Archive for September, 2011

As all good chefs know, in order to achieve the best results you have to choose the best ingredients, and this is exactly what your Membership Committee does for your chapter. This month, in our series on the Leadership Roles within BNI, we look at how the Membership Committee helps build your chapter by choosing the best people to become members. With the new term starting in October, now is the time to decide if you’d like to become a Membership Committee “MasterChef“ too!

Choosing The Right People

The principal role of the Membership Committee is to support your chapter by selecting the right people to become members.

The Membership Committee has usually between three or five members, including the Vice President, who is also the chair and holds the deciding vote.

When a person applies for membership, the application is assessed by the Membership Committee. The committee checks the application against the existing categories and ensures there is no overlap with current members.

The Membership Committee also decides whether an applicant’s attitude is right for the group. As we all know, attitude makes a huge difference to the success of a chapter (and thus all our businesses).

Keeping The Right People

The Membership Committee not only selects new people to join the chapter, it also makes sure all existing members continue to contribute.

If a member’s referral and visitor numbers are low, the Membership Committee can point that person towards progressive coaching to help them build their skills and confidence.

Accountability Tracking

It is proven that chapters that work on holding their members accountable make a lot more money. It is the responsibility of the Membership Committee to track the performance of the members against a chapter’s key success-factors – such as attendance, closed business, referrals, visitors, 1-to-1 meetings, and a great attitude.

The most important key success-factor is attendance of the weekly meeting. Turning up not only makes us visible to other members and their visitors, but also gives us the chance to educate our chapter (that is, our extended marketing and sales department) on the kinds of referrals we are looking for.

So the most important aspect is monitoring attendance – because our businesses work best when everyone is fully briefed and out there, recommending us.

What Else is Involved?

The Membership Committee also helps out if any issues arise, such as low overall attendance or poor quality referrals. The committee offers guidance on resolving any potential conflicts, so that all members can benefit from belonging to the chapter.

The Membership Committee ensures members uphold the BNI Code of Ethics, and offers support to members if necessary.

Ready to Jump Into the BNI Kitchen?

Like all the best “MasterChef” creations, the magic of a successful BNI chapter is finding the right combination of ingredients. If you are ready to help your chapter find the best mix of people, then talk to your current President about how you can join the Membership Committee and become part of the next Leadership Team.

Categories : Leadership Teams
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What do Billy Crystal and BNI Australia’s Frederick Marcoux have in common? They have both presided over prestigious awards ceremonies, of course! While the Oscars are over in a night, our BNI successes continue every day, and the BNI Australia National Conference in Sydney in June was a great chance to celebrate them.

Reflecting and Celebrating

Every year BNI members from all over Australia and the region come together at the National Conference – to learn, to share with each other, and to have fun. It’s a time to reflect on the successes of the past year and to plan for more in the year ahead, both individually and as a whole organisation.

Our BNI Stars

Part of celebrating this success is recognising the remarkable hard work and dedication of so many people across BNI. Not only do these people join us at our meetings, they also work tirelessly behind the scenes to strengthen the BNI network, from which our businesses benefit.

Helping our businesses is the BNI Directors’ business.

A Rewarding Experience

So what better way to recognise these stars of BNI than at the annual Conference Awards Dinner!

With honours across categories like ‘Innovation Excellence’ and ‘Chapters With 50-plus Members’, the depth and breadth of the knowledge, dedication and experience of our BNI Directors is clearly shown.

Thank You & Congratulations

So, to all the winners, and to those who have contributed to the great success of our chapters over the last 12 months – thank you and congratulations!

Without further ado, this year’s winners include:

Please join us in our congratulations and appreciation of the dedication your BNI Director and this year’s BNI Award winners continuously show – to you and to your business success.

Categories : Recognition
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At the broadest level, BNI networking is all about making connections. It’s about meeting other members to talk and to listen. To find out how we can support their businesses, and to share with them how they can support ours.

Making Connections

When we focus in on these connections, what we see at their core is a continuous series of questions and answers – usually quite naturally followed by more questions and more replies: “What kind of referrals are you looking for?”; “My perfect referral is…”. “How can I help find those referrals?”; “I would love your help with…”.

Introducing Your “Question Corner”!

These kinds of questions and answers are not only central to our face-to-face meetings across our BNI Chapters, but also to our connections in the online environment.

It is with this in mind, that we are delighted to announce the launch of the members’ “Question Corner” on the BNI Blog, the BNI Australia Facebook page, and in our monthly newsletter!

Your Wish, Our Command

The new Question Corner is just one of the results (we have more up our sleeve) of the survey we recently asked you to take part in. A staggering 40.7% of our members said they would like to have a space to post questions and receive informative feedback.

We know that when we connect and learn from each other, we are sharing the business and networking knowledge of several thousand BNI members from all across Australia – and that’s pretty powerful stuff.

All Kinds of Questions

So, what kind of questions might you see answered in the Members’ Question Corner?

Well, anything! It’s entirely up to you.

You might like to find out more about getting the best out of your BNI membership, or you may be looking for new networking tips, or you could have questions about the individual roles in the Leadership Team: whatever your question, we want to hear it.

Asking Your Questions

And how do you pose questions to your Question Corner?

It’s easy. Just email them to us at email and we will start putting together the answers for you – and all other readers. Remember to check our Facebook page and the BNI Blog regularly to catch up on the latest Question Corner postings. And, of course, we will be highlighting some questions and answers in the newsletter every month.

We know that by asking questions we make connections, and by making connections we build our businesses – and that’s what BNI is all about.

Categories : Education
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How many times have you been to a chapter meeting and received a referral?  Plenty, of course. While many referrals lead to new clients, sometimes they represent mere leads or, worse, turn out to be duds.  Sometimes people give us referrals for which the referrer hasn’t taken the time or effort to make sure it is powerful and useful.

Shades of Referrals

Referrals come in different shades. We can grade them from 1 to 10, with one being the lowest shade and ten the highest and most powerful kind.  A trained word-of-mouth expert will know when to send a referral back to the referrer for a little more work before accepting it.

Shade 1: Forget About It

Let me explain.  A Shade 1 referral is someone saying, “I was talking with a client, and he said he was looking for a bookkeeper so I gave him your card.”  What is most likely to happen with this prospect?  Nothing. There is no emotional connection between you and him, and no reason for him to do anything other than add your business card to the pile they already have.

Improving the Shade of Your Referrals

What could the person have done to improve the referral? They could have emailed a recommendation of you to the prospect and included a glowing testimonial explaining how you had solved their bookkeeping issues.  This would be better than a Shade 1 referral, but still only registers as a Shade 4.

Shade 6: Now We’re Getting Somewhere

Imagine the outcome had the same chapter member made a Shade 6 referral, by qualifying the prospect’s needs and arranging permission for you to call and introduce yourself.

Anything below a Shade 6 referral is too low to proceed with any action.  If I receive a Shade 5 or less, I know I need to train my referral partner so they can give me stronger referrals.  I would usually ask the referrer to contact the prospect, clarify their needs, pass on some information about me, and preferably provide them with a testimonial.

Shade 10 – Simply The Best!

A Shade 9 referral is good, but a Shade 10 is best.  A Shade 10 referral would be a chapter member saying, “I have spoken to your secretary and booked an appointment for you with Bill Smith.  I told Bill you were the best bookkeeper in town!  He wanted to know how to get started so I took the liberty of making an appointment for you.”

Take the Time

So, think about the referrals you give at your chapter meetings: could you do a little more work before filling in that referral slip? Time and effort ensure quality referrals and increased closed business for your chapter.

Lindsay Adams, National Director, Referral Institute

Referral Institute, founded by Ivan Misner, is the strategic training
partner for BNI around the world.  If you would like to find out more about
the Referral Institute – check out their website

Categories : Referrals
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