Tips for Summer Networkingstring(26) "Tips for Summer Networking"

It is summertime in the northern hemisphere, temperatures are rising and so are your summer networking opportunities!

I sometimes hear BNI members say that their chapter slows down during the summer months. I also know LOTS of chapters that flourish in the summer with new members and referral growth! So why are some up while others are down? It starts with a choice to have a positive attitude; deciding that a slowdown is not inevitable. Then it is a matter of adapting to the season by refocusing on referrals during your networking activities.

Look at your calendar. What summertime networking activities are you attending? Some of these may not seem like obvious networking activities, however, successful networkers know to always be prepared.

  • Backyard Barbeque
  • Neighborhood or City-Block Parties
  • Pool Parties
  • Picnics
  • Ball Games or Sporting Events
  • Music Festivals
  • Reunions
  • Other Summertime Fun: Golf, Boating, Traveling, Fishing, Hiking, Tennis, Sailing, Camping, and Gardening

BBQ / Block Party Networking

Whether you are going to a neighborhood block party for a holiday celebration, or a more intimate birthday party for a family member or colleague, barbecues are a great chance to meet friends of your friends and expand your professional network.

Make the most of your own family backyard gathering. Bring a few sample products to the barbecue to give out to family and friends. Who is better to help spread the word about your business? If you are so inclined, ask attendees to bring a new friend with them to the event. More than likely, some family members will show up with uninvited guests anyway. Use these opportunities to get to know people and share what you type of customers you are looking for. Remember, you don’t know who they know!
CAUTION: Don’t give a sales pitch at a neighborhood party or barbecue – not ever. People are there to have fun, relax, and enjoy.

Pool Party / Picnic Networking

Remember that a good networker has TWO ears and ONE mouth and uses them proportionately! Listen to what everyone is saying at your summertime activities. What topics are they mentioning?

Are they complaining about their business? Invite them to visit your BNI chapter.

Are they excited about a wedding? Share information about those members in your chapter that are good referrals for them.

Do they talk about their home being too hot in the summer and it costs too much to cool? Offer to introduce them to the HVAC or solar power member in your chapter.

Do they want to remodel their home or need to move into a new home? It’s referral time! Start by asking how you can help and offer to connect them with professionals that you know.

Ball Game / Sporting Event Networking

A great networking strategy is to get tickets to a local ball game or sporting event and invite fellow BNI members and potential referral partners that you know to attend and then you can introduce them to each other. Whether your team wins or loses, great connections can be made!

Music Festival Networking

The hills are alive with the sound of networking. Music brings people from all different types of professional backgrounds together. Networking through all of the music and dancing at a festival will be a challenge, but it can prove to be invaluable. While each attendee might have a different background, many will have the same overall goal – utilize networking to make meaningful connections and build their businesses. Every personal encounter is a potential opportunity for networking and building a mutually beneficial relationship, so don’t overlook anyone.

Networking at Reunions

Summertime is when there are lots of family reunions and class reunions. These events are typically a gathering of dozens of people who, despite the fact that they took various different professional paths, automatically have a great deal in common and genuinely want to see one another succeed. If you’re looking for a job, a career change, some industry advice, or even if you’re simply hoping to network within your field, attending your reunion could be just the ticket. The question is not whether you should attend your reunion, but how you will network effectively at the reunion.

The Four-hour One-to-One Networking Foursome

If you are a golfer, find a fellow BNI Member who also plays golf. Set up a round of golf and you each bring a favorite golf-playing client to introduce to each other as a referral source for the other BNI member. What a great way to solidify a top referral source and score a ‘hole in one” referral yourself with someone else! Again, this is not the time for a sales pitch – it’s about building relationships.

What if you don’t play golf? Think about another summertime activity you like to do that you and a fellow member can invite clients to. Think Boating, Fishing, Hiking, Tennis, Sailing, Camping, or Gardening. Or YOUR personal favorite.

Any place you go with family, friends, or strangers is a networking opportunity!

There are so many opportunities for networking throughout the year – including summertime. You can use these tips in your own community and while traveling on vacation, too.

  • Always have your Business Cards with you. Bring your fellow BNI members’ business cards with you to all your summertime events, too.
  • Remember your fellow members and make a goal for yourself to find at least one referral for a member of your group at each event you attend.
  • Think about the people you have met at these types of events. Who can you invite to your business networking meeting and bring them as a visitor?

Here’s to a GREAT summer in the Northern Hemisphere filled with lots of networking opportunities and referrals! For those of you in the Southern Hemisphere – revisit these tips in December or adapt them to the activities you’re doing now.

I’d love to hear your stories about networking at events like these. Share them below, thanks!

2024 Founder’s Day: A Day of One-to-One Meetingsstring(50) "2024 Founder’s Day: A Day of One-to-One Meetings"

In 2021, I began a tradition called “Founder’s Day” which is a day where I meet with BNI members from around the world in individual One-to-One meetings. I love the opportunity that our current technology gives us to have video conversations and connect with people from other places.

For this 4th Annual Founder’s Day on June 27, 2024, I would love to have a global BNI One-to-One day! Watch this short video for more info.

I invite all BNI members and Directors to schedule at least one 1-2-1 with a fellow member on Thursday June 27, 2024.  It’s a great way to learn about your referral partners and business associates. One-to-One meetings help build strong relationships and move us forward in the VCP Process®, from Visibility and Credibility toward Profitability.

Have you had a 1-2-1 with a member from another BNI Chapter? Perhaps you want to reach out to someone in another region or another country who is in your profession or who is in a business that is complementary to yours.

The 2024 Founder’s Day application period has passed, and I have already scheduled my meetings with the BNI members who were selected.
However, we currently have more than 326,000 BNI members worldwide. I personally invite you to participate by having your own One-to-One meeting with another BNI member on the same day.

Tell me about your June 27th meeting (or meetings😊) on my social media afterward. How many BNI 1-2-1s will take place globally on Founder’s Day 2024?
I am excited to find out!




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10 Simple Ways to Create Referrals for Lifestring(43) "10 Simple Ways to Create Referrals for Life"

Referrals play a role in the success of every business, and establishing lasting referral connections is essential for any sustained growth. Referrals tend to yield much better results in bringing in business to a company compared to other lead generation methods or marketing strategies. When someone refers your services or products it comes with a recommendation that boosts the likelihood of converting connections into sales.

According to a Nielsen global survey of 29,000 people, 84% of those responding said they prefer “recommendations from people [they] know.” In fact, that was the number one selection relating to the question: “To what extent do you trust the following forms of advertising?”

Building referrals for life is not an event or a quick solution; when done right, it should be a process rather than a one-time endeavor. Networking is an enduring investment that demands effort and dedication to nurturing relationships with your referral partners.

10 Recommendations for Cultivating Referrals for Life

  1. Cultivate a mindset centered on referrals

Above all, it’s crucial to adopt a focused on generating referrals when networking and fostering connections.

When you prioritize assisting others over focusing on your immediate personal gains you develop a relationship-building mindset that values helping and supporting people. By being attentive to others needs and seeking ways to aid them in reaching their objectives you can establish the kind of trust that allows people to feel comfortable referring business to you.

  1. Build strong relationships

Establishing connections is essential for fostering referrals. To build these connections, it is crucial to embody authenticity, honesty and reliability. Being a listener, demonstrating an interest in others and following through on your promises are key aspects of nurturing strong relationships. While building connections requires time and dedication, my own experiences have proven that the effort invested pays off in the long run.

  1. Educate your network

Educating your network is an often overlooked aspect of the referral process. To cultivate referrals, it is important to educate those within your network about your business and its offerings. This involves more than making a sale; it entails equipping your network with the knowledge they need to refer your business to other people. By helping them grasp what sets your business apart and how you can benefit others, you are effectively conveying the value you provide to clients or customers.

The more your connections understand your business, the simpler it will be for them to recommend you. It’s crucial to approach the process of networking with the mindset of training a sales team (or referral team) rather than solely focusing on closing sales.

  1. Deliver exceptional service

Delivering great service plays a vital role in generating long-lasting referrals. When you provide exceptional service, your clients or customers turn into your advocates. They are more inclined to refer you to others because they have faith in what you do and the value you provide. Providing service involves exceeding expectations, anticipating your client’s needs and fulfilling your commitments.

  1. Ask for referrals

Once you have established credibility with someone (which takes time), it’s important to ask for referrals. While this may seem straightforward, many business owners overlook asking for referrals from individuals they have relationships with. It’s beneficial to make it a routine to seek referrals from clients or customers. When requesting referrals be specific about who you would like to be referred to and why.

It might sound counterintuitive, but being more specific can actually make it easier for your clients or customers to recommend you to others.

  1. Give referrals

One way to get referrals is by giving referrals yourself. When you refer someone, it creates a quicker potential relationship for both parties involved. It demonstrates your willingness to assist others and also enhances the chances of receiving referrals in return. Make it a practice to actively look for opportunities to recommend businesses that share your values and standards.

  1. Stay connected

Touch points are critical. Keep connected with your network by following up with them. This could be done through emails phone calls, social media interactions, face-to-face meetings, Zoom or Skype calls. By staying connected you keep your business at the forefront of their minds. It also shows that you value the relationship beyond business transactions. You can also utilize this opportunity to inform your network about products or services, upcoming events or any updates within your business.

  1. Leverage social media

Platforms like LinkedIn, Instagram, X (Twitter) and Facebook all serve as tools for maintaining existing relationships and sometimes even establishing new ones.

Using social media is a way to connect with potential clients or referral partners, share valuable content, engage in industry-specific groups and stay updated on the latest news and trends. It’s important to interact with your followers by responding to comments, liking and sharing their posts and initiating conversations.

  1. Attend networking events

Attending networking events is an opportunity to meet people, establish and nurture relationships and generate referral possibilities. Look for events tailored to your industry, chamber of commerce gatherings or business conferences that align with your objectives. When you attend these events remember to bring your business cards, dress professionally and have a clear and concise elevator pitch that highlights the value of your business.

  1. Show gratitude

Expressing gratitude when someone refers you to a client or customer is essential. You  can show appreciation by sending a thank you note, a gift or offering a discount on your services. Demonstrating gratitude strengthens relationships and leaves an impression that may result in more referrals in the future.


By incorporating these strategies into your networking efforts, over time you can cultivate lasting referrals that contribute to sustainable business growth. Keep in mind that building referrals is a commitment that pays off over time and demands ongoing efforts.

Fail to Plan, Plan to Failstring(26) "Fail to Plan, Plan to Fail"

Choosing to put your time and energy into networking for your business is one of the best investments you can make to secure future success. However, if you are networking without a plan or strategy, it really is a lost effort. I share my thoughts about it in this video.

Networking works. It’s simply a matter of developing a strategy, following your plan, and taking action to achieve your goals. Remember, if you fail to plan, you might as well plan to fail.




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My Top Tip for Hitting the Marketing Targetstring(43) "My Top Tip for Hitting the Marketing Target"

I wasn’t always confident about marketing. When I first started out in business, my degrees were in Political Science and Organizational Behavior. I had very little marketing experience until I went to work for a transportation company in Southern California. Within a two-week span, I went from a role in the purchasing department to a significant role in marketing–a huge change that was an even bigger learning experience for me.

My marketing experience was trial by fire and reading. I just started reading books on marketing and learned as I went along. That experience gave me enough knowledge to do some marketing on my own when I later started out as a business consultant.

If someone had asked me when I was 25 years old where I saw myself career wise thirty or 40 years later, I would have had no clue that my career would be all about marketing . . . that I would be the Founder of the world’s largest networking organizationSometimes we go places in life we never expected to go, however I wouldn’t change a thing about the career path I chose. I am passionate about helping people grow their businesses and achieve great success through effective referral marketing. After more than three decades devoted to this work, I really enjoy knowing that what I do allows me to pass on the marketing knowledge and experience I’ve attained in order to benefit others.

Build Your Brand

When I am asked what my top marketing tip would be, I think it’s really all about building the brand–either the brand of the company or of the individual, depending on the type of business that you’re in. Name recognition is one of the biggest challenges, especially for small companies. It’s not the same for everybody because every business is a little different and people’s skill sets are different.

For me, in my business, brand building has largely been about writing. Before the internet, I was trying to get articles published in newspapers and magazines. Now it’s so much easier. With blogs and social media, even small companies can have a global reach. The problem is all the ‘white noise’ that’s out there: with so many people wanting a piece of the action you must be able to stand out.

Writing to Build Your Brand

I realize that most businesspeople really do not have time to sit down and write an entire book. I do think that writing articles is something that most people could find time to do at least once a month. Writing articles consistently and for an extended period of time, is a plausible, virtually costless, way to brand yourself and your business. It allows you to increase your visibility and enhance credibility in your community. However, my experience has been that it is just an idea that most people aren’t willing to commit their time to.

For those who are willing to step up to the task, here is my best advice:

  • Think about the things you know and understand best. Select the elements of that knowledge that might be of interest to the general public, and then review the types of media outlets that write for that audience.
  • Contact an editor of one of the sites or publications you selected. Tell them why their readers will be interested in the feature idea you have or why it’s newsworthy. Idea: use your network to connect with the editor.
  • Stick with it and remain consistent in submitting articles and before you know it, you will be well on your way to branding yourself as a local expert through being a recognized, published author.

For me, the top marketing tip to build your brand would be to write, write, write. Become an expert in your field so people want to follow you because when they follow you, they’re more likely to do business with you.

What is your top marketing tip? I’d love to hear how you’re making your mark with marketing – leave a reply below. Thank you.

You’ve Got to Know Your Audience!string(35) "You’ve Got to Know Your Audience!"

One evening back in 2014, I was having some wine with a friend who had recently attended a private jet show in Geneva, Switzerland (which sounded like lots of fun!). He was talking about what a great job one of the exclusive, high-end private jet companies had done to wow their potential customers.

He said that they gave a new iPad to each invited guest onto which they had loaded all the specs for their various jets. This included apps that let the prospects choose the plane that they were interested in and then create a custom interior from all their choices – woods, carpeting, leathers, etc.… They could see what their new plane would look like right there on the spot. It was brilliant!

Everyone seemed extremely impressed with this high-tech marketing tool, until it was handed to someone my friend recognized immediately – Bill Gates, Founder of Microsoft. What did he say? Something like, “Thanks, but no thanks.”

The team at the jet company had failed to think about how the Founder of Microsoft would react to being handed an Apple product to use in the process of a potential sale. You may think, it’s a small detail. However, it is a big reminder that you really have to know your audience. A seemingly small detail to you, could end up being huge to your potential customer, and it could make or break the deal!

To get the best results from your marketing and networking efforts, you must consider who you are talking to and make sure the information you are going to share is appropriate for the people in the room.

Have you seen a situation where someone didn’t think about their audience and missed an opportunity? If so, please leave a reply and tell me about it. Thanks!

‘Full-Calorie’ Networking vs. ‘Networking Lite’string(55) "‘Full-Calorie’ Networking vs. ‘Networking Lite’"

In one of the previous blogs I published about networking, I mentioned that the networking organization I founded in 1985, BNI® (Business Network International), is structured around weekly networking meetings. In response to that blog post, someone wrote to me saying how much they loved the idea of networking meetings and everything about the concept of business networking appealed to them, but they absolutely didn’t want to have to commit to going to a meeting every week. They proposed that a once-a-month BNI meeting would be much more appealing.

In this video, I detail my response to this person’s proposition of monthly, instead of weekly, networking meetings. I address their suggestion (with a bit of humor) that networkers should have a ‘Networking Lite’ option rather than going for the ‘Full-Calorie Networking’ system.

Suffice it to say, opting for ‘Networking Lite’ has never done anyone any favors. My secret to success in business and life (which I share in this video) has a lot to do with never cutting corners or skimping when it comes to my daily recipe for goal achievement.

I’d love to hear your feedback on this video! Share your experience in weekly networking groups vs. networking groups that meet much less often.  Thank you!

Walking the Talk in Your Businessstring(33) "Walking the Talk in Your Business"

I once saw someone’s social media post telling me how their vitamin line would not only make me skinny and healthy, it would also make me wealthy. While there is nothing objectionable about any of these outcomes, the jarring reality is that the person who was promoting this wonderful opportunity was neither skinny nor healthy, and they had recently been posting updates about how they were desperately trying to dig themself out of debt!

Do you see the disconnect here? I’m sure you have seen people at networking meetings and events who will stand up, introduce themselves, and deliver a promise-filled monologue about how their product or service will bring you all kinds of things which they themselves obviously do not have the benefit of enjoying.

What’s missing is congruency.

When your professional message is not congruent with your personal situation, your networking efforts will not be effective. If you are promoting yourself as a wellness coach, and yet you are often sick and are 20 pounds overweight, there is a noticeable incongruence for which it will be hard for you to compensate. When I want to refer my colleagues to a wellness coach, I will refer them to someone who is healthy, fit, and obviously achieving the results they promise that one will receive from participating in their program.

This may seem logical, and yet I often see people all over the world with incongruent messages. Ask yourself how congruent YOUR message is. If you are a professional organizer, is your briefcase or your office a disaster? If you are a car detailer, how does your own vehicle look? If you have never done so before now, take stock today of your message. Evaluate what you are saying about the benefits of your products or services and compare that to what you are showing people.

Walking the Talk

Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “What you do thunders above your head so loudly, I cannot hear the words you speak.” In his book, Inside the Magic Kingdom, Tom Connellan calls this “walking the talk.”

In a BNI Podcast episode, Priscilla Rice shared that there was a time management person in her BNI Chapter would never stop talking. They would always go over the amount of time each member was given for their Weekly Presentation. Think about it – if you are a time management person and you can’t stay on time, what kind of credibility does that give you?

I spoke once to the National Association of Professional Organizers. I was curious and wondered – how good and how organized is this conference going to be? After I spoke and was there for a little while, I found one of the organizers of the event and said, “You should be proud. This was one of the most well-run events I have ever been at.” He replied, “Well, we are professional organizers. It should be.”

That organization was very congruent with their message; they were walking the talk. It gave me great confidence – not only about the organization, it also gave me more confidence about professional organizers.

Remember, it’s about giving people confidence; you have to be able to walk the talk. A time management person needs to be on time. An organizer needs to be organized.

When your professional image or your professional message is not congruent with your personal situation, it impacts the effectiveness of your networking. Be congruent in your actions and your words, particularly when it comes to building professional relationships with potential referral partners.

How are you doing when it comes to walking the talk in your business? It will make a noticeable difference in the success of your networking efforts.

Do you have a story about someone (no names) whose message was not congruent with their actions?  I’d love to hear about it.

Leverage Your Achievements for Greater Successstring(46) "Leverage Your Achievements for Greater Success"

Success may be a lasting accomplishment; however, the thrill of success is transitory – much of the joy is the journey. Once it’s over, we often begin to wonder, “What’s next?” This feeling of emptiness is a cue for us to step up and get ready for the next level because success goes on as long as we keep building new steps.

We graduate from one level and then, equipped with what we’ve learned, we go on to new accomplishments in the next level. Each accomplishment becomes something we can stand on to reach even higher. We can leverage our success.

Small successes can add up to major leverage.

Each experience, each skill we’ve learned or honed, each new technology that we have adopted multiplies the results of our efforts. The achievements that we leverage can be our own, or they can be those of other contributors in a team effort. People who work alone against tall odds to accomplish what others might consider mundane achievements often end up amassing powerful capabilities. However they are combined, the whole can be greater than the sum of the parts if used to full effect.

The resources we find most useful as levers depend on both our immediate, and our long-term, goals. Many are specialized and may be closely identified with a particular field or profession or industry. Trial lawyers, politicians, and motivational speakers cultivate forensic skills, the ability to sway audiences. This is a vital resource that can be transferred from one project to another, even in different fields. The same goes for marketing skills, management expertise, and most leadership skills. The more success we have achieved, the more easily we can apply these resources toward achieving new ends.

As a lever, success is also portable to others. We can use it to help ourselves reach our own goals, and we can also help our associates, friends, colleagues, family members, and perhaps worthy strangers, reach their goals. Success contains many valuable and transferable components such as: experience, skills, wisdom, insight, confidence, enthusiasm, energy, money, reputation, sometimes just the outsize influence of fame. These assets can be mobilized in pursuit of different ends, including the needs of others. All that is necessary is to choose a worthy goal and turn the momentum of success in a new direction.


Networking is a structured system for leveraging success and thereby sharing its benefits. Helping others achieve their goals not only leverages a person’s success for the benefit of others, it also brings the leverage full circle: what goes around comes around. Although it springs from an initial good given without expectation of recompense, an altruistic act for a network contact accrues social capital. The benefits provided eventually come back to the giver. I call this the Givers Gain® philosophy and it is the principle Core Value of BNI®, the organization I founded in 1985.

The ultimate leveraging of success is the philanthropy of those whose accomplishments have made them rich and who look for ways to give back to individuals who have helped them and to the community that nurtured their success. Their rewards come not in the form of superfluous money or fame; they come in the prosperity of those they help, and in the goodwill and approval of the community. This is success of a whole new order – social immortality.

Enjoy the Journey

Wherever you are in your success journey, it is important to remember that the joy really is in the journeyThere will be plenty of times when we not only don’t immediately achieve the success we’re aiming for, we actually end up completely failing at what we were trying to do. That is when it’s crucial to keep in mind what Henry Ford once said, “Failure is the opportunity to begin again intelligently.” In other words, the experience we get in our journey to success is truly invaluable, and that experience is what will end up fueling our greatest successes.

Success is a topic that has so many different aspects and perspectives to it and I’d really like to hear your thoughts after reading this blog. Share a story about your journey to success, tell me what success means to you, share the experience you got or the success you ultimately achieved from a past “failure,” or how you have leveraged your success to help others. Thank you.

Go the Extra Mile for Networking Successstring(40) "Go the Extra Mile for Networking Success"

I am regularly surrounded by people who know that connecting with others to network for their business is extremely important. However, I am often surprised at how many people put very little effort into purposefully strengthening the relationships with the people in their network. The fact is, you need to build strong relationships with the people who constitute your network, and vice versa. You want to be the first name that comes to mind when those in your network scratch their heads and wonder, “Hmmm . . . Whom could I go to with that problem? Who would be a good fit for that referral?”

Going the extra mile provides several ways for you to stand out and be positively memorable with potential referral partners. You want to focus on things that you can do to demonstrate the unforgettable value you bring to the table as a network member. Even though it is business networking and not simply about social relationships, it’s important to acknowledge that people like people who help them. If you help someone, in turn they will want to help you.

Take the Initiative

I recommend that you take the initiative in developing a relationship with someone who could be of help to you in networking your business. Here are some strategies to help you go the extra mile to accomplish this.

1) Be a value-added friend.
First, get to know the people who make up your referral team. Ask questions about their business, about their hobbies and their passions. Help someone achieve their goal. Before you ask what others can do for you, ask what you can do for them.

2) Become a catalyst.
The definition of a catalyst is an agent that initiates a reaction. In networking, a catalyst is someone who makes things happen. Operate with intent. Take the lead and be the person who makes things happen.


3) Find an accountability partner.
This is a person to whom you can be accountable, responsible, and answerable. Have a  video or phone call with your accountability partner every week to discuss how effectively you implement networking strategies and if you meet the goals you set for your business.

4) Volunteer as a way of building visibility for your business.
People need to know, like and trust you in order to refer you to others. People who volunteer demonstrate their commitment to a cause, and to their community, without for concern for personal gain. Volunteering can help you build credibility with your networking partners.

5) Send thank-you cards.
A simple thank-you card may sound small in the big picture of business networking. However, receiving a traditional, handwritten letter or card of gratitude is memorable and shows that you are willing to go beyond an ordinary text or email that says “Thanks.” Sending a thank-you card to your networking partners is a simple, yet powerful, activity.

6) Timely follow-up is extremely important in moving a relationship forward.
If you are not following up when your referral partners call you, or you don’t follow up on the referrals you give to others, you’re not just losing business, you also risk losing credibility. Your follow-up technique will leave a lasting impression – make sure it a positive one.

Going the extra mile with the people in your network not only expresses your sincerity, it also opens the door to accept what the law of reciprocity has to offer to you and your business. Effective networkers invest their time to build deep relationships with the people in their network. They know that seemingly small steps in their business networking activities can add up to extra miles toward their success.



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Networking Lessons from Prize-Winning Cornstring(42) "Networking Lessons from Prize-Winning Corn"

What is one of the most important things you need to know about networking?

If you want to get more business, you must be willing to give business to other businesspeople.

That is why I founded my networking organization, BNI, on the central, guiding philosophy of giving benefit to others – Givers Gain®. It is an ethical theme that is common to all religions and all cultures: Treat others the way you want to be treated.

The underlying foundation of this truth is built on the concept that what goes around comes around. However, it is more complex than that. Networking is about relationship building. Over the past 40 years, I have found that the best way to quickly build a relationship with someone is to help them firstIf you want to get referrals, focus on how you can give referrals to others.

This is a story that I originally heard from a BNI Director some time ago. It is a great metaphor about the way that effective business networking works.

The Corn Story

A farmer in the U.S. state of Nebraska won the state fair four times in a row with his corn. Nobody had ever done that before, so the newspaper sent someone out to interview him.

The reporter asked, “What is your secret? Do you use special corn seed?”

The farmer said, “Absolutely. I develop my own corn seed, and that’s an important aspect of it.”

“Well, then, that’s your secret,” said the reporter. “You plant a type of corn that’s different from your neighbors.”

“No,” said the farmer, “I also give it to my neighbors who are also farmers.”

“You give it to your neighbors?” asked the incredulous reporter. “Why in the world would you give your award-winning corn to your neighbors?”

The farmer said, “Well, you’ve got to understand how corn is pollinated. It’s pollinated from neighboring fields. And if you’ve got fields around you that don’t have this top-quality corn, your field is not going to grow top-quality corn either. But if my neighbor’s field has this really strong corn, then I have awesome corn. And that’s how I’ve won at the Nebraska State Fair the last four years in a row.”

Think about it – this really is a key concept for successful business networking. To put it simply, if you’re going to be an effective networker, you need to go into networking with a commitment to helping other people because that is how you will be helped in return.

I’d love to hear from you. What are your thoughts?

Fashionable Canesstring(17) "Fashionable Canes"

Several years ago, I had some serious back problems that led to sciatica. That’s when I began using some amazing canes from Fashionable Canes.

They recently asked me to be a brand ambassador and I am happy to do so. I will be sharing some of my favorite canes in the coming weeks. Watch the video and get a special discount code to save 15% on their products.

As I said in the video, I am donating 100% of my commission to charity – the BNI Foundation. You can see the large selection of Fashionable Canes and walking sticks here and use the discount code: drivanmisner to save 15% (this offer is only available for a limited time).
Thank you for watching.

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