Visitor Mornings

Our next Guest day is Thursday 31st October 2019, but if you can’t wait that long contact us to arrange a visit

The start time for all dates is 6:45 am at the Hallmark Hotel in Grappenhall and a full breakfast is provided. A wide range of visitors are expected and YOU are welcome to attend to meet many like-minded business colleagues and to find out how BNI can help grow your business. Providing your business/profession is not in competition with any of the existing members you will be given the opportunity to speak for 60 seconds about your own business.

Contact us to confirm your place.


Be Part of the Crowd

Educational Slot

Ed Slot – Understanding the BNI Gains

GAINS Worksheet

How well do you know the people you want to include in your network? Chances are you have a little homework to do. Spend more time with the people you already know and concentrate on learning these five essentials – their goals, accomplishments, interests, networks, and skills. Make sure you give back the same kind of information. The more they know about you, the faster your name will come to mind when an opportunity arises in which your products, services, knowledge, skills or experience might play a part.

  • Goals – Goals are the business or personal objectives you want or need to meet for yourself or the people who are important to you. You need to define your goals and have a clear picture of the other person’s goals. The
    best way to build a relationship with someone is to help them achieve their goals!
  • Accomplishments
    People like to talk about the things they are proud of. Remember, some of your best insights into others comes from knowing what goals they have already achieved. Your knowledge, skills, experiences and values can be surmised from your achievements. Be ready to share your accomplishments with the people you meet.
  • Interests – Your interests can help you connect with others. Interests are things like playing sports, reading books and listening to music. People like to spend time with those who share their interests. When you and your network source share the same interests, it will strengthen your relationship.
  • Networks – You have many networks, both formal and informal. A network can be an organisation, institution, company or individual you associate with.
  • Skills – The more you know about the talents and abilities of the people in your network, the better equipped you are to find (and refer!) competent, affordable products and services when the need arises. And when
    you’re trying to round up business opportunities, the more people know about your skills, the better your chances!


Download the GAINS Worksheet

Planning Your 60 Seconds

A lot of things can happen in 60 seconds: 250 babies are born around the world, 1.8 million ‘likes’ are made on Facebook and Americans eat 21,000 slices of pizza. But what can you do in 60 seconds?

Let’s break this down to four parts;

  • Step 1: The Opening (10 seconds) – Every famous speech needs a powerful opening to capture the audience’s attention and your pitch needs this too.  It could be a quote, a statistic, or a question that grabs attention and gets the group involved.  These openings need to be unique – you do not want to use the same line over and over and over …
  • Step 2: Your Introduction (15 seconds) – Now it’s time to introduce yourself.  In doing this you need to highlight what makes you special, unique, different.  An example could be: I am a mortgage broker, but I’m not the same as all other mortgage brokers so I need to make sure this is conveyed in my introduction.  Instead “Hello, my name is XX and I am your local mortgage broker based just up the road in Lymm. My business is called XXX and while we are not the biggest mortgage brokering company, we have the reputation as being one of the best and it’s that reputation that help us when working with the banks to get the very best for our clients.”
  • Step 3: The Message (25 seconds) – By now 25 seconds have gone and you should have captured the groups attention and introduced yourself. Now is the time to tell them the main message and you have 25-seconds to do this. You should be targeting your message with the intention of getting your dream referral, so when you are presenting you need to be mindful that members may have heard the message before and you want to keep their interest. Of course there are many ways to relay the same message and you need to come up with a variety that you can use. Today it may be a story of someone’s experience or how you fixed someone’s problem, and then next week it may be that you explain something technical about your product or service.  In these 25 seconds, you need to try and get your message across to your group in a manner that allows them to understand what you can do and therefore enables them to identify prospects and then get referrals for you. Make it easy for people in your group.
  • Step 4: The Conclusion (10 seconds) – At the end of your 60 seconds, you must clearly communicate what it is you want from the group. This is where you need to be as specific as you can.  Whatever it is you want …money for the company, potential partnerships, or something else – your audience must be made fully aware.  Always thank people for listening and sign off with a memory hook – something like “thank you for lending me your ears, and as your local chartered financial planner I would like to help people that you know that would benefit from sound financial guidance.


In conclusion:

  • Treat your 60-seconds seriously
  • Put some effort & imagination into it
  • Practice beforehand


Thank you to Rob Higgins for this week’s Ed Slot

10 Shades of a Referral

Alex Dale of Vitality Health Care delivered the Educational Slot on Thursday 20th June 2019 on the different ways you can pass a business referral:

  1. I give a name and / or contact information only
  2. I give out literature art, business cards, or company information
  3. I authorise the use of my name
  4. I send a letter of recommendation with a testimonial
  5. I send a letter of introduction and a follow-up phone call
  6. I qualify a prospect’s specific need or interest and arrange permission for the referral source to call the prospect
  7. I qualify a prospect’s specific need or interest to connect the referral source and the prospect with the understanding that will meet for an appointment
  8. I qualify a prospect’s specific need or interest and arrange a three-way, face-to-face meeting where myself, the referral source, and the prospect are all present
  9. I describe products and services in person so well that I can tell the person I’m referring what a prospect specifically needs within their product or service.
  10. I bring my referral source a closed deal

The Importance of Listening

Sam Bridger of Bridger Consultancy took the Ed Slot this week on Listening Skills.

Bridger Consultancy - Sam Bridger - BNI Focus WarringtonIf you don’t know how important listening skills are, just think about the last time when someone listened to you and you really felt heard. How did that feel?

Now contrast that to how you felt when you didn’t feel anyone listened, or when people interrupted or ignored what you said? Feel the difference?

Here is a quick sketch of the different depths of listening skills and some ways to improve yours:

  1. Respect the speaker
  2. Pay Attention
  3. Maintain eye contact
  4. Try and listening more actively so be present and ‘listen to understand’.
  5. Don’t just listen to the words 90% of understanding is non-verbal so facial expressions, body language, quality of silences, underlying emotions also give you a lot of information
  6. Ask questions. Be curious
  7. Feed back what you think you’ve heard. From time to time, check that you’ve understood what they’ve said.  Summarise as best you can what you’ve heard – without interpreting it or twisting it to your own point of view. This will strengthen your ability to listen carefully because you will be calling upon yourself to check your understanding with the other person.
  8. Let go of needing to find an answer or be ‘right’. Stem the impulse to have an answer, solve a ‘problem’ or ‘be right’ about something.

 

Tim Jordan and James Brooksbank BNI Focus Warrington

In today’s meeting – 6th June 2019

Highlights from the BNI Focus Warrington chapter meeting at the Hallmark Hotel this morning included:

  • An excellent education section (ed slot) from Sam Bridger of Bridger Consultancy who spoke about the importance and benefits of listening. Something that most of us take for granted and don’t do properly. It was fascinating to understand the four levels of listening, how we can improve and how much we could learn and benefit from doing so.
  • Last week’s winner of the BNI Focus coveted 60 second trophy was Tim Jordan of FDR Law, not only does that mean he had extra 30 seconds added to his 1 minute presentation but he had the job of randomly selecting members to deliver their weekly infomercial and to choose the winner for this week – James Brooksbank of ConstructSys.
  • As it is the first meeting of the new month, then the Notable Networker of the month was announced. Hayley Hilton of Helping Hands was handed the crown – and very well deserved. Hayley has been a whirlwind or dynamo as she was described today and has a new member to the chapter has embraced the BNI philosophy and has been extremely active in having 1-2-1’s, visiting other chapters and passing referrals.
  • We had two new visitors to the chapter, both very welcome!
  • BNI Director Consultant Mark Jones joined the meeting today as our guest 10-minute speaker and presented an excellent initiative to help members and the growth of our businesses and chapter
  • Our statistics showed that on a rolling YTD basis we are a £1.3m chapter in terms of business passed and thanked within the room. We are incredibly proud that we have retained our status of a £1m+ chapter for 5 years.

If all this sounds interesting and you would like to be part of a vibrant, hardworking, profitable and quite frankly a fun networking group – then get in touch to arrange a visit to our chapter – contact@bni-focus.co.uk

Every BNI Member is a Visitor Host!

A great Education Slot presented by James Brooksbank, Constructsys Ltd. 

 

BNI Visitor Hosting: It’s a Team Effort

As your BNI chapter can expect to welcome more than one visitor each week, your team of Visitor Hosts needs to be large enough to properly look after each guest.  The expected number of visitors depends on the size of your chapter, of course, and how active members are in bringing guests to your weekly meetings.

Your chapter’s Visitor Hosts also need to organise the team to look after different aspects of Visitor Hosting: greeting, orientation, and follow up.

The larger the chapter, the more Visitor Hosts you need to appoint.  Both – ensuring individual attention is given to each visitor, and distributing the workload – mean that chapters should have at least three Visitor Hosts to share the tasks, and to be able to concentrate on high quality hosting.

Because it’s professional, it’s polite – and because happy visitors are great referrers!

 

Meeting And Greeting

Your chapter’s Visitor Hosts are the first people a guest (and potential new member) meets when they visit your chapter.

They greet new arrivals and help them feel welcome.  Visitor Hosts make sure guests have a cup of tea or coffee, and explain how the meeting will run.  And because Visitor Hosts are expert networkers, they introduce guests to key people to get the networking ball rolling.

 

Making Introductions: Everybody Wins

A good Visitor Host finds out which businesses a guest is looking to connect with – but they also establish which members might benefit from meeting the guest.  Then the Visitor Host brings them together, introducing guest and relevant members.

Even with only little information available, clued-in Visitor Hosts know to introduce a visitor to representatives of the power team the guest’s business would most likely complement.

Either way, introductions made by the Visitor Hosts enable members and guests to network before the actual meeting begins.  Everyone will get the most out of pre-meeting networking – visitor, member, and your chapter.

Visitor Hosts ensure the President has the visitors’ details so they can be individually introduced to the chapter.

Perhaps most importantly for these potential new members, Visitor Hosts explain the Sales Manager Minute (a.k.a. 60 Seconds Infomercial), and the opportunity each guest has to share their business and ideal referral request with the group.

 

After The Meeting: Orientation & Follow Up

Visitor Hosts not only play a fundamental role in greeting visitors at the start of each chapter meeting, they also help visitors after meetings, both immediately and in the days following.

At the end of each meeting, Visitor Hosts join up with guests for a brief Visitor Orientation.  This orientation is the perfect opportunity for guests to ask questions and for Visitor Hosts to talk them through the application process.

During the orientation, Visitors Hosts should:

  • Thank the visitors for coming
  • Explain the commitments of membership
  • Handout the BNI Visitor Packs
  • Explain the application process and help visitors complete the application form
  • Collect application forms
  • Ask visitors to fill out the confidential meeting evaluation form

And because Visitor Hosts are such welcoming people, they phone new visitors a day or two after the meeting to check if they have any questions or need help with the application form.

 

So The Best Visitor Hosts Are…

A whole range of people!  From members who love to greet new people to those who can’t stop themselves talking about how BNI has boosted their business.

While it is important for the group of Visitor Hosts serving on the Leadership Team at any one time to have different talents, they do all share one important understanding: that by growing their chapter they are growing their own business. One inevitably flows from the other.

 

So Are You Ready To Be A Host With The Most?

Like the sound of being one of the welcoming faces of your chapter and increasing to your visibility and creditability?  Great!  Talk to your Leadership Team about becoming a Visitor Host.

 

Why I do BNI – by Will Howell

This week Will Howell delivered an excellent Education Slot on Thursday and highlighted his top seven benefits he and his business have achieved through being a member of BNI Focus.

“I have been a member of BNI since 2017. During that time, I have learned many skills, and I think it would be useful for anyone running their own business. BNI doesn’t suit everyone, as there are several rules to follow, it’s a big commitment, and the meetings occur very early in the morning.  

For those who don’t know, BNI is a professional networking organisation where members meet weekly for breakfast and help each other by finding new business for each other and making referrals. These are tracked and statistics are carefully kept for attendance, participation and the amount of business passed.  Just a few things people will get out of membership.

  1. Public Speaking practice – because you go to BNI every week and do a 60 second speech,
    you get lots of practice in public speaking, I have personally seen new members going from a ‘I
    don’t want to stand up to speak’ position to a stance that Suzette would be proud of, This also
    helps outside of meeting in the real world so we have a basis of an elevator pitch delivered with
    confidence.
  2. Taglines – many BNI members add a tagline to the end of their 60 seconds – and some people
    don’t have these when they join BNI but after being inspired by seeing others, they come up
    with clever ones. These help members and visitors have a micro pitch in the back of their minds
    and when an opportunity arises you will jump to the front of their minds.
  3. Making friends – BNI Is not just about getting new business, it’s about making friends, building
    relationships on a Meet, Like, Know Trust basis – it’s impossible to refer someone that you
    hardly know to a client of yours without being able to trust they can deliver what they promise
  4. Other networking opportunities – through BNI you will get to hear about other networking
    events – open networking events, monthly lunches, awards events, workshops and seminars
    and often its contacts you get there that will help you grow your business
  5. An education on how to network – Members in the room may be new to BNI and some will
    be long established members like Daniel, use their wisdom and techniques to learn and grow in
    the world of networking, having 1-2-1’s is crucial in BNI, I myself established a service I didn’t
    know Helen did in a 1-2-1 and have since been able to pass successful business.
  6. Knowledge of other types of businesses – At BNI you slowly over time become a bit of an
    expert on all of the members businesses, this is also established well in 1-2-1’s you can pick up
    bits on information that you never knew or never knew you needed to know about, for example
    when Tim had a member of staff tell us how there is no such thing as common-law marriage
    that shocked me as my daughter had just moved into her first house with her boyfriend and her
    name was not on the mortgage, from that information I fed this back to her and told her what
    needs to be in place to protect her in the future.
  7. Business referrals – Let’s be honest, we are all here to win more business, not from the room
    but through the room, and building those relationships will help these referrals come naturally, I
    have always described it like this, if you met a guy in the pub, let’s say he is called John and he is
    a plasterer, you have never met him before so would you instantly say “Come and plaster my
    ceiling” the answer of course is “No” but let’s say you see John in the pub every week and really
    get to know him although you have never seen his work apart from a few photographs, you
    have now built the trust and chances are when you need a plasterer, you know exactly who to
    call upon.

Education Slot: Sick of hearing the word NO?

How many times have you heard the word NO?  Have you been rejected or disappointed time and time again?   Well Colonel Harland Sanders, founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken, did. But he took his failures and didn’t just make lemonade–he made the world a better place.  His recipe was rejected 1,009 times before anyone excepted it.  His “secret recipe” was coined “Kentucky Fried Chicken”, and quickly became a hit. Read his amazing story.  

If you find rejection demotivating or setbacks getting you down, keep the story of Colonel Sanders to mind.   Think of those NOs as a practice run, success is just around the corner!