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Anyone a member of a BNI group?


Ben H
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I've been envited to join a BNI group from a realtor I met this year. He has sent me a few clients, and actually seems like a honest guy. 1 out of 3 deals has fallen through b/c of the inspection and he keeps calling me.

I just don't know if it is money well spent. I'd love to hear if anyone has had success/failure with this type of system.

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I have had hit and miss experience with BNI and other "networking" groups. They are usually fairly spendy to join and they really want you to bring in other members. All in all, it's usually a decent lunch with some networking. I have had better luck joining my local Chamber of Commerce and attending their events.

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Don't waste your money.

Look around you and find the largest employers in the area and then target those employees. Rob, in your area, you should be targeting Joint Base Lewis-McCord.

Ask every customer where he/she works. When you find someone that works for one of those companies, find out whether they have an intranet discussion board for company employees. If so, when you shoot the final report over to that client, ask the client to recommend you to co-workers on that board.

It cost you nothing; it produces gobs of work.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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I was a member of Le Tip for 4 years. It was not a waste of money for me and I found it to be a very good referral source. The revenue generated far exceeded the expense (about 10:1), and it continues to even though I left over a year ago.

The Le Tip & BNI groups are very hit and miss. It really depends on the make-up of the group. I ultimately left because I don't believe in the membership philosophy of quantity over quality, but I still maintain good relationships with the commercial realtor, mortgage broker, financial adviser and others from the group.

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If you are new to business and not really sure about social networking BNI for a year can be a good learning tool. I certainly learned quite a bit. But after that, it is more just a siphon for your money. The people in the group may be great, but it is not a place to make money. I did make more money in referrals than I paid, that is for certain, but then you must add a meeting every week (that is a lost inspection slot) and the possible cost of the meal every week (mine was $10, but even with holidays and that is over $500 a year). Then you have training you have to go to and meetings to attend. All lost potential inspection times. This does not even account the actual social meetings where you might drum up some business.

So, again, I found it to be a very valuable learning tool. But after the first year the costs were just too high for lack of any new returns.

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One of the best networking tools I have found, is becoming a member of the local Rotary Club. Not only do you meet members from all your community businesses, and their circle of associates, you help with "good works". Although specific marketing activities are to be avoided, the casual interface is invaluable. Plus, any place in the world you may travel, you can find friends that will sincerely welcome you!! There are other community based organizations equally worthy.

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BNI was a 'money-pit' for me and I was thoroughly chastised when I had to 'bow out' of BNI meetings due to hard-money inspections that were booked ... not because of BNI either.

I was criticized sharply by BNI members for not "managing" my inspection clients to work around such things such as the almighty BNI meetings.

Goes without saying ... didn't work well for me.

Too much glad-handing going on.

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  • 3 months later...

I have also been hounded by BNI and the funny thing is they always need inspectors. I researched it and the requirements remind me of the last 26 years in the Army Reserves......Weekly meetings, telling you how to behave, etc....Just like Uncle Sam. Forward March! I personally am looking for a little more freedom. There are several BNI chapters in the Houston area.

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  • 1 month later...

I am a member of a great little networking group, and have received business from them. It's not BNI - no fee and no pressure to attend a certain number of meetings. The group has really more been about brainstorming our way through this new econmomy and market, which has been helpful both from the standpoint of support and insights - thinking outside the box. I've attended a ton of BNI groups and don't care for the concept.

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