BN wIne Club

I was first invited to join a BNI networking group a few years ago but politely declined thinking that getting up for a 6.30am meeting was not for me. And why would it be? I work the other side of the clock so it was practically an impossible task for me to be awake before 8am let alone at a meeting!

Fast forward a few years and BNI knocked on my door once again, this time asking if they could host their meetings at fifty seven. Nooooooo, I secretly thought as I knew where the buck would stop to get up and in early to set up and serve breakfast. I had nightmares imagining the phone ringing at 5.45am, with the host asking who would be opening up that day and me still tucked up in bed – eek!  But business is business and with local companies already going to fifty seven for meetings, and my own enthusiasm to showcase the venue to a wider audience I could see the bigger picture.

Now, I’m not going to suggest that getting up at 5.30am is easy, especially when I have to work late on a Wednesday night or a Thursday night but I made a commitment, and I’m glad I gave it a go. Very quickly Sharon and I decided to share the job of opening up, which helped massively, and I really started to get to know the other attendees in the room.

The way that BNI works is to only allow one company from each profession to be a member within that group. This then locks out all competition and you really get to know each other’s profession and what type of clients you are looking to meet. There are only 6 degrees of separation and there is a good chance that someone will know someone who will know the person that you are trying to meet. That plus, you then have a room full of brand ambassadors who are all keen to see you succeed and will be listening out for ‘buying signals’ which means they have their ears to the ground and when someone is asking around for a recommendation, they know exactly who to suggest.

I give you this background as there is, as would be expected, caution when someone is as evangelical about a networking group as I am. I thought I would therefore do some Insta’Lives over on the gram (@eastdulwichchef) to showcase some of the great professionals that we have in this group (or chapter as it’s called), along with some people from other chapters. This way you can see how their business profiles have been raised and how their businesses have been saved & /or catapulted to the height of success that they are now at.

Networking is strange because a person only tends to network when business is quiet! Networking can increase business to the degree that you stop networking because you are too busy! returning again when business slows down. But really it is to best keep on going to continue the company recognition and brand values. When times are tough starting a 6.30am meeting means you have fun and it leaves you feeling inspired and highly motivated for the days’ work that lies ahead!

I hope you have enjoyed (or now enjoy the ‘Lives – they are still there to view on Instagram). Let me know if you are BNI Curious or, if you are in another chapter and would like to join me for a ‘Live then I can pop you in the diary – glass of wine optional..!