networking like a pro Archives - Dr. Ivan Misner®
12x12x12

So what is the 12x12x12 rule?

In the second edition of our book “Networking like a Pro” I share the 12x12x12 rule and how it makes networking more effective!

1) How do you look from 12 feet away?

LOOK THE PART BEFORE GOING TO THE EVENT

Are you prepared, have you dressed appropriately for the event you are attending? Do you have what you need for the event? Preparing in advance by researching the dress code for the event, knowing what time to turn up and what you need to bring with you can make you much more comfortable about walking into a room. You will be surprised how many people fall short in the fundamental area of appearance. Do not go casual. Instead, consider wearing a good suit or nice outfit.

2) How do you come across from 12 inches away?

MAKE SURE YOUR BODY LANGUAGE SENDS THE RIGHT MESSAGE

Do you still look as prepared? Do you understand the culture of the event you are attending? Are your clothes clean, is your breath fresh? This may not seem important however you don’t want to be the one remembered for not ironing your shirt or having bad breath! When it comes to forming networking relationships, most of the important information is communicated through nonverbal cues. Remember to smile when meeting someone for the first time.

ATTITUDE IS EVERYTHING

When meeting someone for the first time, a lot can be said about how much your attitude can impact the first impression. Having a positive attitude is one of the most important characteristics of a great networker. So make sure that when you are talking to others, you have a positive, upbeat attitude. Showing others that you are having a good time will send the right message.

GET YOUR ACT TOGETHER

Can you easily find your business cards? Make sure you look professional at all times, have your business cards to hand when you need them and ensure you know when is the best time to hand over your cards. Just make sure that you have a system for keeping your cards separate from the cards you receive from others at the event.

3) What are the first 12 words out of your mouth?

HAVE YOUR INTRODUCTION READY TO ROLL OFF YOUR TONGUE

This is the most important point. When someone asks you what you do, make sure you are ready with a response that is memorable. Have you thought about what you are going to say to someone else at a networking event because the worst time to think about what you want to say is when you are saying it? Think about concise ways you can get your points across…… what you want to say about your business, your target market, the benefits of your product or service etc. Think about examples of projects you are working on or stories about how you helped clients. Be confident and speak with conviction. Say something that promotes curiosity and engagement without sounding over-rehearsed or contrived. Those 12 words are designed to get people’s attention.

Perception is reality when it comes to meeting people for the first time. So next time you are going to a networking event, hold yourself accountable to follow the 12x12x12 rule. You will go a long way toward creating the right impression. Find out more about this topic in my book, “Networking Like a Pro: Turning Contacts into Connections – Second Edition“. Please go to my website at http://ivanmisner.com/books/ to learn how to purchase any of my books.

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

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.

networking scorecard

The Networking Scorecard Mobile App

Network on the Go with the “Networking Like a Pro” Networking Scorecard Mobile App

It’s easy to feel like networking is a waste of time —but that just means you’re doing it wrong. In this new edition of “Networking Like a Pro”, networking experts Dr. Ivan Misner and Brian Hilliard reveal key networking techniques to help you grow your business. Now, the power of networking smarter comes to your smartphone.

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 app based on the book. Discover how the most successful networkers leverage their brand, expertise, and customers to achieve greatness in life.

In the book, “Networking Like a Pro”, you will learn how to attract the right people with a carefully crafted “Unique Selling Proposition” to gain your most valuable customers with referrals from networking partners. Plus, discover how to make your best first impression with the “12 x 12 x 12 Rule”. Learn how to decide which networking events and activities will best fit your needs. Finally, build and expand your network with a calculated follow-up strategy. Finally, learn to avoid behaviors that damage your reputation and push potential partners away.

Features of this amazing app:

  • 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. Now you can take all of the “Networking Like a Pro” action items from the book with you on the go. 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!

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

Using Your Unique Selling Proposition

uniquesellingOne of the biggest issues I see or hear when it comes to networking and word-of-mouth marketing strategies comes from the individual businessperson’s mindset. So often, people believe that in order to network successfully and set themselves up for the most referrals, they need to tell everyone who will listen (and some who won’t) everything that their business does. This misconception simply leads many to believe that by talking to everyone in the room, they’ll maximize their referrals.

This is not at all the case. What this actually does is bores your intended audience, and overwhelms them with more information than they could ever possibly remember.

The key instead is to come up with a unique selling proposition for your company, business or service, and use it when you network. Your unique selling proposition will be a brief summary of your business, the key word here being brief. You’ll want to share this description as concisely and as engaging as possible. Not only will your audience walk away understanding what you do, but if you have described your business in a compelling way, they’ll be more likely to remember you because you entertained them and kept them listening.

The biggest indicator of a good unique selling proposition is that it gets people to ask you more about your business, and keeps them genuinely interested in what you do. They should be short, sweet, and to the point, without being vague or misleading. Your goal is to open the door for a conversation, not leave any potential contacts confused.

What is your business’s unique selling proposition? How do you use it to get word-of-mouth referrals? Tell me in the comments below!

Entrepreneur Magazine’s Winning Strategies for Business Conference

Entrepreneur magazine’s Winning Strategies for Business Conference is being held in Long Beach, Calif., on Oct. 5. If it’s possible for you to attend, I highly recommend that you go. This event offers serious educational value, plenty of opportunities to network and, best of all, registration is FREE!

I’ll be giving the keynote presentation, “Networking Like a Pro,” during the morning session and I’ll be talking about how to create, maintain and serve a wide network and enjoy great business and personal rewards as a result.

If you can make it out to the conference, I’d love to have the opportunity to meet you, so please take a moment to introduce yourself during one of the networking sessions or after my presentation.

The focus of the Winning Strategies for Business Conference is to show you everything you need to know about how to go further and achieve more by teaching you proven tactics that will impact virtually every aspect of your business. Bruce Kimbrell of Disney Institute will be giving the afternoon keynote presentation, “Disney’s Approach to People Management,” and there will be a handful of other dynamic speakers presenting on topics such as SEO, social networking and PR, fundraising, launching a new business, brand building, driving sales and more.

There will also be a one-of-a-kind opportunity for you to pitch your business to Entrepreneur‘s editors for a chance to have your business featured in either Entrepreneur magazine or on Entrepreneur.com

(Now that is a great opportunity!)

Hope to see you at the event! CLICK HERE TO REGISTER FOR FREE or to get more information on Winning Strategies for Business.

Learning to Use the Law of Reciprocity: 4 Tips

I posted a blog this past Monday explaining what networkers need to know about the law of reciprocity, and I promised that I’d follow up today with some tips on what to keep in mind as you learn to use the law of reciprocity in your networking efforts. Below you will find four very important things to remember:

Tip No. 1–Giving means helping others achieve success. What is your plan to contribute to others? How much time and energy can you spare for this? Do you actively seek out opportunities to help people? You could volunteer to help out with something that’s important to someone in your network, offer advice or support in time of need, or even work hard to connect someone to a valuable contact of yours.

Tip No. 2–The person who helps you will not necessarily be the person you helped. Zig Ziglar says, “If you help enough people get what they want, you will get what you want.” In other words, what goes around comes around. If you focus intently on helping others, you will achieve success in the end.

Tip No. 3–The law of reciprocity can be measured. It is a myth that networking cannot be measured and, in my latest book, Networking Like a Pro, my co-authors and I use the Networking Scorecard Worksheet, part of the Certified Networker Program offered through the Referral Institute, to measure networking. If you apply the law of reciprocity, you will see your weekly total networking score gradually rise.

Tip No. 4–Success takes getting involved. Contrary to Woody Allen’s assertion that “90 percent of success is just showing up,” you have to do more than simply be present to be a successful networker. If you join a chamber of commerce, become an ambassador. If you join a BNI chapter, get involved in the leadership team. If you join a civic organization, get on a committee. The law of reciprocity requires giving to the group; it will pay you back many times over.

A master networker understands that, although networking is not the end but simply the means to growing a business, service to your network of contacts must always be uppermost in your networking activities. Once you have established a solid reputation as someone who cares about the success of others, the law of reciprocity will reward you with an abundance of high quality referrals.

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