How to write good proposals

by Andy Bounds on June 3, 2013 · 0 comments

Business people planningImagine wanting to treat your loved one with a morning cup-of-tea.  You tiptoe downstairs, so you don’t wake them.  You make the drink, then tiptoe back upstairs.  You know they’ll love your generous gift of love…

…and then you spill it all over them.

All that thoughtful hard work ruined by one mistake.  In fact, you’d have been better off not even trying.  It’s been a total waste of everyone’s time; and your relationship hasn’t improved one bit. [click to continue…]

I’m terrible with names

by Charlie Lawson on March 1, 2013 · 2 comments

welcoming guestsI’m terrible at remembering names.  I always have been – and often, given I run the UK’s biggest referral and networking organisation, this can cause some interesting challenges.

‘Hi Charlie’, someone will say when we meet at an event or function.

‘Hi, how are you?’ will be my slightly stumbled, embarrassed reply.  Now I KNOW that I’ve met the person before (faces I don’t have a problem remembering) – but names – like I said, I’m terrible!

If they are wearing a name badge though, a quick glance down, and the reply is a much more satisfactory ‘Hi Tim, how are you…?’  I’m not talking about this being satisfactory for me (although less embarrassing maybe) – I’m much keener to make sure that my networking contact, in this case Tim, feels respected and that I’m interested in him.  After all, it is the relationship between us that will determine whether the two of us are profitable networking partners.  [click to continue…]

Desperate for business?

by Charlie Lawson on January 28, 2013 · 0 comments

Construction DealI heard a fascinating story the other day.  At a dinner party, I met a friend of a friend who ran a decorating business.  His frustration was obvious as he was enduring a slow start to 2013 – the phone had just stopped ringing.

I asked him what he was doing to promote his business – he’d printed several thousand leaflets and dropped them through letterboxes all around his local area.

I asked him how many calls he’d received – from all that effort, he’d received just one call to quote!  However, as it happened, that one call had been for what would be a very good job – repainting an entire 5 bedroom house.   [click to continue…]

Pretty good!

by David Wimblett on October 24, 2012 · 0 comments

You are out networking and you meet a person for the first time and ask, “How’s business?” It’s not the most original opening, and as you don’t have a relationship of any kind yet, you get the answer, “Pretty good”.  You have a pleasant enough conversation and then move on, saying that you must keep in touch. [click to continue…]

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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Brewing up the right response

February 10, 2012

Sometimes alcoholic drinks can fuel the right kinds of networking conversations! Although I often urge people not to open a conversation with a stranger with the question ‘what do you do?’ the chances are that you are going to be asked it at some point in a conversation. How you respond will often dictate the direction the conversation then takes.

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Commonsense, is it dead?

January 17, 2012

I don’t know about you, but I do sometimes wonder if common sense is dead. On a recent trip through Luton airport, I was challenged because my plastic bag containing my toiletries was out with the prescribed size. There was nothing wrong with the toiletries. However the bag was too big. I was then asked I could either purchase a bag or lose all my toiletries. Bearing in mind I had travelled through 3 other airports that week with the said bag I was somewhat confused. Now, I respect the security at airports and have no problem with it, but [...]

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