We often refer to ourselves here at Business Power Network as “one of the most dynamic” BNI chapters in the Southwest Missouri region. You may have noticed — it’s the first thing you read when you visit our website! So… what gives us the right to stake that claim?
Long story short, we had a very rough start as a chapter, and barely made it through the first six months intact. Something in that ordeal gave those of us who remained the incentive to keep the meetings light. Not that we didn’t take our BNI business seriously — we did (and do). But the support we gave each other became that much more important, and helped the members of our chapter develop a special camaraderie over time that maybe a normal chapter might not have.
As a result, we’ve always considered ourselves a “fun” chapter. We know we’ve got a good thing going, but that’s the view from the other end of the telescope, so to speak. How do we know it’s accurate? Sure, Mike Tobin always says he enjoys visiting our chapter, but he’s paid to say that. 🙂 The true view comes from our visitors.
One of the best items on the BNI agenda is asking each visitor to stand up during the referrals and testimonials segment and say what they liked about the meeting. Like every chapter, we get many comments along the lines of “I’m impressed with the organization,” or “Everyone seems very focused on business.” After all, that’s what sets BNI apart from other networking groups.
At least once a meeting, though, we will get a comment like “You seem like a very welcoming and close-knit group”, or “I can tell that this group likes to have a good time,” or even “This group seems almost like a family; I’m surprised how comfortable I felt here.” And what really perks up our ears is when the visitor speaking those words is a member of another BNI chapter! That’s the kind of thing that makes us feel like braggin’!
So yes, we have an energetic and cohesive group, a “dynamic” that we actually work very hard to keep going. And we actively promote togetherness with group outings and by placing a strong emphasis on Power Teams. But how does having that dynamic translate to each individual’s bottom line, which of course is the true reason for everyone to be in BNI?
Well, we aren’t the largest group in the region. We don’t pass the most referrals; we don’t generate the most closed business. YET. But we have doubled in size in less than one year, and our numbers are going up correspondingly, and just as importantly, we have not lost the focus we place on keeping it light –- that’s what got us where we are, and I’m sure that will keep us headed in the right direction as we move forward into the future.