An Ashford “paradise-island” buy-to-let property investment consultant has thanked her local business networking group after she received more than £12million worth of business deals - all through word of mouth referrals.
Clare Cooper, director of Crystal Sands Investments, which offers buy-to-let properties in the Caribbean, closed a record £12million worth of property sales over a two and a half year period – all through word of mouth business referrals she received from her local BNI Eureka chapter (Business Network International) group which meets weekly, in Ashford.
Ms Cooper surprised her group by awarding one of its members, Daryl Carter, director of Style Brands - a promotional gift supplier, at random, with a luxury weeks all-expenses paid trip to Buccament Bay, a resort on the southwest coast of St Vincent, otherwise worth £5 000.
According to Cooper, 95 per cent of her company’s business deals come from her involvement in her local BNI chapter.
Clare Cooper commented: Too many businesses overlook the power of word of mouth referrals as part of what keeps them afloat. Ninety eight per cent of businesses rely on word of mouth referrals yet only three per cent have a strategy for gaining new business this way. My advice to local businesspeople is to explore locally how they can cultivate a team of colleagues to whom they can cross-refer business. You never know who knows who and this is the power of networking.
In terms of the prize I offered to my fellow colleagues at BNI Eureka, well, what a better way than to allow one of my BNI ‘sales team’ to check out my products for himself! Daryl’s a terrific BNI giver and I can’t think of anyone better to have received the special prize”.
According to BNI, which is in 42 countries around the world, and predominant in the EU, Kent in 2009 was the ‘business networking capital’ of Europe based the high numbers of referrals passed between members and their high average value.
The Ashford Eureka Chapter of BNI meet weekly on a Wednesdays at 6.30am at the Ashford International Hotel. To visit or be considered for membership call Shelley on 01233 740395 www.bni.eu/uk