Tired of Begging Your Chapter to Invite?
Cys Bronner, BNI Executive Director is here to say “Stop Yelling, Start Growing”. By focusing on what’s working and using the tools at hand, your membership will naturally increase in happiness and members, creating more referrals for everyone.
Stop Yelling, Start Growing
Hi, I’m Cys Bronner, Executive Director of BNI4Success in the Greater Los Angeles area and earlier this week I was remembering something BNI Executive Director Patti Salvucci once said “Chapters under 20 drive me crazy, because they don’t know how great they are. If they knew how great there are, they would be telling everyone!”
I think understanding how great we are is more important than anything we do towards inviting potential members into the group. Instead of yelling, “Ya gotta invite, ya gotta invite!” we need to both become and acknowledge that the chapter is great.
So how do we get great?
That’s the question isn’t it? It’s easy to answer when you understand the tools at hand. But understanding the tools – which are a variety of reports – isn’t the activity; it’s the measurement of your activities.
OMG, Cys – you are confusing us!
Our real goal is to build a healthy chapter – one that is strong from the ground up, with every member working together towards each other’s success. Once you have that, you have the culture of knowing how great you are and wanting to share that.
“Individual commitment to a group effort – that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.” Vince Lombardi
When you talk about the individuals creating a group effort, you really need an overview to see how and where that is happening
Reports I like to work with:
· Chapter Traffic Lights
· Power of One Report
· (and of course) PALMS
· Sponsor Report
My favorite overview to start with is our chapter traffic lights. It’s just one of our tools that highlights the group’s benchmarks giving you a snap shot of what is working.
Too many chapters think that it is a report to show where they rank among other chapters and don’t really pay attention to how they got to where they are placed in the report.
Every chapter has the ability to sit in the green at 100 points (actually you can get there at 80 points) so what does it take?
Let’s look at the categories – they are very similar to our members Power of One report – we have:
· Chapter Size
· Chapter Growth
What I look for first is the areas where the chapter is excelling; in other words what’s working.
This isn’t just about letting a chapter know where they are succeeding, but it’s also a step towards chapter growth. Once you know what’s working and then move towards the next thing that is doing well or on an upwards climb, other areas seem to naturally shift into place.
Think about it, if you’re hitting all your benchmarks, you are definitely firing on all cylinders and you’ll have a larger, stronger chapter for it.
Where it can be deceptive is your retention, and this can trip some chapters up.
On occasion I see chapters that are so worried about their chapter size, that they pass on empowering the Membership Committee to be good gardeners – nurturing and pruning as they go along – creating positive business members who know that accountability is key and that membership renewal should never be automatic.
I have to admit that if I see the chapter’s retention rate in this report go above, say, 83 or 85% I get a little squirrely.
Why 83 or 85%? Why wouldn’t you want retention in the high 90s or 100%?
It speaks to what I just mentioned – a chapter that automatically renews a member is not running like a business, is it?
When we’re talking about what’s working in business, communication is so important. It’s not just discussing tasks or setting goals – it’s having a two-way street. Good leaders know the key is good listening, opening the door to conversations where no one on the team is flying under the radar and spending their time drifting further and further away.
While the Mentor/Mentee relationship can be beneficial in keeping a member stay engaged in a positive way, the Membership Committee is one more way to be a part of what’s working.
I generally suggest a 6 and 9 month check in for our region – this allows us to stay on target for the 7-month check and follow up for member feedback and course correction if needed. This not only keeps our retention working but is right in line with business methods of speaking to your teams prior to evaluations so they know what is coming and you may offer goals or discuss other positions so they may stretch themselves. Complacency is one of those silent business killers.
I love watching the CEUs increase. Knowledge is power as they say, but it’s more than that. No one takes the time to add to their CEUs because they need more stuff on their plate. They do it because they are interested, they want to learn to increase their results or help others. When I see this, I know they are on their way to BNI greatness!
My favorite way to see this happen is for the Chapter Education coordinator is to actually BE a coordinator – asking others to do the Networking Education, or have members read an article or book then discuss it at the following meeting. It’s OK if not everyone does it. Some will, some won’t – the important thing is the engaging dialogue that follows at the meeting.
All of this leads to a desire to share what’s working. You’ll see absenteeism go down, referrals go up and more interviews for potential referral partners. Your chapter will want more events to show off who’s in the room.
That’s how you build a culture that makes you and your chapter shine as you grow!
Thank you for listening today.
Keep an eye out for more business building podcasts at BNIPodcast4Success.com – I look forward to your stories and insights in the comments.
In networking: The more memorable (positive and helpful) you are, the better the results.
Questions? Feel free to call Actionsteps4Success Founder and BNI Executive Director Cys Bronner 866-889-3466 or email her at Cys.Bronner@BNI4success.com
Her motto: BNI, Making word of mouth marketing work for you