Have you ever gotten a haircut over the phone? Probably not. It is just one of those things that you have to actually be present for to get results.
It is the same with BNI® and other business groups. People join these organizations to increase their business through referral marketing. However, you have to show up at networking meetings to get more referrals and make more money.
The Effects of Being Absent
Years ago, I did a study in BNI about absenteeism. It showed that members who had fewer absences were the members that received a whole lot more business. One chapter reduced absenteeism by more than 50%. Their membership went up 55% and their referrals went up 71%!
Conversely, the study also showed that as the number of absences doubled, the amount of closed business a member generated fell by 50%. Members who think that regularly missing meetings doesn’t really matter are greatly mistaken. The data is crystal clear. You are sabotaging your own networking efforts if you pay for a membership in an organization and you don’t go to the meetings.
Intellectually, we understand that it is important to build relationships, however it may not be obvious just how critical it is. The old adage “out of sight, out of mind” is absolutely true. It’s true in referral networking; it’s true in BNI with weekly chapter meetings, and it’s true with monthly business groups. For effective referral marketing, you have to participate – consistently participate.
Trust is built by meeting regularly, when your fellow networkers know they can count on seeing you every time. Being present at your chapter meeting helps you be top of mind and remembered by the other members during the time between the meetings. Attendance with the group is part of the process of building the relationship and is crucial for maintaining and strengthening your business relationships.
You cannot get a haircut over the phone. You cannot have a successful business group if you don’t show up. Absenteeism affects membership and referrals. High absenteeism results in low referrals. Low absenteeism results in high referrals.
It’s your choice. Miss meetings and lose business OR go to meetings and get more business. Remember, you have to show up to get more referrals.