Ask a Favor

When to Ask a Favor (classic video)

When is the right time to ask a favor? Building a relationship takes time, and cashing in your relationship capital before it has earned enough interest can be devastating.

The following video is classic rebroadcast of my “Ivanism” Garage to Global series, hosted by Entrepreneur.com, where I expand on catch phrases I have used frequently over the years. Originally published on March 30, 2016.

In this video, I discuss how to identify and prepare for the appropriate time to ask for a favor within the context of a business relationship. Social capital is a key factor when it comes to asking for favors from others.

Most of us have been in a situation where someone has asked for a favor before the social capital to make that kind of request. If you want to amass financial capital, you have to invest and grow your assets. Social capital works the same way. You have to invest before you can withdraw.

Throughout my career, I have had a huge number of folks come to me and ask me to promote something for them. The thing is the majority of those who contacted me had never even met me, had never had a conversation with me. If they did, they met me once and we had the briefest of conversations. They never invested in the relationship and yet they wanted a withdrawal from the relationship.

You may be shocked at the level of personal knowledge required for a deep referral relationship. You may want to argue that referrals should be all about business. I completely disagree. It takes a lot to develop this type of relationship. Those who do will certainly succeed at building a business from referrals.

When Is It Appropriate to Ask for a Favor?

So the answer to this question of when should you ask for a favor, before you ask for a withdrawal, make sure you make an investment and build a deep referral relationship.

Ignorance on Fire

Is Ignorance on Fire Ever a Good Thing? (classic video)

The following video is classic rebroadcast of my “Ivanism” Garage to Global series, hosted by Entrepreneur.com, where I expand on catch phrases I have used frequently over the years. Originally published on May 31, 2016.

I know, it’s a strange concept: Ignorance on fire is better than knowledge on ice.” Most people read that statement and think, someone who’s excited but ignorant can do more harm than good. I’m here to tell you that the opposite of your intuition is true. That’s right–and you’ll see why below.

Ignorance on fire

One thing I have learned over the last 30 years is I can teach people how to do something.

  • I can teach them how to network.
  • I can’t teach them to have a good attitude.
  • I can’t teach them to have a fire in your belly.
  • I don’t have time to send them back to mom to get retrained.

The only thing better than ignorance on fire is knowledge on fire. So as you develop skills and you develop knowledge, don’t lose that fire. Hang on to that.

I would rather have a member in BNI who really doesn’t know how to network but they are committed versus a member who says, “Yeah, I know how to do this,” but they are not committed. Ignorance on fire is better than knowledge on ice. The only thing better than that is knowledge on fire.

Networking Scorecard

Are you having problems signing up for “The Networking Scorecard”?

We have released a patch to resolve the issue that users with certain phone number formats were facing when signing up for the Networking Scorecard App. Please update the app and try the sign up again. For those who have previously downloaded it and you were experiencing problems, you will need to update it then sign up again.

You may go to the App Store and update or click this link and update:

https://itunes.apple.com/in/app/the-networking-scorecard/id1318616340?mt=8

American Visionary

American Visionary: The Story of Barbara Marx Hubbard

Beth and I are very pleased to share this movie with you. We are the Executive Producers of this film and we feel that the story of Barbara Marx Hubbard’s life and mission deserves to be told. She has inspired many the world over, and her work is changing the world for the better. We invite you to learn more about her life’s work and message in the exciting new film American Visionary: The Story of Barbara Marx Hubbard.

Barbara Marx Hubbard has inspired many the world over. Known as the mother of Conscious Evolution, her work is changing the world for the better. 

Humanity is on the brink of radical advancement, believes Barbara Marx Hubbard, who is known as “the mother of conscious evolution”. At 82, she seizes an opportunity to reach millions with her hopeful message. Featuring authors Marianne Williamson, Jack Canfield, Neale Donald Walsch, and more than forty fellow visionaries, this inspiring documentary examines what a positive future might look like and how we could get there. Hubbard asks, “How can we drive through our global crises and blossom into a future that is equal to our human potential?”

Learn more about her life’s work and message in the exciting new film American Visionary: The Story of Barbara Marx Hubbard. 

Now available for rental and purchase here: https://www.americanvisionarythemovie.com/

 

app

The Networking Scorecard™ App

Now, the power of networking smarter comes to your smartphone for free.

In this comprehensive app, your mobile device now becomes your networking tool. You will discover strategies that go beyond collecting business cards and turn networking into a profitable resource for your business. Dive into this FREE app based on the book. Discover how the most successful networkers leverage their brand, expertise, and customers to achieve greatness in life.

The networking scorecard app is a way of measuring the kinds of things that you should be doing. It is a way of tracking your networking success. In the networking scorecard app, you track the kind of things that you need to be doing in order to achieve success in networking. These things include sending a thank you card, calling someone in your networking and having a conversation, arranging a one-to-one meeting, attending a networking event, setting up some kind of activity to connect with people, giving a referral, and sending an article of interest. In conclusion, there are a whole lot of things that you can do to track your networking scorecard, and they are part of the mobile app.

So if you are doing things that are listed in the networking scorecard app, then you’re mining your network. Although it may take time, you’re doing the things necessary to generate the business. With the networking scorecard, you know you have to do a certain number of these things in order to get business. Furthermore, it’s a way to track and feel better about the activities that you’re conducting.

Features of this amazing app:

FREE

  • Track networking activities like thank-you notes, meetings, calls, events, and referrals
  • Earn points to track your networking skill level and performance
  • View weekly networking activities at-a-glance
  • Set up a customized networking calendar
  • Access resources, worksheets and templates from Dr. Misner, Brian Hilliard, BNI, and Asentiv designed to help you get the most out of your network.
  • And most importantly, measure if you are Networking Like a Pro!

 

In business, you achieve what you measure.  The Networking Scorecard™ App provides you with a mobile solution to measuring your networking efforts. If you’re ready to build connections that turn relationships into profitable customers, this mobile app is for you!

Are you having problems signing up for “The Networking Scorecard”?

 We have released a patch to resolve the issue that users with certain phone number formats were facing when signing up for the Networking Scorecard App. Please update the app and try the sign up again. For those who have previously downloaded it and you were experiencing problems, you will need to update it then sign up again.

You may go to the App Store and update or click this link and update:

https://itunes.apple.com/in/app/the-networking-scorecard/id1318616340?mt=8

Download the free app now

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.networking.scoreboard

https://itunes.apple.com/in/app/the-networking-scorecard/id1318616340?mt=8

Paul Furlong

Planning Your Networking (by Paul Furlong)

Paul Furlong shares his networking tips in this video.

Most people are disappointed with their networking results at networking events because they did not have a clear strategy for how they were going to be networking. Paul Furlong, BNI Director Consultant, shares his networking strategy questions:

There are so many different networking events. It is important to decide which ones should attend. Use the following questions to help you to decide which events to attend.

  1. Why do you want to go to networking events?
  2. How are you going to network?
  3. What are you going to do to build the relationships with those you meet at the networking event?
  4. Do you know the type of businesses are you wanting to network with?
  5. What networking events do these businesses you want to meet attending?

Now that you have decided which event to attend, here are a few tips on how to network at the event.

  1. Ask the host for a list of who is attending to determine who to approach.
  2. Determine if they are in it for the long term relationship you desire or if they are only transactional when you meet them.
  3. Be prepared to network with your business cards, brochure, and appointment calendar.
  4. Talk as little as you can about your business and ask them what is currently happening in their work.
  5. Share a succinct story if asked about how you help others and share who are your ideal referrals.
  6. Schedule a second meeting to follow-up and learn more about each other.
  7. Send an email after the event to confirm the second meeting and thank them for meeting with you.

Rule the World

Great story-telling is essential to effectively communicate your ideas in order to inspire and influence your audience. In this show, Paul Furlong, Creative Director at Opus Media, deconstructs world-class story-tellers from all echelons of society. Digging deep, Paul attempts to find the recurring and unique principles they use to help you make your stories more engaging and better communicate your ideas to stimulate your audience to take action.

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/rule-the-world-the-art-power-of-storytelling/id1164974213?mt=2

The Five Levels of a Referral

The Five Levels of a Referral

A referral is a referral, right?   Well, not so much.  Once a referral source has given you the name of a person to call, what more could you hope for? Actually, there’s quite a bit more you can expect from referrals that have been properly developed by their sources.  Referrals come in several different shades. I’ve identified the five levels of a referral. They vary in quality according to how much involvement your referral source has invested in preparing the referral for you. The more time and effort your source puts into qualifying, educating, and encouraging the prospect before you become involved, the higher the quality and level of that referral. Conversely, if your referral source only passes an interested prospect’s name to you, most of the work of converting that prospect into a customer falls on you. The likelihood of a successful conversion diminishes significantly.

Now let’s cover the five levels of referrals, ranging from nothing but a name and contact information to the “Full Monty” (which despite the movie, actually means to do everything possible).  We call this the Referral Continuum and we’ve ranked the levels of the continuum in order of ascending quality.

Please note that this is a “referral” continuum, not a “leads” continuum.  All of these levels are true referrals, not leads (including the first one).  The person giving the referral knows both parties and is recommending the person providing the product or service to the person who is receiving the product or service.

Note that each level below builds upon the previous.  So a Level 2 referral includes much of what is included in a Level 1 referral.  A Level 3 referral includes much of what is in a Level 1 and 2 referral etc. etc.

Level 1:       Name and contact information.

Your referral source has recommended you to someone and given them your contact information.  They have done just enough work to provide you with a phone number, address, email, or some other way of contacting the prospect and that prospect knows you might contact them.    If the prospect is expecting your call, this is a legitimate referral, it’s just not a high-level referral.  That said, we’d take this over a “cold-call” any day of the week!

Level 2:       Supplementary material.

In addition to the recommendation they gave, the referral source provided either your marketing literature, website information, or other content to the prospect for their review.  This additional information can positively influence the prospect by providing more material for them to review in addition to their verbal reference.

Level 3:       Share experience.

In addition to some or all of the items above, the referral source gave a personal written testimonial or a strong verbal recommendation about you to the prospect.  They spent time talking to the prospect about their experience working with you or their understanding of other people’s experience in working with you.  This is the first level of referral that truly involves a modicum of effort on the part of your referral source.  It usually includes background information and a description of your product or service as filtered through the lens of the referral source.  Adding the element of promotion increases the effectiveness of your referral source’s effort on your behalf. Promotion is advocacy—an outright recommendation of your product or service with a description of its features and benefits.

Level 4:       Introductory call and/or arrange a meeting.

This is another level up in terms of effort from the referral source. They phone on your behalf and arranges a phone or in-person meeting between you and the prospect. This is in addition to many of the things outlined above. When your referral source arranges a call or a meeting between the two of you, they move beyond the role of a promoter and move into the role of a connector or facilitator.  This takes effort and is the sign of a committed referral partner who you should definitely support in return.

Level 5:       In-person introduction and promotion.

At this level, your referral source is making a serious commitment of time and energy in support of your business.  They haven’t just arranged a meeting, they participate in the meeting.  At this level, your referral source has done the work of assessing the need a prospect may have for your product or service. They have gauged the prospect’s interest in learning more about it. They share this information, This enables you to tailor your products or services to emphasize the specific benefits that the prospect is looking for.

This level is practically a “closed deal.”  Generally, a level 5 referral means, the business is nearly closed before you even contact the prospect, solely on the strength of your referral source’s efforts. Not much is required from you except to answer some questions and deliver the product or service and collect the payment.  People who give you Level 5 referrals are prized referral partners.  Make sure to treat them as such.  You should have a reciprocal relationship with these individuals.  They are worth their weight in referral gold.

referral continium

The Referral Continuum shows the amount of work you must do to close a prospect, based on the level of the referral. If you’re given a Level 1 referral, you have to do 95 percent of the work to close. This is not much better than other marketing efforts. On the other hand, if you get a Level 4 or 5 referral, then the person giving you the referral has already done most of the work for you. It’s easier for your referral source to edify you than it is for you because your source already has a relationship of trust with your prospect. For this reason, it’s important for you to do a superb job in fulfilling that referral so your referrer will get great feedback and want to refer you again. The referral giver is, in essence, lending you his or her credibility; this is not something to be taken lightly.

The Networking Scorecard

Of course, the effectiveness of your referral network in providing you with quality referrals depends on the amount of work you do to develop your sources. There are many ways to encourage them to become active and enthusiastic members of your marketing team. The Networking Scorecard from Networking Like a Pro 2nd Edition will enable you to manually track the work you are doing to develop your network.  However, you can also download a free app of The Networking Scorecard at www.IvanMisner.com/Scorecard. Use this scorecard to keep a weekly record of your networking efforts and the quality of referrals you receive. You’ll begin to see the relationship between the two.

Murali Srinivasan

The Language of Referrals – by Murali Srinivasan

International Networking Week: “Diversity in Networking” stories from various international BNI leaders

Submitted by Murali Srinivasan

National Director – BNI India

It is so appropriate that the topic for this year’s International Networking Week is – Diversity.

Coming from India which is a country so diverse with so many different cultures, customs, habits and definitely different kinds of people, I have watched BNI and networking play a significant role in bringing them together to speak one language – the language of Referrals!!

It has been fascinating seeing business owners come together to understand each other’s business and work together to help each other grow.

At many meetings and networking events I have attended, I have seen the magic work. I start talking to another person first in their language to ask them what they do and try to understand their business. Once I show interest in their work the initial hesitation disappears and soon we find that we are setting up a meeting or connecting them to someone across the country.

Asheesh Chaddha

With the Indian economy doing well it is quite common to see startups who have relocated to a totally new city not knowing the local language or people, with the hope of making it big in business. Joining a local BNI Chapter is probably the best decision they make. They are surrounded by friendly people who are eager to help them succeed. I remember a Member in a Chapter in Mysore, Asheesh Chaddha, who is the business of Car Detailing. He relocated to Mysore to start his business. After joining a BNI Chapter, there now has his stores in over 20 locations across the state. He was a good networker who was good at listening to what others have to say and trying to help them whenever he could. His fellow Members were very supportive to help him grow and he went on the become President of the Chapter!!

The secret is all this to be able to network effectively with different kinds of people. We usually tend to talk to people who are like ourselves and we feel comfortable with. It is important that we learn how to get out of our comfort zone and network with other too. The results can be very effective

Wishing everyone a fantastic International Networking Week 2018!!

Murali Srinivasan National Director – BNI India

The Angle Of Industry – by YP Lai

International Networking Week: “Diversity in Networking” stories from various international BNI leaders

Submitted by YP Lai

National Director, BNI Thailand, BNI Vietnam & BNI Philippines

 

I have always looked forward to the International Networking Week. It is an opportunity to bring people from different organizations, different sectors and different interests together. Some of the friendships and businesses that has developed from the International Networking Week activities has been simply amazing. Great things happen when positive minded people network together!

 

This year, the theme for the 2018 International Networking Week is “Diversity”. Diversity could be seen from many different angles, ethnicity, professions, geographical locations, age groups, and so on. I want to explore Diversity from the angle of industry – the industry in which your profession belongs to. For example, a caterer would belong to the events industry, an architect to the building industry and a graphic designer would belong to the public relation and marketing industry.

 

Studies have shown that most business professionals have a tendency to network with people within their industry and in specific geographical regions. When I reflected on my previous career, it was so true! As the General Manager of a property development company, my network consists of architects, engineers, builders, contractors, surveyors and building material suppliers. I had very few contacts outside the construction industry, and outside of my hometown in Penang.

 

When I joined BNI, and that was a good 16+ years ago, it was a real eye opener. I was then exposed to people from many different industries. There were people from the Financial Services, Business Support, IT and Technology, Health and Wellness, Food and Beverage, Event Managers, Legal and Professional Services, Manufacturing and Industries, Beauty and many others. Suddenly everyone had the opportunity to bring their business into sectors that they had previously not thought of.

 

One of the best success stories is Wayne the Optometrist.

 

The typical modus operandi of an Optometrist is to open an outlet in a shopping mall, and then attract walk-in customers.  They would use pull up banners advertising special promotions, give out flyers in the mall and use social media marketing to attract more customers. Every day the Optometrist will pray for more walk-ins. Wayne was no different until he joined a BNI Group. He then worked closely with William the cleaner. Now, William is not the typical residential or office cleaner. Instead, he specializes in cleaning factories and has good relationships with many of the factory managers in the industrial zone.

 

William helped Wayne to connect with the Human Resource manager of the factories, and arranged for free eye tests for the factory operators. Wayne and his team will then set up station at the factory canteen for a week, screening through thousands of factory operators, and immediately giving out prescriptions for spectacles for those needing corrective eyewear. And as you can guess, Wayne created special heavily discounted eyewear packages for the factory operators, and almost everyone who needed spectacles chose from those packages. Two weeks later, Wayne was back at the factory dispensing the spectacles. It was “Diversity”, the ability to tap into other industries that had allowed Wayne to work outside the traditional “wait and pray for customers” model to actively pursue new customers right at the factories themselves.

 

Wayne’s success stories had inspired many of his BNI group members to go outside their traditional marketing channel and get customers from other non-typical industries. Like the tailor who worked with the member representing college student recruitment, and secured a contract to provide inexpensive suits for students for their internship programme.

 

So, this year, at the International Networking Week event, we will be bringing business professionals from different industries, and from different regions. At the same time, having a balanced representation of various age groups, gender, and interests. By bringing such diversity to the International Networking Week, we believe that every participant will be enriched by the new relationships formed.

 

Wishing everyone a successful International Networking Week!

 

YP Lai

National Director, BNI Thailand, BNI Vietnam & BNI Philippines

International Networking Week 2017

Marc-William Attié

Diversity Should Be Part Of Our Core Values. – by Marc-William Attié

International Networking Week: “Diversity in Networking” stories from various international BNI leaders

Submitted by Marc-William Attié
Directeur National, France et Belgique francophone

When I first attended a BNI meeting in the UK in 2003 my first impression was WOW and the second one was: this is incredible to see so different people working together. My previous experiences in my professional life were that people talk and develop relationships with people who are like themselves.

Since these days until today, the importance and power of diversity have clearly shown its efficiency. Different backgrounds, different level of revenues, different type of education, different professions, different cultures, all of that is not only a possibility but a must have.

When a chiropractor refer a Web designer, or a landscaper refers a lawyer, or a charter accountant refer an architect (and I could continue like that forever) that shows the efficiency of diversity.

In the early days of BNI in France, I remember a massage therapist who has been able to refer a lawyer specialized in banking laws to the legal manager of one of the main French bank. That would never have been possible if we did not encourage diversities and chapters. The regular one-to-ones will help to build bridges and create a strong relationship with people that could have been considered to be too different to work together.

The chapters which show the highest return are often those which have a very high level of efficiency.

Our average chapters in France and Belgium have 26% women and 74% men. When we reach over 40% women the return usually increases.

Diversity is not only a “want to be” but a “should be”. Our Director team is so diverse. The only things we really share are our values. And that’s the most important.

Let’s use the INW to open even more, let’s invite people in our chapters that are not necessary entrepreneurs but that we can help and we will see that they will help the chapters to go further. It will help create new relationship and open new networks.

Let’s dare to work the diversity as a tool. In fact my belief is that diversity should be part of our core value.

Marc-William ATTIE | Director National

BNI France and BNI Belgium francophone

Telephone: +33 1 84 17 14 50

International Networking Week 2017

Charlie Lawson

Networking in the Gutter – by Charlie Lawson

International Networking Week: “Diversity in Networking” stories from various international BNI leaders

Submitted by Charlie Lawson
National Director BNI UK & Ireland

I once attended a networking event with about 200 business owners. Alongside the open networking sessions, there were some speaker sessions.

Unfortunately one of the speakers wasn’t a great speaker. I found myself rather slumped in my chair, wondering if I could escape for a coffee. But just then, the session ended. The facilitator for the day came on to the stage and promised to find some business opportunities for someone in the room.

This woke me up a bit, but he really caught my attention when he said he wanted to find business opportunities for the person with the ‘strangest’ (his word) profession. He clarified: he wanted to see if he could help the attendee with the most obscure business, that ordinarily, it might seem impossible to find business for.

Various hands went up – and as a few professions got offered and rebutted – one gentleman, a guy called Matthew, stood up and announced that he manufactured and sold small plastic parts for commercial sewage systems. That was all he did.

Talk about obscure: he had one product. That product was only used in one application – sewage systems – and let’s face it, how much do most of us know about sewage systems?!?

I, along with most of the rest of the audience, sat back to watch what I was sure would be an absolute car crash: the facilitator trying his best to help Matthew get some business opportunities, but then having to accept that his business was just too obscure.

How wrong I was.

Having asked Matthew to tell us briefly about a few of his recent clients (mainly local councils), and whom he wanted to speak to (mainly more local councils and public service bodies), there were about 50 different people who all had contacts that they would be able to connect Matthew with.

Clearly – they were all only potential business opportunities – firstly, Matthew had to prove himself worthy of being introduced, and secondly, like any referral, he would then need to sell himself and his product to the client: but wow – what a response from the room.

What does this story tell you?

For me, it’s about the diversity of networking. Firstly, you don’t have to be in a ‘mainstream’ profession to benefit from networking. As Matthew’s case indicates – it can be a case of the more diverse, the better.

Secondly, I learned how diverse our networks are if we take the time to find out. I didn’t know Matthew before attending this networking event, but I made sure I had a chat with him after. He’d come along because he’d had his arm twisted by a friend. He was quite sure that he wouldn’t meet anyone who’d be helpful for him and his business. Indeed, he’d thought just the same as I had when he was called out for the business generation exercise. The facilitator would surely fall flat on his face!

However, of all the people in the room who had offered up would-be business opportunities, the most interesting and potentially most lucrative came from his friend that had persuaded him to come in the first place! He’d just never asked.

International Networking Week 2017

2018 International Networking Week®

Welcome to the 2018 International Networking Week®

The 2018 International Networking Week® is an initiative of BNI®.

International Networking Week 2018 features a number of networking events occurring the week of February 5 through 9, 2018 worldwide! #BNIINW18

Welcome to the 11th annual International Networking Week®

This Year’s International Networking Week Theme: DIVERSITY!

Networks are by nature “clumpy”. We tend to surround ourselves with people who are like us—but that’s not the most powerful kind of network. People tend to cluster together based on education, age, ethnicity, professional status, etc. Therefore, when we surround ourselves with people who have similar contacts it may be difficult to make connections with new people or companies with whom we desire to do business. The more diverse your network, the more powerful it is. It’s the people who are not like you who can connect you to a completely new “cluster.”

One of the most important keys to being successful at building a powerful personal network is diversity. A diverse personal network enables you to have people in your circle as connectors to other people in communities where you may lack contacts.

Please watch this video to learn more…

The goal of International Networking Week® is to celebrate the key role that networking plays in the development and success of businesses across the world. Simultaneous events are being held globally this week to celebrate International Networking Week®. For more information about networking events in your local community please see internationalnetworkingweek.com

The Networking Scorecard™ App provides you with a mobile solution to measuring your networking efforts. If you’re ready to build connections that turn relationships into profitable customers, this mobile app is for you! The map can be downloaded from either the Google play store or the Apple Store for iPhones. GET THE MOBILE APP.

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