Business networking meetings should not be about handing over referrals.Most business that was passed was low level retail or very low end B2B.Every bar she went to, how much she had to drink, whether she was getting it on that night.BNI had three local chapters, but is now down to one and that one is barely surviving.Grumpy, your attack on BNI is pretty much right on as far as the corporateness of it goes.
What Can You Say in 60 Seconds? - Networking in BerkshireEveryone can stand up and talk about their business for 60 seconds,. Growth and education are. An excellent way to build networking skills is to attend BNI.Use other people’s 60-second presentation time to. and welcome back to The Official BNI Podcast brought to. Top 10 Ways to Waste Your Time in BNI,.Each chapter usually has 10 to 30 members which meet once a week as a group.I am a mental health counselor and wonder if someone in my profession can get many referrals through BNI.After a few minus of nattering we did they usual of swapping business cards and moved onto the next group of people.If your business is complimentary to the business of existing members (for example my business was complimentary to the Architect and Interior Designer who were already members of this chapter and vice-versa) then it may be a good idea to add BNI to your marketing arsenal.
That is not to say leads are not passed but I have found that this is only normally the case when the system is not being followed.Your not an idiot, but you have no idea why you failed or that BNI failed you.
My spouse in the last 2 weeks referred four members to valued business associates.Finally at the end it seemed there would be time for a chat with the two or three people present who probably could provide useful referrals but no, us visitors were not allowed to participate in that.When a professional vacancy became available in my area, I decided to visit the chapter.There is nothing attractive about a bunch of suits pitching at each other for 90 minutes, in between swapping fake referrals.If you join a chapter you should ask that the chapter funds be reported at every meeting and a paper hand out to show what money is being spent on because it is your money.Hardly stuff to run a lemonade stand on, let alone a business network.Then they said that if anyone wanted to join as a member, they had to stand up and announce their intention to join in front of everyone before the meeting was over.
But your post was so clear and objective to shed light on this.Take the emotion out of it and break it down into mathematical parts.There have been multiple independent studies including a doctoral study (not including mine) and other independent studies that have documented the fact that in any given year we pass millions of referrals and generate billions of dollars in business for our MEMBERS.All this legal mumbo jumbo to get a refund from a voluntary group.I not only drank the Koolaid the first time, but came back for a second taste.Its a good group to belong to if you are looking to meet business professionals.Those that were not just a bunch of BS, actually became clients.
In my opinion, to escape a bad business network you only need to know how to create a good one, by yourself, and at zero cost.I do not need more headaches like before nor do I wish to dedicate time and money PROMOTING BNI rather than my own business.Sent to me by another BNI member in my chapter that I have known for a long time, BTW.It seems to me that those chapters are focused on simply building up their numbers and membership instead of making money.That in itself is torture for me, as I am entrepreneur for a reason.
This is not a get rich quick scheme, it is another form of advertising that gets you in front of other business people in the community.This will be the longest and most horrific ten minutes of your life.
The pressure to produce leads to members creating fictional referrals or passing garbage referrals.I do think that referrals are just a portion of your business as in maybe 25% or less depending on your business model.Do your homework, put some effort into it, avoid the groups full of sales hacks and rent by schisms and personality conflicts, and it might work for you.
Then we launched as a chapter with each of us undergoing extensive BNI training.I will concede the point that selling the chapter to visitors requires some not-so-subtle brainwashing, but other than that, I enjoy my early-morning meetings.To be sure, there are some really genuine people there who are extraordinarily supportive of you and your business, and for that, I am grateful.We spends around 2 thousand dollars a year for membership but make over a 100k.Perhaps it is BNI that needs to re-think its operations in order to be effective to a larger population that has access to more creative and cost-effective marketing tools.