I was one of the original members when the first BNI® chapter in Southwest Florida was formed, in 2004, Referrals In Paradise. There were only six members at the time, and I remember when I was personally asked by a good friend of mine who sold cars to visit. He had to ask me three times before he finally convinced me to visit and, ultimately, join.
I was a little hesitant, as I had never been involved in any networking groups before. I have been in the insurance business for about 25 years, and thought I was getting all the business I needed. Boy, was I wrong.
My business has grown exponentially with being involved with this organization. I love the concept, I believe in it and enjoy the many training sessions they provide for their members.
I recently attending a Member Success Program session, as I had not attended one since becoming a new member over 10 years ago. While most seasoned members think they don’t need to revisit this training, think again. There were so many changes and ideas that I was able to learn and bring back to my chapter to help us all improve. When I look back and see where I was back then, I see how much my business has grown since joining, and it has been phenomenal.
I estimate that 20 to 30 percent of my business comes from BNI. I have been heavily involved with my chapter, and I was even elected President, among other job duties that I have performed. It is by far the best experience I could ever had in educating myself and my fellow members, and bringing back valuable information to my insurance agency.