About 5 years ago, in Dubai (in the Middle East – in case you didn’t know) I got up at 4am to drive into town ahead of the rush hour traffic and attend a breakfast meeting for entrepreneurs.
It was the BNI Falcon Chapter and their first ever meeting.
There were 7 of us.
All bleary eyed and wondering what the hell we were doing up so early.
It was run by a husband and wife business partnership Bijay and Annah Shah who promised to build a network of likeminded people.
I enjoyed the idea of having a group of people who:
1) Met for breakfast and so didn’t cut into the rest of the working day.
2) Were all from different business categories, markets and industries so there would never be a conflict of interest over our targets or contacts.
3) Would be trained by each other to become a team of sales people who could talk about my business throughout th next weeek and recommend my services to potential clients who might want my services.
4) Would be trained to get me referrals AND NOT leads, so the contacts would be informed, primed and keen to meet me and ideally, if I proved to be what they expected, it would lead to a guaranteed sale.
5) Had a commercial philosophy based on ‘Givers Gain’ – the idea that if I give you business first, you would then be obliged to return the favour and give me business back.
6) Were just like me.
I paid my cheque and started a long love affair with BNI.
Watch this and I’ll explain the full thing…
The organisation was the brainchild of Dr Ivan Misner who now has a network of chapters that numbers over 5,500 with over 125,000 people spread across over 43 countries.
Billions of dollars get passed between member every year and that has helped to sustain growth and inject a very powerful source of income into the SMB’s worldwide.
One brilliant element of BNI is that when you are a member (which costs about $1,000 USD/ year) you can instantly qualify to visit any other chapter worldwide, who will also be trained with ‘Givers Gain’ to get you business first.
I’ve been to many networking groups. Every single one has one basic element – people who ask ‘What’s in it for me?’ – Except BNI.
If you are finding the recession tough and want a group of people who would love to help you succeed, contact your nearest BNI chapter.
I guarantee that you will find one near you.
If you live in the Dubai area or pass by from time to time?
Look me up and I’d love to introduce you to the Falcon Chapter.
Incidentally, Bijay and Annah are now Regional Directors of 10 chapters in the UAE, with over 250 members. They are also expanding across the Middle East and Africa.
I can also say that some of my closest friends are actually people I met through BNI.
Even after they have emigrated.
It’s a way of life.
Maybe it’s time you gave ‘Givers gain’ a go?
It could change your life.