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BNI is a global organisation - launched 30+years ago in 1985 by Dr. Ivan R. Misner, Founder & Chairman of BNI. It's goal was and is remains provide a positive, supportive, and structured environment for men and women to further their business through word-of-mouth marketing.

The BNI philosophy is 'Givers Gain'. If I give you business you will want to give me business. Strong relationships and trust is fostered among the group members - it's like having your own sales force out there looking for referrals and introductions among members. 

Explaining a BNI meeting is a bit like giving a haircut over the phone - not very effective.  Visiting a group is the best way to experience what BNI Business Networking is all about.

Here across Central London we have 30+ business networking groups. The first step is to find a Central London chapter and visit.  If you prefer, you can call Amanda on 01923 777071 or email her Amanda@BNIdirector.com and she'll help you find a group that's right for you/your profession.

Most of our Central London chapters have a nominal meeting fee for visitors - to cover the room and meal charges. You will have the opportunity to stand and do a commercial for your company (unless a competitor is a member of the group you visit…then you simply "observe"). Bring LOTS of business cards because you will also have a chance to pass them to all of the members.

Once you join a BNI Business Networking group, you lock out the competition:

  • Only one person from each professional specialty is permitted to join a chapter of BNI.
  • All participants should represent their primary occupation, not a part-time business.
  • Participation in the chapter by members is a key to the success of a group. Members can participate by bringing bona-fide referrals and/or visitors to their BNI chapter.
  • Attendance is critical. If you cannot attend a meeting, you may send a substitute. 

The benefits of BNI Business Networking are many. Here are a few:

1. Increased exposure to many other people and businesses;

2. A country and world-wide network of contacts opens up to you

3. Building solid business relationships that will last for the rest of your life;

4. You'll get the tools and training to network more effectively, including educational workshops and mentoring;

5. Visibility, Credibility and Profitability for each of our members;

6. And much, much more..

Excerpts from:  The World's Best Known Marketing Secret - BNI Business Networking:

Q: Can anyone join a Central London chapter?

A: We only take one person per professional specialty. So if you are a residential real estate person and we already have one, we can refer you to another chapter, or allow you to open another chapter. Of course, if you are a commercial real estate person, you could be eligible to join this chapter.

Q: How do you know new members are reputable?

A: The application asks for references and we have a membership committee that checks them. It's word of mouth, so before they even come to a meeting they have to have spoken to someone in our Central London team, or been invited by someone in the group. Once they join, everyone gets a mentor/sponsor assigned to them.

Q: What if a member gets a referral and does poor work?

A: As trust and relationships are developed, this rarely happens but we do have an Ethics Committee and it is imperative that anyone who gives a referral or introduction and finds out it was not satisfactorily handled, must report that to the membership committee, who will investigate.

Q: What occupations benefit the most from BNI business networking?

A: It is not the occupation, it is the individual. The occupation can be anything. If you're focussed and you have a dream and you're willing to make a sacrifice, you are the person we want in the group.

Q: Are members supposed to bring visitors?

A: You're encouraged to bring visitors for those occupations that are open, havinag pre-screened if they're a viable candidate. It's pretty much a closed meeting except for potential members.

Q: Do ethical rules for certain professions prohibit participation in BNI business networking membership?

A: BNI understands the importance of the ethical concerns governing certain professions and acknowledges that rules can differ by location. BNI therefore requires its members to uphold the rules of its profession . 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. Significantly, a primary objective of BNI is to educate its membership in ways to market and grow business. It is BNI's intent to ensure that this is permitted.

Q: If I specialize in a field within my profession, am I expected to be an expert in all aspects of my profession?

A: BNI understands that many professions are broad and that people often specialize within their profession. BNI does not expect, nor does it encourage, any professional to participate in an area in which the professional does not have expertise. On the contrary, BNI prohibits professionals from acting outside of the scope of their abilities.

Q: My profession does not let me directly solicit business. Is BNI still right for me?

A: 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.