Dec 10, 2014


by Vince Vigneri

In March 2013 Ivan Misner, founder of BNI, wrote a SuccessNet article about this topic. He told us of an 8 year member that was considering not renewing her BNI membership because of the time commitment. He went on to state how she looked into exactly how much business came as a result of BNI and was shocked to learn it was 80% of her existing clientele.

Recently I visited a chapter where they were reviewing the results of a simple survey their chapter's Education Coordinator had conducted to help him better educate the chapter based on what they wanted. What a great idea!!! The survey was really quite simple.

  1. What do we do well?
  2. What could we improve?
  3. If you could make one change to our BNI chapter, what would it be?
  4. What would you like me to teach weekly during the Networking Education time?
That's it... no other information was provided and members provided him their own words as their answers... So, what were the responses, and how was he going to use this, you ask?
  1. 40% of the chapter responded that they are friendly and energetic chapter, 20% said referrals and another 20% stated open and welcoming during the first 15 minutes...
  2. 80% of the chapter responded about inviting more visitors
  3. The top three responses were
    1. More accountability
    2. Greater enforcement of the BNI policies
    3. Additional social interaction
  4. 40% of the chapter wanted more information and training on BNI Connect and 25% asked how to get more visitors. 
The conclusion of the Educational Coordinator was to spend one week each month talking about why and how to get more visitors. Another week would be spent on BNI Connect and other educational units, like podcasts, SuccessNet, this blog, etc. One week on maximizing the value of the BNI membership, and the final week having some fun, using BNI Meeting Stimulants. After 6 months, he plans to do the survey again. 

I share this with you because too often we think about our time and our return, without factoring in the other areas of BNI that add value...
  • Working in a structured environment to increase contacts, referral sources, and referrals
  • Structured Mentoring Program for new members, as well as existing members
  • Brainstorming with other like-minded business professionals
  • Building long term Referral Sources
  • Building incredible business and personal relationships and resources
  • One hour coaching sessions with Director (1-2-1’s), upon request
  • One hour coaching sessions with BNI members, upon request (any chapter)
  • Leadership Team Roundtables, approximately monthly (for chapter support)
  • SuccessNet Online – marketing information
  • BNI Heartland’s Blog – marketing information
  • BNI Podcasts –
  • Visiting other BNI chapters in your region and worldwide
  • BNI Connect - Networking online with BNI members, worldwide
  • Improving presentation and speaking skills
  • Member Success Program (MSP) – training for members
  • Leadership Team Training – training for running a successful chapter
  • Advanced Trainings available on various networking skills and tactics
Here is a link to assess your BNI value: 

To read Ivan's entire article visit,