My company, RTFJ, specialises in handmade bespoke jewellery. I am still a relatively new business, and being a one man band makes BNI’s weekly networking meetings a great advantage for me.
Before joining BNI I was not good at public speaking, however standing up each week for 60 seconds and talking about my business has allowed me to gather new techniques, which help me get noticed. I’ve also found that adding a bit of humour to my presentations acts as a memory anchor, so I try and bring as much entertainment as I can.
My most memorable presentation so far was when I tried to express the value I believe my products offer. I have focused on the wedding market for a while now, and I get many brides come to me who are reluctant to spend £1000 on a wedding band, but yet admit to spending the same or even more on a wedding dress. During my presentation I tried to put the price of both a wedding band and wedding dress into perspective. I had only 60 seconds to put my point across, so I decided to be creative and I went dressed up in a big white wedding dress. I then went on to emphasise that a £1000 ring, if worn for life, would cost only £0.002 per hour, whilst the wedding dress would cost a staggering £100 per hour, therefore by the time the wedding dress had been used the ring would have only cost 2p.
My presentation received a lot of laughs as no one was expecting me to stroll out in a strapless white wedding dress, especially at 7 in the morning! This particular presentation definitely had the desired effect, as people are still talking about it now! I wouldn’t have been able to do that if I hadn’t gained confidence through presenting at my BNI meetings.
I find my BNI membership absolutely priceless, the skills and knowledge I have gained has been amazing.
With such a variety of business expertise in the room, I feel confident that my fellow members will help with any issues or queries I may have. The group provides a brilliant support network of local businesses, which offers me a permanent work force and I receive a vast amount of advice from members who run a variety of businesses.
I am a one man band so being around 30+ like-minded professionals on a weekly basis has helped my enormously, being part of BNI is not all about increasing business and sales, it has also helped me as a person.
Overall BNI has provided me not only with brilliant business (I receive around 10% of my business from BNI), but also an excellent support group that provide me with advice which is priceless.