BNI 3 Networkers, Times Square, Manhattan Policies and Procedures
Assistant Vice President
Medical Leave of Absence
Holidays and Inclement Weather
Documentation of Attendance and Referrals
Commercials and Conflicts
10 Minute Presentations
Member Bio Sheets
One to Ones (“Dance Cards”)
Issues with Individual Members
I. LEADERSHIP TEAM
- Volunteering on the LT helps the Chapter while you increase the visibility and exposure of yourself and your business. The LT and the Membership Committee both meet weekly or as frequently as possible and communicate often during the week.
- The Leadership Team consists of a President, Vice President, Assistant Vice President, and Secretary/Treasurer.
- The LT members attend periodic advanced training courses run by Manhattan BNI. Our Chapter was proud to host several of these courses, attended by LT members from all Manhattan BNI Chapters. BNI 3 has a Regional Director who assists our Chapter and two Executive Directors to oversee Manhattan.
- Runs the weekly meeting according to BNI policies.
- Runs the Leadership Team meetings.
- Communicates between BNI Regional Director, the LT members, and the Chapter, on a regular basis.
- Meets with new members.
- Tracks and records statistics (one to ones, referrals, attendance), enforces the attendance policy and chairs the Membership Committee (“MC”). The VP is a voting member when it is necessary to break a tie on the MC.
- Runs the meeting in the absence of the President.
- Presents weekly VP Reports to the Chapter members.
- Coordinates with the President and AVP to manage all administrative and membership matters for the Chapter.
- Supervises the Chapter website and coordinates with the webmaster for the design and content of our website.
- Tracks renewals and 6 month member reviews.
- Coordinates with LT members on all administrative and membership issues.
- Provides the weekly VP report in the absence of the VP.
- Enforces the attendance policy.
- Tracks numbers of referrals and visitors for monthly member awards.
- Communicates with the Mentor Coordinator on selection of mentors and status of mentoring activities.
- Submits new member applications and renewal applications/checks to BNI and circulates the applications to the other LT members and the MC.
- Maintains the Chapter bank account, collects quarterly breakfast dues and pays our bills.
- Keeps our financial records and reports to the LT about all financial matters for the Chapter.
- Coordinates the Speaker Schedule and emails members in advance of their speaking date.
- Introduces speakers prior to their talk and checks to make sure they have their door prize.
- Presents a weekly “Educational Moment” during the meeting about how to improve your business and make the most of your BNI membership.
- Pairs new members with a more experienced mentor in the group.
- Connects members having trouble in the group with an experienced member to be more successful.
- Provides Mentor Guidelines to the mentors and responds to inquiries from mentors and mentees.
- Conducts review meeting with mentors and mentees after 90 days and 5 months of mentoring.
- Maintains a mentoring log for the Chapter that tracks all mentors and mentees.
- Sets expectations, evaluates the involvement of existing members, and identifies need for new members to help our Chapter be effective. It looks at new and renewing members’ quality of work and their fit with BNI expectations and participation.
- Processes new member applications, conducts reference checks, screens and interviews prospective members, and clarifies the category for which the application is made.
- Evaluates the participation of existing members (including attendance, referrals, fit, and complaints).
- Processes renewal applications of current members.
- Conducts interviews with current members at 6-month intervals to review performance, identify any concerns, and help members prosper.
- Intervenes/mediates regarding complaints between/about members when necessary.
- Coordinates with the Vice President about all MC matters.
- Works with the LT and MC to identify open “seats” for potential new members and to seek guests/visitors
- Promotes Chapter growth
- Arrive early to set up visitor table and BNI signs.
- Welcome visitors, screen for professional overlap with current members, and introduce visitors to members.
- Provide LT with weekly list of guests to the meeting.
- Attendance is crucial to the success of our Chapter. Absent members miss the opportunity to pitch their services and they deprive the other members of a larger audience. In short, absences mean fewer referrals.
- We have two 6-month periods for attendance, which run from October 1st to March 31st and again from April 1st to September 30th. Attendance is not concurrent with an individual’s membership year.
- A maximum of 3 absences are allowed per 6-month period, plus 3 absences with a substitute.
- Contact the President or VP if you will be absent.
- You may receive a phone call after your first absence.
- You will receive a letter after your second and third absences from the Membership Committee. After that, you may forfeit your BNI seat.
- A medical leave of absence may be taken for up to 8 weeks, with the prior approval of the Membership Committee.
- If you need to leave early or if you have extenuating circumstances around attendance, please contact a member of the LT (ahead of time whenever possible).
- Late arriving members disrupt the meeting and deprive other members of the opportunity to pitch their services to the entire group.
- A member who arrives after the President calls the meeting to order (approximately 7:15) is considered late. Make a point to come earlier (e.g. 6:45) to network.
- A member who comes in late may still pass referrals and give a testimonial about someone in the group, but cannot give his or her 45 second commercial.
- A first time visitor who comes late is allowed to give a commercial presentation.
- You may use substitutes a maximum of 3 times during a 6-month period.
- If you know you will miss a meeting, ask someone to substitute for you.
- You may ask customers, clients, family, friends, employees, or coworkers to substitute.
- If you cannot locate a substitute from your personal contacts, the Chapter keeps a list of people who are interested in substituting. You can locate members of other BNI Chapters who are available to substitute by going to www.manhattanbni.com, clicking on Find a Member at the top of the screen, and then clicking on Click Here to View the Sub List.
- Substitutes should be prepared to give your commercial, as well as their own, unless they represent your company (the same profession) or are in conflict with another member. If so, they may only give a commercial for the member for whom they’re substituting.
- Make sure you explore whether your sub might have a conflict with an existing member. It’s always a good idea to let members in related categories know about the sub in advance, to check out and prevent possible conflicts.
- Inform your sub of arrival time, meeting structure and ways the sub will be asked to participate (giving your commercial and their commercial, passing referrals or sharing their impressions of the meeting, and placing their business cards around the table in advance).
- Inform a member of the LT and a Visitor Host, at least 24 hours in advance of the meeting, that you will be represented by a sub, identifying the name and occupation of the sub. If your sub fails to attend, you will not be considered absent as long as you provided the advance notice.
- A person may not act as a substitute for more than one member at any given meeting and may not attend more than one meeting in any month as a substitute.
- A medical leave of absence may be taken for up to eight weeks, with the prior approval of the Membership Committee. Your request must be in writing and sent to the President or Vice President or a member of the Membership Committee.
- Medical leave begins either as the terms are stated in writing or once the Membership Committee has approved the written request.
- You qualify for medical leave if your medical condition is such that you are unable to conduct business.
- You are allowed one medical leave per year.
- There are no official rules about maternity and paternity leave. Our policy for both maternity and paternity leave is similar to medical leave – not to exceed eight weeks.
- Meetings are held every Wednesday morning except during the weeks of the following holidays: Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s.
- In the event of inclement weather, the LT will determine whether to cancel a meeting. Whenever possible, the President will notify members in advance by email.
- Members are encouraged to follow the BNI concept of “givers gain.” However, members are not required to give referrals, may do so in compliance with the rules governing the ethics of their profession or industry, and may use their own discretion to determine their particular level of confidence in another member’s abilities or skills. If a member feels that he or she is unable to comfortably refer to another member for some reason, it should be reported to the Membership Committee so that the issue can be discussed at the member’s 6 month review and/or when the member is up for renewal.
- The President and Chapter bookkeeper maintain an excel spreadsheet that lists all member information. Copies are updated and printed and handed out at every meeting. The sheets include contact information and statistics about referrals and closed business. Members should email the President to report all closed business (income received from a BNI related referral).
- The VP and Chapter bookkeeper track weekly attendance, late arrivals, referrals, closed business, one to ones, and numbers of visitors.
- This is recorded online at www.bniconnect.com and summarized in the weekly VP report at meetings (also called the PALMS report).
- Members can access it by logging on, and going to www.bniconnect.com.
III. MEETING STRUCTURE
- Prior to the meeting, check your email for weekly meeting updates, agendas, follow up matters, and also for referrals or 1 to 1 invites from other members.
- A buffet hot and cold breakfast is available at every meeting.
- Turn off beepers and cell phones before the start of the meeting.
- Get your food and drinks before the meeting, not during.
- Be prepared: Wear your BNI member badge. Use the weekly spreadsheet to take notes during meetings. Fill out any white slips (for referrals and invited visitors), blue 1 to 1 slips, green “thank you for closed business” slips, and gold networking/educational event slips and hand them in when it is your turn during the referral/testimonial section of the meeting. White referral and visitor slips go to the member to whom you are referring or the visitor you invited; pink copies go to the Chapter VP, and you keep the yellow copy for your records.
- Make sure the card file has a supply of your current business cards. The box will go around once during the meeting. If you will be away, ask another member to make sure the file has a supply of your cards. Business cards are kept in alphabetical order by members’ names.
- During Referral Time, keep it brief and positive – one or two sentences about referrals and testimonials. Highlight one or two referrals at most. A referral is not highlighted or special if you describe all of them in detail.
- Business and networking event announcements are made during the Announcement slot at the end of the meeting.
- Occasionally, we will announce a meeting where the members will present their commercial in song or poetry; or where members will be asked to present the commercial of another member from memory – so pay attention to each other!
- Each member may present a 45 second “commercial” describing what they do, or a specific example of their business activities, and what would be a good referral.
- The Chapter has two Timekeepers who will flash a warning sign when there are 10 seconds remaining. Members are expected to wrap it up and conclude on or before the expiration of 45 seconds.
- Members should create original tag lines or slogans. They may be simple or clever but they should serve the purpose of being memorable and effective marketing.
- Members must take care not to present commercials that encroach on another member’s seat. Members who feel that this has occurred should report it to the LT who will investigate the matter and speak to the other member if necessary.
- Members are scheduled and expected to present 10 minute talks about 2 or 3 times a year (depending on the overall size of the Chapter). The 10 minute presentations allow members to go into more depth about their business, what would be a good referral, and how to best give referrals.
- If a member needs to reschedule, she or he must contact the Secretary to arrange a substitute or to trade with another member.
- Speakers are encouraged to invite guests when they are speaking. Members are, of course, always encouraged to invite guests.
- The 10 minute speaker gives out a door prize, and should spend approximately $20 on a gift. The door prize winner is selected randomly from the weekly pink referral and visitor slips that are handed in during the meeting. Whenever possible, door prizes should be related to the work that the speaker does. Taking someone out to lunch is not an appropriate gift. Door prizes are small gestures to show appreciation to another member who has given a referral that week. Blue, green, and gold slips do not qualify for participation in the door prize drawing.
- If you forget a door prize, remember to bring it to the very next meeting. It will reflect poorly on you if you ignore this and it will leave other members wondering if you are reliable, dependable or trustworthy.
- Occasionally, the 10 minute slot is used for an administrative meeting for the discussion of internal Chapter business only.
- Members giving a 10 minute presentation are introduced by the Secretary. The Secretary uses Member Bio Sheets to introduce them.
- Member Bio Sheets can be downloaded from www.bniconnect.com by logging in to the Members Only section and clicking on Documents. Members should include information about their family and pets, prior jobs, something no one knows about the member that he or she wishes to share, and the member’s “burning desire.”
- If you prefer, you can copy the form from the MSP booklet, and complete it legibly by hand.
- Update it every time you speak (especially “My burning desire is…” and “Something no one knows about me…”).
- Email it or give it to the Secretary in advance.
- Breakfast dues are payable quarterly in the amount of $250, in cash or by check payable to “BNI 3.” They pay for renting the meeting space, for Chapter activities, and for food. Our current policy is that guests do not pay a visitor’s fee and may attend for free. Breakfast dues are due by the beginning of each calendar quarter.
- Any member who fails to pay his or her breakfast dues by the beginning of the 3rd meeting held after the start of a calendar quarter will not be permitted to give a 45-second commercial until those dues are paid.
- A One-to-One is an opportunity to get to know the other members. If you take the time to learn more about your fellow members and their businesses, you will be better able to refer business to them.
- Members are encouraged to meet with one member each week for a one-to-one, and expected to do a minimum of 2 one-to-ones a month.
- List the names of people you had 1:1’s with during the previous week on the blue slips and hand them in to the VP during the meeting.
- Visitors and substitutes should be welcome and treated with great respect. We never know whom they know and what kind of referral source they might be.
- If you bring a visitor, let the Visitor Hosts and President know in advance if possible. The inviting member also should register the visitor at www.bniconnect.com by clicking on Operations and then Register a Prospective Visitor. Finally, the inviting member should send a reminder e-mail to the guest the day before the meeting.
- Fill out a white referral slip on the day the visitor first comes to get credit for bringing a visitor. Make sure you explore whether your visitor might have a conflict with an existing member. It’s always a good idea to let members in related categories know about the visitor in advance, to check out and prevent possible conflicts.
- BNI policy is that an individual may visit only twice before becoming a member.
- When you invite visitors or substitutes, let them know about the structure. Tell them to come early, be prepared to give a brief commercial (and what that includes), and bring enough business cards and materials that they may distribute (to everyone) before the meeting. Tell them about the Referral portion of the meeting, and prepare them to stand and speak about how they feel about the group, the meeting or the experience.
- Visitors may apply for membership by completing and submitting an application, together with payment of an application fee ($150) and annual dues ($410 for one year or $635 for two years). Payment may be made by check payable to “BNI” or by credit card. The application and payment should be delivered to the Secretary/Treasurer.
- Visitors should not come to meetings while their applications are pending.
- The Membership Committee will process the application as described above and notify the applicant whether or not he or she has been accepted as a member.
- The Mentor Coordinator will designate a mentor to assist new members in improving their BNI experience and marketing results.
- New members must attend a Member Success Program (MSP) within 60 days of joining, before they may give any 10 minute presentations. This is a 2-hour introduction to BNI. The calendar for MSPs is located at www.manhattanbni.com under Events at the top of the home page.
- Notify the Secretary after you’ve completed your MSP training.
- Members are notified by the Membership Committee two months before their membership term is up for renewal. Members may apply to renew for one year or two years.
- The Secretary gives members the renewal form.
- Renewal involves submitting a BNI renewal form with payment of annual dues ($410 for one year or $635 for two years) to the Secretary/Treasurer. Payment may be made by check payable to “BNI” or by credit. The renewing member also meets with or speaks to one or more members of the Membership Committee. Renewal is a time to revisit participation (attendance, referrals given and received, participation in 10 minute presentations, fit, and complaints) and expectations. It is not automatic.
- Renewal applications, including payment, are due within 30 days of notification from the MC, to give adequate time to process the application. Members who delay in submitting renewal applications risk automatic expiration of their membership and opening up of their seats to new applicants.
- Each member selects one specific category for his or her “seat.” If an individual’s business encompasses more than one category, she or he may talk about the other category as long as no one is in that seat (e.g., a person who does both graphic design and website design must choose one or the other as his/her category, if both are open).
- A member may change his/her category at a later date to a different open category with approval from the Membership Committee. The individual, rather than the individual’s company, holds the seat and an individual who works for a firm that has employees in other categories must find ways to collaborate or maintain a collegial relationship with Chapter members in those other categories.
- If a member has an issue or conflict with another member, she or he should speak first with the other person and try to work it out. If it can’t be resolved, it should be brought to the Membership Committee. If there are issues or questions about a member’s participation, the Membership Committee will contact the member to discuss.
- The Membership Committee as a whole meets to approve/make recommendations about individuals. If the individual in question sits on the Membership Committee, the meeting will convene without that person present (who will recuse him or herself from the discussions and deliberations by the MC).
- The Membership Committee sends letters to members when issues need to be resolved, i.e. to inform of attendance problems, or when being asked to leave the Chapter (called “opening a classification”).
Meetings end at 8:30am and then members and guests are encouraged to stay and network. The LT or MC may meet in a post-meeting meeting.
- Our Chapter maintains a website at www.bni3nyc.com.
- The VP coordinates with our webmaster to enter information about members and weekly meetings on this site. We post weekly pictures of the winner of the Commercial of the Week, as selected by the prior week’s winner.
- Each member is responsible for making sure his/her information is current on the site. Notify the VP by email of any updates you need to your bio or photo/headshot.