Member of BNI - International

Sep 24, 2008

  1. fastrack1
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    fastrack1 Super Genius

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    Anyone here a member of the referral organization BNI - International? I'm curious about your experience. I'm considering starting a chapter in my area.
     
  2. MedMalAgent
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    MedMalAgent Expert

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    I was a founding member of a BNI chapter. It is well worth the effort if you can get the right people in your group. I only left because I moved 2 hours away from the country club where we held our meetings at. It does take commitment to get one started and to keep it going.
     
  3. The Rabbi
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    It's very difficult to start. Think of it as a social event and if business comes out of it - great.
     
  4. sodaytongal
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    sodaytongal Expert

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    I used to be Prez of a similar network. BNI is rather strict . . if you are not referring business and getting referals you can't stay.
     
  5. djs
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    djs Super Moderator Moderator

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    Never think of BNI as a social event. If you do, you'll fail. I do agree, a chapter is very hard to start, especially in todays market were everyone is watching their marketing dollars.

    I was a founding member of a chapter. It's a great experience, and can be very, very worthwhile. You have to go for quality members, not quantity. BNI corporate will tell you this, then push for quantity.

    Our chapter did far better as a forming chapter than it did for a while after it chartered. It took us a while to get into the groove, then we grew pretty rapidly, but sometimes with the wrong people.

    Be strict on who you let into your chapter, especially for the categories that count (realtor, mortgage, insurance, financial planner, cpa, bookkeeper).

    It's money well spent, if you work it. I highly recommend it, but like any other source of business, track your numbers with it, and make sure it makes sense after the first year.

    Dan
     
    djs, Sep 24, 2008
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  6. Franz Kafka
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    I personally stay away from all networking events. Every chapter I've been to there are 4,5 guys pushing the same thing (1 insurance guy, 1 financial advisor, 1 investment advisor, 1 health insurance guy, etc) Then there are MLM scums who are always complaining about not getting the leads they deserve. The real reason I quit was because I found most of them to be UN referrable to my clients and friends. Most of em are just starting out and struggling. Having said that I know people who "struck gold" through one of these but then I don't have that kind of luck.
     
  7. fastrack1
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    fastrack1 Super Genius

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    I do have the option of starting my own chapter where I'm at and would then have the power to decide who comes in the group and would also be able to hand select some people from various industries. I would plan on being the only insurance guy and financial guy in the group. A fellow agent buddy of mine in my town claims it is the best thing that ever happened for his business and that he gets tons of referrals from it.
     
  8. HM-agent
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    I do very well with BNI. I would recommend that you join an existing group as opposed to starting a group. Starting a group is nearly as much work as starting a small business.

    Go visit a few local groups and determine if any of them work for you. Start a group only as a last resort.
     
    HM-agent, Sep 25, 2008
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  9. fastrack1
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    fastrack1 Super Genius

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    I very much appreciate that advice. The problem with joining a group is that we don't have many groups around here and they already have insurance agents in them, who have been there for years. I'm not certain how I would get into one, outside of someone leaving, which normally doesn't happen. I'm on a waiting list for that though.

    In reference to starting one, how much trouble is it really? I don't have time to "start another business" but if I'm getting a lot of referrals, then it might be an investment worth making. Were you involved in starting one at some point where you can shed some light on that statement? :cool:
     
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