Tracy Alan Jones
Tampa Sports Massage
Know your referral partners:
"A few months after joining BNI in 2006, I was getting increasingly frustrated about the amount of and quality of referrals I was giving, and I can tell you it was a source of distress! I really wanted to help the other members of BNI Collaborators grow their business and to be hugely successful. I attended the training on referrals where we reviewed the referral-reality curve, and it became clear that I was pretty much right on schedule. I relaxed and set to work on getting to know my partners.
Years later, I marveled at how well some people did at generating referrals, how bold they could be, and quickly they could generate high quality referrals. That just was not me.... The distress started to build again. Why was it taking me so long and so much work to generate quality referrals for my team? I was really starting to beat myself up on a regular basis. Then, we had a training called "Room Full of Referrals" in which we completed a behavioral style analysis that let us know a little bit more about ourselves. It turns out that I very strongly fell into the category known as a "nurturer". But what did that mean? It meant that, in order for me to give a referral, I have to know a lot about a person and their business. I probably need that from a potential customer to refer them as well. It's not a handicap, it's just a quality I have. I now understood why I had to invest more time than some others to get to the point of making that great referral. I had to trust and to feel trusted. What a freeing concept!!
There was a member of our chapter who was rapidly growing a business and was looking to meet investors for his startup. It is called Savvy Card, a web based business card, and they needed to have extra capital to pay workers to develop functions within the program. I really knew I wanted to help, since I thought it could be very viable. Anyone who knows David Etheredge can see he is a go-getter, and I suspected all I needed to do was get a relationship started and the rest would fall into place, but I just wasn't quite comfortable. As luck would have it, David's wife was having some headache issues, and as a clinical massage therapist, I had some skills that were likely to help her out. She was also David's business partner and did a lot of work with their company. I met with her weekly for about 3 months helping her to get better. She talked David into getting some work as well. During this time together I became more knowledgeable about them and their company.
It was just what I needed to fuel me into finding a great referral. I had a colleague at the time whose wife represented investors. I set up a dinner meeting, made some fabulous introductions, sat back and watched the magic!
It felt so great to see two parties get together and begin to work out a relationship that would eventually spawn over 3 million dollars worth of capital investment into David and Lisa's project. Savvy Card was on the run!
Over the last couple of years, whenever I am meeting with David and his staff he introduces me and says, "Remember how I said it all started with a massage therapist? This is the massage therapist"! It feels so great, knowing I had a hand in giving a referral that generated over $3M!!! It really feeds the nurturer in me! I'm so excited to help my team grow, I can't wait for the next relationship to lead to a multi-million dollar deal."
Learning how to give selflessly has increased my business by 20% in my first 3 months. Thank you!
Thermaseal Insulation Systems
After attending other networking groups with limited results I was skeptical of BNI. Through required commitment, training, & attendance, my experience has been fantastic. 1 on 1’s have been enlightening, and overall team concept has helped our
company achieve $2,406,416.00 in TYFCB almost doubling the size of my company. Half of this is a result of visiting other chapters or attending Advance Training.
In 2007 Margo became a franchise owner with Liberty Tax and in her first year of preparing taxes they finished the season with fewer than 150 returns. She knew something had to change and became a BNI member in May 2008.
Finishing the 2014 tax season they completed over 1,100 tax returns, an increase of 25% over 2013! Margo cites that BNI referrals represent 65% of the growth!
Lisa & Cliff Kennedy
Alley Cat Pest Control
Member Success Story, Lisa and Cliff Kennedy, Alley Cat Pest Control, members of Roaring Revenue and Success Express.
Over the last year they have serviced 292 NEW clients and 196 of these were referrals FROM BNI! Now with approximately 700 active clients their total volume of new sales business has doubled!
Have been able to:
· Expand business
· Hire additional team members (office and in the field)
· Moved from 250 sq ft office space to an executive suite with two
offices, a conference room, kitchen and room to grow
Yesner Law, P.L.
Shawn Yesner with Yesner Law, P.L. received a text message from a member from BNI Philadelphia that found him from his profile on BNI Connect. The member had a client in Tampa who a PERFECT referral, fitting the description Shawn included in his BNI Connect profile. The client called him the next morning and hired him that afternoon generating $2,000 in closed business as well as future business Shawn will be handling for the client.
Shawn credits being thorough with the keywords in his BNI Connect profile as that is what triggers other BNI members to reach out to you.
Vernick Financial Planning
BNI Success Masters 10 year member, Mark Vernick with Vernick Financial Planning: My inspiration to stay in BNI for so many years? The obvious answer is because it has been financially beneficial to me. I can track 50% of my revenues to BNI in one way, shape or form. I also value the relationships with the members of the chapter. I get to know, like and trust them, and they become a great resource for my clients, which is invaluable. I have one particular client who always jokes with me “Mark’s got a guy…. I’m a “bottom line” kind of guy, and BNI is good for my ROI.
BNI is all about relationships, and relationships are important, not just with your referral sources, but with your clients. I’m not just selling my clients something and walking away, I’m developing long term relationships with them. When I was a Visitor Host, I would always tell the visitors ‘I don’t think I’m crazy, and I’m not stupid, so this must work.
As a financial planner, I have to develop a reputation of trust before people are going to invest with me, or refer me. It takes time to develop that relationship. In my business, it’s Know, Like and Trust times 10. After being a member for so many years, I have developed that relationships, and I receive a lot more referral snow than I did in the beginning of my membership, and I receive better quality referrals.
Jimmy & Chantel Bohanon
Bohanon & Assoc. Land Surveying, LLC.
Jim and Chantel Bohanon, with Bohanon and Associates, LLC, joined BNI Power Players in March 2010 as a co-set, then Jim joined BNI Powerhouse in April 2013.
With the down turn in the real estate market and the economy, my business had come to nearly a complete stop, so in 2010 we made the decision to basically start over with the two of us and a part time crew.
We tried all different types of marketing and networking, so initially when I was invited to a meeting, I wasn’t interested. But the client who kept inviting me was a good client, so I figured I would go to make her happy. We attended the kick off meeting for BNI Power Players, and in listening to Tom Fleming talk about BNI, I knew we needed to join right there.
In the past four years, our business has tripled in size, we now have 2 full time crews, an office manager, a Director of Operations plus Chantel and myself. And the biggest contributor to this success has been BNI.
For me, the training has been key. I thought I knew how to market my business, but I learned so many new things in BNI that have really made a difference. I am E2, and Chantel is E2 and a Certified Networker graduate, and I am signing up for Certified Networker the minute they schedule it here.
I tried many other tools to help grow my business, but none got the same results! It is absolutely the best tool you can use to grow your business.
Top Cat Cleaning
We joined BNI Success Express October 2006.
What did your business look like before BNI? I had just opened my cleaning company, and was the only person working for the company, so I was doing everything myself.
How did joining BNI affect your business? I really didn’t know any people in business , I didn’t know how to network, I came from a corporate back ground and had no idea how to market my business effectively. I got to know the members by doing 121’s, and developed trust with them so they began giving me a chance, first in their own homes and then referring me to their friends, family and clients. I now have referrals that have gone on to 12 generations. It truly is the philosophy of Givers Gain in action.
How are things different now? My business has grown to the point where I now have 15 full time employees and over 200 regular clients.
What do you feel has been the key to your success in BNI? Everyone in my chapter tries to help one another. Also, being only one person per profession in a chapter is a great benefit because the members get to know me as the person to refer to for their cleaning needs, plus meeting every week gives us the opportunity to know what everyone is looking for to help grow their businesses. The Know, Like and Trust is what has sky-rocketed my business to where it is now.
Florida West Insurance
“The main reason I have been a member of BNI for 10 years is the results. BNI works, if it didn’t I would go elsewhere to help grow my business. I also love that it gives me the ability to help others and live the Givers Gain philosophy.”
“Every year that I have been a member of BNI, I have seen and increase in my business, which of course equals more money. I know more people, I am more educated about networking and these are valuable things to help my business grow. If someone is looking for a class on networking, this is it. I have also had the added benefit of being able to improve my public speaking skills. “
“One thing I have learned, it’s more than just your chapter, more than just your area or region. There is an “I” in BNI that stands for International, and members need to utilize BNIConnect. When Ivan Misner was here in Tampa, he was asked about his vision, and it was BNIConnect. You need to stay connected, not just to the members of your chapter, but to members of other chapters and former members. Keep those relationships alive, they really matter. “
“Over the years, because of BNI, I have become more focused in my networking and promoting my business. I used to use the Yellow Pages and I bought “leads”. Now, my main focus for growing my business is BNI and the Chamber.”
Paul & Mitzi Beeler
Bloomerz Lawn Services
In February 2012 the BNI Dealmakers Chapter formed. The first year Bloomerz Lawn Services did $11,000 in Thank You for Closed Business as a result of our membership. This year we closed over $35,000 in Thank You for Closed Business and have a goal of $75,000 in 2014! We used our BNI referral partners to shrink our driving distance to just the South Tampa market making our time more efficient.
Artisan Insurance Group
Thank you to BNI Tampa Gainesville for teaching me how to work ON my business instead of working IN my business. Also a big thank you to the Referral Institute Tampa Bay Certified Networker Program. I quickly saw an extra $5,000 PER WEEK in sales due to the techniques that I was taught by Tiffanie Kellog.
Chris' Carpet Care
Chris Nierling, owner of a carpet care company and member of BNI Power Players in Ocala is “Thanks for Giving”. Chris is the one member in BNI Power Players who has exceeded each of the chapters goals (Attendance, CEU’s, 1:1’s,Referrals, Visitors and TYFCB) over the last year. How has he been thanked from his fellow members? Chris just finished his 1000th job as a direct result of referrals from BNI. Given his membership tenure that’s an average of 4 pieces of closed business received PER WEEK.
First Choice Roofing
After being approached at least 5 times - his company joined in 2008. He now boasts BNI rescued his business. When he first joined, he was spending $4500 per month on Print Advertisement with a 30% closing rate. He started meeting the members and getting involved in leadership roles and training classes. After the first year he closed over $90,000 in business from BNI. He stopped using print advertisement as the construction industry crashed. He realized that the percent of his business from BNI referrals was increasing and his closing rate on referrals was 80% and they took less time and hassle to close them.
After his second year as a BNI member, his business from referrals grew to $180,000 and after his third year over $300,000 in business from BNI referrals! He learned to focus his efforts on the 'c' portion of his business and not the 'v'.... so he didn't need the print advertisement and for 3 years has had $0 in print advertisement, he has more time, and his business has shifted to referral business.
Patriot 1 Lawn Service
I'm continuing my active use of BNI World Wide.
Okay, so maybe not WORLD wide, but at least within our continent.
I had another closed business from Arizona's Painted Mountain chapter this week, and it included a referral to a property owner in Chicago. I was out to give the estimate and was given the job to care for their property in Weeki Wachee.
When Mrs. Lancaster of Weeki Wachee mentioned to her daughter in Arizona that she needed a lawn service (Her husband had passed away), Sandra Lancaster of Strictly Custom Carpets, BNI Painted Mountain, Mesa Arizona, used the internet to look for help for mom and (naturally) looked at the local BNI group. That's where she found my information. She called and I went to meet her mom and we made a deal for her lawn to be cared for. Mom was pleased.
The adjoining (vacant land) lot is owned by Sandra's sister and brother-in-law in Chicago. It was very overgrown, perhaps hadn't been mowed in years. Sandra gave her my contact info and I struck a deal to mow that lot, also. Mom's is about an acre and a half, the sister’s is about twice that size.
Also, one of my snow-bird customers in New York State is planning to retire soon. They are undecided whether to try and sell their home in Peekskill, or to rent it out. I contacted Susan Smith of BNI Referral Networkers in Peekskill by e-mail on Saturday. She contacted my customer and introduced herself. She will help them to decide whether to sell or rent.
My customer is surprised, to say the least, that I "know and trust" someone in Peekskill!
They won't even have to hunt for a realtor! To them, I am so much more than their "lawn man", I am THE man!
I have come to see that having a profile on the site, and updating it regularly, helps to get me more customers, especially since BNI is becoming more exposed to people.
I have snow-bird customers in 12 states. I have business from 15 states...3 being directly related to the BNI outreach that has occurred.
I have told my out-of-state BNI contacts to put the referrals in at their meetings. Even if these referrals don't ever get counted from either end, just making the announcements within the meetings, here AND there, should tweak people's thinking about using chapters’ out-of-the-area to refer business to from their contacts. We can still include any TYFCB, even if there's no tracking of it or getting credit toward our numbers.
I've even gone to the extent of looking at chapter's "Most Wanted Lists" and e-mailing their local contractors/business' and inviting them to the posted meetings. They may or may not come, but even if 1 out of 25 shows up, it could help a chapter grow.
Just workin' the plan.
City Auto Repair
Not long ago, I received an e-mail from Jay Feingold, a BNI member in Boca Raton who found me through BNI Connect. Jay said he had a son in Gainesville needing work on his car, and was so excited to find an automotive repair facility that was part of BNI in Gainesville. After reading Jay’s e-mail, I couldn’t wait to call him.
We talked, laughed, and got to know each other. Soon after, I talked to his son on the phone and we discussed his car and his options. He had taken the car to another shop and was told he needed major repairs – his air conditioner didn’t work and he needed new CV axles.
My team was able to make the repairs quickly. Both Jay and his son were delighted. Jay was so happy that he told his son to keep the whole BNI Green Machine member list handy in case he needs any other services here in town. I gained a new and happy customer – and we never would have met if it weren’t for BNI!
Randall Insurance & Financial Group, Corp.
When I first joined BN three years ago I had one full time employee and myself. My new business process consisted of praying the phone would ring. Today, three years later I now have 3 full time employees and myself. I no longer have to pray the phone will ring, in fact sometimes I’m praying for it to NOT ring, just so we can catch our breath
My time in BNI has been extremely fruitful for me and my company. In 2010 BNI was responsible for just under 4% of my new business. By 2011, the percentage of new business attributable to BNI had increased to 23% which equates to $125,000 in new business revenue. Thru the first 4 months of 2012, BNI is responsible for 43% of my new business, which equates to $82,000 in new business revenue.
If you include the renewals that I continue to receive, well over 50% of my current business can be traced back to a BNI referral.
The best part of BNI for me is that not only do I receive great referrals but that the referrals are so easy to work with. Most referrals are practically sold by the time I even talk to them. My fellow members do such a great job selling me as an agent that my sales process for the referral amounts to collecting a check and getting signatures!
If you are interested in growing your business I strongly encourage you to submit an application today so you have a chance to lock out your competition. BNI has been the primary source for my new business over the past 2 years. I’m confident that it can work just as well for you as it has for me.
Dr. Albert Gadomski
Chiropractic Health Center, Inc.
BNI has given me the opportunity to treat several WORLD CLASS athletes with GREAT results......I am encouraged by their level of committment each and every time I see them. My bar has been raised.
Room Full of Referrals, trained by Robin Lavitch, which I took 2 years gave me such insight into my personality style that I was able to craft an entirely new and highly invigorating direction for my business and my life. I know you go to the class with the intention to learn how to "network in a room", but if you turn that education internally and examine yourself honestly, the insights you will get in 2.5 hours will amaze and inspire you. Thank you Robin for helping me work toward my passion!
Pathway Consulting, LLC
Pathway Consulting, LLC of the BNI "Outlook to Success" chapter had outgrown their office space and was moving to new premises. The office space we had found was not in the greatest shape and definitely not of the professional image we demand of our business. It is year end, tax season and we needed to move quickly as to cause as little disruption to our clients. Why worry all I had to do was to turn to my BNI family for help. Not just at "Outlook to Success" but across mutiple chapters of fine people I had met over the two years with BNI.
The office space had to be painted. Dial 1-BNI- Ed Archambault Painters - "Outlook to Success". Came over and within two days turned the office from dirt and holes to a beautiful office space.
Phones needed to be installed. Phone 1-BNI - Digital Brainz (Brad Savage)- "Wesley Chapel Chapter". He held our hand and helped us the whole way. Phone us today and you hear this cool voice explaining exactly what we do on our voicemail. There was no prompting from us, he knew our business.
We needed a lot of repairs and maintenance done, paintings hung, furniture assembled. 1- BNI- Rob Schneider- "Outlook to Success". Much laughter, champagne and the office was good as new.
Place needed to be cleaned. 1- BNI - Guy Colerick Cleaners - " Business Builders-Westchase Chapter" They are now our permanent cleaning crew. What a job.
We are now ready to move- 1-BNI- Two Men and a Truck. Ryan Knowles "Outlook to Success" What can I say but fantastic.
We need to new literature. Would not go anywhere without 1- BNI-PIP Marketing "Outlook to Success" Don you are great.
On a closing note I am doing a Social Media Course with Renia Carsillo to improve my skills. It is proving invaluable to my business. In the course, I learned I needed good professional head shots done for my Linkedin page. Phone 1- BNI -Jeanine McCleod –Referral Connection Photographic genius. Only Jeanine could do the impossible.
My opinion is that once you are part of BNI you can do anything in business.
Patriot 1 Lawn Service
I joined B.N.I. in June, 2011. I could see the potential in the system, although I was seeing it with blinders, my focus being on local referrals. What I didn't see, or know about, as a new member was how the Global reach of BNI could help a local "Lawn Service" in Florida.
It didn't take long for me to see the affects of being listed on the BNI web page.
About 10 days ago, I got a call from New York. A man who owns property in Hernando County had made a surprise visit. In that, he saw that the lawn service he had been paying for every month, wasn't being done. He asked his friends about finding a trust-worthy company. Someone he could trust.
Where do you look when you're 1,100 miles away? His friend said, "Let's check BNI Connect."
That's where they saw my profile and called me. I agreed to meet them at their home the next afternoon in Florida...Since then, they've given me the contract and a few more referrals.
I've learned quickly that if you plug into the system and learn to work it, do all the little things to keep the system moving smoothly, it can really pay dividends, not only in the relationships you build within the group, but with the customers that you serve and that geographical boundaries mean absolutely nothing when you're working with BNI.
Patriot 1 Lawn Service
Spring Hill, FL
Green-Leaf Signs & Graphics
I also want to extend my personal appreciation and gratitude to you for BNI. I was part of the core group of 17 members that started our chapter about 2 1/2 years ago. I had the honor to serve as our first VP and past President and our chapter currently is a healthy 41 members and growing. In my role as post VH I have shared that with many of our prospective member visitors, of course with the caveat that success requires working the system. Using BNI as my primary marketing strategy when I started my business I have seen my business grow 200% last year and on track for 200% this year. The professionals that are and have been part of our chapter, Tom and his team at regional, you an all the staff at BNI. What a blessing!!