Today’s Ask Ivan question comes from Raymond in South Africa.
It seems that every time we get to just over 20 members, a few leave, and we have to rebuild, only to repeat the process later. I’m not sure if we have a programmed-in set point at 20, but I’m sure it could be a set point at 30. What can we do to break this cycle? The 100-member strong chapters in BNI India sound scary, but what can we learn from international experience?
The largest chapter today is in Hong Kong, with 123 members, but you don’t have to be a hundred-member chapter to be an awesome chapter. If you want to create a different set point, do these four things.
- Quality. Attitude is critical, but aptitude also matters. Make sure the members you accept are committed.
- Growth. The number of referrals increases exponentially as your chapter grows.
- Engagement. When you have new prospective members, tell them that attending member success training is a requirement.
- Storytelling. You have to tell people your story in BNI and how it has worked for you. Most people get more referrals the longer they are part of a chapter.
For more guidance on this topic, listen to Episode 469.
Pep from Cambodia asks
On the BNI CDs and SuccessNet, how do you get CEUs? When you read articles or listen to CDs, how do you get CEUs, and how many do you get? And how do you get Ivan’s books?
It’s one CEU for reading SuccessNet or listening to the CD. You get 1 CEU for listening to for or 5 podcasts. (Earning a CEU takes 1 hour.) In most countries, you can get Ivan’s books on Amazon. If not, your local BNI director should have them, or you can get them on BNI.com.
Do you have a question for Dr. Misner? Just fill out the Ask Ivan form at the bottom of this page.
Brought to you by the Networking for Success Channel on YouTube.
Complete Transcript of Episode 514 –
This is part of the Ask Ivan series. If you have a question for Ivan, we have recreated a new link on the podcast web page.
Hello everybody and welcome back to the Official BNI Podcast, brought to you by the Networking for Success Channel on YouTube, which features Dr. Ivan Miser and many other networking experts. I am Priscilla Rice, and I am coming to you from Live Oak Recording Studio in Berkeley, California. I am joined on the phone today by the Founder and the Chief Visionary Officer of BNI, Dr. Ivan Misner. Hello, Ivan, how are you and where are you ?
Hey. It is just after the Fourth of July holiday here in the United States, so I am home in Austin.
That’s great. So what do you have to share with us today?
I have a question today from Raymond in South Africa. A lot of the questions that I am getting right now are very international. It’s great. He wants to know about breaking through the twenty-something barrier. That’s his topic as he described it. He said, “It seems that every time we get to just over 20 members, a few leave and we have to rebuild, only repeat the process later. I am not sure if we have a programmed in set point at 20 but I am sure there could be a set point at 30 or more. Is this common? What can we do to break this cycle? Although the 100-member strong chapters in BNI India sound scary, what can we learn from international experience?”
Yeah, the 100-member chapters are amazing to me. I just found out today the largest chapter is in Hong Kong with 123 members.
Oh my gosh. Do they have like 10 second infomercials or something?
I like your very unfiltered response there, Priscilla. That was perfect. You don’t have to be a 100 member chapter to be an awesome, awesome chapter. And yes, Raymond, you absolutely can break that set point that you are talking about. I recommend that you go back and listen to episode 469 because there are some things that I talk about there that I am going to talk about here as well that are, I think, important to listen to.
I am going to talk about it from the perspective of a small group but these topics can work for any size chapter. If you want to create a different set point, do these four things. This is the recipe for success in BNI. The recipe for success.
First, quality. You have to look for quality people. I have said for years it is attitude, attitude, attitude. You also have to accept people who have a good skill set. The truth it is it aptitude and attitude that you are looking for. We generally look for aptitude. Our weakness in BNI is we don’t generally look for attitude. So when you are looking for quality people, look for quality people who are committed to helping people in the chapter.
Talk to them about it and say, “Look, we are looking for people who will make a long term commitment, not just six months or a year. We are looking for people who want to be in this relationship for a long time.” Have that kind of discussion.
You may get half the number of people that you want to join, but they will stay, if you want to move the needle in getting to 30 or 40 members, that is what you want to do. You want to look for quality people who are willing to make a long term commitment.
The second thing, this you already know, is growth. You have to grow your chapter because the number of referrals increase exponentially. A 20-member chapter will do maybe 60 or 70 referrals a month, but a 40-member chapter will do 200 referrals a month. So you double your size and you more than double the membership.
I think you already get that, Raymond. That is why you want to grow the chapter, so the quality of members and not just attitude but commitment. You have that conversation with them to see if they are committed to staying a while.
The third thing to move that needle in the membership is to get people who are willing to seek engagement. When you have new members, tell them that attending Member Success Program training is part of it, that if they are going to participate in your chapter, you require that they go to the live Member Success Program training. Ask them if they are willing to watch BNI videos and listen to the BNI podcast on a weekly basis. Have that kind of conversation with them.
I get where some people think, wait a minute, this sounds like the sales prevention department. You are going to be talking people out of joining. Well, maybe, but if you aren’t talking the right people out, these are the people who aren’t going to make the commitment anyway. Raymond, as you just said, you know, you hot that something over 20 and people drop out. Well, they are dropping out because maybe they didn’t realize the commitment that was necessary going into it. So be clear with people as to what it takes to make this work and how it can pay off when they make it work. That is what I think is so critical.
The last piece, the fourth element, of the recipe is you have to do his through storytelling. You have to talk to people about your story in BNI and other people’s story in BNI. That is what makes this work- why it has worked for people who have been in for two, three, four years. Talk about, have them start to assemble data on how many referrals they got the first year, how many they got the second year, how many they got in their third year. The overwhelming majority of people get more referrals as they are in longer. Have those stories at hand. Talk about commitment and relationship and how it has worked for those people who are committed.
Those are the kinds of things, Raymond, that you need to do if you want to create a higher set point. It really begins with finding good people? Why accept mediocrity when excellence is an option? Don’t look for warm bodies to be in your chapter. Look for people who are committed.
So I hope, Raymond, that answers your question. And I think, Priscilla, that we have time for a bonus question. Do we not?
Yes. What is your bonus question?
So my bonus question, and again, thanks to Raymond for that question. I hope it helped. Go listen to episode 469, Raymond.
The bonus question comes from Tep from Cambodia and Tep asks, “On the BNI CDs, when you rad articles or listen to CDs, how do you get CEUs and how many CEUs do you get? How many CEUs do you get on a podcast?”
So for SuccessNet CDs that we do have for some countries, it’s one CEU for reading SuccessNet or listening to the CDs. The podcast, five podcasts equals one CEU. The reason for it is one CEU is roughly – CEUs for those who don’t know is Continuing Education Unit. One CEU is roughly one hour. So five podcasts will be roughly an hour, actually, four or five podcasts would be roughly an hour. So you get one CEU for that, Tep.
He also asks, “How do you get books by Ivan?”
I a glad you asked that question. In most countries, you can get my books on Amazon. But I don’t know about Cambodia, if you can’t get one of my books on Amazon, go to your local BNI Director. Your local BNI Director should have my books and if not, certainly BNI.com has my books. A great book to start with for basics would be either Networking Like a Pro or Worlds Best Known Marketing Secret.
So those are great questions, Tep, thank you very much. And Raymond. Those are all my answers for today.
Well, thank you, Dr. Misner. I think that is just great. I would just like to remind the listeners that this podcast has been brought to you by the Networking for Success Channel on YouTube. Thanks for listening. This is Priscilla Rice and we look forward to having you join us next week for another exciting episode of the Official BNI Podcast.