Give Me One Good Reason I Should Do Business With You

SHARK-TANKA few months ago, I started watching some episodes of “Shark Tank” and I got hooked!  There are some serious business lessons that can be learned by viewing the show and I saw one of them last week while I was watching a rerun from a previous season (it’s sad, I’m completely hooked now and I’m checking out past episodes).

There was an entrepreneur on the show by the name of Raven Thomas.  Raven started a food business called, The Painted Pretzel (pretzels covered with chocolate and other confectionaries).

She had a pretty good business and, according to the panelists (The Sharks), a product that was delicious. After a fair amount of discussion, Lori Greiner (one of the Sharks) got down to the end of the conversation and asked, “Why should we invest in you?”   I realized at that moment that this was the big question and I knew Raven’s answer could make or break the deal.  Raven replied to Lori with… “The main reason is that I have two little kids and . . . (blah, blah, blah, blah, blah).”  I immediately paused the show, looked to my wife Beth, and practically screamed “She just blew it!  She totally gave a relational answer to a bunch of transactional SHARKS!  They don’t care about blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, they want something closer to ‘show me the money’ than ‘I love what I do!’” 

Beth replied, “You have to know your audience when you are talking about your business.” Her statement was spot on.   Before I started up the episode again, Beth and I talked about how crucial it was for Raven to speak the language that the Sharks speak if she wanted them to invest in her.  She needed to speak a language focused on opportunity, growth, ROI, and cold hard cash.  Instead, Raven talked about how she felt about her business and how it related to her children.  Her answer failed to include anything at all that the Sharks would relate to as serious, analytical business investors looking for reasons to convince them Raven’s business would be a wise financial investment.

I resumed watching the episode so I could witness the train wreck which I was sure was about to ensue.  To my astonishment, Robert Herjavec gave Raven a “do-over” (I really like this Shark – if I ever have the chance to be a panelist on a business show, I’d like to think my style would be similar to his).  Robert looked at Raven and gave her a chance to give a better answer by saying to her, “Let’s do that again.She took a moment and said, “A good reason to invest in me is that I had to walk away from a $2 million deal because I did not have the capital to fill the order . . . and that door is still open.” This answer was a show stopper—it completely landed the Sharks’ attention.  Within a few moments, Mark Cuban (Shark and owner of the Dallas Mavericks) offered Raven $100,000 cash and distribution of her product at his stadium and at each location of the movie theater chain he owns!  She, of course, said yes to Mark’s offer.  As a result, she now expects that her company’s sales will exceed $1.2 million dollars this year!

The lesson to be learned here is that it is absolutely imperative to know your audience and tailor your comments to suit the people you’re talking to.  This is an extremely important lesson in both the business arena and the networking arena.  In fact, it’s one of the main reasons why I recommend that when you first meet people, you begin by asking them questions about themselves prior to speaking in length about yourself.  The more you know about the people you’re talking to, the better able you will be to craft your own message in a way that effectively resonates with them.

I’d love to hear either a success story or a horror story that you might have about people “knowing” or “not knowing” their audience.  Please share your story in the comment forum below. Thanks!

What Dog Sled Teams Can Teach Us About Leadership

My wife Beth and I had the opportunity to experience a dog-sled excursion while visiting the Ice Hotel in Sweden last year. While waiting to get onto the sleds and take off across the frozen river, we observed a very interesting behavior being exhibited by the lead dogs in each dog team.

Virtually all of the dogs in the pack were leaping and straining against their harnesses, barking, yipping, howling and generally making quite a ruckus. However, Beth and I noticed that the lead pair in front of each of the sled teams was quietly sitting very still, keeping a close eye on the mushers. There may have been the occasional woof from one of the lead dogs, but they were mainly on full alert, silent, and attentive, waiting for the signal that it was time to move.

Non-Lead Pack Dogs

Non-Lead Pack Dogs

I sat there for many minutes watching and marveling at this dynamic (click on the video above to view it for yourself). It struck me that this was a great metaphor for leadership in general. The lead dogs were observing and mostly silent despite the fact that all around them the rest of the pack was constantly barking, pulling, and straining on the lines.  The lead pair in each team had a single-minded focus: wait for the signal so that they could lead the pack out onto the trail.

Lead Dogs

Lead Dogs

 

 

Great leaders often do something similar. In business sometimes people get excited about something or other and begin to strain and pull, noisily expressing their desire to move in a certain direction or take a specific action, NOW. Sometimes they do it very aggressively.  However, a good leader remains alert and attentive, not overreacting to the chaos all around them. They wait for the right time and the right cue to move forward.  They are ready to lead the team in the right direction for optimum success.  Good leaders respect the process and provide trustworthy leadership in the work environment. They know the right time to move ahead and the right time to sit tight. They know the difference, because they, or someone they trust, have been over these trails many times before. The team may get excited, anxious or even demanding, and still these strong leaders remain steady and calm.

We noticed another thing on that sled ride. When the lead dogs stood up and prepared to respond to the musher’s cue to run, the rest of the pack got quiet and settled down. They knew it was time to get to business. They were ready to pull in the same direction.  When a team is pulling in the same direction, following a strong and calm leader who is observing the cues from others or following cues from his/her own experience, the path of the team will be true and sound. 

I had the realization that this metaphor really is perfect for business. Although any leader may “bark” from time to time, it is the strong, calm, and confident leader that is best at getting a team to follow.   The quality of the leader often determines the performance of the team.

Are there other characteristics and traits that you feel make a great leader or that you have witnessed in a highly effective leader?  I’d love to hear your thoughts on this so please share your feedback in the comment forum below.  Thanks!

 

Vitality + Health = Greater Success in Business

As this is a blog about business and networking, you may be wondering why some of my recent blogs have seemed to have a fairly apparent focus on health.  I think the video I’m sharing with you today should answer that question for those of you who may wondering.  Over the past couple of years, I have indeed become quite an advocate of the importance of health in regard to achieving success and there is good reason behind that.

In this short video, I talk with my good friend Lise Janelle, renowned success coach for companies & entrepreneurs across the world, about the role that vitality and health play in achieving ultimate productivity and success in business.

Lise offers three keys to achieving vitality and explains why it is important not only for business owners, but also for all of their employees, to focus on staying healthy and engaged in order for any given business to truly thrive.

After watching the video, if you’d like to find out more about Lise Janelle and how she helps businesses and people alike to achieve their full potential, please visit www.HeartAtWorkInstitute.com.

To find out more about the book I mention in the video, The Misner Plan: How We Healed Cancer Naturally with Food, Nutrition, and Healthy Living , please click here.  If you’d like to learn more about the Misner Plan, please visit www.MisnerPlan.com.

Do you have certain habits and/or tactics you employ to stay healthy?  Do you  have specific ways of making sure you stay connected to your core values?  I’m really interested in hearing your thoughts on this and, also, if you have questions pertaining to this topic, I highly encourage you to ask them!  I am more than happy to do a future blog addressing your questions and to consult with Lise about them in order to get you the best answers possible.

 

Me, Write a Book on Health? You’re Crazy!

If you would have told me two years ago that I would have a best-selling book about health – I would have told you that you were crazy!  However, this week my wife Beth and I released the Kindle version of The Misner Plan: How We Healed Cancer Naturally With Food, Nutrition and Healthy Living at Amazon.com which hit #1 in “Hot New Releases.”

AmazonScreenShot

I can also say that I never thought I would say that a cancer diagnosis would provide a gratifying opening for me to give back in a way that is extremely fulfilling, but it did. And because of the size of my network and the relationships I have formed over the past several decades, there are many people who want to know how I approached healing naturally from cancer. This book tells the story of my journey to remission from prostate cancer.

I want to be completely clear that I am not a medical doctor, I am not selling health-care products, I am not advising anyone else how to approach their own health conditions, nor am I giving you medical advice. Beth and I are sharing what we did and the things we learned along the way in hopes that it might help other people in some way.

Here is an excerpt from the opening of our book:

The visible changes in BNI’s Founder Ivan Misner’s health, his weight loss and improved fitness level have led to request after request to share his eating protocol and fitness regimen after his cancer diagnosis—so many requests that we felt we needed to create the Misner Plan in order to share this information with many more people than he is able to email on a daily basis.

We all know and love far too many people who are obese and/or suffering from many health issues which are due primarily to how and what they are eating. Many people know they need to make changes, but they are not interested in doing so. Many people want to make changes, but they don’t know exactly what to do. There is a lot of conflicting advice out there and there may not be a lot of support for the changes they do want to make. We need support and community in which to make lasting changes. And having the input of someone who has been there before and has regained health is very powerful.

The Misner Plan offers both information and support for you as you seek to transform your life and improve your productivity, while increasing your outlook for a long and healthy life. We have learned many things on this journey, and we want to share what we have learned with you. We are still learning new things, continually finding ourselves amazed at all the things there are to know and understand about medical nutrition.

In this book, you will find stories of our personal experiences, struggles and successes. We also share input we have received from other well-informed and renowned health-care professionals. As you read through the content, we encourage you to underline and highlight the sections which illuminate your own path.

Your success means so much to us and we are thrilled you have found the Misner Plan. Focusing on eating REAL, healthy, nutritious foods can save your life and can make a good life a fantastic life.

Eat real food.  Enjoy real health!

If you are interested in reading more about my experience, please take a look at The Misner Plan: How We Healed Cancer Naturally With Food, Nutrition and Healthy Living. If you read it, please leave a review and your comments to help others decide if they want to learn more by reading it, too.   We also have a Facebook Page: www.Facebook.com/MisnerPlan and a website: www.MisnerPlan.com. If you’d like to follow us.

If you, or someone you know, has had a great experience in their health based on a change of diet, please leave a comment here on this blog.

The_Misner_Plan_Book_Cover

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

* Rants:*

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

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

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

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

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

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