Archive for August, 2012

Aug
21

BNI Branding – The How To Guide

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“No Nike without the Tick, no Apple without that Fruit”

If you run a successful, thriving business (and as a BNI Member, that’s almost a given), I bet that you have spent a good deal thinking about what your company and brand stand for.  You are consistent in your message, so that through whichever touch-point your potential and existing clients connect with you – they will get a clear, unwavering sense of what your brand stands for.

Successful Brands Have Consistent Branding 

Think Nike, Coca Cola, Apple… the list goes on.  What if these brands suddenly use a completely different logo? Nike without that famous tick – unthinkable. Or the recognizable Cola Cola-red was replaced with, say, purple in one advertisement, and – why stop there! – they used the font you are reading now instead of the Coca Cola script in their logo?

Confused?  I bet you would be!

Unrecognisable branding?  Most likely.

Bad, bad marketing – leading to plummeting sales?  Without a doubt.

Your Core Values Make Your Branding

At BNI, we understand the value of our brand and systems, and the benefits they offer our members.

BNI members join (and stay with) our organisation, because of our core values:

  • Members build business through meaningful relationships
  • Training and education are at the core of the organisation
  • Tradition + innovation = success
  • Members should always have a positive and supportive attitude

The core values listed here are a large part of how and why BNI is able to generate billions in business for its members across the globe each year.

With the BNI key branding messages coming from these central values, it is important that our chapters’ and leadership teams’ marketing efforts reflect these values through the correct branding elements used.

Your “How to Guide” & Resource: BNIBranding.com

We are fiercely protective of keeping this valuable asset – the brand “BNI” – untainted and clear, so our members get the most benefit our of being part of this brand.  And now you can easily help us to do so.

www.BNIBranding.com is the official online marketing resource for BNI Members and Directors. Here any member can access the latest versions of the BNI logo, branding standards and other artwork to help you market and grow the BNI brand – which will ultimately lead you to attracting more and better visitors and members into your chapters. You can contact your local BNI Director for login information.

If you are in charge of the Facebook page and your chapter’s website, www.BNIBranding.com is the site you should turn to every time you are creating a new piece of marketing or updating your chapter’s web-presence.  But all members benefit from being aware of this great, easy-to-use online resource, as you might want to include the BNI logo on your website, email signature or other appropriate communications, for example.

Some Useful Tips

Consistent Branding => Great Visibility & Credibility => Great Profitability

Whatever marketing and branding work you do regarding BNI, remember that BNI stands for professional, quality business networking and connections.

This and the BNI core values should be consistently reflected in your marketing to make the most of having such a powerful brand behind you.

Ensure you use the correct:

  • Tone of Voice (aspirational, exciting, positive, driven, focused and dynamic.)
  • Language Style (constructive, honest, upfront, confident)
  • Document formats / layout
  • Logo Type (which), Use (how, where) and Supporting Elements (e.g. maps)
  • Colour Palette (approved colours only)

Get Started!

Read more in the useful guide to the BNI Branding Standards, and visit www.BNIBranding.com today to get started creating the most credible, professional and profitable marketing your whole chapter can be proud of!

The site keeps growing, so make sure you pop in regularly for updates – and especially every time you create some new BNI-related marketing material.

Categories : Branding
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There are many reasons why people join networking groups.  The most obvious is that the strong relationships we create in these groups lead to more business through referrals.

Recently, I had a chance to review the data and findings by an independent organisation that conducted a comprehensive survey of several networking groups to determine the value of a member’s “seat” in his or her networking group.

And the results were impressive!

BNI-Style Networking: ROI Examined

The independently surveyed networking groups are of the BNI-type: members attend on a regular (weekly) basis, and there is only one member per business category allowed in each group. 83% of all members in the region participated in the project, and the average group size is 25+ members.

Quantify, Evaluate, Measure: The Networking Survey Objectives

The following were some of the objectives of this independent survey:

  • To quantify the financial value of referrals received by members, both in the last 12 months and since being a member;
  • To evaluate referrals received, including what percentage are internal referrals, and which percentage have been converted into closed business;
  • To update the extent of value-added indirect referrals through repeat business and referrals to other clients by the initially referred clients.

Value of Referral Networks – The Stunning Results

The results of the survey were far better than expected – especially considering the state of the economy.  Below is a summary of some of the findings from the survey (NOTE from BNI Australia: survey currency was USD, currently roughly at par with the AUD).

  • The average amount of business gained from business referrals in the last 12 months was or $37,055.
  • When asked about further orders they had received as the “spin-off” (new referral business that stemmed from the original referral) effect of referrals, the surveyed business networking members were able to identify, on average, an additional $17,668 per year of membership.
  • Combining closed business in the last 12 months with the average value of 2nd/ 3rd generation referrals in a year gives a true value of a membership in a networking group of this type of $54,723 per year. 
  • On average, members who were involved in their networking group for 7 years generated $383,038 since they joined it, thereby underpinning the lifetime value of the membership in a referral network.

Value to the total membership in the regions surveyed equalled $25 million per year—and we are still recovering from a recession!

The Longer You Remain (Actively Involved) In A Networking Group, The Larger Your ROI

The findings of the survey did also illustrate an important point: It took time within the first couple years to build relationships, with a return of $54,720.  However, when members moved into years 3-7 of their memberships, the figures jumped to a yearly return of $312,700!  Even more dramatically, the survey discovered that there were six new millionaires created out of the members surveyed—just from referrals from their fellow members!

Can You Benefit from Training on “How To” Network?

As someone who has studied business networking both academically and anecdotally since the early 80’s, I always knew that training helped members get more business. Still, I was pleased to see that this survey corroborated this fact.

Those members who attended any and all training sessions offered on the “art” of networking saw their businesses increase by 58%, compared to those who did not attend or who attended only one session.  This backs up the fact that taking advantage of any offered training support by a networking group is the cornerstone to members’ returns on their time and investment.

The ROI for members who stay actively involved with their
particular networking group for several years is many
times more than the annual cost of participation.  

In the survey results, it was very easy to see a linear correlation between the amount of time dedicated by the member to a networking group and the average and substantial return on investment that the member receives as he or she stays longer.

BNI Australia – So, How Do We Shape Up?

The financial year 2011/2012 saw another record closed business achievement for the approximately 5,000 Australian BNI Members, who closed $219 million worth of business between them and through outside referrals.  That is an exceptional $45,000 of membership ROI per member!

Well done, Australia, who out-networked those surveyed groups!

Clearly, the ROI based on this survey and BNI Australia’s latest data is incredible – what entrepreneur would take a pass on those numbers? This is why I’m surprised that there are still so many out there who have not yet begun to make business networking a vital element in their overall marketing and sales plans. What are they waiting for?

Called the “father of modern networking” by CNN, Dr. Ivan Misner is a New York Times bestselling author. He is the Founder and Chairman of BNI, the world’s largest business networking organization. His newest book can be viewed at www.BusinessNetworkingandSex.com. Dr. Misner is also the Sr. Partner for the Referral Institute, an international referral training company.

Categories : Networking
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BNI chapters come in all shapes and sizes and over the last fifteen years during my visits to BNI chapters or speaking at BNI big breakfasts, there are three skills that I have observed all the successful BNI members have.

Let’s call this active BNI member Jack, a busy electrician who does both residential and commercial work. His business and life partner Jane also belongs to another BNI chapter and they credit more than 70% of their business growth to belonging to BNI. As their business has grown, they have also encouraged their staff to attend BNI meetings in their absence. BNI is a big part of the culture of Jack and Jane’s business.

Act Like The Host Not The Guest

Whenever I have met Jack or Jane outside of their chapter meetings, they always engage people as if they were the hosts not the guests. This makes first timers and strangers at other networks feel very welcome and best of all they remember Jack and Jane positively. They don’t always attend the same external events, but they are very busy socially and are basically friendly people.

TIP: The next time you see someone who looks a bit lost or confused; offer your assistance – that’s what hosts do.

Network Outside Of BNI at Least Once a Month

The BNI chapters that consistently attract new members and build solid memberships have members who attend additional networking events every month. These events might range from a golf day or a chamber of commerce event through to a conference. The main reason they do this is to expand their business. The secondary reason is that they meet lots of new business people. And during their conversation with these strangers, they mention BNI and invite that stranger along to a meeting.

TIP: Look around your chapter and identify the members who regularly give multiple referrals every week. Talk to them about the networking events they attend outside of BNI and ask if you can tag along to one of these events. Yes your prime intention is to promote your business AND you can also invite strangers you meet to come along to a BNI chapter meeting. Remember you probably have to ask two to three people to attend BNI, to ensure that one shows up.

They Are the Face Of BNI

Jack and Jane understand that they as individuals are the face of BNI. They are not directors; they are active members, who are committed to BNI as well as their business growth. When they meet people socially or at business events, who have never heard of BNI, they make sure they follow up with them after the event. Even if the stranger is a financial adviser or real estate agent (both popular categories at BNI chapters), they still invite them along to a meeting – as they know new chapters are forming all the time. Most of all Jane and Jack know that they are growing BNI as a whole, not just their own chapter. They believe in abundance firmly knowing there is plenty of members and business for all current and future chapters.

TIP: If one of your guests attends a BNI meeting and decides NOT to join BNI for whatever reason, don’t dismiss them from your network. Over the next twelve months, they will still have a need for the products or services from many of your current members. They can tap those needs through connecting with you and accessing your BNI members. Before you know it, you will be the top referral giver at your chapter.

Givers gain is the BNI mantra and we know it works. Jack and Jane are successful BNI members because they live BNI – they build their business growth around being active members. What about you? Is it time you stepped up? What if you took on these three tips for the next ninety days, what have you got to lose?

Happy networking until next time.

 

Article written by the “Australian Queen of Networking” Robyn Henderson

Global networking specialist, Robyn Henderson has authored and contributed to more than 30 books on networking, self promotion and self esteem building. She has spoken in 12 countries, presents over 150 times per year and has never advertised. All her work comes from networking, referrals, LinkedIn and her website www.networkingtowin.com.au

Members Details
Frank Palumbo
Property Inspector
Resicert Property Inspections
http://resicert.com/
BNI Richmond in the BNI Western Australia Region

Tell us about your business:

Resicert Property Inspections, simply helps people buy property with peace of mind. We provide a range of property inspections – Pre Purchase, Pre Listing, Landlord Maintenance and Practical Completion inspections.

Resicert Property Inspections

Brilliant inspections, best reports, fast!

What are your top 3 networking tips?

Understand how you can help the other person first

Contribute before expecting contribution

Don’t take relationships for granted, and be prepared to constantly grow the relationship

What can’t you live without?

My wife and two children

Travel

Good Food and Wine

Sport

Which Business Book Would Your Recommend & Why?

Who moved my Cheese? – Dr. Spencer Johnson

A simple way to highlight – Changes, will occur throughout your life in all aspects, learn to deal with, so you can maximise what you want to achieve. You have the option to shape your life or have some else shape it for you

How Did Your Find Out About BNI & Why Did You Join?

Invited by an industry colleague, who I had just met. I was impressed by Justin from the start and decided to accept his invitation. At the first meeting I knew straight away that the members are actioned orientated and like minded. I believed that I could add value and also gain value from the group.

How Long Have You Been a Member For?

6 months

What value & benefit have you or your business gained by being a BNI Member?

I have received referral work after a very short period of time. To-date I have given far more than I have gained (dollar value) however, I’m sure it will balance out.

Testimonial feedback has been very rewarding.

What Do You Wish Someone Had Told Your When You First Joined BNI? 

Its more than 1.5 hours per week

Do You Have a BNI Story to share?

I love how one person in the group can refer a client from outside to one member in the group who can then be referred to several other members within the group. This is better than the Walmart productivity loop!

Your Dream Referral Is…

Centres of influence who appreciate our ability to add value to their clients. We believe that no property should be purchased without full disclosure.

Categories : Featured Member
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The old saying that we “treasure what we measure”—and vice versa—turns out to be highly relevant in networking.

I created a survey of 12,000 men and women for one of my most recent books. As my co-authors and I explored the extent to which survey respondents correlated success and networking, we discovered that most of the people who credit networking for some of their success also maintain a system for measuring the dollar value of their networking activity. Conversely, most of the respondents who said networking played no role in their success had no system for tracking any money generated by their participation in networking groups.

In a world where news media frequently reports the latest sports scores, stock market numbers, and even the weekend’s top-grossing films, wouldn’t you think common sense would motivate business networkers to track how much they’re making from their efforts?

Unfortunately, common sense isn’t all that common.

In the survey, more respondents said they did not have a system than said they did have one. More importantly, women said that they did not have a system to follow up more than men did! It is easy to see that the more systematic you learn to make your networking the more productive you are going to be.

Male or female, having a system is key to success. However, for women, this can really be a major key for them. Why is this?

Women have fewer hours to actually spend networking. They have to balance family responsibilities from getting kids off to school in the morning to getting them to their after-school activities, home for dinner, and off to bed. Add to that all the other activities that they need to take care of in a given day and there is little time for networking.

Having systems to follow up and stay in touch allows for more productive activities and results from networking activities. There is no way to create success if your success is out in “airy-fairy” land. Hard facts and data tell you what you are doing well and what you are not doing at all. Tracking is a key factor in success.

Track Everything

There are so many things that need to be tracked:

  • What organizations you belong to and what results you are getting from them?
  • How much time are you spending networking and working your network?
  • How much money have you made as a result of your activities?
  • Who is sending you referrals, and how much of your income are they responsible for?

You must have systems around all the tracking as well as systems for:

  • Following up with those people you meet
  • Staying in touch with your network members
  • Rewarding your referral sources
  • How you are going to help your referral sources

Here is the key point: If you learn to use good systems, it will allow you to get better results in much less time. This will free up more of your time for family and personal life. The work and time is upfront developing and implementing the system. On the backside, you will spend much less time going out networking and more time working in your network.

Members Details
John Fahey
Owner
Nepean Valley Pure Water
www.nepeanvalleypurewater.com.au
BNI Nepean in the BNI Northwest Region

Tell us about your business:

We supply pure fresh drinking water in 15ltr bottles through a reverse osmosis which removes the bacteria,viruses,salts,heavy matals,chemicals.we also supply water dispensers

What are your top 3 networking tips?

service,service,service

what you promise make sure you deliver

when going to networking events make sure your brand is visable name on shirts,business cards,etc

What can’t you live without?

golf,rugby league,coffee,work

Which Business Book Would Your Recommend & Why?

kerry packer

How Did Your Find Out About BNI & Why Did You Join?

through a existing member to promote my business

How Long Have You Been a Member For?

3 years

What Position/s On The Leadership Team Have You Held? 

President, Vice President, Education, Visitors Host

What value & benefit have you or your business gained by being a BNI Member?

I am lucky to have a business that is on going once we sign up a customer they buy the product on a regular basis

What Do You Wish Someone Had Told Your When You First Joined BNI? 

nothing realy I had a good idea what I was signing up for

Do You Have a BNI Story to share?

There all good stories I love listening to successful people like how they started and they run there business I get a lot out it to which i feed off

Your Dream Referral Is…

Any office, surgery.Factory and household

Categories : Featured Member
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