There are a multitude of different marketing groups out there. Sometimes it’s just a group of 4 or 5 good friends and sometimes it’s a group that’s grown to 20 or 30 people in size.
We belong to one called BNI or Business Networking International. The Chapter we belong to is the Legacy Group in Weston, Florida, which has 45 or so members and meets in the Weston Hills Country Club every Thursday Morning at 7:00 AM. Unlike some of these other groups who often have loose rules, BNI is an organization that scrutinizes its members and has very high standards. They expect a lot from you but, in turn, do a lot for you.
In a typical meeting all the members will stand up individually, introduce themselves and tell the group what they do. They are usually backed up with a slide that they have created for their company. Each member get’s a quick 45 seconds to present their company, so even the shyest person can get through it quick. Initially it’s a bit stressful if you’re not used to talking in public in front of large groups but that feeling will pass quickly.
Every week one of the members will be given an opportunity to do a ten minute presentation along with slides, costumes or any number of other sometimes crazy and entertaining features. Anything that can strike a memorable note for your business. This pretty much translates into one large presentation per year, giving you plenty of time to get used to public speaking. Not a bad thing in itself.
After the presentations, members stand up and individually pass referrals to other members and mention some things that may have benefited from the group. Such as sales trainings (which there are many), one on one meetings with individual members, and power team meetings attended, which are smaller group meetings in related fields that help you get down to the nitty-gritty and experience some further in-depth networking.
The meeting usually comes to an end with a drawing, including first second and third prizes for cash and a small prize given by the 10 minute speaker. Some final words of wisdom and an opportunity to network with everyone for a few minutes.
You’ll always see people meeting together at the end of meetings – doing what they call “one on one’s”. A one on one is when two members get together to learn more about each other and their business. An important part of the BNI process.
The beauty of BNI networking is 3 fold:
- It allows you to get the name of your business out there in your area, getting access to many trustworthy business professionals, building relationships that last forever,
- It sets you up with 30+ more ‘sales people’ for your business. Fellow BNI members are always on the look out for referrals for your business,
- And lastly, invaluable education on how to better market, network, and run your business in general – allowing you to better yourself and your businesses path.
If you would be interested in attending a meeting with us, give us a call at 954-680-4584. We would be happy to introduce you to the over forty members of the group. Take steps to better your business and networking today!