Home » Death by Substitute – Are You Sure You’re Using Substitutes Correctly?

Death by Substitute – Are You Sure You’re Using Substitutes Correctly?

by Richard Foulkes

Everyone knows about VCP in BNI and that V stands for Visibility. We achieve Visibility when our fellow members know who we are and what we do.

Showing up at the meeting is the first crucial part of achieving Visibility.

Conversely, not showing up means we lose Visibility (and Credibility). If it happens enough, the other members lose trust in us and think we don’t care.

To help us maintain our Visibility and Credibility we can send a substitute in our place if we are planning to be away.

The very best substitute is a client who will rave about your business.

The next best is a colleague – they will know you and how you operate.

Build up your own list of substitutes to avoid needing to use the Last Resort substitute list.

Lastly is the Last Resort Substitute. The substitute that comes all the time for anybody and does a reasonable job for you but doesn’t know your business. 

1. Give them plenty of notice. They are for planned, not unplanned absences.

2. Register them in the App. That tells the Leadership Team you are going to be away and you’ve arranged a sub. The sub will get email reminders to turn up.

3. Text them the day before to remind them.

4. Give them a guide for what they should say and how.

5. Give them your referrals and testimonials for the week. This shows that even though you are away from the meeting you are working for the chapter.

As much as a lot of absences affects your VCP, a substitute, not matter how good, is not you.

Only you are you! The relationships developed in the chapter weaken every time you aren’t there. A substitute is a placeholder.

Sending a sub every other week means you don’t meet visitors or new members and you will lose contact and that feeling of belonging in the chapter.

For this reason, BNI policy is a maximum of 3 substitutes in a rolling 6 month period. Together with the allowance of 3 absences in a rolling 6 month period you can be on holiday, unwell etc without affecting your VCP.

Substitutes are a great way of showing you care about the chapter when you can’t be there, but they aren’t a real substitute for you when used too much.

You may also like