One unit of an international business referral organization announced it has generated significant  revenues for its members since the start of 2020 to June 2021, despite the Covid-19

pandemic’s adverse effects on the Philippine economy.

BNI Taguig, a 323-member region in the BNI Philippines organization, generated more than 23,000 referrals with revenues of more than P1.8-billion in the last 12 months.. 

In addition, one chapter under the BNI Taguig umbrella, Iconic, generated 6,130 referrals and P336.3-million in revenues for 56 members during the same period.

“For businesses to be resilient to crisis, it needs a strong support system to help it with referrals, leads, suppliers, and partnerships,” said Birdie Salva, BNI Iconic president and cofounder of a user experience (UX) research agency.

Salva cited the case of Elmer Lapeña whose sales of his fire extinguishers jump by 40 percent in just three months of membership. Lapena said the network through its referral system enabled him to penetrate into more clients. “ The ability of others to recognize how their clients needed my products and services, and then refer them to me generated opportunities for my business to grow,” Lapena said.   

“During the height of the ECQ in 2020, I started having lunch and dinner one-to-ones with a few people in my chapter,” said

Long-time member Dwight Agulan, owner of a security agency, said that through their sessions he was able to forge deals. “ I’m particularly thankful to fellow member Jayne Cauilan, an interior fit-out company owner, for giving me more than P10-million worth of business in 2021. These deals continue to be potential moneymakers as the companies she referred to me have several branches nationwide,” said Agulan.

Melanie S. Alejandro, co-founder and director of a preschool and grade school in Quezon City that had difficulties—as with all private schools—because of the pandemic, said: “Iconic members donated over P200,000 for scholarships which helped keep more students in school. Members shared brilliant ideas and opportunities to help with the business side of the school, which, had I not been a member of BNI Iconic, I would not have been blessed with.” 

Josefina “Jojo” Dueñas, owner of a pest control company, reveals she used to close sales at a rate of 20 percent “at best,” but with BNI-generated sales, her closure rate rose to 50 percent. “In fact, almost 70 percent of our new sales in 2020 came from BNI referrals,” Dueñas said. 

Louie Evans Sala, corporate services director of a motorcycle distribution company and immediate past president of Iconic, said the organization’s continuous referrals increased his firm’s income by 30 percent.

BNI is a 36-year-old business and professional organization that allows only one person from each trade or profession to join a chapter.

BNI Philippines has 1,040 members in its roster as of July 30, 2021, distributed throughout 29 chapters nationwide. More than 45,000 referrals totaling P2.084-billion in value were generated in the period of January to December 2020.

Under its rules, BNI chapter members must own existing businesses or be engaged in a profession. Members help each other by referring each other’s businesses to their contacts. As a result, member firms get more businesses from the referrals and higher revenues. Members do not earn commissions from referrals made, as the organization’s philosophy is “Givers Gain.”

In the last 12 months, an excess of P2.6-billion in “TYFCB”, or “Thank You for Closed Business” in BNI culture, has been recorded by BNI Philippines. The Iconic chapter, named BNI Taguig’s Chapter of the Year for 2020,  generated P647-million in TYFCBs since the chapter’s inception in May 2018.

Members meet regularly to account for referrals and TYFCBs made. The organization earns from annual membership fees collected from members.

The organization’s global headquarters are in Charlotte, North Carolina, USA and is led by CEO Graham Weihmiller. BNI has over 283,000 members in more than 10,000 chapters, from over 300 types of professions and trades, in 74 different countries, worldwide.

In 2020, while most of the world’s economies slowed down, 11.5-million referrals were made and $16.3-billion dollars in revenues were generated by and for its members globally. Since the inception of BNI Philippines in 2014 up to March 14, 2020, BNI has been promoting face-to-face business networking among entrepreneurs in the Philippines, but because of the pandemic, online networking and webinars have been the norm in the organization since mid-March 2020. 

Source: Manila Bulletin (