Each member of a BNI Chapter acts as a part of the marketing team for the other members in their chapter with the aim of securing qualified business referrals for each other. Below are the most commonly asked questions about BNI membership.
How can I get invited as a visitor to a BNI meeting? If you know a member of BNI, be sure to ask them if you can visit their chapter. If not, don't worry. You can arrange to visit one of our BNI Chapters. Look at the list of chapters here. Click on the name of the chapter you would like to visit and then click on "Visit This Chapter".
How can I find out more about applying to join BNI? After your visit to a BNI Chapter, a Visitor Host or other member of the chapter will provide you with a link to complete your application. By visiting a local chapter you will be able to experience the culture and structure of a BNI meeting and also get to know the business people involved in the chapter. If the chapter would be a good fit for your business and your profession is not already represented, you can apply for the seat at the end of meeting.
Where can I get a BNI Membership Application? Each chapter has a unique application link. Reach out to the Leadership Team in the chapter you visited and they will make sure you get the link for their chapter. If you're having difficulty getting the link, you can let me know at [email protected].
Are we Starting New Chapters? Some professions (particularly financial advisors, property and casualty insurance, residential realtors and mortgage brokers) may find it difficult to find a chapter or forming group with an opening for their profession or there may not be a local chapter of BNI where you are. To find out how we can assist you to start your own chapter, schedule a 30-minute discovery call with me here.
Can anyone be a member of a chapter? We only take one person per profession in each chapter. So if your profession is already taken in the chapter you visit we can help you find a chapter with an opening or help you start your very own BNI Chapter in your city. If you're not sure if your profession is already taken, reach out to the Vice President or President of the chapter to check.
How do you know new members are reputable? When someone submits an application to become a member of a chapter, the application asks for references and an interview is conducted. Each chapter has a Membership Committee made up of members that are trained to ensire new members are a good fit for the chapter.
What if a member gets a referral and does poor work? We have a Code of Ethics and it's the Membership Committee's job to make sure it's respected. It is imperative that anyone who gives a referral and finds out it was not satisfactorily handled must report that to the Membership Committee, who will investigate in a professional manner.
What occupations benefit the most from networking? It is not the occupation, it is the individual. The occupation can be anything. If you're focused and you have a dream and you're willing to take action, you are the person we want in the group.
Are members supposed to bring visitors? Visitors are a great source of new business for the existing members and potential members to pass even more referrals. You're encouraged to bring visitors to help promote the Chapter and the Members.
Do ethical rules for certain professions prohibit participation in BNI? BNI understands the importance of the ethical concerns governing certain professions and acknowledges that rules can differ by location. As such, BNI therefore requires its members to uphold the rules of its profession so as not to violate the professional’s ethical obligations. In the event that BNI’s general rules could potentially violate a professional’s ethical code, BNI’s rules are superseded by the dictates of the professional’s ethics code.
If I specialize in a field within my industry, am I expected to be an expert in all aspects of my industry? BNI understands that many industries and professions are broad and that people often specialize. BNI does not expect, nor does it encourage, any person to participate in an area ouside their expertise.
My profession does not let me directly solicit business. Is BNI still right for me? BNI’s primary objective is to assist its members in ways to improve their business and to educate them concerning how they can effectively network. Business people get business when their expertise is known and others reach a comfort level with them. BNI provides a forum that allows members to meet other business peers who need to know effective and efficient business people.
If you have any other questions, click on the button below, or use the speech bubble on the right of the screen. I'm here to help.