7 Remarkable BNI Networking Tips You Need To Know

business networking international La Jolla San Diego

In November 1984 Dr. Ivan Misner had an idea that has evolved into over 250,000 members worldwide with chapters in over 70 countries.  As the largest referral network in the world, BNI members have passed over 8 million referrals with $ 15.7B in closed business in the prior 12 months.

In November of last year my real estate partner and I wanted to create a stronger referral based business.  After the first quarter of 2019 we have successfully launched our own startup BNI Chapter in La Jolla - BNI Ranch and Coast and joined the Compass coast to coast super team, The Private Client Team

Would you like to scale your business in 2019?  Would a new stream of qualified prospects help your business increase revenues?  Read on for more.

BNI Networking

Relationship marketing comes natural for some, and for others it's a learned skill.  BNI is the perfect environment to master public speaking, storytelling, and relationship mastery.

BNI is structured with one professional per business category to build meaningful relationships with strategic referral partners.  Strong referral relationships are almost identical to strong personal friendships. 

A 2018 study published by The Journal of Social and Personal Relationships found that it takes around 50 hours of interaction to move from being an acquaintance to becoming a casual friend.  It takes 90 hours to become real friends, and a total of 200 hours to become close friends. 

BNI is structured with meetings fifty weeks out of the year for an hour and a half with attendance requirements to create the environment and time necessary to where strategic business partnerships can form. 

This is why it's more difficult to scale with other forms of informal networking like Chamber of Commerce meetings, happy hours, and casual luncheons.

Our group is currently a sales force of 19 other business professionals looking for real estate opportunities for me each week, as we are also focused on doing the same.

We’ve created a group of people that genuinely want to spend time together.  Last Friday night three of our members had a 2.5 hour one to one at Born and Raised Downtown San Diego. 

BNI San Diego networking in La Jolla CA

BNI Training

One of BNI's core values is Lifelong Learning with a recomendation to spend time each week completing Chapter Education Units (CEUs).  There are also webinars and podcasts to further your professional development. 

I have been in San Diego luxury real estate for over eight years and prior to that I ran a very successful twelve year mortgage business.  Having said that I am always working on my own professional development. 

Most people are shocked when I disclose that deep down I'm shy.  I've battled paralyzing shyness for years and have to consistently push myself to get out of my comfort zone. 

In the six months I've spent building this BNI startup I've already noticed a difference in my confidence level speaking.  Each week we are required to give a 45 second pitch.  An effective pitch needs to be well crafted beyond, "I help sellers sell their homes in San Diego.  Anyone you know in San Diego that would like to sell their home, have them give me a call."

Learning the mastery of storytelling, facts tell stories sell, is an art form.  It's a fundamental for success that will carry over into all other aspects of your business including social media marketing and negotiating. 

I sought out a live interview on CBS 8 recently because I'm now in the habit of public speaking weekly.  I see how these new habits can lead to more visibility on social media, podcasts, and other mediums.

BNI Connect

Accountabilty is one of the primary reasons BNI works.  BNI Connect is each member's online profile in the global network.  You have the opportunity to upload a headshot, add a logo, add a link to your website, add links to your social media profiles, and provide an in-depth bio.  BNI Connect is also where we individually and as a group track our one to ones, referrals passed, referrals given, and thank you for closed business dollar amounts.

BNI Cost

The cost to join BNI for your first year will be $499 plus a one time $199 registration fee for new members.  Each member will also have weekly meeting costs at the venue and every 2-3 months a $25 door prize.  For many medium sized busineses that pay for search engine marketing, social media marketing, copywriting, advertising, and more the costs associated with a BNI membership are nominal.

BNI La Jolla San Diego networking

BNI Reviews

If you search online about BNI you can find more negative reviews about BNI than positive reviews in blog posts, Reddit, ect.  Having said that with over 250,000 members worldwide it's pretty apparent with that large of a pool there will be disgruntled individuals.  Successful members enjoy unparalleled business growth that increases year over year after relationships develop over time.

Who's in the room matters and each BNI chapter is unique with personalities, business tenure, and professionalism.  Don't just join a chapter because a friend brought you in.  Each chapter has a personality of its own, and finding where you and your business best fit helps you to get connected.  

BNI chapters have power teams.  A power team is “Ideally a group of non-competing businesses who have similar business practices and target similar industries.”  Our chapter has a real estate power team.  This includes two real estate agents representing buyers and sellers, a mortgage lender, a title rep, an escrow officer, a home inspector, and a home insurance agent.  Each client buying a home would need the services of each listed out.  A seller would not need a mortgage lender or a home insurance agent, but you get the point.  Other members that can immediately benefit from an active buyer or seller would be the financial planner and the trust attorney.  Other power teams can be in health services, event planning, website marketing, ect.

BNI Givers Gain® is a philosophy based on the law of reciprocity.  Relationship marketing involves caring enough to learn how to refer to each member.  Understanding the difference between a lead and a referral is imperative. Passing referrals isn't the only way that you can give.  You can volunteer your time for a leadership role, hustle to recruit new members for your chapter, or help another member at no cost with something that you are highly skilled at.

BNI Experiences

There is a confidence curve that you need to negotiate before you try to do business with someone irregardless of your competence. The confidence and trust required to make an introduction varies upon profession. 

Our group is sincerely committed to helping one another, using each other's services, and providing dynamic testimonials.  It's taken us six months to get the group launched and our group should have $30,000 in closed business by the end of our first month May 2019.

BNI group in La Jolla San Diego

BNI La Jolla

We are BNI Ranch and Coast La Jolla, San Diego's newest startup chapter. We are a group of 20 and looking to add a few more elite business professionals to build our network, create relationships, and exchange referrals.

BNI Ranch and Coast meets every Tuesday morning 7:00am-8:30am at The Lot in La Jolla on Fay Ave. 2 hours free parking both up top, and attached garage below.

Join us for breakfast and see what it’s all about. Currently, we have some of the most profitable positions to fill in our group including accountant/CPA, Bookkeeper, photographer, website designer, videographer, acupuncturist, massage therapist, social media marketing, and more.

What to bring? A great attitude, a smile, and your business cards.

Breakfast is $30 (credit cards accepted in advance to reserve) and you must RSVP by 10am the day before (Monday) to be confirmed.

"Come for the business visibility, stay for the referrals!"

 

BNI networking tips

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