Networking Tips


Your Table is Your Real Estate: Use It Well

By: BNI Staff
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    Networking Tips

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    BNI Staff

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Submitted by Shannon Germanos, Accredited Appraisal Service Ltd., BNI Professional Partners, BNI Arizona South

When using the words Real Estate, visions of homes and land pop into our heads, but what about your BNI® Real Estate?  The seat you occupy at your weekly BNI chapter meeting is your real estate.  You can leave it as you find it each week, unimproved, or you can make it your billboard. 

We all have gotten to know or get to know our fellow members.  Through our One-to-One's, our Weekly Presentations and various social events, we get to know one another and get to know what one another does.  BNI teaches that the meetings are for the visitors and guests.  They may join or they may not, giving you only one shot.  So how do you intend to capture that visitor or guest’s attention?  Do you think they’ll remember every presentation they hear in during the 90 minute meeting?  The truth is, probably not.  When their eyes are surveying the room, how do you or your business look to them?  If you sit there with nothing more than your words to capture the attention in the room, you’re doing yourself a disservice. 

Each week you have an opportunity to market to the room in a unique and captivating way.  Utilize that three feet of space as your display, your advertisement.  There are many great ideas out there.

One of the fine jewelers in the BNI Arizona South region brings a small assortment of earrings each week.  There’s nothing like gold and gemstones to grab one’s attention.  Some members make tent signs or display their awards, BNI or otherwise.  And, some members use colorful signs.  The goal is to improve your piece of real estate while you occupy it.  You could have a bowl of brightly wrapped candies in front of you for the taking or a small flower arrangement.  Have a small selection of your products for examination, or small samples for others to try.  You want something attractive yet professional to draw attention to your purpose for being in the room. 

One of the best signs I’ve seen hangs down the front of the table, in front of the member.  When it comes to signs, whether large or small tent signs, remember, more is usually too much.  Keep it simple and memorable with your name, brand and a color photo or two.  If you have no idea what to use, do a One-to-One with one of the many marketing agents or graphic designers in BNI.  Since you’re in BNI, use BNI.  You have plenty of sources to choose from that will result in extra referrals and Thank You For Closed Business, all while improving your visibility.