I originally had the idea for the Email Marketing Robot when I became a member of BNI a couple of years ago. It suddenly occurred to me while listening to the 60 seconds each week that there are a lot of businesses who regularly get business from certain types of companies.
For example, there was a weight loss consultant in my chapter named Shirley, who was at the time asking for introductions to beauty salons, tanning salons, personal trainers, and hairdressers. I did not live in the area and had few personal contacts, so I searched Google and found local companies, then simply emailed them and asked them if they would be willing to have a conversation with Shirley to see if there was the possibility of a mutually beneficial referral relationship.
I had great success generating referrals this way, and was bringing up to 15 referrals a week for Shirley. Only it was very time consuming. I realised that if I could create some software to do the same process it would enable me to generate even more referrals, while I got on with my work, and sales of the software would provide me with an additional income.
At that time I was doing really well with referrals and had just landed a big new client. I asked my Executive Director Jason Smith if there was any way I could get more involved with BNI, and we had a meeting after which I decided to become a Director Consultant.
At the Director Consultant training which covered starting new chapters, and at the European Conference I was speaking to a lot of other Directors. The theme of inviting visitors kept coming up. It occurred to me that there is the need throughout the world to contact local businesses, and invite them along as guests to BNI meetings. This gave me the motivation I needed to get the software created, which took about four months of trial and error.
Since creating the software, I have used it to start a new BNI chapter in Derbyshire, England called BNI Synergy which launched in just four months with 22 buzzing members. I’ve also successfully used the software to relaunch another struggling chapter, which has now become one of the strongest in the region. I continue to use the software to invite visitors to my own BNI chapter, as well as the two that I look after. People are always asking me how I manage to bring so many visitors, and I always tell them it’s the Email Marketing Robot!
Several BNI Directors are also using the software to grow membership in their regions, including Gavin Bain who was a member of the first UK chapter, Iain Whyte in Scotland, Mark Kerr in Manchester, Michele Ibbs in the West Country, Paul Clegg who is a massive supporter, and many others too.
My vision is for every BNI region in the world to use the Email Marketing Robot to increase their membership, and for BNI to have more than 400,000 members worldwide by 2013, because more people in the room leads to more energy, more referrals, and more business for the members.
The Email Marketing Robot does the hard work of contacting businesses, then the Director Consultant just needs to be consistent in the follow up, and answering any questions people have prior to coming to the meeting. The key to success then is in the follow-up, making visitors feel that they are welcome to submit their application and lock out their competitors from the Chapter.
The software is priced affordably and represents a real cost saving for Director Consultants who would otherwise spend a lot of time with other forms of prospecting such as cold calling. It is also affordable enough for members who wish to build their own chapters, or use the software to generate referrals for fellow members. It will work anywhere in the world and we include for BNI members proven email templates and business categories for inviting purposes.