A very busy and vibrant business meeting this week with 55 people sitting down to a great breakfast and great business at Gravesend BNI.
Same BNI format with some changes to accommodate our visitors kicked off with Gareth Bridgland of Perrys accountants taking the education slot. Gareth used the newspaper ad analogy, pointing out that a small linage ad in the local newspaper gives minimum information with little incentive to buy yet costs about the same per week as BNI membership with breakfast. And BNI provides a solid, reliable and active 40 plus member sales force which is a vital part of any marketing strategy.
Chapter Director, Peter Jones was pleased to announce some rather special awards and asked Jill Russell , Area Director Consultant, to present some long term membership awards within the Chapter. Jill was pleased to congratulate Michael Mew of Riverview Clinic, Colin Howell of C Howell Decorating, Matthew Twitchett of Mathews Plumbing and Heating, Mike Thornton of PCL and Thorntons and Darren Walker of Focus Electrical Contractors Ltd on their Five Year plus memberships.
Jill also had special congratulations for Ten Year memberships of Peter Jones of PJ Office Services, Melvyn Potter of Potters Kitchens and Bathrooms, Mark Blenkarne of Apex Law and John Ogden of John Ogden Associates. Just goes to show that BNI works and works very successfully in the long term.
Quick fire presentations followed and were concise and effective. Anita McAloren and Camilla Seton gave us a couple of odes to BNI, Chris Warden donned a wig and tried to convince us he was Fabio Cappelo, Nick Keily made clever use of film titles, but the winner of the 50 second presentations this week was Steve Rouse of The Logo Centre. Steve told us who he was, what he did and what he wanted. Simple, effective, and a winner!
To give our visitors more information the ten minute presentation was changed to two talks by Chapter members highlighting the benefits they had found from BNI. Steve Kennedy of Payment Sense said that within his 6 month membership he has seen his turnover increase by £500,000 so he found BNI very worthwhile!. Dan Insley of Clicks Media has been a member at Gravesend over three years and found the 40 or so member sales team to be very effective in generating long term leads for his company. Dan also established several joint ventures through his connections in other BNI Chapters.
But of course, this Thursday was Visitors Day and very successful with 16 Visitors and 39 members or subs. A new table layout was needed to accommodate the extra people and the kitchen staff worked extra hard to produce all the breakfasts as ordered. PJ kept the proceedings moving swiftly and our visitors said afterwards how impressed they were with the meeting. Some of the topics that impressed the most were:
The welcome they received
The amount of referrals passed in the meeting
The business generated
The commitment of the members
and the organisation which enabled members to maximise opportunities.
The referrals and testimonials part of the meeting is always impressive, but especially busy this week with lots of referrals to visitors from members and vice versa . 86 referrals were passed and ,helped by three large thanks for the money cards passed to Mike Thornton, the amount of business passed this week was an impressive £66,456.40. These high amounts are fairly consistent and business passed is up by 50% year on year.
Congratulations to PJ and the management team and Visitor Hosts for a very successful meeting, – which of course ended on time!
Anyone wishing to increase their business, have fun and gain a great sales team should ask any member of Gravesend BNI or contact our Membership Co-ordinator, Melvyn Potter on 07793908122. Any comments or feedback welcome on Linkedin or to me, Roger Crosby 07740 919451