It’s been my experience as a long-time member of Business Networks International, that there is a high level of push-back from members to all the BNI “rules.” One, in particular, that seems to get the most attention is the attendance policy. Dr. Misner addresses this topic in a recent podcast.
A long time ago a BNI chapter came to Dr. Misner and said they didn’t think attendance made any difference to the amount of referrals passed. They proposed to increase their attendance, track referrals, and demonstrate that there was no difference.
By the second quarter of this experiment, absenteeism dropped by 71% to .6 absences per member per quarter. Membership went up 50%, and referrals went up 62%.
BNI printed the results of the experiment. Dr. Misner got a call from a member who didn’t believe the results. He proposed to have his chapter track absences and referrals for a year. In their first quarter, they had a 53% drop in absenteeism and a 9% increase in referrals. The second quarter, they had a 58% drop in absenteeism, a 55% increase in members, and a 71% increase in referrals. In the third quarter, their membership increased by 90% and their referrals increased 164%. By that time, the chapter leadership was convinced.
If your chapter has high absenteeism, what’s in it for you and the other members in better attendance is more referrals.
In my own experience, I’ve found that the most successful BNI chapters pay the closest attention to the BNI guidelines. Attendance is one of the most important “rules,” which if followed is an important and often decisive factor leading to success.