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Exclusive Business Networking Event in Dracut for people in Real Estate and Contractors

Wednesday, April 23, 2014 - 6:00pm - 8:00pm

The Friends of Kevin Networking Group is hosting an exclusive networking event on Wednesday morning April 23rd for people in real estate / contractors. This event will be held at Dracut Law Office 101 Broadway Road from 8am to 9am with a $20.00 admission fee. Space is limited to 10 people with no overlap of professions. If you would like to attend you must email me at [email protected] and I will let you know if a spot is available for you. No walk in registration is available for this event. 

Who would you like to meet?

After four years as a professional networker I have realized that most people have at least one person that they would like to meet but simply havent found a way to connect with them. So lets try to use the power of social media to help you conect. Please send me an email at [email protected] and tell me who you would like to meet and the name of their company and I will use my 10,000 social media  contacts to try to help you. 

If we havent connected on Facebook, Linkedin, Google+ or Twitter please connect with me so that we can network together and please encourage your friends to do the same. 

The Benefits of Membership in the Friends of Kevin Networking Group

Some people have mentioned that they didn’t know that they could become a member of the Friends of Kevin Networking Group. So I thought it may be a good idea to bring it up in this month’s newsletter.  Yes, we do offer memberships in the group. Here are the major benefits of membership:

1. Promotion to my over 11,000 social media connections through the use of my blog.

2. Personal introductions to potential clients and partners to help you grow your business.

3. A 15 minute interview on the Friends of Kevin Radio show.

4. Members receive their own page on the Friends of Kevin website which helps with SEO

5. Membership is limited to 300 clients to better help you market your business.

6. Low membership fee of only $200.00 per year.


No other networking group offers this combination of services to help you grow your business. If you would like to learn more please call me at 978-995-1743 or email me at [email protected]

Networking Success Story - Laura Scott - Cinderella's Dust Worthy Cleaning

As a Small business owner, I was lucky enough to know the importance of networking prior to starting my business.  Starting a business is easy, continually Growing your business is not.  Advertising is a great tool, but it cost a lot of money.   Advertising gets your Company name out there, but it does not get your reputation out there.  Networking is the easiest and cheapest way I have found to keep my business growing.  Kevin Willet has been instrumental in helping me to continually grow my business.  Three years ago when he asked me to invest in him and his Dream, I didn't hesitate.  October is my month to renew my membership, with out hesitation I renew because I know Kevin is out there every day working for me!  Just one referral from Kevin pays for my membership for the year and then some. 

Getting a referral from Kevin is always easier than the normal "Found you on the Web" client.  They have already been recommend by Kevin so the only thing they want to know is "How soon can you Start ? "  It always amazes me how easy it is.

The other Great thing about having Kevin Willet on your team is I always know who to call when I need anything.  From where to Donate a winter coat, to finding a Plumber, a dog walker or an extra employee for the day.


I appreciate all the work he does and I am Grateful to be a " Friend Of Kevin " 

Laura Scott


Owner  of Cinderella's Dust-Worthy Cleaning

Networking Success Story - Donna Mcdonough - New England Career Services

I have always been a strong advocate of networking.  I truly believe it is the backbone of my business!  It is so much easier to get your foot in the door if you have a personal contact within a company.  In today's busy workplace, people's time is limited.  Although I do cold calling, it has always been more productive for me when I can contact a company and refer to a networking contact to help reach the person I want to connect with.  I believe people feel more comfortable when there is a mutual contact.

Although I have been in the job placement industry for several years, I worked in direct sales for 18 years.  I was one of the top sales people in New England. I contributed my success to networking.  I would always ask for referrals and these referrals ultimately brought me more business.  One must realize that "no" does not always mean "no forever". I learned to keep the door open, and would always ask permission if I could follow up again in a few months.  The majority of the time, people welcomed a second phone call. 

Patience is a key factor in networking.  It takes time to build relationships.  I do not feel comfortable giving referrals to people until I get to know and trust them.  If one walks into a networking meeting and expects "instant referrals", they are setting themselves up for disappointment.  I facilitate a networking group called Business Supporting Business out of Nashua.  We pride ourselves on relationship building time the referrals will come and they do come!

As a career counselor with New England Career Services LLC, it is so important for me to be able to reach out to a networking contact when I need help.  Not only do I assist people finding  employment, I also work with individuals who are trying to determine a new career path.  Informational interviews are a big part of my business.  Being able to sit down with someone and learn about what they do, what a typical day is like in their business, what training/education is necessary and what are the pros and cons of their industry have helped many of my clients make a more informed choice when deciding on a career path.

Friends of Kevin has been a great resource for me.  I know I can call Kevin and feel confident he can come up with a referral for me whenever I need assistance. In today's world, unfortunately it is "who you know versus what you know" that can help people find a job.  For anyone in the job market, network, network, network every day!  Let everyone know you are looking for work.  Your bank teller, you hairdresser, your financial doesn't matter...just letting people know you are seeking a job can do wonders. 


It is important to look at networking as a partnership.  When I approach a networking event, I always walk in to a group thinking "how can I help someone?  According to Dale Carnegie, "You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you."  

Great Networking Story featuring my friend Steve Labbe from Paradigm Plumbing and Heating





BNI Logo

Why it Pays to Know Your Competition!

BNI New Hampshire Plumber Passes
$500,000 Referral to Competitor


We are excited to share with you today the following BNI success story about two of our very own BNI New Hampshire members! We encourage you to take a moment to read how these two gentlemen have not only grown their businesses by utilizing the systems set in place by BNI, but how they have been working together despite being competitors. Enjoy!


Steve Labbe & Keith Mercier

"This is an organization where anybody here will help you with your business. It's that kind of sharing from the top down. They want to see everybody else succeed," Emory Cowan, Co-Executive Director BNI Colorado.


This quote comes from the Givers Gain book that all BNI members receive upon attending their first MSP and it couldn't be more spot on when discussing a recent $500,000 referral passed in the New Hampshire region from one Plumber to (wait for it)... another Plumber. That's right, one member passed a half a million dollar referral to his competitor which has resulted in the two passing millions of dollars of business to one another.


Steve Labbe is a member of the BNI Wolf Pack chapter and has been a part of the organization for six years. His business, Paradigm Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning Inc. specializes in plumbing, heating, air conditioning and bathroom showers and tubs, as well as sewer and drain service. Keith Mercier is a member of the Power House Networking Chapter and has been a member of the organization for four years. Keith's business, Progressive Mechanical Inc. specializes in plumbing and heating with contractors that specialize in plumbing gas and forced hot water installations for residential, commercial, & industrial buildings. In 2012, Keith was honored as BNI New Hampshire's Member of the Year as he passed 117 referrals, brought in 35 visitors, did 201 one-to-one's, 121 CEUs and passed $284,609 in closed business.


Over the years Steve and Keith have developed a strong business relationship, despite being competitors, as evidenced through the recent referrals passed. Both gentlemen view BNI as an opportunity to help one another work cooperatively vs. competitively in order to benefit their individual businesses. Their relationship began a few years ago when Steve asked Keith to a one-to-one. After sitting down together, the two gentlemen found that their sweet spots in business were different (Steve prefers remodeling, repairs and replacement and Keith prefers complete system installations and construction). They each also offer specialized services that the other does not. The two soon realized the potential of working together under two principles:  

1. There is an abundance of business for each of them. 

2. Together they are stronger. 


"Steve coined the phrase "copetitors" and we began working together in small ways to build trust by referring work, sharing information , tools, material and manpower," said Keith Mercier. "I like and trust Steve like a brother and I have found that the stronger our relationship becomes the more both our companies prosper because of it. It is mind blowing that we are passing millions in business by using the fundamentals of BNI while in the same profession."


Steve passed a referral to Keith which lead to a $250,000 referral. The builder was pleased with Keith's performance and is sending him a contract for $500,000. The beginning of this referral began last year when Rob Schaefer from David and White Architects joined the BNI Wolf Pack and he and Steve did a one-to-one. During their meeting Rob had mentioned he had a chance for Steve to bid on a 24 unit building up north. Steve told him it was not his specialty but that his trusted friend Keith was who he would refer a job like that to. Steve then asked Rob if he would like to meet Keith, and he did. Keith hit it off big time with Rob and closed the 24 unit building AND another. Steve noted that he was so happy to help Keith because they both understand that working together is the way to get their businesses to the next level, and they are. In return Keith has given Steve countless referrals for sewers, boiler - burner retrofits, your everyday plumbing service call and additionally, manpower when they both get so busy they need help. To note, Steve just closed a $ 47,500.00 referral from Keith in Massachusetts for a duplex plumbing, heating and gas piping system.


"I am so very blessed to have such an amazing friend and referral partner in Keith, "said Steve Labbe. "Keep your eye on us we are going to the top because we understand Givers Gain® and winning together. Nothing will ever get in the way of our friendship and we both have BNI to thank for this success. We are coachable and have learned this way of being from Dr. Ivan Misner and the Roberts family who owns our region. Thank you BNI we want you to join in our success."


Members have joined BNI to generate more business through referrals and are taught that the way to build their business is by helping other people build their business. The entire BNI NH team is beyond proud of the camaraderie between Steve and Keith and incredibly proud of the example they lead for all of our members. We hope that by sharing this story that more people can only further see that givers truly do gain! A true testament to the BNI way!



Friends of Kevin Online Networking Event - August 1st at 7pm

Friends of Kevin Online Networking Event -  August 1st at 7pm

The Friends of Kevin Networking Group will be hosting an online networking event on August 1st at 7pm. Space is limited to 9 people and you must pre-register to attend.

What you need to participate:

You need to have a Google+ account

You need a computer or tablet with a camera and microphone

You need a Headset to eliminate background noise.

How it works:

Each participant will receive 5 minutes to speak. Please send me 3 questions to ask you about your business. We will then have 15 minutes for questions at the end. The event starts right at 7pm so please sign on at about 650pm to make sure that you don’t experience any technical difficulties. The event will be recorded and posted to youtube, facebook, twitter and linkedin to help promote your business.


The cost to attend is $10.00

Link to register

Things to remember

Please remember we are recording the event and that you are always on the screen so please don’t leave the room.

Be cautious of what is behind you when you attend the online events. You want to make sure that it looks professional.


Please be cautious of your family and pets making noise in the background. I really need you to find a quiet place to attend the events.

Networking Success Story: Greg Page - Merrimack Analysis Group

At Merrimack Analysis Group, our business success depends in large part upon word-of-mouth.  Although we are developing software, and also offer consulting services, our primary function involves delivering seminars about online identity and online safety to groups, associations, and organizations, such as schools, libraries, senior centers, parent groups, and business groups.  The value-add that these seminars provide is hard to capture in traditional marketing material, but word-of-mouth can do something more powerful than any promotional material can -- it enables people who already know and trust each other to promote us.  

A typical sales cycle involves the three stages of (1) Know, (2) Like, and (3) Trust.  For entrepreneurs attempting to reach a large audience across a wide geographic area, individually replicating that cycle with each customer is impractical, if not impossible.  However, entrepreneurs can leverage the power of networks by building relationships with key individuals, who can then serve as amplifiers for your brand, and as force multipliers for your efforts.   

To give a real-life example, we delivered a seminar to a job seeker group at the Danvers Library in May.  The Program Director, who greatly enjoyed the presentation, reached out across the Merrimack Valley Library Consortium and a separate North Shore group with an e-mail emphatically recommending us as speakers.  Now, when we contact MVLC Directors, the call is not entirely "cold" because they have a baseline familiarity with what we do -- and because someone who THEY know, like, and trust has recommended us.  Many of the North Shore libraries who are not MVLC members belong to NOBLENET (North of Boston Library Exchange Network), which reaches into entirely new areas for us. As we continue to expand our reach west, north, and south, we are constantly learning about new networks that we can leverage in order to help us expand our brand power.   


Each time, we are finding that we do not need to cultivate relationships with every single targeted customer; instead, we can build relationships by demonstrating our value to key network members, who are then able and willing to open doors for us that expand our reach across the network.  


Networking Success Story: Kevin O'Rourke - Community Values Magazine

Networking and Community Values Advertising

In the year 2002, the month of June, I started my Community Values Advertising Magazine. The same month I also joined my first networking group.


According to Wiki: Business networking is a socioeconomic activity by which groups of like-minded business people recognize, create, or act upon business opportunities. 

What this means to me is I meet up with a group of people that I have come to know and trust as friends and we help each other grow our business by asking for the type of client we would like to have. I can ask for specifics. The person in charge of adverting at a particular restaurant or gym. The person I ask might have the opportunity to contact this person and let them know that I will be contacting them. When I make the call to set an appointment the contact person knows that I will be calling and accepts my call. My closing rate on these referrals is very high. In return when someone in the group asks for a referral I do my best to return the favor to a friend.

This week I attended a Friends Of Kevin breakfast meeting and my daughter in law came along. One of my accounts was also present and introduced me to someone she feels would benefit from advertising in my magazine. My daughter in law was so impressed with the group and Kevin that she is going to join.

Here is a quick rundown of what happened. I show up with my daughter in law. We have coffee and pastries. We talk a little bit with other members who I know fairly well at this point. I have a great opportunity for a new client thanks to a current client. Kevin gets a new member and my daughter in law see’s a great opportunity to kick off for her “ Dream of a life time, business that she has wanted to do for a long time.


Ok. What is wrong with this picture? Absolutely nothing. Come and check out the next Friends Of Kevin event and see how it works for you.

A little about Community Values. My wife has been a publisher for 17 years and myself for 10.  We publish 5 times a year and are delivered by the Post Office so it is free to the resident. What is most important to our clients, in most categories, we offer exclusive advertising so your business is the only business of its type in the  magazine. You have no compition. We put your ad on our and .mobi sites so people can print your ad for redemption or redeem it on their smart phone. Also a link to your website. If you are interested it advertising in our magazine contact Kevin Willett and get a firsthand look on how networking works.


Kevin & Evie O’Rourke



Community Values Advertising Magazine

Networking Success Story: Dan Splaine - Test of Time Photography

About Dan Splaine- Photographer and Educator

Dan Splaine is a commercial photographer, workshop leader and photography teacher.  He creates original photography for corporate communications in his Nashua, NH Studio and in locations throughout the Northeast.  Along with his photography services he presents a program of photography workshops and photographer tours.

His client assignments range from creating custom business portraits for individual entrepreneurs to building comprehensive image archives for large companies.  In his over thirty years behind the camera he has photographed tens of thousands of people in locations throughout the nation and all over the world (over 40 countries). He is a specialist in live action and on location photo assignments and his images illustrates countless editorial, public relations and marketing productions.

Since 2010 more then 2,000 photo enthusiasts have come to one of his photo workshops or traveled on his photo tours. The photography education program is a growing part of his enterprise with many exciting expansion plans in the works.

For more information about his services or to discuss how you can use photography in your company communications please contact Dan at [email protected] or visit his website  and add your name to his email list.

Networking advice from Dan Splaine- Photographer and Educator

The biggest lesson I learned about the value of networking is to put the time in to really get to know folks.  Forget about closing sales at networking events - build relationships instead because you never know where a lead might come from and how it will develop.  Be friendly, be patient and be open to the possibility of less than direct connections.

The best example of this is a networking experience I had.  Over two years ago I met a person at an event that operates a business that really had no common ground with mine.  Despite that we took a few minutes to describe each other’s businesses and to begin a relationship.  We kept in touch and built rapport over multiple event conversations.    About six months passed and he was seeking a gift for his photo hobbyist wife.  He recalled that I taught photo classes to adults and he gifted her with one of my photo workshops.   She came to a couple of my photo classes and I was happy to gain another customer which was a fair return or a few minutes of networking and some waiting. 

That was a good experience on its own but the story does not end there.  Last fall, out of the blue I was contacted by the director of development of one of the biggest not-for-profits organizations in the state. She had heard about my photography and capabilities from her friend who had taken my photo workshops (the wife of my causal networking contact).  Because of her friends endorsement she sent me an RFP for their advertising and marketing photography that they were putting out to bid.  I won the bid and last month was awarded a contract for a high value, very large photography project.  Put the time in. Get to know folks over time and networking will pay off. 

You can reach Dan at [email protected]