Dec
05

How Visitor Hosts Help Grow Your Chapter (And Your Business!)

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Have you ever walked into a party where you didn’t know anyone and found yourself greeted with a friendly smile and some helpful introductions?  Then you have met someone who would make a great BNI Visitor Host!

Visitor Hosts are a fundamental part of your Leadership Team and vitally important to the growth of your chapter.  This month we take a closer look at who they are and what they do.

BNI Visitor Hosting: It’s a Team Effort

As your BNI chapter can expect to welcome more than one visitor each week, your team of Visitor Hosts needs to be large enough to properly look after each guest.  The expected number of visitors depends on the size of your chapter, of course, and how active members are in bringing guests to your weekly meetings.

Your chapter’s Visitor Hosts also need to organize the team to look after different aspects of Visitor Hosting: greeting, orientation, and follow up.

The larger the chapter, the more Visitor Hosts you need to appoint.  Both – ensuring individual attention is given to each visitor, and distributing the workload – mean that chapters should have at least three Visitor Hosts to share the tasks, and to be able to concentrate on high quality hosting.

Because it’s professional, it’s polite – and because happy visitors are great referrers!

Meeting And Greeting

Your chapter’s Visitor Hosts are the first people a guest (and potential new member) meets when they visit your chapter.

They greet new arrivals and help them feel welcome.  Visitor Hosts make sure guests have a cup of tea or coffee, and explain how the meeting will run.  And because Visitor Hosts are expert networkers, they introduce guests to key people to get the networking ball rolling.

Making Introductions: Everybody Wins

A good Visitor Host finds out which businesses a guest is looking to connect with – but they also establish which members might benefit from meeting the guest.  Then the Visitor Host brings them together, introducing guest and relevant members.

Even with only little information available, clued-in Visitor Hosts know to introduce a visitor to representatives of the power team the guest’s business would most likely complement.

Either way, introductions made by the Visitor Hosts enable members and guests to network before the actual meeting begins.  Everyone will get the most out of pre-meeting networking – visitor, member, and your chapter.

Visitor Hosts ensure the President has the visitors’ details so they can be individually introduced to the chapter.

Perhaps most importantly for these potential new members, Visitor Hosts explain the Sales Manager Minute (a.k.a. 60 Seconds Infomercial), and the opportunity each guest has to share their business and ideal referral request with the group.

After The Meeting: Orientation & Follow Up

Visitor Hosts not only play a fundamental role in greeting visitors at the start of each chapter meeting, they also help visitors after meetings, both immediately and in the days following.

At the end of each meeting, Visitor Hosts join up with guests for a brief Visitor Orientation.  This orientation is the perfect opportunity for guests to ask questions and for Visitor Hosts to talk them through the application process.

During the orientation, Visitors Hosts should:

  • Thank the visitors for coming
  • Explain the commitments of membership
  • Handout the BNI Visitor Packs
  • Explain the application process and help visitors complete the application form
  • Collect application forms
  • Ask visitors to fill out the confidential meeting evaluation form

And because Visitor Hosts are such welcoming people, they phone new visitors a day or two after the meeting to check if they have any questions or need help with the application form.

So The Best Visitor Hosts Are…

A whole range of people!  From members who love to greet new people to those who can’t stop themselves talking about how BNI has boosted their business.

While it is important for the group of Visitor Hosts serving on the Leadership Team at any one time to have different talents, they do all share one important understanding: that by growing their chapter they are growing their own business. One inevitably flows from the other.

So Are You Ready To Be A Host With The Most?

Like the sound of being one of the welcoming faces of your chapter and increasing to your visibility and creditability?  Great!  Talk to your Leadership Team about becoming a Visitor Host.

Comments

  1. Gary Chang says:

    Dear BNI Australia members,

    My name is Gary Chang, a member and Education Coordinator of BNI Flagship Chapter in Taipei, Taiwan, also a host of our chapter’s blog. I admire your effort very much since you share many articles in your website which are very useful to me and to our chapter. Your experience and suggestion give us practical hints, such as how to create network through the on-line platform, and how to be a good visitor host. I hope if your members have any chance to come to visit Taipei please do let me know and I would introduce them to our chapter members.

    Happy New Year!

    Gary Chang
    BNI Flagship Chapter in Taipei

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