October 29, 2012

A few years ago, if I were setting off on a journey to somewhere new or unfamiliar I would have done a few things first: look at a map, calculate how long the journey would take, choose the best route and note down a few alternative ways in case I came across road works or delays. We now have more modern technologies like Sat Navs which allow us to simply type in the destination and they do the rest. In a matter of minutes they calculate the route, the length of time the journey will take and they can even advise [...]

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To help your Chapter, don’t just focus on your Chapter

October 10, 2012

Thanks to BNI, we all know that givers gain. But what is ‘giving’? I’ve found there are four Phases, each one better than the last, but only when the time’s right for you… Phase 1: “get” only I joined BNI 12 years ago and, to be honest, did so for selfish reasons: I wanted to grow my business.  My main motivation was to get, not give. I have no problems admitting this – I was skint, recently divorced (both mean the same thing, I found) and wanted to do something that would help me. I imagine you also joined BNI [...]

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How many BNI members are dog owners?

October 8, 2012

I had a very interesting question posed to me the other day.  I was chatting to a lady who had visited a BNI group for the first time, and when I asked her what she thought of the meeting, her reply was: “It was good.  Tell me though – what percentage of BNI’s membership across the UK are dog owners?” Now, I know that in BNI we track a lot of things – but whether our members are dog owners is not something we’ve traditionally thought would be overly important in the generation of business referrals for our members! 

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How do you chase up referrals you’ve been promised?

August 30, 2012

What do you do when someone has promised you a referral but you haven’t heard anything? It can be a very uncomfortable situation. After all, they’ve promised to do something for you but there’s no obligation on them to follow up. If you press too hard you may well not only lose the potential introduction but damage the relationship you have. Many people, facing this risk, will take the safer option and hope that the promised referral materialises. But what if your Champion has simply forgotten? How much new business is left on the table because we’re too nervous to [...]

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Have you ever wondered why some of the big referrals don’t come your way?

August 20, 2012

There are three key questions you need to ask yourself before bagging a big referral. Let us start with a basic networking question: what motivates you to do what you do? Like most people you are probably working to put your children through school, to pay you’re your mortgage or to live a better lifestyle. However, clients want to know what really motivates you and why you chose this profession.  

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How to turn someone into a referral source?

June 15, 2012

We have people who recommend us very seldom and some who recommend us not at all and if we are lucky we have a few people who recommend us a lot. So what makes them different? It could be attitude it could be motivation but more likely it will be information that you have not given them and how often do you contact them. 

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Careless talk costs business

May 31, 2012

There is a saying “words are cheap” but in business networking they can prove very expensive. I was recently working with someone to help them get more quality referrals from business networking. I had worked through all the normal things that get results with people such as clarifying his target audience, specialising, getting his stories right, making sure he nurtures his relationships and being clear on what to ask for. However, it was still not working for him. I couldn’t understand why he was not getting results. I had noticed that this guy had been promising a lot when we [...]

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A chance to review your referrals strategy

May 15, 2012

How much time and budget are you focusing at the moment on where new business comes from? And what percentage of that effort is devoted to encouraging more opportunities through word of mouth? A referrals strategy is essential for many businesses yet so few devote serious time to generating recommendations and referrals. Most of us prefer to sit and wait, hoping that doing a good job is enough. I was recently interviewed for the NatWest and RBS Business Sense websites on referral strategies. The resulting videos can give you a good chance to review your approach to generating referrals. Part [...]

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