Cover Story

Canberra Regional Director, Paul Lomas

B2B Editor1 March 2013
Paul Lomas, Regional Director of BNI Canberra, works closely with all BNI members, helping them to utilise the proven BNI system to build strong long term professional relationships which, given time to develop, can turn into very profitable relationships. Paul says, “Word of mouth marketing is about farming not hunting. It is not about one off meetings. It is about developing and cultivating relationships. Regular networking gives you the foundation to build the trust that will allow you to ask for business over time”.
In today’s tough economic climate and with numerous online and offline options available, many businesses still find that one of the oldest forms of marketing remains one of the best – word of mouth. Whilst 98% of businesses rely on referrals to obtain new business only 3% have a strategy to find referrals. BNI, founded in 1987 by Dr Ivan Misner, is the world’s leading word of mouth referral organisation.
The philosophy of BNI is built upon the idea of “Givers Gain”, by giving business to others, you will get business in return. This is predicated on the age-old idea of what goes around, comes around. It does so by providing an environment in which members can develop strong personal relationships with dozens of other qualified business professionals. By establishing this “formal” relationship with other people, members have the opportunity to substantially increase their business.
Globally, 145,000 members get together every week at 6800 BNI meetings. In 2012 BNI members passed 7.1 million referrals which resulted in more than $3.3 billion in closed business. Since its first meeting in Australia in 1998, BNI’s membership has grown to more than 5,000 businesses that, in 2012, passed more than $230 million in closed business between each other.
Locally, BNI in Canberra has seen an increase in membership of 100% in the last 12 months with closed business between members exceeding $2 million for the first time in the region’s history. With an average chapter size of more than 28 members, BNI Canberra’s newest chapter launched recently at the Australian National University with more than 80 local businesses in attendance.
There is currently an unmet demand for BNI in Canberra and BNI Ambassador is a welcomed addition to the BNI Canberra family.