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.