Chairman’s Business Networking Blog, Thursday 28th January 2016.
21 Members present and one visitor John Flaherty.
Of the members Stuart Smallcombe was subbed by James White one of his company’s employees who gave a good account of himself.
The guts had been knocked out of the Naughty Corner in that Howard Bullock and Stuart Smallcombe were not present., However sometime stand in Michael Adelizzi joined forces with Dean Caldon and further re-enforcements came from an unlikely source,namely Mike Rogers added cynicism and grumpiness to the natural naughtiness of the corner itself.
The Education Slot was a treat this week with Brian Painter telling us a fable about a stonemason. Aforementioned stonemason had the ability to transform himself by simply expressing the wish to be something else. He went from stonemason to prince, the sun, a cloud, a mountain and then back to being a stonemason. I think the purpose the fable was to illustrate envy causing stress. It also showed a lack of imagination so far as the stonemason was concerned, even I could of have thought of lots of things to do with my transformation but hay ho…even if nobody understood the parable it was used by one or two of us in our 60 seconds notably Paul Booth. The stonemason finished up a client of his, saving lots and lots of tax.
So what of the 60 second round.
Michael Adelizzi gave us a walkthrough of him stripping out and refitting a bathroom. It could have been a voiceover on a documentary showing the work going on.
Donna Evans has been trying to impress a big Irish builder; Lucinda is looking for mortgage brokers.
As to the School of Whimsy, they remain intent on trying to demonstrate they are perfectly normal people. Alan Shaw is designing a glass roof to link a turret with a main building but it was later in the meeting that he excelled himself by indicating that he would quite like to run a sandwich bar. Nick Cook really played it with a straight bat; structural surveys and problems were totally on message and Brian Painter, fresh from his fable, produced a statistic that 1 out of four people visiting him are suffering from stress. It wasn’t the content but more the way he announced, it sounded like the opening to Star Trek, “STRESS!…the Final Frontier. These were the words of the Pilgrim the stress controller”. I think they will be at their Whimsical best next week…..they are getting there!
Dean Caldon unmercifully ripped into Purple Bricks ; having wetted my appetite I went onto their website. Truly frightening faces appeared being advertised as their resident experts for various parts of the Country. Come back Sarah Beeny, all is forgiven…or rather….. go to Redstones.
Scott Griffiths was threatening to attack weary old websites by poking them with a sharp stick. I suppose it’s better than a poke in the eye with a wet umbrella.
Jo Eastwood captured the imagination with a beer rather puzzling named “little things that kill” If she carries on like this there will be an invitation to join the School of Whimsy.
It was Terry Maylin who won the Oscar with his description of positively assisting a client who was an employee of Santander. His “kick ass” approach commended itself Dean Caldon who as a member of the Naughty Corner likes to see a bit of rough and tumble
It was from the 60 second round that we tumbled into the Meeting Secretary’s Report. By the end of the meeting almost £10,000 worth of business had been recorded and there were 20 referrals.
Our 10 minute speaker was Gill Willis who gave a truly professional performance illustrating exactly what she does and how she does it with the assistance of a screen presentation. I think she has now successfully managed to draw together all the strands of her business and we are all far better equipped to go out and find business for her…..so let’s do it.
I do not regard myself as an entirely sensitive person but I could not help being concerned about Richard Reeds feeling of isolation expressed in his comments to my Blog last week. Let me finish therefore by telling you that Richard Reed is trying to dissuade us all from going to Paris by suggesting that the hotel in the particular offer he had was rubbish; he seemed to regard the distinct possibility that you can be shot by terrorists as something either relatively inconsequential or rather exciting His suggestion was,go to to Paris, particularly if the wife wanted to do so….. but go for a different hotel. That’s the way to deal with Islamic Fundamentalists.
If none of us get blown up I look forward to seeing you all next week.
20 members present and one visitor Sam, a local Florist.
The Ed Slot was delivered by David Plumley himself and he made the all important point that we should always look after our existing clients, however necessary it might be to seek new clients.
Scott Griffiths reported on the Performance League and for the first time in many weeks the leader is Dean Caldon beating Paul Booth into second place…at least for the moment.
And so what of the 60 second round? Well things are starting to get back to normal. The Naughty Corner was in place minus Stuart Smallcombe who will be absent for a couple of weeks. Messrs Bullock and Caldon however were present and correct. May I first of all put right an apparent misapprehension. The aforementioned members of the Naughty Corner were trying to recruit other members tom join their dastardly crew, indeed it looked very much as if money was going to change hands. Please be advised that you are all figments of my imagination and your selection for any group, Naughty Corner or otherwise, is entirely in my hands. If you exhibit the appropriate behaviour I will allocate to you recognition. Michael Adelizzi strayed into the Naughty Corner but he has yet to prove himself. The other suggestion made over suitable candidates during the week was that Brian Painter might be a good candidate. However naughty he can be I am afraid he holds pride of place as a member of the School of Whimsy. I hope that clears everything up.
Apart from Mr Bullock’s attire, which retained the bare legged look, he and Mr Caldon were the epitome of rectitude in their 60 seconds. Howard Bullock showed how planning could help his clients. Nothing grand but simply a clear understanding of where all income into a household comes from and how best to invest. Dean Caldon also was clear in the value that he offered as an agent as opposed not only other agents but more importantly TV advertised agencies.
As to the School of Whimsy they have sadly become examples of the networking rectitude. I was looking for something more from them this week and I was slightly relieved that they rose to the challenge….sort of! Alan Shaw has had a couple of surveys this week, he would like lots more but not until April when brass monkey have headed north. He finished off his 60 second with a coughing fit which made you wonder at the sense in him going out on outside surveys. I would like to issue a reminder on behalf of all members to our architectural chum. Please do not go out into the cold weather without being wrapped up in a nice overcoat and muffler.
Nick Cooke has been doing the “structural stuff” but had the delightful job of having to survey the Leaning Tower of Barkingside, aka the Clock Tower of Barnardos. Apparently it is still standing and he will report to us on it next week. Finally Brian Painter told of a well to do lady who had an inferiority complex. Whose fault was it…of course it was her mother.
Highlights of the round came from Jill Willis who boasts clients as diverse as a Russian Marshal Arts expert who fights blind fold and a holistic therapist who does tapping and havening. In the light of certain scandals that have hit the news recently I really don’t want to know. Lewis Hackney created a very unpleasant image for us all when advancing the benefits of Astro Turf and going so far as to suggest that it was ideal for dogs. The thought of cleaning up after them on Astro Turf just doesn’t bear any further consideration. And then there was Kevin Brooks, 22 men in one house, he was stressed, there was water pouring into the lounge from a wonderful wet room…upstairs. I don’t know whether he was seeking a slogan but “CDM Rules…OK!!!”.
Marcelle was promoting the Garnet as the stone of the month. It appealed to me because of its cost, between £20.00 and £100,00 per carat…now all have to do is to convince e the wife. Donna Evans surpassed herself by producing elephant wallpaper, I was reminded of the cry of the circus “…roll up ladies see the greatest elephant in the world when it …..mind out lady, too late dig her out!” In Donna and Lewis perhaps we can spot a theme. It is not a problem though. With the excellent scrambled eggs everybody’s stomach felt settled.
Oh, and Dean won the Oscar…..that’s one for the Naughty Corner
So what of business passed; in excess of £29,000.00 recorded and 15 referrals made for a successful referrals round, but I am ahead of myself.
Richard Reed reported on the Business to Consumer Synergy Team meeting that was very successful. Remember, they meet on the third Monday of every month.
Terry Maylin reinforced last week’s education session by getting the recruitment drive back on track, we are looking for printers this week. Keep your eyes open and report to the prime seeker, Brian Painter or Terry.
It was Lewis Hackney’s turn for the 10 minute presentation. No Astro Turf in sight. It was an illustrated guide round the specific piece of landscaping they had completed to a very large house. There were sprinklers, rockeries and even a place for the badgers at the end of the garden. A very confident presentation that showed what really excellent work Aaron Paving do, an excellent performance Lewis.
Having been assured by our visitor that she was looking to return next week with the promise of joining we should look forward to welcoming her back.
I look forward to a good turnout next week.
Chairman’s Business Networking Blog Thursday 14 January 2016.
A turnout of 19 members found themselves in a much smaller room at the end of the restaurant at Mary Green Manor. Initial networking was very difficult but the seating area for our meeting proved very conformable and intimate and helped with what was a training meeting with the revised format to give time for the presentation regarding recruitment by Terry Maylin…. but I am getting slightly ahead of myself.
The shock of the new venue was pleasantly off set by the return of Michael Adelizzi, everyone was pleased to witness his return to the fold. Welcome back Michael.
This was the first very cold morning of the winter and Howard Bullock is to be commended not only for his garishly striped shirt but also the wearing of shorts.
By the time we got to the 60 second round it so bemused were we by our setting that the Naughty corner was scattered to the 4 winds and effectively ceased to exist. Come on guys weplease regroup.
The 60 second round produced a high level of content and at the time I thought it accordingly provided me with little material for this Blog but there were some notable exceptions.
In true Sesame Street style the letter “E” was very prominent. Dean Caldon talked not only about landlords now having to do the Border Agency’s work for them but also EPC’s. David Plumley talked about some sort of virus protection with ESET. Stuart Smalicombe will be exhibiting at the Excel Centre and Brian Painter described dealing with a chocoholic by use of EFT; points will be awarded the first of you who reply to this Blog and set out what EFTs stand for.
Jo Jones’s mission was to stop people saying “balls to it all”. I think she might be pushing against an open door.
Richard Reed told of cruising on a ship with 4 to 5 masts. I had visions of “Richard” the cabin boy, however it does not conjure up the same images as “Roger” the cabin boy.
Not only had the Naughty Corner disbursed but the School of Whimsy was in no way whimsical. Alan Shaw talked about building regulations approval and Nick Cooke talked about loft conversions. Ah well…maybe next week….
Paul Booth tried to capture all of our attention with reference to lap dancers and lots of tutors. Principally for David Plumley’s information Paul made it clear that his ladies used poles rather than laptops.
Pride of place with Oscar went to Steve Roach with his 60 second promotion of Phoenix FM.
So we left the 60 second round and went straight to the referrals round getting eventually up to about 20 referrals £29,000 worth of business was recorded which was a great effort.
We came to the central part of the meeting being the recruitment drive. Terry Maylin really picked up where Brian Painter left off and the nature of the intimacy of the room enabled us not only to have An excellent presentation from Terry but also a useful discussion afterwards about possible categories for us to chase. It was good to see everyone engaged in the issue of recruitment. It would be nice to see this carried over in the coming weeks as Terry maintains the flow of seeking out new visitors and new members. What today’s meeting did emphasise was the importance of a regular flow of visitors and how and why we should all be constantly vigilant in seeking to invite people to our meeting and up our membership.
I look forward to seeing you all next week in what hopefully will be more warmer conditions outside.
Chairman’s Business Networking Blog, Thursday 7th January 2016
It was like a scene from Tom Brown’s School Days; the beginning of a new term.
22 Members piled into Mary Green Manor throwing their satchels and books onto the places set out at the meeting breakfast table. Excitedly they drank coffee and orange juice and exchanged stories of the hols whilst wishing each other Happy New Year. There were the smug ones who attended Jo Jones’ Boot Camp before the break; the excited who had overseen Christmas Day complete with children and grand children; and then there were just the plain relieved who had had the pleasure if dispensing Christmas and New Year frivolity to impassive and grumpy aged relatives.
The first Ed Slot of the New Year was presented by Scott Griffiths who in true boy scout tradition emphasised the importance of being prepared, particularly with reference to the 60 second round but also generally in relation to your business, to attending meetings and to generally conducting yourself in a positive way. This particularly important message was emphasised by Scott himself when reminded by David Plumley at 6.50am that he was doing the Ed Slot, his face momentarily drained of colour and then he scuttled off to the table to ensure that he was prepared.
Whilst talking of Scott, and on sartorial matters, he was wearing a pair of green but with a hint of black socks illustrating that there is in fact a Father Christmas and that there is an element of the indiscriminate about the distribution of presents. No less presentable and in a thoroughly stunning matching outfit was Brian Painter who stood from head to foot in what could be described as Khaki. Shirt, tie, trousers, shoes, all matched. If you feel I have missed anybody out in my fashion review please mention them in your comments to this Blog.
The 60 second round had a theme of New Year’s resolutions that you were intending to make or relevant to your business.
The Naughty Corner were particularly in evidence although they did not have a theme as far as their resolutions were concerned. Indeed they were somewhat diverse. Dean Caldon was going to do something different in marketing and grow his lettings portfolio. Stuart Smallcombe was very well behaved in announcing that he had resolved to prepare much better for his 60 seconds and on a business level simplify things, get back to basics. It was wet and it was dark and he was still wearing his shorts (and wearing a rather fetching red check shirt) but Howard Bullock was not having any of it. Resolutions were counterproductive, were a weight on your shoulders and he for one was not going to make one. He is however looking for administrative support as the year progresses. We would all settle for a resolution from him to permanently turn up in shorts…or maybe not.
It was Paul Booth, a recent deserter of the Naughty Corner who put us right. It is plans, not resolutions that we should be making. Resolutions are almost by their nature, there to be broken. Plans have a more permanent ring about them. Lucinda “Noddy” Wilson was with him on this, she said that she had written down all her goals. There you see… goals ,plans, not resolutions, she apparently meditates and is looking for an office.
What of the School of Whimsy? Surely they should be able to produce something esoteric on the subject of resolutions. They did not disappoint. Alan Shaw acknowledged that any resolutions tended to “peter out” as he put it and finished up with the declaration “don’t do today what you can put off until tomorrow”. Nick Cooke promised to be more dynamic, to make his 60 seconds less dull, less predictable. Don’t worry Nick, if we are all bored to death knowing exactly what you do you probably have succeeded in achieving the purpose of your weekly 60 seconds. Brian Painter declared himself simply there to help people fulfil their smoking resolutions (about giving up that is).
Jo Eastwood caught the spirit of January. She is helping promote dry January by promoting dry wines. The girl will go far!
Pride of place however had to go to Kevin Brooks who is looking to work smarter and also earn more money. Yes you guessed it, he has lots of holidays lined up. He was promptly awarded the Oscar.
Other things of note in this first meeting of the New Year included the 10 second presentation by Paul Booth. He was all tooled up and used the projector to good effect. We were shown the Hermitage when more than just one of our members carries on business from and then ran through what he had to offer. It was very much Paul’s day. For being the most consistent member of the group in the passing of referrals and general work in promoting the group he received the Good Egg Award to hold for this coming quarter.
The referrals and testimonials round was equally positive and lively as it should be as the first of a new year. There were 30 referrals passed and in excess of £7,000.00 worth of business recorded which gets us off to a good start.
For next week I am hoping that we can maintain our good attendance record. Particularly because it will be the shortened training style meeting so that we can take stock of and look to the future in relation to our recruitment. Terry will be looking to review contacts made last year and plan for this year. This is an important aspect of moving the group forward and a full attendance would be very useful from everybody’s point of view.
I look forward to seeing you all then.
Chairman’s Business Networking Blog, Thursday 17th December 2015.
20 festive members chatted, drinking orange juice and coffee, in anticipation of the final meeting of the year that is known as “the Brian Painter Experience”
Robert Dennis from our sponsored Charity SNAP was present and emptied the pig, supervised final donations and finally took a group photo. Our best wishes for Christmas and New Year to everyone there.
All members had made the effort. Christmas pullys abounded and the 60 second round reflected a lot thought having been given to the presentations. There were songs, there were poems and amidst a general feeling of Bonhommie and good will all sectarian divisions were forgotten. Naughty Corner mixed with Scary Section and the School of Whimsy just generally floated around.
There was singing, from Peter Hood to Kim Redwood-Lee. Both displaying their mediocre talent in that regard but pick of the bunch was Lucinda Wilson who produced a very tuneful, with reworked lyrics of the Noddy Holder favourite which will now mean she will be hereafter referred to as “Noddy”.
There was an abundance of verses and the pick of the bunch being a Jill Willis rendition based on “the Night before Christmas”. She won the Oscar by a short head from Noddy.
Several members had pullovers with flashing lights with Kim the pick of the bunch.
A defiant member of the School of Whimsy, one Alan Shaw, was musing on chimneys, Santa, and his own wood burner which he apparently had to fix. The cure I think was paper wood and lighted match. Well done to everyone for making the effort and making it an excellent 60 second round.
We then had a referrals round which saw £12,500.00 worth of business recorded and 22 referrals passed which once again was in excess of the numbers of members present.
And so just before 8 o’clock the Brian Painter experience began. This year he had a warm up act, Paul Booth came down the stairs to an appalled audience to reveal his skills at stand up. Everything he does with regard to EBF he tackles energetically and there was no difference in his performance which was unscripted and drew heavily on Tim Vine. Likewise with Mr Painter, who produced his quiz with jokes in between each question. Brian’s quizzes are always likely to cause controversy and dispute more over the question than the answer. When we departed we were all slightly wiser. We knew that the inhabitants of a South American Country ate more Guinea Pigs per head per annum than they ate baked beans and we learnt that statistically a majority of people bite the head off their jelly baby first and either men or women do it more frequently although I cannot for the like of me remember which was round it was. Towards the end of the quiz exhaustion was starting to set in. We don’t like to concentrate that hard that early in the morning but by the time we got to Secret Santa it was almost 9 o’clock anyway.
I was left with one thought regarding Secret Santa. I wonder how many of us have kept the wrapping on our present and put it under the tree. Anyone willing to own up to that!
So the EBF calender year is over. I have had the privilege of taking the “mick” out of all of you for the last 12 months and I have been able to write about excellent performances as far as business passed was concerned. Our actual year ends in February and it’s heading towards an almost best every year.
I am looking forward to starting up all over again on the 7th January 2015 when I will continue cajoling you in this Blog. Indeed I would like to sign off with a small cajole. I hope you all have an excellent Christmas and New Year, put on that extra weight that will enable Jo to help you remove it but, after such a long break please make sure that we have a full attendance at our next meeting.
Chairman’s Business Networking Blog, Thursday 10th December 2015.
As we start to settle in at MGM we embarked upon our second revised Agenda to allow for our second Education Presentation.
We finished up with 21 members present and 1 visitor Teresa Tudge, a recent recruit to Hugo Heij’s business coaching organisation.
As we leapt straight into the 60 second round things were getting back to normal. The Naughty Corner’s core membership of Caldon, Smallcombe and Bullock was firmly ensconced. I can announce however that Paul Booth has renounced his flirtation with this ill behaved troop and is looking to start his own breakaway group that he would like to have named the “Scary Section”. His frequent reference to ice breakers at parties and other family gatherings certainly qualifies him for this nomenclature. It remains to be seen whether others step-up to the plate in the coming weeks or whether it withers on the branch. Unfortunately for Paul, it is my decision is whether this happens or not and you will have to read my Blogs over the coming weeks to see whether this is anything more than a twinkle in our revered accountants eye.
The School of Whimsy was much better represented and also in its presentations more typical. Nick Cooke was called out to a little cottage at the end of an unmade road to advise on the removal of a spiral staircase. This was apparently something of a conundrum but apparently he solved it. He neglected to tell us how! Its true to say that Alan Shaw declared that as an architect he designed buildings but he then went on to hint rather darkly that his week had been engaged in trying to finish a job. Once again a little sparse on detail. Brian Painter appeared rational as he started his 60 second presentation but veered off into the land or Whimsy. Pleasant things can cause stress as well as unpleasant things. He explained how his non invasive procedures could help resolve stress of any kind but his suggestion that preparing for Christmas day festivities represented a pleasant thing showed that he was off with the fairies.
I do feel I can induct Jo Jones into the Scary Section; every week that she stands up some of us quake in our boots to see what item of torture she is going to recommend. This week was what appeared to be an innocuous set of scales that had hidden a handle that you pulled up to your chest and it told her everything about you. It did look as if it might have wheels and you had to negotiate corners doing all of this. Jo’s team leader Paul Booth was once again giving examples of ice breakers. Another candidate for his splinter group is Lucinda, she donned a pair of fake reindeer antlers with bells on pointing out that many employers who work over Christmas do not create a festive atmosphere. The suggestion is that if they can’t be bothered to do that for their staff they should give them the time off and get temporary staff. Pretty scary eh!
As for the Naughty Corner, Howard Bullock, still sporting his shorts and a lurid checked shirt told of a life cover/ trust scheme to assist a daughter with learning difficulties. Stuart Smallcombe was more entertaining. The Royal Opera House project of which his company is a part told of a wall that needed knocking down, the problems in obtaining permission including planning and then the knocking down of said edifice only to find it was the wrong wall. It’s the sort of story that would be ideal to be set to an Opera. Dean Caldon on the other hand was conspiratorial in presentation, almost whispering his cut price deals for the new year. Fixed priced management fees at a rate to die for and a commission rate for selling houses that created an impression that he was giving them away.
The final thing of note that I have recorded was Richard Reed’s announcement that his 50 night cruise for £2,299 per person had attracted a fantastic amount of interest…but no bookings. He then went on to mention rather darkly something about balaclavas. I did not know whether that was something to do with what you wore when you went on the cut price skiing holiday at £477 per person.
So many different images created by the 60 second round that I have completely forgotten who won the Oscar. Other than Paul Booth who was awarding it, points for the first person (other than the winner) to set the record straight.
Peter Hood was not in attendance and I am wondering whether I have upset him. His excellent 10 minute presentation last week went totally unrecorded by me. It’s not often I miss an opportunity to talk about things lavatorial. His presentation contained the before and after illustrations of toilets of all shapes and sizes. He helped illustrate that bathroom is not just for Christmas, come back Pete all if forgiven.
Our new format led us straight into the Meeting Secretaries Report and the Referrals and Testimonials round. As many referrals as members present which is always a good sign.
It was Tony Blair who referred to Education, Education, Education. It was Brian Painter who delivered said commodity. The subject was referrals which is at the heart of our meeting and one of the principal reasons that we should be turning up. His message was that we should all be focused on giving referrals. If we all do that, we will receive them in abundance. His presentation hopefully helped new members with any concerned they had over how to fill in the referral form and reminded all of us of the need to “think referrals” more than we do, whether with friends and family or without business contacts keep referrals in the back of your mind when conversations turn to what people want or haven’t got. Congratulations Brian on a very useful contribution. Also for sending Bullock minor to the Naughty Step!!!
I will leave you all with reminders regarding next week when there will be lots more Brian Painter. You will all have to think about Christmas Pullys; a fiver to charity or ten quid if you do not wear your pully; the scenario for your 60 second presentation should include a reference to a Christmas Carol and last but no means least, do not forget the secret Santa… that the androgynous present fully wrapped, value approximately £10.00
Next week is not to be missed…by anyone!!!!
Chairman’s Business Networking Blog, Thursday 3rd December 2015.
17 members present and one visitor, Rob Trotman, who does things with chips and pins. The good news is he took away an application form promising to return next week, when you will be able to learn more about his chips and pins.
This week left me with a series of impressions about our group and the venue which I thought I would share with you.
The breakfast is of high standard, served by 2 men with white gloves. Last weeks impression of a manic xylophone player with side kick was slightly modified. The lifting of lids and movement from one container to the other I feel, on reflection, is perhaps more reminiscent of a steel band. The side kick who operates only one container however produces scrambled eggs to die for.
For the last few weeks my records show that the 2 Jos, Eastwood and Jones turn up at the same time and are therefore next to each other in the members sign in list and therefore follow each other (depending upon who is in first) in the 60 second round. Apart from this exhibition of “London Bus syndrome” it has its uses. Jo Eastwood is always trying to temp us into a hangover and Jo Jones if there to provide boot camps and strenuous exercise to help work it off.
Whilst talking of Jo Eastwood, I would like to record a first in this Blog; in the hope that she reads it I would like to record a referral for her of 1 bottle of the Grahams 10 year old tawny port for collection and payment next week. I wasn’t going to have a taste that early in the morning, but I was tempted as I left the meeting with the result that I might well become an ambassador for port with breakfast.
Paul Booth is one of our most effective members and once again won the Performance League for the month of November. Never fear, help is at hand!! Next week will be an Education Meeting and Brian Painter will be talking to us about referrals. It is hoped that this intervention might encourage us all to up our game and challenge Mr Booth who is genuinely running out of wall space at his office for hanging his certificates. It was highly appropriate that he should win the Speakers Prize after submitting 3 referrals…..as usual.
Apologies for absence from Messrs Cooke, belatedly Shaw (a request for a functioning alarm clock for Christmas has been made) and Cuvelier left the School of Whimsy with only one performing member. Despite his many powers, our resident hypnotherapist could not entirely make up for his absent colleagues although he did tell of a shouting match that a husband had with his wife that could be traced back to his mother for shouting at him. It got me thinking though…I have quite a few unpleasant habits which I will not repeat here, but it does make me wonder whether those are attributable to my mother.
The absence of the School of Whimsy was coupled with the dispersal of the Naughty Corner and the presence of Scott Griffiths who moved down to the bottom of the table to conduct his “bush tucker trials” in the Referral Round, of which more later. In Howard Bullock’s absence Messrs Caldon and Booth retreated up the table leaving Smallcombe minor to carry the burden of being Naughty, in which burden he entirely failed.
The 60 second round therefore had an odd feel to it. A couple of interesting facts to emerge:
Jill Willis is now “Words by Jill”, which can now double up as the introduction that I give her when I invite her to present her 60 seconds.
Jo Jones paraded Paul Booth who illustrated the difference she can make. He has lost a 1 ½ stone and 5ins around his waist. I feel it my duty to urge caution here. Paul is not a big bloke and his contributions to EBF are such that we do not wish to see him disappear entirely; by contrast Mike Rogers declared a weight of 14 ½ stone and after his performance in using Terry Maylin as a bell by thumping him and getting him to shout out makes me feel we should defer to Jo to see if she could make him disappear.
Steve Roach’s excellent Radio Station will have its 20th anniversary next year.
The Oscar was won by…yes you guessed it…Paul Booth. He told of OCD behaviour with his underwear, in particular his pants. This coupled with the revelation that they bear the name Calvin Klein represented without doubt too much information.
The recruitment drive highlighted future targets of Beauty Therapists, Osteopaths and Health and Safely practitioners. Ahead of their allocation to a particular member, if any of you have got any such contacts make a note of the details and pass them to Terry Maylin.
The referrals round, apart from boasting 25 referrals amongst the 17 members present, also brought out the boy scout in our esteemed Meeting Secretary. Fresh from reporting over £110,000 worth of business written last month he was an enthusiastic “runner” during the referrals round. If you did not have 2 referrals you had to submit to various relatively unpalatable sweet meats (no live worms). Thanks Scott for livening things up in what was a lively round anyway.
As you think about the final meeting (the week after next) before Christmas remember Secret Santa, presents of value approximately £10.00 and if you do not know what a generic present is, replace generic with androgynous and then scuttle to your dictionary.
Look forward to seeing you all next week.
Chairman’s Business Networking Blog, Thursday 26th November 2015
Moving house is always one of the most traumatic events in your life. How did moving venue for EBF match up with this?
22 members turned up and from the apologies received it doesn’t appear that anyone went to Warley Park Golf Club and then gave up, indeed no one is owning up even if they ultimately made it to Mary Green Manor.
Our visitors were 3 in number, Steven Jakes from Blue Cloud, Matt Bishop a Gardener, Mark Reed representing the Brentwood Community Theatre and somewhat auspiciously, the Mayor of Brentwood.
Our new venue proved to be as good as we had hoped, all oak beams, mullioned windows and even a stair. Indeed it was from the stair that David Plumley delivered his Ed Slot.
Previously, the buffet had been served up by two waiters, one of whom kept the scrabbled egg moving and moist whilst the other gave a passable imitation of a man playing the xylophone as he juggled between one of three containers; lifting lids, spooning the food and sweating.
Back to the Ed Slot where David, from his vantage point, spoke to us of good networking, making the right connections and approaching the networking sources in a reasoned way to maximise the contacts that you make.
From the outset it had been interesting to see how our various groups arranged themselves with the new seating arrangements either side of the table.
The Naughty Corner found a new corner to be naughty in and sitting opposite each other they appeared even more furtive and conspiratorial than usual.
The School of Whimsy was, as usual, casually cast about the room as one would expect. Whether they were overcome by the change of venue or not however, their performance in the 60 second round was very disappointing. To a man they were totally on topic. Nick Cooke told of structural reassurance for home owners, Alan Shaw told of the architect type things that he had been doing; trying to turn the Bull at Blackmore into a community asset. This was at least a noble cause, but definitely on topic. Brian Painter was all phobias and feeding pigeons which is just what you would expect a hypnotherapist to deal with. Maybe if Christian Cuvelier had been present he would have caught a sniff of whimsy but sadly this was not to be. We can only hope that this is a temporary blip brought about by exceptional circumstances.
Changes were afoot among some members. Donna now does shutters and talks of Rollers not Romans; Lewis Hackney is now in favour of decking, given a new product that is on the market. Richard Reed was advertising a 50 night cruise and was so excited about it that he gave us the itinerary. What made it all the more tempting was that outside there was a fine drizzle falling. Peter Hood is adopting a new approach to his wet work by no longer producing the leaks for the customer for him to fix.
Approaching from slightly different positions Dean Caldon and Mike Rogers were pondering over the Chancellors Autumn Statement and the balancing effect this might have on first time buyers and landlords.
Warnings abounded; Allan Moller was suggesting we checked our circuit breakers and Stuart Smallcombe was suggesting we tested the strength our internet connection and if it is not strong enough call him.
It was left to Jo Eastwood to strike a festive note with Santa Clause like “willie warmers” to cover her bottles and the suggestion that we wear Christmas Jumpers on the last meeting of the year or make a donation to SNAP. Unless you visit a charity shop it is probably cheaper to make the donation.
Thus far I have refrained from my scrooge like bah humbug comments about Christmas but suspect next week I will not be able to hold back. Nonetheless, I will in the meantime report that Jo Eastwood’s flirting with the future festivities of Christmas deservedly won her the Oscar.
We had of course had breakfast at the beginning of the meeting and to that extent we also experienced a change from the normal.
The Meeting Secretaries Report that followed the 60 second round told of 21 referrals’ and approximately just in excess of £39,000s worth of business acknowledged, which will produce a really good return for the month of November, so well done to everyone on that.
As we approached the 10 minute presentation, Terry Maylin continued with the recruitment drive, this time handing out a challenge to find entertainers, magicians and clowns. Appropriately Messrs Smallcombe and Caldon from the Naughty Corner espoused this with glee. They will receive details of their victims next week.
Whilst mentioning Stuart Smallcombe, we moved on to his 10 minute presentation and he used the projector in a very slick, fast moving, picture show illustrating his own development as well as the Company’s. He responded to the shortness of time admirably, giving a highly entertaining 10 minutes that served as a really useful aide memoire for us all to remember him and what he does when we are making contact with other business users. From weak signals to moving offices, let’s make him the go to person for all of our contacts.
The referrals round was a good effective one as would be expected from the numbers that had been reported to us by the meeting secretary. We finally drew to a close slightly later than usual but I think we can all be pleased as to the venue and the effectiveness of our first meeting. We have now had 2 meetings on the trot where 25 people have been in attendance. Let us see if we can keep this attendance level up.
Chairman’s Business Networking Blog, Thursday 19th November 2015.
The end of an era!! After more than 10 years this was the last meeting at Warley Park Golf Club .
It produced the biggest turnout that I can recall for many a month. We were 24 members strong and together with Robert Dennis, the representative SNAP the Charity which we have chosen to sponsor, 25 in all.
The meeting could well have been symbolised by the Mask of Janus; looking both back over our development to date and forward to a new chapter at our new location at Marygreen Manor.
By the time the doors were opened at 6.30am there were 9 of us bursting to get into the building promptly, followed by another 5 members intent on getting a seat for the best show in town.
The Ed Slot was very effectively presented by Kim Redwood-Lee. Her subject was referrals and her point was that you cannot expect referrals come to you, magically or otherwise. She emphasised the importance of being positive in pursuing your referrals and “thinking referrals” when you are at social events etc. If you are perceived as the “go to” person, people will however go to you anyway. This will be the subject of the next education presentation which will be second of our initial 4 presentations.
As we approached the 60 second round all of the main players were in place; the Naughty Corner was inhabited by Messrs Caldon, Smallcombe, Bullock and Booth. Sometime member Richard Willis was replaced by Mrs. W aka Gill. What with Marcelle, Lucinda, the 2 Jo’s and Mrs Redwood-Lee there was a positive coterie of neo–suffragettists to grace our ranks and be more than a match for the Naughty Corner. The School of Whimsy was in place and represented by all members. including its newest recruit Christian Cuvelier.
There were sartorial displays of peacock elegance rubbing shoulders with the vulgar and garish. David Plumley wore yellow socks a blue pully and a blue laptop; Paul had a shirt of small check and divine inter-reaction of colours. I have to confess to wearing a “BNI red” shirt.
With the team fully assembled, virtually injury free, what did this produce by way of 60 second offerings.
The School of Whimsy produced a Nick Cooke musing of dubious relevance. On a journey round the South Circular he saw a lorry bearing the slogan “our food is great-just listen our customers”. Alan Shaw produced a reference to a 1930s house with a turret and a property that needed a new lift (the mechanical type I believe); our Pilgrim was looking forward to Christmas and a gift of years added to your life……one of his vouchers of course to stop smoking. Last but by no means least, Christian Cuvelier, “NCR” he acronymed and suggested that we look out for people who wanted to upgrade their paper. I am not sure what our Whimsyists will think of MaryGreen Manor. It apparently has a ghost.
Our feminine contingent were, as always, the most focused. Lucinda recommended outsourcing. It was good advice, particularly from someone who can probably out-sauce anyone; although the 2 Jo’s were not to be outdone in vying for the Christmas market. Jo Jones has vouchers for all sorts of activities that might be useful to get rid of hangovers after Boxing Day whereas Jo Eastwood wants to be part of the problem by introducing all different types of liquor and explaining it so effectively before our very eyes. Kim Redwood-Lee was selling herself like they sell fairy liquid. You probably only need one squeeze of her organisation rather than two squeezes of the cheaper imitators. Gill Willis was inspirational for her first outing, talking about targeting your audience, telling actual stories and direct calls to action. It was Marcelle who stole the show however with her illustration of a blue and pink diamond respectively valued at £48 and £28 million that a Mr Lau bought for his daughter aged 7. She got it all right in her setting out her stall and for that Nick Cooke awarded her the Oscar. I think however her success was, by referring to the said Mr Lau spending such sums of money on a 7 year old, in making a really good case for Socialism, nay Communism.
Pick of the Naughty Corner was Stuart Smallcombe who claimed to have been “out on the tools”. My initial reaction to this description was that he was explaining how he revealed lots of idiots but apparently it was far grander than that. Stage one of the Royal Opera House project in which he is involved, involves disconnecting prior to demolition. No need to explain Stuart…any child who plays with Lego knows that! Dean Caldon has found himself inundated by the effect of Barney and blown down fences. The good news is that he is probably going to link up with Lewis who was talking about fences only last week. As for the rest of the Naughty Corner, Howard Bullock presented himself before us resplendent in brown shorts and hairy legs. It really is difficult to concentrate on what he says. Similarly Paul Booth, resplendent in a “gob smackingly” checked shirt only managed to divert us from his attire by holding up a book of tax tables. Perhaps one ice breaker too far?
Richard Reed was into diversity, good deals both for skiing on the one hand and cruising on the other. Pride of place however for entertainment was Peter Hood, Apart from the tag line “no fix, no fee” he felt it necessary to explain that when you turn up at a house and a leak has disappeared, he tries to make it come back…. no wonder they call it “wet work”.
So it was that we finished the 60 second round and received the Meeting Secretaries Report. Over £20,000.00 worth of business written
And over 20 referrals. The Referrals Round that followed after breakfast reflected this and good business was passed.
Suggested birthday present for Terry Maylin should be an efficient alarm clock but the upside was that we were spared the recruitment session. You are not off the hook that easily however, study your emails to make sure that you are clear as to who and what you are searching for and who and what you are telephoning and inviting as visitors.
Last breakfast rather than last supper, was up to its usual high standard.
There followed the presentation by Rob Dennis on behalf of SNAP. This comprised a short video, an explanation and questions answered. It was all done in a very professional way and we now have a line of communication between Richard Reed our Committee Chairman and Rob for all future activities relating to SNAP. The one conclusion to be drawn from Rob’s presentation was that we probably made the right choice of charity to support in the coming months.
It would be great to have as good a turn out next week as this week. Don’t forget however that we are at a different venue, if you don’t know where it is, look it upon the website.
I look forward to seeing you all next week.
Chairman’s Business Networking Blog, Thursday 12th November 2015.
23 present! This good turnout included our new member, Steven Roach, from Phoenix FM. He was duly inducted following the introductions.
There then followed our new format designed to deal with an Education Presentations of which today was the first. We almost went straight into the 60 second round which had a theme of Ice Breakers when the going gets tough at dinner parties.
The Naughty Corner was packed, so much so that Paul Booth had to retreat to the opposite side of the room. Messrs. Bullock, Smallcombe and Caldon were joined by Richard Willis.
We are all pleased to see Marcelle back who also was almost dragged into the Naughty Corner.
One stunning revelation related to the School of Whimsy. In Alan Shaw’s absence (operation on leg) they looked thin on the ground but I kick myself for having stared the obvious in the face for so many weeks now. Christian Cuvelier has been in the closet of this School of Irrelevance but today he came out. His 60 seconds was devoted to what his company did not do. This included T Shirts and book restoration although he always tries to find good homes for such enquiries. He might yet develop his influence amongst this esoteric group. He is sort of following in the French School of existentialism. What of the fellow inmates of said school; well Brian Painter was on to smoking again, reciting chemical compounds with undoubted glee. Nick Cooke’s Ice Breaker, asking about cracks in the living room, brought him an Oscar from the admiring Howard Bullock who came up with the most memorable line “the ones who mumble crumble”. Potentially the most boring person in the world turns out to be Lewis Hackney who can rattle on about Marshals products until the cows come home and talking about cows coming home, they only stray if fences go down and in the high winds that are likely in the few days he wanted to be remembered as a man who put up fences rather than sit on them.
Sparky Moller, as he is now known, wanted to know whether we knew our RCD from our ACDC and he had a wonderful story about “giving Ivor a tinkle”. This was a rather heart warming tale of a dish washer that did not need fixing and an introduction to new business that followed, which at least appeared to inspire Jo Eastwood who explained why she bought a wine shop. Something to do with getting the opportunity to drink lots of champagne!
All in all an excellent 60 second round which, in the new agenda, was quickly followed after the Meeting Secretary’s Report, with the Referrals and Testimonials round. This month is progressing nicely with business written this week of £23,750.00 and we have virtually reach £75,000.00 acknowledged so far this month. This was a good backdrop for this round which also revealed what a busy week it has been for members. Jo Jones’s Bootcamp was a great success as was Brian Painter’s 1-2-1 session at the Blue Boar all nicely rounded off by Paul Booth at Finance Groups Synergy Team Meeting which was likewise successful and praised by those who attended. That took us to breakfast at exactly 7.45am
The Education Presentation after breakfast is the first of 4. The intention is to give all new members an insight of all of the aspects of the workings of EBF and where better to start than its Website. Scott gave us a very effective guided tour and in doing so placed it in importance at the centre of our group and at the same time the importance of his maintaining this site which is very much our window on the world. An excellent presentation. Don’t forget to use the visitor invitation in a mock run. Failures to do so before next week’s meeting is just not an option. It was quarter to nine before we finished with Terry Maylin’s announcements in the recruitment drive. May I add my urgings to Terry’s. It is important that you carry out your allocated tasks and get the information over to Terry by the Wednesday whether you are listing potential recruits or chasing them up. In this Lucinda is our paragon and please have a good look at the email that Terry circulated showing how she circulated the information. Let us please all think visitors and new members for the next month or so.
Oops, I almost forgot, before I close off I remind everyone that next week is the last week at Warley Park. A good turnout would be a fitting send off from what has been a good venue and one I hope, at our new location at Mary Green Manor an even better location to enable us to continue to grow and be the successful group that we have become.
I look forward to seeing all of you next week let’s see if we can beat 23.