Archive for May, 2013

paul_portraitColumnist Details
Paul Lomas
Executive Director
BNI Brisbane CBD / BNI Brisbane South / BNI ACT & NSW Tablelands
www.bnibrisbanecbd.com

Tell us about your business:

From a banking, publishing and IT background I purchased the Brisbane and ACT regions in 2013.

What are your top 3 networking tips?

1. Make visitors feel welcome.
2. Always turn up to your chapter meeting early.
3. Follow up.

What can’t you live without?

What I can’t live without – My family, my BNI family, my computer and my mobile phone

Which Business Book Would Your Recommend & Why?

How to win friends and influence people by Dale Carnegie. There are many basic strategies in this book that can be easily implemented to make the journey of life just that little bit easier.

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

I was invited by a competitor.

How Long Have You Been a Member For?

17 years

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

President, Vice President, Treasurer, Membership Committee, Education, Events, Visitors Host

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

Better public speaking, more confidence, better networking knowledge, making myself more referable

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

Dress appropriately for the type of referrals you would like to receive

Your Dream Referral Is…

A well connected and influential business person who would like to learn how to grow their business with qualified referrals.

Categories : BNI Guest Columnist
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An extract from Business Networking + Sex

The Survey Says… Family Obligations

Although family obligations were not a big issue to most, the figure below found that women generally found it to be a problem slights more than did men

Statement to rate: I find that family obligations prevent or hinder me from networking

Female Male
Usually or Always 11.9% (663) 9.6% (531)
Sometimes 25% (1394) 23.2% (1285)
Never or Rarely 63% (3502) 67.2% (3719)

Last month we cover what “He Says” about family obligations and networking. This month we look at what “She Says”

She Says… The Conflict Between Family Obligations and Networking

shesayIt’s 4.00pm and I’ve worked a long day, starting with getting the family and myself out the door early in the morning, to shuttle each of us to our respective activities.  In the span of a typical day, the speed of duties is breakneck. I’m running one child to soccer and another to baseball, picking up the dry cleaning, rushing home to get the kids started on their homework for school tomorrow, doing a couple of loads of laundry, putting the dog out, answering the phone, and packing lunches for tomorrow. At the end of the day, while I’m still in the middle of all of this, I hear a voice shouting through the house, straining over the din of the TV, that ask, “Honey, what’s for dinner?” I stop in my tracks and think, What is wrong with him? It’s like having one more child in the house.

As a mom, wife and business owner, managing my time is extremely important. I’m always seeking some sort of balance between those three areas.  Most of the time, I feel like the ringmaster of a three-=ring circus with lots of out-of-control clowns running around me. Before I learned the delicate balancing art of time management, I knew that networking was important for creating visibility for my business, but was torn between commitments with my kids, spouse, school participations and PTA involvement.

If I was going to a networking event, I had to make sure family was cared for in my absence. If it was an evening meeting, and I left the kids with Dad, I had to make sure he had something ready to feed them and leave notes reminding them to get their homework done. When I got home from the meeting tired, I still had to make sure their breakfast and lunch money were set out and ready to go for the next morning. Time permitting, I might even be lucky enough to throw a load of laundry before bed. This chaos and over-demand can be overwhelming and probably is the reason so many women choose to network less than their male counterparts.

The biggest complaint I hear from women is their inability to attend networking events because of family issues such as getting kids to school or daycare. In my own experience it made it difficult for me to network at times. There are more networking opportunities today than there were in the early 1990’s, so women now may have a wider variety of choices to accommodate their family schedules.

The very fact that we are so busy being the ringmasters of our own personal circuses makes it vitally important to make the best use of our networking and business time allotments.  Both genders can help themselves by developing good networking habits, meaning spending lots of quality time building deeper connections with the networks they are already part of rather than running around trying to meet more new people. This can be done in a very manageable fashion and will glean rich results from invested time.

This extract is from Business Networking + Sex (not what you think) by Ivan Misner, Hazel M Walker and Frank J. De Raffele Jr.  Contact your local director for a copy.

Categories : Uncategorized
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May
10

Dress to Impress

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So how should you address when attending a BNI meeting, Chamber Mixer or any other type of networking event?  What is appropriate?

I was involved in a discussion on this very question recently. It took on many views and opinions and I guess it comes down to the individual’s opinion.

Three examples were given in this discussion so let’s share them now and you decide what is best for you.

  • A plumber turns up every week dressed like he has just come off the job, dirty clothes muddy looking boots. Does he look like a plumber? Yes. If he turns up in jeans and a jacket does he look like a plumber? Maybe…
  • A builder who goes everywhere in a tie and coat minimum and a suit where appropriate. He says that he is a business owner and not a builder, so dresses as a business owner.
  • An event service owner who wears jeans, over shirts and always look like he needs a shave. He is having trouble receiving referrals to the corporate hotel and convention centre chains he desires for his business.

dresstoimpressSo what do the three examples say? Should you dress for how you feel? What you do as a business person?

Is your BNI meeting or any other work related meeting a business meeting?  The answer is YES so you must dress as a business person.

There are people who won’t refer you because of the way you dress or present yourself. If I introduce you to a good friend or client are you going to turn up looking like you do for a business meeting or casual and or dirty? This is real and will be costing you business.

So dress to impress?  Yes treat every meeting as a business meeting and dress that way.

Does it mean a suit? Maybe for some, but at least smart trousers/jeans, shirt and shoes is a minimum.

What does it mean for women? Revealing clothing? Casual wear versus smart business clothing? Another new discussion begins..

So how do you DRESS to IMPRESS?

Happy Networking

glennArticle by Glenn Anthoney.  Glenn has been involved in BNI for over 15 years and has won awards for growth.  Over the past 4 years in his region Sydney North West Region he has introduced systems that have seen members return an average of $35k per year from their BNI membership. Glenn is passionate about success and the role word of mouth has to play in that success.

 

Categories : Dressing For Sucess
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Last month I posted 3 Things that Women Do Better Than Men, today it is the guys turn. Can you believe it ladies, there are things that men do better than we women. Of course you can, it is designed by nature. Men are great at doing a variety of things while women are great at others, we are different in every aspect of business and life. In this case we are going to look at 3 things that men do better at networking that women do.

The goal is for us to learn how to network with men and leverage our networks more effectively. Women are great at building strong long term relationship. Where we are weak is taking those relationships and turning them into business opportunities, for referrals and even sales. Here are 3 things that men do better and we can learn to do it too.

1. They can identify business opportunities quicker than women. Men can see opportunity and they are willing to go after in much quicker. In the world of networking, men can identify where they are most likely to be able to get and give referrals with someone.

2. They are more willing to ask for what they want. Their fear of rejection is much less than a woman’s fear of rejection. They are not afraid to ask people to do things for them, and they are clear about what they want and approach people in business with that in mind.

3. Men are much better at not taking things personally, they understand that it is about the business. They can have the business deal go bad and they know it should not get in the way of their friendship.

men hazel

These are great traits for women to be able to do also.

My next post will discuss how we can benefit by learning from each other.

What kinds of thing have you noticed about the differences in men and women networking?

hazelGuest Post Written by Hazel Walker: A passion for learning, personal growth, and relationship-building has been invaluable to Hazels evolution as a woman, a mother and an entrepreneur. Find out more at http://hazelmwalker.com/

Categories : Networking + Sex
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glennColumnist Details
Glenn Anthoney
Executive Director
BNI Sydney Northwest
bnisydneynorthwest.com.au
BNI Sydney Northwest

Tell us about your business:

We help businesses grow and increase profits by providing a proven referral system.

What are your top 3 networking tips?

  1. Follow Up
  2. Meet and Greet with purpose
  3. Listen Listen and Listen

What can’t you live without?

Salt water for recreation and air lol

Which Business Book Would Your Recommend & Why?

The Pendulum by Williams and Drew because it unpacks by historical sections the me and we cycle and the way generations think, buy and therefore how to sell or provide the right philosophy of services.

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

15 years ago my mates brother brought it here

How Long Have You Been a Member For?

15 years

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

President, Vice President, Treasurer, Membership Committee, Education, Events, Visitors Host

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

Plenty

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

How successful it could be and that you had to manage growth

Your Dream Referral Is…

25 people wanting to start a chapter now!

Categories : BNI Guest Columnist
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A lot of networking isn’t in making new contacts but following them up and developing the relationship.

Are you getting results from the time you spend networking? Wish your networking brought you more business, more referrals?

No doubt about it. Networking is the most effective way to generate new business. But unless it’s done properly it can be a waste of time and even counterproductive.  In this article we will cover the final 5 real-world tips to help you turn your networking efforts into bottom-line results.

1. When someone introduces themselves to you, repeat their name immediately. This will help you to remember names easily. Continue to use first names as often as realistically possible. not only when you’re speaking with people in person, but also when communicating with them via email or on social media sites. No doubt about it. Using people’s names helps you build rapport them.

2. Those who drive sales/business growth frequently want to know how to close the deal faster and more often. They often overlook the reality that “prospects/buyers” need to close themselves on the “seller” first before they will buy from you. That means, before YOU can close the deal, your prospect first needs to be sold on the following steps:

  • Do I like you ?
  • Do I trust you?
  • Do I believe that you/your product can do the job for me?
  • Do I believe you understand my business/situation/issues/concerns?
  • Do I have a need for your product/service/expertise?
  • Do I want your product/service/expertise?

handshake3. Don’t lose contact with people who are important to you. Send an e-mail or a text saying something like, “Wondering how you are travelling”….”I was thinking about you today and wondering how you are”….”where does the time go?”…. “It’s been too long since we last caught up for a chat”. “Love to catch up. Are you up for a cup of coffee anytime soon?”…. “I just wanted to touch base to see if you’d like to catch up for a cup of coffee and swap updates on what we’re both doing. Let me know if you’re keen.”…. “We haven’t talked in a while?….I thought it was about time I gave you a call…..It’s been a while between drinks. Just wondering how you’re doing/what you’ve been up to since we last talked? I’d love to/Be good to hear from you when you have the time.”…. “Just a quick update. I/We had a win today (briefly explain). Any good news at your end?”…. “Just rang to see how things are going for you”…. “Just saw your name in my contacts folder and thought to myself it was high time I touched base to say hello. It’s been too long between drinks (person’s name). How’s life treating you? Keeping well, I hope. How about we catch up for a coffee/beer sometime to swap updates on what’s going on in our worlds? Let’s know if you’re keen.”……..”How are you? I feel terrible that I have left it so long. Fancy catching up next week?”…….”This is just a catch-up call. I hope you’re well and busy plenty of business/work coming in for you. If you feel like a chat/If you’d like to have a chat, give me a call”…..”It’s been a while since we’ve seen each other and I thought it would be good to catch up for a coffee and chat. Are you free on (date) at say, (time) in (suburb)? If not, please suggest a couple of alternative times and I’ll try to be as flexible as possible.”  

Allocate time for this important activity. Make it part of your regular routine.  

Now here’s a task for you. Go through your contact list and find 4 people you haven’t been in touch with for a while and send them an email or text inviting them for lunch or coffee. Think of something to say that personalises your message and use the same or similar language above to tee-up a 121 in-person meeting. Commit to sending messages like this to your key contacts on a regular basis. You’ll be glad you did.

4. Don’t hand out/collect hundreds of business cards. We have all been at events and meetings where someone rushes up and thrusts a card at you. They barely caught your name or introduced themselves when they start waving a card. Whatever you do, avoid this kind of behaviour. Collecting masses of cards from people you can barely remember is not effective/productive use of your time. Take the time to connect with each person you meet. Ask genuine questions about them and their background. Spend 20 minutes or more with someone you really enjoy and, in the end, a true connection will be established. Suggest there and then that the two of you meet for coffee or breakfast to learn more about each other. After that meeting send an email saying that you enjoyed catching up with them and invite them to meet again to establish a pathway for building a relationship. Remember it’s quality, not quantity that makes your networking work for you.

5. Don’t call someone after you just met them to ask for a favour. Successful networking is about helping others first. It’s about relating and working with others that you share a mutual interest. Don’t squander the connection. Rather, foster it by inviting him or her for coffee, lunch or a drink after work and get better acquainted. Find some way to connect on a personal level. Don’t sell. Or at least don’t sell hard. Pay the bill, thank the person for coming and stay in touch. Build the relationship and let it develop over time. (What’s the best way to build a relationship? Help the person.) Look to do some kind of favour for your contact first before you call on them to help you. Nothing is a bigger turn-off than the person who calls you after you just met them and wants to pitch something to you. Typically, the receiver of the pitch wants to hang up or run away and usually stops returning messages.

Looking for more networking tips? Read part one here

Happy networking. Maybe we will see each other at a networking event some day.

Referred to as “That Networking Guy” by many organizations, Ron Gibson provides in-depth networking training and coaching, focusing on business growth and development. Get Ron to speak at your next conference or sales meeting about how to bring in more business, more consistently and more often.  Ron can be reached on mobile 0413 420 538 and email gonetworking@iinet.net.au

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