Visitors are the life blood of a BNI chapter!
I was having small talk with a BNI member and I shared with him that all we really need in life are water, food and clean air. He said “and we need energy. “At first I first disagreed with him, thinking energy was just gasoline and diesel and electricity. I originally thought we could do without the comforts of modern electricity and cars and all the wonderful things that our modern energy provides.
Then I realized that everything is energy. The Earth’s rotation is energy, gravity is energy, and our orbit around the sun is energy, the Moon’s orbit around our beautiful Earth is energy. Our own attitude is energy. Enthusiasm is energy, our attitude is energy! Visitors in a BNI chapter are energy!
Let’s take a chapter with 20 members. Let us say that they have a meeting where 5 members are absent and there are no visitors or substitutes, I hate to say it but that meeting would be dead! No energy. A 20 member chapter with highly engaged members creating a lot of referrals is a great place to be. Now let’s take a 40 member chapter that is an awesome place to be as well.
If the 40 member chapter had 10 members absent and no substitutes it would be just as dead as the 20 member chapter with no visitors. If the 20 member chapter had 5 absent members with 5 awesome substitutes and 10 visitors, the 20 member chapter would be full of life and energy! Even though both of the chapters had 30 people in the meeting the chapter with the most visitors would have the most life and energy!
I have been to a chapter with 40 members and no visitors and it was dead. I have been to a chapter with 20 members and 20 visitors and it was on fire and alive and full of energy and tons of referrals being given and closed business as a result. Visitors are the life blood of a BNI chapter! How do we create more visitors and create more energy?
First: invite guests. Guests are people that probably won’t join your chapter. They could be non-business owners, clients, friends, family members, employees and my favorite, retired folks. Retired folks are sometimes bored and looking for something to do, and they are always buying stuff.
Second: invite professions that are already filled in your chapter. Let’s say a mortgage lender is presenting in your chapter, invite realtors. How awesome would it be to have 10 visiting realtors in your meeting? The trades and the lender would love to do business with them. Insurance agents, realtors, lenders, financial advisors and CPA’s are great guests; you never know what they are buying and what they need.
Third: invite your competitors. Your competitors need the same professions you do. I am in restoration work; I invite my competitors to my BNI meeting and introduce them to all my tradesmen. They do business with each other; my tradesmen love me for it.
Use you BNI meeting to network with the people you are engaged with. When you have 5 or more visitors in your BNI meeting it will be on fire and full of energy! Don’t just invite people to join your chapter, invite people to do business with your chapter members.