Welcome to the Champions Chapter of SoCal BNI!

The Champions Chapter of SoCal BNI was founded in April of 2004 and has grown to 32 members! We meet at the Meridian Club in Fullerton, California on Tuesday mornings at 7:30 AM. We would love for you to visit our chapter and consider joining our very diverse and successful group of professionals. For further information, please contact the President, Allen C. Buchanan at 714.564.7104 or email me at abuchanan@lee-associates.com

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

President's Weekly Letter, Champions SoCal BNI

Woooooooo, CHAMPIONS!!

Before I recap today's meeting, I thought you would enjoy the fun that we had last week delivering our SMMs with the "choose your prop" gimmick. A good time (and some very specific asks) was had by all...including the "sheriff's award winning SMM. Enjoy!

The air was full of BNI:

Something was in the air today at the Champions! I don't know if the visit from our new ambassador Bernadette Lazzara accompanied by Director Lem was the reason OR the fact that we hosted four visitors (in addition to Lem and Bernadette) and three subs OR if we were still wound up from last week's SMM competition OR if we are anticipating the beginning of International Networking Week on February 4 OR if we are anxious for the visit from Beachside Business Builders next week OR the seven chapter mixer scheduled for February 11 OR all of the above OR none of the above...but you could FEEL the energy!

Our proudest meeting of the term (IMHO):

We are proud that Gary Lorge is the Champions second two time International Tabasco winner for the "hottest" SMM...definitely not a "one size fits all" introduction, proud that we received two new member apps...one from a category repped by our upcoming stack day (before the day occurred!), proud that the Champions is exceeding its goals of referrals weekly, proud of the wonderful EC moment regarding email etiquette, proud of the keynotes from Vicki (James Kashi spokeswoman) and Bill, quack for me, Edman, proud of the Champion Spark Plug winner Lem Bucago for his mastery of BNI training moderation for the second year running and proud of the job that ALL the Champions did with our SMMs and the Stand and Deliver! In all my months...I have never seen or heard a BETTER display of SMMs...catchy, timely, and specific!! Alrighty then. In short...a VERY proud presidential day! Thanks for letting me be along for the ride today. Flying the plane was effortless!


Bernadette Lazzarra our new ambassador
Lem Bucago our eminent Director
Carmina Perez with FIS Merchant Services (app submitted)
Bonny Thompson with Time Warner Cable (app submitted)
Raymond Nanadiego (he had the last name before Cathy) with Ray-Lite Industries
Jason DePetris, a visiting BNI member from Sunrise BNI and a NY Life agent
Vicki Calhoun, a sub for James Kashi
Jennifer Chinn, a sub for Richard Lane
Janelle Ruck, a sub for Dr. Paul

Thanks visitors, subs, and visiting BNI members! You make the plane fun to fly!

We quoted, adjourned and busied ourselves for the BNI Networking week ahead!

Make it a Champion week, ya'll!

My best to you,


Saturday, January 22, 2011

Episode 188 What Does My Referral Network Need to Know to Pass Me Business?

Episode 188: “What Does My Referral Network Need to Know to Pass Me Business?”

In this week's podcast, Dr. Misner continues his discussion about network referrals. You can tune in to the entire podcast by clicking here.


Mike Macedonio joins Dr. Misner again this week to pick up where Episode 187 left off So, what does your network need to know?

Referral Marketing Strategies: Invite a new BNI member to Member Success Program training and go through it with them.

Who to refer to you: Make it easy for them to identify good prospects.

How to refer to you: Give them qualifying questions to ask, or a testimonial to share. Let them know your preferred next step.

Why they should refer you: Your number one responsibility is to make the referrer look good.

It’s important to get all four of these elements in place in order to generate a steady flow of referrals.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

President's Weekly Letter, Champions SoCal BNI

Wooooooo, CHAMPIONS!

Well, as the image to the right indicates, there is a new sheriff in town and his name is Greg Beck! Greg, shown at the right, is the first two time International Tabasco Award winner for the "hottest" SMM. Today was "choose your prop" day. The chapter could choose to use one, two, or all three props laid upon the dais. The three props were a Bob Marley lava lamp, a hand weight, and a wooden kitchen spoon. Greg used a reference to all three and parodied the song "I shot the Sheriff" by singing "I shot the IRS"...Greg is a CPA in case you hadn't guessed. The approach was catchy, all three props were used (not a requirement, but extra points were awarded), and the SMM ended right before "the Sheriff" was buzzed for the time limit, AND the ask was specific! Outstanding effort, Mr. Beck. Don't be surprised if you are awarded a tin star next week! Robert Perez videoed the proceedings...film at eleven!

Visiting Visitors:

We welcomed three visitors today. The first was Diana Chen of Tobin Acupuncture. During stand and deliver, Diana exclaimed that she really learned alot about BNI...great, we intend to educate. The second was Bonny Thompson, from time Warner Cable and she commented that she has rarely seen a room so full of energy, fun, and diversity! We hope that you ladies find your way back to the Champions in the weeks to come and that you "block out your competition"! Third was Gary Reeves who was a special sub/visitor and added a great deal to our meeting by outlining some upcoming MSP training classes.

EC AND Champion Spark Plug Award:

Yeees that is Jiiiiim Sando! Jim, along with several "volunteers" demonstrated the closed and open networking groups. This is a very important networking skill to learn with our stack day fast approaching on February 22. Remember we are after a plumber, a merchant services provider, and a family law attorney. Several teams were seen meeting after the adjournment. Should be a GREAT day!

Jim was recognized for the work that he did with Tom Roberts and Tom's recent job search AND his willingness to allow BNI trainings to take place in his office...a true giver! Congrats, Jim! You deserve the award!


Randy Clement, an attorney with Clement and Ho, and Angelo Dionisiou, Argo insurance, commercial insurance broker keynoted. Both discussed their backgrounds, reasons for choosing their professions, things that they both enjoy and ways in which we can provide strategic intros and referrals. By the way, both Angelo and Randy share something in common other than being active Champions...did you remember what that was? I especially enjoyed Angelo's graphic outlining the "anatomy of risk" and Randy's expanation of FAQ he receives...retainers, flat rate, and contingency fees.

Angelo Dionisiou's Keynote:

Chapter Biz:

The Sheriff (Greg Beck) reviewed our pace for referrals, one-to-one meetings, and TYFCB. If we annualized our month-to-date TYFCB, the Champions would exceed this year...wait for it...$1,200,000! If you dream it you can do it! December's category leaders were announced and the one-to-one leaders recognized at the dais. Jim Sando was the leader in one-to-one meetings last month. There may be a star in your future, Mr. Sando!

Upcoming Events:

February 11, 2011 Six chapter mixer to cap International Networking Week. More details to follow!

February 1, 2011 The Beach Cities Business Builders will visit our chapter with their director, Trent Clark. Should be epic!

The meeting was adjourned with a quote from Dr. Martin Luther King.

Make it a Champion week, ya'll!

My best,


Three Things to Consider When Starting a Business

Are you considering starting your own business? In this weeks entrepreneur blog, Dr. Misner outlines three thing to consider...Consult your list of contacts that have started businesses, engage a business coach that has experience with start ups, and read, read, read. You can read the entire article by clicking here.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Episode 187: “The Three Core Competencies to Referral Success”

In this week's podcast, Dr. Misner discusses the three core competencies to referral success. You can tune in to the podcast by clicking here.

Some of the highlights:

  1. Get the right education. Learn from the experts.

  2. Stay immersed with the information. Apply what you know.

  3. Educate your referral network. That’s what BNI’s Leadership Team training is for. (Hint—you don’t have to be on the Leadership Team to take this training.)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

President's Weekly Letter, Champions SoCal BNI

Happy Birthday to Me! (yesterday)

Woooooooo, CHAMPIONS!

Rosanne surprised me before the Champions were called with the birthday cake pictured. Ms. Buchanan gave birth to a bouncing baby boy named Allen, many years ago on that very day! Thanks Rosanne for your thoughtfulness! You are welcome for the latte.

Visiting envoy:

The Champions welcomed one visitor and two subs today that had cool things to say during the Stand and Deliver:

Kim Welch of Send Out Cards and President of Liaisons spoke of the Champions fantastic reputation...coming from a fellow president, well received! Tom Roby, subbing for Chuck Tipton enjoyed the enthusiasm and energy. Tom mentioned the same was true last time he visited. Jenna Beck...no relation to our VP, Greg...from Colette's catering mentioned that the effort was lovely and she was surprised at the structure. We listen to our visitors and subs as we strive to create a "World Class" BNI experience! You will be hearing a lot about "world class" in the months to come!

My guests at the dais:

You all recognize the International Tabasco Award for the "hottest" SMM...this week's winner, Steven Stakley who finally had to promise Laker tickets to win the award...but it worked! No more singing, Steven.

The three you might not recognize...the lava lamp, the hand weight and the kitchen utensil...will play pivotal parts in next weeks SMMs as members are encouraged to use one (or more) of the items in their SMM...cannot wait to hear the creativity! The winner of next weeks SMM will be a true Champion. Will we crown our first two time winner? Tune in next week to see!

I was also happy to recognize the December visitor leaders...Ela Corcoran and Clay Colwell who together invited one half of the visitors! Well done, folks...and welcome back, Clay. As you may recall, Clay and Dawn said I dos in December!

EC phone home...or is it ET?

Any way, we learned to attend the meetings, build those relationships, and do more one-to-ones. Also, carefully choose your subs if you must be absent. The L/T team is here to help anyway we can!

VP on our Chapter Biz:

For the first three months of the new term vs the first three moths of last year, we have almost doubled the number of referrals we have passed! Last week, this resulted in $34,000 of TYFCB...annualized that is over $820,000...Ka Ching! and I didn't sneeze...that is the sound of the cash register, ya'll!


Robert Perez, videographer of the Champions, showed us examples of bad video and good video. We are fortunate that Robert is with us each week and where Robert goes, the camera follows. Robert has developed quite the reputation among other BNI chapters as rumor has it that he will video several keynotes for other chapters. Good referrals for Robert are CRE or residential brokers that need video content for their listings.

One of our charter members, Steven Stakley, ended his pitch with a promise to host any Champion and their client to a Laker game in the Burnham Gibson luxury suite. I really enjoyed learning about Steven's focus upon small business owners and closely held corporations and their investment, life insurance, and financial needs. Greg Beck gave a riveting testimonial of Steven's ability during Stand and Deliver. What was truly poignant, was that Greg used himself as an example of the great work that Steven has done on his personal investments. Always a pleasure, Mr. Stakely!

Upcoming events:

Stack Day February 22, with Merchant Services, Plumber, and Family Law Atty as our inviting targets

Six Chapter Networking Event on February 11 with Liaisons, Velocity, YL, Premier Professionals, WOMBATS, and Champions. This event will conclude International Networking Week.

Chapter visit by the Beachside Business Builders chapter on February 1

Next Week: SMM using the lava lamp, weight, or the kitchen utensil...should be a blast!

Please make it a Champion week!

My best to you,


Thursday, January 6, 2011

Episode 186: 50-70 Members at a BNI Meeting

So can the Champions handle 50-70 members? In this episode, Dr. Misner discusses the ways to accomplish this and more importantly, how do you manage the meeting?
You can listen to the full podcast by clicking here.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

President's Weekly Letter, Champions SoCal BNI

Rosanne wearing her designer glasses and doing her best Lady Gaga impression...more in a minute...or maybe we will leave it there.

Wooooooo, CHAMPIONS:

The Champions welcomed the new year with much hoopla and a silent (not too silent) wish for the Razorbacks to wallop The Ohio State University this evening...WPS.

The Highlights:

Two new visitors...both returning...both claiming that they will complete apps.
EC Moment on "Relationships"
Say hello to Mr. 33, Jim McCracken
We crowned a new Tabasco Champion
New leaders for December were announced and properly feted
YTD progress vs 2009 on all of our key categories
Chris Vasquez keynoted us
Stand and Deliver and Champion's spark plug
Wonderful GRC and new stack day for February 22
A couple of cool upcoming events for the Champions
Quote and see ya'll next week!

The visiting dignitaries:

Wow, your meetings are very organized! This exclamation was made by Steve Pitchford from Search Optimizers on his second visit. Joseph Lynch, husband of Wendy Lynch from Velocity can definitely feel the Champion love! Joseph is a general contractor and is anxious to submit his transfer before stack day...more on that later.

EC Moment:

Jim Sando discussed the most important aspect...aside from "givers gain"...in BNI. That is relationships and relationships can only be fostered by time. Do those one-to-ones, AND strive for perfect attendance at the meetings. Those 15 minute networking stints really work.

Say hello to Mr. 33:

The Champions reach now stems down to the West Texas Town of El Paso, I met a girl...oops wrong. But we did just induct Mr. Jim McCracken from UFirst who becomes Mr. 33 and the fifth new member of the present term. We are especially excited since Jim visited 8 different chapters before choosing Champions...we won the beauty contest and got a great new member as a result. We are happy you are a Champion, Jim! Jim will be mentored by Dr. Paul Kwik.

Our newest International Tabasco Champion for the "hottest" SMM:

Wait for it...Aric Gless for his creativity, time frame, and specific ask. Aric, with the award inures all of the benefits of ownership, a tax deduction and your name on the Champions walk of fame.

December leaders:

Visitors, Clay Colwell
One-to-One Meetings, Jiiiiim Sando
Referrals, Jody Houseman

I believe all of the category winners are new to the winner's circle! Great job fellas.

Chapter Biz:

For the first three years of the new term:
Referrals 2009-275 2010-350
One-to-One Meetings 2009-489 2010-585
Visitors 2009-27 2010-32

Our TYFCB this term to date (first three months) $160,000. Rumor has it that we passed an additional $40,000 today which brings the total to over $200,000. Annualize that and you get $800,000...I bet we exceed that!

Keynoter, Mr. Chris Vasquez of Union Bank:

Chris discussed primary business goals, his competitive difference, his three best clients, things to look and listen for, qualifying questions to ask, power partners, his love of his job, and the best way to reach him...cell phone, 714.396.9497.

Stand and Deliver:

The S and Ds were heart felt...highlighted by Greg Beck and his praise for Brett Adolph. The Champions Spark Plug Award went to the original recipient, Dr. Real for his "pinch hitting" in the L/T meeting and his diligence in presenting the stack day details.

Stack Day February 22nd...be there or be square!

Three categories are:
Merchant Services, General Contractor, and Plumber
More to come each week!

Upcoming Events:

Six Chapter mixer on February 11 billed as OC's second largest mixer (the first was taken). Members from Velocity, Yorba Linda, Liaisons, WOMBATs, Champions, and Premier Business will be present. More to follow in conjunction with the International Networking Week.

The 18th of January will be a "fun" SMM week. More details next week.

The meeting was adjourned with a quote and a hearty happy new year!

My best to you,