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Anyone have experience with a networking group called BNI?

Discussion in 'Lounge' started by Coral Reefer, Mar 14, 2009.

  1. Coral Reefer

    Coral Reefer Premium Member

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    Back in Miami
    My wife and I are both professionals very well versed in the importance of Networking.

    So it seemed like a good idea to me when my wife informed me she was joining a group called BNI. The whole purpose of this group is supposed to be bringing business professionals together, supporting members business and giving referrals.

    Over the time shes been a member of this organization though things have seemed sketchy. Strict rules of attendance and penalties regardless of the situation for missing simple meetings, pressure to buy BNI "motivation" materials, "leadership" training sessions which is a code name for Amway type recruiting session technique lessons, stories of pressure and mocking of guests to the group who don't immediately agree to "appply" for membership, etc.

    I just got a job which is moving me out of town back to Miami.
    I have to leave this Tuesday.
    She had one of these "leadership trainings" scheduled for today.
    After telling her I pretty much expected that she'd postpone this session considering we have little time left together before I leave and that we have a ton of stuff to do, she seemed frightened at the thought of calling to reschedule. She ended up saying she didn't feel comfortable doing it.

    This all has me a little concerned at this point quite frankly.
    The focus seems much more Amway or cultish rather than on a true business networking format.

    Curious if anyone has been a member of this group in other cities or had a significant other involved.
     
  2. TokyoFishFan

    TokyoFishFan New Member

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    Tokyo!
    No experience, but from your notes and a quick look at their web site, it has all the makings of a major scam designed to sell materials and make the founders rich.

    It appears to be an attempt to create a good-ole-boy network and charge you money along the way.

    Penalties? That's a signal that it's time to leave. Networking groups don't have penalties and you'll need to be careful of collusion and other anti-competitive practices that could get you into trouble.

    Just my initial opinion.
     
    texanphinatic and Coral Reefer like this.
  3. Coral Reefer

    Coral Reefer Premium Member

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    Yeah this is the view I have grown to take on the group.
    I'm not happy with her involvement at this point.

    When someone atcually starts to wonder whether they should call off a meeting with their boss or a business meeting because the time slot interferes with the scheduled "voluntary" group meeting there's something wrong.
     
  4. texanphinatic

    texanphinatic Senior Member

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    It definately sounds like a scam, most likely to sell materials and such as Tokyo said. It actually kind of sounds like Scientology lol ;)
     
  5. Sethdaddy8

    Sethdaddy8 Well-Known Member

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    It does sound like old school Amway in a new package. You have to ask yourself, has there truly been any added value or profit since joining? You don't paint a pretty picture.
     
  6. baboo72

    baboo72 Bleeding aqua & orange

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    Unfortunately I've had experience with them and so have some of my colleagues (some still do but only as they have found it hard to quit!) It's not a scam as such (except for the membership fees) its just high pressure networking, though after a while I found that there is only so much you can get out of it as they put so much pressure on you to "get a lead" that other members make stuff up and the decent business drys up after a short period. My 5 week old is less demanding!

    Out of eight co-workers 6 have left within 12 months and gone to smaller local networkers set up by former network members without the need for an iron first and it works fine.

    Occasionally a bit of business will come your wifes way that may make it seem worth it but after 5 years between us all it just isn't worth the hassle!
     
    TokyoFishFan and Sethdaddy8 like this.
  7. Sethdaddy8

    Sethdaddy8 Well-Known Member

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    yeah i can almost guarantee you're better off joining a local chamber of commerce and networking there.
     
    baboo72 likes this.

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