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How Do I Successfully Invite Visitors to BNI?

One of the most difficult things about BNI is bringing visitors. Many members struggle with getting visitors in the room, and it’s probably the question I get asked the most about BNI.

I’ve been in BNI for five years now, and I’ve been a 100-point member, and I think the most visitors I’ve ever had over a six-month period was 17. Now, there’s members that have had a lot more than me obviously, but I’m quite happy with that number, and I’m going to give you a tip right now that I think will completely transform the way you invite visitors to BNI.

Let’s say, for example, you’re talking to somebody and you think “I want to invite this person to BNI, but I’m worried they’re not going to want to – they’re going to say no, and I’m embarrassed to ask because it feels like I’m sort of begging them to come along and I really want them there, but it just doesn’t feel right it doesn’t sit right with how I like to do business.”

If you think like that, it’s not going to work. That person is going to sense that you’re desperate for them to come along, and they’re not going to want to do it. So, for example, let’s say you’re talking to an electrician. Maybe they’re doing work for you, maybe you’ve met them at another networking group, but the point is you don’t have an electrician in your BNI chapter and you’d really like them to come along. So, you say something like “oh hey, I’m going along to my weekly networking group tomorrow morning, where 25-30 businesses all meet and we don’t have anyone that does what you do. Would you like to come along and meet them all? It’s however much it is to visit, and you can you can come along to the meeting in the morning and have breakfast and meet all the people.”

Chances are, if you say something like that, they’re going to say “no, thanks”, because they’ll have been to something like that before and they don’t seen the immediate value in going. It’s early morning, they don’t want to do that – they’ve got other things they’d rather do.

Now, this is the technique I use that gets much better results, and is why I’ve had so many visitors.

What I’ll do is I’ll use another member in the chapter as a hook to get them in. So say, for example, you’ve got a letting agent or an estate agent in your chapter, they are brilliant as a hook. You can say to this electrician “oh hey, just wondering, where does most of your work come from? What sort of people give you business?” Chances are, they’re going to say lettings and estate agents, that they do a lot of work for landlords. I’d then say, “well that’s funny, one of my one of my best mates is a letting agent actually, and I’m meeting him tomorrow at a breakfast meeting. Tell you what, why don’t you come with me and I’ll personally introduce you to him so you can tell him what you do and what services you offer and see whether he’s able to use you in his letting agent business? How does that sound?”

That approach is much more likely to get results because rather than inviting somebody to a networking meeting or a referral business meeting or whatever you want to call it, you’re offering to introduce somebody to a business owner that is very likely to be able to give them work. Now, it doesn’t have to be a lettings or estate agent, this works with accountants, for example, it works with solicitors, it works with business coaches, it works with my industry, digital marketing, and so much more, like photographers, as another example.

“Hey, you’re a photographer, what sort of work do you do? Oh, you do commercial photography for businesses that have websites? I’ll tell you what, I’m going to a business meeting tomorrow morning where I’m meeting a really good friend of mine who runs a digital marketing agency. They do ecommerce websites for clients all the time, and they’re always needing people to do product photography. Do you want to come with me and I’ll personally introduce you to them so you can show them your work and they might be able to use you for their websites?”

Ultimately, it’s not rocket science – it’s offering somebody something they want something that’s going to benefit their business for free, and that is how you get visitors to BNI.

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    BNI Visitor Inviting Guide

    Get our free guide on inviting visitors to your BNI via social media. Includes multiple strategies explained, and all of the invite scripts you can use for yourself to become the #1 visitor inviter in your chapter