A great Education Slot presented by James Brooksbank, Constructsys Ltd.
BNI Visitor Hosting: It’s a Team Effort
As your BNI chapter can expect to welcome more than one visitor each week, your team of Visitor Hosts needs to be large enough to properly look after each guest. The expected number of visitors depends on the size of your chapter, of course, and how active members are in bringing guests to your weekly meetings.
Your chapter’s Visitor Hosts also need to organise the team to look after different aspects of Visitor Hosting: greeting, orientation, and follow up.
The larger the chapter, the more Visitor Hosts you need to appoint. Both – ensuring individual attention is given to each visitor, and distributing the workload – mean that chapters should have at least three Visitor Hosts to share the tasks, and to be able to concentrate on high quality hosting.
Because it’s professional, it’s polite – and because happy visitors are great referrers!
Meeting And Greeting
Your chapter’s Visitor Hosts are the first people a guest (and potential new member) meets when they visit your chapter.
They greet new arrivals and help them feel welcome. Visitor Hosts make sure guests have a cup of tea or coffee, and explain how the meeting will run. And because Visitor Hosts are expert networkers, they introduce guests to key people to get the networking ball rolling.
Making Introductions: Everybody Wins
A good Visitor Host finds out which businesses a guest is looking to connect with – but they also establish which members might benefit from meeting the guest. Then the Visitor Host brings them together, introducing guest and relevant members.
Even with only little information available, clued-in Visitor Hosts know to introduce a visitor to representatives of the power team the guest’s business would most likely complement.
Either way, introductions made by the Visitor Hosts enable members and guests to network before the actual meeting begins. Everyone will get the most out of pre-meeting networking – visitor, member, and your chapter.
Visitor Hosts ensure the President has the visitors’ details so they can be individually introduced to the chapter.
Perhaps most importantly for these potential new members, Visitor Hosts explain the Sales Manager Minute (a.k.a. 60 Seconds Infomercial), and the opportunity each guest has to share their business and ideal referral request with the group.
After The Meeting: Orientation & Follow Up
Visitor Hosts not only play a fundamental role in greeting visitors at the start of each chapter meeting, they also help visitors after meetings, both immediately and in the days following.
At the end of each meeting, Visitor Hosts join up with guests for a brief Visitor Orientation. This orientation is the perfect opportunity for guests to ask questions and for Visitor Hosts to talk them through the application process.
During the orientation, Visitors Hosts should:
- Thank the visitors for coming
- Explain the commitments of membership
- Handout the BNI Visitor Packs
- Explain the application process and help visitors complete the application form
- Collect application forms
- Ask visitors to fill out the confidential meeting evaluation form
And because Visitor Hosts are such welcoming people, they phone new visitors a day or two after the meeting to check if they have any questions or need help with the application form.
So The Best Visitor Hosts Are…
A whole range of people! From members who love to greet new people to those who can’t stop themselves talking about how BNI has boosted their business.
While it is important for the group of Visitor Hosts serving on the Leadership Team at any one time to have different talents, they do all share one important understanding: that by growing their chapter they are growing their own business. One inevitably flows from the other.
So Are You Ready To Be A Host With The Most?
Like the sound of being one of the welcoming faces of your chapter and increasing to your visibility and creditability? Great! Talk to your Leadership Team about becoming a Visitor Host.