Guest Blog Archives - Dr. Ivan Misner®
Secret

The Secret Hidden in the Open

I’ve asked Robert Skrob to write another guest blog for my site.  Robert is also the author of “Retention Point, which I highly recommend.  He previously shared the topics of “The New Customers Experience”, “Creating a Vibrant Community Around Your Company” and “Creating Case Studies” on my blog.   Today, he is sharing a networking secret. Read closely – Robert is truly an expert.

There’s an ultimate test of physical endurance and mental fortitude: a six-day, 153.2 mile ultra-marathon across the Sahara desert called the Marathon des Sables (Marathon of the Sand). Competitors carry their own supplies as they compete in temperatures exceeding 120 degrees. The longest one-day distance covers 50.6 miles and includes 14.3 miles of sand dunes.

Four-time champion Mohamad Ahansal grew up in the Sahara. And in a place where most just try to survive, the skills Mohamad learned helped him become a winner in one of the most grueling footraces in the world. Since 1997, either Mohamad or his older brother, Lahcen, had won the race, until the 2014 year, when Rachid el Morabity, their trainee, beat Mohamad by seven minutes. Morabity has won the race each year since.

Morabity attributes his winning time to using a unique zigzag method to climb the large sand dunes that make up many miles of the race.

“Other runners, they go directly up the hill,” Morabity says. “They don’t notice the secret.”

Even though it’s easy enough to see the secret, instead of emulating the champion, competitors innovate their own improvements and try to barrel directly up the hill. Their intuition tells them that a straight line is the shortest distance and the shortest distance is always the quickest. Instead of learning from the proven results of the winner, they follow their less experienced intuition.

I used to think the same way. I’d learn a technique or a strategy from a mentor, and then I’d put my own spin on it. I’d say to myself “That may have worked for him, but I’m going to improve it and make it work even better for myself.”

It took me years to figure out my mentor’s technique was already improved. I was learning from the champion. There was no need for me to create my own innovations. Instead, I needed to get better at emulating what had already been proven to work.

I see people (who should know better) make this same mistake all the time. Instead of simply emulating what works, they try to make improvements. Or worse yet, they ignore the aspects that work and imitate the insignificant details.

They see, but they do not learn.

Within BNI, we have Ivan Misner, Ph.D. to learn from and emulate. He’s been networking, teaching networking and thinking about networking for more than 35 years. And yet, what do some new chapter officers do, make their own “improvements” to the system.

On its surface, following the system may appear difficult. It may seem like a harder way.

However, it’s similar to the Marathon des Sables champion’s “shortcut” of zigzagging back and forth while climbing sandy dues for miles. At first glance, the zigzagging appears to add more distance. Why would you want to add steps when you are already running 50 miles through a desert?

It’s because when you are running 50 miles through a desert, adding a few feet through slogging sand in an uphill climb saves you a lot of energy. That saved energy helps you endure longer and reach the finish line more quickly.

Too many people add features, change scripts or create innovations that reduce their own performance. What’s worse, they are also impacting the performance of every member of their chapter.

Instead, focus on following the system.

If you want to make changes, be clear about the goal you are trying to accomplish.  Become a scientist by first setting a hypothesis, “I believe making a change to ____ will increase referrals passed.”

If you can increase the number of referrals passed, Dr. Misner is eager to learn how you did it.

Dr. Misner approaches BNI as an engineer. If you can build a better, cheaper bridge in a shorter period of time, every engineer wants to know about that. Same with Dr. Misner and BNI, if you innovate a way to increase referrals within a chapter, then we all want to know about it.

But, making changes because you have a preference or belief isn’t good enough.  There are too many smart business people who are depending on the performance of your chapter to take any chances.

Follow the secret, hidden in plain sight. Then test innovations to determine their impact on your chapter.

Case Studies

How to Create Case Studies that Make Customers Buy, Engage and Ascend

I’ve asked Robert Skrob to write another guest blog for my site.  Robert is also the author of “Retention Point, which I highly recommend.  He previously shared the topics of “The New Customers Experience” and “Creating a Vibrant Community Around Your Company” on my blog.  Today, he is sharing the topic of creating case studies. Read closely – Robert is truly an expert.

Creating Case Studies

Your customer has three important decisions to make about you and your products. With each decision you have the opportunity to win or lose the customer.

Those decision points are:

  1. Should I give this product a try?
  2. I bought, is this really worth what I invested in time and money?
  3. I’ve been a customer for a while, I’ve enjoyed this in the past but is this still worthy of my time and money?

There’s one marketing tool that can help your customer choose you each time: a well-crafted client case study.

Really? A client case study?

Yes. These case studies and client stories are the most powerful tools you have on your side to foster strong relationships with potential customers, new customers, and long-time customers.

The publishing industry has undergone a huge transformation in recent years with subscriptions at historic lows. Today, Business Week is a shell of what it was with fewer than 950,000 subscribers each month. People Magazine, however, has more than 3.5 million subscribers. People want to read about other people.

Your customers want to hear about people like them. They want to hear stories of striving, overcoming, and of the underdog beating more powerful rivals. As great as your teachings and training resources are for your members, these stories are what they really want. You’ll attract and retain your customers in proportion to how well you deliver these stories.

These stories also prove that what you say is true. When you deliver example after example of individuals who have used your product or service and succeeded, you impact how your members think about your program and themselves. Even if a customer hasn’t gotten results. After reading or watching a video about one of your client success stories, they think, “Gee, maybe this is possible.”

After enough of these stories, your customer says to himself, “If that guy can do it, I can do it, too.” After this mindset transformation, she’s a lot more likely to use what she purchased and consider buying more. Which brings us to the question of the day:

How do you write a terrific client success story?

Recently, a long-time client asked me the following question about case studies; perhaps you have wondered something similar:

“My question for you is do you use these questions on clients based on what YOU did for them? YOUR process? Meaning, should I do these to sell myself and my product? Or do I put these forward as their own case studies of how my client became successful and leave me out? Then just mention some of the things I teach?”

On how far to promote yourself and your strategies in your case studies — it depends on the how you are using them.

If you are presenting case studies within a sales presentation, then you’ll want to make it clear where you were involved.

Or, if you are presenting this case study to existing members, you may be advocating a key philosophy. In this case, you may indicate the person is a member or client, then describe how using a particular product or service you sell created the impact.

To summarize: If you are in an overt sales situation, then be overt about your involvement. Then, in many other cases, it may be appropriate to illustrate the power of implementing your philosophy.

My formula for creating case studies is simple. I start by recording an interview with my member. I then provide the interview transcript to a writer to create a written case study.

Here are interview questions to get you started.

As you read the questions, replace the words “your member breakthrough process” with the name of your product or coaching program:

  • What’s your background? How did you get started doing what you are doing now?
  • How did you discover “your member breakthrough process”?
  • What did you think of it when you first saw it?
  • How did you get started implementing “your member breakthrough process”?
  • What has changed in your life since you discovered “your member breakthrough process”?
  • What advice do you have for someone else who has just discovered “your member breakthrough process” and is deciding whether or not to try it?

For best results I conduct these interviews personally. I can explore areas that would be interested to members by asking follow-up questions. However, if time is short I’ll often send these questions out as a survey instead.

Once I have a good interview recorded, I use the transcript to craft a compelling success story.

Once you have these case studies, you can use them in presentations, monthly newsletters, pull them together into books to give to prospects, or include them in email follow-up sequences to convert more prospects int customers.

Use demonstrations, capture case studies everywhere you can, and teach through examples rather than relying only on lectures.

Robert Skrob is the #1 expert in membership and customer retention and the author of the book, Retention Point The Single Biggest Secret to Membership and Subscription Growth. He has helped hundreds of membership programs launch and then grow from start-ups to become some of the largest membership and subscription companies in the world.

 

Frederick Marcoux

Say thank you and thrive! – by Frederick Marcoux

International Networking Week®: “A Week of One Million Thank You’s” stories from various international BNI leaders

Submitted by Frederick Marcoux, National Director – BNI Australia

Frederick Marcoux

This year’s International Networking Week theme is “One Million Thank You’s”. In Australia we’re really excited about this really engaging and meaningful theme! Saying “thank you” has a strong place in our culture. Furthermore, expressing gratitude and saying thank you is easy, fun and uplifting to give and receive. Therefore, this is really important and we’re doing it a million times during International Networking Week 2020!

Thank you to our amazing firefighters and other volunteers

The world press gave massive coverage to the bushfires happening in many parts of our country. We are still coming to grips with what 12 million acres of burned bushland and 1 billion animals killed means. However, many are suffering from the loss of loved ones and their property. Therefore, we are grateful to our amazing firefighters and other volunteers helping to address these challenges.

BNI Foundation Australia says Thank You!

We are grateful to BNI Global, BNI Members and Directors and others from 12+ countries who donated so far to the BNI Foundation Australia’s bushfires fundraising efforts (www.gofundme.com/bnifoundationaustralia). The funds will be used to help children and young people impacted by the bushfires. Furthermore, the GoFundMe organization itself donated $1,000 to our cause, and we are very grateful for that!

Resilience through abundance

Frederick MarcouxWe are very proud that BNI helps improve business resilience through the powerful support network we provide for business through our Chapters. It’s well documented that one of the top reasons for business failure in Australia is lack of support. Givers Gain® is serious business. Last year, the members of BNI in Australia generated $0.5 billion of additional revenue through a quarter of a million referrals. Members supported each other this way without expecting anything in return. This is an amazing display of abundance thinking and trust in the idea that “what goes around comes around”. This is why I believe that in BNI we support business by creating “Resilience through Abundance”.  The meaning of those few words put together is readily understood by business people experienced in our Givers Gain® philosophy.

Say thank you and thrive!

There are many more reasons to say “thank you”. In most cultures, the desire to be appreciated is common. It’s well documented that receiving thanks can have a profound impact on someone’s outlook on the day, on the week or even on their future. Does that sound a bit exaggerated? However, I don’t think so. The best job I ever had was when my accomplishments and efforts were regularly recognized and gratefully appreciated by my superiors.  Furthermore, there are even studies that show that someone regularly expressing gratitude has better heart health and more disease-fighting cells in their body!

Thank you Leaders of BNI in Australia

Frederick MarcouxGreat Leaders develop and nurture more Leaders, and BNI in Australia has many leaders who do just that! Therefore, BNI in Australia has more Franchisees than ever before thanks to the abundance mindset and awesome leadership of the Executive Director Team. A few months ago at the Global Convention in Poland, BNI Australia was awarded the “2019 Global Award for Franchise Development”. This means that Australia is the most developed “Franchised BNI Country” in the world today. Furthermore, that is thanks to the amazing collaborative spirit of our team. Therefore, in the spirit of recognition and expressing gratitude, it’s appropriate to acknowledge those who have contributed to this massive achievement:

  • Bob Greenup, Executive Director BNI Sydney Central for referring us Ilona Teremi the Executive Director of BNI Gold Coast. Plus, Paul English the Executive Director for BNI NSW South.
  • Braith Bamkin, Executive Director BNI Melbourne Central for referring us Lisa Thomas, Executive Director BNI Melbourne North and Helen Searle Executive Director BNI Melbourne West
  • Graham West, Executive Director BNI Melbourne East for introducing us David Harris
  • Glenn Anthoney, Former Executive Director of BNI Sydney North West for referring us Rebecca Raad, Executive Director BNI Sydney North West. Plus, Alison Attard, Executive Director BNI Sydney South West
  • Ilona Teremi, Executive Director BNI Gold Coast for referring us David McLean. Plus, Jeannie Anderson, Executive Directors for BNI Brisbane South East
  • Leisa Gill, Executive Director BNI Brisbane South West and Toowoomba without whom One Brisbane would not have been possible
  • Rob Warburton Executive Director for BNI Sydney North East for introducing us to Andrew Sim
  • Simon Derrick-Roberts, Executive Director for BNI Adelaide CBD and South for referring us Simone Douglas, Executive Director BNI Adelaide South

Finally, I would like to wish everyone an insanely great International Networking Week® 2020!

Frederick MarcouxNational Director – BNI Australia

 

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Sam Schwartz

One Billion Thank You’s – by Sam Schwartz and Yarden Noy

International Networking Week®: “A Week of One Million Thank You’s” stories from various international BNI leaders

Submitted by Sam Schwartz and Yarden Noy, National Directors – BNI Israel

Sam SchwartzYarden Noy

 

International Networking Week has a special place in the BNI Israel history. When it was first announced about 13 years ago, we decided to have our annual conference at the same time. This year’s theme is “One Million Thank You’s” we would like to change it to “One Billion Thank You’s” because in the last six years BNI Israel members reported / Generated on over “1 Billion Israeli shekels” thank you for close business. This is incredible.

We would like this opportunity and thank Dr. Misner for creating this amazing organization that is Changing the Way the World Does Business® influencing the economy of the small and medium businesses in Israel.

An attitude of gratitude it’s not a simple and easy thing to have and changing a culture to adopt it is even harder, but over the last 15 years since BNI was introduced to Israel, we were able to have thousands of members and directors that adopted this attitude doing business Locally Nationally and Internationally with BNI member all over the world.

According to the Israeli government statistics, the SME in Israel is responsible for 61% of the job in the commercial sector, generating 53% of the product and services that generate 78% from all the new net employment. We are proud to help our members and the economy to be successful.

BNI is not only a “Business Generating System” it’s a family!

We have a member Tomer Mor (photo above) that his parents went to Canada in 2018 for their Anniversary. His father felt some headaches and he was planning to go to visit the doctor but on his way, he fell asleep at the steering wheel. His mother woke him up at the last minute and took over driving. They went to the emergency care in the hospital where he had a CT done. They found 2 aneurysms: one new and one old and the brain was damaged, he was transferred by ambulance to a bigger hospital in Halifax which was an hour and a half away from the first hospital, he was hospitalized and waited for surgery.

The car they rented was at the old hospital and all their belongings were at the hotel. The family in Israel was worried and tried to find a solution to help the parents.

Tomer reached out to Hazel Walker which he met in the prior year when she was a keynote speaker at BNI Israel Conference. He knew she owned the territory in Canada. Hazel connected him immediately to Mike and Megan, owners of the BNI franchise in Halifax. They immediately took over and said, “Don’t worry. We will meet your mother tomorrow. We will take the keys and we will bring the car and your belonging to the hospital”. It took them over six hours on Friday to do all of this. They asked nothing in return! Tomer met with them after his father’s operation to offer to compensate them for all that trouble and they refused. So a big, big Thank You to Mike and Megan for the help and support.

A Week of One Million Thank You’s

We would like to thank our Members and our Executive Teams who trust us and followed the BNI system in an organization that changed their life. “One Billion Thank You’s” from the bottom of a heart to Dr. Misner and the BNI Global Support Team.

Wishing everyone a fantastic International Networking Week® 2020!

Sam Schwartz and Yarden Noy National Directors – BNI Israel

Jessica Gomplewicz-Milot

La Gratitude en France – by Jessica Gomplewicz-Milot

International Networking Week®: “A Week of One Million Thank You’s” stories from various international BNI leaders

by Jessica Gomplewicz-Milot, Directrice Nationale, BNI France et Belgique francophone

Saying thank you in France and receiving gratitude can be sometimes a bit tricky. Of course, you might have heard about how negative French people can be sometimes, but it is a bit more complicated than this! Let me give you a few explanations.

If you think about it, this difficulty to accept AND give gratitude starts in schools. While American teachers grade from 100% and then reduce the grade when they find mistakes in an essay or an exercise, French teachers start from 0 and add up points when you do good. It ranges from 0 to 20, the latter being perfection. You really have to prove that you are worth something, and it should suffice you. Having often 18/20 grades means you will be the top student of your class. If you get grades like 12/20 you are good enough to pass like most students, and below 10/20 means starting a schoolyear over again. 20 is not often, if ever, given. This is a good example of how French people have trouble recognizing their worth and accept and value gratitude. A lot of them are not cheer on or thanked for their hard work, and it almost feels too much when those moments of recognition arrive.

Take the French language for instance: many reactions to compliments or signs of gratitude consist in diminishing what they accomplished. “You shouldn’t have.” “It’s nothing really!” “It’s natural/normal, don’t worry about it.” “No, no; I’m nothing special really.” All these are quite common to say.

A Week of One Million Thank You’s

Thankfully we still exchange formally gratitude, especially in the workplace, through letters, thank-you notes, emails or, and that is the best possible option, gifts and food. If you want to wow a French person at the end of the year and express gratitude, chocolates, regional specialties and treats are always very happily received. It sounds a bit cliché but it’s true! Pro tip: this also works if you want to make amends for any misunderstanding or wrongs that happened along the path.

If your French coworker has trouble thanking you during the year, but later sends you a letter, an email, or even better, one of their regional products, you know they truly value you and the work you put in.

The key point that I want to make here is this: compared to American people for example, it can be trickier to make French people literally say “Thank you!” or to get the point across when you want to thank them. However, once they truly see the intentions and gratitude you give, and what they can give in returns, it creates long-lasting trust and bonds.

Wishing everyone a fantastic International Networking Week® 2020!

Jessica Gomplewicz-Milot| Directrice Nationale – BNI France et Belgique francophone

Here are a few messages of gratitude from our Members towards their Chapters.

Patricia Mancini

Member of BNI Bierset Liège net

“ “…you’re the right person for us in finance, credit and investment.”

What a pleasure to hear that, and what a boost to my self-confidence thanks to my Chapter and an organization that allow me to thrive… I say thank you to them, they understood that human contact allows real exchanges and real business.”

See the article (in French) https://bnisuccessnet.fr/actualites/25-temoignage/1169-temoignage-seul-le-contact-humain-permet-de-faire-des-vrais-echanges

Florian Branche

Member of BNI Argelès Success

“ BNI accelerated my professional life, I met the right people in the right place. I have changed my professional life and made friends. I get up at 5am once a week with a smile on my face to have fun!”

See the article (in French)

https://bnisuccessnet.fr/actualites/25-temoignage/1140-temoignage-grace-a-bni-je-n-ai-jamais-prospecte

Cécile Jamelot

Member of BNI Namur Capitale,

“I accepted the role of President because it is in line with my job: giving wings to companies, but above all to the people who are part of them. It’s a way for me to highlight each Member. I try to bring out the best in them and that each one can give to receive.”`

See the article (in French)

https://bnisuccessnet.fr/actualites/18-success-stories/1137-successtory-j-ai-beaucoup-recu-de-bni-donner-est-un-juste-retour-des-choses

Tim Roberts

Thanking Those Who Provided The Opportunity – by Tim Roberts

International Networking Week®: “A Week of One Million Thank You’s” stories from various international BNI leaders

Submitted by Tim Roberts, National Director – BNI United States of America

Tim Roberts

This week, BNI celebrates International Networking Week and its Million Thank You initiative. It reminds me of how important it is to think about those who have made significant impacts on our lives that may not have been obvious at that moment in time.  Who helped you with what may have seemed like an insignificant act that, through the butterfly effect, changed the course of your business or life forever?

Thank You, Seth Tebbetts

For me, it is Seth Tebbetts, a BNI member in the BNI Power Partners chapter in Nashua NH and owner of the Tebbetts Insurance Agency.  Back in 2002, Seth was a recruiter for another insurance company. He gave me an opportunity to chase my dream of being an entrepreneur.  Seth was able to help me see the possibility of unlimited growth and face the fears of uncertainty.  If it were not for Seth I would have ended up in a management program after graduation. I know I would have hated this and who knows where my path would have led.

I was very familiar with BNI at the time because of the involvement of my parents. However, I would not have been able to become a member if I did not decide to go work with Seth.  This decision led me down an amazing path: from a struggling member getting little results, to a successful member, to finding my passion for BNI, to working BNI fulltime, to becoming an Executive Director owning multiple franchises of BNI. Now, I am the U.S. National Director.  While there are countless people who I can and should thank along this now 18-year journey, it is Seth who helped me take the very first step.  There is no way either of us knew at the time that this is where it would all lead, but that is not the point.

A Week of One Million Thank You’s

I challenge all of us to think back and thank those whom without we would not be where we are today.  I often speak to BNI members and ask them, “When was the last time they thanked the person who initially invited them to their chapter?”  We also make sure to thank the person who just gave us a referral. However, without that initial invite, EVERY referral we have or will receive from BNI would never have happened.

Thank you, Seth, for convincing me to take the leap of faith to become an entrepreneur. Thank you for helping me be able to get involved in an organization that has made such an impact on my family and me.

Wishing everyone a fantastic International Networking Week® 2020!

Tim Roberts National Director – BNI United States of America

 

Vibrant Community

Creating a Vibrant Community Around Your Company by Robert Skrob

I’ve asked Robert Skrob to write another guest blog for my site.  Robert is also the author of “Retention Point, which I highly recommend.  He previously shared the topic of “The New Customers Experience” on my blog.  Today, he is sharing the topic of “Creating a Vibrant Community Around Your Company”. Read closely – Robert is truly an expert.

Creating a Vibrant Community Around Your Company

What if you had 45 percent of the available customers within your market?

The mutual fund company, The Vanguard Group, does just that. More than 45 percent of the money flowing into mutual funds today goes into a Vanguard managed fund.

You’d think they wouldn’t need to do much for their customers. Since they specialize in index traded, set-it-and-forget-it type investment vehicles, you’d think they wouldn’t need to communicate with their members. In fact, the opposite is true. The Vanguard Group has one of the most vibrant customer tribes in the investment world, and it’s a large part of their success.

The term “Boglehead” may not mean much to you, but I’ve been a Boglehead since 1991. Actually, we weren’t called Bogleheads then; instead, we were known as “Vanguard Diehards.”

While I pursued my master’s degree in accountancy from Florida State University, I wrote a paper about index fund investing. Mind you, this was during the big recession of 1990-1992. Through my research, I discovered that fewer than 30 percent of the professionally managed mutual fund companies beat the S&P 500 index in any one year. And a much smaller percentage could beat the index over a period of five or 10 years.

I figured if full-time professionals couldn’t consistently beat the S&P 500 index, why should I believe I could pick stocks any better working part-time? I became a believer in index fund investing and have stuck with it ever since. Of the index funds, The Vanguard Group is consistently the least expensive, so I’ve been squirreling away my savings there ever since.

Jack Bogle, the founder of The Vanguard Group, passed away in January 2019 at the age of 89 years old.

As the founder and while CEO of Vanguard, Jack was an avid promoter of index fund investing. He was an outspoken critic of high-fee mutual funds and “financial buccaneers offering a panoply of silly investment strategies that people may not understand.”

Jack Bogle created thousands of fans. One of them started a membership site called Bogleheads.org. It’s grown to have an annual meeting with appearances by The Vanguard Group executives, a field trip to Vanguard headquarters, and featured speakers from the world of personal finance.

You may have different opinions with regard to investing. You may be a financial advisor who offers investment vehicles that directly conflict with what’s published on Bogleheads.org. However, see Bogleheads.org is an excellent case study on how you can create a vibrant community around your company, no matter what you offer.

Within the “Start here” menu, Bogleheads.org outlines the investment philosophy first promoted by Jack Bogle during the 1980s.  This gets new members caught up on the values of the Boglehead community. In a word, it indoctrinates them. This is a critical piece that’s missing from most information marketing businesses.

Bogleheads.org gives its members valuable information (ROI), a connection to a community of like-minded people, an opportunity to contribute by posting content, recognition for being helpful to other members, and an opportunity to be part of something greater than themselves.

Even though the site has a dated design and the founder of the philosophy has passed away there are still thousands of active users every day.

Plus, for Vanguard, it insulates its members against all the conflicting investment offers within the marketplace. The community helps customers believe the single best investment option is low expense mutual funds. The same low-cost mutual funds Vanguard happens to specialize in delivering.

What if you had a community indoctrinating new customers into believing the products and services you offer are indeed the best solutions to your customers’ problems? Perhaps like Vanguard, you could own 45% or more of your market?

It all starts with your core values. BNI’s core values are Givers Gain®, Building Relationships, Lifelong Learning, Traditions + Innovation, Positive Attitude, Accountability, and Recognition. When BNI members experience the power these values have within their business life they become excited members for life.

What are the core values of your company?

For The Vanguard Group, Jack Bogle had to convince investors that index funds were the smarter way to invest. What must your customers believe and how should they behave to get the most value from what you deliver?

This may be an “advanced” marketing skill. But when it’s complete, it can give you a fast-growing world-wide business that leaves competitors scrambling for second place.

Robert Skrob is the #1 expert in membership and customer retention and the author of the book, Retention Point The Single Biggest Secret to Membership and Subscription Growth. He has helped hundreds of membership programs launch and then grow from start-ups to become some of the largest membership and subscription companies in the world.

New Customers

Are you pushing your new customers away or building trust for repeat business? by Robert Skrob

Today, I’ve asked Robert Skrob to do a guest blog for my site.  I thought it was fitting because Robert was recently a guest at my home to work on a new book that we are writing (the working title is: The Connector Effect).  Robert is also the author of “Retention Point, which I highly recommend.  I should also note that he was a great guest at our home. That statement has nothing to do with the incredible Cabernet Sauvignon that he gave us as a gift for staying with us.   Today, he is sharing the topic of “The New Customers Experience”.  Read closely – he is truly an expert.

The New Customers Experience

Imagine yourself walking into a restaurant at 3:32 p.m. It’s three hours past your regular lunchtime, and you are starving because you were in a hurry and skipped breakfast earlier, as well as your normal lunch. You have a headache from not eating. Just from feeling so hungry, you are grumpy and all-around sick. You finally get the attention of the hostess who was busy with table work as the lunch rush has long passed. The hostess walks you to a table where you are immediately greeted by your server. Your server takes one look at you and says, “You look hungry. I’m here to help you get the food you need, as quickly as possible. These are the three items that come out of the kitchen the fastest this time of day. They are 1. Salads 2. Soups and 3. Sandwiches. Would you like one of these three options, or would you like to see the entire menu?

How would you feel about that experience? A lot more confident, right? I know I’d be excited to have a server who recognized what I needed and dedicated herself to getting it to me as quickly as possible.

What if, instead, the server showed up with a tray full of desserts saying, “Darling, we’ve got a bunch of desserts left over from lunch. Here are some key lime pie, cheesecake, and a bowl of ice cream. Enjoy.”

I don’t know about you, but I’d be frustrated. Dessert may be fine later, but right now, I’m starving. I’d like to eat something before dessert. You’d likely feel the same way. You’d begin to wonder if you were in the right place or if you should find some other restaurant where the people working understand their job is to give real food (rather than desserts) to hungry people.

Too many businesses make a similar error with their customers. I’ve come across many who welcome their new customers with friendly conversations, follow-up calls from customer service reps. and/or gifts of cookies, coffee cups, and T-shirts. This is similar to delivering desserts to a hungry, grumpy, in-a-hurry guest in a restaurant.

Chances are, your customer didn’t join because he wanted to speak with someone from your support department. So when she receives the call, she’s thinking, “That’s nice, but this doesn’t solve my problem.” To you, it’s another contact to demonstrate you care. To your new customer, it feels like pestering.

If I buy your product to get a tool or to learn how to relieve some pain in my life, that’s what I’m going to be looking for. And anything I get that’s inconsistent with that solution is going to make me wonder if I can really trust you to deliver the solution you promised. So think: How can you craft the first thing your customer receives to be your version of the “Here are the three items we have that come out of the kitchen the fastest …” solution to your customer’s greatest hunger? After all, in order to make the sale, you did all you could to point out your customer’s pain points, irritate that pain, and make him so uncomfortable he couldn’t do anything but buy immediately. He’s ready, so why are you making him wait? And it’s not just friendly calls and gifts.

There’s a place for dessert at lunch. Let’s go back to our restaurant story. What if, after you enjoyed a hearty lunch, served promptly, the waitress came by with some free desserts? At that point, dessert would be awesome. Those desserts would have a tremendous impact. To have a positive impact on customer retention, you can deliver those bonus “desserts” after you’ve delivered on your core promises and have built trust with your new member. When your customer chooses to buy from you, you have a short window of time to solve the problems you promised to solve, or you will quickly lose their trust. This is your opportunity to deliver your very best solutions, quickly and concisely, so you can establish yourself as someone your customer can rely on.

Robert Skrob is the #1 expert in membership and customer retention and the author of the book, Retention Point The Single Biggest Secret to Membership and Subscription Growth. He has helped hundreds of membership programs launch and then grow from start-ups to become some of the largest membership and subscription companies in the world.

Poland

Witajcie w Warszawie!

This week most of our BNI directors from around the world are traveling to Warsaw to attend the 2019 BNI Global Convention. Welcome to Poland! To those BNI directors and members attending, I am looking forward to meeting you. Therefore, if you have never been to Warsaw, here are some tips from Ryszard Chmura, the National Director of BNI Polska that will make your trip to Poland more enjoyable!

Welcome to Warsaw! I am honored that Poland, Warsaw, will host BNI Global Convention 2019. This event will be held in Europe for the first time! A lot of BNI Members and Directors from all over the world will visit Poland this month. I can’t wait for this event and I am looking forward to meeting you. If you have never been to Poland, here are my tips, that will help you enjoy your stay here.

Polish language

I speak polish – what’s your superpower? I can’t say Polish is an easy language to learn, but knowing some basic greetings will help you with networking at the conference. But don’t worry, English is the second most common language spoken in Poland. I recommend you to try to learn a few words, which could help you break the ice with the Poles. The most popular greeting “Hello! How are you?” in Polish is “Cześć! Jak się masz?”

Must-see in Poland

Taking part in the 2019 BNI Global Convention is the best opportunity to visit Poland and sightseeing in our beautiful country. Poland’s capital, Warsaw is the heart of the country. The center of Warsaw’s public life is the Old Town. Visit the Old Town to see the most beautiful houses and palaces in the city or check out the museums. My second recommendation is Cracow. Cracow is the most often visited city by tourists in Poland. This city is not only the second-largest city in the country but also one of the oldest ones. Wawel Castle, the Old Town, and the Kazimierz district are on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Polish cuisine and must-eats in Warsaw.

The market square in Warsaw offers a wide range of good restaurants with polish cuisine, where you can try polish traditional foods: pierogi, bigos or żurek. After the conference’s lectures, you can spend time at the market square, not only trying polish food but also polish traditional drinks. Have you ever tried “wiśniówka”?

Poland is known as the most hospitable country in Europe and I hope you will enjoy your stay here! Wishing everyone a fantastic 2019 BNI Global Convention.

Ryszard Chmura, National Director – BNI Poland

Tim Roberts

Are you limiting your opportunities? – by Tim Roberts

Submitted by Tim Roberts
National Director – BNI United States
Tim Roberts
When I ask professionals why they network the most common answer is to expand their opportunities. These opportunities can be in the form of contacts, referrals, business opportunities, even job opportunities. This is what networking is all about. However, one of the most common mistakes I see when networking is many limit their opportunities by limiting their networks.
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If you are truly looking to maximize your opportunities it is important that you look at the makeup of your network. Does your network lack diversity? Are you limiting your exposure and relationships and thus limiting the potential contacts, referrals, or connections you could be making? The quickest way to make your network more effective for you is to expand it. It is a numbers game. The more people you have the right reciprocal relationships with the more chances of success for you.
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 Together we can

I have been working with professionals for over 16 years in building and achieving results from their networks and while it always amazes me how many want to keep their networks small I get it. The key to success in any network is the relationships you have with those within the network. It is not about how many business cards you have been able to collect, it is about how many people you have true business relationship with. How many people can you call today and ask for a favor and not only will they answer your call, but are likely to help you?
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With importance of relationships it is natural to self-limit the size of our network out of fear of not being able to maintain or invest in too many people. With the right systems and structure, we can build relationships with more people then we initially believe is possible.
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Dr. Ivan Misner and I look forward to welcoming everyone attending the 2019 U.S. National Conference later this week in Dallas Texas! #BNIUS19
Patty Aubery

Patty Aubery Shares a Simple Marketing Solution

Fellow Transformational Leadership Council member and friend, Patty Aubery, shares the release of a simple marketing solution for small business owners in this video.

Patty Aubery is the Co-Founder of The Canfield Training Group, former President of Chicken Soup for the Soul Enterprises, and a #1 New York Times bestselling author. Patty Aubery knows what it’s like to juggle a publishing company, family, and social obligations—along with the responsibility of developing and marketing more than 250 titles and 500 million copies of the Chicken Soup books and licensed goods worldwide.

About Patty Aubery

Patty Aubery has released the most complete and simple marketing solution for small business owners that we have ever seen. Not only does this affordable marketing software provide you with all of the features you need to run your business, but it also comes prepopulated with millions of dollars worth of content that is backed by data and relevant for over 30 industries. Patty is the ultimate master of strategy and implementation and she is empowering businesses from around the world to “stay in their lane” and allow the Business In A Box to automate, replicate, and personalize complicated marketing strategies in seconds.

Take a look at a special offer that she is extending in this video – www.SYNDUIT.com/patty

Scott deMoulin

Scott deMoulin Shares How to Master Your Message

Fellow Transformational Leadership Council member and friend, Scott deMoulin, shares how effective communication helps to open conversations in this video.

Do not become a communication casualty by making these two mistakes most speakers make.

It’s not what you say it’s how you say it

More importantly than the actual message is the syntax or the order of how you share your message. Make sure you understand your audience’s needs and wants and share the problem they have (or do not know they have yet). Then, and only then, you can share any solutions you might have for their problem.

Leverage your ability to communicate

Go from Presenter to Persuader. Find opportunities to speak in front of groups instead of a series of one to ones. Do not lecture to them in your presentation. Instead, shift your focus to persuade your audience by gaining engagement with them by asking questions.

Scott deMoulin, Founder of Destiny Training Systems.

One of the top sales, communications, performance and business optimization experts in the world, Scott deMoulin has helped his clients realize over $1 Billion in new results that would have otherwise not been attained. Scott is a highly respected keynote speaker and platform speaking, trainer. He’s attained a substantial following because of his ability to uncover opportunity, create and execute strategy, engage and enroll any audience, and simplify more effective communications and messaging necessary to breakthrough the noise and clutter in your market. For more information, please view his website at https://destinytraining.com/

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