Bringing New Ideas to the marketing table, BNI network has existed for a number of years, and with 175,000 people attending 7,000 networking meetings each year, Face for Business (a UK business telephone service) wants to give you the lowdown of this niche networking institution.
Word of mouth referrals
Finding people to promote your business by word of mouth or by referral can take months or years of built up knowledge and trust. With BNI, you have a support network who learns about your business through regular weekly meetings. Your peers then act as your own personal referrers and promote your business to their contacts and colleagues for you.
Although there is an annual membership fee to pay for BNI, the benefits outweigh the cost.
Phone answering service promotion
For example, Face for Business joined BNI last year in the hope of promoting our call handling service to the local businesses in our area. We felt that meeting people to tell them about our service would have more of an impact that the traditional route of marketing, such as advertising in the local press or business publications. As we were a start-up last year, we didn’t have the budget to submit advertisements in the editorial magazines of our choice, to reach our target audience.
Passionate business people
A number of our associates recommended BNI to us, so we decided to go along as a ‘guest’ to a few meetings to get a feel for the way in which the networking forum works. We were a bit sceptical to be honest, but any misconceptions we had about the meetings were soon banished. We were greeted by professional and helpful like-minded people who were at the events to share the same thing – a passion for their businesses.
One third of our clients have come from BNI so far
We are absolutely delighted to say that we have had quite a substantial amount of referrals from BNI, and to date, they make up one third of our client base! We now have representation in a few chapters within our region, and have built up great working relationships with our peers at the meetings.