Category Archives: Educational Moments

What Are You Marketing?

Who knows what you are marketing?

Who knows what you are marketing?

We all know that people do business with those that they know, like and trust, right? Part of that equation is being the person that delivers solutions, value and benefits to working with them. This mini-workshop allows BNI Education Coordinators to walk the chapter through the process of showing the secret to showing clients the benefits and increasing their return on Word-of-Mouth marketing efforts.

This is a 2-3 minute activity that involves those at the meeting. You will need to read it through beforehand and be prepared. What you say out loud to the group is in larger type in bold.

This morning we are looking at what you are marketing. So please, can I have some responses to that question… “what are you marketing?”.

Wait for responses. You will probably get answers that nominate the person’s product or service. Yet this is not what they should be marketing if they want to succeed. Then ask the following question…

Is that what people buy? Your product or service?

Nominate one or two. You may get someone who actually understands and gives you a description of the potential result rather than the product/service.

Now highlight the focus of this workshop.

Clients respond to and buy what your product/service will do for them. This has often been called “selling the sizzle… not the steak!”

So what do we need to concentrate on? Establishing what your product/service does for clients and then focus all your marketing activity on those things.

Particularly in WOM Marketing.

And especially when you do both your 60-second infomercial and your 10 min presentation.

So lets get some feedback now on what you are marketing?

Repeat one or two of the better responses.

So, when next someone asks what do you sell, tell them in terms of what the result will be!

Cys Bronner

Cys Bronner

In networking: The more memorable (positive and helpful) you are, the better the results. Questions? Feel free to call BNI Executive Director Cys Bronner 866-889-3466 or email her at Cys.Bronner@BNI4success.com
Her motto: BNI, Making word of mouth marketing work for you

Click for more information or to join a BNI chapter in the Los Angeles area

Do You Have A WOM Plan?

Our BNI Education Coordinators offer so much during our business meeting with weekly mini-workshops. Truly great Education Coordinators, assist the chapter with a series of related workshops and articles, each one building on the last.

In addition to the Do You Have a WOM Plan? workshop outlined below there are countless Word-of-Mouth exercises available. My favorite resource for these are in The World’s Best Known Marketing Secret. Through the book there are step by step suggestions to build your WOMBAT (Word of Mouth Business Acquisition Tactics).

The hand to hand WOMBAT plan focuses on two key concepts that you must incorporate into your business in order to make yourself a master of Word-of-Mouth marketing. These 2 components are:

1. Developing a powerful, diverse network of contacts. and
2. Creating a positive message, comma delivered effectively.

The combination of the two results in a prosperous Word-of-Mouth business.

Do You Have a WOM Plan? mini-workshop
This is a 2-3 minute activity that involves those at the meeting. You will need to read it through beforehand and be prepared. What you say out loud to the group is in larger type in bold.

Ask the chapter the following question:

This morning I want to focus on where we are going? In particular, where each member, and their business, is going.

It has often been said that if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.

With that in mind, let me ask the following question. Do you have a WOM Marketing Plan? 

Seek responses – ask individual members if necessary. You will probably get very few “yes”.

Now ask the question.

Why? Why is it that you do not have a plan? Seek responses.

So lets look at some things a WOM Marketing Plan might have in it.

  1. How many referrals do you plan to give each week/month?
  2. How many dance cards have you planned for each month?
  3. What extra networking activities have you planned each week?
  4. What results have you gained from the referrals you have already received?
  5. Have you kept your Referral Tracking System up-to-date?

These are just some of the aspects of an effective WOM Marketing Plan. Other things needed are – thank you letters/cards, catch-up phone calls and added value activities for your existing clients.

However, one thing is for sure, for you to get maximum value from BNI the minimum you need is the above.

Another step you could take is to revisit those aspects of the Member Success Programm that focus on planning.

In regards to number 5. Have you kept your Referral Tracking System up-to-date? I find that using Relate2Profit.com is an excellent tool. It was created by BNI member Mike Zinni for his use during his Referral Institute trainings and has been a WOMBAT boon to myself and other networkers.

Receive a 50% discount on your subscription at Relate2Profit.com when you use this referral code: BNI-Relate

 

Cys Bronner

Cys Bronner

In networking: The more memorable (positive and helpful) you are, the better the results. Questions? Feel free to call BNI Executive Director Cys Bronner 866-889-3466 or email her at Cys.Bronner@BNI4success.com
Her motto: BNI, Making word of mouth marketing work for you

Click for more information or to join a BNI chapter in the Los Angeles area

Givers Really Do Gain!

Zig Zigler Stop selling, start helping

Isn’t helping what a referral is all about?

This workshop dove tails nicely with BNI Podcast Episode 330: Givers Gain is a Standard, Not a Sword, which tells us “If you aren’t getting as many referrals from a fellow member as you’re giving, don’t point fingers. Evaluate quality as well as quantity of referrals, and remember that what you give will come back to you from the chapter as a whole, not just the individual.”

This 2 to 3 minute education workshop is all about helping your chapter members assess their “Givers Gain” philosophy.

Start by asking the members…..

I want you all to think about how much potential business there is in your category?

How much business, even just in this country, is done each year in the category that you represent?

Call out to me some answers please? Is it $100, $1,000, $100,000, $1 million, $100 million, $1 billion? Just how much is it?

Repeat some of the answers as well as nominate the category they represent.

Now tell me what percentage you think that you are getting?

Call out to me some answers please?

If you nominated a figure that was less than 100%, does that leave you room for business growth in your business?

So, what is your philosophy about business?

Is it one of scarcity or one of abundance?

If it is scarcity, then you will have difficulty making the BNI philosophy work for you.

However, if it is one of abundance, then there is enough for everyone and you can easily get your share, whatever you perceive that to be!

How, I hear you ask?

In the words of that famous American speaker, Zig Ziglar ……

“You can have anything you want, simply by helping enough other people get what they want!”

Zig would have made a great ambassador for BNI.

What Are You?

in networking do you know who you are

What Are You?

I really like this BNI Educational mini-workshop. I believe it helps us understand and put into action our philosophy of being farmers not hunters. How our role is not to pounce on the target for the kill (sale) but to build powerful business relationships by sowing the seeds with our referral sources and developing those deeper roots.

The purpose of this 2 – 3 minute workshop is to highlight the difference between selling and referrals in BNI.

Ask the members the following question:

What is the main function you have in your own business?

Repeat some of the responses. You are looking for the word “selling” or “sales”. If you don’t get it from the responses you need to suggest it to them as a question.

Then ask them….

What is your main role as part of the team in this BNI Chapter?

Again you are looking for the words “selling” or “sales”.

Now tell them that you want to suggest a different role for them.

I want to suggest that your role, when a member of BNI, is different to other business people!

Your role is not selling……. it is networking!

If you truly believe in the basic principles of BNI, then you need to change the way you think about business.

You are a networker. Delete the word sales and salesperson from your vocabulary as they belong to people who do business the hard way – selling!

In BNI we do business differently – by networking – by making our net work!

Think about it…. and change the way you do business!

Cys Bronner

Cys Bronner

In networking: The more memorable (positive and helpful) you are, the better the results. Questions? Feel free to call BNI Executive Director and Relate2Profit.com Evangelist Cys Bronner 866-889-3466 or email her at Cys.Bronner@BNI4success.com

Her motto: BNI, Making word-of-mouth marketing work for you.

Click for more information or to join a BNI chapter in the Los Angeles area

Looking For Referrals?

Looking for Referrals

Looking for Referrals

This is a 2-3 minute activity that involves those at the meeting.

Good trainers know that it’s always a good idea to  read it through beforehand and be prepared. What you say out loud to the group is in bold.

The purpose of this workshop is to focus members on referrals and finding them.

Start by saying…

I want to start this morning by asking you all a question to which I want an immediate response – don’t think about the answer, just respond please.

How many of you actively worked last week at finding referrals for one or more members of the chapter?

Wait for responses or show of hands.

More to the point, how many of you worked really hard at getting just one referral?

Wait for responses or show of hands.

Can anyone see something wrong with this approach?

Seek agreement from at least some of the members. Then say…

The real secret of referral finding is that you don’t! I will say that again. The real secret of referral finding is that you don’t.

They find you.

If you are planning to “work hard” at finding referrals, that is just what it will be – hard work. Show of hands please from those members who just can’t wait to do more “hard work” this week.

So lets examine what we really should be doing? Any ideas anyone?

Wait for responses and repeat 1 or 2.

The secret is that if you know your other members well, and you know what to look for or listen for, referrals will find you.

There is a great tape by Alice Ostrower called “Standing in the middle of a referral”. The best suggestion is that every time you hear a complaint you are standing in the middle of a referral.

How many of you have heard someone complaining about something – anything – this last 7 days.

The really successful “referral finders in BNI are those people who listen carefully to what other people say and who look very carefully at what other people do.

Then when they hear an “off hand comment” about poor service or dissatisfaction, they are ready to offer assistance.

One of the nicest things you can say to someone who has a problem is…

“I know someone who could help you with that. And better still it is someone I would recommend!”

Repeat that with me…

“I know someone who could help you with that. And better still it is someone I would recommend!”

Initially offering to help is so much more effective than initially asking for something.

Try it for the next 2 weeks and see the difference it makes.

In networking: The more memorable (positive and helpful) you are, the better the results. Questions? Feel free to call BNI Executive Director and Relate2Profit.com Evangelist Cys Bronner 866-889-3466 or email her at Cys.Bronner@BNI4success.com

Her motto: BNI, Making word-of-mouth marketing work for you.

Tips For Effective Networking

As a general rule you attend events and activities to network with others and enhance your business. But, there is somewhat of an art to networking and getting to that point is not easy (comfortable) for some people. The following are some tips from Susan Roane’s How to Work a Room.

Pre-event preparation:

·            Plenty of cards & give them out to all that you meet

·            A pen

·            3 pieces of small talk: kids, weather, news, sports, etc.

·            If it fits your personality, a short, clean joke.

·            Avoid politics and religion

·            Prepare and practice a 10 & 60 second “self introduction”

·            Be upbeat & positive

·            Who you are

·            What you do & what benefits you supply

·            Why your service or product is unique or special

·            Go from the least to the most important facts

·            What is a good referral for you

·            Dress professionally

·            Place a neat, easy to read nametag on the right so it can be seen as you shake hands

·            Work out with a buddy: To introduce each other and their business

·            A rescue signal to get out of a situation

At the event:

·            Arrive on time

·            Check out where everything is so you can assist others

·            Say hello to friends and the host

·            If you forget a name, state yours and ask theirs again with humor

·            Act like a host, show interest in others

·            Have a positive attitude and smile

·            Walk away from people with negative behavior

·            Focus on the benefits of the event and the organization

·            Have a good handshake: not too limp or too hard, not “the 2 handed pump”

·            When talking: make eye contact, listen attentively, do not be looking around the room

·            Make strangers & people by themselves feel comfortable

Making contacts:

Have the courage to take risks. Approach people! Everyone is there to make business contacts and they will appreciate the chance to talk about their business. .

Be direct, ask people what they want to be asked!!!

Hello, my name is___________

*What is your business (listen attentively)?

*Ask questions to clarify and show an interest.

*Where are you located?

*May I have your card?

*What would be a good referral for you?

*Let them see you write something on the back of their card

*If you genuinely have an interest in doing business with them or referring

to them, let them know (make sure to follow up)

Pause with eye contact and a smile. 95% of the time they will ask about your business. If not “May I tell you about my business”?

*Hand them your card

*Do your 10 or 60 second “self introduction”

*Let them know what type of referrals you are looking for

*Follow through with promises to get or give information

*Offer to introduce them to someone that can help their business, at the event or elsewhere….SEEK WAYS TO REFER BUSINESS TO OTHERS

Set up light meetings (lunch, coffee or at work) with anyone you may be able to do business with. DO NOT TRY TO CLOSE BUSINESS AT THE EVENT

·            Do not spend too much time with any one person, you are there to make contacts. To extricate yourself:

“Excuse me, it was nice meeting you. I will speak to you, or see you at________, or I look forward to seeing you again. There are several people I promised to meet with at this event

After the event:

·            Send a hand written note to everyone that you met. “Hello, I am ______, we met at _____. I look forward to yada, yada, yada.

·            *Follow up with all promises in a timely manner

Things to avoid:

*Pigging out at the buffet

*Monopolizing conversation or interrupting others when speaking

*Being too loud

*Hard sell of your product or service

*Complaining or criticizing

*Drinking too much

*Negative people

*Behavior or jokes that are sexually suggestive

At the next Mixer or Networking Event, try these useful tips….you have a lot to gain!

Cys Bronner

Cys Bronner


In networking: The more memorable (positive and helpful) you are, the better the results. Questions? Feel free to call BNI Executive Director and Relate2Profit.com Evangelist Cys Bronner 866-889-3466 or email her at Cys.Bronner@BNI4success.com

Her motto: BNI, Making word-of-mouth marketing work for you.

What Is Planning?

This January Focus on Planning

This January Focus on Planning

Our BNI Education Coordinators really set the tone for the chapter, but never do they guide us more than they do during the month of January.

Working in tandem with the Leadership Team, you’ll see BNI Education Coordinators help chapters set goals, outline steps and work towards greater chapter success!

The purpose of this mini-workshop is to help your members understand planning.

Start by saying…

So that we keep in line with the our BNI Theme of “BNI – More Than A Meeting” we will be focussing on the January Theme of Planning.

So let me ask you a question? What is planning?

Seek responses and repeat 2 or 3. Then say….

Now turn to the person next to you and for 1 minute explain to each other what you do in relation to planning your business?

Wait for 1 minute and then give them a signal – blow a whistle, ring a bell, or whatever works for you.

Can I have 1 or two responses please? In 30 seconds explain what you do to plan in your business.

Let one or two only speak.

Now let me ask you another question? What does planning have to do with BNI and your BNI involvement?

Seek responses and repeat 2 or 3. Then say….

With PLANNING being the January theme we will explore over the next few weeks how planning can help you with your BNI activity.

Cys Bronner

Cys Bronner

In networking: The more memorable (positive and helpful) you are, the better the results. Questions? Feel free to call BNI Executive Director and Relate2Profit.com Evangelist Cys Bronner 866-889-3466 or email her at Cys.Bronner@BNI4success.com
Her motto: BNI, Making word-of-mouth marketing work for you.

Successful Substitutes

Why do you need a substitute? Because you’ll be remembered, and you’re therefore more likely to receive referrals. We inferred this when we talked about participation in BNI. In marketing, it takes about seven times for someone to actually notice an ad. It takes about that many times to “be seen” for people in your BNI chapter to start to understand what you do. Substitutes provide a way for you to participate even when you are not physically present.

Who to ask? You should send a substitute that is going to best represent you and your company. For example, a client is probably the best choice. They can share their testimonial as to why they do business with you. Who are some examples of people to consider for ideal substitutes? Your customers, clients, patients, friends, family, people in your referral network, people in your support network, people in your information network and employees. Why? Because they love you and you can give a great testimonial!

Who does NOT make a good substitute? A person who seems to be substituting for someone in the chapter every week or nearly every week. A person who seems to substitute every week, but will not join the chapter.

Substitutes must understand that their primary purpose is to represent the member. If there is a conflict with a member, it is up to YOU to tell your substitute how to present him or herself. A one-time substitute should be treated like a guest. Even though they claim to do the same thing as a member, substitute; present themselves as a new referral source for others in the chapter. It does no harm to the existing member.

Why would you put much effort into getting and training a substitute? Well, because the motto of BNI is… “Givers Gain.” Good for you, good for your substitute. So, dear sales team, what could you do to prepare your substitutes to make them AND you look good?

First of all, have your 60-Second Presentation pre-written. How many of you have one or two already written that you could send at a moment’s notice? I strongly recommend you do that so you can make it easy on yourself when you need a substitute in a hurry. You can e-mail your already-written 60-Second to your substitute.

Always have a substitute (always be represented at the meeting) Best substitutes: clients, eligible guests Bad substitutes: guests with Frequent Flyer mileage (perma- substitutes)

The sooner the better so they feel prepared. Nothing is worse than sending someone into a strange or new situation with little to no preparation time.
Secondly, on the very same e-mail as your 60-Second Presentation, kindly tell your substitute what to expect. Include the name and location of the chapter, a brief overview of the meeting, and if there is a venue fee or any other cost involved. This is not only a wonderful courtesy to our guest; it also helps the meeting run more smoothly and gives your sales team a better idea of who this person is.

Thirdly, a great strategy is to identify a substitute or two and bring them with you to your chapter meeting so when you do need a substitute they are well-prepared and know what to expect.

So, as a quick overview:
GIVE
- Always have a substitute (always be represented at the meeting)
- Best substitutes: clients, eligible guests
- Bad substitutes: guests with Frequent Flyer mileage (perma- substitutes)
GAIN
- Visibility (your name is mentioned by your substitute)
- Credibility (you are a “team player” and your substitute sings your
praises)

In closing, let me suggest that you know you’re a BNI member if… you can’t attend your favorite niece’s wedding, but it’s okay … you’ve got a good substitute.

Copyright © BNI – 2009, 2011 – All Rights Reserved

Invite With A Difference – Part 2!

One item on our weekly business meeting agenda that really sings to me is the BNI card caddyEducation Moment.

When I first joined BNI, not much was made of the Educational Coordinators spot during the meeting. In fact, my first chapter did not have an Educational Coordinator. After only 3 weeks into my membership, I had the chance to attend the annual International Conference. Boy, did I learn a lot!

I learned the value of the workshops, how they would make me a better networker and how I could get the most out of my business. This is really what I wanted and needed. I’m always happier with success steps that are proven. I’d much rather start with a process than a concept. It allows me to get a jump on things and just move forward; as Buzz Lightyear would say, “to infinity and beyond!”.

To that end, I have a second workshop for your chapter that continues to building your process of inviting with a difference. The purpose of this workshop is to highlight the importance of how you invite guests to BNI.

To start, Event Coordinators should take their moment in the spotlight to ask the members what procedure they go through when they invite guests.

Repeat some of the responses.

Now ask them….

Who here still has their introductory tape/CD that they received in their new member kit?

Ask them…

Who has listened to the CD lately?

Do you remember what is on Dr. Misner’s orientation CD?

Then list for them the following….

  1. a friendly welcome into BNI
  2. comments by Ivan Misner on the “how and why” of BNI
  3. some suggestions on the value of BNI
  4. ideas on how to make the most out of BNI

Do you think that this might just be of interest to potential members?

The suggestion for you all this week is get out your new member tape – or if you don’t have it anymore buy one – and give it to a prospective member.

Then ask for it back within 7 days! This creates the perception of value, particularly if you tell them you have other people who are interested in their category.

Try this at a chapter meeting and track the response. Be sure to share them here!

In networking: The more memorable (positive and helpful) you are, the better the results. Questions? Feel free to call BNI Executive Director and Relate2Profit.com Evangelist Cys Bronner 866-889-3466 or email her at Cys.Bronner@BNI4success.com
Her motto: BNI, Making word-of-mouth marketing work for you.

Invite With A Difference!

As our BNI chapters get more accustomed to their new roles this term our Growth and Retention chairs are seeking for more ways to grow the chapter. The same is true for the Education Coordinators. This is a fabulous opportunity for them to do what BNI support teams do best – work as a team by involving the chapter through education – the purpose of what we’re doing here today is to highlight the importance of how to invite guests to BNI.

To start, ask the members what procedure they go through when they invite guests.

Repeat some of the responses. You’re going to get some ideas that even you haven’t thought of and it is always a good idea to elevate your voice so that others in the room may hear what was said.

No matter what responses you get, now ask them would they like an idea that will almost guarantee attendance?

Here is the idea!

  1. Invite guest
  2. Make sure you get their email address
  3. When they say yes email all your members with the following email.

I have invited ………………. (name of guest) to our next meeting.

She/he is a ……………………… (category) and will fit very well with our current members who are …………………….. (list categories).

Please make sure you that you welcome …………………… (name of guest).

  1. cc the email to your guest.

Repeat the above steps to make sure all members got them down.

Now ask your members what they think might be the result of the guest being aware of the other members and their categories?

Finish by telling that…

By using this method they will easily make their invite “stand out” and most probably ensure the guest’s attendance.

In networking: The more memorable (positive and helpful) you are, the better the results. Questions? Feel free to call BNI Executive Director and Relate2Profit.com Evangelist Cys Bronner 866-889-3466 or email her at Cys.Bronner@BNI4success.com
Her motto: BNI, Making word-of-mouth marketing work for you.