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Thursday, March 7, 2013

BNI - The World’s Greatest Networking Organization

BNIlogoDo you know BNI? It’s the world’s largest business referral organization.

I’m a big fan and I’ve visited several chapters in Canada.

Today, I was the guest of the great folks at a B2B Chapter, Corporate Edge Toronto and was reminded of 3 reasons why BNI is the best business networking structure I’ve ever encountered.

business_weightlifter1. John, the incoming President reminded us that networking resolutions are like health goals. Everyone says in January “I need to network, I need to network, I’ve got get out and network!” and they do. But come March, the gyms and the networking events are empty. Like already healthy people become fit because of the structure of a personal trainer, so do business professionals gain greater success by joining a highly structured group like BNI

2. Josh the current President is a business owner in IT. He confessed there teambniare a LOT of people offering online marketing solutions. But none of his competition has a lawyer, photographer, speaking coach, designer and insurance consultant on staff. His trust built by meeting with his chapter members every week means they are like his own team. Together they engage in millions of dollars in closed business a year, they refer each other weekly, they create opportunities for each other weekly. At this meeting, someone on vacation has three referrals waiting for him when he gets back – this is not a network being nice, it is a referral machine at work.

3. I’ve blogged before about a chapter I really love, and the power of the 45 second stand up pitch. That you’re timed and cut off, you’re critiquedstopwatch for improvement and primed for success. I can’t stress the structure that BNI brings to ever part of their meetings. That they track networking sit downs, dollars referred, recommendations are read aloud. It’s the kind of positive environment that breeds success, builds community and relationships of great value.

Givers Gain is their motto. I love that abundance attitude.

I have received so much training and prosperity at the hands of this organization, I can’t wait to join myself in time. Perhaps you need to look up and visit the chapter closest to you?

jeffgoodHave to thank my personal host today, Jeff Good who I know because he helps my social-profit charity network specializing in real-estate rental or purchase for nonprofits.

If you love networking, here is BNI’s founder sharing the 10 traits of master networkers and below a 2 min video on BNI, FYI. Enjoy!



  1. The one-person-per—category rule is restrictive. These days, skills are specialized. How can a chapter's one accountant, photographer, banker, etc be the right choice for everyone? There are bound to be better options outside — perhaps in a different chapter.

    I prefer groups which welcome multiple people in a category. You've then got the opportunity to compare and contrast. As you become more discerning, the differences become material. The process takes time but does enable better recommendations.

  2. Really cool video. I cannot say what the best way to network would be simply because we have so many different choices. I like to think using all facet's of networking is the best way to go.

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