Ivan Misner, Author at Dr. Ivan Misner®
Who's In Your Room

Who’s in Your Room?

I’m really excited about the upcoming release of my latest book, “Who’s in Your Room?” in December. It is my 23rd book and I believe it will have the biggest impact on people’s lives than any other book I’ve done. This is the public version of the book and is vastly different than the BNI version.

What if you had to live your life in one room?  Whoever you want to interact with in life is in that room.  There is only one door.  It is a one-way door.  Whoever is in your room, stays in your room forever.  Whoever comes into your room impacts your life directly in many ways.  If you knew that this person would be in your room forever, would you have let that person in your room?

We design the room we live in, along with the people who are in it.  We can do that consciously, or we can do that by happenchance.  The choice is ours.  Understanding this idea now, who are we going to let in our room from this point on?

What do you think about the concept of “Who’s in Your Room?”  Knowing this concept now – what would you do differently in the future?  I’d love to hear your thoughts.

To preorder the book, please use this link:

https://tinyurl.com/WhosInYourRoom

receive referrals

How long does it take for people to receive referrals from their network?

From my experience, strong referral relationships are a lot like building close personal friendships. It takes time for people to become close enough to receive referrals from their network. Facebook has redefined what a “friend” is, but I’m talking about truly close friendships with people. In a study published in 2018 by the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, it was found that it takes about 50 hours of interaction to move from being an acquaintance to becoming a “casual friend.” It takes a total of 90 hours to be become “real friends,” and a total of 200 hours to become “close friends.” According to the study, “friendship status was examined as a function of hours together, shared activities and everyday talk.”

So, how long does it take for people to build a close relationship where they trust you enough to give you regular referrals?

So, you want referrals and you want them now?  Well, you can’t have them. Unless you’ve built meaningful relationships with your referral partners first. Well, it takes somewhere between 90 and 200 hours for people to receive referrals from their network.

I know that 90 – 200 hours sounds like a lot but that matches up almost perfectly with what I’ve seen in BNI. When BNI members hit the 90-hour mark of participation they almost always begin receiving more and more referrals. Based on an independent study published in 2012 for BNI, when those same individuals cross the 200-hour mark, they generate an average of over five times the number of referrals they did in their first year! Yes, you read that right: more than 500% more referrals when they have built strong friendships with their referral partners.

The Steps You Should Take If You Want to Build Business Off Referrals

Ask yourself the following four questions until you have attained success and the answers become obvious.

2. Am I regularly making stimulating, educational presentations to my fellow networkers about the value I provide to my clients?

3. Am I doing business with others in my network so I can give them dynamic testimonials and steer business to them in hopes they will return the favor?

4. Am I meeting regularly with my networking colleagues to learn about their businesses so I can confidently refer my contacts to them?

If you’re following these simple tactics, then you are well along the road to getting all the referrals from others’ networks that you deserve. Building a referral-based business is all about building a powerful, personal network. If your network is a mile wide and an inch deep, you will never get the kind of referrals that will make a difference for your business. This means that you have to go deep in building a number of strong relationships.

The best way to speed up the process is to actually spend time in the process of developing relationships with the people you are networking with. Networking truly is more about farming than it is about hunting. It is about building relationships and friendships with other business professionals. Remember, it takes time to build friendships.

spark in their eyes

Having that spark in their eyes

While attending the 2018 BNI Poland Conference, I met Paweł Jach, Executive Director at BNI Poland. He was the Master of Ceremony of the conference. He told a story today that I absolutely love. It was about how Navy Seals are selected based upon having a spark in their eyes.

Please watch this video.

A spark in their eyes

The one thing that was consistent in those men selected was their commitment and having that spark in their eyes.  Business people who are successful also have that spark in their eyes. Therefore, what does it mean to have a sparkle in your eye? It’s an expression made up of many things. It happens when someone is excited by someone, happy being with them, at what they say, at how they look back at them. Perhaps their eyes open a little wider, to catch more light. Whatever it is, you know it when you see it, and it probably makes your eyes sparkle, too.

Business Networking Organizations

The Five Types of Business Networking Organizations

Networking is the perfect way to help take your business to the next level. However, putting your eggs in one basket and depending on one networking group to satisfy all your needs won’t work. So, which business networking organizations should you join?

We all select different people in our lives that satisfy various needs that contribute to our well being; our parents provide comfort and guidance, our close friends provide support and cheer, our business relationships provide trust and honesty. While these satisfactions may overlap from group to group, it’s important to have more than one person you’re leaning on for all your emotional needs.

It’s the same with your networking groups! While you may find cheer and honesty in more than one group, it’s important to spread your interests to gain a varied support system. Business professionals who don’t have a lot of spare time often ask us which networking groups provide the biggest bang for their buck. There are five main types, and what works best depends on the business they’re in and the prospects they want to meet. Therefore, when selecting your business networking organizations, you need to understand which types are available so you can make an informed decision.

Here’s a quick rundown of the most familiar types.

The Five Types of Business Networking Organizations:

1. Casual Contact: A gathering of people from many different professions, usually in a mixer environment

2. Strong Contact: Usually only allows one person per profession, get together very regularly

3. Community Service Clubs: An opportunity to rub elbows with other very successful people

4. Professional Associations: Trade organizations that are very specific in purpose

5. Online: Social Media such as Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, where networking is constant

To better understand which business networking organizations fits you best, watch the video below.

 

Andy Lopata

The A-Z of Networking: T is for… (by Andy Lopata)

This month, Andy Lopata shares his networking tips which begin with the letter “T”

  • Technology
  • Tenacious
  • Thankful
  • Thoughtful
  • Time
  • Topical
  • Tribes
  • Trust
  • Truth
  • Tune In

Click here to watch this video

Please click below to see Andy’s playlist of his networking tips from A to Z.

https://ivanmisner.com/category/a-to-zs-of-networking/

By knowing why you are networking and what you want to achieve, it is possible to plan accordingly and get great, measurable results. If you have any comments about Andy’s “T” list or any additional “T” words about networking you will want to add to the list. please leave me a comment below.

Andy Lopata

As a business networking strategist, Andy Lopata works with companies on how to use networking tools to develop their businesses. Networking is not just about sales. Whether for lead generation, breaking down silos internally, recruitment and retention of top staff or developing future leaders, networks and collaboration have a key role to play. Andy works with clients to help recognize that role and put the strategy and skills in place to leverage it.

Business Trip

My Must-Remember Items When Packing for a Business Trip

I travel several months a year, speaking to business professionals about networking. When traveling, especially internationally, I try very hard not to forget important items I need for meetings or speaking to groups of people. . . but I admit it’s hard to remember everything all the time. An international magazine interviewed me recently on this topic. The reporter asked me, “What should business people think about taking with them on a business trip that they might not normally think about?” This list would benefit anyone taking a trip, so I’m sharing it here.

First, a few somewhat obvious things that can certainly come in handy on a business trip:

  1. Plenty of business cards: It is never a good idea to run out of business cards while traveling. Tuck extras in your suit pockets, wallet/purse, briefcase, and luggage. I put stacks in many places to ensure I always have extra.
  2. Name badge: If you do any networking while traveling on business, have your own professional name badge. Don’t rely on the hosting organization to do your name badge and do it right.
  3. Extra pens: Make sure you have a pen with you while you are doing meetings. I always find that I need to write some reminders down while I’m talking to people. It’s troublesome to track down a pen while you are busy networking.

Somewhat less obvious things:

  1. The contact information (or business cards) of all your referral partners. I sometimes find that having that information at my fingertips allows me to give referrals to people while I’m out networking.
  2. Hand sanitizer: I know this may sound a little bit like “Mr. Monk,” the germaphobe title character of a television series. However, I have found that since I’ve started using hand sanitizer after shaking many, many hands, that I have been getting far fewer colds than I used to get. Just be tactful about the way you use it. Don’t desperately and obviously spray your hands every time you shake someone’s hand.
  3. Breath mints: As obvious as it may sound, I can assure you from experience that many people have no idea they need them.
  4. Memory stick: Many times I have either needed to get a copy of something or give a copy of a file or presentation to people while out networking. Having a memory stick handy has been very helpful on several occasions.
  5. Camera: A camera is great if you want to memorialize some occasion or a meeting with someone important to you. A video camera can be important for anyone that blogs. It gives you a chance to interview someone during your travels. I do this almost every time I travel.
  6. Tools for your business: For me, that includes many copies of my bio for introductions whenever I speak. Despite that my team sends the bio in advance, there are many times when I arrive and they don’t have the bio handy. Another tool for me is a PowerPoint remote clicker. This is really important for me. I don’t want to rely on someone else to move the slides forward as I present. Also, you know that memory stick I mentioned earlier? I have copies of my talks on there just in case the group I’m speaking to has misplaced my presentation material.

When I asked some colleagues and other business travelers what they would add to the list, they added some that I hadn’t thought of. Here are some of their suggestions:

  1. A phone charger. I agree heartily, especially seeing how much these items cost in an airport, or in another country. And you certainly won’t want to forget your laptop power cord. Besides being expensive, it’s often impossible to be able to get the right one easily, if at all. Also, you should write a “note to self” to fully charge all of your electronic devices the night before you leave.
  2. Power adapter/converter. Though it’s usually easy to pick up a “universal” adapter at airports or stores in heavily populated areas, in this electronic age you would hate to need one and not be able to find one. It is best to have one (or two) packed and ready when you need it!
  3. The right clothes. Most of you have experienced differences in temperature or weather from one town to another, so you can imagine how different the conditions could be across the country or around the world. It’s never been easier to plan what clothes to bring, thanks to online weather forecasts for every region of the earth. Of course, there are no guarantees where the weather is concerned.
  4. A good book. Hear, hear! Those airport layovers, delays, and long flights can seem even longer without something interesting to read.

I’m extremely fortunate to have had the opportunity to travel extensively for both business and pleasure. Over the years, Bob and I have accumulated numerous tips to help aid overseas business travel. It is also important to know the role that cultural differences play into global networking and how understanding those differences becomes very important as we do business around the world. If you are preparing to network in Asia?–Consider These Valuable Tips

There are certainly more items to include, but the above can certainly make or break an important business trip. So you definitely do not want to forget them.

great leaders

Great Leaders Do Not Tell You What To Do, They Show You How It’s Done

If you’re a business owner or entrepreneur, you know how challenging it can be to find the path towards leadership that works for you. If you find yourself wondering how to become great leaders in business, follow these steps:

Click here to watch this video

The Path to Business Leadership

1. Focus on solutions, not problems
2. Collaborate with your team
3. Be a culture champion
4. Care about the success of others–REALLY care!

Finally, leadership is about accomplishing more than people thought possible. In your business, what are your wildest dreams? What’s your ultimate goal? Never lose that idea and constantly be working towards it.

Watch the video to hear more about the four steps towards becoming a business leader, and leave me a comment on what YOU think makes a leader.

Target Market

Developing Your Target Market

In the second edition of my book “Networking like a Pro”, I share one of the biggest mistakes I see business professionals make. It is trying to be everything to everyone.  Having a target market for focusing your efforts makes networking more effective.

Staying in Your Lane

Have a clear understanding of who your ideal clients actually are. This is your strategy. When you try to be everything to everyone, you wind up being very little to anyone.  Identify the types of businesspeople that make up your target market. This allows you to better focus your resources in the areas that are most likely to provide success.

Spheres of Influence

The most successful networkers have developed a thorough strategic planning process. They have deepened their relationships with a variety of people across diverse networks. A sphere of influence is a group of people who are most likely to work with you. To determine your spheres of influence take a look at which of your past and current clients you enjoyed working with the best. Then, determine what they have in common. Look for similarities in their businesses or personalities and write down a few of them as your spheres of Influences.

Target Markets

Once you have established two or three target markets, focus your networking on them. Building your business is all about leveraging your strengths within the context of your prospects’ needs, and then networking with as many of those people as you can.

Follow these steps and you will build a great foundation to understand and develop your target market. Find out more about this topic in my book, “Networking Like a Pro: Turning Contacts into Connections – Second Edition“. Please go to my website at https://ivanmisner.com/books/ to learn how to purchase any of my books.

five least important skills

Five Mistakes To Make When Networking

In this video, I share the five least important skills for networking according to a survey of 3400 business people. Knowing what not to do can be as important as knowing what to do. Furthermore, it is also clear from these results that great networkers and great salespeople have different skill sets.

In conclusion, many people think you need to be an extrovert to be a good networker, but that’s not what the survey says. Here are five least important skills for networking.

You don’t need to be:

  1. Fearless
  2. A salesperson
  3. A self-promoter
  4. Direct
  5. Social media savvy

That’s right: social media skills are not an indicator of great networking ability. The under-30 crowd ranked social media savvy second-to-last instead of last. It’s also clear from these results that great networkers and great salespeople have different skill sets.

So if you want to be a great networker, understand the five least important skills to be a great networker because you may be doing things in terms of being very direct and being fearless and asking for the sale, these kinds of things that actually may not serve you in the way that you hoped that they would serve you. The combination of knowing what to do as well as what not to do, I think, will help you to network like a pro.

wheels

Dude, Where are My Wheels

I recently visited Los Angeles and drove through an area that I grew up around. I was regaling my wife with a personal story about a job I had in a pretty tough neighborhood when I was in college. It was about how having a strong network can always help you in difficult situations. At the end of the story, she said, “You have to write about this “Wheels” experience!” So, here it is.

Dude, Where are My Wheels

I grew up in a very working-class environment early in my life. It was roughly 1975, working on my bachelor’s degree while I was employed at a hardware store in South El Monte, California. Now, you have to understand that South El Monte was a pretty tough neighborhood. We had a fair number of gangs active in the area.

We closed the store one evening around 7:00 p.m. It took about 30 minutes to close all the registers and leave the store. In that 30-minute period, a lot could happen in that particular neighborhood. Around 7:30 p.m., we walked out of the store and found one of the employee’s cars sitting in the parking lot. It was literally propped up on blocks. Someone had stolen all four of my co-worker’s “awesome” wheels and left the car on four concrete blocks where it sat, waiting for him when he got off work. Clearly, he was apoplectic when we walked out. He went absolutely crazy!

What’s amazing to me was that one of the employees who lived locally said to the other employee, “Calm down, relax and give me a while. I’ll make a call and see what I can do. Go back into the store and wait. I’ll let you know when to come back out.”

Within an hour, he came in and said it was OK to come back out. We went back into the parking lot, and lo and behold, there was his car with the wheels. They were re-installed, bright shiny rims and all — good as new!

It turns out that the local employee had friends in the gang that was known for heisting awesome wheels off cars. He simply made a call to one of the members he knew well (to clarify, he wasn’t in the gang, but he “knew people” in the gang). All it took to have the wheels returned was one phone call to that one gang member he knew well. I was about 18 years old, and I think this was one of the first really powerful lessons I experienced about the value of  an important tenet in networking.

Knowing the right people

This unfortunate story in my youth taught me the importance of knowing the right people. It helped me to learn that it’s not what you know — or who you know, it’s how well you know each other that counts.

five ways to better networking

Five Ways To Better Networking

Last year, I gathered almost 3,400 survey responses from business people around the world.   I gave them a list of almost 20 different characteristics on networking and I asked them to pick the top behaviors they’d like to see in a great networker.  From those responses, I have identified the top characteristics of what people believe makes a great networker and have listed the five ways to better networking in this video.

Good Listener.

At the top of the list is being a good listener.  Our success in networking depends on how well we can listen and learn. The faster you and your networking partner learn what you need to know about each other, the faster you’ll establish a valuable relationship. A good networker has two ears and one mouth and should use them both proportionately.  Listen to people’s needs and concerns and find opportunities to help them.  You can’t help others if you don’t know what they need, and you find that out by listening. In many ways, networking is about connecting the dots but to do that you have to listen so that you can help people make the connections they are looking for.

Positive attitude.

The first thing that people see from you is your attitude, how you take things in general. A consistently negative attitude makes people dislike you and drives away referrals; a positive attitude makes people want to associate and cooperate with you. Positive business professionals are like magnets.  Others want to be around them and will send their friends and family to them.

Helps Others/Collaborative.

People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.  Helping people shows that you care.  One survey respondent said that “people want to network with individuals who have a collaborative attitude.”  Helping others can be done in a variety of ways. For example, clip a helpful article and email it to someone. Furthermore, put them in touch with a person who can help them with a specific challenge.  Several respondents commented about not wanting to network with people who are “in it for themselves.” A willingness to collaborate and help others is essential. It builds trust and helps establish a strong relationship.

Sincere/Authentic.

You can offer the help, the thanks, the listening ear, but if you are not sincerely interested in the other person, they will know it!  Those who have developed successful networking skills convey their sincerity at every turn.  One respondent stated that “it’s all about the authenticity” that someone shows you.  We have all seen people who are seemingly good at networking but lack sincerity.  Faking it isn’t sustainable.

Follows Up.

If you offer opportunities, whether a simple piece of information, a special contact, or a qualified business referral, to someone who consistently fails to follow up, you’ll soon stop wasting your time with this person.  One respondent said that when it comes to networking, “the fortune lies in the follow up” and many people just “don’t follow up anymore.”

Click here to watch the video

Communication

What a Brigadier General Taught Me About Communication

I recently received an email from someone I didn’t know.  His email could only be described as “War and Peace!”  The original printing of the book War and Peace was 1,225 pages long.  His message felt like that to me.  It was long.  It was so long, I sent it back to him and told him this story about communication:

One of the best lessons in communication I received as a young man was given to me by a retired Brigadier General who taught in the Doctoral program at USC.  He was an amazing professor who always shared the most incredible stories and taught valuable lessons.

The course was “Management Theory.”  He asked us to write a ten-page paper on a specific topic relating to management and to turn it in within the next two weeks.  There were only twelve students in the class and we all dutifully showed up with the paper in hand two weeks later.  He collected all of our papers and sat down at his desk in front of the class. After skimming through all 12 submissions, he stood up, and handed them all back to us!  He then told us to come back with a five-page paper on the same topic.  He told us to take out all the fluff and get to the heart of the issue and turn it in next week.

We were furious – but we did it.  The next week we came back with the five-page papers.  He then went through the same routine, handed them all back and said, “You can cut more. Make it two pages and turn it in next week!”  As you might guess, we were incredulous… and we did as we were told.

We came back the following week with our two-page paper.  As you might guess – he looked at them and gave them back one last time and said, “Now, make it one page and bring it back next week along with your original ten-page paper.”  We were beyond annoyed, but we did as we were told.

We all came back the next week and turned in both papers.  He then shared one of the most valuable lessons of my academic training.  He said, “During your career, you will be working for people who are incredibly busy.  They may ask you for a report on an important topic for the company. They may not have the time to read your long-drawn out papers going through detailed minutiae covering your brilliant recommendations” (I think that might have been sarcasm).  He went on to say, “If you can learn to de-obfuscate your writing and boil things down into a simple, easy to digest document – busy people will respond better your work.”  He said, “Always create an Executive Summary that bullet points the critical findings, recommendations, or advice.  Put that at the front of your longer report.  This will give the boss a chance to get an overview of the issue and then allow him or her to go deeper into your findings from the full report.”  He also suggested that your summary bullet points make reference to the relevant page or pages that this issue was covered in the full report.

That was incredible advice that has served me well over the years.  Your communication doesn’t have to be War and Peace to be effective.  Heck, the Gettysburg Address was only 272 words long (yes, shorter than this blog, I know).

This was a great lesson for me.  I hope you find it to be a great lesson for you as well.

 

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