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.
Brought to you by Networking Now.
Complete Transcript of BNI Podcast Episode 321 –
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 and where are you?
Thanks, Priscilla, I am doing great, and I am at BNI HQ this week. I have Director Consultants from all over North America. I have Directors coming here to go through Director Consultant Orientation. We do this regularly. It is one of the strengths of BNI, spending time and devoting a lot of personhours to training and Director Consultants get three whole days- literally a 600 page manual that they receive as an orientation guide for the work that they do at the local region. I view it as an important part of my role in the organization.
That’s great that you do that.
It’s important to have a good orientation before they come out and work with chapters.
Today’s topic is about assessing the value of your BNI membership. I have here a PDF that is attached that we will be talking about. What had me think about doing this podcast was a conversation that I had with a BNI member a number of years ago. She had been a member for a number of years. She told me she was, at one point, considering not renewing her membership because she had a number of relationships. She wasn’t necessarily sure she had to be here every week. She didn’t know how much business she was generating from BNI, and it is a big time commitment.
So she went forward before making her final decision by looking at the business that she received and some of the other benefits that she had gotten from BNI. When she surveyed, the business that she received, she took a look at second, third and fourth generation referrals. The calculations shocked her. She realized that she got about 80% of her existing clients through BNI. 80%.
It was the first time that I ever heard someone use the expression “missing BNI meetings can be hazardous to your wealth.” I loved that. I thought it was great.
But she said, “You know, I found that there were other reasons why I wanted to stay in BNI.”
When I told this story to one of the BNI Directors, the Director shared with me the PDF that is attached to this podcast. I think it is a real valuable way for members to assess the value of their membership in addition to referrals. Clearly, referrals are what most members are after. But there are many other benefits from participating in the program. So when you print out this PDF, take a look at some of the questions that are there and answer them from how you were before you joined BNI and how you are today.
Things like “I speak clearly and confidently about my business.” I can’t tell you how many people say to me, “I am able to articulate what I do and what is a good referral to me in such a better way than I was before I joined BNI.”
Scale it. How were you before you joined and how are you today on a scale of 0 to 5.
I have a deeper level of understanding of my business. Before, now.
I am better connected to local business owners. Before, now. Many things.
I have strong friendships.
Of course, the quality of referrals coming to my business, and the quantity of referrals- those are important. Being able to specifically refer other kinds of businesses and how that may help your business. These are all things that help to assess the value of your membership in the organization. What I am recommending here is if you are a member listening to this podcast, take this document and share it at a chapter. See if your leadership team can have everyone completed this in the chapter.
Then maybe one week during the 60 second intros, stand up and say, “Here are the top three for me,” or, “Here is the epiphany that I got doing this evaluation.” I think you will find that a number of members will really be surprised at some of the things. It is really just a matter of sitting down and thinking about it that can oftentimes change people’s opinion or assessment of how they are doing when they really sit down and think about it.
You said that you had just used this. Do you want to talk about that? I think it is ironic that I brought this up and you just did it at your chapter.
Here is the thing. I haven’t actually done it, but yesterday I went on BNIConnect and I wanted to look around. I was looking around and I saw this PDF sitting there about assessing the value of your membership. Actually in our membership training, Don Lyons had brought it up, so I had heard about it before.
I am the Educational Coordinator for my group, and so I thought what I am going to is download it, print it and distribute it to everybody in the chapter during my educational moment. During the process of the meeting, they can fill it out because it takes a little bit of time. I thought it would be a great thing because maybe as some chapters are experiencing, we have had some people leave, and I think it is important for everyone to realize how important the chapter is and how valuable it is, for other reasons than just referrals. So that’s what I am doing with it.
I think that is a good evaluation of it. I would love to see more chapters using this assessment. When the woman that I am speaking of did this assessment, she did her own assessment, before this form was done, but it helped lead me and others to kind of developing this form. I didn’t develop it but others did.
When she did her assessment and found that she had gotten so much business from BNI and other benefits, she said to me- and I may have mentioned this. This is the same woman, I think I may have mentioned this in a previous podcast, who decided that she was from now on going to go out and cold call on the last Friday of every month.
I said, “Why would you do that?”
She said, “ Well, that is how I used to get all of my business. I think it is important to go out every month and remind myself why it is so important that I stay in BNI- because it is horrible. I hate cold calling, but that is how I got most of my business before. I just kind of remind myself why I need to stay here because it is so much better. It is a much more effective way and better way to get business than cold calling.”
I totally agree.
One other thing, Priscilla, that I think is really important is if you are listening to this podcast, I would love to get your comments on a couple of things: One, is there a question we didn’t ask that might be good to add to this assessment PDF? The other is what is your story? Have you ever evaluated your participation? As a result of formally, thoroughly evaluating your participation, have you discovered something that you didn’t expect?
When I wrote about this in SuccessNet, I got all kinds of comments about that. So if you are listening to this podcast and you have and answer to one of those two, please post your message. We love seeing them. Well, that is all I have for today, Priscilla. Thank you.
Okay. Perfect. Thank you, Dr. Misner. 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. 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.