Episode 333: How Big Is Too Big? (Part 1)

Synopsis

Dr. Misner has three guests today: Regina Russo and Lisa Frederick from the  BNI Inner Circle chapter in western Pennsylvania and Phillip Pasek from the BNI Referral Net chapter in Palm Harbor, Florida. Deanna Tucci-Schmitt suggested the topic.

When the BNI Inner Circle chapter suddenly grew from 34 members to 50, they had some concerns about how to handle their growth. They listened to Episode 186 on 50-70 members at a BNI meeting but they still had some questions about fast growth and categories, so Regina arranged a conference call between Lisa and the presidents of groups in the Florida region that were successfully managing 50+ members.

If you’re in a chapter that has fewer than 55 members, here’s some information about what to do when you get to that point.

The major concerns that the long-term members had were

  • Will we have to cut down on the time for commercials and the presentations?
  • How do we keep the close connections and intimacy in the group so we can keep making referrals?
  • How do we define categories so that they’re still broad enough to allow everyone to get enough business?
  • Do we still have to have visitors? Aren’t we big enough?
  • What do goals look like for a 55+ member chapter?

Phil responds that change can be uncomfortable; the long-term members need to experience the added energy from the larger group. As for categories, the profession you put down on your application is your classification, and there’s no place for classification cowboys. As for goals, the more members you have, the more thank yous for close of business. Increased membership means increased goals.

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Episode 321: Assessing the Value of Your Membership

Synopsis

A member who was considering not renewing her BNI membership calculated her second-, third-, and fourth-generation referrals and realized that about 80% of her business came from BNI. Her conclusion? “Missing BNI meetings can be hazardous to your wealth.” In addition, she found other reasons to stay in BNI, many of which are included in the BNI Value Assessment below.

Print out the file and assess yourself as you were before BNI and as you are today. Has your ability to speak clearly and confidently about your business improved? Are you better connected to local business owners? You may find yourself surprised at the number of ways that BNI membership has affected you.

If you’re a member of a leadership team, take this document to your chapter and ask all the members to fill out this document, then ask people to share their top 3 takeaways.

Download (PDF, 29KB)

Brought to you by Networking Now.

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Episode 318: 50-70 Members at a BNI Meeting (Classic Podcast)

This is a rebroadcast of Episode 186.

Synopsis

Welcome back to Tom Fleming, who joins Dr. Misner to tell us how you can run a BNI meeting with up to 70 members.

Open Networking usually takes place 20-30 minutes before the meeting.

Chapter Educational Moment is limited to 3 minutes.

60-Second Introduction becomes a 30-second introduction.

Referrals Members are encouraged only to state the number of referrals, thank-yous, and dance-cards. We might not ask all the visitors what they liked most about the meeting. Members go first, visitors afterwards.

Announcements are pre-screened by leadership team members for length and appropriateness.

It’s important to include every part of the BNI meeting agenda.

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Episode 308: 3 + 1 = Member Success

Synopsis

The one secret to success in BNI is that there is no one secret. There are at least three–plus one.

The three are

  1. Embrace quality
  2. Grow your team
  3. Seek engagement

The illustrations below show the advantage to growing your team. (Click for larger image.)

Connections - 16 - 256 Connections - 32 - 1024

 

And the one is sharing stories. Sharing stories is the way that you embrace quality, grow your team, and get people engaged. A story is a fact wrapped in an emotion that compels people to take action that transforms them in some way. If you don’t have any stories of your own yet, go to BNISuccessNet.

Share your own stories here in the comments.

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Episode 294: Attract and Retain Members

Synopsis

A BNI member asked Dr. Misner how to combine attracting and retaining new members with passing high-quality referrals. There are three factors in this.

System

BNI works best when you use the whole system as outlined in the manuals. If you remove too many pieces, the whole thing will fall apart.

Accountability

How many referrals is the chapter giving? How many do we want to be giving? Are they high-quality referrals? Are members attending?

Culture

Culture eats strategy for breakfast. The attitude of the group, the way it behaves, the way it feels when you walk into it. If people are laughing and enjoying their meeting and following the system, they have a healthy culture. One person can ruin a group’s culture.

Brought to you by Networking Now.

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