V-C-P Model Works
Visibility is the first factor in Dr. Misner's Visibility-Credibility-Profitability model. An excellent way to achieve more visibility for your business is by writing articles in your area of expertise. Not only do you position yourself as an expert but also add something of value to others. This visibility generates opportunities for direct inquiries into your products and services, and there are additional "hidden" bonuses, as well.
Take my personal example. Last year, my article "Designing the Perfect Networking Environment" appeared in the January/February edition of SuccessNet.
Not only did I receive a lot of interest in my business coaching practice, I also received another writing opportunity. I was contacted by the editor of T&D magazine, the official publication of the American Society for Training & Development to write an article for an upcoming issue. The timing couldn't have been better, as my first book, Coaching Into Greatness: 4 Steps to Success in Business and Life is being released in April 2006. I was able to relate the principles in my book to networking, as well as include the book cover and my contact information. You never know what the "hidden" bonuses will be when you step up and do what you can do.
What are you doing to gain visibility for your business?
Submitted by Kim George, www.CoachingIntoGreatness.com
Look Beyond the Tip of Your Nose
I was talking to an old BNI member last week asking why he had left our chapter. His answer really caught me by surprise. He stated that after about 8 months, he had done business with most of the members in the chapter and that the opportunities were running out.
I have to ask, "Were his opportunities running out or was his BNI experience just beginning?
My mentor told me when I began BNI that most members would test my capabilities before opening up their book of business to me. "How long do you think that process will take?" I asked. The answer was approximately a year. Why? Because, referring business requires a very high level of trust and confidence.
Look beyond the tip of your nose - the privilege of BNI membership is not doing business with the people in your chapter. The real BNI benefit is doing business with the people who do business with the people in your chapter!
Submitted by Sheldon R. Birman, Family Insurance Services, Education Coordinator, BNI Legacy Chapter, Weston, Florida
"Passions" Interview - "Awesome!"
Following is a sampling of the feedback received following Ivan Misner's "Passions" telebridge interview promoted in the last edition of SuccessNet.
When you have an opportunity, you ought to catch one of Ivan's interviews!
I've just finished listening to the live "Passions" interview and I'm re-psyched.
Listening to you made the principles of BNI so friendly. Thank you for your compassionate reminders:
- The BNI principles are simple.
- They relate to me because that's how I have always liked to relate to the world.
- Stop worrying about outcome.
- Never stop digging.
I was one of many listeners last evening and I sure am glad I was. Listening reminded me that I need to hear you speak regularly.
I was impressed all over again with your ability to inject fun into everything you do. Your smooth and comfortable delivery makes listening to you such a pleasure. You have the gift of the common touch and everyone who meets you experiences that.
Submitted by Claudia MacDermott, Area Director, BNI Northern New Jersey
I do not have words that adequately express my reaction to tonight's teleconference. Absolutely awesome, comes to mind. All I can say is Thank You. Something magnificent has happened tonight, a life changing event is taking place within my thought processes. I can only express simple gratitude, for finding myself in the wake of greatness.
Submitted by Stanley Bruce Grecke
I listened in on the teleconference last night. I really enjoyed it, as I always do when I get the opportunity to hear you speak. It was especially inspiring for me, as I was scheduled to do the 10-Minute at a Visitor Day this morning. We had a great V-Day. Of course, most of the credit goes to the members of this chapter, who worked so hard to fill the room with visitors. But it was nice to have an extra-special dose of BNI from you the night before. I was well prepared to help this group this morning! When I left the meeting, the members were still networking with their visitors and several visitors were working to complete applications. I love BNI!
Submitted by Natalie Paz-Storey, Executive Director, BNI Central Ohio
Valentine's Day Givers Gain
I have a great BNI story to share. I was able to make more money this Valentines Day with the help from some of my fellow chapter members but not in the way that you would think. It didn't involve them passing me referrals.
Our flower shop, Love's In Bloom, is family owned and operated which suits us just fine on most days. But on Valentines Day our sales increase so much that we would have to turn business away if we did not have extra help. So I turned to my BNI chapter for assistance. It was wonderful. Dave Brock (dead bug society), Larry Siebold (creative glass etching) and Bruce King (the crown group) delivered flowers. And Vicki Primrose (the chef shoppe) was great at taking phone orders. With the extra help I was able to take twice as many orders as last year and really increase our profits.
It was because of the relationships that I built in BNI that I was able to find help when I needed it!
Marci Bennett, Love's In Bloom, BNI Edwardsville (Illinois) Chapter
Pay it Forward
Dr. Misner has written many times about Givers Gain, keeping focused on the path we need to walk, and that building your business by referral is not magic, but hard, steady work.
We built our real estate referrals through BNI over the last seven years to the point where we can count on 30-36% of our business by referral through BNI. It is part of our business plan we could not do without! We just finished 2005 by doing 45% of our business by referral through BNI and 90% by referral overall! It does, indeed, work.
We are now stepping up to teach others in our area through classes we will call "Pay it Forward," in conjunction with Stacy Lukensmeyer, our BNI Area Director. Take it from someone in the trenches - BNI works!
Submitted by Doug and Joyce Morgan, Wenatchee, Washington
A Well-Oiled Referral Machine
I joined the Biltmore Village Chapter in October of 2004. After serving as Membership Coordinator, I became President in October 2005.
My company, Jaymunda, is a graphic and web design company based in Asheville, NC. Our motto is "Stress Relief in Advertising." My company is also responsible for building the BNI Connection (www.bniconnection.com), in conjunction with David Alexander/Referrals 4 Life in Atlanta.
In 2005, 49% of all of our clients and 72% of our gross revenue came from BNI referrals.
I think this is phenomenal. Thank you, Dr. Misner, for creating such a well-oiled referral machine!
Submitted by Jason Syzdek, Jaymunda, Biltmore Village Chapter, Asheville, North Carolina
To Renew or Not To Renew?
The time is rapidly approaching for Moorpark Veterinary Hospital to make the decision about renewing BNI membership for another year or more. I have to say that it is a very easy decision. Of course we will renew! But I didn't always feel that way.
At first I was concerned about the weekly commitment. The outcome has been very worthwhile through referrals and other indirect benefits. BNI has been an opportunity to get to know other business people and learn together about growing our businesses.
The morning meeting gets my day going, and though I'm not at work, I'm still focused on the business of marketing. Every week is also educational. We learn something to help keep us on track in business and in life. We learn from each other and willingly help each other brainstorm ideas and plan strategies to grow successful businesses. As I continue to learn more about each of the businesses, it becomes easier to find referral sources for them.
The income as a result of BNI is more than ten times the investment we've made - and that includes the fee to join, the annual dues, the monthly room rental, and meal costs! It's been very worthwhile indeed.
Cybil Smith, Manager, Moorpark Veterinary Hospital
Submitted by Shawn & Linda McCarthy, Executive Directors, BNI of Ventura County, Santa Clarita Valley and Antelope Valley
Productive Marketing Tool
I am one of the founding members of the 10 year old Lookout Chapter. BNI has been the single most productive use of my sales time.
I joined BNI because I needed to generate more sales. At the time of my joining, my company was less than 6 months old and needed to promote our payroll services. I did not receive one referral for the first 18 months I was in the chapter! Needless to say, I was extremely discouraged and began questioning the value of my time in this organization. I am happy to say that the trend changed and my company has generated over $300,000 of direct BNI referral businessand the number is still growing! I personally have a 90% closing ratio when meeting with quality referrals that are entrusted to me.
The key to success has been the solid professional relationships I have formed with other members. Without the structure of BNI, I would not be where I am today.
Submitted by Sean McDaniel, Vice President, Computerized Payroll Solutions, Chattanooga, Tennessee
Out of the Mouths of Babes
My 12-year-old daughter, Madison, has been exposed to BNI and its principles from early on. She has met many BNI members, directors, and staff - including Ivan Misner and Norm Dominguez. On the way to school one morning before a BNI meeting Madison's mother, needing inspiration for an Educational Moment, asked, "What is BNI to you, Madison?"
This was her response, "BNI is the sharing of personality and business. It is helping someone else's business grow. It is the human resource at its best."
Submitted by John Lisle, Executive Director, BNI California Central Valley
Proud of BNI
As a brand-new Project Coordinator and Assistant Director working with Red H. Mann and Leroy Gaines, Managing Directors of the San Fernando Valley BNI region, I am working with a brand-new pre-core group in the East Valley area. We asked the members of this group to visit one of our "showcase" chapters to get a feel for the regular BNI meetings. I was unsure what our pre-core members would experience - I hoped for the best.
The chiropractor in our pre-core group, Dr. James Langford, visited the Burbank chapter that meets on Tuesday mornings at the Burbank Holiday Inn, with my strict instructions NOT to promote his business if there was already a chiropractor in the chapter. After visiting the chapter, Dr. Langford reported to me that the president of the Burbank Chapter, Dr. Mike Onkels, who is also a chiropractor, not only allowed him to introduce himself as a chiropractor, but also encouraged him to talk about his areas of specialty and to describe his ideal client. By the end of the meeting, the two chiropractors and a third member of the chapter were discussing how they could all pass business to each other!
What a perfect example of "Givers Gain!" I was so proud of BNI that morning. Dr. Langford was pleasantly surprised, very impressed, and now more eager than ever to build his own fantastic chapter.
Submitted by Claire Jacks, Project Coordinator & Assistant Director, SFV-BNI
Hard Work and BNI
When I went to my first BNI meeting in April of 2005, I was very intrigued. Not only by the professionalism of the chapter members and the potential that existed for my business, but also by the fact that it was unlike any "networking" meeting I had been to before. People were actually there to discuss business, increase business, and assist in my business! I visited a second time to confirm my interest and immediately joined.
Between April and the end of December, BNI accounted for 35% of my business! I was stunned. Of course I worked my referrals hard after I received them but my BNI chapter got me through many doors. I thank my cohorts as best I can every week with the referrals I pass to them. I hope to help them in years to come with their business interests. I even decided to become the Vice-President of our chapter after being a member for just 5 months. BNI has made a believer out of me, which wasn't an easy task at the beginning.
My drive for success and joining BNI were the keys to my second best sales year ever in 2005.
Submitted by Mark VanZeyl, Vice-President, I-270 Gateway Chapter of BNI, Granite City, Illinois