BNI of the Heartland, LLC
Regional Office
20775 Rawhide Road
, NE 68022

(402) 880-6311

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 BNI of the Heartland, LLC



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Q: Are the same professionals allowed in a BNI chapter?

A: Only one person per each professional classification is permitted to join a BNI chapter. For example, if you are a residential real estate professional and we already have one, we can refer you to another chapter, or you could start another chapter. If you are a commercial real estate person, you would be eligible to join our chapter.

Q: How do you know new members are reputable?

A: The application and interview process is quite extensive. We have a membership committee that checks references as well as conducts the in depth interview. Since BNI is a referral marketing organization, a potential member has either spoken to someone or been invited by someone in the group.

Q: What if a member gets a referral and does poor work or fails to follow up?

A: BNI has a Networking Code of Ethics. Upon acceptance to BNI, you agree to abide by the Code of Ethics. (I will provide the quality of services at the prices I have quoted. I will take responsibility for following up on the referrals I receive...)

Q: Are there any other events besides the weekly chapter meetings?

A: Yes. Member Success Programs, monthly advanced training, and from time-to-time there are regional workshops and other educational events.

Q: How do I join BNI?

A: Attend a chapter in your area as a visitor. You are allowed to attend a maximum of two meetings, after which time you will be asked to make a decision regarding membership. If your professional classification is open in the chapter, you must obtain a sponsor in that chapter. You will receive an application to complete. Return the completed application along with your check for dues and registration fees to the Vice President of the chapter. The Membership Committee will evaluate your application, verify your references and interview you and your sponsor. You will be contacted prior to the next meeting.

Q: Are members supposed to bring visitors?

A: YES! You bring one of three things to a BNI meeting -- a guest, a qualified referral,or a testimonial.

Q: How do I go about starting a new BNI chapter?

A: First visit a BNI chapter! Next contact the local Director or Ambassador to let them know you want to start a chapter. Finally, you will need to find 12 or more people--a core group--of different professions willing to start the chapter with you. Your Director will then take you through the education process of forming your new powerful referral marketing team!

Q: Do ethical rules for certain professions prohibit participation in BNI?

A: BNI understands the importance of the ethical concerns governing certain professions and acknowledges that rules can differ by location. As such, BNI therefore requires its members to uphold the rules of its profession so as not to violate the professional’s ethical obligations. In the event that BNI’s general rules could potentially violate a professional’s ethical code, BNI’s rules are superseded by the dictates of the professional’s ethics’ code. Significantly, a primary objective of BNI is to educate its membership in ways to market and grow business. It is BNI’s intent to ensure that this is permitted.

For more information contact the BNI of the Heartland office at (402) 880-6311 or send email BNI inquiry...

Where Does The Money Go?

Most people see only the tip of the iceberg when looking at BNI. For most members, BNI can appear to be just the weekly meeting with your chapter members, but it is so much more! To begin with, the most valuable questions a member (or potential member) should ask are

  1. "Am I getting as much or more business referred to me as other BNI members in similar categories, and if not, why not?"
  2. "Is the amount of business referred to me sufficient?" BNI is a private marketing business. Compared to other business expenses or forms of advertisement, member-ship in BNI’s marketing program is not excessively expensive.

One reason we are asked about the destination of membership fees is that the operation seems, on the surface, to be very simple and easy. But BNI is not a simple activity.  Referral marketing is a performance activity that requires constant vigilance, energy, maintenance, and new growth. Like so many performance activities, BNI staff members make the system look easy. BNI is operated by a professional staff that initially created, and now works to maintain, a user-friendly marketing system. Take away the BNI infrastructure and staff, and the service provided through the program will decline rapidly.

BNI is a service company. All service organizations have the following expense lines:

  • Staffing: The bulk of a service organization’s revenue goes toward paying contract costs. To contract superlative consultants, the organization has to meet market demands like any other organization. In the case of BNI, we benefit from the dedication and enthusiasm of our talented and experienced Directors.
  • Marketing and Advertising: To survive, all organizations must dedicate a portion of their budget to marketing and advertising of their name, product, and benefit. This line pays for brochures, this website (and, flyers, publications, public relations, specialty items, consultants, public seminars, and more.
  • Administration: All organizations need a semblance of administration and management in order to operate smoothly and grow. Most organizations like to keep their administrative costs streamlined, but all organizations have administrative needs. Administration includes rent, office supplies, computers, accounting, and other business necessary to conduct business.
  • Communications: Business organizations must communicate with clients, suppliers, colleagues, advisors, consultants, and the general public. Communication with local, national, and international organizations is a vital requirement for staying competitive and includes various networking techniques and strategies. A portion of an overall budget is allocated to these processes, which include travel, phone, faxes, meetings, etc.
  • Operational Overhead: To keep abreast of the times and remain competitive, all organizations must conduct or pay for research and development of new products, trends, activities, and strategies. In the case of a franchise organization, headquarters does most of this work. Hired specialists who consult in specific project areas might be retained to work on special time-limited areas. One example of BNI research and development was the development of the Member Success Program.
  • Training: As is said by many large multinational organizations, "Our most precious resource is our people." Investment in the upgrading and training of staff is crucial to maintaining a competitive edge in the marketplace and, retaining staff. Training expenses represent a growing cost for all organizations. A significant portion of BNI’s budget also goes to training BNI Directors, Leadership Team members, and their committees.
  • Special Projects: To stay current and competitive, organizations must look for new programs to continually offer value and service to their existing clientele, maintain market share, and to attract new clients. One example of a special project is SuccessNet Online.

Beyond this statement about "Where the Money Goes," each member, as an independent businessperson, must make his or her own decisions about where best to place revenue against expenses in order to meet business goals and objectives. Whether a BNI membership is a favorable expense is an individual business decision and should be made within the private confines of each businessperson’s management team. One method for evaluating one’s growth potential within BNI is to carefully interview other successful members in the same business category. These contacts may be arranged through consultation with a BNI Heartland Director.