BNI Connect:a valuable partner, exclusively for BNI Members
An interview by Elli Glytsou, National Director, Greece
E: Dimitri was referred to me by a colleague, back in 2018 he was a new web development company providing quality services. I met him, we started a fruitful collaboration with a series of online projects, and one very difficult one, to optimise a CMS platform and make it more user friendly. Our collaboration was great. Later I invited him to meet my colleagues in BNI but his early stage of business didn’t allow him at that time to grab this opportunity and join. Two years later, he called me one day, with a voice full of energy and enthusiasm. It was after visiting one of our online chapter meetings where one of his friends had invited him, and Dimitri immediately applied for membership.
I still remember this phone call with Dimitri yelling (almost) with a joyful voice “Why didn’t you insist I join a chapter back in 2018?” It’ s very funny after all, because cases like this happen quite often to me, being the privileged member number ONE of BNI in my country. 😉
Dimitri has since become a member, taken on leadership positions, and is evolving every day into the best and most productive version of his -already- amazing self!
A few days ago, he was contacted by a company of BNI Norway for collaboration.
E: Dimitri, who is this new client of yours and where did they find you?
D: This client found me through BNI Connect, precisely because I had correctly configured my profile.
This is the first time my company works for a client from another country. Expanding abroad was one of my future plans, but I never expected this opportunity during my first year in BNI. I believe this project will open up a window of opportunity for us for international collaborations.
E: Would you like to share the story?
D: Of course! BNI Connect is three things for me:
- I like to think of it as the place where I keep a record of my own improvement, (organize my performance stats and have my accountability on hand)
- A platform for me to communicate with the Greek and global BNI community.
- A platform to communicate to the world, through my google presence and BNI Connect.
In BNI all you need is to be specific on your goals and what you are asking for, and referrals will come. We are all in BNI to help each other.
In essence, the process of asking & getting a referral is very similar to keywords in google search: if you go to Google and type “My company does this and that and we are the best value for your money.. etc…”, my friend I guarantee, google will come up with NOTHING! Not your company, not even any company. Try it and you will see.
Just like on the internet, where we search by writing in keywords, the same goes with when we ask for a referral during our weekly meeting: we have to speak keywords. The words that people are looking for when they need the solution we provide. As simple as that.
E: So, how exactly did the Norwegian company find you?
D: It’s very simple: I entered BNI Connect and put in the right keywords, just like I speak in my weekly presentation. Using the right keywords, for example the systems we work on, helps to reach specialists looking precisely for what we offer.
It only takes five minutes to personalize BNI Connect, and it gives access to other members from around the world, to connect and collaborate. Of course having a trustworthy profile helps as well as being a green member. The result was that I had an email, which I immediately followed up personally, and that was it.
Consider that this particular client was caught by a keyword which is a type of technology we are experts in at my company. In short, with a simple search he found a solution to his problem and I found a targeted client!
E: Dimitri, what would you suggest to other new members regarding BNI Connect?
D: Well, my advice is this:
- BNI Connect: Take advantage of it. Keep your profile active and updated. Pinpoint the keywords that people are searching for. Use English in order to reach people from around the world!
- Do a simple exercise: Go to Google and type in your name. What do you see? My simple advice is that if you don’t exist online, you simply don’t exist.
- Connect with members from other countries: Create or join industry groups within BNI Connect to meet colleagues from other markets, other cities, and other countries. Monetizing the P – profitability is more about learning, being open, collaborating, being curious.
- Don’t procrastinate, and get busy configuring the amazing tool called BNI Connect. The director of my chapter often tells us: our own worst enemy is procrastination. I now consider BNI Connect my best friend and referral partner.
Dimitri Dimakopoulos is a member of BNI Poseidon. He loves education, in that it is the best way to challenge what you already know and open your mind to innovation and development.
He is triple proud: of his team in HappyOnline, of his buddies in his BNI chapter, and of his beautiful, wonderful family.