Archive for April, 2011

BNI Learning is the new flagship online learning platform pioneered by the team of Directors of BNI in Australia, together with BNI Director of e-Learning Mark Graber who “in his spare time” is the Principal of Websmart Design.

With the support of Ivan Misner and the team at BNI HQ in the US, Australia is trialling new ways to effectively upskill members in world’s best BNI practices. This is absolutely necessary if we are to listen to adult learning principles, and help members get the most of their BNI experience.

To date over 1,700 members from around the world are active on BNI Learning, including over 700 members in Australia. Ready in time for the April training events, members were encouraged to complete 30 mins of online training on the “how to’s” of their new roles. This allowed the face-to-face training to go in more detail of the “why” of BNI practices, and the feedback from members has so far been outstanding!

For example in Perth where well over 100 members were trained, the feedback was:
– 93% of members felt that the online training answered their questions about their role and what was expected of them; and
– 94% of members said they would recommend this training to others.

We were particularly pleased that Members who had previously undertaken leadership training found the new training refreshing, and they gained new inspiration and knowledge to take back to their chapters.

Michael Sinclair said “I was impressed by the new format of leadership training. Instead of spending three hours going through who does what and when for each meeting, a quick 30 minute “how to” online training session with a short video went through these basics. The face-to-face group discussion fostered discussion between chapters, developing ideas that we could then bring back to improve our own chapters.”
Michael Sinclair, Harper Group Pty Ltd.

The new format of face-to-face training was conversational and, an aspect that was particularly appreciated, allowed members to share their knowledge and experience.

If you haven’t tried BNI Learning for yourself, go to and check with your local BNI Director for your enrolment key!

The key concept in referral marketing is relationships. The system of information, support and referrals that you assemble will be based on your relationships with other individuals and businesses. Referral marketing works because these relationships work both ways: They benefit both parties.

A referral marketing plan involves relationships of many different kinds. Among the most important are those with your referral sources, with prospects these referral sources bring you and with customers you recruit from the prospects. These relationships don’t just spring up full-grown; they must be nurtured. As they grow, fed by mutual trust and shared benefits, they evolve through three phases: visibility, credibility and profitability. We call this evolution the VCP Process.

Any successful relationship, whether a personal or a business relationship, is unique to every pair of individuals, and it evolves over time. It starts out tentative, fragile, full of unfulfilled possibilities and expectations. It grows stronger with experience and familiarity. It matures into trust and commitment. The VCP Process describes the process of creation, growth and strengthening of business, professional and personal relationships; it is useful for assessing the status of a relationship and where it fits in the process of getting referrals. It can be used to nurture the growth of an effective and rewarding relationship with a prospective friend, client, co-worker, vendor, colleague or family member. When fully realized, such a relationship is mutually rewarding and, thus, self-perpetuating.

This simple concept has made a bigger difference in more people’s networking efforts than any other single idea I’ve discussed. For this reason, I’m going to devote the next few blogs I write to explaining each step of the VCP Process individually. Come back on Monday to learn why it all starts with visibility . . . I guarantee you you’ll want to read this one!

For more information visit Dr Ivan Misner Blog.

Categories : BNI Fundamentals
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Last week marked another round of successful Big Breakfasts for Executive Director Rob Warburton, this time in his regions of Sydney Northern Beaches & Sydney North Shore.

Held on Thursday 14th April & Friday 15th April at Long Reach Golf Club & Chatswood Golf Club respectively they had over 180 members and visitors along to network, build relationships and gain some new knowledge.

The big breakfast replaced the chapter’s regular weekly meeting and ran for the regular 90 mins, starting with open networking, two feature presentations and introductions from members. Both mornings members where still networking until 10am even though the meeting finished at 8:35am!

The topic of the morning’s meetings was “Communicating in the 21st Century” with Geoff Butler from Vestra Business Advantage outlining different communication styles and how to improve your public speaking skills. Whilst Natalie Alaimo from Natalie Alaimo International discuss the 8 tips to Success on Social Media.

“Many regions run Big Breakfast meetings with the goal of converting new members, said Executive Director Rob Warburton, and whilst we will gain some new members, our major goal is to provide high quality education to our members so they get value from attending the breakfast and based on comments received on the morning and since then we have certainly achieved our goals.”

Rob Warburton would like to thank Nicki Tofler from Nicki Tofler Events a BNI members who went above and beyond by arranging for Peter Sinclair from Onstage Presentations to assist with the technical staging of the breakfast. Peter donated his time and equipment to make sure the Big Breakfasts were successful. Thanks again Peter & Nicki.

Categories : Events
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