WomensNet News

March 20th 2011

Great Advise to pass on!! Business Networking, referral style

I recently found this article in my local newspaper. To WNN, it seems like excellent advise!!  I took a look at BNI’s website.  They have organizations all over the United States.

Written by:Cynthia Benjamin/Staff writer/ Democrat and Chronicle

Near the end of Thursday’s meeting of Business Networking International Rapid Referrals, Chris Hannold, a painter, shared his gratitude with the group.
After all, it had been his day to be one of the two presenters. For eight minutes, the 36-year-old shared about his Penfield company, Perfection Painting. The small-business owners and other professionals at Flour City Diner, where the weekly meetings are held, liked his presentation, and they said so when they got a chance.
“I just want to thank everyone for being wonderful to me,” Hannold said. The group has referred 10 new customers his way. “Every referral, you don’t get the job, but I’ve received at least seven where I got the job.”
He referred at least 10 customers to other members, or partners. In fact, referrals are a significant part of the mission.
Matthew Drouin of Nothnagle Realtors, the chapter’s vice president, said that since Jan. 1 there have been 170 referrals and $40,000 in business completed.
During the meeting, chapter President Elisa Martin, a financial planning specialist with Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC, asked participants to talk about their business. They essentially shared what would be a good referral for them, and there was a catch — they had 60 seconds to stand up, say it and sit down, thus the “rapid referrals.” If they didn’t finish in a minute, a timer beeped right in the middle of their talk. That helped accomplish a lot in a little time over lunch, with more than 20 people in the room.
After Hannold’s presentation, Matt Whitcomb of East Rochester, the second presenter of the day, taught the group a technique on how to start a conversation about his business, Lasting Legacies, which he hopes will go national. He also has an objective to help other members, which he also calls his partners.
“I say, ‘you know, what I don’t do is painting, but I know someone who does.'”
BNI has about 140,000 members worldwide, he said, and some 20 chapters in the Rochester area, ranging in size from 10 to 30 members each. BNI gives its members a chance to share ideas, exchange contacts and business referrals.
Each chapter has one person per profession, so there is, for example, only one chiropractor, one certified public accountant, one real estate agent. The occupation can be anything, according to the website.
To learn more or to visit a meeting, go to www.bnineny.com.

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