Many people do not realize that they can increase their businesses by 25%, 50% and even 100% by simply liaising with other like-minded professionals as they.
Business networking groups are making waves as they are contributing to the success of businesses. They mostly take advantage of the world’s best technique of growing business: word-of-mouth. The technique may seem rudimentary, but it appears to still have the center-stage when it comes to advertising.
The import of word-of-mouth program has been brought to the limelight by BNI, a business networking organization which has over 6,200 active chapters and 140,000 members in about 50 countries in the world. With regards to business referrals, BNI is widely recognized as the most successful organization in this domain. This success is based on principles that ensure that qualified referrals are made. Qualified referrals are serious in nature with the potential of positively impacting the business network. For this purpose BNI provides a structured system and a supportive environment for its members to give and receive business.
Indeed BNI founder, Dr. Ivan Misner strongly believes that “Givers Gain” and this philosophy is communicated to BNI members to encourage them to bring referrals to other members as “what goes around, comes around”.
BNI employs an effective word-of-mouth method to help increase the business opportunities of members through worthy, beneficial relationships with business professionals. Over time, BNI has proven that successful businesses flourish through word-of-mouth strategy. It is another major advantage that new participants are guaranteed to gain in a business networking group of this nature.
If you are a business person or professional, you have the choice of increasing your business as much as you desire: all you may require is to get in touch with a BNI chapter closest to you and start participating in referral meetings. In Australia alone, members of BNI reported generating more than $A200 million from business referrals in the year 2011.
Referral meetings are regular meetings where participating members have the possibility of finding their dream referrals to boost their business. But while expecting to get referrals, members are also exhorted to come with their own referrals for the benefits of the other members: for more effective results members share their business cards, website address or brochures with one another. This way, the various members of the business networking chapter could be playing the role of sales representatives for one another; indeed if they met people they think will benefit from the service or products of a fellow member, they aptly recommend him.
BNI meetings are generally held weekly. In as much as personal presence of BNI members is ideal during these meetings, it is obvious that it will not always be possible. In that case members can plan for substitutes. Substitutes are simply people that you are confident enough that they can ably represent your business. They are also considered by BNI to be great sources of referrals.
Nobody and no business is either too small or too big to network with others. But to effectively do this and avoid disappointment it is advisable to go through established groups. However, it is worth noting that how well you will do in a business networking group will also depend on your capabilities and your drive.
Financial and time commitment is a very important factor to take into consideration when planning to join a business networking group like BNI. This determines the level of success you will get by virtue of your membership.
In a nutshell, we can say that participating in a business networking organization like BNI helps you gain the following:
- Patience: the fact that it takes time to build relationships with members of the chapter and to get to understand their business helps you grow more patient about the realization of your ambitions. You could use time to your benefit.
- commitment: at BNI you learn to stick to your desire until you see it materialized.
- Learning new things: you are exposed to new knowledge, new businesses and therefore are presented with opportunities to probably make new choices.
- Low cost advertising: you do not need to spend much money to organize advertisement or run public relations for your business. Your fellow networking members have become the voice for your business.
As the saying goes “no man is an island”. To do well in your chosen field of endeavor, there is need to rub minds together with others. Networking with others has become the necessary requirement for sustainable success. And business networking offers the necessary impetus needed to take your business to the next level.