagged in:
  1. BNI
  2. Networking

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  1. Saskia Steur

    Thank you for sharing this very useful blog. I totally agree with everything. I have joined BNI a year ago, and I have never looked back. Thanks also for the tips, a very good reminder. I intend to make full use of it.