Episode 334: We’re at 55+. Now What?



This is part two of “How Big Is Too Big?

The essence of a successful chapter is creating more referrals and passing more business for members. The more members you have in your group, the more referrals you can pass, the more one-to-ones you can have, and the more energy there is in the group.

Larger chapters still have growth goals. Keep inviting visitors. You have to consider attrition. And if a prospective member applies for a position that’s not available, you can forward the application to the region and make sure the person is placed. (Listen to Episode 308: 3 + 1 = Member Success and read Dr. Misner’s SuccessNet article on this subject.) Visitors bring in money.

Remind concerned members why they should welcome growth and make the larger chapter a success. A shorter commercial can get you more business if more people hear it–as long as you create a good one.

As long s you maintain an abundance mentality and welcome visitors even if they are members of your profession, your referrals will grow exponentially.

Brought to you by Networking Now.

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


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.

Brought to you by NetworkingNow.com. [View the entire transcript of this episode]

Episode 324: Get Connected–Stay Connected


John Meyer, Executive Director of BNI Ohio, joins Dr. Misner again this week to talk about building engagement with–and on–BNI Connect.

At first encounter, BNI Connect can overwhelm a user to the point of inaction. To make it easier, BNI is rolling out a 12-month program called “Get Connected, Stay Connected” to help members use the system, the better to do business and refer business around the world. Starting October 1st, 2013, there will be a podcast the first week of every month talking about that month’s focus on BNI Connect.

BNI has more than 150,000 members worldwide, and BNI Connect enables them to conduct business globally. This service is only available to BNI members and comes free with your BNI membership.

Even if you only do business locally, people who travel into your area can use BNI Connect to find you and do business with you. You can find stories about how BNI Connect has worked for members on SuccessNet under “I’m Connected.”

It all begins with the completion of your profile.

Post your own experiences with BNI Connect in the comments.

Brought to you by Networking Now.

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Episode 322: Branding & Networking


Raymond Aaron, author of Branding Small Business for Dummies, joins Dr. Misner on the podcast today to explain the importance of developing a brand. 97% of employees and entrepreneurs in the Western world are not branded. The problem with this is that without a brand, there is nothing to distinguish you from your competitors. When you’re branded, people remember you and they know you.

A brand goes beyond a memory hook. A memory hook is something in your mind’s eye that enables you to envision some product or service. A brand speaks to what your clients want most from you, and that’s what makes it memorable. People may forget your name, but they will remember your brand.

The audiobook version of Branding Small Business for Dummies is available for free to BNI members. Go to brandinggift.com, download the audiobook, play it, and enjoy it.

Brought to you by Networking Now.

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Episode 320: Why a Membership Committee?


Ed Wilson, Support Services Manager at BNI Headquarters, joins Dr. Misner on the podcast to talk about why your BNI group needs a membership committee.

Why is a strong membership committee so important?

Just as a strong homeowners’ association helps all the homes in the neighborhood retain their value, a strong membership committee helps every seat in a BNI chapter retain its value for the chapter.

What are the main duties of the membership committee?

One of the most important duties is screening applications to make sure prospective members will be a good fit for the chapter. It’s the membership committee that helps maintain the classifications to prevent “classification cowboys.” Another duty of the membership committee is evaluating the contributions of members to the chapter. A third is evaluating complaints about members and adjudicates conflicts between members.

Brought to you by Networking Now.

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