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

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Conference Call with Dr. Misner, SoCal BNI

Orange County BNIConnect Webinar

Join us for a Webinar on June 30

Space is limited.
Reserve your Webinar seat now at:

Discussion about BNIConnect with BNI Founder, Dr. Ivan Misner.

Title: Orange County BNIConnect Webinar
Date: Thursday, June 30, 2011
Time: 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM PDT

After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the Webinar.

System Requirements
PC-based attendees
Required: Windows® 7, Vista, XP or 2003 Server

Macintosh®-based attendees
Required: Mac OS® X 10.5 or newer

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

President's Weekly Letter, Champions SoCal BNI

Woooooooo, CHAMPIONS!

True or False...oh wait, that was last week! UFirst Financial, Mr. Jim McCracken, AKA the ElPaso kid educated us today with a VERY well done keynote...the concept was simple...if $6000 could save you (or make you in effect) $30,000, is that something that you would do. The Champions (in harmony ala Woooooo, Champions) retorted a resounding YES! So Ufirst helps educate the public on these simply debt reduction techniques.

Did you know that James Kashi (in addition to having a cool location in downtown Fullerton) services both foreign AND domestic cars? If you answered yes...ding, dig, ding, you are a winner!


The trades group got a charge today as we had two reps from a GC, a solar rep and two reps from a fourth generation plumbing contractor. Rumor has it that the plumbing contractor wants to join several chapters so that several of their reps can share the magic of referral based marketing. Michael Figueroa's company Rite Loom Flooring employs that strategy within the region quite nicely. A HUGE SHOUT OUT TO DAN FOWLER who encouraged the plumbers and solar rep to visit the Champions! Muchas gracias, Dan! True giver's gain spirit!

So, in order of their Stand and Deliver comments, here goes:

Max Copley of Computer Solutions Architects loved the Champions special recognition...International Spark Plug (won by Robert Perez today) and the Champions Spark Plug Award (won by Aric Gless today)

Joseph S. Davis, a criminal defense attorney subbing for Joseph G. Davis enjoyed the vast array of businesses.

David Woods of Greenworx Solar enjoyed how eager we were to get to know each other.

Shawn Ryan of Ryan Construction and Brent Coriaty of Ryan Construction definitely see the potential

Johnny Jacot and Tina Rosa of Jacot Plumbing enjoyed the referral stories of how we help each other.

For those keeping score at home...four...count 'em four apps! Including the pending app, that makes an even (or is that an odd) five!

Awards, Leaders, and Biz:

International Tabasco Award (for the "hottest" SMM) went to Robert Perez this week...he hit the marks and took home the pepper. He rules next week. Honorable mention to Donna Cahoon, Bill Edman, and Jim Sando.

Champion's Spark Plug today went to Aric Gless for his tireless work as our Membership Committee Chair.

May referral leader, Bill Edman
May 1-2-1 king, Jim McCracken
May visitation exemplar, Bo Lowe and Aric Gless

Referrals month-to-date 74
1-2-1s month-to-date 128
Visitors YTD 84
YTD TYFCB, $573,000...Ka Ching!
The sheriff, Greg Beck, also highlighted the seven members in the Champions that have accounted for 52% of the TYFCB (one was Greg, shhh!)

The meeting was closed with a quote which I plan to use in all of the future blog posts. We got this from our friend Rick Itzkowich and his weekly quote actions.

"Most look up and admire the stars. A Champion climbs a mountain and grabs one."
from an Unknown Author

Your action for today is to evaluate whether you are acting more like an admirer than a Champion.

Make it a Champion Week everybody!

Your faithful President,

Allen Buchanan

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

President's Weekly Letter, Champions SoCal BNI

Wooooooooo, CHAMPIONS!

True or False, We had a GREAT sales manager moment, AKA, Profitable Intro, AKA Elevator Speech competition? TRUE! The moments were awesome with several memorable deliveries. In the end, with spouse present none-the-less, Joe Davis, counselor at law and estate planning attorney extraordinaire, took home the International Tabasco Award with much fan fare! Congrats Joe...you even manged a T or F in your ask which was clever! If you are reading this blog for the first time...welcome! This meeting was devoted to True or False...some even Stood and Delivered with a True or False theme...atta chapter...love it!

The highlights:

Attendance: The Sheriff, Greg Beck donned the suit and attended the meeting...around his vacation...Ok, he is in Newport, but still, that is DEDICATION! For those keeping score at home, Greg has not missed a meeting...even with a sub...for over THREE years! Wow. What a testament to the power of showing up and contributing. Hat's off...oh wait...that was a couple of weeks ago.

The Visitation: Five terrific visitors graced the Champion's lair today. Andrew Rea, a web designer; Libby Davis (Mrs. Tabasco) from Vitas; Kris Hansberger...True or False, she submitted an app...TRUE, sweet; Doug Karcher, a handyman...we REALLY need one; and Al Bustamantes from Integrated Technology, VOIP account exec. I believe we received two apps from the five visitors...not bad. Now up to the crack membership team to vet the apps...more to come! Thanks for flying with the Champions today.

Key Notage:
Bo Lowe...always amazing...gave us some great insight into the card industry and why customers leave their suppliers...perceived indifference. Great referrals for Bo are organizations that need to raise money (booster clubs, non-profits, PTAs, etc).

Jody Houseman...solid as usual...stained us, prepped us, and wowed us with the faux treatments. Jody can make his craft so interesting. Please note that Jody is a certified lead paint removal specialist...certified by California. Great referrals for Jody are General Contractors, property managers, trades that need painters...roofers, doors and windows....hmmm, Jody meet Donna, Donna Jody.

EC Momentos:

Continuing upon the testimonial theme started last week, Jim Sando highlighted the four things a great testimonial should contain:

A focus on one person
Delivered in first person
Placed in writing

Chapter Biz:

MTD Referrals 58
YTD 1-2-1s 2196...gotta be a record
YTD visitation 80
YTD TYFCB $567,600

Award Winners:

May Visitors Aric Gless and Bo Lowe
May 1-2-1s Jim McCracken
May Referrals Bill Edman

This week's Champion's Spark Plug winner, Angelo Dionisiou for his tireless efforts as visitor host! Congratulations to one and all!


Evening!! I am hearing rumblings of some cool stuff!

Workshop hosted by Champions today

Please keep our comrade Clay Colwell in your thoughts and prayers as he fights the good fight!

Make it a Champion week everybody!

Your faithful President,

Allen Buchanan

Please leave a comment...we love to hear from you!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Hat Day at Champions...you don't want to miss this

A catchy opening...you must grab our attention. Complete the introduction before the time limit...varies by chapter. A VERY specific ask...specific is terrific. If you don't ask for something specific, how do we know what to refer to you. So what else does a successful Sales Manager Moment, AKA an elevator speech, AKA a profitable introduction possess?...a hat! what else? Take a look at the Champions hammin' it up with our hat day! Thanks to our very own Champion videographer, Robert A. Perez for the awesome production!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

BNI Podcast Episode 209: “The Ten-Point Checklist”

In this week's episode, Dr. Misner highlights a face-to-face checklist.


"Today we’re talking about a face-to-face word-of-mouth checklist of credibility-enhancing materials you need to have available.

Testimonial letters from satisfied clients
Photos (of yourself, your office, your products)
Logos of your key customers
List of memberships and affiliations
A question-and-answer sheet (FAQ)
Photos of awards or certificates you and your staff have earned
Articles that you’ve published or been mentioned in
Brochures, circulars, datasheets, product catalogues
Items that help you explain your business, e.g. annual report
Articles about trends affecting your business
You should have these materials available both in hard copy, to bring with you, and on your website.

Brought to you by Networking Now. "

You can tune in to listen to the entire podcast by clicking here.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

President's Weekly Letter, Champions SoCal BNI

Wooooooo, CHAMPIONS!

First of all, THANKS to all of you who read the blog last week and commented! We had the largest readership in the history of this blog and the winner of the drawing was announced at today's meeting. If you didn't attend the meeting today and/or didn't get a call from me notifying you of your winning...you didn't...sorry, next time. Rumor has it the winner quacked quite loudly when awarded the second Champions coffee mug. But, thanks for the comments and the readership...much appreciated!

Well, this post will be in a unique format...True or False...so here goes!

True or False, the Champions welcomed five visitors today? True...and they were Kris Hansberger from Insurance KO, (we had to explain to her how the meetings worked :)); Lucas Anemone from Supermedia; Thomas Yasger, a handyman;Peter Bares of Goodwill Industries; and Sheri Thomas of MTM Phone Systems. We also were blessed to receive Hema Dey from Premier Professionals, Lola Gershfeld who subbed for Bo and Director Duane Townsend of the Hidden Jewel BNI chapter.

True or False, the handsome seven some pictured above are the individuals who won the BNI Game from each team? True...and they are L to R Kathy Penton (green team over achiever!), Robert Perez, Bill Edman, Steve Barnett, Michael Figueroa, Dr. Hercules Real, and Jody Houseman (also the GRC team, Michael, Hercules, and Jody).

True or False, We had our third three time winner of the ITA today? True, the sheriff, Greg Beck counted his way down to blast off and secured the pepper! Nice goin' Greg.

True or False, Steve Barnett from Office Solutions keynoted today? False, Steve Barnett of Complete Office keynoted and share with us his 33 years of experience in the office products world...he started as a child. Steve has some very impressive clients, Irvine Scientific and Crocker Packaging just to name a couple.

True or False, The Champions are poised to Thank for $500,0000 of TYFCB this year? False, we have eclipsed $550,000 and on an annualized basis expect to exceed our goal.

True or False, Jim Sando was absent today? False, he was there, delivered a wonderful EC moment on the origin of the testimonial as the first digression from the original BNI agenda and announced the workshop next Tuesday for all...MSP for veterans, 9:30 at our room.

True or False, the Champion Spark Plug was awarded to a worthy individual? False, the CSP was awarded to three worthy individuals...our GRC team, Michael Figueroa, Jody Houseman, and Dr. Hercules Real...great job on the game team!

True or False, we will be dark next week? FALSE...next week is True or False week! Please use a few T or F questions and answers in your SMMs next week...it will be a blast! Don't forget the specific ask and the sheriff is the ITA ruler next week and he is the sheriff...no lee way!

Until next time, your faithful President,

Allen Buchanan

Friday, June 10, 2011

BNI Podcast Episode 208: “Behind the GAINS profile"


Hazel Walker, co-author of Business Networking and Sex—Not What You Think, joins Dr. Misner today to talk about the GAINS profile, first mentioned in Business by Referral. (That stands for Goals, Accomplishments, Interests, Networks, and Skills.)

How does the GAINS profile help BNI members?

•Goals are how we help one another. It’s much easier to refer another person when you know what s/he is trying to achieve.
•Knowing someone else’s Accomplishments lets you build their credibility.
•Interests help us find common ground and build rapport.
•Discovering each other’s Networks lets us connect one another.
•Skills provide more credibility and open doors to doing business.
The idea in a GAINS exchange is to have a conversation. Hazel likes to start with the I, because it’s easiest to build rapport that way. For instance, two men who resisted doing the GAINS exchange discovered they were both soccer coaches and became the best of friends.

Hazel also recommends doing the GAINS profile with members of your chapter more than once. The answers to these questions change over time.

Brought to you by Networking Now.

You can listen to the entire podcast by clicking here.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

President's Weekly Letter, Champions SoCal BNI

Wooooooooo, CHAMPIONS!

Don't forget to read the blog and post a comment. Those posting...including those outside the chapter, will be entered in a drawing for a special prize courtesy of your faithful President!

The Champions SoCal BNI felt a little like the royal wedding this morning with all of the hat varieties...no princes, princesses, Bentleys, or QE2s...just lots of crazy hats!
The visitors were especially vocal in their praise during stand and deliver.

Chelsea Canterbury from Ajasrika Wellness was inspired
Eric Uriata, a commercial photographer from Liaisons, loved the SMMs
Lola Gershfeld, an executive coach, was impressed by the creativity and
Tom Roby, from Spectrum, always likes that there is something new at Champions!

The goal today was to frame a profitable intro with one, two, or three of the provided hats or to frame the intro with a hat from your profession. The Champions embraced the stimulant and the results were astounding!

The Sales Manager Moments, AKA profitable intros were in fact regal, however, as some in the chapter exclaimed that they have never seen the SMMs delivered better, with more flair, or more planning! Several "career" moments were delivered...Dr. Real, always a contender, in his magician's hat; Greg Beck complete with a hat and a paper star, Joe Davis with...a pirate hat, really?; Randy Clement with his "I can't pay the rent", but "you must pay the rent" impression, Steven Stakley with a Cabo San Lucas retirement hat; Christina Pham in her Taco Bell hat. In the end, Kathy Penton won her second ITA with her gardener's hat. Well done Kathy! That is why we picked you to head our "Evening" committee.

The EC Moment:

I asked that Jim Sando send this to me in it's entirety so that I could post it. I believe it was particularly good and is taken from "Success Net".

"Isn’t a BNI 30-Second Commercial or Sales Manager Moment really an advertisement? Isn’t it a sales message?

I’d like to share one way that you could do a 30-Second Commercial at our next meeting.

First, consider this: What does your product or service do for your customers?

That’s a question that might have hundreds of answers. But just a few of those answers will “hit home” with the majority of your current and past customers. Figuring out the most relevant answer to this question is key to creating an effective sales message.

When you need to create an advertisement, email, sales letter, 30-Second Commercial, direct mail postcard—anything related to sales and marketing—pretend that one person (your prospect) has a problem, a problem you can fix.

In your sales message, address the problem first. Addressing your prospect’s problem gets their attention. They think, Hey, I’ve got that same issue. I wonder what they’re going to do about it. It’s best to be specific in your sales message. The more specific your message, the better you’ll connect with your audience and attract their full attention.

Now that you’ve got them “hooked” for a few more seconds, what’s next? I would suggest you tell a short story about how one of your customers had a particular problem. Give details about their problem, and then share exactly what you did to make their problem disappear. People love stories, and they also like to hear that they are not the only ones with that same problem.

Finally, briefly summarize everything. Remind them of their problem, let them know how you would fix it, and tell them to contact you regarding their similar problem.

There are many different angles and creative ways to tell your prospect how you can help them. Just remember that your potential new customers don’t really give a darn about your product or service; they just want to know if you can get rid of their problem.

A final note: There’s no “right” way to give a 30-Second Commercial. Don’t get caught up in what you think a 30-Second Commercial should sound like. Don’t be afraid to break the rules. Alan has given us examples of that! If you give the same commercial week-in and week-out, you’re training your fellow Champions to forget you.

Now, don’t want you to take three hours to come up with a good commercial. You’ll never create the perfect one. You have many stories to share about how you can help people. Don’t try to cram everything into one. Attend every week, and feed us a bit of new information each time. You may think we know everything about your business, but…I promise you…we don’t."

Leaders and Chapter Biz:

May referral leader, Bill "quack-quack" Edman
May one-to-one leader, Jim McCracken with 28...has been a leader in this category all year long!
May visitors leader, Aric Gless
ITA, Kathy Penton
Champions Spark Plug Award, Robert Perez for volunteering his time and video talents toward the keynotes, SMMs, and footage for the "people's choice" video which will air in October at the "Evening Among the Stars"

Year to Date as reported by the Sheriff, Greg Beck:

Referrals 982
One-to-Ones 2111
Visitors 75
TYFCB $547,000

Bill Edman and Jim Sando keynoted and shared with us some excellent testimonials, ways to refer them, and their key clients. It is clear to me that the keynote workshops are beneficial...thanks Lem Bucago!


Post to the blog and enter a cool drawing

Evening update...twenty Champions and counting!

Basic (advanced) MSP for veterans on June 21st at Collette's

Quote action:

A lion awakens early every day, running, hoping to catch a speedy gazelle. A speedy gazelle awakens early every day hoping to outrun the slowest gazelle, lest he be eaten by the lion. The moral, whether you are a lion or a gazelle, you better wake up each day running. Your action is to leave a blog comment...


Your faithful, running, President

Allen Buchanan

Monday, June 6, 2011

BNI Podcast Episode 207: “EGBOK”


In this week's podcast...Dr. Misner brought up the concept of EGBOK at the recent national conference in Rhode Island as part of a discussion about change, leadership, and solutions. The idea, introduced by Mark McKergow, is that you need to focus on what’s working, not what’s wrong.

If you focus on solutions, you can get almost anything done. Panic shifts responsibility away from ourselves. It reinforces counterproductive impulses.

So take a deep breath and remember EGBOK. Everything’s Gonna Be OK. It’s going to be okay because you do the hard work to make the vision a reality, because of your adaptability. The commitment and shared vision of the people in BNI mean that Everything’s Gonna Be OK in spite of challenges, technology problems, and personality conflicts.

Dr. Misner even handed out EGBOK buttons at the national conference. If you think the buttons are a good idea, say so here in the comments, and BNI will make more.

You can listen to the podcast by clicking here.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Dr. Misner, Jan Norman of the OC Register and me!

Woooooooo, CHAMPIONS:

Your faithful President was able to provide the founder of BNI with a referral! For those keeping score at home, I am still one behind as Dr. Misner has kindly featured me (us) on the podcast, Episode 191, and on the Annie Armen show. As most of you know, I am diligent about listening to the BNI podcasts...OK, I enjoy hearing from the founder and his wealth of networking insight. In Episode 205, Dr. Misner asked for media publicity for his business index...voila...a specific ask.

From Episode 205 (the ask):

"...The idea really is to get the media to say, hey, this looks interesting, to comment on it and to build the BNI brand. So this is really more for the media than it is for members..." "...if you are listening to this podcast, feel free to leave a message here (which I did...see for yourself) on the BNIpodcast.com website and let me know what question you think might be valuable in the future that the media be interested in. What would the media like to know about how business is?"...

I have collaborated with Jan Norman of the OC Register for several months (I have been a fan for several years) and was able to connect the two via a telebridge and the below article was the result. I got to listen to the interview and even participate...very cool!


"What does Misner recommend to his BNI members?"

“Two things have come out of both surveys. Stick to fundamentals…at the same time be creative and try things counter-intuitive to your industry.”

"Misner used as an example, Allen Buchanan, principal in Lee & Associates Commercial Real Estate Services in Orange. Buchanan often calls up business owners he reads about and builds relationships in industries and types of jobs he wouldn’t normally meet and that his competition isn’t going after. He had a record 2010 despite the spotty economic recovery."

“Business networking is more like farming than hunting,” Misner said. “People may let go of a vendor but they won’t let go of a friend.”

You can read the entire article by clicking the link below:

Survey: Sick of ‘politics and power trips’ - Jan Norman on Small Business - The Orange County Register#comment-43311