Today’s episode is based on an article Dr. Misner wrote for SuccessNet a few months ago. BNI Merseyside in the UK hired an independent firm (Murray Consulting) to conduct a survey on the value of BNI membership.
Here are the results of the 2012 survey.
- The average amount of business gained from BNI referrals in the last 12 months was £23,700 (or $37,055).
- When asked about further orders they had received as the multiplier effect of BNI referrals, BNI members were able to think of, on average, an additional £11,300 (or $17,668) per year of membership.
- Combining closed business in the last 12 months with the average value of 2nd/ 3rd generation referrals in a year gives a true value of a BNI seat of £35,000 (or $54,720) per year.
- On average, members who were involved in BNI for 7 years generated £245,000 (or $383,038) since they joined, thereby underpinning the lifetime value of BNI.
- Value to the total membership in the region equaled £16 million or $25 million per year with over £300,000 or $469,000 per week for a single region of 500 members.
- BNI Merseyside created six millionaires.
- Members who attended training saw their business increase 58% compared to those who did not attend training programs.
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Complete Transcript of BNI Podcast Episode 276 –
Hello everyone and welcome back to The Official BNI Podcast brought to you by NetworkingNow.com, which is the leading site on the net for networking downloadables. I am Priscilla Rice, and I am coming to you from Live Oak Recording Studio in Berkeley, CA. I am joined on the phone today by the Founder and Chairman of BNI, Dr. Ivan Misner. Hello Ivan. How are you?
I am doing great, Priscilla. Thanks for asking. Today, I am going to be talking about an article I wrote a couple of months again in SuccessNet. If you are not getting SuccessNet every month, go to BNISuccessNet.com. You’ll see a monthly newsletter. Put in your email address to subscribe and you will get once a month- only once. I promise you, you are not going to receive spam. We don’t sell our list. We don’t give it away. Every month you will get an email that says here is BNI’s newsletter this month. Click here if you want to read it. We send that out to over 200,000 people every month.
Two months ago I did an article called “Why BNI?” It’s based on a survey that confirms that BNI membership really yields a high ROI, return on investment, today, Priscilla. We did a survey in the UK on BNI membership and we found that the BNI membership yields a really high return on investment. The survey was an independent survey. It was overseen by BNI Merseyside region, run by Terry Hammel, who is the Executive Director, but it was an outside independent organization that conducted a very comprehensive survey of the value of a member’s seat in the region.
We know that there are a lot of reasons that people join BNI and stay in BNI, but one of the most obvious is to generate business through referrals. That is what the survey was really all about. It was a follow up to a 2002 survey that Terry had done in the same region, again by an independent firm. Then they did it again in 2012. They found that 83% of all the members of the region participated in the survey in 2012. That’s a huge percentage, so it’s not just a small sample. It was a large percentage of the region.
Merseyside is a really good barometer of the value of BNI membership across the globe because its average chapter size is about the size of any healthy region in the organization. It’s around the mid-20’s. It’s indicative of a good healthy region.
In the 2012 survey, they found that members in the region generated 100,000,000 pounds or the equivalent in dollars, $156,000,000 for fellow BNI members in the region. They shared that with a local newspaper, which I thought was interesting. Actually, it was a major newspaper in that area and when they heard that statistic, they said we want proof before we publish that.
So after they were given the full report by the research company, Murray Consulting was the research company. The newspaper was satisfied that research was solid enough for them to publish. The press- if they smell a problem, you are over. They have a pretty strong BS meter. If they see something that they don’t buy, they are not going to publish it. As a matter of fact, they will usually slam it. It was thorough enough that they published this.
First, let me tell you what some of the objectives were. Then I want to share some of the results because they are really amazing. One of the objectives was to quantify the financial value of referrals received by members. Another was to evaluate the referrals received, including what percentage were internal referrals and what were converted to closed business. Then they wanted to look at what was the indirect referrals through repeat business and referrals to other clients. They wanted to review the attendance to BNI seminars and training to get a sense of whether or not that made a difference.
So here are some of the results. If you are listening to this podcast, come back to the podcasts and look at the graphs because I will include a couple of graphs in here so you can visually see what I am talking about. The results from the 2012 survey were better than we had expected, especially considering the state of the economy. They found that the average amount of business gained from BNI referrals in the last 12 months was 23,700 Brittish pounds sterling, or equivalent in US dollars, $37,055. The average amount of business from BNI referrals in 12 months was $37,000.
When members were asked about further orders that they had received, sort of the multiplier effect of getting BNI referrals, they found- in other words, referrals from referrals kind of thing. There was an additional 11,300 pounds or an additional $17,668 that they got in referrals of referrals.
So if you combine closed business in the last 12 months from actual direct referrals and referrals from referrals, second and third generation referrals a year, the true value of a BNI seat on average was 35,000 pounds per seat or $54,720 per year. That’s an amazing number.
On average- this is what is really exciting. Members who were really involved in BNI for 7 years generated 245,000 pounds, or $383,000 since they joined. It really underpins the lifetime value of membership in the region- the total value of how much business was generated in the region is 16,000,000 pounds, or $25,000,000 in the region, with almost $469,000 per week for a single region of 500 members. That’s during the middle of recovering from a recession.
One of the things that the independent firm found was the longer you are in BNI, the larger the return investment. There is a really powerful graph that we will include in there that shows that it took time for the first couple of years to build that kind of relationship. If you joined BNI and you want that $54,700 worth of business, it isn’t going to happen that first year. Not on average. It takes a few years to build that kind of business. However, when you move into years 3, 4, 5, 6, 7- the figures jumped dramatically to a much, much higher number, six figures. It’s very important to see that the longer you are in, the more you are going to get.
Here’s something that just blew me away with the results. BNI Merseyside created six millionaires, just from the referrals from their members. Six members in one region got more than 1,000,000 pounds- we’re talking about millionnaires in pounds, not just dollars. They created six millionaires just from referrals that their companies that got more than a million dollars in referrals. The return on investment- forget about all the other ancillary benefits like building relationships and making great contacts and having a mastermind. All of which are legitimate and and fair benefits that members get from participation. We’re just talking hard dollars and pounds.
The return on investment was really substantial and the newspaper talked about that. One last thing, the training- we talked about training. We always knew that the training helped members get more business, but what we were really pleased to hear is that those members who were included in training sessions like member success program training and advanced training that regions did, saw an increase by 58% compared to those who did not attend and were not active in ongoing training programs.
This really backs up the fact that great training really gives members the ability to achieve a lot more success. Priscilla, I am preaching to the choir because people who are listening to this podcast get that. That’s why they are listening. It’s the people who don’t listen to the podcast and don’t go to the training who don’t get it. The more you can get your fellow members engaged in the process, the more likely you are, in hard dollars and cents, to get a greater return on investment. I just thought this was an amazing survey I want to thank Murray Consultants, in particular Terry Hammel, who is the Executive Director, for having brought in this consultant firm and having done this project. Good stuff, huh?
Yeah, it’s incredible.
If you are interested, go to BNISuccessNet.com. Take a look at my July issue, From the Founder. You’ll get the whole story. The graphs that I just described are up on this podcast. Return on investment for your time and money in BNI can be extremely high as long as you engage in the process, do the training and stick it out. BNI is not a get rich quick scheme. It takes time and effort to get this kind of results. These are real world numbers and anybody can achieve it if they do all the right things.
Perfect. Okay. Thank you, Ivan. I think that’s great information.
I think that’s it for this week, and I would just like to remind you, the listener, that this podcast has been brought to you by networkingnow.com, which is the leading site on the net for networking downloadables. Thank you so much for listening. This is Priscilla Rice, and we hope you will join us next week for another exciting episode of The Official BNI Podcast.