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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

 

Members,
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.

Cost

The cost to attend is $10.00

Link to register http://friendsofkevinonlineaug1.eventbrite.com/

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: 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 www.commuityvalues.org 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

Publisher’s

 

Community Values Advertising Magazine

Networking Success Story - Scott Boyages from Scott Boyages Promotions

I have operated my business for over 20 years and the one major regret I have is that I didn’t grasp the importance of networking a lot sooner than I did.  Networking can not only help you get more business.  It can help you find a job, find the best doctor in town, get tickets to a sold out show or maybe head off a major problem before it becomes a problem.  Networking can open doors that otherwise would be completely closed to you.  Ever hear of the saying it’s not what you know, it’s who you know?  Obviously if you plan on being successful you have to know your profession, but I don’t think you can succeed in business without having a strong network of friends, clients, prospects, family, vendors, acquaintances, etc.  Look at any field.  Your most successful people have the strongest personal networks.

 

Of course, in my case, the light didn’t go on immediately. I initially built a fairly strong business just by sheer hustle and ‘making the calls’.  But it wasn’t easy and it took longer than I wanted it to.  And then the economic collapse of 2008 happened and I was faced with having to do a major rebuild of my customer base if I planned on continuing in the promotional products business going forward.  Believe it or not, it was a book by Harvey McKay – Dig Your Well Before You're Thirsty: The Only Networking Book You'll Ever Need that made me realize I was missing the boat on this little secret that top producers in any field know is one of the fundamentals of success.  I would strongly recommend this book to anyone in business.  It’ll be the best $12 you’ll ever spend.

 

Ever since the day I first opened that book, I’ve dedicated myself to growing my own personal network.  When you buy into this, not only do you meet lots of cool and interesting people – you find out that it’s fun.  And yes it opens doors.  However a key point to keep in mind is that to really grow a network you have to give before you can receive.  None of us can do business with everyone we meet.  But maybe we can offer a lead or give a referral.  Or maybe mention a tool that helped improve our own business, give a tip on a great restaurant or just be friendly at a networking event with lots of strangers present.  I love when Kevin Willett does one of his How Can I Help You Today? posts on Facebook.  To me, that’s what networking is about in a nutshell.   Of course when I meet you I also want you to know that I’m in the business of ‘Branding via Promotional Products’.  I want you to remember me when  that guy you met at the golf tournament says he wants to get some embroidered shirts like the cool one they handed out to everyone.

 

Networking certainly isn’t easy.  You have to commit to it, keep at it and resist the temptation to stay home instead of heading out for a 6:00 PM networking event on a cold night in January.  But what I can tell you is it works…and has been a key ingredient in the business success I’ve had the past few years. 

Networking Success Story: Tami M Dristiliaris

Networking Success Story: Tami M. Dristiliaris

Making time for networking pays off.  I became a successful business owner because of networking. The key to my ten years of success is to be visible in every community possible. By attending each and every Friends of Kevin networking event I am in contact with some of the same and always new business contacts with whom to share my personality. You are your business and when people realize you are easy to speak with and have a high level of expertise in your field, they remember.  

So get out there, know your trade, speak about what you do and let people know you're a person with a service they or their friends need.  And trust me, you will get referrals.  Time is the key so make time in the New Year and get networking.  Remember, there are many people who do the same thing you do, but you do it better!!!  Oh, and don't forget your business cards!  

About the business:

Law Offices of Tami M. Dristiliaris, LLC, provides legal representation in Massachusetts to both individuals and businesses in all aspects of family law, personal injury, estate planning, landlord-tenant, collections, bankruptcy, real estate law and other legal matters.

We provide individualized personal attention and expert legal representation in helping you meet and attain closure to your legal issue while keeping you updated and informed about the progress of your case.  We go above and beyond to ensure you are satisfied and "serve all of our clients with care and compassion."

Friends of Kevin Flash Mob Event June 27th Shaw Farm 204 New Boston Road Dracut Ma

Date: 
Wednesday, June 27, 2012 - 6:00pm - 8:00pm

This Event is at Shaw Farm 204 New Boston Road Dracut Ma. From 6 to 8pm with a 10 admission fee. We will be having hot fudge sundas as part of this event. 

I have decided to try a flash mob networking event! I will tell you that it is on June 27th in Mass. from 6 to 8pm with a 10 admission fee. I wont tell you where the event will be until 9am on the 27th. As we get closer I will give you clues as to where the event is and many of you will be able to figure it out.

Please note that this is a casual networking event so please dress casual. Every one that come will get a sweet treat.

Come out and network and have fun :)

You can regsiter on Linkedin at http://linkd.in/LvdKMl

You can register on meetup at http://www.meetup.com/Friends-of-Kevin/events/68156482/

You can register on facebook at http://www.facebook.com/events/157629511036633/

Friends of Kevin Networking in Tewksbury at Eastern Bank

Date: 
Monday, November 28, 2011 - 6:00pm - 8:00pm

Kevin Willett the Founder of the Friends of Kevin networking group is happy to announce that the Friends of Kevin will be having a networking event in Tewksbury Ma at Eastern Bank. The Friendworking event will be held on November 28th from 6 to 8pm and the admission fee is 10.00. Eastern Bank is located at 1800 Main street

3 sponsorship opportunities exist for this event. As a sponsor you will receive 3 minutes to speak to the group about your business. The cost to be a sponsor is 50.00. This is a great way to promote yourself.

You can register on facebook at http://www.facebook.com/events/256743234386199/

You can register on meetup at http://www.meetup.com/Friends-of-Kevin/events/41473652/

You can register on Linkedin at http://linkd.in/uTwXT0


For more information about Eastern Bank please visit their website at www.easternbank.com 

The Friends of Kevin is a unique networking group that combines the business, non profit and artist communities, We hold networking events in the Merrimack Valley and Southern Nh. For more information about membership in the Friends of Kevin please visit our website atwww.friendsofkevin.com

Networking in Chelmsford Ma at Eastern Bank

Date: 
Tuesday, December 6, 2011 - 6:00pm - 8:00pm

Kevin Willett the Founder of the Friends of Kevin is pleased to announce that the Friends of Kevin will be hosting a networking event in Chelmsford Ma on December 6th from 6 to 8 pm at Eastern Bank 17 North Road The admission fee for the event will be 10.00.

We will be collecting can goods for the local food pantry at this event. 

We have 3 sponsorship opportunities available for this event. As a sponsor you receive 3 minutes to tell the crowd about your business the cost to be a sponsor is only 50.00

You can register for this event on facebook at http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=190048751073759

You can register on Linkedin at http://linkd.in/v5Uj4E 

You can register on meetup at http://www.meetup.com/Friends-of-Kevin/events/42795452/

For more information about Eastern Bank please visit their website at www.easternbank.com 

The Friends of Kevin is a unique business development / networking group that serves the business, non profit and artist communities. We hold networking events in both Mass and Nh. For more information about the benefits of becoming a member please visit our website at www.friendsofkevin.com . or email Kevin at [email protected]. Please become a fan on facebook to hear about upcoming events and to network with my friends www.facebook.com/friendsofkevin

Friends of Kevin Online Networking Event June 30th!

Date: 
Thursday, June 30, 2011 - 7:00pm - 8:00pm

The Friends of Kevin will be having our first virtual networking event on June 30th from 7 to 8pm on our Faceook Fan Page.

How Does it Work.

The vitrual event will be conducted on our Facebook Fan Page so you need to be a fan to attend. To become a fan please goto www.facebook.com/friendsofkevin and click the like button at the top of the screen. Then on Thursday the 30th at 7pm visit our fan page  www.facebook.com/friendsofkevin and introduce yourself and your services just like you were at a networking event. Please tell us who you are what you do and paste the link to your fan page if you have one or to your personal page if you want us to connect with you that way. I ask that you like the other fan pages you see posted during our virtual networking event.

What are the benefits?

You dont need to leave your home or office to participate. This is a great opportunity to make some new contacts and to grow your facebook fan page.

 

 

Networking Tips

The Golden Rule of Networking - Help others first!

Yes my friends that is the golden rule. Everytime you meet someone, think to yourself how can I help this person? The best networkers are the people who think " who do I know that this person would benefit from meeting"? When you put other peoples' needs ahead of your own you will always benefit in the end.