If you are familiar with BNI (Business Networking International) then you likely understand how the networking group is structured and what the purpose and goals are for the members of the group.

Full Disclosure:  I have been a member of BNI in the past, and for many years.  I have also had my employees attend BNI as a member and as a sub from time to time.

BNI is meant for business owners and professionals who are focused on the long term gain of “Word Of Mouth” referrals.  It takes time to generate trust and referrals and it doesn’t happen overnight.

This reason alone can be the result that some people feel that BNI doesn’t work.  If patience with the process is not ideal, then BNI won’t work for you.  You have to recognize that you will likely get some referrals at first, and those are likely people in the group attempting to use your service and understand how you work, what your business processes are and what the quality of the product produced is.

BNI won’t work if you go to BNI with the intent to sell your services to the members of the group.  That is not why they are there.  They are there to be utilized as your extended sales force and a strong referral network.  In fact, if you start your weekly presentation with “If you need” or “If you want”, then you are doing it all wrong!

Instead….focus on the fact that each week you are speaking to 20+ people that know about 250 people each, that’s 5000 people that this extended sales force has access to.  Talk to them about these 5000 people.

If you do this, then BNI will work for you….if not…then I GUARANTEE BNI WILL NOT WORK FOR YOU.