FAQ Business Networking Northants

Below are some questions we are often asked, both about Name Droppers, and about business networking generally.  Just click on the question to see the answer.

What is the meeting format?answer...

Name-Droppers meetings are designed to help members to build trust in each others and a strong understanding of each others' business. The focus is to ensure members are happy to refer colleagues to their contacts and are able to recognise opportunities for each other.

After informal networking, members have the opportunity to present their needs to each other, asking for the connections that will benefit their business, whether to clients or businesses with whom they have a synergy.

Many meetings feature a 10 minutes spotlight on one member, enabling them to describe their business in more depth or develop understanding in other ways. At other times, groups will brainstorm current business issues, break into smaller groups to focus on one business or take other steps to help build relationships and understanding to a stronger level.

Each meeting ends with a referral and feedback session, where people pass their business contacts to each other, followed by more informal networking.

What is Name-Droppers Members' Charter? answer...

Name-Droppers is committed to providing the highest possible levels of service for our Members.

While the main benefits from membership come from the quality referrals from other members of your group, we will use our experience to ensure that we enhance the opportunities for these referrals to arise as well as looking to provide further opportunities elsewhere.

We believe that it is important that you know exactly what you can expect from Name-Droppers and who is responsible for providing what. Listed below is our commitment to you.

 

We are committed to :-

 
  • Raising the organisation’s profile locally.
  • Implementing and improving Name-Droppers networking and related training
  • Building relationships on a national level with organisations whose involvement will benefit the Name-Droppers membership
  • Continually seeking to improve the services offered by Name-Droppers
  • Offering new opportunities to network on a cross-regional basis through exhibitions, events, seminars and training
  • Helping members to network with other members nationally and internationally
  • Increasing the membership on an ongoing basis, both the number of members in each group and the number of groups
  • Providing regular communication to members with details of what is happening within and across Name-Droppers
  • Offering an effective and user-friendly website to promote both Name-Droppers and its members and to provide an additional resource to members and groups
  • Offering a high level of customer service at all levels
  • Providing a presence at group events when requested and where possible
  • Supplying literature and marketing materials to help to run the groups effectively and to help promote Name-Droppers and Members 

We are committed to providing

 
  • Regular training for new members
  • Training for group Chairmen and committee members
  • Regular meetings for group Chairmen
  • Group development sessions as requested – new ways of looking at networking and your business
  • PR & Marketing support for groups locally and regionally
  • Support to the committee and advice when asked
  • A resource for members
  • Help with disputes where they can’t be resolved by the group executive
  • A link between BRX groups – cross fertilisation, information, joint meetings.
  • Assistance with providing substitutes when you cannot attend a meeting
  • Help towards group development and visitor days
  • Additional networking opportunities within regions with more than five groups
  • Assistance in following up visitors

Name-Droppers expects from members

 
  • Treat your membership as a serious business commitment and your fellow members as business associates
  • Regular attendance – or arrangements to be made for a substitute from outside of the group to represent you in your absence
  • A positive and proactive contribution to group, from looking for referrals for others and playing an active role in developing the group
  • Encouraging others to attend meetings and leaving visitors with a positive impression of the group
  • Prompt payment of fees
  • Feedback and constructive contributions on how we can develop Name-Droppers for the benefit of Members

Complaints procedure

As much as we try, we may not always perform to your satisfaction. In these cases, it is important that you let us know quickly so that we can take the appropriate action to rectify any problems.

In the first instance, please speak to your Group Chairman or another member of the committee.

What is my investment? answer...

BRX membership compares favourably with the cost of traditional marketing and advertising – and can be much more likely to win results! There is a one-off joining fee that includes as much training as you require, plus an annual membership fee you can pay by cheque or credit card. You also pay a monthly standing order to the group to cover the meeting costs.

The joining fee, which includes all of the standard BRX training, designed to help you maximise the return on your investment, is just £175 + VAT.

Thereafter, the annual membership fee is £320 + VAT.

See the BRX Northampton members guarantee for added value and protection (only available from BRX Northampton)

What if I can’t bring referrals? answer...

With Name-Droppers, there’s no pressure to bring referrals every week. If you are struggling to find referrals for other members. The training sessions help as well. The Name-Droppers focus is on quality over quantity.

Is it a personal or company membership?answer...

It is the company that is the Name-Droppers member, not the individual. Your colleagues can attend meetings and training sessions too without paying for another membership, just paying the meeting or training fees.

How can I make the most of my membership?answer...

Many people join a networking group because they have heard that it will be good for their business or someone invites them along to have a look. At Name-Dropers we believe that a more focussed approach to networking activities will yield a much better return.

Once the goals have been identified, we map out the steps needed to achieve those goals and track the results throughout the life of a membership.

In addition to this process, the Name-Droppers Referral Development Programme provides all members with the tools needed to get their message across effectively and to give strong referrals to other members of their group.

The costs of this support are all included in the initial training fee.

What if I can’t attend every Name Droppers business networking event?answer...

Regular attendance builds trust and understanding (and leads to more referrals). If you can’t find anyone to cover your planned absence, you can try the Substitutes Club or get another member to do your presentation. There are other members in your area who will be happy to sub for you. You just have to ask.

What are the Terms & Conditions of Membership? answer...

BRX groups are strong contact Word of Mouth interactive networks of trade and professional people who meet weekly for breakfast in convivial surroundings. The prime and unashamed purpose is to generate qualified business leads within the groups, and where appropriate, for members of other groups.

Word of Mouth Marketing is probably the most effective and least expensive form of marketing, yet is apparent that most business people do not take the time to analyse or understand its structure. Providing that you are prepared to give BRX the time and commitment that is required, your membership will prove to be one of the best investments that you will make.

A critical aspect of a BRX group is that only one business from any trade or profession can join and once a member no other company or individual in that line of business can join.

The philosophy of BRX groups is that, as members meet each week and talk about different aspects of their businesses, they get to know and trust each other and gain a good understanding of each other's business. The members quickly form a strong contact group of individuals and companies from a much wider range of businesses that most would come across during their normal business life. The group learns to recognise opportunities as they present themselves to refer business to other members of the group.

Meetings

Meetings are held on a weekly basis with the exception of the Christmas, New Year and, Easter. Meetings commence promptly at the time agreed by the Group. The formal part of the meeting lasts for 90 minutes.

Members need to arrive fifteen minutes before the official start time to meet and greet visitors. This period together with the networking period prior to the formal part of the meeting is an important element of the process.

The meeting fee that includes breakfast must be paid monthly by standing order and is paid irrespective of whether breakfast is taken. The relevant Partner and Group Chairman, the account signatories, set the monthly payment and may include an amount towards the group’s own funds which are used for the benefit of the members. Any funds in the group's bank account in excess of its commitments are to be used for local marketing initiatives. In the event of members leaving the group, there is no entitlement to any refund from group funds which remain for the benefit of current members.

The Group Structure

Business Referral Exchange Ltd is currently is developing groups in various geographical locations. Groups are run by Regional Partners (RP’s). RP’s to appoint Group Partners (GP’s) & Area Partners (AP’s) who work with them in developing and maintaining groups. GP’s & AP’s sign an agreement with the RP and BRX. It outlines the terms and conditions under which they can operate.

The RP for the region is deemed (for voting purposes) as a member of all the groups in his/her territory. The AP or GP representing the RP is also deemed a member in the groups he/she oversees.

At the formative stage of each group a Chairman and a committee may be appointed from amongst its Founder Members. They serve a term of six months, which is renewable. In the case of a Group Partner founding a new BRX group. Management structure is at the GP’s discretion.

Membership

There are currently two forms of membership; the cost of each is identical:

Full Membership – This entitles a company to membership of a specific group. The company can then send a maximum of three representatives to alternate on a weekly basis. The member is guaranteed exclusivity within their core discipline and undertakes to ensure that they are represented every week. A Full Member can attend other Business Referral Exchange groups on an occasional basis with prior approval of the RP, AP or GP and the Chairman of the group being visited. This is dependent upon there being no member present in the group being visited in direct competition.

Associate Membership – This is designed for companies in rare disciplines who are unable to commit to a regular weekly attendance. Associate Members may attend any group where there is no full Member offering the same service. Visits should be arranged through the RP or AP of the relevant group. Associate Members are not entitled to exclusivity at any BRX group but enjoys all other member benefits.

A critical aspect of Business Referral Exchange group is that only one business from any trade or profession may join and once a member is accepted no other company or individual in that line of business can join there.

Conditions of Membership

Members must represent a discipline that is their main business or represents a substantial part of their business activities. Where a business provides more than one key product or service, the member must focus on what they consider to be their core activity within the group. No more than one core activity can be represented at meetings without the BRX Partners permission. In the event of the member being other than a sole trader/practitioner the membership is vested in the name of the company. That membership is open to all employees of the company and they should not be discouraged from sending more than one representative of the company to each meeting. In the event of a member wishing to change the discipline for which they are registered in the Group, a new application must be submitted to the committee member responsible for membership for approval.

In the event of a member not being able to attend a meeting they must organise a substitute to attend on their behalf. That substitute is there to give and receive referrals on behalf of the member and to make the presentation on the member’s business. An existing member of the Group cannot act as a substitute for an absent member.

With the approval of the Chairman or the Membership Executive, subject to the substitute’s own discipline not being represented in the Group. That substitute will be able to give a presentation of their own company/discipline.

Absence

If a member fails to attend regularly and does not arrange to be represented, the Chairman and committee, in conjunction with the Regional Partner, reserve the right to revoke membership. Leave of absence for specific reasons will be considered, but in each instance every effort should be made to arrange regular substitutes.

Members’ Responsibilities

It is essential that Member are prepared to accept the commitment of regular attendance as well as participation in the Referral Development Programme and other training sessions run from time to time. Members who do not comply with this commitment may be liable to have their membership revoked by the group’s committee or Partner.

Any member who behaves in a manner, which in the view of the group's committee, RP, AP & GP and BRX Ltd, is unprofessional and even likely to bring the group into disrepute will be liable to have their membership revoked.

Members must make very effort to bring visitors/friends to the their group or other BRX groups. The member needs to ensure that the discipline does not conflict with those of existing members. In the event of a possible overlap or conflict, approval of the visit must be obtained prior to the meeting from the GP/Group Chairman. It is particularly important that members bring the right business people to help build meaningful membership. The more members and the wider the range of disciplines represented the greater the opportunity to generate referrals.

Fee Structure

All payments are subject to VAT at the prevailing rate. Membership fees are payable annually in advance. Payments can be made by cheque, standing order or credit card. Please note that membership is annual.

There is a monthly payment alternative where the 1st 3months are payable in advance then future monthly payments take effect three months thereafter. This is solely at the discretion of the Regional Partners.

Renewal Invoices

Renewal invoices will be sent to members approximately one month prior to renewal date, in the event of a Standing Order being in place payment will be collected on the due date. Members may switch from monthly to annual and visa versa at an appropriate time with the approval of both the RP and BRX Ltd.

Where an annual membership and cheque or credit card payment is the preferred method, payment must be received by the date of renewal for the membership to continue. In the event of the payment not being received within six weeks of the due date, membership will deemed to have lapsed. Once membership has expired and the member wishes to rejoin a new application has to be submitted.

Membership Incentive Scheme

An incentive scheme to encourage existing members to introduce new members operates as follows.

For each new member that you introduce to any BRX Group during your membership year, you will receive a 10% discount on the following year’s fees based on an annual payment. Therefore if a member introduces ten new members in the course of a year, that member will receive a full refund of fees the ensuing year. Details of introductions should be entered on each new member’s application form. When BRX Central receives an application completed with the introducers name completed, the member introducer will be sent an email of confirmation. The confirmation should be retained and submitted with your renewal payment deducting 10% of the renewal fee for each introduction.

Training & Development

Business Referral Exchange continues to develop ongoing development training in all aspects of referral & networking personal and business development, most of which will be delivered at multiple group training seminars.

In most cases there will be a notional meeting charge.

Marketing & Communication

The company has a central marketing budget and we work closely with our Regional Partners to develop the organisations profile. BRX produces brxmail to communicate with members. For those who do not have the facility to receive emails the content may be included in the notes presented by the Chairman of each Group at the relevant weekly meeting.

BRX have a Club on the Ecademy website. This can be found at www.ecademy.com or by clicking the links on the BRX or main ecademy websites. This allows members to network with each other across the BRX community and also to network with the general membership of Ecademy. More information is available via the BRX website or by emailing ed.nash@brxnet.co.ukThis e-mail address is being protected from spambots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it .

BRX run Networking events during the year. All members are encouraged to participate in as many as possible; these have proved to be socially very successful, as well as excellent networking opportunities.

General

On acceptance of an application for membership BRX will provide the member with a customised business cardholder a member badge and relevant information.

Business Referral Exchange encourages members to be involved in as many networking opportunities as they can reasonably manage. The more networking a member does, the more contacts are made and the more opportunities there are for both giving and receiving business. However regular attendance at the member’s BRX group is important and must be given precedence over other networking opportunities.

Whereas members are encouraged to network BRX will not accept applications from applicants who are involved in the management of competitive networks and organisations. Business Referral Exchange Ltd will be the sole judge of what is considered to be competitive. If an existing member is found to be involved either in the establishment or management of a competitive network or organisation their ongoing membership will be considered and may be liable to termination. In those circumstances BRX are not liable to refund any unused portion of the membership fee.

BRX reserves the right to change the venue, the day, the breakfast and the breakfast meeting fee, without obligation to refund membership fees, providing that the best effort is made to ensure that the location is as convenient as possible for the majority of the members of the group.

BRX reserves the right to open more than one group in any Town, City, District or venue.

BRX reserves the right to close membership of a group when it considers it appropriate.

On occasion, BRX may want to pass on details of our members to third parties. This will be specifically for BRX purposes only. If you do not want your details to be forwarded, please email enquiries@brxnet.co.ukThis e-mail address is being protected from spambots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it This may result in you not receiving other general communications, such as the BRXmail.

Cancellation of BRX membership

If you wish to terminate your BRX membership, please advise BRX Central in writing giving one month's notice. Failure to do so will result in your membership remaining active and membership fees will still be due.

Disciplinary Procedure

In the event of any conflict or complaint this should be made in writing to the Partner/Chairman of the Group and the Regional Partner. They will make every effort to resolve the problem and have the authority to suspend membership, terminate membership or issue an official warning. In the event of the problem being unresolved Head Office will make a final decision.

How do I deliver a good 60 second presentation? answer...

Just say who you are, what you do, why you’re good at it, and – most importantly – what referrals you are looking for. You may choose to end with a memorable catchphrase or slogan. It’s best to ‘top and tail’ your presentation with the same information every week, and vary the bit in the middle (the filling in the sandwich). The Name-Droppers training helps you develop an effective one-minute presentation that triggers referrals for you.

What if I am in another networking organisation? answer...

No problem. Name-Droppers encourages you to join other networking groups, as the more people you know, the more referral opportunities there are for everyone!

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