This is a rebroadcast of Episode 106.
Dr. Misner wants to ask listeners “What’s your BNI story?” His own favorite story is that he met his wife through BNI; that was the best referral he ever got. So today he’s sharing some stories from other BNI members. You can read more of them in BNI SuccessNet.
- Tim Seitz says that BNI took his business from the verge of collapse to new heights of success in seven months.
- Patty Chakales reports that 51% of her new business in Q1 2009 came from BNI referrals.
- Paul Williams prevented layoffs at his company by infusing his office with the BNI mentality and refusing to participate in the recession.
- Carl Frazier credits $6000/month of his income to BNI referrals.
- Carolin Bennett is a second-generation BNI member; her mother was on the original BNI Board of Advisors.
- Javier Unzueta has increased his income 723% as a result of joining BNI.
- David Lewis got a $4.9 million referral.
- Ian Holligan from Barbados says his 3 years in BNI have improved his leadership and public speaking skills.
- Richard Swan wrote a BNI Song. Watch it on YouTube!
What’s your BNI story? How has BNI helped you? Post your comments here and share your story.
Brought to you by Networking Now.
Complete Transcription of BNI Podcast Episode 106 –
Hello everyone, and welcome back to The Official BNI Podcast brought to you by NetworkingNow.com, which is the leading site on the Net for networking downloadables.
I’m Priscilla Rice, and I’m coming to you from the beautiful Live Oak Recording Studio in Berkeley, California, and I am joined on the phone today by the founder and the chairman of BNI, Dr. Ivan Misner.
Hello, Ivan, how are you, and where are you?
Hi, Priscilla. I’m doing great. And, shhh, I can’t tell anybody where I am.
Why is that?
Well, it’s actually that I’m on an anniversary trip with my wife, and so it’s just kind of pulled away just to do this podcast. My wife and I got married 20 years ago yesterday, and we’re taking a little getaway, and we don’t want to tell anybody where we are because we don’t want to have to break up our anniversary trip. We are out there right now in one of your regions. Somebody listening to this, we’re in your region. But we just did a little getaway; I almost never do this, and that’s what we’re doing this time. I married my beautiful bride 20 years ago yesterday. I know I’ve told many members this before, but she was a member of BNI. It was the best referral I ever got, and we’re still married 20 years and going strong. So I’m in one of your regions right now.
That’s great. Well, congratulations to both of you.
So what are you going to share with us today?
Well, I thought I have certainly an interesting story with having met my wife in BNI, and I thought it would be a good topic today to basically ask members, “What’s your story? What’s your BNI story? What is that you have gotten out of BNI? How has BNI helped you in some way, either personally or professionally?” And I say that because this is a people business; it’s a people organization. It’s all about people helping people to increase each other’s business through referrals.
Interestingly enough, we found that there are many other benefits that have cropped up along the way, some that I just didn’t expect. And what I thought I would do in this podcast is to talk a little bit about people’s stories, because many members have been sending me their stories. We’ve published some of these in SuccessNet, and I think that they’re really powerful. So I just wanted to share some of them today with BNI members because I think it’s good to see some of the kinds of benefits that other members have gotten.
Tim Seitz from Bay Ridge “Morning Money Makers” chapter said that seven months ago he was afraid he had to close down his business during these recessionary times, things were difficult. He said, “Today my business has been doing so well that I’ve been putting sales people in other BNI chapters,” yet, seven months ago he was afraid he was going to have to close. Here’s a member who has not only survived these difficult times, but has thrived during these difficult times.
We have a couple of other members who said something that was almost identical. They both said words to the effect that, the expression that I’ve used for a while now, “I refuse to participate in a recession.” Both of them said words to the effect that, “I refuse to participate in a recession is not just a slogan.” It’s not just a slogan to them.
Patty Chakales from North Carolina said it’s a way of life for them as a member. She said, “I’m one of the owners of Brank Insurance Agency in North Carolina, and the economy is affecting a lot of people.” But she said she’s using her BNI resources to keep that from happening to her. She’s attending training, serving on a leadership team, doing one-to-ones every week. And in the first quarter of 2009, 51 percent of her business came from BNI referrals, 51 percent of new business came from her new referrals. That was just amazing to me.
Yeah, that’s fantastic.
One of the most incredible stories I’ve heard recently was Paul Williams. Paul is with the Achievers Chapter in the United Kingdom, and Paul said, “About four weeks ago I was informed that there’d be layoffs in my company, and the thought of any of my team members being laid off was just devastating. So I decided I would do whatever it took to ensure that that didn’t happen.”
So he wanted to infuse some of what he called the BNI mentality into his team, and he talked about my articles on refusing to participate in the recession. They, as a team, resolved to look for changes that could be made within the business for the long term benefit of that organization, not just to get through the recession, but to really do well. And on a large white board, he wrote in the North-West Office of his company, “We refuse to participate in the economic downturn.” And every one of those employees signed their names on the white board, and then they sent an e-mail out to members and staff all across the company offering them the opportunity to join them in their stance in refusing to participate.
He said the reaction was unbelievable. Within just one week, the financial situation had turned around enough so that no layoffs were made in the organization, and the staff actively looked for increased business opportunities and had their best week since November of 2008. So the North-West Office of this company generated more business than any other four-week period over the last two years, and he said in his closing comments to me, “If it were not for BNI’s mentality, one of my team members would now be out of a job. And for that, to me, this is worth the membership alone.”
Oh, that’s a great story.
These are just incredible stories, and I get these every week from members. And I think if you, as a member, are listening to these – and I’ve got some more. If you, as a member, are listening to these, take a look at SuccessNet because in SuccessNet there’s always a My BNI Story, and there’s some great stories in there about how people have benefited from the organization.
Carl Frazier from Hawaii said, “I love BNI. Someone offered me $100,000 for my seat. I would not sell it.” He said, “I can track back $6,000 a month in income I’m making from my membership in the organization.
You know, it’s really amazing is that these stories are now coming from second generation members of BNI. Second generation members. I’ve seen people who were children when BNI started. One is little Carolin Bennett. I have a photograph of Carolin Bennett. When I first met her, she was, I think, 11 years old, and there’s a photograph I have of her in a tree at the house that I used to go to for Board of Advisors meetings when she was a little girl. And we’d have Board of Advisors meetings at her mother’s house, Raoul Bennett, in Glendale, California. And that was back in 1986.
Today little Carolin Bennett is now a BNI member and in an acupuncturist in a chapter in Southern California. She used to kind of sit in on the side of the these original Board of Advisors meetings that her mother helped to get started back in 1986 when I was running them, and more than 20 years later she’s a member of a BNI chapter today.
Wow, that’s great.
And so I’m seeing more and more of these kind of second generation members, people whose parents were involved, and now they’re involved.
There are new people like Javier Unzueta. Javier is with Speedy Signs & Engraving. And Javier, if I mispronounced your name, I’m so sorry. You can call me Misner from now on if you want!
I’ve met Javier, and he’s a sign company. Great guy, and he told me personally, I asked him to write this down, he sent it to me. He said, “My gross income has increased 723 percent because of BNI. Thank you, Javier; it’s great having you in the organization.
One of the biggest success stories that I heard this year was from David Lewis in the BNI High Flyer Chapter in Dubai, and he said that he had been a member for quite a few months. I don’t recall exactly how many months, but I think it was as much as nine months he had been a member. And he hadn’t gotten any referrals, and he was a little concerned because he hadn’t gotten a referral. And one of the very first referrals he got turned into a $4.9 million referral.
It was the biggest referral that the company had ever gotten, turned into business. He said, “I think this is a 480,000 percent return on my membership!” He said, “I’m not exactly sure if I did the math right.”
I said, “That’s okay. It’s close enough, David.”
480,000 percent return. I think David’s story is a great one because he said, “I was in for nine months. I didn’t get any referrals. None.” But when he finally got one, it was huge. Some businesses take longer to get, but when they get them, it’s incredible.
And it’s not all just about the business. Ian Holligan from Bridgetown, Barbados, said that his three years in BNI has given him great leadership skills and improved his public speaking, which is really incredible because he told me a story in something he sent to us in SuccessNet that he had to speak at his father’s funeral, and there was a time where he could never stand up and speak in public. And he said from his years of experience in speaking in BNI he was able to stand up and give the eulogy at his father’s funeral, and he said, “My dad would be proud. My dad would be proud of me and what I was able to do.”
And so there’s so many things, so many stories that members have about how this program has helped them, not only increase business, which was my intention when I started BNI, but things they’ve benefited from that are just incredibly powerful.
Here’s one that you’ve got to listen to. Go to YouTube and listen to The BNI Song by Richard Swan. We’ll make sure and put a link in this podcast. The BNI Song. You want to see how BNI has impacted somebody, you’ve got to watch this six minute song. Richard did it to the tune of American Pie, and he changed the lyrics; very powerful.
I know we’re running out of time. Let me just give you a couple more. Lou Brockman said he was a sales and leasing consultant. “BNI has changed my life both professionally and personally.” He’s gotten over a million dollars in referrals.
Here’s a letter I got from someone who wasn’t a member but affected their life, little ten-year-old Liam. Liam is in elementary school, and the BNI Foundation contributed to musical instruments for their music class. And I got a handwritten note that said, “Thank you, BNI Misner Foundation,” and I love this. There’s a little drawing of Liam with a guitar rocking away, and he says, “Your company rocks for helping our school.”
We are changing the way the world does business, and we’re changing people’s lives. And nothing is more an example of that than Calvin Cheng, who, when I was in Hawaii, told me a story. He came up to me and he said, “I have my adopted children today because of BNI.”
And I said, “Wow, how can that be? How did that happen?”
And he said, “I went to Kazakhstan to adopt my children, and you have to speak in front of a judge. I was petrified to speak in the past, but I was able to stand up, and it takes six weeks go get an adoption through in Kazakhstan, but,” he said, “my first time I was able to stand up and speak to the judge and tell him what I do and tell him how important it was to get the children as soon as possible because one of the children has a heart condition.” He said, “I spoke so convincingly and so well that the judge approved the adoption right there on the spot, and I was able to get my children.” And he sent me a photograph of he and his two children and his wife. And he says, “I have my adopted children today because of the skills that I learned in BNI.”
Wow, that’s a beautiful story.
Well, I know we’re way over time, so I just want to wrap up and say BNI truly is changing the way the world does business. We’re helping people in so many ways, so my last comment would be: How has BNI helped you? What’s your BNI story? What have you gained from the organization either in terms of business or personal skills? I would love for you to put your comments up on this podcast and share your BNI story with the rest of the BNI members.
Thank you, Ivan, that was a wonderful podcast.
Well, that’s it for this week, so I just want to remind the listeners that this podcast has been brought to you by NetworkingNow.com, which is the leading site on the Net for networking downloadables. Thanks so much for listening. This is Priscilla Rice, and we hope you’ll join us next week for another exciting episode of The Official BNI Podcast.