Business Synergy in BNI

Welcome to this weeks Education slot – courtesy of Mark LeHuray of Simblox Technologies. The subject of this weeks slot was something that we might not always appreciate the value of but we all benefit from it  business synergy. Here’s what Mark had to say.

When I was asked if I would do an education slot I said “no problem what would you like the topic to be”? When the answer was  business synergy I had to double check what he meant as I couldn’t see how that relates to BNI but when it was explained to me it all made sense.

 

So in terms of BNI what is business synergy?

 

There are many different types of business in the room but none of us compete with each other.  In most cases there will be natural links between them. So for me it’s relatively easy for Fiona, Dave, Matt, Derek, Colin and myself to help each other as we are all working in a similar environment. All of our customers are likely to also need the services of the the others. We have the same with Gary, Kevin and Gareth etc

 

This is great for BNI as it makes it easier for us to refer to each other, but there is more to it than that as a group of similar businesses can form what’s called a powerteam. The members of the power team meet regularly outwith the normal BNI meeting to actively work as a team to generate work for each other and this has the potential to be very powerful. Especially when as a team you can pitch for and get work that as separate businesses you would have no chance at.

 

I don’t believe there are any power teams in Bravo at the moment but for me it’s something I would certainly be willing to explore.

 

There is however a danger to this and its one that I am guilty of as it is all too easy to concentrate on dealing with the people you are most likely to work closely with and forget about everyone else. So although I have been a member since May I still haven’t had a 121 with Gareth or Kevin, not because I don’t want to but because their world is so different from mine. However for all I know my next best customer may be someone they know very well.

 

So to summarize there are always going to be business synergies between different BNI members and when operating as a team can be very powerful. However don’t get a blinkered view on the world make sure you take the time to help everyone who is a member.

The Importance of Subs

This weeks education slot was on the subject of the importance of having a substitute at the weekly meetings. It was written and delivered by our very own Sec/Treasurer Pam Cradock and, as always, featured some great information for BNI members.

So why do you need a sub?

Well because if I am not able to be here and do not have a representative or sub. I might miss the visitor who happens to be best friends with that contact I have been asking for, for the last three weeks.

What if next weeks’ guest was invited along by one of our members who specifically wanted to meet me and learn more about my business and I am not there to talk about my business?

What if one of the member’s has been working hard to get me a referral for next week and is so pleased that they have managed to get me an introduction……but I am not there and I am not represented?

All of these things might happen and because I didn’t bother to get a sub I missed out.

Also you will never know all the people your sub might know and one of your fellow members might be looking for an introduction.

So what should we be doing to ensure we have a sub?

Sub for other members at other chapters – this is a brilliant way to meet even more like minded people and because you are subbing for the member and not representing your business, that might already be represented in that chapter, there is no issue about treading on toes. Also subbing for other members means that they are likely to want to return the favour.

Look for your perfect “Sub Buddy” – they might be a client, maybe someone who supplies your business; bring them along to a meeting as a guest or even better a visitor. Find someone reliable and you more than happy to represent your business.

Look after your Sub – prepare them, about what to expect, how the meeting will run, write your 60 seconds in advance for them to read out and try to find them a contribution to read out on the day. They won’t feel embarrassed that they have nothing to contribute on your behalf.

Inform your Visitors Hosts – let them know who your sub is and expect them.

After all that, you can rest assured that you and your business are being well represented.