5 Easy Ways to Find a Substitute

In BNI we have an attendance policy – miss more than 3 meetings in a 6 month period and your category can be opened up. Visitors join in spite of the attendance policy, members stay because of it. Here are 5 ways to find someone to sub for you at your next meeting:

  1. Your business partner or colleague. Are you a realtor? Surely there’s another realtor in your office who owes you one. Business partners make great subs because they truly understand your business.
  2. Vendors. Take a look at your checkbook and see where the money goes. Assuming the position is still open in your chapter, ask your website designer, printer, business coach. All of these people have an interest in keeping your business, and in grown their own business. This is also a nice gift to your chapter because they are also a potential member.
  3. Your Adult Child. Yes, your son or daughter can be a great substitute for you. One woman I know has raised her children in the BNI frame of mind, and they often bring referrals for the members of the chapter because they have subbed for their mom and have met everyone. 18 year olds buy things and recommend services too!
  4. Your customer, especially business owners. Just like #2, this is a potential member to the chapter. And who will say nicer things about you than a satisfied customer! Most of my customers already call me when they need a referral to someone, as they know I am well connected. This way they often meet people they have already done business with through me!
  5. The same person you call to watch your dog, take you to the airport, or other such favors. While they might not be a good fit to become a member of BNI, they are a present to your chapter. Did you know that each visitor to a BNI chapter, even if they never join, is worth, on average, $1000 in closed business?

So remember that a substitute can be fairly easy to find, all you have to do is know where to look! They are right there, waiting to pay you back for all the things you have done for them. And they’ll thank you!

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3 responses to “5 Easy Ways to Find a Substitute

  1. Nice Blog, great ideas for BNI members, they forget, don’t plan and don’t realize how valuable great subs are. Good job on the homework assignment too!

  2. I would like to suggest a 6th option — (Jack Taugher, BNI Delafield, “Street Traders” – WI):

    Find another chapter nearby that doesn’t meet at the same time or on the same day. Indicate to them that many of your members would like to pre-volunteer to be a sub for a person in their chapter either: a) pre-arranged for upcoming vacation, b) for a day or two notice or even c) last minute (night before) notice — when the law of reciprocity is available.

    I did so for myself with a nearby chapter myself, WELL BEFORE, needing to call upon a particular person. It’s worked out for me, and it worked out for her when she had travel plans and was taking guests/friends who normally would help as her substitute.

    • While having a member of another chapter sub for you might sound like a great gig, I don’t recommend it except as a very last resort. Why? Because that member has their own group of people they know, like, trust and send business to. While some cross chaptering referral goes on – I know I do it on a regular basis for regional or profession regions – a non-member has a larger base of people for members to meet than does a member of another chapter. Plus a member of another chapter is not eligible to join your chapter, so the combination of the two doesn’t bring the highest value to the chapter. Remember, a visitor or a sub are gifts to your chapter, so make it a great gift!

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