Marissa Hankinson, COO of Master Builders and long-term BNI member

When you joined it was because you knew that it gave you a competitive edge, you were out there looking for a new business and building key relationships whilst your competitors were snoozing literally.

BNI is a part of your personal brand and it is about being known as the expert or specialist within your field, but you have to keep reinforcing that and being present at meetings does that for you – it keeps you top of mind!

There are times for all of us when we’re even more busy than usual in our work or personal lives and going to BNI or doing 1 to 1’s seems challenging. The truth is, the most successful members at BNI are those that make attendance at their BNI meeting non-negotiable in their diary!

TIP! Is your BNI meeting in your diary every week? If not, book it in? So, next time a client or a supplier wants to meet at the same time as your BNI meeting, you can say that you are busy at that time but that they are more than welcome to join you!

Even if you are busy today, you may not be next month, so have the mindset to prioritise BNI and stay consistent with it. I know from seeing members come and go, that the last thing you want to do is give up BNI when you are busy, because what happens to your pipeline if you do, it dries up!

There are many ways to ensure BNI remains a non-negotiable commitment. Here are some top tips:

  • Make BNI a part of your everyday working week. Consider your business day starting with BNI (not after) and that way you bring the best energy you can to engage in the meeting.
  • Take your BNI meeting seriously…. See it as one of the most important and exciting business development meeting of your week, it is one to many not just one to one meeting with a potential client!
  • Aim not to leave meetings early and try to minimise absences. Stay engaged with other members, and keep your 1to1s up to maintain business referrals as well as connections with your chapter’s members.
    However, this only comes about if they know what you want and what your business needs each week.

Make a commitment to BNI and ensure it is the last thing you give up when your workload gets full.