Ivan Misner, Author at Dr. Ivan Misner® - Page 103 of 113

Transformational Yakov

I am in Hawaii for the Transformational Leadership Council (TLC) meeting this week. I have been a member of  TLC for several years and have always enjoyed the very eclectic group of authors, trainers and thought leaders. But I must say, it just got even more interesting.  Joining our group this week was a new member: actor and comedic legend Yakov Smirnoff 

We were pleased to have him do about 30 minutes of his material during one of the sessions. I can’t remember when I’ve ever seen someone take an audience from uproarious laughter to tears and back to gut-wrenching laughter so quickly and effectively. It was the sign of a true master of the art.

In a time of great challenges for many people, his “Love and Laughter” presentation was a refreshing change of pace. In talking to him later that day, I discovered that during this part of the year, he is doing keynote presentations for organizations around the world.  Hmmm, he might make a good keynote presenter at a business conference (I’m just thinking).

If you ever have a chance to see him perform in person, I highly recommend it.  He’s an outstanding comedic performer who tugs at your heart while making you laugh.

Do What Others Don’t

To some businessspeople, networking is something to try when they’re hurting for business.  However, networking is actually a primary strategy for generating business relationships that lead to more referrals.  When done correctly, networking is a proactive strategy for business growth, not a reaction to slow business.

I think the most important single idea in networking is to do what others don’t.  Doing what others don’t gives you an edge.  It can position you head and shoulders above your competition.  It helps you stand out in a positive way and, when you do, people are attracted to you and your business, and your success grows stronger, deeper and more durable.

So go beyond the norm. Take the time to gather information for improving your business by getting straightforward feedback from people.  This will help you identify your business’s strengths and weaknesses so you can take corrective action.  Some more ideas that most people don’t take the time or effort to implement are:

  •  Adopt the attitude of a host at networking mixers.
  • Use your influence and professional status to help members of your network solve problems.
  • Learn to specifically ask for referrals.
  • Take every opportunity to educate yourself on how to better your business and your networking efforts.

New Networking TV Show on yourBusinessChannel.com

YourBusinessChannel.com, a website dedicated to bringing TV shows packed with top business tips to people around the world, is now airing a new TV show where I talk about the great void that exists in business schools and universities as a result of the fact that they neglect to teach networking as a part of their curriculum.  CLICK HERE to view the show where I discuss in more detail why this problem exists and how we may be able to solve it.

I’ve also written a couple of previous blogs addressing my frustration over this issue, as well as my optimism that the problem may be obsolete in the future. To read those blogs, click here and here.

I’ve recently signed on as one of the participating business experts on a great new project run by yourBusinessChannel called The Million Dollar Challenge.  As a result of my involvement in the project, I will be doing more TV shows for yourBusinessChannel, so I’ll notify all of my blog readers each time a new show comes out.

The Million Dollar Challenge is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for businesses around the world to have a team of experts, which would normally cost around a million dollars to assemble, offer them the strategies and advice that will skyrocket their growth.  If you’d like to know more about The Million Dollar Challenge, CLICK HERE.

I invite you to watch my new show on yourBusinessChannel.com and let me know what you think by posting a comment below.

Thanks!

International Networking Week: Mark Your Calendar

International Networking Week, Feb. 2-6, 2009, is quickly approaching and it’s a great way to start off the New Year.

Make 2009 the year you see opportunity when others see problems, seek growth when others expect collapse and see success when others see failure.  Watch the short 2009 International Networking Week video and find out about how to join me and many other successful business people in recognizing and participating in this year’s International Networking Week. Focus on what you do best, and don’t let other people sidetrack you from building your business.

WATCH THE 2009 INTERNATIONAL NETWORKING WEEK VIDEO HERE!

Is Your Network a Mile Wide and an Inch Deep?

In Southern California we have many huge, tall, lush eucalyptus trees that topple over fairly easily in the high winds that occur almost every year.  When they’re uprooted and blown over, you can see that their root system is broad and wide but not very deep.  I think this is a powerful metaphor for what to consider in building your personal network.  To go deep in establishing your network, you can do three things:

1.  Build quality relationships. Take time beyond normal business interactions to deepen your relationships with referral sources.  Invite them to social functions, learn their hobbies and interests, and help them pursue their personal goals.

2.  Network in new places. Other than your strong–and casual–contact groups, look for new areas to find partners with common interests, such as charitable organizations and professional support groups.  Don’t prospect right away; let the relationships mature.

3.  Focus on others. Rather than having a “What’s in it for me?” mind-set, ask yourself, What can I do for this person?  Continually look for ways to bring business and benefits to others in any group you’re a part of.  Make yourself known as the person who always has something for others.  This is a powerful way to both deepen and broaden your network.

If your network is a mile wide and an inch deep, it will not hold up in the winds of today’s economy.  Go deep in building relationships and you’ll do well in these challenging times.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this, so please leave a comment.

The New Year is a Time for Vision Making

Each year, a few days before New Year’s Eve, I head off to my mountain retreat in Big Bear Lake, Calif., to recharge my batteries. It’s a great opportunity to spend time with the family and prepare for the onslaught of the coming year.

It’s also a good time to give thought to the vision you have for your business and life over the next year.

It’s hard to hit a target you’re not aiming at.  The new year is a great time to think about some of your plans and goals for the next 12 months (and beyond).  Even if all you have is a couple days, take the time every January to slow down and do some “vision making” for your business.  Remember that a successful businessperson needs to work “on” the business as well as “in” the business.  Work “on” your business this month by creating your vision for 2009.

Happy New Year!

Ivan

The Platinum Rule: Treat Others How THEY Want to be Treated

Lately, I’ve observed a few networking blunders occurring that have reminded me of the importance of what Tony Allessandra calls the Platinum Rule. Most of us are familiar with the Golden Rule (“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”), but to network effectively, you’ve got to be relationship-based, so you need to use the Platinum Rule–not only with your referral source, but also with the prospect.

There are three people involved in a referral: 1. You. You need to know how you work best and where your strengths and weaknesses lie.  2. The referral source. How does this person like to communicate? How does he like to be treated? If you want him to help you, you’ve got to treat him the way he wants to be treated.  3. The prospect.  How does the prospect like to be sold to?  What’s the best way to communicate with the prospect?

Strive to be adaptable and accommodate the behavioral style of your source when you’re working with him or her, and of your prospect when you’ve been put in touch with him. If you seek to find out how people want to be treated and then treat them that way, you won’t make the mistake of assuming everyone likes the same things you do. Looking for a fast way to destroy a budding relationship? Assume that your client or referral partner enjoys deep-sea fishing as avidly as you do and insist that he come along on your next Old Man and the Sea adventure. Then watch as he turns green and hugs the rail of the boat the entire day.

By learning about the other person’s goals, accomplishments, interests, networks and skills, you can establish the groundwork for a smooth-running referral relationship from the start.  All of these factors together will tell you the best way to communicate and what to talk about.

#1 Sales Article of 2008!

The Top 10 Sales Articles site, an initiative of The Sales Corporation , provides a single location where time-strapped sales leaders, sales professionals and publishers can locate the top sales articles published every week.

 

Each week The Sales Corporation selects the very best sales articles from the major article sites, which have been written by top sales experts from around the world. It culls through articles until it finds the 10 best pieces of sales advice, and then each Sunday it announces the Sales Article of the Week.  The weekly winners compete for monthly honors and ultimately the Top Sales Article of the Year.

In March of this year, salesopedia published an article of mine entitled “The 10 Commandments of Networking.”

The article was picked up by The Sales Corporation and it has been nominated, along with 11 other articles written by different sales experts, to compete in the running for the title of the #1 Sales Article of the Year.

To vote for The 10 Commandments… article or one of the other selections, please click on the graphic to the right:

 

If you voted, I’d love to hear what you thought of the article.  Please leave a comment below.

Create an Informative Newsletter

Think about the people you consider experts. They are known for sharing their knowledge through books, research papers, columns, articles and newsletters. Experts write. If you wish to be seen as an expert, consider writing an informative newsletter.

Of course, you don’t just sit down and crank out a good newsletter overnight. You need to think it through–and plan out many of its attributes well in advance. If you like the idea of a newsletter and want to use it to network your business, here are 10 questions to ask yourself:

1.  What will be the purpose of the newsletter?
2.  Who is the target audience?
3.  Why would my target audience want to read it?
4.  How will it benefit my audience?
5.  What features will it contain?
6.  Who will write the text?
7.  Will I use a professional to design the layout?
8.  How often will it go out?
9.  How will it be distributed?
10.  How will people sign up for it?

Your newsletter should be informative and educational so that it brings value to your audience and motivates people to read it. Also, unless you have a publishing or web design expert on staff, you should seriously consider outsourcing the production of your newsletter to a professional. Remember, your newsletter is an extension of your business, and it’s often the first thing a prospect sees of you.

Publishing a newsletter week after week or month after month is time-consuming and requires a strong commitment, but it can be a powerful networking and marketing tool. You want your audience to come to expect it–indeed, to look forward to receiving it–and that means you have to deliver it on time and deliver top-notch quality.  An expert produces nothing short of the best.

PR Helps Your Networking Efforts

Next to word of mouth, publicity is the most cost-effective strategy you can use to market your business.  It increases your credibility and helps you position yourself ahead of your competition–as long as it’s positive publicity, of course.

The main objective of publicity is to announce or inform.  Publicity is usually free; in most cases, you don’t have to pay to get your press release into the paper.  You (or a professional writer) draft the press release, but someone at the paper edits it and turns it into an article before it’s published.

There are many online resources available to teach you how to structure, design, and format your press release. When you’re ready to submit it, you can either use a distribution service such as PRWeb.com. or submit it to your community’s local publications yourself.

Networking your business is more than just going out and shaking hands; your business also needs to generate publicity to increase your visibility and credibility.  Professionals recommend that your business generate a press release once per quarter to remain visible in your industry and community.

For tips on writing a press release, CLICK HERE.

What Does It Take for You to Refer Someone?

At the BNI International Conference in Long Beach this past November, I had a great conversation with my business partner in the Referral Institute, Mike Macedonio (pictured to the right).  He was explaining why he feels there are only a few criteria that must be met to make people referrable by him.

The first criterion is that the individual is must be an expert at what he or she does.  He looks for people who have invested in learning their trade and continue to invest to master their trade.  Do they specialize in a certain area?  What achievements have they attained in their area of expertise?

Another one of Mike’s requirements is that the person is passionate about what he or she does.  This, especially, makes a lot of sense to me because if you’re not passionate about what you do, how could you expect other people to get excited about working on your behalf?

Mike’s last criterion stipulates that the person he is referring understands and honors the referral process.  More specifically, Mike wants to ensure that the person receiving the referral understands his or her number-one responsibility.  To quote Mike, “The number-one responsibility when you receive a referral is to make the person who gave you the referral look great.”  As long as the people Mike gives referrals to are doing this for him, Mike can remain confident that his reputation will be protected.  It also compels him to continue giving these people referrals.

Mike’s list of qualifications that make a person referrable is short, yet very powerful.  After discussing it, we both agreed that we should expect others to evaluate our referrability by these same criteria.  Are we invested experts, and do we continue to invest in our trade?  Are we passionate about what we do?  Are we practicing what we preach?  Do we make our referral sources look great?  I’m glad to say that I’m confident we both do all of these things.

So what makes people referrable by you?  I’m sure many of you have some great ideas in response to this. I’d love to hear them, so please feel free to leave a comment.

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