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“My favourite part of BNI is the personal development aspect...” 
Case Study: Tony Hoare of CRM Direct 
Tony Hoare runs CRM.Direct, Customer Relationship Management software company for small and medium businesses. Having trained as a BNI Director Consultant, Tony set up his business within BNI when he identified a need for bespoke CRM solutions amongst members. Now a member of the Tour de Force Chapter in Shinfield, we talked to Tony about his experience with BNI as a business owner, member and Director Consultant: 
“I discovered BNI in 2011 when a colleague of mine, who was a member of the Maidenhead chapter, recommended I attend a meeting as a guest. I was working as a property investor at the time and decided to join the Wokingham chapter. Three years later, my business partner and I parted ways, but I had invested so much time in building those relationships, so when BNI asked me if I wanted to train up as a director, I was delighted to agree! 
“In my role as a Director Consultant, I’ve been involved in launching a number of chapters, and in my work with other members, I began to notice a need for a bespoke CRM system, designed for small businesses, so I decided to launch the business within BNI. This allowed me to utilise my previous experience as a programmer, so the tech part was great, but I was a complete rookie when it came to the business! That’s where BNI was incredibly helpful, providing me with almost all the tools needed to launch my business, from sales to marketing. 
“My favourite part of BNI is the personal development aspect. When I walked into my first meeting, I think I assumed I’d immediately win a lot of business – but that’s not what happened: When it was my turn to speak, I could barely get my name out! Turns out – I’m not a natural speaker, but BNI have trained me well since then. They provide loads of courses on presentation skills and training as a director has given me a lot of additional skills and practice in speaking to large groups. But whatever you need to develop, there’s training available on everything, BNI-related skills, relationships, business networking, you name it! 
“I love that the core value of BNI is Givers Gain. You’ve got to give to get the rewards, but the rewards are there once you’ve got the ‘know, like and trust’ factor. One of the things about BNI that’s rarely talked about, but which I think is really important, is that it’s a quality control mechanism. You meet the same people every week, so you get to see if they’re consistent and integrous. Bad news travels fast, so if someone doesn’t do business in a way you like, you won’t refer them. As a member of BNI, you have 30 or 40 people in your group holding you accountable for your reputation, and that accountability matters. 

 Real Member Stories: CRM Specialist 

“BNI was incredibly helpful, providing me with almost all the tools needed to launch my business" 
“Ultimately, I think that’s what BNI does differently, there’s that true accountability to your fellow chapter members. You attend a meeting every week, you have 1:1s and get to know each other’s businesses, and you attend training outside that too. It’s much more than just pitching up and drinking coffee, and the follow up is there to ensure people honour their commitments. 
“If someone is reading this thinking of joining BNI, I would say just go along to a meeting or two, see the process and format in action, because they work! Visit a few chapters and see for yourself. BNI is all about building long-term relationships; the kind where someone would introduce you to their mum – and that’s actually happened for me! Trust me when I say that word of mouth marketing and personal introductions are worth a thousand brochures and a fancy website!” 
Contact Tony Hoare 
Call: 07958 464035 | Email: | Visit: 
Tagged as: Business Services
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