Chairman’s Business Networking Blog, Tuesday 4th February 2014
Numbers just keep on improving!! 21 members present and 4 visitors; Hayley Lunt from Lloyds Commercial Banking, 2 Electricians Alan Moller and Paul Lefever (Paul Lefever’s application for membership was approved by the committee at the end of the meeting). Finally Dean Caldon was visiting from the Brentwood meeting.
25 in all.
Chairman’s Blog Thursday 30th January 2014.
22 present with 2 guests Roger Froment from Circle Services Group for the second week running and Jay French who provides Concierge Services.
David Plumley was suitably topical by referring to the current water logged state of the Somerset Levels as being a symptom of neglect and that similarly we should make sure that we do not similarly neglect our businesses by failing to attend our customers, attend EBF meetings and generally be diligent in looking after our interests. Which sort of followed on from Terry Maylin’s Ed Slot last week that pointed out that failure to attend meetings, not only means you will not give any referrals but also you will not receive any. A message worth repeating .
Chairman’s Business Networking Blog Tuesday 28th January 2014
Following virtually a 100% strike rate on visitor conversion from those who attended last week’s meeting we were 21 members in number together with Paul Lefever an electrician visiting us for the first time.
Chairman’s Business Networking Blog Thursday 23rd January 2014
I search round every week for a theme for this Blog and this time it presented itself before the meeting even started.
A roll call of absentees had seemingly risen from their sick bed to tender their excuses, laid low by the dreaded Montezuma’s revenge, gippy-tummy, call it what you will. I counted at least 7 apologies for absence based upon over active sphincter muscle activity at both ends of the body. One member bravely struggled in with symptoms, could not participate in breakfast, sipped water throughout the meeting and only had to excuse herself during the meeting on one occasion. Well done Tina, it is probably a feat that will not be bettered throughout the year of 2014. Despite the co-incidence of reasons of absence different sources were blamed.
Chairman’s Business Networking Blog - Thursday 16th January 2014.
It was the old maestro himself, David Plumley who presented the Ed Slot this week and he emphasised the importance of and in the following order:-
1. Attending the meeting, it is the bedrock of your membership
2. Using or at least having a gmail account to use with your business
3. Signing up to Street life as an excellent way of generating referrals
I can vouch for the latter as I have already got a referral out of it.
Chairman’s Business Networking Blog Thursday 9th January 2014.
We heralded the New Year with a turnout of 24 members and new appointments to the Leadership Team.
Howard Bullock stood down as Chairman after an excellent year presiding over the committee. His place is taken by Richard Reed who, if he brings skills he brings to the leadership of the Business to Consumer Synergy Team he will undoubtedly be a great success.
Terry Maylin takes a new position, created to co-ordinate membership and attendance. His current title is “The Enforcer”. Apparently he is buying himself a pair of new boots which will probably help him at work as well.
Kim Redwood-Lee is taking over Terry’s role as Events Co-ordinator. We had some good social events last year and he is a hard act to follow. We would expect her to rise “womanfully” to the task.
Chairman’s Blog Thursday 19th December 2013.
I am very busy at the moment wrapping up before Christmas. So, rather than sending out my usual Blog, I thought I would share with you all a letter I have received from a visitor who was present at the meeting but I suspect very few of you spotted. I set it out below in full:-
Dear Mr Chairman
I wanted to write to you to express my pleasure and appreciation following my attendance at your Christmas meeting on the 19th December 2013.
As you know my name is Nicholas S Claus and I am a toy salesman. I have been interested in networking for some time and I am very interested in joining a group that meets regularly. I have to say I was most impressed with EBF.
I appreciate this particular meeting was slightly different from the usual, but I was impressed by the positivity of the members, the usefulness of the discipline engendered by formal referrals and the recording of business passed. The 60 seconds was the most enjoyable and interesting part of the meeting.
However the highlight of the meeting for me was the opportunity to sit down next to one of my footballing heroes . I have been a lifelong Arsenal supporter, (it’s probably their colours) and the revival in their fortunes has a lot to do with their recent signing Mesut Ozil. Imagine my surprise and joy when I found myself sitting next to the great man pretending to be someone called Dean Caldon of Redstones Estate and Letting Agents. He finally admitted his subterfuge after I had promised I would not reveal his identity to a soul. He obviously recognised me as a man of my word. Nonetheless I think I must have made him rather nervous which was demonstrated by the fact that his 60 seconds was sung rather than spoken to the meeting. I do think it is a sign of an intelligent footballer who makes sure he has another career to fall back on, you never know what’s round the next corner! Also I did manage to get his autograph.
I then forced myself to concentrate on the other members who were present in order to see what business connections might be available to me. I was not disappointed. There was a chap called Mike Rogers who seemed rather deaf and kept ringing a bell. Apparently he does mortgages… I am looking for fresh premises and he might be the person to approach. Then there was Neil Lewer who seems to be a carpenter and joiner, I never have been quite sure of the distinction but I have a rather fine wooden sledge that needs some repairs, I might approach him on this.
Then there was a lady called Kim who seemed to be quite fearsome and, probably not being aware of my presence, declared that she had had a “crap” week and went on to relate a series of disasters that occurred in her business in the last week. There was Jeni from Barclays Bank who seemed to want to give a trivia quiz rather than a description of what she did. It would seem the Barclays name speaks for itself.
And what about the man with the glistening head, I think his name was Michael Adelizzi, who declared himself nice, sweet, and short. He then however went on to describe the bathroom equipment that he sells which would certainly help you if you were taken short. I have to say it might be worth while paying a visit to his St. Mary’s Lane Shop in the very near future.
I was much taken with a lady called Dawn who, whilst trying to fit a moustache to her upper lip (unsuccessfully I might add), spoke darkly of introductions to accountants in the New Year. I could not really work out what she did. The same however was true of Alan Shaw who I understand is an Architect. He seemed rather vague but I gather he is like that every week.
Next up was a gentleman called Nike Cooke who very precisely summarised what he did. With his resplendent white beard and silver hair, I have to say, I liked the cut of his jib. Apparently he makes sure, amongst other things, that chimneys are structurally safe. This is something of which I wholly approve . He needs fattening up a bit but I saw something of myself in him.
The Builder called Kevin Brooks and the Plumber called Peter Hood both seemed to be trying to avoid work although Peter Hood did say he could be available for emergencies over Christmas. He then slightly back tracked by indicating that this would not mean he was available Christmas Eve, Christmas day or Boxing Day. His idea of Christmas seemed to cover 3 week period.
My eye was next caught by the gentleman with a very garish pullover who said his name was Graham Thurston, I did not quite catch where he came from, then I think he lost interest and sat down. One of the really interesting people who stood up was Howard Bullock, a financial adviser, who apparently had been trying to arrange a group pension scheme for Elves but had been put off when he was given to believe that Elves are immortal. That might be true for some of them but, they are such rigorous and dedicated little people that many of them work themselves to death and I have to say I might be interested in a pension scheme. I think I will approach him, it might give him comfort to know that all his current research has not been in vain.
The only person at the meeting who looked like an elf was Terry Maylin, but I understand he is a solicitor and that you, Mr Chairman have some connection with him. Apparently you complement each other a lot, a rather nauseating concept if I may say so.
One of your more curious members was Ed Crocker. He arrived in leathers with a yellow crash helmet. He took those clothes off and donned a pullover that was far too small for him and then declared himself to be a courier…. seemed nonsense to me but if indeed he is a man who can deliver on the same day I might have some work for him at my busy times of the year.
I was intrigued by another silver haired fellow who delivered an interesting little poem; I quite took to him. Apparently he is an insurance broker. I always had them down as dull and boring people. He seemed more like Father…. maybe not !!
One of the more interesting speakers for me was Scott Griffiths who apparently sets up websites and explained why it is important to have them set up properly. As my business gets more complicated I think I might be in need of his services.
Yet another silver haired old gentleman stood up (you have quite a lot of those don’t you!) I thought that he would be addressing upon the subject of decorating but apparently “painter” is his name rather than his business. He was rather generously offering to help people give up smoking but when he started to explain that this would help pay for the cost of Christmas I realised he charged for doing this. I can only assume that he sells those nicotine patches.
I thought the most interesting of you members was the last speaker of the 60 second round – Paul Booth. In the great scheme of things, if insurance brokers are boring, accountants are mind numbingly tedious, or so I thought. However his pullover depicted rutting Reindeer, “two on one” or was it “three on three”. He then made some suggestions as to what to say around the Christmas Dinner table when the conversation flags. “Child Benefit” was one of his suggestions. My own suggestion is that he shouldn’t wear that pullover to Christmas Dinner.
Once the 60 second round was over I wondered what was going to happen next. That decorating chappy who hands out nicotine patches had apparently compiled a quiz and promptly had everybody reaching for their pencils and paper. Often the questions were more difficult to understand than the answers but everybody seemed to enjoy it and I was disappointed that my hero, Mr Ozil didn’t win, it was very close.
My ears really pricked up however in the Referrals and Testimonials Round. The meeting had hitherto been full of good cheer, but even the serious stuff was cheerful, lots of referrals passed, expressions of thanks from many of the members for all the business they have received over the year and apparently £90,000.00’s worth of business passed in what I understand is only the third week of this month.
There was then some mention of a Secret Santa. I decided it was time to go at this stage, but with a final comment addressed to you Mr Chairman. Whilst Nick Cooke needs fattening up if he is going to fulfil the role of a Santa, all you need to do is to grow the white beard.
I hope to visit you all again.
Now that has saved me a job. Until the next meeting…..
Chairman’s Business Networking Blog Thursday 12th December 2013.
20 members present.
The Ed slot was delivered by our regular Education Officer, Dave “the cat” Plumley, suitably attired to lull us into thinking he was delivering a box of Milk Tray. In fact he delivered a rather good 2 part Ed Slot which reminded us of the usefulness of Streetlife as a promotional tool some potential referrals having arisen from the use of this by members since our darkly clad educator first mentioned it last week. He then went on to remind a us how difficult it was to get new clients and therefore the importance of taking good care of our existing clients. A good start to lead us into the 60 second round.
Chairman’s Blog Thursday 5th December 2013.
19 in attendance, not bad given the weather and the colds that are going round. Scott Griffiths is sharing vigil in hospital with his wife at his son’s bedside. Best wishes to them and for their son’s speedy recovery.
Paul Booth stood in for Scott and David Plumley stood in for himself, as the scheduled Ed Slot presenter was not available this week. He told of Streetlife, a community based help group that members might find useful joining. From an advice group for the streetwise to the 60 second round where it was all about spreading happiness.
Mike Rogers doesn’t do happiness, he just does mortgages; but Marcelle Saad told of messages from purchasers of her Gem Stones as to how happy these purchases had made them. Best congratulatory anecdote was from somebody who proposed on top of a giant rock overlooking the Pacific. Graham Thurston confirmed that he liked happy customers who make him happy. The Slovenian Hotel that was going for better and better carpets every time he visited and a religious centre for women who had all been very pleased with his giant Berber. Richard Reed said he was available to find “late cheap sun” and indeed on reflection considered that the services he provided also made people happy.
Paul Booth was looking forward to Christmas. He had a “best” present, potential clients currently with big firms of accountants who were being overcharged and getting poor service. His “tree” present involved potential clients who needed their tax returns completing. Strange what makes some people happy!. Peter Hood thought he was going to busy all the way up until Christmas but apparently will be happy to squeeze people in before then. He has freed himself up before his Christmas dinner.
If people weren’t making clients happy they were celebrating the art of the possible. Michael Adelizzi, in a recent complete bathroom job, had to remove 3 layers of tiles and deal with an “overheight” gas pipe (yes, that is exactly the word he used. It wasn’t an “overweight” gas pipe and it wasn’t and “overhead” gas pipe, it was an overheight gas pipe.
As goodwill abounded Kevin Radford asked us a question. He asked what we would do if we were bitten by a flea. Apparently the two options are:
a. Oh shit I’ve been bitten by a flea or
b. I am going to sue my employer
He then went off on a little rant about personal injury lawyers. Two thoughts crossed my mind as he was holding forth which were:
1. He is not sitting close enough to Terry Maylin and
2. I would have tried to kill the flea.
That’s the trouble with poets, they do have their flights of fancy.
As a result of the RMK contribution, Terry Maylin abandoned 30 seconds of his 60 second script to defend personal injury lawyers The rest of his time he devoted to people who had “lost their marbles” and what they should do about arranging Powers of Attorney before said marbles were lost, the implication was that the Bard of Hadleigh was too late, marbles definitely gone!
Talking of Hadleigh, David Plumley told of a recent visit to a company in Hadleigh but I think that was the one to the north of the county. Something about cabling not being structured.
Amidst all of this happiness Kim Redwood-Lee very generously proffered a thanks to those of us who have passed her referrals or used her services over the last few years and acknowledged a proportion of her success to EBF and referrals that she had received. One of the reasons she has been successful, other than her own organisational abilities and those working with her, is that she gives a clear message as to what she does.
Now Alan Shaw cannot normally be accused of this, but this week his display was not only typically ponderous but also acutely focused. How so? I hear you ask. Well…it’s like this, first of all he remembered who he was. Secondly he explained that under the new planning regulations that were supposedly aimed at freeing up and simplifying the right to extend your property without formal planning permission, the reverse was in fact the case, and as we have no reason to disbelieve him, then of course everyone will need architects more rather than less. Granted he did not actually state to the meeting that he was an architect that he kind of assumed that we all knew this. Not only is this true but, like his 60 seconds, his message is more subliminal.
It is just as well that somebody had a subliminal message because we were without our hypnotic Pilgrim, Brian Painter who is currently struck down with a cold which leaves him confined to barracks and self hypnosis. Get well soon!!
A good positive 60 second round that left Marcelle sitting on a rock gazing at the Oscar which was well deserved.
Talking about self deprecation, Neil Lewer had a wonderful projector presentation ready for us for the 10 minute slot but he was let down by the golf clubs machinery. Undaunted but claiming that he would have to “wing it”, he then gave a faultless thumbnail sketch of how he had got where he is today, what he does and a lasting impression as to how well he does it. You were almost tempted to think he was wasted as a joiner but his obvious passion for design and cabinet making created a confidence that we all look to find in our fellow members to enable referrals to be made. We also like our heroes to have a little mystery about them, in Neil’s case it was the revelation that he had a tattoo, but the lack of revelation as to what it was and where it was. May I invite comments and suggestions as to exactly what sort of tattoo Neil has and where it is.
The referrals and testimonials round produced £17,000 worth of recorded business. But for the record breaking figures of the last two months we would have regarded this as a very good return for one meeting.
All in all, given our lack of numbers a very comforting meeting.
Let’s try and have as close to full attendance as possible next week as the last “proper” meeting before the Christmas celebration meeting.
Chairman’s Blog Thursday 28th November 2013
A better turnout than in recent weeks, 23 including visitor Geoff Hunwick, Domestic and Commercial Cleaner who is threatening to join.
It was our Education Officer himself who delivered the Ed Slot. David told of the rebuilding of the Japanese economy after the Second World War and one W Edwards Demming whose management style and principles formed the basis of Japan’s emergence as a major economic power. David’s theme was the first of 14 principles that the said W.E.D enunciated, namely your constant purpose in business should be improvement and the production of good quality. It certainly resonates with promotional side of EBF, As we put ourselves forward as trusted traders. We were invited to research further into Mr Demming. I do not k now whether that means we will get questioned on this next week, watch this space.