My BNI® Story

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The Hidden Value of Visitors

By: BNI Staff
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    My BNI® Story

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    BNI Staff

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Submitted by Alyssa Gross, Member of BNI Premium (Buffalo, NY) .

If everyone in every BNI chapter brought one visitor per month, the average chapter would experience a bump in thank-you-for-closed-business (TYFCB) of $330,4801.  The average Member would experience an average of $12,000 in additional TYFCB from visitors.

If you follow the Power of One, as discussed in this podcast from Dr. Ivan Misner, you’ll increase your bottom line considerably.  One of the easiest ways to invite visitors is to use the acronym GRIP: Do you want to GROW your business? Would REFERRALS help? Are you INTERESTED in …? Here’s the PLACE we meet.

That said, a unique aspect of BNI is that each visitor is important, no matter the purpose of their visit.  Quite often, BNI Visitors pass referrals to Members, whether they join or not.  Recently, Alyssa Gross, a Member from BNI Premium (Buffalo, NY), shared a story that reinforced the value of all visitors. 


The Hidden Value of Visitors – Submitted by Alyssa Gross

We often talk about the value of visitors to BNI – even those who aren’t prospects to join the chapter, but I didn’t really appreciate what visitors bring to a chapter until I had my dad visit over a year ago.  Our chapter launched March 6, 2018, and as the Vice President of the new chapter, I was the feature presenter for our second meeting as an official chapter.  My parents have never missed a softball game, dance recital, or any other activity – even in my adulthood – so this was no different.  My dad came as my first registered BNI visitor.  He’s an engineer in a manufacturing company so he wasn’t a prospect, but he was interested to see what was taking place at 6:30am every Tuesday that had me so excited.

After hearing my presentation, my dad said that while he “knew” what I did for a living (practicing law, primarily in the nonprofit sector), he had never really understood what types of introductions might be valuable to me.  About a week later, he introduced me to the wife of a co-worker, who happened to be a CPA at a very large firm that works with a lot of the nonprofit organizations in our area. She has since made multiple referrals to me, including the largest BNI-originating referral I’ve received to date.  My parents are also working with our chapter’s financial advisor and have used the services of several others in the chapter – all because I brought a non-prospect visitor to meet my fellow chapter Members.

I tell this story enthusiastically and often.  Members, never pre-judge a prospective visitor, and certainly never qualify the invitation.  The average BNI visitor brings $1000 in closed business to the chapter, even if they don’t (or can’t) join.  Beyond the closed business, though, they bring so much more.  That added excitement in the room.  The push to be our very best, every meeting.  And you never know what services or products they may be looking for, or what introductions they may be able to make for you.

And remember, if you invite visitors on a regular basis, your chapter will grow and thrive, and so will your own business.


About Alyssa

Alyssa, a member of BNI Premium (Buffalo, NY) considers herself to be BNI’s #1 fan. As a two-year member (1 Year Core Group/1 year Chapter) Alyssa served as Vice President of her chapter’s initial leadership team.

Beyond referrals, she values having a strong network of dedicated professionals to refer her clients to – she loves knowing that her clients are in good hands.  BNI assures that their business needs (bookkeeping, insurance, payroll, banking, IT, and HR) are being addressed by leading professionals in their respective fields.  As is often said, BNI makes Alyssa look like a hero to her clients!

Alyssa would like to extend special recognition to her region’s Director Consultant, Grace Luterek. Grace provides one on one help and mentorship to every Member as if they are the only Member she’s responsible for working with.  She responds quickly to questions, big or small, and she makes a point to get to know the business and the person of each Member.


Alyssa Gross

Member of BNI Premium

Meets Tuesday, 7:00 am

4243 Genesee Street
Cheektowaga, 14225, US

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