Get the Most from the Meeting Pt.2

Why You Shouldn't Use a Sub vs Why You Should Use a Sub

Why You Shouldn't Use a Sub. Why You Should Use a Sub.

Substitutes play an important role in BNI membership.

One of our commitments as members is to attend every meeting, but it is accepted that not all of us can be here every week because of other commitments such as holidays or work that can't be avoided.

So when we say attend every meeting, what we really mean is that we will attend most meetings and we will be represented at every meeting.

Why You Need a Substitute

We need to use substitutes because we want continuity. 

If we never knew who was going to turn up, sooner or later we'd all stop turning up. In short, every chapter of BNI would collapse within a few weeks if the attendance policy was changed from a commitment to a suggestion.

If you company is always represented at the meeting, there will always be someone to make a contribution on your behalf. And if it's a fresh face, so much the better; having new people in the room keeps the members on top of their game, because they'll be eager to make a good first impression.

Why You Shouldn't Use a Sub

If you send a substitute to a meeting, it is not considered as an absence.

But the substitute shouldn't be just anybody. Wives, husbands and next-door neighbours only make good substitutes if they bring something to the meeting. A substitute who just turned up to eat your lunch is achieving the bare minimum and is unlikely to make a good impression on visitors: the people we really want to influence when they walk through the door.

There are numerous benefits to attending a meeting and it's important that you attend the vast majority of meetings so that you can get to know the other members and learn about their businesses so you can generate more referrals.

In particular, if you are not at a meeting, you will not get to see that week's ten minute presentation. Each member rarely gets an opportunity to stand up and tell everyone about their business for a precious ten minutes and therefore you will miss out on the opportunity to find out how you can find referrals for that person.

Quite simply if you are not hereat the meeting you are making it much harder for yourself to generate referrals, much harder to give to the chapter and therefore less likely that you will gain from your membership.

Beware of the Super Sub!

We also need to beware of so-called super-subs: people who come to numerous meetings and therefore appear to be very helpful to us when we need a substitute at the last minute.

It's important when you invite a substitute that they understand the commitment that you have made. Inviting a substitute to a meeting casually is a mistake. If you come back from holiday to discover they "just didn't have time" or "something came up at the last minute" then you will have been marked down on as absent, which is damaging to your reputation within the group. So it's tempting to recruit the services of someone you know to have been to numerous meetings.

But people who substitute frequently are not going to join the chapter. They're using the system without making a commitment. And aside from the fact that they haven't paid, they are not under any obligation to attend every week, to bring referrals or to introduce visitors to help the chapter to grow. They might make a contribution but they don't have to. And if they give nothing, there's nothing we can do about it because they are not accountable to other members.

Why You Should Use a Sub

A good substitute is someone from your company or someone with whom you work closely. They know your business and of course they can be relied on to turn up. They may even present an interesting new angle on what your company does that reflects their own role in the business.

But a great substitute is one of your clients. They can give a testimonial for your work that will really help you to get more business from the members. Even better is a client of yours who is eligible for membership and would make a useful contribution to the chapter.

Right now, we're looking for a graphic designer, a mortgage broker, a cleaning company, a utilities broker, an insurance broker, a photographer, a beautician or anyone in the health and wellness industry.

If you need a sub for some time in March, think about clients of yours in one of those categories – or people whose services you pay for and who you trust in the local business community – and ask them to come along.



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