By John Tannous 29/10/2019
How did I find out about BNI
Networking was a concept completely new to me. Being a tradesman who cut his teeth running cables and rising through the ranks to eventually settle into a sales role, I never had a need or desire to network, in fact, I actively avoided it. As I gained more experience in sales, I found that networking was going to be a key component in my role.
I was first introduced to BNI through Alison Attard whom I met at an unrelated function. She asked some key questions regarding our business and what would help us grow. Then she facilitated our first visit to another chapter. After meeting members and getting a feel for what BNI was about, my colleague and I decided to find our own chapters to join.
Why BNI Edge?
After visiting a few chapters, I stumbled across BNI Edge. The location was convenient, had parking available and the Electronic Security seat was available. I attended a meeting as a visitor and was greeted as soon as I arrived. The chapter was warm, engaging and entertaining. The meetings were fun and filled with characters but most importantly, the chapter was filled with amazing business owners who took their business as serious as I took mine.
At this point, I knew I had found the chapter for me. I submitted my application and after going through the process, I was approved and am now proud to hold the Electronic Security seat at BNI Edge.
What do I want to gain from BNI?
As someone who has an eclectic range of hobbies and interests, I’m never short of words when it comes to general conversation and I’m able to find common ground/interests with just about anyone I converse with in a One-on-One or small group conversation. The same goes when talking about my industry with others. Put me in front of a crowd, however, and I’ll be a deer in headlights.
I never went to University, well I did do Electrical Engineering for a semester at UWS but that’s almost irrelevant, I’ve never done any form of public speaking, never done any type of networking and I really didn’t know how to stand up and address a crowd. I didn’t even know how to talk about my business, ask for referrals or even know what type of referrals I needed!
The main reason I joined BNI was because I needed some personal development. I needed to learn these skills and learn how to communicate 15 years of technical knowledge in a way that non-technical people could understand. I needed to be confident when given the opportunity to talk about my business and I needed to learn how to actively listen and provide referrals to my trusted business network.
As a fairly new member of BNI, I am amazed at just how much I have learned just by attending the meetings every week, getting up and talking about my business, participating in weekly One-to-One meetings, generating referrals and trying to bring in visitors. I have learnt how to talk about my business to a crowd of people I am starting to build mutual trust with, who are always there to help guide, advise and support me. I have developed relationships with business owners in similar positions to mine and one of the single greatest advantages is being able to ask people in similar industries how they have overcome common challenges that we face.
BNI Edge has had a huge impact on me and my business even without the referrals. If you are thinking about joining a chapter, visit a few chapters and then come visit Edge so you can see the difference for yourself.