open networking 2What exactly is a networking strategy and why do you need one? Why can’t you just show up to networking events and win bucket-loads of business?

A business networking strategy is essentially a marketing plan for your networking efforts. Like any good marketing plan it describes who you want to meet, how you’re going to meet them, how you’re going to help them and what you’re going to say/do when you get in front of them. [click to continue…]

Would you like to be brilliant at presentations?

by Charlie Lawson on April 9, 2013 · 1 comment

sligoI was chatting with a BNI member, Alan, recently, and I asked him how his membership was going.

‘Absolutely brilliant’, came his unwavering reply.

‘That’s great – how much business have you generated?’ I asked.

‘Plenty – but that’s not why my membership has been brilliant.’


‘Well, my daughter got married last Saturday, and ever since she was born, 32 years ago, I’d been terrified at the thought of doing a father of the bride speech.  Thanks to speaking every week to my BNI colleagues, my fears were taken away.’ [click to continue…]

Bored Meetings

by Andy Bounds on April 4, 2013 · 0 comments

Eight simple ways to stop tedious meetings ruining your week

Multi-ethnic group portraitBNI meetings are brilliant – lots gets done. There’s bundles of energy.  Everyone contributes.

Most business meetings, of course, aren’t like this.  In fact, research by Epson found that inefficient meetings cost the UK economy £26billion per year.  Apparently, we waste an average of nearly three hours every week because of inefficiencies in meetings.

Here are my eight ways to transform meetings, so you get more done, more quickly, and with minimal waste. [click to continue…]

The true value of BNI isn’t the meetings

by Andy Bounds on February 4, 2013 · 0 comments

sligoI love BNI meetings.  I love the energy and positivity.  I love seeing people’s businesses improve before my eyes, as they get referrals, public endorsement, new contacts, new ideas…  It’s just a great start to the day.

But I have long believed that the true value of BNI isn’t what happens during the meetings.  It’s what happens outside them.  It’s all the:

  • The calls you make, to trigger referrals for others
  • The calls they make, to trigger referrals for you
  • Referrals you all follow-up on, that lead to business
  • 121s you have, to get to know each other better
  • The time you spend writing testimonials and preparing 60 seconds that your Chapter will enjoy
  • BNI training you attend, to help you grow your – and others’ – business even faster

That’s where the real value of BNI is. [click to continue…]

6 Ways to Appear More Professional

September 10, 2012

AS I often say to my coaching clients when we’re talking about building their reputation as the go to choice for what they do, it’s more about perception than reality. In other words, it’s often better for you to appear professional than actually be professional. Obviously, both appearing and being great is better by far, but let me explain. Do you know people who are better than you but don’t get as much business? Yes. Equally, you probably know people who you are much better than, but they seem to get more business than you. I’m not saying it’s fair, [...]

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Barriers to innovation, is it your skills or beliefs?

August 15, 2012

I have written this blog to spark some thoughts around the challenges many businesses are facing now around innovation. Everywhere I go the word I now hear is ‘Innovate’. Not surprising really, we all know that if we don’t adapt and advance our businesses we will not survive. I had a great chat with my son this week about how weird it is to me that the Twix chocolate bar is the same as it has been since it was created in 1967, can you imagine the joy of creating something that never needed to change! Now, I feel the [...]

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21 Reasons

April 5, 2012

After the news from the wonderful and revered Dr Ivan Misner that he’s in the early stages of prostate cancer, it got me thinking how important our health is in business. Ivan will make a full and complete recovery. He’s in great shape, he looks after himself, and I suspect he has a work schedule that would exhaust most people his age. Is that an accident?

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Introduce Yourself

January 18, 2012

Often you will not have the luxury of someone else introducing you at a networking event, so it is important that you are practised in doing it yourself. What makes this even more imperative is the fact that most of us make assumptions about the people we meet within the very first few seconds of meeting them.  What’s more, that first impression is hard to shake or to change.

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