Archive for November, 2013

xennox48Members Details
Karl Schwantes
Managing Director
Xennox Diamonds
BNI Wharf in the BNI Brisbane Region

Tell us about your business:

We are obsessed about finding the most perfectly cut diamonds and handcrafting amazingly unique engagement and wedding rings. Our aim is to make every piece we create even better than our clients wildest dreams. Every client deserves to have a truly memorable experience that they will never forget.

What are your top 3 networking tips?

1. Be personable, warm and genuine in your greeting
2. Ask first about their business and show real interest in finding out all about their business and what makes them unique.
3. Offer to help them with the benefits of your business if there is an interest in what you do.

What can’t you live without?

Work life balance is always a challenge. I am so passionate about creating amazing pieces of jewellery and helping clients along their journey, that i think about work constantly. Spending time with my family on holiday’s is something that i am driven to do, to let them experience all that life has to offer.

Which Business Book Would Your Recommend & Why?

Getting Everything You Can Out of All You’ve Got: 21 Ways You Can Out-Think, Out-Perform, and Out-Earn the Competition.  Jay Abraham

Very insightful book on how to improve your business by thinking outside the box, and filled with real life examples of people doing it.

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

Being someone who loves meeting new people and networking, i came across a group of BNI members at a function. One thing led to another and i was invited to attend one of the meetings. Needless to say, i thoroughly enjoyed the experience and signed up straight away.

How Long Have You Been a Member For?

2 months

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

Having the opportunity to meet ”like minded” business owners, who understand the concept of givers gain. The more we can do for each other, the better the group will succeed.

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

Nothing really. I have enjoyed every minute of my experience. All of the members that i have interacted with, have acted with the highest level of integrity, and always shown a great willingness to help me.

Do You Have a BNI Story to share?

I was looking to organise a special family holiday with my family. One BNI member in the travel industry was able to find the right kind of holiday that suited my unique family arrangement (triplet 7 year olds and a 9 year old), organise all the tours and flights, without any fuss.

Your Dream Referral Is…

Anyone looking to purchase a piece of jewellery to celebrate a significant life milestone. Whether it is an engagement ring for a proposal, a wedding ring for the exchange of their vows, an eternity ring for their anniversary, or a maternity ”push present”, we are always here to help.

Categories : Featured Member
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Lets get one thing straight, just because someone gives you a business referral, doesn’t mean you automatically have a sale.  This referral is simply an opportunity to do business with someone who you have been recommended to.  If you can provide the expected products or services that the prospect is seeking and they are satisfied with the process, then you may have the privilege of doing business again.  If you can’t get this first sale across the line your referral source will most probably dry up.

The issue here revolves around your ability to sell.  Anyone who has experience in referral marketing will tell you unequivocally that sales skills are essential as well as referral marketing skills.  In fact sales skills are needed in every part of the process, not just closing the sale.

Dr Ivan Misner the father of modern networking researched referrals versus sales in the early 90’s.  He found that thirty four percent of referrals made between business’ owners resulted in recorded sales.  An interesting statistic, not amazingly high, though significant for business owners in terms of the power of referrals versus sales.

Subsequent research by a university student replicating Misner’s original research conducted around ten years later revealed some more interesting facts.  Thirty four percent of referrals made between business owners resulted in a recorded sale.  Yes you are suffering from déjà vu.  The exact same result as ten years before!

What does this mean for business people?  Sales skills are important and some people are better at closing sales rather than others.  However one does not exist without the other.  You are thirty four percent more likely to make a sale if you get a referral and sales skills are an essential ingredient of that process.  There are countless avenues available today to learn the art of sales

The worst thing that you can do after you receive a referral is to be aggressive, indecisive or evasive.  The prospect wants and expects a high level of respect, service and professionalism.  Remember this is a win-win situation and the better you come across at this stage, the better it will be for both parties.  You get the business, they get the goods or service

Once you meet your prospect, you have to persuade them to bring the sale to a close.  This is what people think of when you suggest the term sale.

Third, once you’ve made the appointment, persuade the prospect to buy your product or service.  This is the part that usually comes to mind when one hears the word “sale.” Integrity is paramount at this stage.  The prospect should know exactly what to expect: no hidden charges, no unexpected exceptions and no bait-and-switch.  If you’ve created a highly efficient system of generating referrals for your business, you’ll see a steady stream of referrals.  This doesn’t guarantee that you’ll be capable of closing any of them.  It takes sales skills to turn prospects into new clients or customers.

The message about sales in referral marketing is this: If you’re not comfortable in sales or if you haven’t been professionally trained, sales training is a worthwhile investment.  Keep this message in mind and it’ll serve you well in every aspect of relationship marketing and referral networking.

© 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 or email Lindsay directly at 

Categories : Referrals
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