Visitors bring business TO chapter members. They often need the services of one or more BNI members, who are already viewed with professional credibility by the members that the visitor meets.
Ivan Misner stated that the value of visitors is one of the greatest “opportunity costs” in a chapter. (An opportunity cost is when we make one decision and it negates the ability to make another decision.) When it comes to Visitors, the decision not to invite someone actually can cost the chapter quite a bit of lost revenue.
Manhattan BNI has expressly stated that if visiting BNI members or Subs from other chapters are a conflict with a chapter member, they will not promote their business.
However, regarding non-BNI visitors, especially first-time visitors: The BNI Meeting is your chapter’s opportunity to show them how the members support one another and bring business to each other on an ongoing basis. Visitor Hosts will mention our policy to a visitor who has the same profession as a chapter member, and prompt them on how they should introduce themselves: “Tell the group your name, the name of your business or what you do, and who invited you to experience a BNI meeting.”
The President, when beginning the Visitors Introductions, can remind them of the above as well, “Tell the group your name, the name of your business or what you do, and who invited you to experience a BNI meeting.” By hearing the same instructions again it helps the Visitor deliver an appropriate introduction.
What’s important to remember is that a Visitor, especially a first-time Visitor, wants to do the right thing, and isn’t trying to step on anyone’s toes. They simply need to have a clear idea of how to introduce themselves.
It comes down to an obvious fact: If a visitor is able to get business you thought should go to you, you weren’t going to get that business anyway.
Become THE person in your chapter that everyone Knows, Likes, and TRUSTS, and YOU’LL get all the business you deserve, no matter what visitors are in the room.