If you are a small business struggling to find the resources you need, perhaps it’s time to consider joining a networking group. For those in the service industry, and anyone selling a product for that matter, BNI is a great way to meet like-minded business owners and entrepreneurs that can help you spread your message. Eighteen21 spoke with Greg Pacelli of Mid-West Family Broadcasting and Elissa Goldbergbelle of My Name On Stuff both attend the Springfield Thursday Morning Business Builders chapter and value the resources available to them because of members in their group.
“Mid-West Family Broadcasting has participated in BNI for a number of years,” said Greg. “When a seat came open it was an easy transition.” The senior account executive has been a full-time member for a year and wanted to better serve his clients. “Being a marketing resource requires also being able to provide reliable references,” he said. “BNI allows me to connect my clients to proven local businesses very similar to themselves; likeminded business owners ready to serve.”
Being a member of a busy BNI chapter has allowed Greg to meet and speak with 15-plus decision makers and influencers each week. “Forget cold calling.”
Not only does Greg receive referral after referral, but he is also part of a group that experiences the same difficulties as other members. “Every one of our chapter members is fighting the same battles,” said Greg. “We are all in different industries, but we face many of the same obstacles. By networking each week we are able to help each other with creative solutions to everyday issues.”
Having been a part of BNI for a decade Elissa has plenty of experience tapping into the resources provided by BNI members. “When I moved to Springfield in 1999 I needed to network with people and to really get to know them,” said Elissa. She joined for a five-year stint, left, and returned for a further five years. “The people who were in my first BNI group continue to be people I do business with 19 years later. I feel like I am part of a team of trusted resource people who also know and trust me.”
She also recommends BNI to anyone wanting to develop their business or grow their client base. “As a member, you get to know your BNI mates really well,” said Elissa. “That builds trust and also they hear your message weekly helping to keep you top of mind.”
BNI provides the opportunity for members to brush up on their presentation skills, on a weekly basis, gain experience and knowledge from other business owners and entrepreneurs, and learn about other industries in the area. “I have to come to respect and admire everyone’s knowledge and passion for their chosen profession,” said Elissa. “It helps me to stay positive and to communicate better my own knowledge and passion for my businesses.”