Met a guy at a networking event last week in Maidstone. He was very chatty and had his BNI pin proudly displayed. We sat at the same table and got chatting. Very nice guy actually. He spoke very positivily about BNI, and I spoke about what I had heard (negatives) which he said was not his experience. Anyhow he ended up inviting me to his chapter meeting.
So next Wednesday I am attending my first ever BNI meeting.
Going to chuck my tuppence worth in here. BNI and all networking/referral organisations have their good chapters and their bad. Dare I say that some 4N groups are more uplifting than others.
The point is, it's all about the people within the group, so if the BNI chapter that you are off to has some dynamic, inspiring, business minded individuals then you will have an absolute ball.
I went as a substitute to a BNI meeting last week and I'm afraid to say was greeted by a very lethargic lot. Reading from a script, no inflexion, no enthusiasm etc...and you wonder why they have a problem with inviting guests.
My advice (not that you have asked for it...) take a bucket load of enthusiasm and a whole lot of love and you will walk away having made a superb impression and hopfully some great contacts.
Lloyd you've hit the nail on the head!! I'm a proud member of BNI, and an Assistant Director, and have seen firsthand how poerful BNI membership can be both in terms of growing your network but also as far as gaining new and repeat business.
Contrary to what has been said in many posts on the subject, there is NO issue with being a member of both BNI and 4Networking (I actively participate in both) and each offers their own unique benefits.
Take lots of business cards, an open mind and I'm sure you'll get something positive out of it.
I have just attended my BNI Training as a new member, and after being an active 4N member for the last year, I found it extremely helpful with regards to the preperation and planning for your 40/60 second round....
Who wants to hear to the same spiel week in week out...
its helped me focus and drill down what I want to put across and how it will come across to everyone else in the room....
What I would say is go with an open mind, enjoy and taking along the 4N philosophy to the meeting will definately help you....
Its helping me to totally regroup and focus on all the networking I am doing to ensure I get the most out of it.
Some great positive comments here. This is BNI guys, where are the negatives
Seriously, I am rather looking forward to seeing it for real after reading so much here! The only thing that concerns me is the chapter is not in my franchise area so not sure if I will benefit from referrals.