I wanted to address a few concerns regarding visitor overlap. I’m sending an email because while this topic is important to acknowledge, it would not be appropriate to discuss during one of ourWednesday morning meetings.
Why do we invite guests that overlap with our members in the first place?
We are all aware that once you become a member of Chapter 62 you essentially lock out your competition from joining and benefiting from connections made within our group. However, your competition may very well be an amazing referral for another member, so we never want to deter overlapping guests from visiting us! For example, Billy Joe may have a friend who is a Residential Real Estate Sales Broker, who we know overlaps with Josh Doyle. Although, Billy Joe’s friend overlaps with Josh, we would still love to have her in the room because she would be a great referral for several members including Eddie Montak and Michael Nerenberg. To be successful, we most certainly need more than 1 referral source. Thus, in the spirit of giver’s gain, we never want to keep members from meeting their next great referral because that profession already holds a seat in our chapter.
What is the MC doing to address visitor overlap?
The MC understands that it’s not great when an overlap guest forgets to acknowledge that they are not visiting to solicit business. There have been guests that even after being prepped, still decide to give a full commercial. Unfortunately, we can’t control what comes out of people’s mouths, but we have taken steps to limit commercial overlap as much as possible. First, Amy has been doing a great job of politely reminding the guest if a seat is already held by a member and that we’d love to help them find another chapter. Also, Conrad has started printing pink overlap commercials that are attached to guests’ name tags, so they have them as soon as they walk in the room. If you have any other suggestions, please feel free to reply directly to me.
What should I do if my competition attends the meeting?
If one of your competitors visitors our chapter, please be polite. The guest may be visiting BNI for the first time and interested in joining another chapter. However, if they are rudely approached by a member it is a bad reflection of Lucky 62 and BNI as a whole. Also, remember that the guest may be an important client or friend of the inviting member.
The MC takes note of overlap guests who visit frequently and don’t remember to acknowledge their overlap. We have even removed certain guests from our database, so they are no longer able to sub or visit. If you feel there is a guest who repeatedly disrespects overlap, please email or let the MC know. We have no problem protecting our members from repeat offenders. However, let us take care of it as there is no need to approach the guest directly.
What should I do if I’m bringing a guest that overlaps?
If you’re going to invite a guest who overlaps, please remember to give the member a heads up. Although we’re all gracious hosts, it’s not a good feeling to be blindsided – so please do your best to let our members know if you’re inviting a competitor. Also remember that if you bring an overlap member, there are probably better introductions than people who do exactly what they do. Our open networking time is very valuable, so try to make the most of it by introducing your overlap guest to people other than their direct competition.
Thank you for taking the time to read this email and please feel free to email myself of the MC if you have any suggestions for visitor overlap