Oct 16, 2017


by Brandon Souba

As members of BNI we all know the attendance policy. Even if you don’t know it verbatim you still know BNI members are held accountable to be at the meeting. There are many reason why it is important to be at your meeting or to send a sub to represent your business, but this blog is focused on a reason I never thought of. This story happened this month and it really opened my eyes on yet another reason why it is important to follow the attendance policy.

I am seeing more and more people returning to BNI from being a past member. In this specific situation the member left to grow a business in another city and grew to the point they were ready to join BNI in the new city to use Givers Gain to grow even more. So they started visiting chapters and knew the specific day and time they were looking for as far as meetings go. After visiting 2 chapters that fit in their ideal time frame they noticed there was no one in their contact sphere to work with and honestly did not consider either chapter. Because they had experience in BNI, they reached out to a Director for help.

That director then reached out to me to see if I could help out in any way. So the first thing I did was look at the two chapters to see if there was someone in their contact sphere that might have been over looked. This was an easy task because the potential member specified what professions they were looking for in the chapter.

Guess what? When I looked at the chapters I saw there was one of the professions they were looking for on their list in one of the two chapters. Looking at the PALMS report I saw that the member was not there that day and did not have a sub. Now I understand things happen and you can’t be at every meeting, but it was common this member missed with no sub, so I am not going to give them the benefit of the doubt.

I reached back out to the potential member and let them know about the one chapter that had a member of their contact sphere and they should consider the chapter. What they said back was truly shocking, but also shockingly true.

They let me know that a member that can’t make a commitment to their BNI chapter is not someone they can trust with their clients they would refer them to. So they passed on joining the chapter.

I have always said the way members treat their BNI meeting is similar to how they treat their business. But hearing it from a potential member really drove home that concept.

Here is what I hope you get out of this blog and please share this with your chapter if your attendance is starting to slip or was not that great to begin with. When you miss a meeting it not only effects your VCP (Visibility, Credibility, and Profitability) but it can also hurt the growth of your chapter. You may be the key member a visitor is looking to meet and pass referrals to. You not only lose a potential member but you also lose a referral source that wants to join a chapter to GIVE you business! If the attendance policy doesn’t motivate you to make it to your chapter, then let Givers Gain motivate you. When you give your time to the weekly meeting you gain more VCP, you gain the opportunity to meet visitors that could be your best referral source for your business, and you gain more profit and long term customers.

So how do you go about getting subs when you need them?  Invite a few potential subs to visit the chapter with you.  This way when you ask them to sub they are more likely to say yes as they have some idea what would be expected of them.  Also, plan ahead if you know you will miss a meeting. Don’t wait until the week of your vacation to look for a sub.  Chances are you will not be able to lock one in.  Most importantly, make your BNI meeting one of the most important meetings in your schedule. It will pay off in the long run.  Remember, you never know who will be at your meeting as a visitor or a sub that might just be looking for YOUR business!