Entrepreneur Archives - Dr. Ivan Misner®
receive referrals

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Business Networking Organizations

The Five Types of Business Networking Organizations

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

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

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

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

The Five Types of Business Networking Organizations:

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

wheels

Dude, Where are My Wheels

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

Dude, Where are My Wheels

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

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

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

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

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

Knowing the right people

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

uncommon application of common knowledge

Success is Uncommon Application of Common Knowledge

Have you ever wondered what it is you need to do in order to be successful? I have found that many people are looking for some mysterious and ever-elusive secret to success beyond what they already sense to be important. The truth is, there is no great mystery. In fact, very often “success is simply the uncommon application of common knowledge.”

When I was interviewing average business owners and entrepreneurs for my book, Masters of Success, I asked thousands of them what they felt the “secret” to success was. Everyone I interviewed or wrote about regarding the secret to success – from Buzz Aldrin to Erin Brockovich, from average businesspeople to undergraduate college students – gave me virtually the same answer. They generally told me things like: vision, goals, passion, persistence, and systems. So if we all know what it takes to be successful, why is it that we aren’t all as successful as we’d like to be?

Click on the graphic below, or click here, to see this video. Learn more about my definition of success.

 

Garage to Global

This is a part of what I call the “Ivanisms Series”: all of my personal quotes and phrases and why they have worked for me.

In another short video, I talk to Roger Green about how I came up with this idea and explain why I’m such a firm believer in the concept.

What’s your take on the secret to success?  Is your recipe for success the same as mine or do you have different ideas about how success is achieved? 

Please leave your thoughts in the comments section.

LCD's

Lead with Your LCD’s

When planning your weekly networking presentations, lead with your LCD’s.

It is very important to be prepared to introduce yourself by breaking down your business into your LCD’s (Lowest Common Denominators). Each week, create a business educational curriculum to train your sales force to focus on just ONE aspect of your business.

For example, each week just focus on one LCD’s :

– A service
– A product
– A benefit

When you want to nail a presentation, start by explaining your lowest common denominators, or the most immediate, universal value of your business. Your LCD is your secret weapon. What are the various “keywords” others would use to search for you online? These keywords are your LCD’s.

Click on the graphic below, or click here, to see this video. Learn more about developing this training approach for your weekly presentations.

Garage to Global

This is a part of what I call the “Ivanisms Series”: all of my personal quotes and phrases and why they have worked for me.

Richard Branson

What Can Business Do About It?

A friend of mine once said, “If we could get every single business person in the world, every single entrepreneur, to play their part, we could get on top of most of the world’s problems.” That friend was Richard Branson, and I took his message about his Plan B Initiative.to heart. It made me think about what I could do through BNI to make an impact on the globe and sent me on an introspective journey about being a business owner and the responsibility we had to serve not only our customers but society as a whole.

What I came up with are four ways to help your business find direction and purpose in helping others, whether it be in your local area or in the global community.

Garage to Global

In this video, I discuss how businesses can give back to the community. This is a part of what I call the “Ivanisms Series”: all of my personal quotes and phrases and why they have worked for me. Therefore, please watch this video to understand what Richard Branson means.

Can Your Business Serve the Greater Good?

All of us are in business to make a profit. But if that’s the primary driving force in business, we become mercenaries to that process.  I believe that I should serve a greater need than simply to make a profit. I believe that business can be honorable.  It can make a difference in individual lives as well as communities.

Business can be honorable. It can be something that improves people’s lives as well as supports and helps local communities. It can do so, by not only helping to generate more business for one another, but by giving back to the community, mentoring others, immersing in a culture of shared learning, and by collaborating with others.

The BNI Foundation

When corporations have a vision bigger than their profit and loss statement, amazing things can happen. BNI, the world’s leading referral organization, is one such corporation. Started by Ivan and Beth Misner in 1998, the BNI Foundation has been supporting children and education in the United States and around the world by mobilizing resources to give kids everywhere a quality education. The focus of the BNI Foundation is to help the youth of our community to find the path to productive and successful lives. For us, the mechanism to help with this shift is by investing our time, treasure, and talent to assist in education where we can. http://bnifoundation.org/ 

What is Business Voices ™?

The BNI Foundation has a long, proud legacy of helping out where schools have needed extra funding for projects not provided for by school districts or state funding. A pivotal factor of our philanthropic work was the creation of the Business Voices™ initiative to provide even more to the schools which have with the greatest needs.

Our initiative pairs BNI members and concerned, engaged and motivated corporations, service clubs and community groups with schools and educational organizations. The goal is to help them find the resources they need to have maximum impact on the kids of our communities.

your competition

Why Partnering With Your Competition Could Be Your Key To Success

How intelligently collaborating with your competition can vastly improve your business.

While counter-intuitive, partnering with your competition may be among the best ways to grow your business. By intelligently creating a partnership with someone who you would otherwise work against, you can combine your client bases and maximize return on your investment. However, you never know what kind of positives can come from what may otherwise seem like a negative.

Watch this video

In this video, I discuss how to deal with competition in business. This is a part of what I call the “Ivanisms Series”, all of my personal quotes and phrases and why they have worked for me. Therefore, please watch this video to understand what Ivan means.

The value of collaborating with your competition

I was doing a seminar about how it is possible to increase your business by cooperating with your competitors.

A man sitting in the audience argued passionately about not consorting with the competition. We were having a pretty lively debate when an older member of the audience stood up to weigh in.

The story he told made a believer out of everyone else in the room:

I’ve been in the investment business my entire professional career. A few years ago, I was courting a company for an investment package that included retirement and more. It was huge — one of the biggest projects I had ever worked on. Spending weeks getting to know the client’s intricate needs and putting together a comprehensive package, the client told me they were going with someone else.

Therefore, I was just gobsmacked, completely shocked. After I caught my breath, I asked him who he had chosen. It turns out he was giving it to a competitor in his mid 20s. This kid had no experience and yet, here they were giving him this monster project. I felt like I had spent enough time with the client to ask him why he would choose this person over me and my package. He looked at me and said, “You want the honest-to-goodness truth? It’s my brother in law, and my wife will go crazy if I don’t give him the business. However, I do trust him, but I know he hasn’t got the experience you have.”

In my entire professional life, I had never done what I did next. In my area of business, it’s usually dog-eat-dog, but I called the kid and congratulated him. I told him I knew a lot about the company and if he ever needed anything, I was happy to help.

The kid’s voice literally jumped out of the phone. He said, “I’m from a wealthy family, but I really have no idea how to manage a project this big. I’m connected and I have four more deals just like this one, and I don’t know how I’m going to get it all put together. Could we partner up? In conclusion, I know I can get even more deals like these, but to manage it well, I could really use your help.”

We did just that: partnered up. And that kid is a rainmaker. We have worked on so many deals, all of them the same size or bigger than that original one I thought I lost. Therefore, I made more money than I had ever made before by calling up my competitor and offering goodwill and advice if he ever needed it.

Therefore, as you might suspect, the young man in my audience had a change of heart after hearing this story.

Will this happen every time you try to work with a competitor? Of course not. But it will never happen if you don’t reach out.

What are some effective ways you’ve been able to collaborate with competitors? Let us know in the comments below.

 

competitors

How To Deal With Competitors

My solution on how to deal with competitors is simple: Don’t pay attention to competitors. Success in business is about constantly improving your product or service, team, and culture. If you focus on these aspects, you’ll improve your position in the marketplace.

Focus on the fundamentals of your business. Keep up with metrics and constantly share your organization’s core values. These are a few ways that you can improve your business. But whatever you do, don’t obsess over what competitors are saying about you. If you keep bettering your own business, you’ll have no need to fear your competitors.

“The competitor to be feared is one who never bothers about you at all, but goes on making his own business better all the time.” – Henry Ford

Watch this video

In this video, I discuss how to deal with competition in business. This is a part of what I call the “Ivanisms Series”, all of my personal quotes and phrases and why they have worked for me. Please watch this video to understand what Ivan means.

dog

A Dog With A Bone

In business are you a puppy with a ball or a dog with a bone?

The lesson here is I never give up.

I am absolutely a dog with a bone. I may not be the smartest man in a room or I may not be the most talented man in a room, but I am almost always the most determined man in a room.

Watch this video

When you are in business, you need to be like a dog with a bone. This is a part of what I call the “Ivanisms Series”, all of my personal quotes and phrases and why they have worked for me. Please watch this video to understand what Ivan means.

Excellence is not a single act. It’s a habit.

If you want to be successful, think things through and then act on that like a dog with a bone. Often times, the more successful you are, the more failures you’ve had. If you believe in your objective, keep going. One of the reasons for my success is my persistence, tenacity, and doggedness in dealing with challenges. There are things that I have let go, but when I feel certain when I have great information and feel confident in my vision and my goals, then I am a dog with a bone in my focus in not giving up.

Hyperconnectivity and the Rise of Constant Partial Attention

Hyperconnectivity and the Rise of Constant Partial Attention

Where is your cell phone right now? For many of you, you’re reading this blog post on it. For those who aren’t, it’s probably within arm’s reach. However, we are always connected to our jobs, our families, our outside lives. All thanks to that little ringing device we carry in our pockets and bags. Therefore, this state of hyperconnectivity leaves us often dividing our focus. Rarely are we 100 percent paying attention to any given thing.

Check out this week’s video blog by clicking on the graphic below, or clicking here, to hear what I have to say about this rising phenomenon.

How many times have you been at a networking function and realized that half of the people there are paying more attention to their mobile devices. Therefore, they are not paying attention to the other attendees?  Worse, have you yourself been guilty of staying so glued to your phone or tablet that you have missed the opportunity to make a powerful connection with the person standing right in front of you?

Continuous Partial Attention

We are living in a world that is more connected than ever. There are some definite pitfalls in our hyperconnected world as it intersects with our business relationships and our networking.  One of these pitfalls is that hyperconnectivity can lead to a state of what I call ‘continuous partial attention.’

In this video, I introduce the concept of ‘continuous partial attention’. I also discuss the risks and repercussions which accompany it.  Watch the video now to learn how to avoid falling into a state of continuous partial attention and prevent it from wreaking havoc on your productivity at work and your ability to achieve your goals.

If you have any stories about how falling victim to a state of continuous partial attention has affected you or someone you know, I’d love for you to share your experience in the comments below.  Thanks!

Givers Gain®

Givers Gain® – The Video

In this video, I share the story of the philosophy of BNI: Givers Gain®. Understanding an important philosophy based on the law of reciprocity can make your networking far more powerful, but only when self applied.

Click on the graphic above, or click here, to see the video!

Givers Gain®

If you bring people into your network who embrace your core value, you will create an amazing network. Incorporating the philosophy of Givers Gain ® into my organization was one of the things that have really set BNI aside from the other networking groups. We have inculcated this core value into the fabric of BNI. Therefore, “Givers Gain ®” became part of the very DNA of the organization. That is incredibly special.

Givers Gain® is a philosophy based on the law of reciprocityIn the context of networking groups, people who adopt this philosophy dedicate themselves to giving business to their fellow networkers rather than making their foremost concern getting business for themselves.  In doing so, other people naturally become eager to repay their kindness by sending them business in return.

Culture Eats Strategy For Breakfast

Culture Eats Strategy For Breakfast Video

This is another classic video in the “Ivanism” Garage to Global series, hosted by Entrepreneur.com. I expand on common phrases I’ve used over the years. How can they apply to your business and referral networking style? Today I discuss the Ivanism, Culture Eats Strategy for Breakfast

Culture is a blend of attitude, beliefs, mission, philosophy and momentum. As a result, culture helps to create and sustain a successful brand. The way people interact with one another and the overall growth of your company is affected by culture. What creates organizational culture? Culture is key in an organization for long-term success. It is the most important thing in an organization and it applies at all levels, from the top of the organization all the way down.  Rules, regulations, and operating standards are important, of course, because you have to have systems in place to guide activities. But culture is the factor that stands above all others.

Strategy is often talked about in business schools, in fact it’s a primary focus.  Culture however, is less understood.  Culture involves a variety of contributing factors including a blend of attitudes, beliefs, mission, philosophy, and momentum that help to create and sustain a successful brand.  It represents the vision, norms, symbols, beliefs, behaviors, and traditions that are taught to new members of an organization.  Organizational culture affects the way people within an organization interact with one another and the people they serve.

There are many factors that go into building an organizational culture.  Each successful company has a different combination of factors that makes their culture successful.

The factors that go into building the organizational culture and will make your company successful are…

  1. TRADITIONS AND CORE VALUES
  2. VISION
  3. ENGAGEMENT

Please watch my video to learn more about these factors and share your comments below.

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