Visitor Mornings

Our next Guest day is Thursday 31st October 2019, but if you can’t wait that long contact us to arrange a visit

The start time for all dates is 6:45 am at the Hallmark Hotel in Grappenhall and a full breakfast is provided. A wide range of visitors are expected and YOU are welcome to attend to meet many like-minded business colleagues and to find out how BNI can help grow your business. Providing your business/profession is not in competition with any of the existing members you will be given the opportunity to speak for 60 seconds about your own business.

Contact us to confirm your place.

Be Part of the Crowd


Testimonial for Helena Raleigh – Travel Counsellor

“A very big thank you to Helena for arranging my two city centre holiday in Portugal.  It’s so fabulous to be looked after and all the stress and finding the right location being sorted out to your personal needs.  Fast tracking at Manchester Airport was amazing so no standing in a queue for an hour.  The hotels were spot on too.  They were right in the centre of Porto and Lisbon so everywhere was so easy to find and and walk to.  So a very big thank you from the bottom of my heart in creating a fantastic relaxing holiday!  I will always recommend you” Suzette Pulman, Lymm Osteopathic Practice.

Highlights of our meeting – 26th July 2019

This week we swapped our usual meeting day from Thursday to Friday.

Sometimes that happens when the Hallmark Hotel has large conferences booked – we do (usually) know in advance so that members can plan their week.

Our BNI Director Dave Skeels joined us in the meeting today and as usual provided us with news from the region and helpful hints on how we can individually and collectively grow. In other highlights:

  1. Alex Dale returned to his post as Chapter President, and announced he had won an award with Vitality (more news to follow on this)
  2. Sam Bridger gave us some tips on how to improve the Visitors Experience in this week’s education slot
  3. Sam Bridger – Bridger Consultancy was celebrated for a fourth week for being our Networker of the Month of July.
  4. Our reigning 60 second winner was Hayley Hilton, she invited members to deliver their 60 seconds presentation and made the judgement of the ‘best’ one this week – Helen Stott.
  5. We congratulated Daniel Dunn on his recent business merger, and sadly said our goodbyes to our longest serving member as the changes mean he will be out of area and unable to attend.

If you would like to attend our meeting as a visitor or if you are a member of another BNI chapter and would like to come along to meet our members then please do get in touch to arrange a visit to our chapter –

Highlights of a meeting – 17th July 2019

On World Emoji Day we can sum up our meeting at the Hallmark Hotel with a ? a ? and a ?

Thank you to our many visitors today and in other highlights:

  1. Helen Stott of Marketing Doris steering the BNI Focus ship once again whilst President Alex Dale was away
  2. Helena Raleigh provided us with tips on how to deliver an effective 10-minute presentation in this week’s education slot
  3. Sam Bridger – Bridger Consultancy was celebrated for a third week for being our Networker of the Month of July.
  4. Our reigning 60 second winner was Daniel Dunn but he passed the mantel to Cainan Cornelius in his absence, he also took the extra 30 seconds and elected Hayley Hilton as the new winner.
  5. Will Howell was our 10-minute speaker today and he told us about CTA Systems and the level of IT support they can offer clients. This week’s door prize was won by Cainan Cornelius.

One of our visitors described the meeting in three words Banter, Business & Breakfast. If you’d like to experience this for yourself, then get in touch to arrange a visit to our chapter –

Alex Dale and Sam Bridger BNI Focus Grappenhall Warrington Cheshire

Highlights of a meeting – 4th July

Happy Fourth of July from BNI Focus Grappenhall Warrington!

This morning’s meeting brought many highlights including:

  1. Our President Alex Dale was back at the helm
  2. Cainan Cornelius told of us of the Importance of a 1-2-1 in the education slot
  3. Sam Bridger Bridger – Consultancy was crowned the Networker of the Month of July for being consistency a great networker and top of the chapter leader board!
  4. Last week’s 60 second winner was Tim Jordan’s sub Michelle, but as Tim was back with us this week he had the honour of using the extra 30 seconds and for asking the members to take their turn to deliver their weekly infomercial. He also chose this week’s winner – Daniel Dunn of St James Place Wealth Management.
  5. Mathew Forshaw was our 10-minute speaker today and he told us about Finton Doyle and how they were able to provide practical support to a client. This week’s door prize was won by Tim Jordan of FDR LawIf all this sounds like your kind of thing and you would like to be part of a vibrant, hardworking, profitable and quite frankly a fun networking team – then get in touch to arrange a visit to our chapter –

Testimonial for Sam Bridger

“So, before starting the gushing about the level of professionalism and quality Samantha brings to the table, firstly I just want you to know how this testimonial came about and how key Samantha was to it.

I had an idea for running a small training course for people similar to me who have some severe social anxiety about carrying out things in the name of BNI.  A lot of training provided by BNI, though fantastic, does seem to miss out on these kinds of individuals and I felt they would benefit from a smaller group.

I mentioned this within the chapter, with a knowing wink to wanting to get Samantha’s input and guidance in coming up with something truly dynamic. Samantha came up to me and so we began the process of identifying a course.

Part of the job was to rein me in. I get carried away with ideas and lose priorities when thinking of other ideas. Samantha over the last few weeks has managed to work with me to come up with a framework to the, for lack of a better word, syllabus.

The next part of the job was making sure that I felt that this was something I wanted to take part in and help organise. I tend to take on a lot of things which sometimes I don’t feel quite up for doing. This is where Samantha helped me again in making sure I understand the reasons for proceeding with the course.

This is only a small part of what Samantha does and I feel lucky that she has been able to provide me with time to finesse and refine the course and I look forward to running it with her and hopefully helping other people out in BNI.

Samantha is intelligent, knowledgeable and keen to know more about you and how she can help you with your business and also your personal life. Above all this, she is an Evertonian and therefore supporting the correct team in Merseyside.

If you are at a crucial part of your business, or you need a guiding hand in reaching new markets and solving new challenges, you would be hard pressed to find someone more knowledgeable and able to help you keep moving forward.

Thank you Sam”

James Brooksbank

Highlights from our meeting – 27th June 2019

Missed our meeting this morning? Don’t worry here’s a quick recap in 7 steps

  1. Our guest President this morning was Helen Stott of Marketing Doris
  2. We thanked our visitors and subs; Sam, Rob, Michelle and Dan
  3. Daniel Dunn of St James’s Place Wealth Management provided us with tips on finding the perfect sub for when we can’t make a meeting
  4. Last week’s 60 second winner was Sam Bridger of Bridger Consultancy, she not only had an extra 30 seconds added to her 1 minute presentation this week and also had the honour of calling members to deliver their weekly infomercial and to choose the winner for this week –FDR Law (congratulations Michelle!)
  5. For the last time this month we congratulated our Notable Networker of the month; Hayley Hilton
  6. Helena Raleigh of Travel Counsellors was our 10-minute speaker today and she told us about her business and why they are different and invaluable to business travellers and holidaymakers. This week’s door prize was won by Suzette Pulman of Lymm Osteopathic Practice
  7. .. and talking of Suzette, she did a marvellous job of hosting our contributions section

If all this sounds like your kind of thing and you would like to be part of a vibrant, hardworking, profitable and quite frankly a fun networking team – then get in touch to arrange a visit to our chapter –

60 Seconds in another language

BNI Focus 60 seconds - James BrooksbankFollowing in his Project BNI Focus quest – James Brooksbank has penned a new article:

As a ‘seasoned’ BNI member, putting together a 60 seconds is usually one of the easiest parts of my BNI routine. You can follow the tried and tested 5 point plan:

1 – Who you are
2 – What you do
3 – Who you are looking for
4 – Tag Line
And 5 – Insert last one here….

Or, you can go the Charlie Lawson route and tell a story.

Me, I like to see what’s going on, are there any visitors? Is there something I need to mention specific to my industry? Is there any one specific to meet? How much self deprecating humour can I get away with?

These questions I usually think to myself and hopefully inspiration will take a hold. Sometimes this works really well. Over the last few weeks I have found particular acronyms for my industry and I have tried to teach people what they are so they can listen out for them. This has gone down really well in some cases. In some not so much but 9 / 10 times I have been involved in a conversation based on something I have said.

One of my challenges for the BNI focus twinning project (Or BNIFTP) is to learn how to do my sixty seconds in another language, in this case Portuguese.

As an IT person, you may think this is easy… write something down, put it into Google translate and voila.

But there is an inherent problem, in the fact that, without any understanding of that language, you don’t know the context or if you are even saying it right. Going down this road, I would probably end up sounding like a Fast Show sketch (for those too young to remember, ask your dad) and making just as much sense.

The first element mentioned is fine, writing down the 60 seconds is key. This first blog post is just to explain how I came up with the 60 seconds to translate.

Firstly, computers confuse people anyway, so I could say anything in Portuguese to do with computers and not many people would know any difference. But that is not my aim…. I still want to potential to get a referral from someone in the room so it still needs to be relevant.

Which leads onto the next challenge, if you are speaking another language, how do you get the point across.

60 seconds is a tough time to get things in and if you aren’t prepared, then you can get carried away.

My approach is to first figure out what I want to achieve within my 60 seconds. With the task in mind, my main purpose for this 60 seconds is to get over, in another language that:

A – We provide mobile applications
B – We are really good at doing mobile applications.

So, with all this in mind, here is my initial 60 second which I have to translate. Not too complicated and hopefully won’t be too difficult.

“Good morning BNI, my name is James Brooksbank and the company I represent is Constructsys Ltd.

We provide mobile application development and the supporting software systems to have everything working.

We specialise on the construction industry, but this is not our only market, we also provide support to large telecom equipment companies, property based companies and business consultancy companies, so although we have a specialism, we are very good across multiple sectors.

We are ideally looking for large construction companies, but if you need some advice and anticipated potential cost for the mobile application, then give us a call.”

This may seem simple, but does lend itself to the usual BNI format and hopefully will reduce the difficulty of getting the understanding across.

My next blog will explain why everything in this post actually may not mean anything when the time comes, as long as you do your research.

10 Shades of a Referral

Alex Dale of Vitality Health Care delivered the Educational Slot on Thursday 20th June 2019 on the different ways you can pass a business referral:

  1. I give a name and / or contact information only
  2. I give out literature art, business cards, or company information
  3. I authorise the use of my name
  4. I send a letter of recommendation with a testimonial
  5. I send a letter of introduction and a follow-up phone call
  6. I qualify a prospect’s specific need or interest and arrange permission for the referral source to call the prospect
  7. I qualify a prospect’s specific need or interest to connect the referral source and the prospect with the understanding that will meet for an appointment
  8. I qualify a prospect’s specific need or interest and arrange a three-way, face-to-face meeting where myself, the referral source, and the prospect are all present
  9. I describe products and services in person so well that I can tell the person I’m referring what a prospect specifically needs within their product or service.
  10. I bring my referral source a closed deal