Networking Tips

6 Ways to Enhance Your BNI Membership

Submitted by Russell Bibens, BNI Vermont Ambassador



Often when we attend our weekly BNI meeting our minds tend to wander and we lose track of the importance of active listening. For me, this can happen during the induction of a new member. We all have heard this induction many times, as your chapter’s newest member goes through the same series of statements with the President that we went through when we were inducted.

Our President starts by welcoming and congratulating the new member, and then asks them to respond with “I will.”  This is the point at which you may start to wander.  You might think about how you are not properly prepared for your Weekly Presentation, so you’re glancing down at your notes. Or you start to drift thinking about the client meeting you have right after your BNI meeting.  For many of us, distractions such as these are common. Although you’re looking at the President and the new member go through the induction procedure step by step, you’re not really there.  Are you listening?  

You are not unique in this Mind Drift.  You’ve lost sight of the importance of staying in the meeting, both mentally and figuratively.  Consider all the reasons you want to listen and pay attention to the Induction Ceremony. What do you think when you hear each statement?

  •  “I will provide the quality of service at the price I have quoted” 
    We wouldn’t think about the last customer we just had… or would we? Nah! We really think, “I do that!”
  • “I will be truthful with the members and their referrals”
    Remember how important referrals are? You may just have remembered that you forgot to call John or Mary to follow up on a referral you either gave or received.
  • “I will build goodwill and trust among members and their referrals”
    This is important, right? Who wants to refer someone they can’t trust?  No one!  That makes this statement critical.  So… are you honest?  Do you build goodwill?  Do your actions build trust among the members?
  • “I will take responsibility for following up on the referrals I receive”
    Darn!  You just remembered that you need to follow up with Jennifer or Richard!  You may even stop to write down a note to remind yourself.
  • “I will display a positive and supportive attitude”
    We all do that, right? Of course, we do. This is how we build relationships in and outside the chapter.  And a Positive Attitude is a critical Core Value of BNI!
  • “I will live up to the ethical standards of my profession”   
    After all, this is a professional business organization.  I present myself and my business in a professional manner in both conversation and appearance.

These are BNI’s Code of Ethics, created by BNI members, and followed by each member of our chapter.  We all stood and stated “I will” at our own induction.  Take a moment and reflect on these, and each time we get to hear BNI’s Code of Ethics, re-reflect on how you are following them.  What can I do to better represent myself and my business through these actions?  The next time you are thinking about why you joined your chapter, remember what was said and what you heard at the last induction. Go over the Code of Ethics to strengthen your resolve, combined with your commitment to participating in you chapter, and watch your business soar!

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