Where You Come from Does Not Determine Where You Go

Just last month, I had the honor of being given the Citrus College Alumni Lifetime Achievement Award, along with another fellow alumni recipient, Daniel Parks.

In this video of my acceptance speech, I talk about a concept that means a lot to me . . . where you come from does not determine where you go; what you do determines where you go. I am living proof of that this concept is true.

Do you have a personal story of triumph which demonstrates that success can be attained regardless of one’s starting point?  If so, I would really love to hear it!  Please leave a comment and tell me about it . . .

Do You Have the Right Materials for a Successful Word-of-Mouth Campaign?

In order to run a successful word-of-mouth campaign, you need to build an arsenal of credibility-enhancing materials.  You should always have these at your disposal to make the most of every networking opportunity.

Below is a checklist of items you may already have available or wish to begin assembling, which can be used as collateral materials in developing your desired image.  These are not ranked in a particular; they are all key components of the toolkit of a successful word-of-mouth campaign.

Note: Please keep in mind that this is not a complete list of items needed to market your business.  The items in this list are focused on enhancing your networking activities which will lead to greater word of mouth and referrals.

1-Testimonial letters from satisfied clients

2-Photos of yourself, your office facilities, equipment, and/or products

3-Logos of your key customers

4-A list of your memberships and affiliations

5-Question-and-answer sheets

6-Photos of awards and certificates you and your staff have earned

7-Articles you have published, or in which you’re mentioned

8-A one-page flier

9-New-product or service announcements or press releases

10-Current brochures, circulars, and data sheets, and product catalogs

11-Items that reflect your “brand”

12-Items that help you explain your business to your network

13-Client or customer proposals, bid sheets, or marketing letters you have written to existing clients

14-Articles on trends affecting your target market

For the sake of space,  I didn’t go into much detail here regarding each of the items in this list but I can certainly go into plenty more of an explanation as to what these items entail.

I’ll leave it up to all of you blog readers to weigh in on whether or not you’d like to see a follow up blog explaining each of the items listed above . . . so, leave a comment and let me know–should I write a blog giving the details regarding these items?  Thumbs up, or thumbs down?? . . . Thanks!

Networking Vampires

[tube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nT0ArNFg5NA”>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nT0ArNFg5NA[/tube]

Someone I met recently used an expression that I got a big kick out of yet it really resonated with me at the same time.  Talking about a networker she knew, she said to me, “The guy is a Networking Vampire!”

Watch this video to find out what exactly a “Networking Vampire” is and then come back and weigh in on how to spot them (they can often be very elusive–do you have a trick/strategy for discovering them?) and what to do about them once you identify them.

Also, if you have any interesting stories about experiences you’ve had with Networking Vampires, share them in the comment section . . . ve vant to hear dem!  Bwah-ahh-aahh-aaahhh-aaaahhhh!! 😉


BNI Business Index 2nd Quarter Findings–Leaner and Meaner!

The BNI Business Index is a website that was created to consistently gauge the ever-changing economic state of business based on quarterly global survey results of retailers, service companies, and manufacturing companies all around the world.


The statistics gathered from the survey results are intended to keep small business owners, entrepreneurs, and companies, as well as the media and the general public, educated and informed as to the changing state of the global business economy and the current business trends that become apparent over time.

The findings for the 2011 2nd Quarter BNI Business Index are in and they continue to look promising. Over 1,700 people responded to this survey and for the third quarter in a row, we see a rise in the index relating to how business is doing today compared to a year ago. According to the survey, 70.4% of the respondents believe that business is growing (58.1%) or growing substantially (12.3%) compared to this time last year. Only 5.4% felt that business was declining (4.6%) or declining substantially (.8%) compared to this time last year.

This quarter there were four themes that seemed prevalent:

– Being Leaner & Meaner
– Networking
– Having a New Focus
– Government Regulations

One survey respondent best summed up the “leaner and meaner” theme by stating that his business was  becoming “leaner, keener, and meaner!”  Another person stated that they had “adapted to the business environment and things have ‘stabilized’ as a result.”

Get the full 2011 2nd Quarter BNIBusinessIndex.com Survey Report by CLICKING HERE.

TAKE THE CURRENT BNIBusinessIndex.com Survey by CLICKING HERE NOW and GET A FREE 6 MONTH SUBSCRIPTION TO NetworkingNow.com!!

What’s Your Burning Networking Question?

Do you have a burning question about networking that you just can’t seem to get a decent answer to?  I have great news . . .

You can go to www.AskIvanMisner.com and submit your question directly to me!  Watch this video where I explain what the website is all about and then go to www.AskIvanMisner.com to submit your question and get FREE access to the quarterly Ask Ivan Misner live telebridge call. 

After you’ve visited the site, come back to this blog and leave a comment letting me know what you think of AskIvanMisner.com and, if you submitted a question, give me feedback about your experience . . . how easy was the submission process?  Will you submit a question again?

Credibility Is Crucial, But How Do You Build It?

It’s amazing what a word-of-mouth campaign can do for your business.  People rely on recommendations from trusted sources much more than they do from mere advertisements.  The best thing is, the costs associated with running a successful word-of-mouth campaign are usually a fraction of what a traditional advertising campaign can run!

However, as the saying goes, “there is no free lunch.”  What you save in dollars spent, you must replace with time and effort.  Simply saying to yourself that you are going to market via word of mouth does not guarantee immediate success.

I consistently tell people interested in networking that two of the most crucial things they need to do in order to achieve results from their networking efforts are to plan and execute a schedule of networking events and activities that will put them in front of people and they will also need to begin building their credibility.

So how do you begin building your credibility? There can be a variety of ways to do this depending on whom you are trying to build credibility with, however, in my experience, one of the absolute most important ways to build credibility is to always, always, always hold yourself to the highest ethical standards. Be fair in your pricing, make sure the work you are hired to do is provided with the highest standards in quality; and certainly never over-promise and under-deliver.

What are some of the best ways you have found to build credibility with others when networking?  Do you have a story about a way you built credibility with someone that was particularly effective?  If so, l’d love to hear it—please leave a comment in the comments section!

What Does ‘Overnight Success’ Mean to You?

[tube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pfv-fmNBLek[/tube]

During the course of the past two decades, I have had the privilege and honor of giving many keynote presentations and participating as a featured speaker at events across the world.  I have a great passion for public speaking and I feel very fortunate that organizations and associations continue to invite me to present at events internationally.

As a speaker, it is important to have a speaker’s reel video to send out to organizations who are considering you as a presenter at an upcoming event.  I recently enlisted Marrick Production Services to create my new speaker’s reel (click on the play arrow above to view it) and during the production process, I got to thinking about the different speaking engagements I’ve done and it struck me how many times I’ve heard people marvel at how amazing it is that I achieved such remarkable ‘overnight success.’

Every time someone says this to me, I reply with a chuckle and something along the lines of: “Yeah, it’s great . . . and it only took over two decades of hard work.”
😉

The thing is, I’m not sure there really is such a thing as overnight success. I know it happens in the movies quite often but, throughout my years of traveling and networking,  I have yet to cross paths with someone who achieved any kind of significant success without putting forth a great deal of hard work and dedication (speaking of hard work and dedication, a BIG thank you goes out to Mark Ellensohn and Chris Higgins for the hard work and dedication they put into creating this video for me!).

I’d really like to get some feedback on this–what does ‘overnight success’ mean to you?  Do you think a person can truly achieve overnight success, or do you think that the road to ‘overnight success’ is a long one that’s paved with plenty of effort and discipline?

Leave your comments and let’s get a discussion going! If you or someone you personally know is living, breathing evidence of overnight success, I’m particularly interested in that story (sometimes being proven wrong can make for very interesting content in speeches!). And, by all means, I’d also love to hear what you think of my new speaker’s reel!

Can’t Do or Won’t Do?

People often ask me how they can get someone in their networking group to take action and participate at a higher level in the group.  I love this question and I have the perfect answer for this . . .

Have someone in a leadership position within the networking group go to the person and ask them: “How can we help you do XYZ more effectively?” Then – listen to their answer.  Their answer will almost always be either a “can’t do” answer or a “won’t do” answer.  The person will either explain why they are having difficulty with the situation because they “don’t know how to” address it effectively, or they will give an answer that illustrates that they “don’t really want to” do this for some reason or another.

The “can’t do” people – you should help. We have all  been a “can’t do” at one time or another.  I didn’t know how to network before I started in this field.  I had to learn how to network.  It’s our job in a networking organization to teach people who want to learn but don’t know how.

It’s the “won’t do” people that are the real problem. They understand that they are not performing – they just have excuses about why they aren’t willing to do what needs to be done.  Frankly, these are the people that need to be removed from a networking group.

Have you seen “can’t do” and/or “won’t do” people in networking groups before?  How did you handle them?  Leave a comment and note that protecting yourself by changing the names of the guilty is always a good idea. 😉

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