My Honest BNI Review: Don’t Join Without a Solid Referral Strategy

Trending 2 weeks ago

If you’ve been asked to subordinate BNI Connect, make judge you person these things successful spot to get nan astir retired of your money and your time.

What Does BNI Stand For?

BNI is short for Business Networking International. BNI is recognized arsenic nan top master referral trading programme and nan world’s starring business networking and referral statement ever. It was founded by Ivan Misner successful 1985 and is nan astir celebrated measurement that section mini businesses get referrals for their business.

This is my individual acquisition astatine a section section meeting.  This reappraisal is targeted toward section business owners who are looking to turn their business by giving and getting bully referrals affirmative business people.

My acquisition pinch master networking

When I started my business I went to 3 aliases 4 different networking events each week!

Some of them were free events. I paid for some. I was besides invited to subordinate respective professional networking groups. BNI Connect (Business Networking International) was 1 of them.

7 Days to a Flood of Ideal Clients

7 Days to a Flood of Ideal Clients

By nan extremity of this course, you will person a afloat operational referral strategy successful place. You will cognize really to place imaginable referrers, really to attack them, and really to incentivize them to bring successful much clients.

Access for FREE

We gain a committee if you click this nexus and make a acquisition astatine nary further costs to you.

Find a Chapter of a section BNI Connect Group Near You

BNI Group adjacent me

List of BNI Chapters adjacent me:

 One of nan awesome things astir nan BNI Connect website is that you tin easy find. section successful your neighborhood.

What is BNI Connect?

local bni group meeting

For those of you wondering conscionable what is simply a BNI group, I’ll explicate it.

BNI Connect is simply a erstwhile master improvement and networking group founded by Ivan Misner. Its superior intent is to springiness its members create business relationships

BNI Connect Groups are Non Competitive

Typically, your section BNI group will only let 1 business from each manufacture to join. For example, astatine each gathering location will only beryllium 1 existent property supplier and 1 accountant. Ideally, nan members build relationships that organically germinate into sending and receiving business referrals from 1 another.

Is BNI Connect a Pyramid Scheme?

BNI is perfectly NOT a pyramid scheme, an MLM (multi-level-marketing), aliases a scam. This networking and master referral trading programme statement has been astir for decades and thousands of mini business group committedness by its success.

BNI Connect is simply a rank organization. BNI Connect was founded successful 1985 and has been a morganatic franchise statement since 1991. Following are a partial database of franchise fees progressive successful owning a BNI Franchise

BNI franchise fees

BNI’s extremity is to link value business professionals pinch meaningful, and profitable reciprocal business relationships.

How Much Does BNI Cost?

BNI is simply a franchise, truthful you request to look astatine nan pricing for your circumstantial region. In Ohio, it costs $699 per year. In Los Angeles, it’s astir $88/mo. So you’ll request to find your section section to corroborate nan value successful your region. Prices alteration and alteration – truthful please hunt and cheque your section pricing.

I made immoderate mistakes astatine business networking and referral groups

I person to admit that nan committedness of getting regular referrals from these BNI groups was very attractive.

But, I made mistakes. In fact, those mistakes led maine to committedness disconnected paid networking groups altogether. I still show almost everyone not to subordinate them. Of course, for illustration each rules, location are exceptions.

So, don’t subordinate a networking group…until you perpetrate to nan 2 items outlined below.

#1 You cognize nan quality betwixt a lead and a referral.

Let’s retrieve that your extremity of joining a paid networking group is to get a affirmative and master referral. As a section member, your extremity should beryllium to get nan astir retired of nan meetings and nan relationships you build.

One of nan first things I noticed is that nan group astatine my section BNI Connect arena were sharing acold leads.

Let’s get thing straight.

Giving personification different person’s business paper is NOT a referral. It’s a acold lead.

You cognize a referral erstwhile you get one. It usually sounds thing for illustration this: “Hi Ivana, I was talking to Joe Smith astir my marketing. Joe said I should telephone you.”

Notice that it’s personification you don’t cognize who calls you up and mentions a friend aliases a colleague. The referral usually uses a building for illustration “said I should interaction you”.

A acold lead looks for illustration a business paper pinch someone’s sanction connected it. YOU person to telephone them.

YOU person to mention nan person’s name. THEY sound confused. YOU person to build nan relationship and nan relationship. CLEARLY – this is not a referral.

BNI gives you a forum wherever members interact and stock their capabilities truthful that they tin create meaningful relationships.

Don’t subordinate a BNI group if each you’re going to springiness aliases get are business cards. This is simply a complete discarded of your clip and money. And it kills trees.

#2 You’re prepared to springiness and person referrals.

At my first BNI Connect® meeting, I noticed thing absorbing arsenic group were mingling. A batch of nan members weren’t prepared to springiness aliases moreover to person business acquisition aliases referrals. They were conscionable passing astir business cards.

Business by Referral

Business by Referral

Referrals are nan lifeblood of immoderate business, and pinch this program, you'll study really to create a referral strategy that generates a dependable watercourse of perfect customers without sleazy income aliases costly ads. Ivana has designed nan programme to thief you create referral partnerships, creation an irresistible offer, and create referral triggers, among different things.

Don't miss this opportunity to turn your business done referrals. Ivana and I are excited to stock this programme pinch you, and we look guardant to proceeding astir your success.

Buy Now

We gain a committee if you click this nexus and make a acquisition astatine nary further costs to you.

Be prepared to springiness and person referrals by having a referral strategy successful place. You request to person nan following:

A clear and focused floor plan of your perfect customer aka avatar.

This explanation should beryllium circumstantial and focused capable truthful that I would admit them successful my regular life. Think: group who thrust pick-up trucks, group who person precocious purchased a home, aliases precocious divided women. Be arsenic descriptive and circumstantial arsenic possible.

Create a referral line handout to stock pinch your Group

A referral line is simply a azygous expanse that describes precisely really you want group to mention you.

Think of it arsenic a income expanse aliases cheat expanse for your referrers.

After all, they are your salespeople and you aren’t paying them. Shouldn’t you make it easy for them to mention you? This is nan measurement to do it. A awesome referral line includes:

  • Your business name
  • A azygous elemental condemnation aka elevator transportation aliases tagline (for illustration – erstwhile you request a pizza successful 30 minutes)
  • A floor plan of your perfect customer, complete pinch trigger words that should make your referrer deliberation of you (for illustration – I’m getting a divorce.)
  • What you want nan personification to opportunity to nan prospective customer (for example- I cognize personification who tin thief you pinch that, tin I link you?)
  • Available “thank you” options. Are you going to salary a referral interest aliases springiness a gift? What’s going to activity for that person?

Specific offers.

Don’t conscionable transportation your company, transportation circumstantial offers that will meet circumstantial needs of your perfect customer. Always person thing original to stock that will pique nan curiosity of nan group.

Have meaningful referral meetings.

Ultimately you want to partner up pinch group who are complementary to your business.

These are trusted advisors aliases influencers for your perfect customer.

You don’t request hundreds of these people, astir 5 aliases six activity great. Then person meetings pinch them wherever you update each different connected what’s new. Maybe you collaborate connected offers, squad up pinch customers and clients. Work together.

Once you person these things successful place, you are wholly fresh to subordinate a BNI Connect ® group. You will person a strategy successful place, cognize your perfect customer and beryllium capable to negociate your business partnerships well.

5 Situations Where BNI Isn’t a Good Fit

BNI isn’t for everyone. After a fewer visits and experiences, I decided that it was not a bully fresh for me. But don’t conscionable return my connection for it!If you’ve been invited, go! Visit a fewer chapters successful your area. Each section has its ain characteristic and moreover if you are successful nan 1 of these situations, you whitethorn still determine that BNI useful for your business.

1. You person a debased disbursal budget.

Joining BNI tin beryllium expensive. Not only is location a precocious rank interest but location are besides a batch of hidden costs. The bni rank exertion interest is $500 a year. Hidden costs see paying for nutrient if your section has its gathering astatine a edifice aliases paying for room rental if your section has its gathering astatine a rented location.

While it is imaginable to trim expenses by watching what you eat (and staying quiet while everyone other orders lavishly), location whitethorn beryllium a level admittance interest whether aliases not you bid something. Incidental costs tin mean from $10 to $20 a week.

Altogether, you whitethorn extremity up spending from $750 to $1200 a year. You should not subordinate a BNI section if you are a struggling entrepreneur. Even if you’re doing good financially, skip nan BNI rank if you judge that you won’t get a return connected your investment.

2. You person a tight schedule.

Ostensibly, you will only person to meet for astir 2 hours a week–but here, too, location are hidden factors to consider. Joining nan Member Success Program and Leadership Training will trim into your time.

Another point to see is that nan One-to-One meets require you to meet different BNI members extracurricular nan regular gathering times. Although these tin beryllium for arsenic small arsenic an hour, they usually extremity up lasting longer.Not to mention nan recreation clip to and from these meetings.

There will besides beryllium nan enticement (and pressure) to get progressive successful your chapter’s leadership. If you’re a very engaged person, nan 10 hours connected mean that you walk pinch your group whitethorn not beryllium worthy it. It will beryllium respective months of this earlier you’ll spot a return.

3. You tally an internet-based business.

The BNI useful good for those pinch accepted mini businesses; plumbers, accountants, (seed) disease exterminators, aliases different section work providers. It besides useful good for those who supply their services wrong a circumstantial geographical area.

However, it’s not suitable for much cutting-edge, technologically savvy businesses, peculiarly those that leverage nan tremendous scope of nan net for leads. For instance, if you’re a integer marketer, copywriter, aliases schematic designer, you’ll person amended results generating leads online.

4. You person an different niche.

Although nan BNI does activity for section businesses, it does not activity for businesses that are somewhat extracurricular nan mainstream. For instance, if you person a nail salon aliases a laser hairsbreadth removal practice, you will person a difficult clip getting referrals.

BNI useful champion for group who person much accepted businesses for illustration insurance. In different words, it’s bully for services that astir group use.

5. You’re not prepared to walk a sizeable magnitude of clip and effort to prosecute pinch nan BNI group.

Those who get nan astir retired of their BNI Group rank are those who put successful nan clip and effort to thief different members done referrals. This activity leads to getting referrals done reciprocation. The BNI besides benefits those who are capable to make their play gathering a priority, who make judge they be each week, who return nan clip to meet pinch different members extracurricular nan play meeting, and who often induce guests.

What’s more, these are activities cannot beryllium glossed complete because they are intimately monitored by nan Vice President. The VP keeps way of each clip you were absent, late, aliases sent personification successful your place. He aliases she besides keeps tabs connected each referral you’ve made aliases grounded to make and each clip you brought successful a visitant aliases didn’t.

Is BNI Worth It? 13 BNI Reviews from Successful Networkers

But why perceive to me? I asked 13 mini business owners to stock their experiences and here’s what they said.

Made Valuable Connections and Established Relationships

I was ever looking for ways to web and summation vulnerability for my company. I had heard astir nan Business Network International (BNI) meetings and gave it a try.

At my first meeting, I was tense and unsure of what to expect. However, I was pleasantly amazed by nan lukewarm invited I received from nan different members. They were each eager to study much astir my business and connection proposal and support.

By attending nan play meetings, I could make valuable connections and found beardown relationships pinch different section business owners. I could mention businesses to each different and collaborate connected projects, which helped to turn my customer guidelines and summation my revenue.

In summation to nan business networking skills and opportunities, I besides gained valuable knowledge and insights from nan impermanent speakers astatine nan meetings. I learned astir nan latest trends and champion practices successful my industry, which helped maine to amended my business operations and enactment up of nan competition.

Gerrid Smith, Chief Marketing Officer, Joy Organics

Grew My Network Eleven-fold

Taking portion successful BNI has been 1 of nan champion decisions I person made successful my business. It has helped maine link pinch like-minded professionals and businesses, and find valuable mentorship.

The biggest use I gained was increasing my web eleven times over. Thanks to it, I americium now perpetually connecting pinch high-caliber group and getting entree to much divers opportunities. My proposal connected being successful successful BNI is to attraction connected relationships—get to cognize nan different members of your group, build relationships, speech ideas, and collaborate.

Taking portion successful BNI is decidedly worthy it! Not only tin you tie meaningful connections and boost your business presence, but location are besides tons of nosy (and delicious) activities that travel on pinch being a portion of nan community. I highly urge signing up for BNI!

Natalia Brzezinska, Marketing & Outreach Manager, US Passport Photo

Met People, But Noticed a Lack of Diversity

Seeing nan value of networking, I attended a BNI meeting.

At nan meeting, I was initially excited to meet a divers group of professionals from different industries. However, I quickly realized that a fewer individuals dominated nan group by starring nan speech and not allowing others to person clip to afloat stock their experiences.

Despite this, I made a fewer valuable connections pinch chap business owners who were willing successful collaborating and sharing resources. We exchanged interaction accusation and discussed imaginable partnerships.

Overall, my acquisition astatine nan BNI gathering was mixed. While I made immoderate valuable connections, nan deficiency of diverseness and inclusivity besides disappointed maine successful nan group. I will proceed to be BNI meetings successful nan future, but I will besides research different networking opportunities that whitethorn beryllium much beneficial for my business.

Daniel Close, CEO & Founder, We Buy Houses successful Kentucky

Found More Customers by Being Patient

Attending BNI has been 1 of nan champion decisions I’ve made. The biggest use I person gained from participating successful BNI is nan web of professionals and business owners who will thief each different grow. It’s a awesome measurement to find imaginable customers, stock ideas and resources, make referrals, study caller skills, and summation knowledge.

My proposal for being successful successful BNI is to beryllium prepared and consistent. Have your elevator transportation fresh and make judge that you are ever engaging pinch different members. 

Be consenting to mention businesses erstwhile appropriate, springiness adjuvant introductions, inquire questions to study much astir others’ businesses, and connection valuable advice. Always show up connected clip and effort to make nan astir of each meeting. Finally, beryllium diligent and don’t expect instant results; it usually takes immoderate clip to build relationships and spot nan benefits of participating successful BNI.

Amira Irfan, Founder & CEO, A Self Guru

Connected With Like-Minded Individuals

I person been attending BNI for astir a twelvemonth now, and I tin confidently opportunity that it has been good worthy my clip and effort. I tin property galore of nan mini successes my business has had successful nan past twelvemonth to being a personnel of this network. 

The biggest use I person seen is connecting pinch like-minded professionals who will thief each different make their businesses successful. There is an power among members that comes from moving together, which helps propel each 1 of america person to our goals. 

My proposal for being successful successful BNI would beryllium to beryllium authentic and to return initiative—don’t constitute group disconnected erstwhile they mention thing somewhat extracurricular your statement of expertise, get progressive and connection thief sloppy of what it whitethorn bring you directly. That willingness puts group first, which will salary disconnected successful nan agelong run!

Lorien Strydom, Executive Country Manager,

Found Lifelong Friends

BNI is your section mini business support group. It’s a spot wherever section businesses springiness and person business. It’s a awesome measurement to build a relationship successful your organization and person a benignant of “checks and balances” for ownership that those you do business pinch person an responsibility to over-deliver.

My First BNI I attended was looking for ample e-commerce businesses to supply integer trading services. It was not a nonstop lucifer for nan referrals I was looking for. However, nan president of this section section became a good, lifelong friend. He was nan 1 to present a works erstwhile we purchased a location successful his hometown. 

BNI is much than a transaction lead switch meet-up, it’s a spot to build lifelong business connections.

Brian Hawkins, Marketing Manager,

Provided Ready Materials 

The biggest advantage I’ve received aft joining BNI is getting a stronger procurement web for my business. Procurement is fundamentally making equipment disposable to manufacture a merchandise aliases making it disposable for personification else.

During nan BNI chapter, I sewage to meet chap entrepreneurs successful nan UAV manufacture who are making identical products and moreover manufacturers of different parts which we usage successful producing drones and onshore rovers. Since our procurement web is connected top, we’re easy capable to fulfill monolithic orders and moreover customize products arsenic per nan customer’s demand.

In your early days of business, making your web monolithic and talking pinch almost everyone successful nan manufacture is important. Since you’ve sewage thing to give, and only to learn, you tin surely study from nan different perspectives of group successful nan market. By listening and gathering different like-minded individuals, you ne'er cognize erstwhile you get a bully thought aliases bump into a awesome opportunity.

Walter Lappert, CEO, Triad Drones

Exposure to New Business Sectors

I person had nan privilege of attending BNI for 5 years now, and I tin confidently opportunity it has been 1 of nan champion decisions I’ve ever made. Through BNI, I person built a beardown web of like-minded professionals that are ever consenting to thief each different retired successful immoderate measurement they can. 

The biggest use I’ve gained from participating successful BNI is nan expertise to found relationships pinch group from each different businesses. I person met truthful galore unthinkable group who person helped maine turn my business successful ways that I ne'er thought possible.

My proposal for being successful is to beryllium consistent, patient, and open-minded. You will get retired of it what you put into it, and by consistently attending meetings and building relationships, you will find nan astir success. You should besides beryllium unfastened to caller ideas and opportunities that travel your measurement because you ne'er cognize what they could lead to successful nan future. Last, person patience—networking takes time, truthful don’t get discouraged if advancement is slow.

Erik Pham, CEO, Health Canal

Constant Recruitment Pressure and Strange Requirements

It proved as a discarded of money and clip for me. They put you nether changeless unit to recruit. There is besides a request to complete CEUs and be nan in-person play early-morning meeting. 

I would propose you not participate if you cannot give nan basal time. Despite accomplishing everything that was required and more, I didn’t peculiarly for illustration nan measurement it was run. 

It appeared to beryllium a tacky, ego-stroking matter and a play income position that cipher paid attraction to. Any business that is willing successful contributing to nan organization wherever it useful tin easy execute what BNI seeks to do. Instead, you tin see being of fantabulous work to your section organization to triumph immoderate real-life referrals.

Steve Harris, Founder, Daily Dog Stuff

Learned to Speak Concisely

Taking portion successful BNI has provided maine pinch galore rewards, but nan biggest use I person gained is learning to speak concisely. Through each networking arena I person attended, I person go much assured successful being succinct and utilizing encouraging words erstwhile talking pinch 1 another. 

My proposal for achieving occurrence successful BNI would beryllium to believe communicating effectively, truthful you make a lasting impression. Learning really to present yourself quickly and intelligibly tin spell a agelong way. A assured yet friends attack will springiness your peers thing to retrieve astir you. Sharpen your presentation, amended business networking skills and watch arsenic everyone astir you grows stronger together!

Derek Bruce, Sr. Director, Skills Training Group

Discovered Camaraderie and Professionalism

I was ever looking for ways to web and summation much vulnerability for my company. So erstwhile a workfellow suggested attending a BNI (Business Network International) meeting, I was hesitant but gave it a try.

At nan meeting, nan professionalism and camaraderie instantly impressed me. They gave each personification nan opportunity to springiness a little position astir their business, and I could showcase my services to a group of imaginable clients.

Through conversations pinch nan different members, I gained valuable insights and proposal connected really to turn my business. I besides made respective connections pinch different section businesses that could mention clients to maine and vice versa.

My proposal is to enactment active. This is your chance to unlock opportunities and create business relationships. The much you put effort into engaging and networking, nan much benefits you reap via your BNI personnel here.

Matt Magnante, Director of Content & SEO, Fitness Volt

Gained Valuable Advice

As a mini business owner, I was ever looking for ways to web and summation caller clients. I had heard astir BNI, aliases Business Network International, and attended a gathering to spot if it was correct for me. 

At nan meeting, nan consciousness of organization and support instantly impressed me. They were each dedicated to helping each different turn their businesses done referrals and collaboration. I joined nan group and quickly began attending meetings regularly. Over time, I made immoderate valuable connections and started receiving referrals for caller clients. In summation to nan referrals, I besides gained valuable proposal and guidance from nan different members. They were each knowledgeable business owners and were happy to stock their knowledge and expertise pinch me.

My proposal is to enactment master and beryllium prepared. You’ll spot immoderate bigger food there.

Kristian Longden, Content Marketing Executive, James and James Fulfilment

Set a New Expectation for Events I Attend

I attended a BNI meeting. At nan meeting, I met a divers group of professionals from different industries, each eager to link and stock their knowledge and experiences. I introduced my business and explained what services I offer, and successful turn, I learned astir nan businesses of others.

However, nan gathering was not each positive. I recovered immoderate members were overly pushy and only focused connected promoting their ain businesses, without genuinely listening to aliases engaging pinch others. I besides felt that nan group could person been much organized and system to facilitate much effective networking.

Despite these challenges, I made a fewer valuable connections and gained immoderate useful insights that will use my business. I besides learned immoderate valuable lessons astir networking and will beryllium much selective astir nan events I be successful nan future. Overall, nan BNI gathering was a mixed experience, but it was not a complete discarded of my clip and resources. Alexandru Contes, Co-Founder, ReviewGrower

You section BNI is not a metallic bullet.

BNI Group Connect offers unthinkable worth to truthful galore mini business owners. They would not person survived truthful galore years and economies if they didn’t.

Like each groups, your acquisition pinch BNI whitethorn vary. And for illustration thing other successful nan world’s largest business networking ever, you get retired what you put in.

A BNI group only provides nan web and nan community. You person to bring your ain marketing, BNI Group system, and dedication.

Source Networking