referral coincidence

Referral Coincidence?

In this video, I share a story about a referral coincidence.

A misconception occurs when someone focuses on the referral rather than on the relationship that produced the referral. Understand the process of building relationships. It’s not the number of contacts you make that’s important, but the ones that you turn into lasting relationships. You’ll always get better results trying to deepen relationships with people you already know than starting relationships with strangers.

Luck is where persistence meets opportunity.

Networking is not about luck, it’s about relationships. No one person is likely to turn your business around, but together, over a long time, they can make a difference.

Click here to watch this video

 

Good is the enemy of great

Excellence Or Mediocrity: Good Is The Enemy Of Great

One phrase has been recently rattling around in my mind, “Good is the enemy of great” by Jim Collins

This reminded me of the classic quote, “Don’t be afraid to give up the good to go for the great”,  by John D. Rockefeller.  He believed that the truly ambitious among us have a distaste for comfort. They never settle for good enough, because they know that good enough turns into just okay after a while.

A century later, Jim Collins expands on this concept in his book, “Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don’t”, that complacency is the enemy of being great. According to Jim, “The enemy of great is not bad, the enemy is good.”  He believes that at the heart of truly great companies is a corporate culture that promotes disciplined people to behave in a manner towards greatness.

In any business organization where friendships are critical in order to network effectively, it is sometimes difficult to hold their friends accountable for their performance in the group. Many times, historically successful groups will go through a slow phase and be struggling to grow. When I ask these groups why they believe they are struggling, they tend to answer the same way. It is a variation of one of the following themes: “The group is becoming too lax; we’re not following the system very well.” or, “We’re letting people get away with things we shouldn’t accept.”

Accepting mediocrity within the network is often at the core of a group facing challenges. When groups accept mediocrity, growth and performance stagnate. Making the transition from good to great doesn’t require a high-profile CEO, the latest technology, innovative change management, or even a fine-tuned business strategy. Instead, they are never afraid of giving up the good to go for the great because the good never quite pays off the same way.

Seriously, why accept mediocrity when excellence is an option? People, just like water, tend to seek the path of least resistance. The problem is that the path of least resistance may not be the best. If you expect the best from your fellow members, you will get it. If you expect less than the best from your members … you will get it. Therefore, expect the best. You’ll get better results!

Andy Lopata

The A-Z of Networking: G is for… by Andy Lopata

Another guest video by Andy Lopata about the A to Z’s of Networking.

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

• Generosity
• Global
• Goals
• Gratitude
• Guts

and much more…

Click here to watch this video

By knowing why you are networking and what you want to achieve, it is possible to plan accordingly and get great, measurable results.

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.

Summertime Networking

Summertime Networking

The temperature is rising and so are your networking opportunities!

Every once in a while I hear a BNI member say that their chapter slows down during the summer months. I also know of many chapters that flourish in the summer with new members and referral growth! So why are some up and some down? It is a matter of gearing towards the season.

In the Northern Hemisphere, winter coats sell better in December than July and bathing suits sell better in June than January! So have you changed your networking season?

What summertime networking activities are you attending? These may not seem like a networking mixer events, however, you should still always be prepared.

… BBQ?

… Pool Party?

… Picnic?

… Golf… Boating… Tennis… Gardening?

Pool Party Networking:

Remember that a good networker has two ears and one mouth and uses them proportionately! Listen to what everyone is really saying.

– Are they complaining about business?  Invite them to visit your BNI chapter!

– Are they excited about a wedding?  Share about those in your chapter that are a good referral for them!

– Do they have a frozen drink in their hand complaining about staying cool at home? Talk about your HVAC member!

– Do they need work on their home or need a new home? It’s Referral time!

– Are they talking about the stock market? Mention your BNI financial planner!

Ball Game Networking:

A great networking strategy is to get tickets to a ball game and invite a BNI member and a potential referral. Whether your team wins or loses great connections can be made from the stands!

Above is a photo of me with the ceremonial ball from when I did the first pitch for an AA Baseball team in LA.  It was BNI night and we had a blast with members and staff from Southern California.

The FOUR hour one to one:

If you are a golfer, you know what I mean! Find a fellow BNI Member who also plays golf. Set up a round and you each bring a client to introduce to each other. What a great way to solidify a top referral source! Do you not play golf? Is there an activity like bowling that you do that you and a fellow member can invite clients too?

Any place you go with family, friends or strangers is a networking opportunity!

… Bring your business cards!

… Remember your fellow members’ cards too!

The GOAL?

… One referral per event you attend!

… Who have you met at these summertime events that you can invite to your chapter as a visitor?

Here’s to a GREAT summer in the Northern Hemisphere filled with lots of referrals! Those BNI Members south of the Equator can wait to use these tips in December.

 

leader

A Great Leader Does 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 a leader 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.

Waldo

Lt. Col. Rob “Waldo” Waldman – Keynote Speaker on Leadership, Teamwork, & Sales Growth

The 2017 U.S. National BNI Conference was honored to have Lt. Col. Rob “Waldo” Waldman as our keynote speaker. Most noteworthy, he taught those attending the conference to have a “Wingman”. Hence, someone like a business coach who can fly by your side and hold you accountable. In addition, Business is not combat because combat implies conflict and resistance. It’s about winning, losing and survival. Survival, most of all, is never fun. Rather, business should be about cooperation, communication, and a commitment to a core set of values that serve others.  As a result, Business is about relationships and results.

PUSH IT UP!

Motivational keynote speaker: Lt. Col. Rob “Waldo” Waldman

Watch his promotional video by clicking here

Especially relevant, Waldo helps people and organizations adapt to change, break performance barriers and improve leadership skills in business and life. First of all, he brings the perfect mix of energy blended with real-world experience to inspire audiences to action. The New York Times bestselling author of “Never Fly Solo”, Waldo is a former combat decorated fighter pilot. In addition, he uses this experience to provide real-world solutions on how to overcome fear, increase sales, and improve collaboration, teamwork, and trust in business.

Therefore, Waldo’s ultimate objective is to raise the performance standards of your team by motivating each individual to commit themselves to excellence. Furthermore, He will prepare those attending for adversity, to overcome their fears, and to build trusting relationships in their personal and professional lives.

In conclusion, I highly recommend Lt. Col. Rob “Waldo” Waldman to be your wingman as your keynote speaker at your event. By creating a unique, powerful, and valuable meeting experience, Waldo exceeds expectations, inspires positive change and improves the performance of your attendees.

For more information, please see his website at yourwingman.com

Andy Lopata

The A-Z of Networking: F is for… by Andy Lopata

Another guest video by Andy Lopata about the A to Z’s of Networking.

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

• Farming
• First Impressions
• Focus
• Follow-up
• Friendships

and much more…

Click here to watch this video

By knowing why you are networking and what you want to achieve, it is possible to plan accordingly and get great, measurable results.

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.

No Complaining Challenge

No Complaining Challenge

Tiffanie Kellog is joined by Deb Cheslow, of Cheslow Achievement Group, as they chat about the “No Complaining Challenge”.

Can you NOT complain?

The 30-Day “No Complaining Challenge” is a great way to reset your perspective.  The idea is a commitment to refrain from complaining. blaming, and justifying for 30 straight days.  If you slip up, restart at Day 1. It may sound simple, but it is definitely not easy.  Deb Cheslow has issued this challenge to literally thousands – maybe tens of thousands – of people and she can count on one hand the number of them who actually made it through the entire 30 days.

Beth and I took the “No Complaining Challenge” back in 2012 and it completely changed our lives.

  • Who wants to join me in making the world a better place?
  • Would you be up to creating a better positive life while eliminating some of the negative as well?

Thanks to Tiffanie Kellog and Deb Cheslow (debcheslow.com/committing-no-complaining-challenge) for reigniting the “No Complaining Challenge”!  Take it out for a spin and let me know what changes you notice in the comments below!

Click here to watch this video

Who's In Your Story

Who’s In Your Story?

I share a personal story about someone who has impacted my life, my high school football coach, Art Hiett.

Click here to watch this video

Who’s In Your Story?

A BNI Foundation-USA Video Contest!

WHO: When you were growing up, did you have an adult (teacher, coach, mentor, NOT immediate family) who significantly influenced your life? Then, we at the BNI Foundation want to hear from YOU!
 
WHY: We want you to share your story with us so we can share it with the world so people will see and hear the huge impact that adults can have on kids!
 
WHAT: So, tell us in a 1 minute or less video, about the person who inspired you, possibly even changed the trajectory of your life when you were between age 6 and graduating from high school. We especially welcome stories in which a small gesture or action made a big difference, showing how easy it can be to help our youth, without always spending a ton of time over many years. It does NOT need to be professionally filmed or edited. Just grab your phone and press record.
 
WHEN: May 18 – June 15, 2017
 
WHERE: U.S., Email your video contest submissions to: marketing@bnifoundation.org
 
– Subject Line should read: Who’s In Your Story? Video Contest
– Email should include:
  • Name
  • Location
  • Video (1 minute or less) embedded or attached
  • Link to Google Docs/Drive platform for downloading video
 
HOW: (RULES): All submissions must:
– Be NO more than 1 minute long
– State, at start of video, your name & location (city & state)
– Be received by 11:59 pm (Eastern Time) on June 15, 2017
– Be a spoken testimonial of how this special person positively influenced your life
– Include a signed photo release consent form (downloadable here)
 
BONUS WHY: (PRIZES): 3 Overall Winners
– 1st prize – 2 days in Austin, TX for winner + 1 guest (1 day to be spent with Ivan & Beth Misner), including airfare and hotel!
– 2nd prize – $75 Amazon Gift Card
– 3rd prize – $50 Amazon Gift Card

 

Strategic Alliances

Strategic Alliances

A strategic alliance is an arrangement between two companies that have decided to share resources to undertake a specific, mutually beneficial project. With strategic alliances, each member will contribute to your success. No one person is likely to turn your business around, but together, over a long time, they can make a difference. By having a series of small actions over time, you can gradually enhance your relationships and really yield big results

Don’t give up if there’s no immediate payoff. The key is to stay in touch. The best strategic alliances stay connected several times over the year. Plus, you meet in person on several occasions. During that time, you discuss some really simple ways that you can help each other. Therefore, you gradually enhance the relationship.

Successful networking is a series of small actions. Most people who are successful at networking and creating strong strategic alliances view the process as a series of small actions taken with many people to create long-term positive growth for your company. It’s not a get rich scheme. By working with multiple people over a long period of time, you build your business. Don’t just write somebody off if they can’t add something or contribute something to your business immediately.

If you are a member of a networking group, look at the members of the group. Each of them will contribute to your success and they layer a little bit of success on top of each other for you. Each one is a little layer of success for you. No one person in your chapter is likely to turn your business around, but together over a long period of time; they can make a dramatic difference.

In conclusion, I highly recommend that you form strategic alliances with others. By working with multiple people over a long period of time, you build an incredibly solid foundation for successful business.

characteristic

The Least Important Networker Characteristic

What is the least important characteristic for a great networker?

The answer might surprise you.

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

Click here to watch this video

Networking

Four Tips for Networking at Non-Networking Events

You can network anywhere, including events where it might not at first occur to you to try it—and, paradoxically, it’s at these non-traditional networking settings where you’ll get the most bang for your buck. Why? Because not many people think of it. You’ve got the field to yourself, with many opportunities to develop lasting relationships with potential referral partners.

  1. Person-to-Person

What non-traditional settings are we referring to? Well, everybody goes to parties, and the holiday season is full of them. It’s also a business slowdown season for many of us who are not in retail. But networking is not just a New Year’s Day to Thanksgiving activity—it’s year-round. Holiday parties and other social mixers bring new opportunities to network, even more than the rest of the year.

When we tell people this, we usually get strange looks. They think of boorish sharpies selling time-shares to your aunt and uncle at your grandparents’ 50th wedding anniversary or trying to round up business at funerals. But networking is not just trying to sell something or passing business referrals; it’s building meaningful relationships and social capital. Master networkers understand this. That’s why they’re always networking.

You’re already in a relationship with everybody you know. The only question is how developed that relationship is. Is it a relationship of visibility, in which you know each other but haven’t had dealings? Is it credibility, in which you’ve interacted enough to establish a degree of mutual trust? Or has it deepened over time to the point of profitability, with both parties receiving mutual benefits as a result of assistance, business referrals, or other interactions?

In today’s environment, it’s easy for us to lose that personal touch when we do so much of our communicating via email and cell phone. The fact is, most relationships develop through physical presence in one-to-one interactions and get stronger every time we meet face to face. The holidays are times when we are more likely to see people in a social setting, and this setting definitely lends itself to building relationships. There are, however, some things that are important when networking at a holiday social—or at any event, for that matter.

  1. How Can I Help?

“Givers Gain” is the number one rule to remember. You should always be thinking: How can I help this person? Many of us know this and try to apply it to our relationships, but we’re more inclined to do it instinctively with those in the profitability category. How can we apply it to the relationships that are in the visibility and credibility categories?

At a social event, you ask somebody, “How’s it going?” What’s the typical reply? Probably something like, “Great, things couldn’t be better.” That’s a canned response that people give because they want to be polite and because they know nobody really wants to hear their troubles…but it’s not usually the whole truth.

Things can always be better—that is, there are surely ways you can help—but most of people aren’t inclined to go into detail or let others know what’s going on, especially at social events. The best way to find out is to avoid generalities like “How are things?” Ask more specific questions.

In a conversation I had recently, I asked an individual how things were going and got the standard answer that things were great, the company was expanding, and business better than expected. My next question was “Are you hitting all of your goals?” Yes, the business was exceeding all of its goals by a large margin.

Sounds like this person didn’t need any help, you say? On the contrary: to me it sounded like a big opportunity. Think about it: a company that was expanding faster than the owner projected. What kind of help might it need?

Many consider networking just another way to get clients, but when you think in terms of building relationships, a chance to help is a big opportunity. That help can be provided in many forms, each as valuable as the next.

In this case I was able to make some introductions that the individual was very grateful for. But it was only after getting past the generalities that I was able to figure this out.

Always plan on maximizing your networking productivity during the holiday season. Remember, networking means developing relationships, and the holidays are filled with opportunity.

  1. Be Sincere

If you’re networking successfully at a non-networking event, people won’t even know it. You’re genuinely looking for ways to help other people, and your concern for the person you’re talking with is plainly apparent. Anyone who is networking exclusively for personal gain comes across as shallow and insincere.

A good networker doesn’t have to work at sincerity. She really cares about making connections for others, not just for herself. Some people are so accomplished and successful at networking that they are able to network virtually anywhere. No one minds your using an opportunity to share information that will benefit others, even when that exchange takes the form of a business card at a bar mitzvah.

  1. Honor the Event

This one should be a no-brainer, but we all know some scorched-earth, overzealous networkers who trawl the room at a party in pursuit of a sale, any sale. They may do the same, less blatantly, at family and purely social events, but this is still the exact opposite of what networking is all about. Remember, relationships are the name of the game. Socials are a great place to get visibility and credibility, so focus on building these aspects of relationships.

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