CEO Corner


Back to the BNI Basics in 2018

By: Graham Weihmiller
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    CEO Corner

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    Graham Weihmiller

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Every January, millions of people across the world make resolutions in order to improve their health, their career and their life. As you think about your New Year’s resolutions for 2018, consider if you have any specific to BNI. Perhaps you want to invite a visitor every week to your Chapter meeting? Or maybe you want to give double the referrals you did last year to fellow Members? Or perhaps through BNI you want to increase your profitability?

If you’re anything like me, you may use the New Year as a kick-starter for habitual change. But despite having good intentions, developing an action plan to help you stick to resolutions can be challenging! Below you’ll find ten quick tips to help you get “back to the basics” in BNI and be more successful than ever in 2018.

  • Give great referrals: If you give great referrals, your Chapter Members will appreciate it and want to pass referrals back to you. Each week, listen to other people’s needs – then check your business card file and keep the testimonials you’ve heard in mind.
  • Utilize open networking time: Come early to your Chapter meeting each week to build stronger relationships with your fellow Members. Having meaningful conversations during this time will accelerate your success in BNI.
  • Prepare for your Weekly Presentation: This time is valuable. Use it wisely to teach others what you do and how you can help them. Think about the questions that your fellow Members may have for you, and try to address them in your presentation. If you’re nervous about presenting, practice with a fellow Member, friend or colleague!
  • Attend trainings: Trainings like Member Success Program are essential to your success in BNI. In the year ahead, our goal is to make trainings more helpful and accessible than ever before.
  • Complete CEUs: CEUs, or Chapter Educational Units, support BNI’s Core Value of Lifelong Learning and will help you better understand BNI. There are a number of ways to do CEUs – ranging from listening to a series of BNI podcasts to reading one of Dr. Ivan Misner’s networking books.
  • Always follow up: The biggest mistake people make in networking is to not follow up on a referral. In the New Year, be sure to follow up on any referral in a timely manner – send an email, text message or connect on social media to set up a meeting.   
  • Have quality One-to-Ones: The more you do, the more referrals you’ll likely give and receive. Use the GAINS Exchange, which is a great tool to get to know people better and to help find overlapping areas of interest.
  • Invite visitors to your chapter: This one is especially important as it’s essential for your chapter to grow! In 2018, we’ll be providing BNI Members with more simple but effective tools to help invite visitors into your Chapter.
  • Use BNI Connect: This is a great system – now accessible via the web or via an application on your mobile phone – that allows for quicker referrals. Last year we added more functionality so that BNI Members can pass referrals to anyone in their chapter, region or country. It’s important that your profile is up to date so fellow Members can connect with you!
  • Have fun! BNI is a commitment – so remember to have fun along the way! Your Chapter Members can become much more than your referral network. They often become lifelong friends, too!

In summary: prepare for your meetings, show up on time each week, get to know your fellow Chapter Members well, attend necessary trainings, and participate 100%. If you adopt these BNI basics, and always have Givers Gain® top of mind, I think you’ll be more successful than ever in the year ahead! Cheers to 2018, and your continued success in BNI!