Dr. Misner recently received an e-mail from someone who wanted to get the benefit of BNI without actually attending the weekly meetings. This is like wanting to win an Olympic medal without having to go through exhaustive physical training. None of us can do less and get the same results.
In the early days of BNI, experiments showed that chapters that met twice a month passed 52% fewer referrals than chapters that met once a week.
There is no lite version that gives you all the benefits with less work. Only BNI members who dedicate themselves to following BNI’s proven structure will achieve the optimum results and the maximum referrals. If you want to be a master of networking, “Don’t go into the lite.”
Additional meetings outside the regular chapter meeting can be beneficial, but once a week seems to be optimum.
Brought to you by Networking Now.
Complete Transcription of BNI Podcast Episode 162 –
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’m Priscilla Rice, and I’m coming to you from Live Oak Recording Studio in Berkeley, California, and I’m joined on the phone today by the founder and the chairman of BNI, Dr. Ivan Misner.
Hello, Ivan. How are you?
I am doing great today, Priscilla, and I have, I think, a fun topic that I want to talk about.
Okay, great, tell us!
BNI Lite Just Isn’t Right. I recently received an e-mail from someone who visited a number of BNI groups over several years, and he sent this idea, and he was so passionate about it. This is what he said, I’m quoting from his letter exactly, he said, “I am interested in how I can provide my extensive list of contacts to a local chapter without having to actually attend the weekly meetings. I mean, we could attend a meeting once in a while, maybe once a month while I still want to adopt the BNI ethos and the principles of such a well structured program. How do I do that?”
And his request got me thinking, and this is what I thought, “I would really love to win the Tour de France, but I’m really not a fan of the endless exertion involved in riding a bike. I always thought it would be amazing to win an Olympic medal, but the workouts and the conditioning really – is that really necessary?” I thought about being a medical doctor, and I thought that would be really interesting to be a medical doctor, but then I’d have to deal with the whole mess of blood and internal organs and like. I’m not really into that.
And then there’s my dream, I would love to be a military general. I mean, how cool would that be to be a general, but do I really have to do boot camp? I mean, is that really necessary? And here’s my favorite. I would love to – the coveted achievement of all. I would love to win the Nobel Peace Prize. I think winning would be amazing! It would be my crowning accomplishment. The only problem is that I’d have to require to actually have really change the world in some incredibly dynamic way and save a lot of people. So surely, there’s something a bit less demanding that I could do to win that prize.
If only wishing made it so, but it doesn’t. The simple truth is none of us can do less and get the same results. It just doesn’t work. And I have gotten this question really many, many times over the years. This was a very well articulated letter and very serious gentleman. “I’d like to get all of the things that I can get out of BNI, all of the results. I just don’t want to put in all of that regular work. Or I can’t put in all that regular work.” Can’t or won’t, either way, he’s not willing to do it, or not able to do it, and yet, would like the same kinds of results.
Well, I’m afraid it just doesn’t work that way. I wish it did. And listen, if somebody can figure out how to get all kinds of incredible results without having the do the hard work necessary, please tell me, because from what I’ve learned, the secrets of success without hard work is still a secret. You know, it’s not out there. It involves hard work.
I think BNI is the largest, most successful networking organization in the world because of its ethos, its principles, and yes, its well-structured, weekly meetings. If we start taking apart fundamental portions of the program and expect the same results, we’re fooling ourselves. It’s a little like taking a wing off a plane and trying to fly. I’ve never told anyone that the BNI program is easy; it isn’t. It does, however, work if you’re willing to work the program consistently. And that means, of course, actually showing up every week and applying the ideas and concepts that we talk about. It may be tempting for people to gravitate toward some BNI-like model, but there is no diet version of BNI that gives you all the benefits with less work. There is no diet version, or BNI Lite, version that gives you all the benefits with less work. Only BNI members who dedicate themselves to actively following BNI’s proven structure are the ones who achieve the optimum results and the maximum referrals.
So for all of those people who want to be masters of networking, take heed to the phrase that I’ve heard spoken to patients on episodes of ER when things are looking very grim – yes, I’ve had to come to terms with the fact that my life as an MD will have to be lived vicariously through TV shows, “Don’t go into the lite,” is my message to you people. I’m sorry, I just couldn’t resist that one. But don’t go into the lite. BNI lite is not BNI, and it never will be.
Um-hmm. Great one! Have you ever thought about doing BNI more than once a week? Do you think that’s too much?
I’ve never thought about doing BNI more than once a week. I haven’t. I have, however, done BNI less than once a week. When we first started BNI, we tested a number of different things, one of which was meeting twice a month. And we started looking at the results, and we discovered that chapters that met twice a month passed 52 percent less referrals than groups that met every week. And it became very clear that those regular meetings really forced people to think about each other more, and they tend to, then, bring in more referrals.
So there was an absolute direct correlation between showing up on a regular basis, following the program and getting referrals. And so, although we haven’t done anything more than once a week, and I don’t think it’s necessary to do something more than once a week, we have – although let me come back to that in just a moment. We have tried less than once a week, and it’s never had the same results, ever.
But now, doing things more than once a week, there are some chapters who have meetings, like maybe Power Team meetings, during the month, and so they might meet twice in a month or they may have social activities once or twice in a month. So from that perspective, yeah, additional meetings other than their normal BNI meeting are a one-to-one dance card with members. You know, those are additional meetings. So those kinds of meetings, yes, absolutely. But a regular BNI meeting, I think once is the optimum number.
Um-hmm, I think you’re right.
Well, that’s great information. Thank you so much.
So just remember everyone, stay out of the lite; don’t go into the lite.
All right. Well, I think that’s it for this week, and I would just like to remind the listeners that this podcast has been brought to you by NetworkingNow.com, which is the leading site on the Net for networking downloadables. Thanks so much for listening. This is Priscilla Rice, and we hope you’ll join us next week for another exciting episode of The Official BNI Podcast.