Archive for BNI Guest Columnist

Dec
14

Building Trust In The Sun

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sunsmallerFrom Christmas to 26 January, Australia turns into a different kind of  place.

The roads are deserted in the cities, people dress more casually at work, they go home earlier – and generally take life less seriously. The six or so weeks of the traditional Australian Summer Break show the country in a different light.

And the weeks leading up to Christmas are generally a madhouse of tying up loose ends at work, while juggling an endless stream of end-of-year and Christmas functions.

It’s a lot of fun, that’s for sure … but February can feel like a real hangover.

Because during the last weeks before Christmas and after up to Australia Day, we’ve mostly ignored our marketing activities. Especially our networking and relationship marketing have suffered, and now suddenly it’s February, our cash reserves have dwindled and we need to get some new customers, quick smart.

It can be a tricky time.

Here are some thoughts to make your February feel much better than it might have in previous years.

Doing Your Best In January

Firstly a couple of words about your BNI group:

Many chapters generally slow down during January. If your group is one of those, think about this: the breakfast meetings are primarily designed to impress visitors. Just because your chapter slows down during January, that doesn’t mean you need to stop doing your best for your fellow members.

So schedule in some January one-on-ones, and make a commitment to yourself to spend two hours a week during January on BNI related activities.

Remember we do one-on-ones because of the old saying “people do business with people they know, like and trust”. Business is about people who trust each other. We get to trust each other more as we get to know each other more. It’s not actually about getting to know each other’s businesses so much: it’s about getting to know each other as people. The more I get to know you as a person, the more I will get to trust you – and the more likely it is that I will want to do business with you.

Networking On The Beach

Having some one-to-ones in the summer season in a more relaxed setting and mindset may really help to foster deeper trust. Here are a few ideas:

  • Go and have your one-on-one at a cafe by the beach, in your board shorts. For that matter, why not have your meeting at the beach?
  • Another cool thing to do might be to organise a day at the cricket with a bunch of your BNI colleagues. Plenty of opportunity to talk about business and referrals during a day watching the red ball.
  • Or, maybe you have someone in your group with a boat? Organise a few hours on the water with a bunch of your referral partners. Lots of good opportunity to get to know each other and each other’s businesses better as well.

Referral marketing always starts with one word: Trust.Building trust is rewarding … And there’s no reason you can’t build trust while having fun in the sun.

More Free Time

Besides continuing to build trust in your BNI group, here are some other things to think about during the summer period to keep some good energy in your marketing activities.

  • Most businesses still operate during the break, sometimes on a skeleton staff, and business doesn’t cease during January (although it can sometimes feel that way). So there is actually no reason to slow down too much in your marketing activities.
  • What’s more, people have more time to read what you send them and more opportunities to take time to talk with you.
  • So make sure you send them some good stuff to read, stuff that gives them something to think about – and call a couple of your prospects or clients every week and invite them to have lunch or breakfast.

You’ll be surprised how effective it will be …

I promise you.

Roland-Hanekroot-Web-001This article was written by Roland Hanekroot from New Perspectives Business Coaching.

Roland is the owner of New Perspectives Business Coaching, and the author of “The Ten Truths Trilogy” Business books for business owners who don’t like reading business books, but know that they should. Along with being a 9 year BNI veteran he helps small business owners have more fun in their business and build a business that will sustain them for many years to come.

Roland-Hanekroot-Web-001Columnist Details
Roland Hanekroot
Owner
New Perspectives Business Coaching
http://newperspectives.com.au
BNI All About Business in the BNI Sydney Region

Tell us about your business:

Small business coach, mentor and adviser

What are your top 3 networking tips?

Teach yourself to give without expectation of return. Build referral relationships that are truly two-way

What can’t you live without?

Well constructed living one-page business plan

Which Business Book Would Your Recommend & Why?

Blue Ocean Strategy… it really explains how to set yourself apart from the competition

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

My former business coach suggested it

How Long Have You Been a Member For?

9 Years

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

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

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

lots of referrals and personal growth

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

If you’re not getting the referrals you want, it means you are not making it easy enough for your fellow members to refer to you

Do You Have a BNI Story to share?

I became a grandfather through BNI

Your Dream Referral Is…

Small business owners who are overwhelmed and want to have more Fun in their Business

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Braith Bamkin PortraitsMembers Details
Braith Bamkin
Executive Director
BNI Melbourne West and Geelong
www.bnimwg.com.au

Tell us about your business:

BNI is the worlds largest professional networking organisation

What are your top 3 networking tips?

1. Take things slowly, developing a good network takes time.

2. Invest in getting to know people – it takes time but pays off well in the long run.

3. Be present for opportunity

What can’t you live without?

My iPhone

Which Business Book Would Your Recommend & Why?

Networking and Sex by Dr Misner and Hazel Walker

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

I was invited to BNI at a local networking event and I joined because I was so impressed with the quality of business being generated

How Long Have You Been a Member For?

Member for 3 years

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

Education, Visitors Host

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

I loved the process at BNI so much, I bought the business. It has changed my life and I now love every work day being able to help people.

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

BNI Podcast is an amazing resource

Your Dream Referral Is…

I am always looking for the right people in Melbourne’s Western suburbs who want to start their own chapter.

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Jane-Taylor-Gold-CoastColumnist Details
Jane Taylor
Director
Habits for Wellbeing
www.habitsforwellbeing.com
BNI Director in the BNI Gold Coast Region

Tell us about your business:

The essence of Habits for Wellbeing is “Balancing Lives… One Habit at a Time”, so we can connect with life authentically and live in peace and harmony.

Put simply – find the courage, stop and be with this moment, clear the blockages and resistance, so you can find your way back to your self and feel the connection to everything around you.

We fulfill our mission by facilitating mastermind circles, providing coaching services and running retreats.

What are your top 3 networking tips?

1. Genuinely get to know people and build relationships (i.e. really listen to what people are saying and be interested in them).
2. Give unconditionally and connect people if you can.
3. Just be yourself!

What can’t you live without?

I am a very simple person, so it would just be the basics – water, air, sun, exercise, food, family and friends (not necessarily in that order).

Which Business Book Would Your Recommend & Why?

The Go-Giver by Bob Burg. Why? Because I think it is important to give unconditionally (no strings attached) and part of that is how much value you give people with your presence and what you have to offer.

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

A president in a chapter sent me an e-mail inviting me to BNI. I was in transition and just starting my business attend when she invited me and didn’t attend then. However I followed-up with her about 12-18 months later and attended as a visitor to her chapter and ended up joining one closer to home.

How Long Have You Been a Member For?

2.5 years

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

Visitors Host

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

I have been lucky enough to get to know a lot of local business owners and connect them with clients, which provided business for them. I have also been able to network with similar businesses who have used the services my business provides.

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

How the CATS operated.

Your Dream Referral Is…

The Continuing Professional Development and Education Coordinator of QLD Law Society.

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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.

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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!

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Sonya-1-Orange-jacket-427x640Columnist Details
Sonya Blondinau
Director, Consultant, Author
Walk like a Rock Star
www.walklikearockstar.com.au
BNI Breakfast by the Beach in the BNI Melbourne Region

Tell us about your business:

Walk like a rock star is a business consulting and coaching firm. We show business owners and executives how to find more time, more money and more success in their business or careers.

Sonya spent 21 years as an executive in financial services and has walked in our clients shoes. She has built businesses from start-up, expanded businesses and turned the non-performing into the performing. Sonya recently worked with the CEO of private equity firm and turned it from a bank account with $50,000 in it to a company with $103M in funds under management in 12 months.

We combine Sonya’s business and company director experience with her qualifications in business economics and finance to provide services such as strategy and planning sessions, one on one coaching, workshops and analysis.

Why do we do this?  To get our clients singing and walking like rock stars.

What are your top 3 networking tips?

1. Give without expectation
2. Nurture your database, create and maintain and keep in contact
3. Become a key person of influence in your niche

What can’t you live without?

My Cats – Tyson and Daisy and the collingwood football team

Which Business Book Would Your Recommend & Why?

My book – Releasing the Rock Star Within – Obviously. Because you cannot be 100% successful in your business unless you have sorted out your personal life.

Secondly – Dan Priestley’s – Become a Key Person of Influence. It is easy to ready and simple to implement with immediate results.

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

Through a work colleague.

I joined because I was relatively new to Melbourne and I wanted to spend time with like-minded people and form a network of trusted people I could call on to support my business.

How Long Have You Been a Member For?

7 Months

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

Education

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

BNI has provided me with a network of business partners, friends and colleagues. Without BNI I would have been pfaffing around trying to find editors, printers, booker keepers and even an osteopath. BNI also keeps you focused on business development and it makes you the go to person in your own personal network because people know that you will be able to refer a broker, lawyers, etc.

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

Visit other Chapters

You can refer between chapters

Do You Have a BNI Story to share?

My BNI story is my book. Without BNI there would be no book. My book Releasing the Rock Star Within was written as part of the KPI Course I was doing which I found out about through BNI. The book is written by a BNI’er – me, cover is designed by a BNI’er (Liquid Concepts) it is edited by a BNI’er (Cavaletti Communications), printed by a BNI printer (Excite Print) and the layout editor is from a BNI referral. Pretty cool I think.

Your Dream Referral Is…

Mark Bouros – I would love to be his trusted advisor and be able to work with his teams and management

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Columnist Details
Lindsay Adams
National Director
Referral Institute
www.referralinstitute.com.au
BNI Premier in the BNI Brisbane South Region

Tell us about your business:

The Referral Institute is a training and consulting company that teaches business owners and sales people how to get more business utilising the contacts that you already have in your network.

We have a systematic approach to building better referrals through training and coaching.

What are your top 3 networking tips?

1.  Arrive early and stay late at your networking function.
2.  Only exchange business cards after you have had a meaningful conversation.
3.  Remember always have your networking tools with you at all times

What can’t you live without?

Wine, good food and my vege patch

Which Business Book Would Your Recommend & Why?

Set 4 Life written by Tim Green and Lindsay Adams.

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

I was approached by the Executive Director, who was a friend and business colleague of mine at the time.  I joined because I could see the power of doing business by referral.

How Long Have You Been a Member For?

Since 1998

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?

I have made many good sales and built wonderful friendships

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

Arrive early, stay late.

Do You Have a BNI Story to share?

I joined the first BNI Chapter in Brisbane in 1998 and I’ve been a supporter ever since.

Your Dream Referral Is…

To meet David Marshall from Suncorp Bank so I can share all the good work the Referral Institute is doing with his Branch Managers and lending staff.

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