Ivan Misner, Author at Dr. Ivan Misner® - Page 3 of 97
stay in touch

Seven Strategies to Stay in Touch

People often ask me, “how can I get back in touch with people or stay in touch with people that I haven’t seen or spoken with recently?”

If you want to connect or reconnect with others, do what is best for you, but go to where these people want to meet with you. So, here are seven strategies that will help you improve in this area — now. If you can’t do them all — do what works for you.

Don’t be a cave dweller. Please watch this video

1. Sort through your list.

You can’t stay in touch with everyone. Who do you want to make sure to stay connected with and why? It could be personal, it could be professional, but create a list that you want to focus on.

2. Use the system they use.

It doesn’t have to be Facebook or LinkedIn — use Pinterest or other programs, Snapchat, What’s App — whatever they use. Each of my children use different systems.  If I want to connect with them — I need to go where they are. For my oldest daughter, it’s texting or a phone call. My second daughter, it’s What’s App or texting. For my son, it’s an online game called Steam. I have some business associates who only reach out to me on Facebook or LinkedIn. Others are strictly emailed. The key here — is to go where the people you want to talk to, hangout.

3. Use social media platforms.

Use social media platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter to your advantage by sharing news and reading updates without having to reach out to people on an individual basis. Social media is fantastic. Instead of starting your next call with, “What’s new?” you can jump to, “You cut off your hair!” “You have a new job!” If you need help with this, contact Brian Bentzen, my social media coordinator.

4. From time to time, use snail mail.

Yes, OMG, send a letter or a card.  It’s so “old school” and it’s almost guaranteed that someone will read it.

5. Skype or other instant message systems.

I’m not a big fan but — it’s not about me, it’s about the other person. What are they using? I see many people using messaging systems online? If you want to stay connected, connect where they are.

6. Periodic phone calls.

I know, crazy idea, actually talk to people. Your smartphone has a green button — use it. If appropriate, set up regular calls. My wife and her sister have done that for many years.

7. Face to face.

Don’t be a “cave dweller.” Nothing beats actually meeting someone face to face and having a conversation. You have to eat breakfast and lunch every day, so why not do this a few times a week with a good referral partner? You can kill two birds with one stone by strategizing with your referral partner about how to help each other over a meal.

Benign neglect is a horrible thing when it comes to building social capital.  Start today to stay in touch. Pick a few of the techniques I listed above and “touch” someone. You have to start by making a commitment to improving in this area. If you haven’t been good at this in the past, start to focus on improving today. I would love to hear any more that you might have. Do you have a strategy to add? Or an example of how you use one of the seven? Share it in the comments.

greatest asset

How talking too much in class turned into my greatest asset

Those tendencies standing “in your way” can be “the way”‘ to success and can become your greatest asset. When I was in elementary school, I generally received good reports from my teachers. However, one thing that came up time and time again was a comment by almost all of my teachers: “Ivan talks too much in class.”

My mother had numerous conversations with me about this but to no avail. I figure that she thought my grades were pretty good and she generally liked to pick and choose her battles on issues. Consequently, she didn’t really push the matter, and so… I talked and talked and talked in class. It showed up on many of my report cards. My teachers felt that it was a problem for me in school. On the other hand, my mother didn’t give me much grief on the subject.

My Greatest Asset

My talking too much in class was thought of as a roadblock by my teachers. Candidly, at one point, they almost had me convinced that it was a problem. My mother — not so much. She didn’t see my talking as such a big issue and that gave me the freedom to be myself. True, I had to tone it down a bit — but it wasn’t drummed out of me. I am grateful for that because, despite the fact that some people thought that talking was blocking my way, the truth is — it would eventually become “the way” for my life.

While the teachers definitely felt that it was a roadblock to my learning, I think they may have been wrong on that. What my teachers saw as a problem ended up becoming an incredible asset. I talk a lot. I talk to individuals, small groups, middle size groups, large groups, and massive groups. Any way you cut it — I’m a talker. It is my greatest asset. My job today is to talk to people. In fact, I get paid to talk. I get paid a crazy number to talk to companies, associations, and organizations. I love to share ideas with people, I love to coach people, and most of all I love to inspire people. And to do that — I talk.

Over the years, I’ve learned that oftentimes, What is in the way, becomes the way”.  

I believe the secret is to take the thing that is “in the way” and channel your efforts in a manner that makes that problem part of the solution. I have noticed that my wife, Elisabeth, has been able to channel what was in the way for her as a child and how powerfully that has served her. She was constantly being told that she was “too rebellious.” She had a very hard time doing things she was told she had to do just because an authority figure in life told her she must do them. Now when she was faced with a medical diagnosis and told by her medical doctor that there was only one path, her strong “rebellious” nature found another, more effective and gentle healing path. What was in her way has become her way!

Some of us do this unconsciously. However, imagine how impactful this paradigm could be if we were more conscious of it at work in our lives. I would encourage you to think about something you were told was “in the way” as part of your life? Has it “become the way” for you and your greatest asset? If so, how? For me — of the first things in my life that were in the way was that I talked too much in class. Looking back, I’d have to say it worked out pretty well. 

Waste Your Time

Ten Ways to Waste Your Time in a Networking Group

Membership in a good networking group can be worth a considerable amount of money. Especially if you calculate the time you spend each month and the business value of your time. Do not waste your time. Make your time and efforts worthwhile. Don’t squander your opportunity by doing the wrong things in those meetings!

Success in a networking group comes when the rest of the group members trust you enough to open up their best referrals to you. Until they’ve seen your work, you have to earn that trust by demonstrating your professionalism to them. Since I founded BNI almost 25 years ago, I’ve seen how people have truly succeeded in networks–and I’ve seen how people have totally wasted their time in them.

Please watch this video:

The top 10 ways to waste your time in a networking group (avoid all of them):

No. 10. Go ahead, air your grievances among your fellow networkers and guests; after all, they really want to hear about your complaints.

No. 9. Wing it in your 60-second presentations; you’ve got plenty more chances anyway.

No. 8. Use one-to-one meetings to talk about your networking group’s issues instead of learning a lot more about each other.

No. 7. Focus your efforts on selling your services primarily to the members of the group.

No. 6. Don’t rush following up on a member’s referral. They know where you are.

No. 5. Use others’ 60-second presentation time to think about what referrals you can give that week.

No. 4. Why invite your own guests? Just focus on those who show up.

No. 3. Don’t worry if you get to the meeting late. No one will notice.

No. 2. Be absent; it’s no big deal. You can just call in your referrals . . . right?

And the No. 1 way to waste your time in networking groups . . .

No. 1. It’s OK, take that phone call or text message during a meeting. It won’t bother anyone, and it’s a real sign of professionalism that everyone admires.

So there it isThe Top 10 Ways to Waste Your Time in a Networking Group! Print this out. Memorize it. Share it with your fellow networking members. Above all–avoid these mistakes! You’ll get a lot more out of your group and so will your fellow members.

I’d love to hear some more ways that are big time wasters in a networking group. Please leave your comments below. Let’s add to this list.

Body Language

The Ideal Body Language When Networking

Body language can be a powerful attractant or deterrent when it comes to building relationships with others. People assess you visually within the first few minutes of meeting you. I’ve been asked a lot about body language by the media over the years. Here are some of their questions along with my answers relating to the use of body language in networking environments.

1. What can you do to increase your confidence and to come off as warm, friendly or knowledgeable to others?

People over-think this issue. The answer is pretty straightforward — be more “interested” than “interesting.”  When you are meeting people, practice being an interested interviewer and an active listener. Learn about them and during the process make sure that your facial expressions match that interest. Don’t look bored — look engaged. You can do that with a smile, appropriate reaction to a comment or a few nods (but not like a bobblehead doll). Also, use your eyebrows to show your reaction to comments. Do this in an authentic way. If you really show interest in other people, you will be amazed at some of the stories you hear and people you meet. You will also make a great impression on these individuals. All of these things will help to make you look warm, friendly and confident.

2. What is the latest reputable science saying about hand gestures and how they effect the way we’re perceived by other people?

In a study done by Holler and Beatie, they found that gestures increase the value of someone’s message by 60 percent! They analyzed thousands of hours of TED talks and found one striking pattern. The most-watched TED Talks were done by people who used effective hand gestures.

Specifically, they analyzed the top and bottom TED Talks and found that the least popular TED Talks used an average of 272 hand gestures during the 18-minute talk, and the most popular TED Talks used an average of 465 hand gestures during their talk — or almost double!

time spend networking

How Much Time Should You Spend Networking?

People who say that networking played a role in their success spent an average of 6 1/2 hours a week networking and had half of their clients from their networking time. However, people who did not invest as much time networking also did not report as much reward. So, how much time should you spend networking?

Therefore, spend about 8-10 hours per week networking and do the right things to build the relationships first when networking.

The secret to getting more business through networking is. . . spending more time doing it!   OK, well, it’s a little more complicated than that because you have to spend time doing the right things.  However, devoting the necessary time is the starting point.  So how much networking time (or NetTime) should you spend developing your personal network and what kind of results can you expect to see?

The survey results

Based on a survey that I helped to write and conduct of over 12,000 business professionals from every populated continent in the world, we finally have a definitive answer to those questions.  The study found that people who said “networking played a role” in their success spent an average of 6.3 hours a week participating in networking activities.  On the other hand, the majority of people who claimed that “networking did NOT play a role” in their success spent only 2 hours or less per week developing their network.  

Clearly, those people who spent very little time engaged in the process felt that networking was not an effective way to build their business.  As with many other aspects of life, you clearly reap what you sow.  It’s no wonder that the people who didn’t invest as much time also did not realize as much reward.  This demonstrates the direct correlation between the amount of time you devote to the networking process and the degree of success that you will likely realize from it.

You may be reading this article and thinking – OK, I now know that I need to be spending at least 6 ½ hours a week networking.  Well, that’s true IF you want to be average (and what successful business person wants to be average)!   If on the other hand, you’d like to be above average – you need to devote more time than that to the cause.  The optimum amount of NetTime is more likely to be 8-10 hours a week if you want to be one of those people that are generating well over half their business from referrals.

How much time do you spend networking each week?  More?  Less? and what percentage of business do you get from your networking efforts?  Comment below.

‘No-Win’ Scenario

How I Approach The ‘No-Win’ Scenario

When I was an undergraduate in college, I needed to take one more “lab class” (a course that gives hands-on experience related to the topic). I’d taken lab classes in science and the only lab courses left according to my counselor was a lab class in mathematics. Now, I did fine with basic mathematics but the higher-level courses in Algebra and Geometry were just not my passion. OK, full disclosure, I hated those courses. So, when my counselor said that was the only choice left – I went on a quest, a quest to go through every single page of the course catalog for every single department throughout the University (except the Math department), to find any other class with a lab that I hadn’t already taken. I felt like it was a ‘No-Win’ scenario.

After a painstaking search through the huge catalog, I found one course that fit the bill. It was a course in the Hotel and Restaurant Management School at the University. The course was in Enology (the study of wines). The lab part was – wine tasting! Now, you might think that I was excited at first but the truth is – I hated wine. I really didn’t like it. The only thing is, I hated math more than I hated wine so – Enology it was!

I took this revelation to my department counselor and he said – “No! you can’t take that as your lab!” I said “Why not? It is a lab and it meets all the university requirements for me to complete my degree?” He said, “because it’s unheard of to use that as a lab in this department.” I then said, “But is it prohibited? Where in the department requirements does it say that it can’t be used?” He cocked his head and looked at me over the top of his glasses and said, “alright Misner, give me the paper, I’ll sign it and get out of here.” I smiled and said, “Thank you very much professor,” and walked out with the paperwork to complete my Enology wine lab.

At that moment, I had no idea that the course I was taking would become a life-long passion. Remember, I didn’t really like wine back then. The course was much more difficult than students thought it would be. We had an almost 40% drop out rate for the class because it wasn’t just about “tasting” wines. It was about the wine industry and wine regulations so the tests were pretty tough. The tasting was only a part of the class. Today, it is a passion for me. I built out a cellar at my home in Austin (pictured here) that will hold 1,600 bottles (it’s not full – yet but I’m working on it) and I just started working on a Sommelier Certification just for fun. This path all began because I didn’t believe in the “No-Win scenario” as the only possibility relating to a challenge.

The ‘No-Win’ Scenario

I share this story with you because I truly believe that there are ‘almost’ always options to a no-win situation if you work hard to find alternative solutions (maybe even push the envelope a bit). For the Star Trek nerds out there – I’d like to think I’d pass the Kobayashi Maru simulation (the no-win scenario mentioned several times Star Trek).

What no-win situation have you been confronted with and how did you find a solution? I’d love for you to share it here.

Andy Lopata

The A-Z of Networking: S is for… (by Andy Lopata) [PART 1]

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

  • Seize the moment
  • Selfless
  • Sense of humor
  • Sensitivity
  • Show up
  • Sincerity
  • Solitude
  • Strategy
  • Supportive

and more about Networking “S” in PART 2: coming soon

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 “S” list or any additional “S” 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.

Fear of Rejection

The Fear of Rejection

The fear of rejection is a powerful driver in most people’s lives. It dictates what we take risks on, it makes us hold back, and it even hinders us from reaching our potential.

The fear of rejection is an emotion that many of us carry in our personal lives, but it can very easily seep into our professional one as well. We all come to that nexus point in our lives: we can do something, or we can do nothing. The fear of rejection almost held me back from promoting my book, The World’s Best Known Marketing Secret, because I was worried some bookstores wouldn’t want to carry my book. But you know what I realized?

Some will, some won’t–so what?

Watch the video below for more on conquering the fear of rejection.

Only taking the risk could result in success. 

Don’t let the fear of rejection stop you from doing what you are excited about. If you are excited about your business, don’t let rejection stop you. You have to just know that when it comes to asking somebody to do something; some will, some won’t, so what?  It’s not the end of the world.  For me, I just had to put myself in the frame of mind that what I was facing was simply not that big a thing. I now do this same thing whenever I’m faced with a situation which opens up the possibility for rejection.  I just tell myself that if someone doesn’t want to do what I’m asking, that’s fine. It’s not that big a deal.

What’s in the Way Becomes the Way

What’s in the Way Becomes the Way

When I was a child, my teachers all had the same complaint: “Ivan talks too much.” What my teachers saw as a problem ended up being an advantage. My job is to talk to people, and I am paid well to “talk too much”. I was able to take what was in the way and turn it around. It now becomes the way.

My teachers felt that it was a problem for me in school. My mother, on the other hand, didn’t give me too much grief on the subject. While the teachers generally thought it was a roadblock to my learning, I think they may have been wrong on that. What my teachers saw as a problem ended up cutting an incredible passion: I love to talk.

The secret here is to take the thing that’s in the way and channel your efforts in a manner that makes that problem part of the solution.

Please watch this video:

In 1985, I had a massive thing in his way. I had lost a client and could hardly manage to pay the mortgage, so I started a referral group to help myself and my friends generate more referrals in a structured way. That group became BNI, bringing success not just to me, but to thousands of business owners around the world.

Successful people know how to focus on a roadblock and turn it into an overpass. I think the secret here for anyone is to take the thing that is in the way and channel your efforts in a way that makes the problem part of the solution. What are your achievements?

To learn more, listen to BNI Podcast #564

Episode 564: What’s in the Way Becomes the Way

What’s been in your way that you’ve turned into an advantage? If something is in your way now, how do you plan to channel it? Share your experiences in the comments.

Organizational Culture

How Do You Create Organizational Culture

How do you create an organizational culture in a company? I’ve been asked this question a lot over the years. I’ve written about organizational culture but I’ve never written about how you “create” organizational culture. That’s what this piece is about – creating culture. In this piece, I’m going to give you my perspective based on my personal experience and observation.

Although these aren’t your experiences – I recommend you consider them and take from this perspective those things that resonate with you and will help you create your own organizational culture. If you are not the “boss,” consider how these themes may apply in your department of the company. The concepts can apply on a micro level as well as a macro level.

In all my reading about organizational culture, I’ve never seen it explained the way I experienced the process. I believe that organizational culture is created through the following three primary phases:

Organizational “traditions” lead to organizational “core values” which lead to organizational “culture.”

The traditions of a company (or department) are where things begin. Although you can have healthy traditions or unhealthy traditions, I’m going to refer to the healthy traditions of an organization. Traditions tell us who we are as a tribe. They tell us what is important to us and how we implement them within the organization. For me, in the establishment of BNI, those traditions included things like a focus on relationship building, education, accountability, recognition, and of course – Givers Gain (to name a few). Each of these items (and more) were the traditions that were inculcated throughout the program in the beginning. By making them such an important part of the company – they ended up becoming some of our organizational core values.

Core Values of an organization are the fundamental beliefs and guiding principles that dictate behavior and help people better understand expectations within the organizational context. For BNI, those core values included the five items above (education being changed to life-long learning) as well as positive attitude and traditions + innovation. Yes, I included traditions in our core values as I realized that traditions are critical to the ongoing success of an organization because they anchor us in the things that create great experiences. At the same time, I understood that innovation was key. Traditions tell you where you come from and innovation tells you where you want to go. I felt both were important for the success of the company.

Traditions lead to core values and core values lead to an organizational culture.

Consequently, the core values that are acted upon within an organization (or local unit… in BNI, a chapter), directly impact and create the culture. To me, the creation of culture is pretty straightforward. Understand the healthy traditions of an organization. Then practice and implement the organizational core values like a zealot. Be a fanatic about sharing them, discussing them, implementing them and writing about them. When you do these first two things well, you create an amazing culture.

Culture eats strategy for breakfast. If you are part of an organization with a great strategy and a marginal culture, you’ll struggle. If you are part of an organization with a marginal strategy but a great culture, you can do well. However, if you are part of an organization with a great strategy and a great culture you will be an industry leader. Culture is the secret sauce for organizational success.

If you want that kind of success for your organization pull out the material that talks about your organizational core values (if you don’t have them, think about your traditions and start to establish core values from them) and put them into practice as though your business depended on it (and by the way – it does).

not need your business card

No Thank You, I Do Not Need Your Business Card

Imagine you’re at a networking event. You are mixing and mingling and start passing out your business cards like candy. Suddenly, someone hands it back you and says, “No thank you, I do not need your business card.” This actually happened to a BNI Member. He wrote to me, astonished, and asked what I would do in his situation. Well, here’s my answer.

Please watch this video

How and When to Deliver Your Business Card

  • A business card is a tacit invitation to make a future connection.  How you handle that connection afterward will determine how responsive your new contact will be.  So be respectful of what you do after someone gives you their card.
  • You should always have plenty of business cards with you.  It still amazes me that people go to networking events and knowingly don’t bring cards with them.  I recently read a blog where many people said they didn’t bring cards so that they wouldn’t get spammed by people they meet.  Really?  Have they never heard of a spam filter?  I use it regularly with unwanted spam.  Besides, that argument is like saying I don’t want to advertise because someone might read the ad and cold call me?  What kind of logic is that?  Buck-up, dandelion, bring cards.  It is a “networking” event!
  • The ideal scenario is to have a meaningful (even if brief) conversation with someone where they ask for your business card (how to do that is an entirely different blog).  However, that doesn’t always happen.  When it doesn’t, it is still ok to offer your business card to someone.  There is nothing wrong with that.

Refusing to take someone’s offered card is just plain bad manners. What do you do if this happens to you?  Realize that some people just have little or no people skills and move on to someone who does.

The 29% Solution

The 29% Solution book is 10 years old

 

 

The book, The 29% Solution: 52 Weekly Networking Success Strategies, is ten years old.

This year, The 29% Solution is celebrating its 10 year anniversary. Looking back when Michelle and I shook hands in Long Beach, we began a memorable journey together as co-authors. Therefore, our journey included many, many hours of blending our writing styles, phone calls, and collaboration. Additionally, it included multiple versions of a title and cover design. Furthermore, our journey included changing the publisher mid-stream. Finally, it involved loads of radio interviews, speaking opportunities, and book signings. Most notably, our journey ended with a lasting friendship. Today’s blog is from my co-author, Michelle Donovan.
Happy Anniversary Michelle and a toast to “The 29% Solution”…CHEERS!
  

Celebrating 10 Years of Friendship and Collaboration in Seven Languages

By Michelle R. Donovan

Growing up in a small town outside of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, I never gave much thought to becoming a Wall Street Journal bestselling author. That is until I met Ivan Misner!

In 2006 I was performing the role of Education Coordinator for my BNI chapter, the Circle of Excellence, in BNI Western Pennsylvania. One week, while preparing for my spotlight, I came up with what I thought was a great idea for a book. I wanted to create a book for business owners that had one networking focal point each week for 52 weeks. I formulated an outline for the book and began to write a few chapters.

Since I had never written a book before, I thought it might be a good idea to share the concept with others to see if they too felt that the idea was a good one. There was one person in particular that I knew needed to see it and that was Deanna Tucci Schmitt, the owner of my BNI region at the time. Once she read the first two chapters, she said, “I think we need to show this to Ivan.”

As a BNI Director, I was scheduled to attend the next BNI Conference in Long Beach, CA with Deanna and some other colleagues. The plan was that Deanna would arrange a one-to-one with Ivan while at the conference to show him the concept. We had hoped that he would give us his blessing and maybe a few tips for a new author.

We met with Ivan around 9:30 pm in his suite. I remember it well because I was quite nervous. I didn’t know what to expect but I knew I would follow Deanna’s lead. Ivan, the icon of BNI, comes around the corner in a t-shirt and sweatpants. Instantly, I felt myself relax. The three of us discussed the concept while Ivan reviewed the outline and first few chapters. He passed it over to his wife, Beth. She gave her nod of approval. Ivan liked it!

What happened next changed my life. Ivan offered me two options 1) He could give me some tips and offer any help with some connections or 2) We could co-author the book and he would make me a bestselling author. Hmmmmm? Which would you choose? You guessed it. We shook hands on a co-authored book deal that would eventually make me and Ivan the Wall Street Journal bestselling authors of The 29% Solution.

Today, The 29% Solution is currently published in seven languages. When I see this book on my shelf in multiple languages, it warms my heart. I am reminded of how much I love to write, the generosity of my friend Ivan Misner and the true power of networking to make even my unimaginable dreams come true. I am grateful to Deanna for bringing Ivan and me together for a book that keeps on giving to its readers.

Happy Anniversary Ivan and a toast to The 29% Solution…CHEERS!

The 29% Solution: 52 Weekly Networking Success Strategies

 

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