My BNI Success Story

It’s something I don’t talk about very much on my personal social media accounts, or here on my website, but I should. One of the reasons I’ve been successful in my business is my membership in Elite BNI. At first, to be honest, I didn’t want to talk about it because I didn’t want others to know about this great source of new business! However, over the past few years I’ve come to realize it really is just like the old saying, the more the merrier.

 

I first started in Elite back in 2012. I was invited by one of my paddling buddies who was a broker – Paul Perrett. In the beginning, it freaked me out. Everyone standing up and giving perfect 60-second sales manager moments. Then the passing of names for people to get in touch with (aka referrals). It felt cultish. And, I’m a PR person for the love! But I went back. And, I started to get it – so I joined.

The group changed and morphed and members left – there was drama! (Isn’t there always some drama?) I ended up leaving and going to another group. BNI requires accountability. You have to be there every week, only 3 absences allowed every six-months, but you can have someone sub for you if needed. BNI also tracks referrals, and the business you give to others – that’s right what you give – not get. You are also required to meet with other members of the group outside of the meeting and bring visitors on occasion. While I wasn’t sure I got it the first go around when I went to a group that didn’t require all of that I noticed a difference. No one showed up, not as many referrals were passed, and no one was tracking the amount of business that was passed. Quite simply put, in the absence of accountability – the business group didn’t work. It was then I decided to go back to my BNI Chapter.

Elite didn’t have many members a couple of years ago, but the people I knew from before and respected were still there. My estate attorney, my accountant, my roofer and more were all welcome faces. I rejoined and met more new people and business owners. I even got some new clients. The group continued to grow and I became VP of the chapter. I met Meaghan Chitwood, who is the executive director for the BNI Alabama region. We talked and did some work together. I introduced Lois Weinblatt (vision coach) to BNI and she and Meaghan and countless others ended up working together. Lois, in fact, helped Meaghan envision her way to where she is now, working at the BNI Global office!

It is the one thing I love about BNI – you make meaningful connections. Sure, it’s about business, but for me, it is about so much more. The people in my chapter and now others (I’m a chapter director consultant) are like family. They have helped me more in the past year than I think any of them realize.

If you want to meet my network we meet every Wednesday morning at 7 a.m. at Hoover Tactical Firearms. We provide the coffee and contacts!


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