Today Marks the 500th Blog Post on Business Networking.com!

I am very pleased to announce that today marks the 500th blog post on BusinessNetworking.com!  To celebrate, my wife Beth and I recorded this video where we reminisce about which blog posts have been our favorites over the five years I’ve been doing this blog and why these individual posts stand out to us.

Below you’ll find the links to the specific blogs we mention in the video so you can check them out if you’re interested.  To celebrate this 500-blog milestone, I’d love nothing more than to hear which BusinessNetworking.com blogs have been your favorites through the years and why.  I’d really like to hear what you think so please leave a comment in the comments section.

I appreciate you taking the time to read my BusinessNetworking.com blog posts and I am very grateful to have a forum where I can share what I’ve learned throughout the course of  my career and learn from all of you who contribute such great feedback.  Thank you so much for being a part of this community of learning and sharing knowledge to promote the success of business networkers around the world–I’m looking forward to another five years (and hopefully more) of keeping this blog going!

1. The Butterfly Effect: September, 07 – http://businessnetworking.com/the-%e2%80%9cbutterfly-effect-of-networking

2. OMG, I’m an Introvert: February, 2009 – http://businessnetworking.com/omg-im-an-introvert

3. Premature Solicitation: February, 2010 –http://businessnetworking.com/premature-solicitation

4. The Networking Disconnect: September, 2010 –http://businessnetworking.com/the-networking-disconnect/

5. Who’s in Your Room: March, 2012 – http://businessnetworking.com/whos-in-your-room

* Rants:*

6. Networking — A Soft Science: September, 2007:http://businessnetworking.com/networking-a-soft-science-only-to-college-profe…

7. My Philosophy About Competition: June, 2010 –http://businessnetworking.com/my-philosophy-about-competition

8. Relationships are Irrelevant!?: February, 2010 –http://businessnetworking.com/premature-solicitation-from-a-believer

9. You Don’t Become Exceptional by Looking for Exceptions: September, 2011 – http://businessnetworking.com/you-dont-become-exceptional-by-looking-for-exce…

10. Unsolicited Advice is Rarely Welcome: February, 2012 –http://businessnetworking.com/unsolicited-advice-is-rarely-appreciated

Does the Thought of Introducing Yourself at Networking Meetings Make You Panic?

If the thought of giving a brief introduction of yourself and your business at networking meetings makes your palms sweat, read on . . .

When participating, even as a guest, in various networking meetings or functions, the fact is that you will be required to introduce yourself sooner or later.  Preparing a script for introducing yourself will improve your results.  One of your scripts should be an overview of what you do.  Other presentations can address various aspects of your product or service.  Here’s the script sequence I recommend:

  • Your name
  • Your business or profession
  • Brief description of your business or profession
  • Benefit statement of one of your products or services
  • Your name again

Your name and your business profession are easy enough.  A brief description and a benefit statement can be separate items,  but more often they are intertwined in your message.  It’s fairly easy to combine your business with the benefits of your product or service.  I suggest telling people what you do, as well as what you are:

“I’m a financial planner and I help people plan for their future”  or “I’m an advertising and marketing consultant; I help companies get the most out of their advertising dollar.”  These explanations are more effective than saying, “I do financial planning,” or “I plan advertising campaigns.”

In many situations, you’ll be introducing yourself to only one or two people at a time.  Some networking organizations have all the members stand at each meeting, and in round-robin fashion, give a one-minute overview to the entire group.  If you’re a member of a group like this, it is vitally important to vary your presentations.

Many people who are in networking groups that meet every week have a tendency to say the same old thing, time after time.  From what I’ve seen, many weekly presentations are done weakly.  If you don’t vary your presentations, many people will tune you out when you speak because they’ve already heard your message several times.  Your best bet is to give a brief overview, then concentrate on just one element of your business for the rest of your presentation.

If you prepare your brief introduction using these techniques, you will begin to get much more confident at introducing yourself and, what’s better, you’ll begin to get better networking results.  If you try introducing yourself in this way at your next networking meeting or function,

I’d love to hear how it turns out for you–please come back and share your experience in the comments section.  Or, if you’ve already done some things to help you with this issue – share them with us now.  Thanks!

Two Tactics to Help with the ABCs of Networking — “Navigating the VCP Process® to Networking” Series

(Part 7 of 12 of the “Navigating The VCP Process® To Networking” Series)

TR Garland (featured in this video with me) is a friend of mine and co-author of one of my most recent #1 best-selling books called “Building The Ultimate Network.”  He’s also considered a top trainer for the Referral Institute.

For some time now, we’ve both observed a need to drill down on one of the most important and foundational concepts to networking – The VCP Process®.  Seven months ago, we started a much-anticipated 12-part monthly series of blog posts which addresses this and contains some very timely information for networkers across the globe.  Today, we’re proud to share with you Part 7 of the series  which is a follow up to the Part 6 video blog we did about the ABCs of networking.  Enjoy!

Please let us know what you think of the ABCs of Networking concept, the two tactics we offer in this video, or just the video in general.  We’d love to read your comments in the comment forum below.  Thanks!

Networking ROI

I recently co-authored an article about the return on investment (ROI) of membership in BNI (the organization I founded back in 1985).  My readers here may find some of the results interesting:

The average amount of business gained from referrals in the last 12 months was $37,055.  When asked about further orders they had received as the multiplier effect of participation, members were able to think of, on average, an additional $17,668 per year of membership.

Combining closed business in the last 12 months with the average value of 2nd and 3rd generation referrals in a year showed the true value of a seat as $54,720 per year.  On average, members who were involved in the group for 7 years generated $383,038 since they joined, thereby underpinning the lifetime value of participation.

An associate of mine is conducting an independent study regarding ROI for any networking organization.   He will share some of the results with me and I will publish them here on my blog.  Please take a few moments to take the short survey (it will only take 3 or 4 minutes).

*** Take the SURVEY HERE ***

After you take the survey, post a message here with any questions that YOU would like to see in a future survey that I’m doing or recommending (like this one).

What Does a Mountain Bike Have to Do with Networking? A Lot, Actually . . .

In this quick video, Referral Institute® Partner & President Mike Macedonio, who is also a good friend of mine and an avid mountain biker, explains an excellent metaphor he came up with about mountain biking and networking. 

Not only does Mike do a great job of explaining how aspects of mountain biking are very similar to networking, he also manages to do something that’s quite remarkable . . . he talks me into getting on a mountain bike ! 😉

After watching the video, ask yourself about your own networking group–does it have all the key components to function and gain momentum like a well-built, lasting mountain bike?

Also, I’m really interested in hearing any networking metaphors you’ve come up with during your networking career--I’ve heard some very creative ones over the years and they always get me thinking so I love hearing new ones.  Please share your ideas in the comments section . . . who knows? . . . I might just be asking you to do a future guest blog!

I’m “a Communist” . . . Really?

I wrote an article on Entrepreneur.com last week entitled “Why Everyone Should talk About Politics While Networking” and in my opening line I state, “Yes, I believe everyone should talk about politics (and religion) while networking . . . if they’d like their network to go up in flames, that is!”

Though I may have been very active in politics over the years and I do, indeed, have a definite religious/spiritual leaning, I have found that it is undoubtedly best not to mix my views/beliefs in these areas with my business networking activities because these topics can be VERY divisive.  Opening up a dialogue of a political or spiritual/religious nature with those in your network tends to be something that will more than likely invoke passionate, heated arguments which is NOT a good thing for a networking environment (take a look at the full article for my complete commentary and explanation). 

Soon after the Entrepreneur.com article came out, someone left a comment in the comment forum beneath the article that I found quite surprising.  The comment they posted says:

“This guy Ivan Misner sure sounds like a Communist to me.  If it walks like a duck . . .”

Really?  I’m “a Communist” because I said that people who want to be successful at networking should not talk about politics and religion in a business networking environment?  Okay, well, I guess I should really thank the person who posted the comment because they’re ultimately helping to make my point.  Discussions about politics and religion can make people say some crazy things.

By the way, here’s how I responded to the comment:

“Too funny.  You clearly don’t know me. Besides, a true Marxist-Leninist would be out leading the proletariat revolution of the capitalists and I’m too busy being a capitalist.”

Hey, I always had a hunch my Political Science degree would come in handy someday yet I never would’ve imagined it would be through someone calling me “a Communist,” that’s for sure. 😉

What’s your feeling on the appropriateness of discussing politics and/or religion in a business networking environment?  Have you tried it yourself, or maybe networked with someone who makes a habit of bringing up these subjects when you’re conversing while networking?  What has your experience been? . . . I highly encourage you to leave a comment; I’m very interested in hearing some different perspectives on this. Thanks!

Do You Network Like You ‘Google Search’? Here’s Why You Should . . .

Last week, I was meeting with executives from the Referral Institute and Thomas Albrecht, Referral Institute Master Franchisee in Austria and Germany, brought up a really interesting concept about networking when he compared it to doing a Google® search.

I immediately asked him if we could record the topic on video for this blog because it’s a fantastic topic that I think will really resonate with networkers globally and it’s something I’ve never thought of before.

So, watch the video and let us know . . . have you been networking like you do Google searches?  Leave a comment and let us know if your networking tactics thus far have been pretty on par with this strategy, or whether you’re going to remember the Google analogy and make some changes to make sure you’re networking efforts are more precise.

Social Media & Social Networking–How To Do It Better

On my recent trip to Australia, I got the chance to record this video with my friend Dan Garlick, a networking expert from Tasmania.  In the video, we talk about the best ways to integrate face-to-face networking with social media and social networking in order to achieve the best possible results from your all-around networking efforts.

Watch the video to learn the best ways to approach face-to-face and online networking integration for a stellar outcome no matter where in the world you are (If Dan can do it from Tasmania–the bottom of the world–so can you! ).

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