I am a proud member of my local BNI group – Herne Bay & Whitstable - it generates lots of work for us. Yes, even more than our website and social media presence*. But the two are not mutually exclusive.
A couple of weeks ago, Jim (our Canterbury Electrician), gave a talk in his “Education Slot” about the importance of preparing your 60 seconds. Each week, each member has 60 seconds to remind the other members, and visitors, of what they do and what kind of work they are looking for. Obviously, they get other opportunities, but that 60 seconds is an important part of it.
Now, some people will come up with the same 60 seconds week in, week out, and the trouble with this is people will naturally switch off. Including the person saying it. The other approach is thinking of the 60 seconds on the way there in their car or, even worse, during the previous member’s slot. And you know what? If you make something up that quick, everyone can tell!
It’s important to put aside just a few minutes each week to think about your 60 and what you are going to ask for. Which made me think of my 10 minute presentation the week before…
I had spent 10 minutes giving all the members in the room some tips on using Facebook to promote their business. I then hogged at least another 5-10 minutes of the meeting answering lots of questions. A few members asked “how do you think of things to post?”
So it occurred to me, if you are putting a few minutes aside for your 60 seconds, rather than just use it at the next BNI meeting, why not post it on Facebook, Twitter and even LinkedIn too? Then you have at least one fresh thing to post each week.
Plus, if you tag your post – for example, on Twitter I’m going to tag mine #BNI #my60 – your followers may ask you what this BNI thing is. When you explain, you can invite them to visit, and the lifeblood of any BNI group is visitors.
* social media presence: horrible buzzwords used by “social media gurus” but I couldn’t think of a better term, any ideas?
At about 930pm on Tuesday night, the peace and quiet of HDG Towers was shattered by the flap of the letterbox and a thud as a yellow book arrived.
All over breakfast at the rather lovely Whitstable Castle.
It seems like every day there’s another networking event or breakfast club popping up. Whether it’s a group of people chatting over coffee, exchanging business cards to make mini appointments in a speed dating style, small town events or county wide socials, they all claim to boost your business.
And the network I’m a member of is no different, they claim to be the single most effective way of generating new business. What does make them different is that they measure how much business is being passed and you can actually work out what it’s worth.
You could quite easily spend an hour or two every day at some event or other, but how are you going to benefit if people are just turning up because it’s nice to have a chat?
I’m a member of Herne Bay & Whitstable BNI. It’s not just a networking club, it’s a referral network. That means that when you go along you’re not just trying to sell to everyone in the room. You actually go with the intention of finding them more business.
And if you give them business, they will want to give you business.
Each week, we pass business to each other on little referral slips. They contain the name and contact details of potential customers and information on what they need. They are not just cold calls, they are expecting your call, they already know about you – they’ve been warmed up!
This week I received 5 of those little slips of paper and handed out 3. But that’s not the end of the story.
Later on in the meeting, we actually acknowledge how much business those little slips of paper have brought to us. We pass little “Thank You” cards. These are used to measure performance of the group as a whole, as well as helping people see if their referrals are paying off. If your referrals are not warm enough, they won’t generate business.
So this was a great week for us. For starters, it was our first week in our new venue, Whitstable Castle, a great way to start a New Year. It was also a great week for “Thank You” cards. Over £19,000 worth of business was acknowledged this week alone.
If you want to grow your business and share some of that, drop me a line and I’ll tell you more!
Or you can go somewhere for a coffee and a chat and just hope that something comes out of it, one day…
Ok, perhaps there should be an extra comma in there, “Building a PC, in 60 seconds”. Or we can get even more accurate with:
But it just doesn’t sound the same, does it?
HDG are pleased to announce their membership of St George’s BNI, Whitstable.
BNI is all about helping small businesses grow. Recommending trusted businesses to people we come into contact with. We’re looking forward to a long and happy relationship.