Why BNI Connect is the future of BNi by Sundeep Bhatia
On Sunday I went to Wychwood Park in Crewe for a BNI Conference on BNI Connect. It was a pleasant social occasion but the whole point was to receive a master class on BNI Connect delivered by BNI Connect Guru Jeremy Walsh. On Monday we were asked to assess our knowledge of BNI Connect. On a scale from “Guru” to “what’s that?” I rated myself as a novice. I had heard the founder of BNI,Ivan Miesner,eulogising about BNI Connect ,at the National Conference in London last October. However my only hands on experience had been to create my Chapter and Director profiles. When I spoke to Jeremy ,on Sunday evening,he seemed affronted when I described BNI Connect as BNI’s Social Media site. “It’s far more then that” he said. When Andrew gave his presentation,on Monday,I found that he was not overselling BNI Connect. BNI Connect takes BNI from the analogue to the digital age. There is not one area of BNI Membership which is not improved and enhanced by BNI Connect. First and foremost,by early 2015 ,the whole world will be United by BNI Connect. Referrals across borders will become easier on a platform supporting 47 different languages. That,in itself,has to be an incentive to create a profile . It goes without saying that such a profile would benefit from the SEO which a large organisation such as BNI can generate. Moreover that kind of exposure comes at no extra cost since it is included in BNI Membership. Global exposure is just one facet of BNI Connect. You can send referrals online to both members of your own Chapter as well as members of other Chapters. The Member you are sending the referral to gets an email as soon as the referral is sent out. The referral is immediately recorded online saving time and effort for the Membership Coordinator. Visitors can be registered online. As soon as they are registered an official BNI email will be sent to them as well as follow up emails. Directors can easily send out emails to any combination of Chapter Members or other directors. Core group directors can create PALMS reports for their own benefit. You can link up with BNI members across the globe and can send messages to them. The above only scratches the service of the capabilities of BNI Connect. The only way to fully understand it is to get your hands dirty. So if you will excuse me I am off to experiment with BNI Connect. Now where did I leave those learner plates?
Sundeep Bhatia is a Member of Stadium BNI Wembley England and a consultant Director of BNI Venture Lunchtime.