In today’s competitive marketplace, how can you find new clients or customers to sustain and grow your business? If you are like Tom Ivey, of Tysons Auto Specialties, and many other business professionals in Northern Virginia, you rely on qualified referrals received as a member of Business Networking International (BNI).

Since 1985, BNI has been an important part of any successful networking strategy by business leaders and entrepreneurs. Individuals who choose to fully utilize the organization’s proven system can regularly expect to see a 30% increase in business. Last year, members of BNI passed over 5.6 million referrals which generated over $2.3 billion worth of business for its members.

In Northern Virginia, more than 1000 members make up the 50 local chapters. When you join a chapter, you immediately expand your company’s sales team by those who are a part of the weekly gathering. Through regular contact in meetings and 1-to-1 appointments, you build trusted relationships that lead to the giving and receiving of solid referrals.

As a chapter member you can also visit other chapters, expanding your reach into new places in the region. In addition, BNI offers training and resources that come from many of the nation’s strongest leaders in business development and networking.

The real success members experience comes from adopting the key concept of BNI initiated by its founder, Dr. Ivan Misner, “Givers Gain.” As Dr. Misner explains, “If I give you business, you’ll give me business; we’ll both benefit as a result.”

BNI members are serious about making money and building their businesses. Meetings follow a structure that has been refined by years of successes – and some failures – in networking. Since only one seat per profession is allowed in any chapter, you have a group who can exclusively represent you in the marketplace.

Tom Ivey puts it this way. “Your sales team doesn’t just generate leads that may or may not lead to business; they provide qualified referrals. When one of your members meets someone who can use your products or services, they provide your business card or contact information along with a personal endorsement. They also ask if you can call them and don’t give you a referral unless the answer is ‘yes.’”

Tom’s business has grown significantly as he followed the proven principles and processes of BNI. He now travels to other chapters in the region as a “BNI Ambassador,” confident that a business thrives when you follow the motto, “Givers Gain!”

For more information about Business Networking International, just call Tom Ivey at Tysons Auto or visit the BNI website for Northern Virginia at

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