Learning Technologies Newsletter

ISSUE 48 - June 2009 - by Phil Chambers


TIME TO READ: 5 minutes (Average Reader), less than a minute (Speed Reader) - Word Count: 1,142. To learn more about Speed Reading Contact us.

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Welcome to the June issue of the Learning Technologies Newsletter. This is the fourth anniversary of the Newsletter. Thank you to everyone who has supported us by continuing to subscribe over the years. Please continue to forward it to friends and colleagues who you think would find it useful.

The main article this month focuses on networking in business. The difference between ‘Not working’ and ‘Networking’ is the letter ‘E’ which stands for Education. We show you how to network efficiently and how Mind Maps can help. We also have the regular Mind Map tip, two quotes of the month and news on what I’m up to.


What's Phil Up To?

Phil's Photo

I continue to be involved with the conducting of Schools Memory Championships competitions in the lead up to the National final in July (I will include a report in the August Newsletter).

I will be running a one to one coaching session on how to retain information that you read with a general manager of a successful company who wants to take his learning to the next level.

Later in the month I will be investing in my own learning by training to become an iMindMap software Master Trainer.

It’s also my birthday this month!


Mind Mapping Tip of the Month

On the bottom corner of each Mind Map write the code “10-D-W-M-3M”. This stands for the five reviews: 10 minutes, Day, Week, Month and Three Months. Each time you do a review, cross off one of the code letters. This gives a really good visual record of having completed the reviews.

For more tips see '101 Top Tips for Better Mind Maps'.


June's Two Quotes of the Month


"The successful networkers I know, the ones receiving tons of referrals and feeling truly happy about themselves, continually put the other person's needs ahead of their own."

Bob Burg
American author and speaker.


"The best prospect is the client who has already dealt with you. The second best is the one referred to by a client who has dealt with you previously. The third best is the one referred to you by another trusted professional or friend."

Marilyn Jennings
Canadian speaker and highly successful salesperson.

More Quotes Here


Business Networking

It is a sad fact that there are certain individuals who will try to rip you off. Most of us dislike being sold to by pushy salesmen eager to win their commission. Unsolicited phone calls and ‘junk’ mail just waste our valuable time and often build barriers. Think of the stereotypical double glazing salesman and how likely you are to buy from them.

It is far more comfortable if a friend or an existing supplier sees you have a need and suggests someone who can help. As a provider of goods and services, how much easier is it if someone comes to you and asks to buy than having to go out and prospect for customers? This is especially important for small businesses that cannot afford a large sales team.

All things being equal, people buy from people that they like and trust. Most of us are even prepared to pay a little more if we feel we are dealing with a trustworthy individual. Networking is the science of building relationships of trust and mutual benefit.

Trust is the most important factor. If someone is to tell their best client that they should use your services, they are putting their good reputation on the line. If you mess up then not only have you lost the chance of repeat business, the referrer also stands to lose out.

In England blowing your own trumpet is frowned upon. Even if we are excellent at what we do, we often feel uncomfortable telling others. It is far easier to enthuse about someone else, especially someone with whom you do not have a vested interest.

So how do you find people who are prepared to evangelise about you and refer business your way? One solution is to join one of the proliferation of networking clubs that are springing up across the country. One of the most successful is Business Network International, founded in California by Dr Ivan Misner. BNI chapters meet every week, usually for breakfast at 7am. The groups allow one individual from any one profession or business type to join so that there is no competition for business within the group. The idea is that every member actively seeks out business for the other members. It is based on he notion of ‘Givers Gain’. If I give you a business lead you will want to reciprocate.

The meetings follow a structured agenda. Every member stands up and speaks for 60 seconds about their business and to whom they would like to be introduced. There are also sections of the meeting for education, a longer presentation by a member, passing referrals and giving testimonials. Meeting every week starts to build trust but it is not enough to really understand someone. What motivates them, why they are special, how you can get them business and what other interests they have. To do this you need to get together outside the meeting for a face to face conversation. Whilst we naturally do this with our friends and colleagues, BNI prescribes a format the makes the process more efficient. It follows the acronym G.A.I.N.S. This stands for:


Whilst you could take notes in sentences during a one-to-one meeting, this is laborious, unmemorable and you would spend more time writing than engaging in a meaningful conversation. A Mind Map acts as a far more effective tool for the process.

Prepare a template (that can be downloaded here) in advance with the main branches and central image filled in.

During the conversation, add to each branch in turn as the discussion flows. Notice I have added an additional branch entitled ‘Business’ as these details were not fully covered by the other branches. The example below is a record of a one-to-one meeting with a photographer.


If you review the Mind Map after the meeting and subsequently at the correct intervals of a day, a week, a month and 3 months, you will be able to remember the details about the other person and therefore be able to spot opportunities for them more easily.

That’s it for this month. Look out for the next newsletter at the beginning of July and feel free to be in touch in the meantime.

My contact details are here.

Best Wishes