BNI membership can be a little overwhelming when you walk into the room as a brand new member. So the first thing we encourage new members to do is break the room down into small bites.  The only way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time. You cannot eat the whole elephant in one sitting. The same holds true with a BNI Chapter.

Here are some key steps for every new member to take when breaking the chapter into bite-size portions:

Step 1: Separate the membership list into 3 categories.

  1. People working in your target market in a non-competitive way. For instance the jeweler, the wedding planter and the photographer. They all work with the same bride but they do not compete with each other.
  2. People in the chapter who would be good to refer to your clients. The jeweler, wedding planner, and photographer working with a bride would do well to have relationships with a realtor, mortgage broker, banker, dentist, or auto salesperson. These are all people that you might want to refer to your clients one day. This allows you to become a resource for all of your clients.
  3. People in the chapter who may or may not ever be able to give referrals to you. You need to build a relationship with them so that you can learn how to give them referrals. These may also be people you personally want to do business with in the future.

Step 2: Once you have divided your chapter members into these 3 categories it is time to start booking your one to one meetings. Spend the time getting to know your fellow members so that you can help each other identify opportunities for each other.

Step 3: Rinse and repeat. Building relationships that are based on trust takes time and work.  If you want people to give you their best referrals you need to take the time to build a strong relationship. This only happens one-to-one when we take the time to really delve into the strength, passions, and accomplishments of one another. When we truly like and trust each other, we are then willing to share our best clients and sources with one another.

If all you do is show up at the meetings week after week and you put no additional effort into building these relationships, you will fail. It’s as simple as that.

Keep it Simple,

 Hazel

There are few women better at building a global network than Hazel Walker . Renowned for her straight talk and no-holds-barred approach, Hazel is a globally sought after speaker.