Your Business is Not an Ugly Baby

Your Business is Not an Ugly Baby

When was the last time you heard someone say, “Wow, your baby sure is ugly!” If they’re smart, probably never. How about this one? “You’re clothing, marketing message and overall business image are not referable?” Ouch. We occasionally think this about people we meet, but will rarely say it out loud. Which is why you are responsible for making sure your business, your “baby,” is […]

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Lifelong Learning: Lessons in Leadership

Lifelong Learning: Lessons in Leadership

  As many of you know, I was given the fantastic opportunity to spend a few days with John Maxwell at his Leadership Conference in Orlando Florida last week. (You can read my initial reaction to winning the Leadership award here.) John shared a story that I thought was a great networking lesson, and it’s something I want to share with all of you. He began […]

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Resist Coin-Operated Networking

Resist Coin-Operated Networking

When networking, do you only talk to those who can give you the most in return? Do you only give your business card to someone who you will bring you a ton of referrals? Do you only give referrals if you know you’ll get them in return? If this sounds like you, you are doing it all wrong. Networking is not a vending machine. You […]

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Is Ignorance on Fire Ever a Good Thing?

Is Ignorance on Fire Ever a Good Thing?

The following video is part of my new “Ivanism” Garage to Global series, hosted by Entrepreneur.com, where I expand on catch phrases I have used frequently over the years.   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 […]

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MSNBC’s Your Business

MSNBC’s Your Business

On Thursday, I was swept off to a land far, far away. OK, not that far away. But TV has to be dramatic, doesn’t it? Even though I was close to home, I visited the homes of millions by appearing as a guest on MSNBC’s Your Business, with host JJ Ramberg. I was featured as an expert on referral networking (imagine that!) and spoke about […]

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Counting Your Referrals

Counting Your Referrals

Referrals are the backbone of word-of-mouth networking, am I right? So if you reach out 100 people with a referral and ten reach back, did you give 100 or ten referrals? Many would immediately assume the higher number, because let’s face it–100 is better than 10. But that isn’t the case! But WHY is this? I come to you today with a Vlog (video blog) […]

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You are not entitled to referrals

You are not entitled to referrals

Three easy steps to encourage referrals

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How Many Referrals Do You Expect Per Month?

How Many Referrals Do You Expect Per Month?

The number of referrals you should expect to receive is dependent on the type of business you’re in and the effort you exert to develop your network. Some professions receive more referrals than others. For example, a florist is going to get many more than a real estate agent. However, the florist will have to sell a lot of flowers to make up for one […]

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Using Your Unique Selling Proposition

Using Your Unique Selling Proposition

One 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 […]

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Networking is a Contact Sport

Networking is a Contact Sport

Many entrepreneurs belong to networking organizations, but they simply don’t know how to effectively get a return on that investment of time.  Thoughtful engagement is the answer.  Engagement is an absolutely critical step in the networking process.  It involves a promise and an action.  In order to achieve success with your networking partners, you must promise to support one another, and then you must take […]

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The Greatest Referral of My Life

The Greatest Referral of My Life

If you’re familiar with BNI, the business networking organization I founded back in the mid ’80s, you may be aware that this year is BNI’s 30th anniversary and we’re honoring it with a celebratory video series.  Today, I’d like to share with you one of the videos from the series which is especially important to me because, in it, I talk about the greatest referral […]

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What to Do If You Get a Bad Referral

What to Do If You Get a Bad Referral

The best way to avoid bad referrals is to tell people when they’ve given you one.  Tell them tactfully, but tell them!  If you don’t, you’ll keep getting bad referrals and, to be brutally honest, you’ll deserve every one of them.  I continually run into people who say, “Oh, I can’t tell someone that the referral they gave me was no good.”  I say, You […]

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