Q: I want to join but:
Q: Can anyone join a group?
A: We only accept one person per profession in each group. In some professions with many specializations we accept a representative from each specialization. In this case, the member may ask for referrals only in the specialization he has established. For example, the insurance industry has many specializations and there are four insurance member positions in each group: a) life insurance & pension plans; b) commercial risks, civil liability, car insurance, c) shipping d) aviation insurance.
Q: How do you know the quality of new members?
A: Usually new members are recommended by a BNI member. In any case, as a new member you are asked to complete an application where there is a field in which we ask for contact details from other professionals who know you. In addition, there is a committee consisting of members of each group who interviews the candidates. BNI's reason is that members themselves invite and evaluate the membership applications by selecting the best professionals in their field but also the people who are most compatible with them so that they can successfully recommend them.
Q: What happens if a member gets a recommendation and does a poor job?
A: Members are committed to serving the referrals responsibly and professionally. Nonetheless, the BNI system teaches the members to run an ethics committee which regularly checks how the recommendations exchanged between members have been served. Moreover, if one finds out that the referral he gave was not served satisfactorily by the person who received it, meaning that he did not do a good job having been recommended by a member of BNI, he must report it to the members' committee for further research and follow-up actions if needed.
Q: Which professions are the ones that benefit most from networking?
A: If your job can be developed through referrals, then you need a method for your professional networking. This method is the referral marketing we apply in BNI. The profession could be any, because it is not about the profession but more about the person. If you are a serious professional focused on achieving your goals, then you are definitely the person we want in the group. In BNI you will get as much work as time and energy you invest, because the BNI system is based on developing trust which of course takes time.
Q: Can members bring visitors?
A: We encourage members to invite visitors to their team. BNI's aim is to multiply connections and quality co-operation between members, in order to foster relationships based on trust that can produce business referrals resulting in job closures and profitability. BNI is not a closed system, but rather an extrovert organization that encourages the markets to know the members of its groups and create collaborations. However, weekly group meetings receive a limited number of visitors; before anyone visits a group they must have been either invited by a member or request an invitation through our website so that the group can properly host them and give them the appropriate information.
Q: Are there any professional ethics rules that prohibit some professions from BNI?
A: BNI understands the importance of ethics rules in some professions as well as that these rules may vary from place to place. As a result, BNI invites its members to be aware of and apply the rules of conduct of their profession and not to violate them. In the event that BNI's operating rules are likely to violate the rules of conduct of a profession, then the rules of the profession prevail. The ultimate goal of BNI is always to train its members to grow their business, and its intention is to do so by only legal and moral means.
Q: If I specialize in a single area of my profession, should I be a specialist in the whole range of my profession?
A: BNI understands that some professions have a range of specializations and therefore a professional can only cover one specialization. BNI will not ask anyone to engage in an activity beyond its expertise. Respectively, BNI does not allow professionals to serve clients beyond their purpose and capabilities.
Q: My profession does not allow me to search for customers directly. Is BNI for me?
A: Yes, it is. The primary purpose of BNI is to help its members increase their clientele but also to provide important training around the right and effective networking, regardless of the profession. The professional increases his / her job when the people around him / her know what he / she is doing, how well he / she is doing it and gains a degree of comfort with him / her. In this sense, BNI provides the framework for its members to know and collaborate with other professionals from other sectors who also seek networking with professionals.
What is the cost of participating in BNI?
There is a one-off application fee and an annual membership. Additionaly, there is a minimum charge for the venue where the meeting is held and coffee is served. The same applies to any event where the members pay the minimum cost for the offered services. However, your real investment in BNI is the time and energy you need to spend in order to develop mutually beneficial relationships of trust with other professionals. You can contact the secretary- treasurer of the group you visited for more information. When you fill out the application form at BNI, it will be reviewed by the Membership Committee and you will be notified of your request before the next meeting.
What are the benefits of a BNI member?
How do I participate?
I apply before my competitor does!