Archive for October, 2013

In this fourth and final instalment of the “Why People Resist Networking” Video Series, Dr. Ivan Misner® discusses a fourth reason why people likely shy away from networking–Lack of Understanding.

Unfortunately, many people simply don’t understand what networking is and, in addition, they don’t understand the benefits of networking. In this video, Dr. Misner puts some common misconceptions to rest about what networking is and explains why, no matter what business you’re in, it’s best to “take off your bib and put on your apron” if you want networking to work for you.

Categories : Networking
Comments (0)

peterMembers Details
Peter Bailey
Broker
Queensland Finance & Leasing
www.yourfinanceguy.com.au
BNI Wharf in the BNI Brisbane North Region

Tell us about your business:

QF&L has been operating for over 20 years, providing a wide range of banking and financial services to a diverse and growing client base. We use a panel of financiers to provide commercial and consumer finance for the purchase of motor vehicles, machinery, plant and equipment and other identifiable goods.

What are your top 3 networking tips?

1. Approach people and ask them about themselves, as this always gets the conversation rolling.

2. Invite those standing alone to join your conversation group as they will appreciate it and remember you

3.Follow up with people you have meet and business cards collected

What can’t you live without?

Ski time

Which Business Book Would Your Recommend & Why?

Richest Man in Babylon, if only to freshen up your own line of thinking and direction.

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

I heard about BNI from a bookkeeper client, who suggested it was a good way to increase my referral base. I attended several meetings held by different chapters until I found one that suited me.

How Long Have You Been a Member For?

6 years

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

Treasurer, Membership Committee, Visitors Host

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

I have continually gained new business from both internal and external referrals which have enable the business to become a supplier of choice.

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

That you need to put in the effort to become known and trusted, before the referrals start to flow.

Do You Have a BNI Story to share?

Even after 3 years of doing my 60-second infomercial, a member still wasn’t sure if I could help them get finance for a used truck, so either they hadn’t been listening or I need to sharpen up what I was saying…..so I did the latter.

Your Dream Referral Is…

An established earthmoving or road transport operator who changes equipment on a regular basis.

Categories : Featured Member
Comments (0)

jacquiMembers Details
Jacqui
Owner and Graphic Designer
No Grey Creative
www.nogrey.com.au
BNI Bayside Boomers in the BNI Melbourne Region

Tell us about your business:

We provide graphic design and branding services to businesses. Including logos, brochures, websites and all things in between.

What are your top 3 networking tips?

1. Listen and let the other person talk
2. Its better to turn up to events alone as it forces you to get amongst it and meet new people
3. Never, ever sell to anyone

What can’t you live without?

My dog Pippi

Which Business Book Would Your Recommend & Why?

Im not much of a business book reader, however, a friend gave me ’100 habits of successful graphic designers’ recently which i have enjoyed reading and implementing into my business. Its nice to have a Graphic Design specific business book as that is rare. People like me need visuals!

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

A copywriter, who was at the time a client of my father (he is a home loan broker). They were chatting about me and how I was starting my own business and she was a member of BNI and invited me to come along via my father. I honestly joined because I had no experience or training to run a business and it seemed like the type of place I could learn something. Plus I was very lonely working on my own. Also, apart from not having the money I couldn’t find a single excuse not to attend the meeting! I found the money some how and joined after one visit.

How Long Have You Been a Member For?

5 Years

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

President, Membership Committee, Education, Events, Visitors Host

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

I have learned above and beyond my expectations of what I thought BNI would be, here are just a few of the values and benefits…..
• Public speaking abilities
• Presentation skills
• Managing people and groups
• Networking skills (SO IMPORTANT)
• How to speak succinctly about my own business
• How to speak to people in other industries
• There are some very dodgy business people out there!
• I love that I can learn business tips and ideas from others in the room around me
• Ive made so many life long contacts and friends that I would otherwise never have met
• I don’t have to run my business by myself

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

Nothing really, I have really enjoyed the learning process.

Do You Have a BNI Story to share?

I have many! This one is not really business related but good for a chuckle.

I was in a amateur production of Annie a few years ago. Because I was quite shy about some people coming along to the show, I didn’t really publicise it that much. I only invited a select few, especially from my business sphere. I sent out an email BCC to about 20 close business contacts telling them the details of the show and invited them to come along.

Anyway, one of the recipients who was a member of my BNI group mistook the email and assumed that it was written to our BNI chapter. As she was the events co-ordinator at the time, she then proceeded to advertise the show to everyone in the chapter and make it the next social event for us!! I was horrified at the thought of everyone turning up from our Chapter to see me sing and dance on stage. Of course everyone was really keen to come along and we had a great turnout. It ended up actually working to my advantage because it really increased my visibility and credibility and the people who came to the show were very impressed and had a fantastic evening.

I’ll never forget catching a glimpse of their faces in the audience that night! Very funny.

Your Dream Referral Is…

To brand and creatively support a group of independent travel agent retail stores.

Categories : Featured Member
Comments (0)

Good marketing starts with a clear definition of your target market.  In fact any good marketing text will tell you that it is crucial to identify your target market if you want to be successful in business.  You must know who your target is so that you can craft the best marketing message to adequately convey the value you offer to any potential buyer.  Understanding your target market enables you to design the features or services that you will take to market.  This could include things like price, packaging, distribution and a range of other issues that impact on market share.

Put simply it comes down to three basic facts:

  • Who wants my product or service?
  • Where will they find them?
  • How will I reach these potential buyers with such a compelling message that they will buy what I have to offer?

Doing business by referral revolves around generating referrals that result in closed sales.  In referral marketing the marketing message is always the same.  It all starts with a clearly defined target market.

Why is target market so important?

There are many reasons why target market is so important.  A clearly defined market will enable you to create word of mouth marketing within a specific buying group so that business comes to you.  How do you become known and get people to refer to you?

You could join a business group, trade Association or Club and build relationships with people within that target market.  You could write articles for that target market or offer to serve in a leadership capacity within the Association or Club.  As people in that target market begin to get to know you either personally or by your reputation and they hear good things about the services you provide, they may seek you out and buy from you.

OK, so you understand the power of word of mouth advertising, how do you use that to generate more business?  If you have the luxury of a small target market you can simply create a positive referral based business by doing a great job and relying on the satisfied customers you have to spread the word about you among the rest of that target market.  Sadly we don’t always have small and concentrated target markets like this.

Two very different people attended one of my sessions on referral marketing recently, both wanted to learn how to get more business by referral.  Both worked in the financial planning industry and understood the importance of doing business by referral.  We’ll call them Planner A and Planner B.  We focussed in on target market.  It was easy to identify which financial planner was going to be more successful.

Planner A said their target market was anyone with money to invest and wanted a secure financial future.  Planner B had a very different perspective.  Planner B said they wanted to work with young professionals between the ages of 25 and 35 years of age, preferably couples with no children and clear financial goals.

Planner B wanted to work with people who were clear about their future and because they were in the same age bracket understood the issues and challenges they faced.  Not only that they knew that young professionals often had a habit of spending up big and not saving for the future.  This planner had lived a very basic upbringing and wanted to secure a sound financial future for themselves and was passionate about spreading the word to other young professionals in the same age bracket.  They were very clear on their target market.

Both financial planners were competent however Planner B had targeted young professionals, was more passionate and it literally oozed out of their pores.  Combine that with a clear target market and it was obvious that Planner B was destined for success.  This planner only had to work with a few young professional couples and I predict word would spread fast among the target market, bringing more and more referrals and of course closed business.

Planner A would have to pitch their services to clients everywhere hoping to find someone who will work with them.  They will not have the ability to get referrals from a clearly refined target market like Planner B.  Other than being competent they have little extra to offer to potential clients other than they are a generalist, rather than a specialist financial planner.

The message for business owners and sales people is clear, if you don’t have a clearly defined target market, you must spend time defining one.  With a clearly defined target market you will create a steady stream of referral business.

© Lindsay Adams 2013.  All rights reserved.

Article written by the Lindsay Adams National Director of the Referral Institue

Lindsay Adams National Director, Referral Institute The Referral Institute is a training and consulting company that specializes in working with business owners and sales people to help them develop referral their marketing vision, plans and goals, before they go to BNI to take action.  Find out more at www.referralinstitute.com.au or email Lindsay directly at Lindsay.adams@referralinstitute.com.au 

 

Categories : BNI Fundamentals
Comments (0)

In this third instalment of the “Why People Resist Networking” Video Series, Dr. Ivan Misner® discusses a popular theme surrounding why people tend to resist networking–impatience. If new networkers don’t see immediate payoff from their efforts, they become impatient, inevitably resulting in failure early on in the networking process.

Watch the video now to find out why you owe it to yourself (not to mention the business you’ve put so much hard work into) to adopt a systematic and patient approach to networking. Remember, when you approach networking like a long distance marathon runner, you will reap sweet rewards; if you approach it like a sprinter, simply trying to reach the end as quickly as possible, chances are you’ll end up breaking your ankle (so to speak) and you will have failed before you ever have a chance to even reach the finish line–needless to say, there’s no prize in that.

Comments (1)
Oct
02

Why A Referral Request?

Posted by: | Comments (1)

Soon you will start to hear the term Referral Request in BNI Meetings and Training Sessions. This has been introduced to replace, the terms; Sales Manager Moment and Infomercial.

Why is this, you are probably thinking? Let me explain.

The term Sales Manager and Sales Team has been used in BNI in the past, but, really you are not selling for the members, your role in this is to introduce them to someone who has a need for their products or services.

The same with the term Infomercial, which BNI has not used for many years, but some older members still use the term. An infomercial is designed to sell to it’s audience. If you focus on selling to the group, how big is your market?

If you answered as big as the number of people in the room, you were right.

Remember you are not selling to the group you are selling through them, to the 150* plus people they know. If they need your product or service, don’t worry, they will go to you first because they already have a relationship with you.

The whole idea of referral marketing is as simple as 3 steps:

1. Look / listen / find someone who needs or could use my products or services

2. Tell them about me.

3. Introduce me

Things for members to remember when doing a referral request:

TELL THEM

1. Target market; who needs or could use my products or services, you need to know this first.

2. Tell them a story about how you helped someone or solved their problems, a point of difference is always good here too.

3. How to Introduce you.

4. Who you want to meet – be as specific as possible.

Keep this in mind when you are planning your next Referral Request and remember, be careful what you ask for, you just might get it.

*Quoted from Dunbar’s number theory

Brent is BNI Australia’s longest serving BNI Director, and Executive Director of BNI Melbourne South. You can contact him at brent.edwards@bni.com.au.

Categories : Referrals
Comments (1)