Build Your Business
The DVD in the membership packet recommends that members distribute it to anyone who might be interested in joining BNI. Here's an easy way for prospective BNI members to hear some of the pointers right from the website. Direct your prospects to this page - and have a quick listen yourself - it never hurts to refresh your memory on the important points!
Listen to the BNI Orientation Audio
Visit the BNI Podcast Page
Q: WHAT is BNI?
A: BNI is "Business Network International," a business marketing program that allows one person from each profession to join a chapter. The sole purpose of the chapter is to increase business through a structured system of giving referrals.
Q: WHERE does BNI meet?
A: In many chapters throughout the New York area, and more that are developing all the time. To find a chapter, visit http://ManhattanBNI.com
Q: WHEN does BNI meet?
A: Every week, so that members maintain contact and exchange regular referrals. Take a look at the different days the chapters meet in our member directory.
Q: WHY visit and join BNI?
A: Because what goes around comes around! people that GIVE business referrals GET business referrals! Visit and see BNI in action!
Q: HOW do you benefit from BNI?
A: In a number of ways:
- By allowing members the opportunity to present and promote their business to all members in a group exclusively without competing professionals. Each profession has only one representative per chapter.
- By an increased awareness of your profession from other networking members who will use or recommend your services once they know and trust you.
- By substantially increasing and expanding your business through referrals.
- By exposing your service and knowledge to businesses and success oriented people throughout the community.
- By gaining knowledge from information on other networking members' professions.
- By using a professionally designed forum to promote yourself and your business efficiently, effectively and economically.
- By routinely meeting with other focused, motivated business professionals.
Q: Can anyone join a chapter?
A: We only take one person from each profession. So if you are a residential real estate professional and we already have one, we can refer you to another BNI chapter, or we may help you open another chapter.
Q: What occupations benefit the most from networking?
A: It is not the occupation, it is the individual. The occupation can be anything. All professions can prosper from BNI given you take the time to learn how to target market and teach your fellow members what you are looking for in referrals.
Q: How many members are in a typical BNI chapter?
A: A good mature BNI chapter typically has between 25 and 30 members. Some BNI chapters have as many as 60 members!
Q: Are there any other events besides the weekly chapter meetings?
A: Yes. Member Success Programs, monthly advanced training and from time-to-time there are regional workshops and other educational events. Some regions have golf outings and awards banquets as well. Contact the local Director for more information or check out the regional calendar in this site.
Q: Are members supposed to bring visitors?
A: You're encouraged to bring visitors for those occupations that are open. After the visitor has been prescreened and joins, their profession is then closed. BNI is primarily an invitation-only organization and members only look to invite visitors who are interested in joining BNI.
Q: If all of the current chapters have someone in my profession, what do I do?
A: Contact the local Director. You will then be given information on how to start your own chapter.
Q: How do I join BNI?
- Attend a chapter in your area as a visitor. You are allowed to attend a maximum of two meetings, after which time you will be asked to make a decision if you would like to apply to that chapter.
- If your classification is open in that chapter, you must obtain a sponsor in that chapter. You will be given an application along with a visitor's pack which contains additional information about BNI. Since BNI only accepts one person per professional specialty, if your position is already represented in the chapter, you can contact the Director to learn about openings in other chapters or to start your own BNI chapter.
- When you apply, complete the application and return it to the Vice President of the chapter, along with your payment for annual or bi-annual dues, and the registration fee. The Membership Committee of the chapter will evaluate your application, verify your references and interview you and your sponsor. A decision will be given before the next meeting.
Q: How do I go about starting a new BNI chapter?
A: First visit a chapter to see if you like BNI. Next you will need to contact your local Director and let them know you want to start your own chapter. Finally, you will need to find 12 or more people in different professions who are willing to start the chapter with you. Your Director will then take you through the education process of forming your new powerful word-of-mouth team!
Q: How do you know new members are reputable?
A: The application asks for references and we have a membership committee that checks them. It's word of mouth, so before they even come to a meeting they have to have spoken to someone or been invited by someone in the group. Everyone has to have a sponsor, or one is assigned to them, and they interview them.
Q: What if a member gets a referral and does poor work?
A: We have an ethics committee and it is imperative that anyone who gives a referral and finds out it was not satisfactorily handled must report that to the membership committee, who will investigate.
Q: What is the Investment to Join?
A: The cost to join BNI is $365 annually, for a 1-yr. membership with a one-time $100 administrative fee due in the first year. In addition, chapters collect a breakfast fee which covers the cost of the meeting space room rental and a light meal, such as a continental breakfast.