Meet the Member: Bruce Campbell, Director, addMASS

AddMASS is a fast-growing technology company based in Cardiff Bay. The company began its life just two years ago with one director and now employs 12 people and aims to take that number to 40 in the next year.

The company – who describe themselves As “Cloud Integrators” – attributes the speed of its growth to BNI. South African born Bruce Campbell says that even though he had been living in the UK for 8 years, when he arrived in Cardiff in July 2013 he knew only one person. Through BNI he grew his networks rapidly, tested and honed his offering, quickly received work and testimonials and also met his business partner, Jason Dunlop. Together they grew the company fast, responding to significant market demand for their services.

In case you’re wondering what Cloud Enablers do every day, take the example of Trinity St David’s University Students’ Union: AddMASS took them from a traditional accounting set- up and installed a full cloud (web)-based system (Xero) along with 14 EPOS (Electronic Point of Sale) cash registers across 3 sites. The outcome for the client was a system that gave them complete, real-time visibility of transactions and management information that could be accessed quickly and easily, helping them to operate and plan far more efficiently.

AddMASS helps select and integrate software to make people’s lives easier. They called it “life-changing technology”. Director Jason Dunlop says “The ability for different pieces of software to talk to each other is fundamental to what we do: Integration is critical when it comes to getting the best from a company’s data.”

AddMASS works across the UK and has major clients in London and Aberdeen, both of which were acquired through BNI. Director Bruce Campbell says “We wouldn’t be where we are without BNI. I’m always happy to tell people that.”

As cloud technology becomes the de facto standard for the management of digital information, AddMASS is poised for further expansion, citing the 3rd sector, government and accountancy as growth areas. You can contact AddMASS at or visit them in their quirky, hi-tech headquarters, aptly called “Technotopia”, in Cardiff Bay.


2014 referral and TYFTB totals for the UK & Ireland

We’re delighted to share the 2014 referral and TYFTB totals for the UK & Ireland.

Please share these figures with all of your members.

  • UK – 611,179 referrals worth £378 million
  • Ireland – 60,025 referrals worth €40 million
  • UK & Ireland combined – 671,204 referrals worth £409m or €522m

While the number of referrals is down by 1%, the total value of business recorded by our members on BNI Connect has increased by a phenomenal 20.6% compared with the previous year.

Thank you to you and all of your teams for the hard work that you put in to help our members achieve this!

Let’s keep moving towards our £1billion goal…

Meet the Member: Steve Western

A Walk on the Wild Western Side

Steve Western is Membership Co-ordinator at BNI Evans James that meets in Nantgraw – between Pontypridd and Cardiff – Wednesday mornings.

Owner of Westmore Insure, an insurance brokerage that was set up in April 2013, Steve says that without BNI – which he joined just after setting up the business – he would not have succeeded.

If it weren’t for BNI I wouldn’t be trading. It’s tough when you start and BNI gave me not only business but a network of support from more experienced members” says Steve, who attributes more than 60% of his business in the first 6 months of trading to BNI.

Father of four, Steve loves hill-walking, cycling, running and sailing – all of which are less demanding than the Membership Co-ordinator role, he jokes!

Steve regularly raises money doing activity challenges for various charities. His next adventure sees him teaming up with fellow Evan James members to tackle the Three Peaks Challenge in aid of Cerys Griffiths, a 5 year old girl from Bridgend who has Cerebral Palsy and needs to go to the USA for treatment that will cost £60 000 (at the time of writing over £24,000 has already been raised). Read her story here and email Steve and the team at Evan James to sponsor them to help Cerys:

Westmore Insure offers competitive premiums on all types of insurance from house and car to business cover including Professional indemnity, Public Liability, Employers’ Liability as well as general office and package insurances.

Member Profile: Darren Roberts, BNI Member and ASBO owner…

In each newsletter we’ll be giving you a pen-portrait of a BNI member – including a few things about them that you may not know! We start with Darren Roberts: Around the time that BNI was founded in the mid-eighties, Darren joined Rainbow Print on a YTS Scheme, making tea, emptying bins and sweeping floors. Twenty-eight years later he and co-director, Hayley Jones, run the business, a successful lithographic and digital printing company, following a Management Buy-out in 2003.

Merthyr born and bred and the son of a colliery worker, Darren is now a Labour Councillor for the Merthyr Vale ward, where he and his Ward colleague have been successful in attracting £6.4 million of funding to develop an old colliery site, including two new bridges, a new road and, eventually, affordable housing. It was BNI that gave him the self-confidence to run for council. “Before I joined BNI I don’t think I would have had the confidence to play a part in a meeting or speak confidently in public.” says Darren, who now chairs one of the Council’s Scrutiny Committees.

To home life and, amusingly, Darren has a dog called ASBO. Asked why the American Hairless Terrier was named after an Anti-Social Behavioural Order, Darren explains that he was re-homed from the Dogs’ Trust and already had that name.

He’s also a rock bass player (Darren, not ASBO), but has long since given up band life and instead now enjoys travel, food, rugby and wine in his spare time. Married, with a 27 year old son and 19 year old daughter, Darren is a veteran member of the Quinnell Chapter, where he recently tipped the £1m mark in “Thank You for the Business”. An avid spread-sheet fan, Darren has been tracking Rainbow’s return on investment from BNI since they first joined seven years ago, and was delighted to pass the million pound milestone. “We were very pleased to hit the figure, particularly as it coincided with our 30 year anniversary”says Darren. “As well as revenue, BNI has given a lot to me personally and I hope that I have given back, too.”

Rainbow Print is based in Merthyr Tydfil and provides high quality, affordable print to companies across Wales and the UK. You can contact Darren on email: and visit Rainbow Print at to find out more!

BNI Means Business (…and we can prove it)

Hello to all of you across the BNI South Wales region. Many of our chapters are performing superbly well, with some making top-five appearances in the national rankings. Big congratulations go to Burton Chapter who topped the UK rankings at No 1 for several weeks this summer! It goes to show that when a chapter starts on an upward spiral, it really can gather its own momentum and sky-rocket its way to the top!

A new local promotional campaign kicks off in early October and features the headline “BNI Means Business (…and we can prove it)”. Come and visit our stand at The Welsh Business Show in October to see the campaign in action. To prove that BNI can turn business cards into cash, we’ve teamed up with a famous close-up magician who will be performing a BNI-related show at the stand. I won’t tell you more – just come and see us!

This month, members have been seeking out more funny videos from the BNI online community and telling me about them. If you’ve seen and amusing BNI video online, please tweet about it using the hashtag.

I’ve picked this one for you to look at this month – just to demonstrate that there are no limits – not even the sky – to how high a chapter can go if they really try. Enjoy!

Watch the Video

Top 10 Traits of a Master Networker

BNI conducted a survey for the book Masters of Networking that asked business professionals to give their opinion on the most important character traits of a ‘master networker’. The survey included about 2,000 professionals from several different countries, who ranked various traits deemed useful for ‘developing and maintaining good relationships’.

Here are the top ten, ranked in order of their importance as judged by the survey respondents.

  1. Timely follow-up on referrals. Following up with what you say you’re going to do, when you say you’re going to do it, builds your credibility and trust with your network partners.
  2. Positive attitude. When you’re positive, people tend to be more attracted to you and will be more likely to refer family, friends and colleagues to you. It also helps your determination and motivation.
  3. Enthusiasm. Enthusiastic and motivated people tend to make things happen for them and for the people they know.
  4. Trustworthiness. When someone gives you a referral they’re taking a risk. They’re putting their personal and professional reputation on the line. Trust has to be earned, over time, and plays a huge part in building your credibility.
  5. Listening skills. Listening for the needs, problems and aspirations of others is vital for identifying the type of referral that would really be valuable to them. Asking questions and listening to the answers is a key skill.
  6. 24/7 networking. Networking becomes second nature to master networkers. In every conversation they are alive to the possibility of givers gain. Their focus is more on helping others than selling themselves.
  7. Gratitude. Saying thank you is so easy and yet is very powerful in developing business relationships. You often read that it’s a good idea to send a written thank you note or card but it’s very rarely done.
  8. Helpfulness. If you gain a reputation of going out of your way to help others, you are more likely to be given referrals.
  9. Sincerity. Some of these master networker traits may not feel natural at first. However, if we try hard enough we can get to enjoy them and that’s very important because, otherwise, we can come across as insincere. “He’s just out to sell me something. He’s not really interested in me”. Develop the skill of giving your complete attention to the person in front of you.
  10. Professional approach. Top networkers tend to be well organized in terms of their contact management systems. For example, they will tend to carry their referral partners’ business cards along with their own.  They also develop a great attitude to building their network, setting up appointments to meet new contacts without any specific expectation that a sale or referral will result.

Fear, Persistence and Success

Regardless of our chosen field, we normally have to work hard for a long time to become the sort of person who is able to achieve great results. Two of the most important character traits we need to develop in order to achieve success are persistence and overcoming the fear of rejection.

Everyone experiences fear of rejection. In the case of BNI founder, Dr Ivan Misner, the overwhelming experience came when he was trying to persuade stores to carry his first book. He found himself afraid to get out of the car and walk into the store to ask.

Finally he realized that the worst that could happen if he asked was the same thing as if he did nothing at all: the store would not carry his book. So he picked up a copy of the book and went into the store. They asked for 20 copies.

I remember thinking back. That was sort of a nexus point in terms of rejection. I could do it or I could not do it. Not doing it would give me the same response as what I presently had, which was no books there. So I tell people don’t let the fear of rejection stop you from doing what you are excited about. If you are excited about your business, don’t let rejection stop you. You have to just know that when it comes to asking somebody to do something, including asking people to join BNI.

Some will. Some won’t. So what? It’s not the end of the world. I just had to put myself in the frame of mind that this is just not that big of a deal. If someone doesn’t want to do it, that’s fine. God bless them. I love them. It’s not that big a deal.

I have always thought that I may not be the most successful man in a room. I may not be the smartest man in a room. But I am pretty confident that I am the most persistent man in the room—or certainly one of the most persistent men in the room. That commitment to trying has helped me succeed. I think it is one of the things that consistently helps anyone have long-term success. The whole process has to begin with the old axiom that if you think you can or if you think you can’t, you’ll be right.

So I say to people don’t let the fear of rejection stop you from what you are excited about. It begins with trying versus quitting. Keep trying and you have a chance at winning.

Success doesn’t necessarily go to the smartest person: persistence is critical. If you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re right. So don’t let fear of rejection stop you.

5 Key Questions

Networking Like a Pro, written by Dr Ivan Misner and David Alexander, recommends asking five key questions if we want to make a lasting impression when meeting people for the first time at networking events. The same questions can also be used, or adapted, for 121 meetings between BNI members.

Here are the five questions together with Dr Misner’s comments during a BNI podcast.

What do you like best about what you do? This really leads to a more interesting conversation about the other person’s business, their likes and dislikes, experience, and so on. It’s a much better alternative than simply asking, “So, what do you do?” Or it’s a good follow-up question after you ask, “What do you do?” Then they really open up oftentimes and talk more about their business.

What got you started? And this gives the other person a chance to talk about their personal goals and desires. It gives them a chance to really open up about what led them into what they’re doing. It also gives insight into how dedicated they are to the profession and how proficient they may be in that profession based on how excited they are about, in effect, their story, what got them started. You’ll find that people that are in a business, particularly for any length of time, are really excited usually to talk about what got them into that business.

Where else do you usually network? (Is this one of the kinds of organizations you usually visit? Are there other groups that you go to?) And this really helps break the ice during maybe an awkward period just after the introductions and offers a chance to talk about something in common to both parties. They might tell you about some casual contact network somewhere that might be of interest to you that you haven’t heard about or that you haven’t gone to visit. Or you may hear about some other groups that they’re in that may be of interest to you.

What are some of your biggest challenges in what you do? You really want to ask this question towards the end of your conversation. Otherwise they’re going to say, “Who are you, and why are you asking me that?”  However, once you have developed a rapport this question can help you learn about the other person’s challenges and possibly help you to give them a referral. I don’t mean sell them your product or service, but a connection or referral to somebody that might be able to help them with that challenge.

It’s a technique I use all the time with people that I want to build a relationship with, because it allows me to follow-up in an easy way. “Gee, I read an article that addresses that very challenge that you’re talking about. Would you like to see a copy of it?” And then they’ll hand me their business card, and they’ll say, “Yeah, would you mind sending that to me.” You know you’re networking right when somebody gives you their business card and says, “Would you contact me?”

How can I help you? If you decide that the person you’re talking with is someone you’d like to have in your network, this is a great question to ask, and being helpful is probably the best way to start building a solid relationship with them. Don’t underestimate the power of “How can I help you,” especially if it’s somebody that you want to network with and they’re at a higher level of business that you are.

Does BNI Work?

Motivational speaker and author Brian Tracy makes a comparison between networking and using an exercise machine. Back in 2008 he was interviewed by BNI founder, Dr Ivan Misner, and asked to explain his thinking. Here’s what Brian Tracy said.

One of the things that people often ask is does it work? They want to know if being a member of BNI works. Is it helpful? I ask the question, what is the best-selling piece of exercise equipment in America? After a few guesses, we conclude that to the best-selling is the treadmill. They sell $8 billion or more worth of treadmills every single year in America.

Now if you buy a treadmill and you take it home, what determines how much value you get from the treadmill? I ask this of my audiences and people will say how much you use it. I say, yes, that it is actually a combination of two things. It’s how often you use it and how long you use it each time. And everybody agrees.

Then I say now here’s the question. Is there any it doubt whether or not the treadmill works? The answer is, of course, no. That’s already been decided. That’s why it’s so popular. Everybody knows that it works. It’s been proven over and over again hundreds of times, millions of times, at every health club in the world that the treadmill works as long as you use it on a regular basis.

Now, it’s the same thing with networking. And that is the point that we are discussing. The same thing with networking – throughout the last hundred years of business, the most successful business people are those who know the most other people in business and know them in a positive, favorable way. So the only question about BNI and the only question about networking is how often you use it and how long you use it each time.

One of Brian Tracy’s specialist areas is sales. Dr Misner asked him to give his top tips on becoming more successful at selling.

One is you have to make more calls. The key to success in sales is to make more calls on better prospects. Make more calls on better prospects. Of course, that’s what BNI does. It gives you better prospects, but you have to make more calls. There is a direct relationship between the number of calls you make and two things. First of all, the number of good calls you make. And secondly, how good you get.

The more you call on people, the better you get. The second thing is to present well. This requires continually upgrading your skills in selling. Never, never be complacent. You get better and better at what you do. The first thing, of course, is ask for the order. At the end, just ask for the order. “Do like what I’m showing you? Why don’t you give it a try?” Ask for the order.

This is a skill that you can learn, again, through practice, repetition, books, tapes and so on. I would say that the key to success in sales is frequency of activity. Make more calls. Make more presentations. Ask for the order more often.