Social Media meets BNI and solves a real life plumbing problem

by Penny Power on February 13, 2012 · 1 comment

As you know, Social Media and networking online has been 14 years of Thomas (husband) and my life. Since 1998 we have evangelized the message of the joy and success of the online world.

Skeptics have said ‘ridiculous, I like to meet people face to face before I buy’, and many have actually used this sentence to challenge me “you mean to say even a Plumber should be doing social media”?

So here we have a real life, wonderful case study of BNI, referral, Twitter and Plumbing and I am wanting to shout it from the roof top, and it is directly my experience.

On Saturday (2 days ago), our Boiler packed up, it was minus 11 overnight and not much better during the day. Poor daughter had returned from Warwick University for the weekend and finally I had all my three children to cluck over and looked forward to lighting candles, creating my home and making a roast meal. Friday night was heaven, all cuddled up on the sofa, the biggest grin on my face, Thomas looked on, and of course tweeted pictures of his happy wife!

Morning came and I thought I was going to die, as I stepped out of our duvet and walked across the room, it was 7am and the house was colder than I had ever expected. Thomas and I spent an hour trying to re-boot our boiler and then another 3 hours trying to find someone that could come and help. The scams online are terrible, Google Emergency Plumber and you get through to companies that advise you to fill in a form, use your credit card, pay a deposit of £130 for the hour and they will send someone out. We made 11 calls, asks friends we know for recommendations and by 2pm, we were desperate.

I went out with the kids and Thomas contacted me and said “it is OK, I have found a BNI Plumber from Kingston, via Twitter!”

“I repeat “it is OK, I have found a BNI Plumber from Kingston, via Twitter!”

So this is our story.

Thomas tweeted that we were cold and desperate. Jody Atkins who we are connected to on twitter @theCushionista (beautiful products) saw our tweet and contacted Guy Billham ( @Boilerheat1TJB) who is the owner of TJ bathrooms in Kingston, he is a member of the Coombe Wood BNI Chapter  - Guy immediately contacted Thomas and said “I am on my way’. Thankfully, as I write this, Guy is helping us and the circuit board that failed has been ordered and installed within 48 hours, not bad considering it was a weekend!

Today I chatted with Guy to get his permission to write our story and he said that he only joined BNI in January this year and is amazed by his referrals. He said he was a skeptic but has been proven wrong, his next step was to consider Twitter, which, as of Saturday night he was on, thanks to Jody @theCushionista showing him how.

What a great story of kindness, referrals and the wonder of the offline and online working in harmony.

Please pass this on, there are still too many skeptics out there, and to all those that say to me in the future “you mean to say even a Plumber should be doing social media”?, I can say yes, for sure, your connections online and offline matter, just learn to be ORS (Open, Random and Supportive).

So thank you Jody, thank you Guy and thank you BNI and Twitter.

Penny Power
Penny Power is the Founder of Ecademy and Digital Youth Academy, two communities that assist in the growth of Social Capital and deliver the promise of the Internet through their community values and peer to peer knowledge exchange. Penny is now focusing on the skills gap that exists within the business community toward leveraging the social digital world and you can follow her on Twitter @pennypower or sign up for her newsletter on

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Ivan Misner February 24, 2012 at 17:07

Great story Penny – thanks for sharing it and thanks for using a BNI member.



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