Posts Tagged ‘BNI’
Tuesday, July 1st, 2014
I know this saying is a bit cliché, but what a difference your point of view makes. Displaying a positive and supportive attitude in business is so incredibly important. Seeing the world as full of opportunity is a true marker of successful people. In BNI we feel it is so important that we even include it as a part of our Code of Ethics. Recently, I experienced a significant delay on an international flight. In fact, the Captain said he had not experienced this cause for delay in over 10 years. While the crew and most of the passengers were patient, the gentleman behind me became belligerent to the point of frustrating the crew and all the passengers around him. I’m pretty sure he came close to being thrown off the plane. I asked the First Officer if it was common to have to deal with people like that. Sadly, he said it was but that life was too short to let it bother him. He said his job was to get people to their destination safely and that he would let nothing deter him from that mission. He went on to say that he would always prefer to deal with a maintenance issue on the ground versus 38,000 feet over the Atlantic Ocean. Proper maintenance can insure optimum performance whether on a plane or running a business.
Life comes at you fast and speed bumps will appear in your path. Change is a part of life and when you embrace change it can become a very relevant and positive part. In business change keeps us relevant; however, any successful business will still embrace its traditions and fundamentals even as it changes. BNI has gone through many changes in the last couple of years, the largest of which is the transition to BNIConnect and using online slips. These changes are designed to do only one thing: help members make more money. We have over 160, 000 members in over 6,500 chapters around the world. Last year our average member made over $38,000 in closed, referred business and that’s a record.
For our organization to continue to be the best in the world, just like the pilot, we have to “deal with a few maintenance issues” from time to time. I recently re-read part of a book called Good to Great by Jim Collins. The book is about how good companies become great. Let’s apply some of his strategies to good chapters and help them become great ones. In the way of a summary, I am providing a few bullet points below and have oriented them toward BNI:
- Put your best people in leadership roles and have them focus on the biggest opportunities, not the biggest problems.
- See what is essential and relevant to the mission of helping members make more money.
- Embrace a culture of discipline and the proven systems of BNI.
- Technology creates breakthroughs, but only if we embrace it. BNIConnect is driving referred business to new levels around the globe.
- BNI Leadership teams and chapters need to be fanatically driven to produce sustainable results.
- Leaders are plow horses, not show horses. Doing the work is more important than talking about it.
- Accountability to the Member Traffic Lights drives business.
Lastly, setting off on the path to greatness requires confronting the brutal facts of current reality. If your chapter does not have over 50 members making on average of over $100,000 in member profit a year, then the brutal fact is that the chapter can do better. It is time to do a little maintenance. If your chapter is not producing that kind of results, then let’s confront it and change. BNI has the systems, tools, processes, and programs to help chapters achieve this kind of success. Many chapters do achieve it. What we need are leaders who are willing to do the work, who believe in Givers Gain, and who are deeply passionate about creating success for others.
We are currently bringing on new leadership teams to be trained in September, 2014. These teams will lead the chapters over the next year. Do you have what it takes to fulfill a leadership role in your chapter? Is your glass half full? Can you embrace the vision? Are you willing to do the work to make your chapter one of the best in the region? Do you embrace the Good to Great mentality or are you like the guy sitting behind me in the airplane who was detracting from everyone’s success? Be a part of the team that takes your chapter to the next level. Interested? Have a conversation with your Director and together let’s “Change The Way The World Does Business”.
Thursday, May 1st, 2014
By David Alexander, as published in the Atlanta Business Chronicle on April 14, 2014
How do you create value for your clients?
In my humble opinion, it is incredibly simple. Simply make your interactions with others valuable… to them! I try to make a point to create value whenever I interact with another person.
It’s a key to networking! Here’s a simple question that you can ask yourself and keep it top of mind. What can I do to add value to this person I’m interacting with today, right now or even in the future?
I’m sure you will agree that these days less is more. If you are like me, you probably feel a bit overwhelmed with life sometimes. I believe that we tend to overcomplicate things. Let’s spend a few minutes discussing a few simple rules for successful networking.
First is to be happy, simple yet profound. I am a triathlete. An acquaintance of mine who had a $10,000 bike came to training one day on a $500 bike. Naturally, the assumption was his bike was in the shop. Reality was he had just lost everything: his business, his house, his possessions. However, his comment was, “It’s no big deal, I still have my network.”
WOW! To be happy is a choice that we make every second of the day. This is a choice we make on every phone call, every interaction and at every event we attend. Be positive! Have fun! Let it show! I believe having a positive attitude could possibly be the biggest key for productive networking. So sing along with me: if you’re happy and you know it, raise your hand! Don’t be a fun sucker, you know that person you run into that sucks the life right out of the room. They share all their depressing news with everyone who will listen. If you can’t think of anyone that fits that description, it might be you.
Second, have the discipline to follow through with what you say you are going to do. If you tell someone you are going to do something, do it. If you commit to follow up, do it. This point was really driven home for me recently.
My training company, High Achievers, does weekly boot camps called “muddervation.” My little boy asked to go with me to one. We were doing a four-mile run. At mile one he cramped up, so we stopped at a restaurant to take a break. When we walked out, I suggested that we turn around and head back to the gym. He looked at me and said, “No way, I’m never going to give up.”
He had the discipline to run through the pain and achieve his goal. AMAZING! Challenge yourself to follow through!
Third, give more. For the first time in my life, I set a goal of raising money for charitable causes this year and another goal for volunteering. This was new for me.
The ripples have been surprising. I am constantly looking for opportunities to give. I recently sponsored an event primarily because all the proceeds go to charities, one of which I chose. So the simple fact that I have set goals to give more allows me to benefit in positive ways that are unexpected.
As you become known as a giver in your community, your personal brand will really shine.
Fourth, live life expecting less. I’m not saying to have low expectations, but what I am saying is be happy with who and what you are. The confidence that you will outwardly convey will resonate with your network of friends, family and customers. Over the last couple of years, I have made this transition of being happy with what I have and the results show. It is not material things that make you successful; it is people that make it happen. I believe your network is way more important than your net worth.
Want to stand out from the crowd and increase your refer-abilty? Applying these four simple rules to your networking activities will have a profound impact on your success:
- Be happy, don’t be a fun sucker
- Have the discipline to follow through
- Give more
- Expect Less
One of the keys to success is looking at life as a “giver’s game.” Why do givers win more? It’s simple, because they help others win more. We can all take that point home. It’s a big concept to grasp if you want to grow your business, have fun, work less and be extremely referable.
Saturday, March 1st, 2014
What do the most successful people you know have in common? Probably this: They have built a network of contacts that provides support, information, and business referrals. They have mastered the art and science of networking, and business flows their way almost as a matter of course.
Don’t be misled by all the networking hype: It’s not the number of contacts you make that’s important—it’s the ones you turn into lasting relationships. There’s quite a difference. Try making ten cold calls and introducing yourself. Okay, how well did that go? Didn’t go well? Then try my simple plan for networking success in 2014.
To get started: Create a list of 25 new clients you are targeting for 2014. I’m in the process of doing this myself.
Now, call ten people you already know and trust. Tell them you’re implementing a marketing plan for the coming year, and that you would appreciate any help they could provide in the form of either a referral or new business. Share with them the top 25 list you created. They will likely know someone on the list or they will know a related business. Better results than the ten cold calls, right? Of course! You already have a relationship with these folks, and depending upon how deep it is, most of them should be glad to help you.
So here’s the question: How can you deepen the relationships with people you already know to the point where they might be willing to help you out in the future? Here are three quick steps to get you moving in the right direction.
1. Give your clients a personal call. Find out how things went with the project you were involved in. Ask if there’s anything else you can do to help.
2. Make personal calls to all the people who have helped you or referred business to you in the past year. Ask them how things are going. Try to learn more about their current activities so you can refer business to them. Remember “Givers Gain.”
3. Put together a hit list of 50 people you’d like to stay in touch with this year. Include anyone who has given you business in the last 12 months (from steps 1 and 2) as well as any other prospects you’ve connected with recently. Make it a goal to reach out to one or two of these people each week. If they’re past clients or people you’ve talked to before, let them know you are actively growing your business and could use their help. How can they help? Ask them for a referral. If they’re prospects, perhaps you can set up an appointment to have coffee and find out if their plans might include using your services. See how easy that was. After a few weeks, you’ll have more than enough social capital and business to tap into for the rest of the year.
This is one simple idea that can have a huge impact.
BIG Announcement! We are launching Networking Like a Pro All Stars as a advanced training program for BNI members!
Have you had the following questions?
- How do I get more referrals?
- How do I become more connected in the BNI community?
- How do I move to green on the Member Traffic Lights?
- How do I make more money using the BNI system?
- How do I work less, make more and have fun doing it?
- How do I become a well connected business person and never make another cold call?
Announcing our new and improved Advanced Training based on my bestselling book, Networking Like a Pro! We are providing this to members with a discount of more than 50% off. The members only price is $45.00 per module. Register now, we are limiting registrations to 25 students so we can have plenty of personal interaction. To sign up visit www.nlpallstars.com. You can also go to the regional event calender on www.bnisoutheast.com/events.php and search for Advanced Training in March. All participants will get a complimentary autographed copy of the book!
These are a few testimonials from past students of our training programs:
“The results have been fantastic. The year after I completed that program my BNI generated business more than doubled from $15,000 to $36,000. Please bear in mind our average sale is $300. Last year the total was $67,000. Through September of this year my total BNI business is over $67,000 and we still have the last quarter to go. BNI supplies over 60% of my business.”
Walter Willson, Charlotte NC
“I have increased my networking to the point where my revenue has gone up at least 50% while completing this course. It was amazing to uncover the simple steps which helped increase my business and my bottom line tremendously.”
Derek Sutton, Atlanta, Georgia
“David Alexander has changed my life. David proceeded to lead a lively discussion about the goose and the golden eggs. It was a turning point in the way I market my business and ask for referrals. The very next day, I got three referrals, and one of them was the person I had named! I could not believe it. Since then, I continue to ask for, and receive, referrals to my referral sources. That has helped me build relationships with several realtors who continue to refer their clients to me. Talk about a recession buster! Those referrals are golden!”
Patty Chakales, Asheville, NC
“I found myself attending any number of networking events and a large stack of business cards with little prospect value. The past 7 weeks participating in the “Networking Like A Pro” training class has been a game changer for my business and as a result, my life…….I have participated in several training sessions during my 30 year career covering a myriad of topics. I cannot think of one which will have a greater, positive impact upon my future than this session.”
Jim Clark, Atlanta, GA
Choose powerfully, join us for this training. I believe in the power of this program so much that I will personally guarantee it. If you register for the full program and attend all the classes, you can receive your money back if you do not grow your business as a result.
See you in class,
David Alexander–Executive Director
Friday, January 3rd, 2014
All of our chapter leaders have recently been through BNI Leadership Training and are now handling their responsibilities with excellence. Leadership requires many things. Starting with the fact that it takes someone extraordinary to be a leader, remember, it’s not really about the leader, it’s about the follower. Let’s start with the definition.
Merriam-Webster says, “It is the power or ability to lead other people.” Hmmm, is it really that simple? A little vague, don’t you think? I think effective leaders have the ability to inspire others to greatness.
The following are a few words that I think describes effective leadership: Humility, Teamwork, Empowerment, Vision, Action, Failure, the Ability to Learn, the Ability to Bounce Back, and Transparency. Ultimately, I believe it is having the magical ability to lead people to achieve things that were not possible before.
I just came back from a BNI International Conference. The keynote address was on BNI’s Vision, which is “Changing The Way The World Does Business.” Pretty cool vision, right? Well, it got us talking. I learned that in India they have a vision that every chapter will have 51+ members producing 1 million in business per chapter per month. They created this vision five years ago and now their average chapter size is over 40, up from 29. Wow!
So, how do we create leadership success and accomplish our vision? We do it by leading by example, learning how to coach and be coached, offering support to our team, holding people accountable and honoring our commitments.
The product of our vision is increased business; however, as we accomplish our vision, so much more happens. I believe BNI provides members with an environment to be positive. Think about it, when you show up to your chapter meeting the energy is amazing, people are working hard to make it happen. Kind of like soaring with the eagles, I think. We provide members with confidence. I remember conducting a training on effective 60 Second presentations and Patty, one of the attendees, called me the next week and said she received three referrals because of the confidence she developed when speaking to her group. Think back, maybe you were once nervous about speaking to a group. BNI provides an environment where you can engage in self development. I spoke to Dale last night and he told me how his chapter has really jumped into education and the result is a huge increase in referrals being passed. I guess that is not really surprising. Business is tough: being an entrepreneur is no easy task. I recently spoke to a new member, David in Georgia, and he shared with me that he had made over 1000 cold calls with one sale before BNI. However, in the last few months he has closed over $25,000 in deals with $300,000 in the pipeline and all from referrals. We give people hope. Finally, the connections people develop are incredible. A good friend of mine, Robert, told me that the connections he has developed over the years has resulted in his company expanding internationally with extraordinary business partners and that could not have happened without BNI. Now, with BNI Connect Global, we are connected to ALL the amazing people worldwide that BNI attracts.
Lets all work together to “Change The Way The World Does Business.”
Sunday, September 1st, 2013
I had the great opportunity this summer to speak at the French National BNI Conference in June 2013. No, I don’t speak French, well, not yet at least. They were kind enough to host an English only session. While there, I was asked a few times how BNI has changed over the years. I have been involved in BNI for 18 years, but BNI started in France only 8 years ago. This really got me to thinking about the opportunities BNI provides now versus 28 years ago or even 18 years ago. So, I have created a list and checked it twice.
In the first 10 years, members had the following opportunities:
- A Weekly Meeting
- 60 Second Presentations
- 10 Minute Presentations
- A Local Network
This is a pretty short list, right? However, this basic program allowed for incredible success and thousands of people plugged in.
Now, let’s look at what BNI has to offer today: over 6,000 chapters and over 150,000 members later.
- A Weekly Meeting
- One to One Meeting Planner
- Member Goal Program
- 60 Second Presentations
- Chapter Goal Program
- 10 Minute Presentations
- TYFCB Program
- Member Success Program Basic
- Member Success Program Advanced
- BNI Connect
- Regional Websites
- BNI.org, Our Foundation
- Chapter Websites
- Powerteam Program
- Fast Track Program
- SuccessNet Online Magazine
- Global Network
- Local Network
- Networking Cafe
- Chapter Traffic Lights
- Member Webinars
- Leadership Training
- Chapter Educational Units
- Weekly Podcast
- Educational Coordinator
- Mentoring Coordinator
- 16 Books on Networking
- Networking Like a Pro—my favorite book
All this is to say that BNI is truly second to none, not only here, but around the world. Members can plug into everything listed above and experience unparalleled success. This is one of the many reasons that BNI members Make More Money, Realize Quicker Sales, and have Amazing ROI in BNI as compared to other networking groups. Remember, the secret to success is not a secret. It is hard work. If you want to truly take your business to the next level and have a dynamite referral marketing plan, plug in a little deeper to BNI.
By the way, if there are some items on this list that you are interested in learning more about, connect with your Director. They are a valuable resource. Life is good and full of opportunities. If you want to increase your referrals and get more business, get plugged into more of what is available to you. BNI does more training on Referral Marketing than any other organization in the world and it is all available to you through your membership. I challenge you to become one of the many members making over $100,000 a year in BNI.
Let the good times roll,
Monday, July 1st, 2013
Member success stories from the real estate contact sphere.
Clint Miller, Clint Miller Exterminating Company
BNI Lunctime Link, Charlotte, NC
Clint is a 6 year member and 20% of his business is from BNI referrals. His advice for new members: “Stick with it. In the beginning, I was able to give more referrals than I received. Now it’s the reverse. I get 5-10 referrals each week, and I’m only able to give 1-2 weekly. You definitely get out what you put into it, and Givers Gain works! Don’t drop out after one or two years because the longer you participate, the more your referrals will grow.”
BNI Record Busters, Covington, GA
Chris Melton, Pro Masters Plumbing
“I want anyone and everyone who is interested in growing their business to consider the benefits of BNI. When Pro Masters Plumbing was first developed, we turned to the traditional means of getting new business which was advertisement. Advertisement was costing us a lot of money and the type of customers we were receiving was subpar. We spent a lot of time on the road trying to close 50% to 60% of our leads. Since we have been affiliated with BNI, almost two years, we have eliminated a large part of our advertising, and, instead of chasing leads, we have been receiving solid referrals. Our closing percentage of referrals received from BNI is almost 100%. There are so many benefits that go along with BNI, such as: a sales team, networking training, and a long list of professionals whom you will feel confident working with and referring to your clients.”
BNI Peak Performers Triad, Kernersville, NC
Eric Devine, House Calls Home Improvements
“After deciding on the Peak Performers BNI group and learning the right way to network, my business has grown. Actually, it’s grown in ways I never imagined. I joined in October of 2011 and, as of December 2012, I had over $63,000 in closed business! This business came directly from the members of the group and their networks. I taught the members how to refer me and essentially how to sell me and it paid off. Big time! Thanks to some very large referrals for things like complete master bathroom renovations and elaborate composite decks, I have over $68,000 in closed business… just since January of this year!”
Want your business to be featured? Email your testimonial to email@example.com!
Friday, March 1st, 2013
In our two previous newsletters, we discussed studies and surveys that confirm what we already know about the first 2 of 3 points.
1.Members get more referrals in BNI.
2.Members realize quicker sales in BNI.
3.Members receive an amazing ROI in BNI.
Now, let’s talk about the third point: Members receive an amazing ROI in BNI.
According to a European survey done by the Murray Consultancy, the average amount of closed business from direct referrals and including 2nd and 3rd generation referrals equaled $54,720.00 a year. Importantly, the survey also found that the longer someone was a member, the more substantial (on average) was the ROI for his or her participation. On average, members who were involved in BNI for 7 years generated $383,038.00 since they joined thereby underpinning the lifetime value of BNI.
So what is the ROI for our local chapters in Georgia and North Carolina for 2012? The results are impressive. Our members averaged $29,822.00 in closed business which is $855.00 per referral and our members received an average of 35 referrals each! WOW! Note: this is only first generation referrals!
Beginning in 2012, we set a goal to have 20 chapters reach over one million in closed business in 2012. We were real close. My personal congratulations goes out to the following million dollar chapters with special recognition going to the Ballantine Business Network that broke $5 million in business for their members. AMAZING!
- Athens Referral Factory
- Macon’s 1st
- Catawba Valley Business Builders
- Ballantine Business Network
- Mint Hill Breakfast Champions
- Old English Networkers
- Southpark Producers
- Lexington Founders
- Moore County Business
- Top Producers
- Clarity Corporate Connections
We have 11 more chapters that generated over $750,000 and 6 of those were over $900,000. WOW, what a year! Let’s blow the 2012 goal of 20 chapters with a million dollars closed business out of the water for 2013!
What’s your ROI! I would like to know.
Saturday, January 5th, 2013
In our last newsletter, we discussed some studies and surveys that confirm what we already know.
1.Members get more referrals in BNI.
2.Members realize quicker sales in BNI.
3.Members receive an amazing ROI in BNI.
We discussed the first point in the last newsletter. Last year BNI members passed 6.9 million referrals. That’s an average of over 45 referrals per member per year. Members get more referrals in BNI.
This time around let’s talk about the second point. Members realize quicker sales in BNI. The chart below came from international marketing expert, Per Sjofors, and his team. They did an evaluation of the “value proposition” that BNI offers its members worldwide. This shows a dramatic comparison between BNI and other networking groups.
Getting business quicker in BNI is very important in a struggling economy. This economy presents a huge opportunity for all entrepreneurs and BNI plays a big role in that opportunity. Members who really plug in fast get results faster. Training is a huge component of this success. BNI is not a training company, but we do provide cutting edge referral marketing training as a part of your membership. Make sure you participate.
BNI members’ businesses are constantly increasing. I believe this will become even more dramatic as we continue to leverage new technologies like BNI Connect. In the past, when you joined a chapter, you joined a local business network. Now, with our online technologies, you are a local business with a global network of over 140,000 BNI Members.
David Alexander—BNI Executive Director
Thursday, May 26th, 2011
Friday, May 6th, 2011
Mother love is the fuel that enables a normal human being to do the impossible.
~Marion C. Garretty, quoted in A Little Spoonful of Chicken Soup for the Mother’s Soul
Happy Mother’s Day to all the hard-working moms in our BNI and Corporate Connections networking groups!
Monday, March 14th, 2011
Monday, March 14th, 2011
Friday, March 4th, 2011
Thursday, February 17th, 2011