Learn More to Earn More!

DollarsWhat 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

 

Leadership Requires Vision

shared vision burgandyAll 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.”

 

David Alexander

Executive Director

Laissez Le Bon Temps Rouler (Let the good times roll!)

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
  • Referrals
  • 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
  • Referrals
  • 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.com
  • 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,

David Alexander

Executive Director

The Early Bird Gets the Green

International Networking Day will be here before you know it and the early bird will save money. This conference is has it all, a real triple threat: it’s a networking opportunity, you can learn new networking techniques and lunch is included with your ticket! Held on Thursday, February 10, 2011 at the Gwinnett Civic Center, early bird ticket prices end soon. Click here for event details.

Conference topics include:

– Advanced Networking Techniques

– Building Strategic Alliances

– Social Media

– Converting Prospects to Clients

The conference also features a business expo where companies who are interested in growing their business by referral can showcase their products and services. Booths are industry exclusive, so to find out if your profession is still available, please call Anita York at 678.888.0200 x228.