What They're Saying...

I first met Tonya Acha when she became my BNI Director. At the time, our chapter was falling apart and we had not had strong leadership. After a candid conversation with her, she very quickly jumped in to help steer the chapter into the direction it needed. By working closely with her, I could see that she truly did care about the success of our chapter.

I could tell that Tonya was a kind and caring person, but I REALLY got to know her when we ended up taking the same Referral Institute class. It was in that class that I realized that she really got the referral process and the relationship aspect that is critical in achieving referral success.

After our day in the classroom, Tonya and I decided to form a small, focused referral group that met once a week. It was during these meetings that she continued to amaze me with her insight. In fact, during one meeting where another good friend and referral partner in our group was not understanding my viewpoint (and I was not seeing hers), it was Tonya who after listening to the conversation stepped in and explained that there were many ways to reward and motivate your referral partners and that we were both getting frustrated with each other because we weren’t really hearing what the other person was saying. She really hit the nail on the head!

I have a very strong referral business and have gone through extensive training. I don’t claim to be perfect at referrals but I do know that referrals come very natural to me because of my work with Referral Institute and the weekly meetings I had with Tonya where she was able to continuously push me to expand on the teachings we received from our Referral Institute training.

Last March, I went out to California to train with the partners. I’m extremely excited to know that we now have someone in Michigan able to train with the same high level standards and professionalism that I received in California. Tonya isn’t about skipping steps, or not following through, and I’m confident that the clients that sign up for her classes will not only love the classes, but see a deep value in the coaching that she will give throughout the process.

I’m so passionate about Referral Institute not only because of how it has helped turn Shard Financial Services, Inc. into a referral based business, but because of the difference in how I am able to run my business and life. Being able to help my referral partners grow their business alongside mine is truly rewarding, and I am so excited that I’m now going to be able to have more opportunities to take old and new referral partners into local training.

Margie Shard, Certified Financial Planner
Shard Financial

I just finished reading the entire book. I really did like it. It was the perfect finalization and review for AFTER taking the Referral Institute’s Certified Networker Program. Here is why:

As someone new to referral marketing, I suspected there was a better way, but had no idea what to do. I was fortunate enough to be referred to Laura Bruno and her work as a trainer and coach. Laura’s teaching of a proven method (Certified Networker Program) for consciously building a network of people for life to make business profitable AND fun was amazing. I did meet the goal of doubling my business in one year through referrals.

But I still needed a quick resource to review and fine tune the practice for continually building referrals. Networking Like a Pro serves as a perfect reference source. In one compact little book, the nuts and bolts are reviewed so that I can immediately apply techniques and ideas to real time situations and continuously improve my skills and results.

The Certified Networker Program and Networking Like a Pro are like bread & butter – you need them both to be satisfied.

Lynn Coffman
Coffman Valentine & Associates, Inc.

With the Certified Networker Program of the Referral Institute I discovered the effectiveness of a strategic networking plan, how to instill word of mouth that produces really hot referrals. Compared to a traditional strategy starting with marketing, creating classical leads and after some effort to create appointments with more or less skeptical people, speaking to decision makers already waiting for my call is much more productive and of course makes a lot more fun. What I value most about the approach delivered at the Certified Networker Program people see my conversations with them as valuable themselves – increasing the trustworthiness in the business relation. The approach is absolutely in line with the human relationship principles described by Dale Carnegie. At the same time the number of meetings with significant business opportunities per week has doubled at least and still is increasing.

Dr. Clemens Widhalm, CEO
Dale Carnegie Training Austria

I joined BNI in 2005 right after my wife and I had purchased our business. Shortly thereafter I learned about the Certified Networker Program, bit the bullet and registered for the course though money was tight.

The Certified Networker Program literally took our business vertical and sent it to the next level. In our first year following completion of the course and using what I had learned our business increased over 30%. In the following year, it increased another 40%. And we have never looked back.

Because of Certified Networker, I was able to obtain my dream car (a 1987 Rolls-Royce Silver Spur), built my company from 3 to 7 employees, and we presently have over 75% of our business coming from referrals. Using what I learned in Certified Networker I have created my own network of endless referrals. I have not made a cold call in years, and I know that I will never have to again. This is part of why I REFUSE to participate in a recession, and why I owe so much to BNI and the Referral Institute.

The benefits and rewards of the Certified Networker Program have stayed with me long after the investment in the course has been forgotten. From organizing, to developing useful and effective habits, to how to handle a business mixer and turn it into closed business… and more business based on that; the tools, techniques and skills I learned in Certified Networker will last a lifetime. They have even benefited my personal life as I learned a lot about how to interact with my family and friends in much more positive ways given the course is actually about the relationship development process.

I would recommend this program to ANYONE in business without reservation.. Assuming that is, that they want to see an amazing growth in their business, and that growth continue to accelerate for years on end!

Dr Jeff Parker
St. Pete Computers

Dear Armand:

I can’t tell you what a relief it is to finally feel stress free! I have been in business for 3 years now and always feeling the stress of not moving forward. I have been spending money which has been adding up to thousands of dollars and not really seeing a return. Finally, I decided enough was enough and needed to try something new.

After only 3 sessions with you, I began to It has had an impact on my business, my personal relationships and has allowed me to be more productive at home and in the office by showing me how to create referrals without taking up my time.realize the importance of my referral based business and the impact it would have on my business once I changed what I needed too. Although I had the right ideas, I was not applying them correctly. Today, after three months of working with you, I use a totally different approach when speaking with potential customers and or business associates and my referral business has shown the increase.

This has been a fun experience with new twists and turns, and with your knowledge and skills, you were able to give me the space when I needed time to implement my new knowledge, and then you were able to move quickly when I needed to move.

Thank you so much for your time, patience and understanding.

Allen Chouinard
C.A.N.E. Environmental Consulting Services, LLC