Dec 21, 2016


 by Kris Vigneri

Last April, our BNI Heartland director team had the opportunity to have a One-to-One with Dr. Ivan Misner, BNI’s Founder.  He shared a story with us from when he was a Director Consultant (yes, even Ivan held this role!).  He visited a chapter routinely, and at the end of the chapter meeting, he would say to the chapter “When you are ready, I will help you take this chapter from 18 to 30.”  Why did he end the chapter meeting this way for 18 months?  He recognized that the chapter’s culture needed a shift, but he also recognized that he could not force the change.  The chapter needed to take the first step and want to change.  And finally, one day, a member finally asked him “how?”

In June, I received a call from Brandon about one of our Omaha area chapters.  After watching this chapter’s membership drop, I recognized that they needed help, but I also knew I had to wait until they were ready.  This small, but mighty, chapter of 8 passed great referrals that resulted in over $700 per referral.  Brandon and I visited the chapter, and I laid out a proposed strategy for growth and how I was going to hold them accountable.  I gave the members a week to discuss and decide if they were ready to make this three to four month commitment.   The chapter let me know they were ready, and we began in July.  During the next four months, the chapter members brought visitors and were engaged in the growth.  They added 6 new members!  We continue to have a monthly focused Visitor’s Day.  We had a plan, we executed the plan, and the chapter members are benefiting from their hard work by passing even more referrals!

I am motivated by helping others and giving back.  Are you and your chapter ready to change?