An i for an Eye

by Sandra Hart on April 29, 2014 · 0 comments

images[1]I was at a conference recently which had a great keynote speaker called Paul McGee, if you ever have the opportunity to hear him speak, jump at the chance! He was captivating, and talked to the audience about some of the concepts from his book “S.U.M.O. (Shut Up, Move On): The Straight-Talking Guide to Succeeding in Life” which is a fabulous read…however something really stuck with me that he said:

“In a world of iPhones and iPads, never forget the impact of eyeballs.”

As an expert in word-of-mouth marketing and networking, I was delighted to hear this phrase. However, it got me thinking….in a lot of cases people choose between face-to-face and online networking, rather than seeing them as different pockets in the same jacket of marketing. I was reminded of the story of a local BNI member who specialises in social media marketing. Her name is Jenny Brennan and her company is Virtual Office Worx… here it is in her words:

“The recession was unkind to my family… I had a small part-time business and now it was up to me to step up and make a decent income.

I met a guy called Tim Oates one night on Twitter and I was looking for other business owners to connect with in my locality. Long story short, we met for a quick cup of coffee and he invited me to his weekly business meeting.

On arrival I was overwhelmed by the positivity and warm welcome I received at the meeting. It was a dark time in Ireland and everyone I knew was talking about recession and how awful things were, but suddenly I met a group who believed in recovery.

I knew I had done well to date from BNI, but when going through my sales I was amazed to see the results. It is not only the financial aspect of BNI that is beneficial, but the experience that I have received by attending training as well, and meeting with BNI members across the country is invaluable. I have learnt how to manage people, believe in my dream, hire staff, move to a new office, and build really solid business relationships.

Recently, I attended a social media convention in San Diego with over 2,000 marketers. I would never have had the confidence to do that without the training and friendships I have made in BNI.

Networking is part of my life and I thank each and every person who has helped me to believe that I can be successful. Who would have thought that a cup of coffee with Tim Oates would lead to such fantastic things in my life?”

Jenny’s story shows us how embracing networking both on and offline can make so much difference to your business, and how in the long run it is all about building relationships. Jenny’s business is online networking, she first made a connection with Tim online through Twitter, then engaged in face-to-face networking through BNI. With the skills she learned there she was able to feel confident meeting people face to face at a convention for people who she has built a relationship with virtually.”

Rather than “an eye for an i” – in networking it is all about seeing “i to eye” – focus on the relationship first, and referrals will follow. 

Sandra Hart
Sandra Hart runs BNI, Irelands leading business referral organisation, she trains and mentors members and leads a team who enable local business people to find new clients and generate new business. She is an expert on the topics of networking, word of mouth marketing and referrals.

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