Step 1: Visit
Visiting a local BNI Alberta chapter is the first step in finding your new referral partners. Referral marketing groups are referred to as BNI Chapters. Consider the following:
- BNI membership is exclusive. Only one person from each professional specialty is permitted to join a chapter.
- All participants should represent their primary occupation, not a part-time business.
- Chapter participation is key to the group’s success. Members participate by bringing bonafide referrals and/or visitors to their BNI chapter.
Step 2: Apply!
Find a chapter that is a good fit?
- Apply for membership!
- Continue visiting while your application is under review – keep building relationships!
- If approved for membership, you’ll be inducted into the chapter and given wonderful tools to launch your BNI journey.
- If your application is declined for membership, or if you cannot find a chapter convenient for you, join our waiting list by contacting the office!
Step 3: Grow!
Now that you are a part of a business networking group, what’s in it for you?
- Increased exposure to numerous professionals
- Ability to forge solid business relationships that can last a lifetime.
- Gather tools that teach more effective networking, including educational workshops and mentoring;
- Increased Visibility, Credibility, and Profitability
- …and much more!
Frequently Asked Questions
What is referral marketing? Will a business networking group work for you? Explore answers to frequently asked questions about our organization.
How do I find a chapter?
Finding a chapter in your area is easy using our "Get Invited" page. From this page, you can find out where and when they meet and directly contact the chapter leadership.
How do I join a chapter?
Visiting a chapter is the first step in finding your new referral partners. Once you have visited a chapter that you believe will be a good fit for you, you can apply for membership with the Membership Committee of the chapter. This process involves filling out an online application and an interview with the Committee.
Can anyone join a chapter?
BNI is exclusive: only one person per professional specialty is permitted to join a chapter. If your specific "seat" is no longer available, we can refer you to another chapter.
How do I get an application and can I apply online?
You can receive an application link directly from the Membership Committee of the chapter that you are hoping to join.
Do new members need to be sponsored to join?
No, being sponsored is not a requirement to join. Upon joining a chapter, a new member may be assigned a mentor within the chapter, who will help coach them in developing relationships and in growing professionally and personally using BNI resources.
How do you know new members are reputable?
The application process includes an interview with the Membership Committee and a reference check. This allows our members to know that the new members of their network are in good standing in their profession. Members are also encouraged to have One-to-Ones with new members so they can get to know each other and better identify the strengths and weaknesses of their businesses, ensuring the best referrals can be passed.
What if a member receives a referral, but performs their work poorly?
BNI chapters have an ethics committee. Any member unsatisfactorily handling referrals must be reported to the membership committee, for investigation.
What occupations benefit the most from networking?
Any occupation that can accept referrals can benefit from networking.
Are members encouraged to bring visitors?
Of course! Visiting a BNI meeting is the best way for someone to decide if they are interested in becoming a member, and inviting someone to visit your chapter can be instrumental in helping your membership grow. Members are also welcome to invite others from their profession to visit, while they cannot be in the same chapter, the visitor may be interested in joining another chapter in the area.
If I specialize in a field within my profession, am I expected to be an expert in all aspects of my profession?
BNI does not expect any member to be an expert in all aspects of their profession. On the contrary, being a
subject-matter expert in your field and primary area of focus can help the rest of the chapter better learn
what you do and how to best refer you.
My profession does not let me directly solicit business. Is BNI still right for me?
BNI's primary objectives: assist members in ways to improve their business, and educate them to become more proficient at networking. Professionals earn business when their expertise is known, and when others reach a level of trust with them. BNI provides a valuable forum that can facilitate introductions, build credibility, and increase profitability.
Do ethical rules for certain professions prohibit participation in BNI?
BNI understands the importance of the ethical concerns governing certain professions and acknowledges that rules can differ by location. As such, BNI requires members to uphold the rules of their professions to not violate their ethical obligations. In the event that BNI’s general rules could potentially violate a professional ethics code, BNI’s rules are superseded by the dictates of the profession’s ethics’ code.