BNI Improves Tampa Bay’s Health and Wellness Sector—Local Businesses Boom

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BNI, a professional networking organization, is helping Tampa Bay health and wellness industry practitioners expand and grow their businesses in a competitive market through referral marketing.

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At BNI, we take time at our weekly meetings to understand and learn about each other’s businesses, so we know exactly which referrals would benefit them

With more than 50 hospitals and dozens of clinics and care centers, Tampa Bay has an abundance of top-rated healthcare facilities for children and adults, according to tampabay.org (1). While the market is competitive, two Tampa Bay specialists are thriving, and crediting BNI, a professional business networking group.

One local chiropractor, Dr. Albert Gadomski, learned through his 28 years at Chiropractic Health Center in Oldsmar, that being active in the community and keeping in touch with patients is crucial to maintaining success. As an active member in his local chamber of commerce, Dr. Gadomski thought he knew everything about networking.

Through countless recommendations from one of his patients (who is a BNI member), Dr. Gadomski attended a BNI meeting.

Dr. Gadomski then began taking referral marketing classes, and just two weeks after joining the “Business Builders” BNI chapter, Dr. Gadomski received his first referral by applying what he had learned.

Dr. Gadomski says that he also found the BNI philosophy “Giver’s Gain” to be beneficial in making connections easier. The motto encourages members to educate others and pass referrals to fellow chapter members before worrying about their own business. “At BNI, we take time at our weekly meetings to understand and learn about each other’s businesses, so we know exactly which referrals would benefit them,” Dr. Gadomski commented. “It’s a win-win networking system.”

The biggest win from BNI for Dr. Gadomski was the referral to the Toronto Blue Jays, for whom he is now the team chiropractor.
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Another Tampa Bay health professional with BNI success is Kristin Votta—personal trainer, youth nutrition specialist and co-owner of Odessa’s Fitness-tek.

Votta decided to join BNI one year after becoming a personal trainer. That same year, her husband—a former BNI member—was looking to move his personal training company to a permanent location. Once the connection had been made (through a BNI event) and they decided to acquire Fitness-tek, there was still one problem—clients. “Our gears were shifting from in-home training [of clients] to studio training, so we were basically starting from scratch,” Votta commented.

Votta decided to participate in the referral marketing programs at BNI. With a new business, she wanted to learn how to market herself professionally and effectively, while creating profitable and meaningful relationships with other professionals in the area.

After one week in BNI, Fitness-tek began to experience business from referrals. Today, 95% of their clients come from referrals.

Votta was also able to get referrals by following the “Giver’s Gain” motto. Through her advanced training courses, she was educated on what to listen for during meetings and how to help others get the specific clients they need. In turn, she got the clients she needed.

Fitness-tek was then able to hire three additional personal trainers due to the consistent inflow of business, and was able to complete the studio buy-out in two years; her original goal had been four years.
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Both Dr. Gadomski and Votta offer similar tips for professionals in the health and wellness segment in Tampa Bay:

● Put yourself out in the community—being active is vital to creating relationships.
● Offer advice to others, and share stories about your business experiences.
● Be willing to keep growing and learning.
● Join a local networking group where you can achieve your business goals.

BNI’s success is measured by performance and numbers. In the past year, BNI of West Central Florida helped members pass $75 million in business amongst the 1800 members, averaging $40,000+ in incremental business per member.

Both Dr. Gadomski and Votta found the BNI classes to be helpful, and primarily the following:

Certified Networker Program: A 12 module college level class that gives participants tools for saving time and making more money through increased referral generation.
Member Success Program: A 3-hour session designed to help new BNI members jumpstart their memberships.
oYou learn the right things to say about yourself and business when meeting people.

The Referral Institute is opening their doors for a free Certified Networker Educational and Introductory Evening on Thursday, January 17, 2013, from 5:30-7:30 PM at the Wyndham in Tampa, FL. Attendees should RSVP by January 14 to tampa(at)referralinstitutetampa(dot)com.

About BNI and Tom Fleming:

Tom Fleming is the Executive Director for BNI in West Central Florida and the Referral Institute. When Tom acquired the region, BNI WCF had one chapter comprising 13 members. The region now has over 43 chapters with 1,800 members passing $75 million in business to each other in the past year alone. Tom is sought out as a local, national and international speaker on the subjects of marketing businesses by referral and organizational development. He is also a contributing author in two best-selling books on referral-based marketing, and has been recorded on many educational CDs produced from his speaking engagements. Prior to beginning his career as an entrepreneur, Tom worked for various Fortune 500 firms, and earned a Bachelor’s degree in business from Boston University, as well as an MBA from Babson College. Visit BNI West Central Florida at http://www.bniwcf.com.

(1)Tampabay.org. Accessed December 12, 2012. “Health Executive Summary,”http://partnership.tampabay.org/documents/Healthexecsummary2.pdf

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Alyssa Kaplan
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