Archive for March, 2011


An ODE to the BNI Chapter Library

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Written by Joe the Handyman, BNI Northern Stars Geraldton

When I was at school, I ran amuck,
They said I fell off the idiot truck.
My mates were crazy and I was mad,
An embarrassment to my mum and my dad.

But later in life after long duration,
I learned the value of education.
Success in life is not pot luck,
So let’s wave goodbye to the idiot truck.

Successful people I have learned,
Their success indeed, they have earned.
They study and read and educate,
So let’s start now, it’s never too late.

In BNI, what do I find?
People with an open mind.
Willing to learn, willing to grow,
If you don’t believe me, just ask Joe.

There’s no need to be stuck in a groove,
We all have room to improve.
Reading, reading is the key,
So let’s make use of our library.

Download Your Copy To Use In Your Chapter This Week

Categories : BNI Fundamentals
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BNI Canberra Under New Management

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These are certainly exciting times! BNI Australia recent purchased the region of BNI Canberra and NSW Tablelands. The area presently has five chapters and 67 members. With over 25% of members active in BNI for over 5 years, these people are highly committed individuals.

Executive Director Dan Garlick will manage BNI Canberra

National Director Frederick Marcoux said:” The level of commitment of BNI members in Canberra is notable. Dan and I held a Leadership Team forum and over 30% of the members turned up! Some tough questions were asked and hopefully satisfactorily answered. We are working closely with the Leaders to push the average Chapter size to over 30 members as soon as possible. A very positive start to a new era of business development for BNI members in Canberra!”

From 1 February 2011, BNI in Canberra will be managed by Executive Director Dan Garlick. First objective is getting to know the members and find out how we can help them better. Lets face it: people don’t care about what you know, until they know how much you care.

Stay tuned for more updates!

Categories : Regional Updates
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How many times have friends, family and associates said, “If there’s anything I can do to help you, let me know?” How often did you say, “Well, now that you mention it, there are a few things you could do.” If you’re like most people, you aren’t prepared to accept help at the moment it’s offered. You let opportunity slip by because you haven’t given enough thought to the kinds of help you need. You haven’t made the connection between specific items or services you need and the people who can supply them. But when help is offered, it’s to your advantage to be prepared and to respond by stating a specific need.

Don’t let the next opportunity for others to help, slip through your fingers! Being prepared with some simple requests can make a real difference in the success of your business. Systematic referral marketing requires that you determine, as precisely as possible, the type of help you want and need. There are many ways your sources can help you promote yourself and your business by generating referrals. Here are 12 ways that can assist you and your business:

1. Provide you referrals.
The kind of support you’d most like to get from your contacts is referrals—the names of specific individuals who need your products and services. They can also give prospects your name and number. As the number of referrals you receive increases, so does your potential for increasing the percentage of your business generated through referrals.

2. Introduce you to prospects.
Your contacts can help you build new relationships faster by introducing you in person to people they think need your products and services. Furthermore, they can provide you with key information about the prospect. They can also tell the prospect a few things about you, your business, how the two of you met, some of the things you and the prospect have in common, and the value of your products and services.

3. Arrange a meeting on your behalf.
When your contacts tell you about a person you should meet, they can help you immensely by coordinating a meeting. They can help even more by setting up and attending the meeting.

4. Invite you to attend events.
Workshops and seminars are opportunities for you to increase your skills, knowledge, visibility and contacts. Members of groups you don’t belong to can invite you to their events and programs. This gives you an opportunity to meet prospective sources and clients that you wouldn’t normally be in contact with.

5. Endorse your products and services.
By telling others what they’ve gained from using your products or services in presentations or informal conversations, your sources can encourage others to use your products or services.

6. Display your literature and products in their offices and homes.
If these items are displayed well—such as on a counter or bulletin board in a waiting room—visitors will ask questions or read the information. Some may take your promotional materials and display them in other places, increasing your visibility.

7. Distribute your information.
Your contacts can help you distribute marketing materials. For instance, a dry cleaner might attach a coupon from the hair salon next door to each plastic bag he/she uses to cover customers’ clothes. Including your flier in the middle of their newsletter is another idea.

8. Make an announcement.
When attending meetings or speaking to groups, your contacts can increase your visibility by announcing an event you are involved in or a sale your business might be conducting. They can also invite you to make an announcement yourself.

9. Nominate you for recognition and awards.
Business professionals and community members are often recognized for outstanding service to their profession or community. If you’ve donated time or materials to a worthy cause, your contacts can nominate you for relevant service awards. You increase your visibility both by serving and by receiving the award in a public expression of thanks. Your sources can pass the word of your recognition by word of mouth or in writing.

10. Follow up with referrals they have given you.
Your sources can contact prospects they referred to you to see how things went after your first meeting, answer their questions or concerns, and reassure them that you can be trusted. They can also give you valuable feedback that can help you close a deal with the prospect.

11. Serve as a sponsor.
Some of your sources may be willing to fund or sponsor a program or event you are hosting. They might let you use a meeting room, lend you equipment, authorize you to use their organization’s name, or donate money or other resources.

12. Publish information for you.
Your contacts may be able to get information about you and your business printed in publications they subscribe to and in which they have some input or influence. For example, a source who belongs to an association that publishes a newsletter might help you get an article published or persuade the editor to run a story about you.

Keep this list with you and add to it as other needs occur to you. Knowing how to match your needs with the right sources is key to obtaining the type of help you need. You’ll be amazed how much easier it is to spot opportunities and find sources of support. You’ll also be better prepared to respond when someone says, “Let me know if there’s anything I can do for you.” But remember—it’s a two-way street. These support activities are also things you can do to help your contacts promote their businesses and generate referrals. Helping your sources achieve their goals goes a long way toward building effective and rewarding relationships.

Finally, it’s good practice to develop a list of ways to reward referral sources for helping you. Once a referral has become a customer, be sure to recognize and reward your source appropriately. Doing so encourages them to send you more referrals. Distinguish between tangible (e.g., cash) and intangible (e.g., a public “thank you”) rewards. Estimate the cost and set aside some money to pay for your recognition program. The key is to find a unique, memorable way to say thank you and to encourage your colleagues and friends to keep sending you referrals that turn into business.

One small-business owner I know sends a fine pen with a personal note of thanks to each colleague who makes a referral that leads to a sale. Another sends a gift basket and a thank you note. In either case, recognition is provided for the effort of passing the referral.

It may take a while, but if you’ve selected and trained your sources well, and if you use the system to its best advantage, you will speed up the process of turning the ever important referral into business.

Categories : BNI Fundamentals
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BNI Sydney CBD & South celebrated International Networking Week with an Open House at each of their chapters.

Chapters used the Open House to showcase their chapters to the wider business community and of course invite lots of visitors.

All previous visitors are invited back to join in the celebrations where chapter members make sure they are ready to meet and greet the visitors.

The record event for the region was All About Business (who have been showcased on our blog before – link to article) who had a massive 66 visitors, taking the mornings total to 120 people attending the event.

Of the contributing factors to All About Business success is that they run each weekly meeting using the Trade Show approach which means all members are in attendance, members have a sales attitude and all are wearing their name badge. It’s the simple elements of BNI which add up and make all the different.

Due to the number of people, the meeting format was lecture system instead of the usual u shape with the members presenting their Sales Manager Minute from the front of the room.

What happened in your region for International Networking Week? Share your comments below.

Categories : Events
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