Being a Sub in BNI Does Not Give You Member Privileges

By in , , , ,
Being a Sub in BNI Does Not Give You Member Privileges

Have you prepared your BNI substitute for your meeting?

To build a business by referrals requires that you create relationships built on trust. Those relationships are built over one to one conversation—give and take . The reason that we have open networking as an official part of the meeting is to facilitate getting to know each other for the BNI members, substitutes and any visitors/guests.

BNI Chapter Meeting

The part of the meeting that is for the BNI members is when they stand and ask for the business referrals they are seeking. The members of each BNI chapter are allowed to do their weekly presentation. People who are not members of the chapter do not have the privilege of asking the rest of the chapter members to refer business to them.

We allow members of one BNI chapter to substitute in other BNI chapters, with the understanding that they are representing the member they are there subbing for. The benefit of subbing in another chapter is to meet other business people to add to your network, so that you can schedule one-to-one meetings with them and learn more about each other. This follows the path of trust.

The substitute policy was not put in place so that members could take advantage of getting member privileges in multiple chapters. 

Givers Gain

If the only reason you are subbing is so that you can stand up and ask for business, then you miss the point of Givers Gain. Rather than looking at what’s in it for you, you might want to consider what you can do to support the members of that business chapter, and how you can build relationships with them.

Trust written in sand on the beach.

Subbing for members in other chapters is a BNI GIVERS GAIN activity and when approached with that attitude you build trust and credibility.  When you are subbing you are NOT a member of the chapter and you do not get the same BNI privileges those chapter members do— the weekly business presentation.

If you want to ask them for referrals, book one-to- ones with them then hand them your business card and let them know you would like to learn more about what THEY do and how you can help them. In return, the members will learn what you do and begin to help you too.

Keep It Simple


There are few women better at building a global network than Hazel Walker . Renowned for her straight talk and no-holds-barred approach, Hazel is a globally sought after speaker.

This Walker This Way video talks about having a BNI substitute!

  1. Just so you all know, I agree completely with what was stated.

    very inappropriate and disrespectful to those BNI members.

    Furthermore, your business may conflict with a member of that chapter and would be very disrespectful.


Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *