Ivan Misner, Author at Dr. Ivan Misner® - Page 3 of 114
LinkedIn

Stop! Don’t Pitch on LinkedIn

Raise your hand if you’ve been cold-called on LinkedIn? OK, I can’t really see you but, I’m guessing most of you have.  I know I have.  It happens to me almost on a daily basis on LinkedIn. Let me give you a real-life example of a recent one. I recently accepted a request to connect with me on LinkedIn from a person who I’ll call Greg.

I’m calling him Greg because… well, that was his name.

When he sent the request, he wrote to me and said,

“I love connecting with founders of companies where we can share mutual connections.  Let’s connect and share insights if you’re open to it?”

I accepted. He wrote back.

Thanks for connecting with me Ivan, I appreciate it!  Anything exciting you’re working on at BNI? Let me know if I can be a resource to you in any way, and thanks again for connecting!

So far, so good.  This was a great start.  But wait… two days later (without waiting for my reply) he wrote his pitch:

Hi Ivan, We have developed a new generation project management tool that leverages artificial intelligence and that allows you to automate your teamwork and always know that you have the best organization in place. I’m sure it would be a great help for you and your teammates in BNI as we already have many clients from your industry using it. You can discover it here with this link if you are interested:  [I’m leaving it out to protect the guilty.] Hope you find it useful and I’d love to hear any feedback you have! All the best, Greg

OK, so now I knew he wasn’t really connecting to share insights.  He was connecting to pitch me.  I didn’t respond. He wrote again a few days later.  He said,

Hi Ivan, I hope you are doing well. I’m contacting you because I really need your help and have something great for you and your business in return. We are a young startup and have created a revolutionary intelligent project management tool that leverages artificial intelligence to automatically plan the work for you. There is no such product that exists today and the increase of performance that you can get with it is just mind-blowing. You can discover our software here: [Leaving out for the guilty again.] and I would be glad to exchange with you on the subject and show you how it works and how it can be a game-changer for your business. We will also offer you amazing pricing conditions as being part of our early adopters. I hope you can help me out and we will for sure over-deliver for you in return. Let’s talk? Best regards, Greg

I so did not respond to that. He wrote again a couple of days later.

Hi, Ivan Hope, you found our site valuable!   I’d love to share some insights with you over a quick call. When would you be available? Greg

I didn’t respond. The next day he wrote, Hey Ivan – making sure you saw my last message.  Any thoughts?

Yes, I had plenty of thoughts, none of which would be appropriate to share.  So, instead, I wrote back… No thanks.

He responded almost immediately, Hi Ivan. Thanks for the feedback.  For my personal knowledge, may I ask you why?

Hmm, I thought – does he really want to know why?  OK, I decided, I will tell him why. I wrote back.

Because you don’t really know what I do, you don’t know anything about me (other than what you’ve read), and we have no relationship (which, if you knew anything about me, you’d know is important).  This is a “cold-call” via LinkedIn and it is against everything I teach in my business.  This “pitch” is the very thing I write about NOT doing to people.  You asked and that is the unvarnished truth.

He replied almost immediately, Interesting. So how do I reach out to you?

I replied.

I do business by referral.  That takes time and effort.  I recognize that “cold-calling” does as well.  I just choose not to do business that way and it is a strategy that has worked well for me and most of the people who follow my work.

He replied almost immediately.

I get a lot of referrals. But right now I’m reaching out to people like you in a cold way because that’s the only way I can potentially get to talk to them. I was just asking for some help as a young and dynamic entrepreneur that has a really disrupting product. Remember how it was hard in the beginning…

I responded,

I do.  That’s how I learned that networking is more about farming than it is about hunting.  It’s all about the relationships.  That’s how I built the business.  Reaching out “cold” is not the only way to talk to people.  It is the most expedient way to “feel” like you are doing something but not the only way to do it and I would argue – not the best way.  Those are my thoughts on the subject.  I need to run now. Use the advice, don’t use the advice, that is up to you. Good luck. Ivan

I also sent him a link about the VCP Process in networking.  I’ve never heard from him again.

Now, I don’t want to pick on LinkedIn.  It can happen on any social media platform.  It’s happened to me on Facebook, Twitter,  and even BNI Connect (I know – that one is really frustrating to see). This is not just a LinkedIn issue.  However, it does seem to happen a lot more there for me.  In either case, cold-calling is cold-calling no matter what form it takes.  But, it never hurts to ask, right?  Wrong.  Check out my video here to learn why: https://ivanmisner.com/never-hurts-ask-right/

Master the Art of Networking

Master the Art of Networking

Networking is more than just shaking hands and passing out business cards, it is about building your “social capital.” Networking is more about “farming” than it is about “hunting.” It’s about cultivating relationships with other business professionals. It’s about realizing the capital that comes from building social relationships. Master the art of networking with these ten tips:

1. Follow up on referrals.

If you present an opportunity, whether it is a simple piece of information, a special contact, or a qualified business referral, to someone who consistently fails to follow up successfully, it is no secret that you will eventually stop wasting your time sending referrals to this person.

2. Have a positive attitude.

A negative attitude makes people dislike being around you and drives away referrals. However, a positive attitude makes people want to associate and cooperate with you. Positive business professionals are like magnets. Others want to be around them and will send their friends, family, and associates to them.

4. Remain trustworthy.

When you refer one person to another, you are putting your reputation on the line. You have to be able to trust your referral partner and be trusted in return. Neither you nor anyone else will refer a contact or valuable information to someone who cannot be trusted to handle it well.

5. Practice good listening skills.

Our success as networkers depends on how well we can listen and learn. The faster you and your networking partner learn what you need to know about each other, the faster you’ll establish a valuable relationship. Communicate well, listen, and learn.

6. Always network.

Master networkers are never off duty. Networking is so natural to them that they can be found networking in the grocery store line, online, and while working from home. After this “Great Pause”, we will soon be able to network again at chamber mixers and networking meetings.

7. Thank people.

Gratitude is sorely lacking in today’s business world. Expressing gratitude to business associates and clients is just another building block in the cultivation of relationships that will lead to increased referrals. People like to refer others to business professionals that go above and beyond. Thanking others at every opportunity will help you stand out from the crowd.

8. Help others.

Master networkers keep their eyes and ears open for opportunities to advance other people’s interests whenever they can. Helping others can be done in a variety of ways, from literally showing up to help with an office move to clipping a helpful and interesting article and mailing it to an associate or client.

9. Be sincere.

If you are not sincerely interested in the other person, they will know it. Those who have developed successful networking skills convey their sincerity at every turn. One of the best ways to develop this trait is to give your undivided attention to the people you are networking with.

10. Work the art of networking.

Master networkers do not let any opportunity to work their networks pass them by. They manage their contacts, organize their e-mail address files, and carry their referral partners’ business cards as well as their own. They set up appointments to get better acquainted with new contacts so that they can learn as much about them as possible so that they can truly become part of each other’s networks.

Do you see the trend with these ten points? They all tie into long-term relationship building. People who take the time to build their social capital are the ones who will have new business referred to them over and over. The key is to build mutually beneficial business relationships. Only then will you succeed to master the art of networking.

Social Capital

Build Social Capital by Networking

Social capital, otherwise known as the value behind your social contacts, can be an extremely important resource in both business and life.  If you take as much care in raising and investing your social capital as you do your financial capital, you will experience benefits that can greatly enrich your life as well as multiply your material returns many times over. Investing in your networking is one of the best investments you can make to secure future success for yourself and others with whom you network. Below, I share my 4 step process to build your social capital, the international currency of networking.

Social Capital

This is acquired through networking because successful networking is all about building and maintaining solid, professional relationships. The trouble is we don’t have the natural community-like business relationships that existed before. Many business owners hardly know their neighbors, let alone the local businesspeople in town. Therefore, networking is critical to an individual’s success in business.

Effectively developing your networking can be a daunting task. However, doing so within a structured, organized networking framework will leverage your efforts. You begin building your capital to positively impact your bottom line.

Here are some keys to creating social capital

  • Give your clients a personal call
  • Call all the people who have referred business to you
  • List 50 people to stay in touch with
  • Follow up with everyone

As you invest your time in developing your networking, you are increasing your bottom line. Strive to make the most effective use of this investment. Do everything possible to thoroughly enhance the relationships you develop in the coming year because social capital leads to improved financial capital.

Watch the video and then take a minute to leave a comment below. I would love to hear your story about how investing in your social capital significantly paid off for you.

Public Speaking

Conquer Your Fear of Public Speaking

People have ranked the fear of public speaking higher than the fear of dying. They would rather be in the coffin than giving the eulogy at a funeral.   Standing and talking to an audience can be frightening, especially if it is for more than a couple of minutes. As a business owner, you may find yourself giving a sixty-second weekly presentation at a networking meeting, a ten-minute presentation at a chamber function, or a forty-minute educational presentation to a prospect. Take a deep breath, you can do it.

Five Tips to Conquer Your Fear of Public Speaking:

1) Prepare, prepare, prepare.

Do not wing it!  Prepare an outline of what you want to say and practice it.  Print out your remarks in a very large font. It will be easier to read with or without your glasses.  Plus, this will help you to not lose your place in your presentation.

2) Be specific and talk about the things you know best.

Do not try to teach everything you do.  Instead, focus on sharing with the audience something of significance.  Focus on just one or two areas of your business, the topics you feel you understand the best. This will increase your comfort level and reduce stress.

3)  Use visuals or PowerPoint slides to support your presentation. 

If you are worried about stage fright, these can help you stay focused and add to your presentation. You will be less fearful when the audience is looking at something besides you.  Avoid reading from your PowerPoint slides.  Create slides with photos and graphics that tell your story without text. PowerPoint should support your presentation, not be your presentation.

4) Remember, you are the expert. 

In the eyes of the audience, you are the expert and they want to hear what you have to say.  They want to learn something from you.  If you focus on what you know best, you will feel more confident and be more credible.  Believe in yourself and in your message.

5)  Be creative. 

Find a way to communicate that makes you comfortable.  Don’t be afraid to be different.  Surprise your audience.  Walk around the stage or up into the seats.  People get tired of the same old approach and are invigorated by something unexpected.  Have fun with your message; it will help you turn your nervous energy into positive energy.  The audience will feel it and before you know it, your fear of public speaking is gone.

You should do a presentation that you feel comfortable with. Think creatively about what you know and what you feel comfortable doing to express that knowledge. You will become better and better at public speaking. You will discover that opportunities will develop to speak publically in larger audiences over time. Take a breath. It is good to be a little nervous.  Just convert that into positive energy, and you will have the audience in the palm of your hand.

Business Networking Diversity

Business Networking Diversity

I believe that it is important to build a diverse network of professional contacts that include people with different interests and backgrounds.  The only thing that they should have in common with you is that they should be really good at what they do.  Create a personal network like that, and you’ll have a network that can help you succeed at anything.

It is human nature to build friendships with people that are like us.  The problem with surrounding ourselves with similar people is that they also tend to have similar contacts and know the same people as us.  When networking, it may be difficult to make connections with new people or companies with whom we desire to do business. In running a large business networking organization for over the past three decades, I often speak to people who tell me they want to network exclusively business professionals who have similar clients.  Although it is good to include these people in your personal network, networking with them exclusively would be a tremendous mistake. When it comes to business networking diversity, you never know who people know.  One of the important keys to being successful at building a powerful personal network is diversity.

A diverse personal network enables you to increase the possibility of including connectors or “linchpins” in your network.  Linchpins are people who in some way cross over between two or more clusters or groups of individuals; this allows them to link groups of people together easily.  The best way to increase the number of possible connections in your network is to develop a diverse network. The strongest networking groups I have seen over the years are generally the groups that are diverse.  I believe that one of the problems in understanding this concept is a somewhat built-in bias that many people have about networking with individuals that are outside their normal frame of reference.  Let me share a story:

An incredible voice, an incredible connection from networking diversity.

Patti, a BNI Director, arrived a little early to a BNI meeting that met in a private meeting room and noticed an older gentleman setting up coffee mugs in preparation for the meeting.  She struck up a conversation with the man while waiting for the BNI members to arrive.  In talking to him, she was really taken by the amazing tenor of his voice.  She mentioned to him that he had an incredible voice and asked what he did before this.  The gentleman informed her that he used to be a commentator for CNN!  He went on to share with Patti that in his later years, he wanted to work in a less hectic job as well as live closer to his daughter.  He decided to take on the job of managing these private meeting rooms because it gave him an opportunity to be close to his family while having a less hectic career later in life.

Later during the meeting, one of the BNI members, Don, mentioned in his featured presentation that his goal is to host a radio talk show someday. He was looking for some contacts that could help him pursue this dream.  After the meeting, Patti asked Don… “Do you see that guy over there (pointing to the ex-CNN commentator)?  Have you seen him before?”  “Yea,” said Don, “he’s the guy who sets up the coffee for our meeting.”  Patti said to Don, “Did you know that he used to be a broadcaster for CNN?”  Don said, “I had no idea!!!”  Patti suggested that Don introduce himself. Don had seen the man on many occasions but had not struck up a conversation with him because he felt that they had little, if anything, in common.  The truth is when it comes to networking – not having a lot in common with someone may mean that they can be a connector for you to a whole world of people that you might not otherwise be able to meet. This resulted in creating an incredible connection for Don in the broadcasting industry. Don now hosts a local radio talk show.

Diversity in your network is the smart thing and the right thing to do.

G.A.I.N.S. Exchange

The G.A.I.N.S. Exchange Approach to Networking

If you want to be successful in generating referrals, it is crucial to find out as much as you can about the members of your network. And there are five critical things that you must know if you truly want to be a productive networker. These five things are not mysterious secrets; they are facts we are exposed to every day but often pay little attention to because we are not aware of the benefits we can gain by sharing what I call the G.A.I.N.S. Exchange approach to networking. If you know the categories of the G.A.I.N.S. Exchange and use them effectively, you can strengthen your relationships, build a strong business, and live a better life. Of course, the exchange is a two-way street: Not only should you know these things about others, but you should also share the same type of information about yourself with them.

  • Goals
  • Accomplishments
  • Interests
  • Networks
  • Skills

Goals

Goals are the financial, educational, and personal business objectives you want to achieve for yourself and for the people who are important to you. You need to clearly and specifically define your own goals and have a clear picture of the goals of others. 

Accomplishments

Accomplishments tell you more about a person because people like to talk about the things they are proud of. Therefore, engage others in casual conversations to encourage them to talk about their accomplishments. Sharing your accomplishments with them may lead to mutual interests or connections that can be mutually beneficial.  

Interests

The things you enjoy doing can help you connect with others because people are more willing to spend time with those who share their interests. Knowing other people’s interests makes it easier for you to help them in some way. Let them know your interests as well. If you and your contact share many of the same interests, it will strengthen your relationship. 

Networks

Most people have a broad network of individuals they associate with for either business or personal reasons.  The question is, how well you know them? The people you know are connected, directly and indirectly, with people you don’t know. Each of us has sources in abundance that we do not effectively cultivate.

Skills

The more you know about the talents of the people in your network, the better equipped you are to refer to them when someone you know is looking for someone with that skill. Therefore, identify the special skills you have and share your skills with others to help business relationships grow as well.

The best way to develop a strong relationship with others is by helping them to achieve something important to them. Some of your best insight into others comes from knowing what goals they have, what they have already accomplished, and what they are passionate about. Their passions are their most important interests because they are something they love to do and could do all day long. If you can tap the resources represented by their network of contacts, you can significantly improve your overall networking. The more they know about your skills, the faster your name will come to mind when an opportunity arises in which your own networking might play a part.

More Business Through Networking

Want More Business Through Networking?

In this classic video, I explain a proven way to get more business through networking.  I also discuss the results from a survey I conducted.

Everyone wants to be successful in or at something in their life. Success is determined largely by hard work, but also by good choices. Everyone feels like they deserve better at some point. Get over it. The most successful people plan their work and work their plan. They put serious effort into making good choices and carrying them through. Therefore, if you spend more time doing one thing, you will get more business through networking.

The Secret to Getting More Business through Networking

I’ve been asked time and time again by people all over the world what I consider to be the secret to getting more business.  I can, without a doubt, say that there is, indeed, one thing you can do to get more business from your networking efforts.  However, do you know what it is?  The answer may surprise you . . .

Watch the video and then take a minute to leave a comment if you have the time . . . I’d love to hear what some of your guesses were in regard to what the “secret” to getting more business through networking was going to be.  Chances are, some of the guesses you came up with are pretty good networking tactics as well and it would be great to get a conversation going about them!

NETWORKS AREN’T FLAT: The Seven Stages of Professional Relationships by Andy Lopata

Today’s guest blog is an extract from Andy Lopata’s book, “Connected Leadership”, about the seven stages of professional relationships.

When we picture a network it’s easy to visualize a flat entity, a single structure comprising all of the people we know. Much network theory focuses on the number of people in the average network, with classic studies such as Girard’s Law of 250(1) and the Dunbar Number(2) often quoted.

In my opinion, both of these studies are flawed. They are flawed in their interpretation: The Dunbar Number was never intended as an indication of the average network size. They are outdated: they were both developed in the last century, well before social media dominated our lives and networks. And flawed in the basic premise: Girard’s Law is based on the observation that the average number of guests at a wedding or funeral is 500. I went to a funeral recently that was described as ‘busy’ and I can promise you that nowhere near 500 people attended.

The way both studies have been used in network theory is the biggest flaw. We have been told that ‘the average network size is 250’ (based on Girard’s Law). Other objections aside, this oversimplifies the nature of a network.

Rather than being a flat structure or simple grouping of contacts, networks are more complicated organisms with people flowing in and out and between various levels. I tend to visualize a network as seven levels of a professional relationship with a group of expanding circles, much like the side section of half an onion.

The Seven Stages of Professional Relationships

Within that network, there are seven levels of a professional relationship:

  1. Recognize
  2. Know
  3. Like
  4. Trust
  5. Support
  6. Advocate
  7. Friend (moving into your personal network) 

 

Towards the center of the network are people you have a lot of time for and want to support. That feeling is likely to be reciprocal and you’d be available whenever the other party needs and, at stages six and seven, actively looking out for each other.

This is what we’d call your trusted network, people you are likely to see day in day out, week in and week out (although absence doesn’t necessarily exclude people from your trusted network).

As you move further out through the layers, the relationship becomes a little less trusted, not as deep. You might see each other less frequently, be less inclined to share openly with each other, or ask for help.

At the outer edges of your network are people who come in and out. If we meet at an event or dinner party I’ll be in your network for a few days. By that, I mean that if we bump into each other or I call you, you will remember me and know who I am. But that link is tenuous. After a few days or weeks, we will probably be strangers again.

Compare this to someone in the center of your network. You could probably go three years or more without speaking to each other but still, pick up where you left off as if no time had passed.

People on the outskirts of your network will come in and out. If you want to embed people in your network, your first challenge is to get beyond that outer circle and into their long-term memory.

 

Andy Lopata‘s book, “Connected Leadership” can be bought from amazon.com at a promotional price of $0.99 TODAY. As Ivan’s readership is global, this page lists the book on all of Amazon domains. 

Staying in Touch With Your Clients

Staying in Touch With Your Clients

Your business thrives by networking. Staying in touch is an important part of the networking process. Networking is much more than making contact with others and getting new business from them. The golden rule of networking is staying in touch with your clients. You strengthen your business relationships by fostering solid relationships with clients.

During “The Great Pause of 2020”, we started working from home. We created a plan to get through this situation with our businesses. Because we could not go to our usual places to network face-to-face with others, we took action and learned how to network online to stay in touch with people. Now, we need to plan on what we are going to do when society returns to the “new normal”. We need to get back in touch with those people that you have not seen or spoken with recently by focusing on strengthening these business relationships.

Here are six ways for staying in touch with your clients and strengthening your business relationships:

Spread out your phone calls.

Regular contact is important right now regardless of the type of relationship with your clients. Two short phone calls are more beneficial than one long call. Each phone call becomes an opportunity to strengthen the relationship and to enhance your credibility.

Schedule the phone calls predictably.

Stay in contact with your clients. Train them to expect to hear from you at certain times. If you usually contact certain customers during the first week of every quarter, they will come to expect it and will budget time for you.

One phone call leads to the next phone call.

Before concluding your telephone conversation, schedule the date of your next phone call. With this commitment, you are more likely to follow through. This practice establishes a chain of contacts, with each phone call leading to the next.

Assume responsibility for your phone calls.

Take the initiative and stay in touch with your customers. When clients do not feel cared for, they are more likely to leave. You are more likely to head off potential problems by staying in touch with them by picking up the telephone and calling them these days.

Invite them to your online networking events.

One way of making sure to stay in contact with your customers is to invite them to join you at your online networking events. This is a great way to introduce your customers to other people.

Stick to your plan for staying in touch with your clients

Occasionally your clients will telephone you. Do not let this interfere with your contact schedule. Do not count it as one of your prescheduled phone calls when they initiate the phone call.

People need their network, now more than ever. Maintain a powerful personal network by telephoning your clients and adopting these tips right now. You will have a stronger business tomorrow because of the actions you take today by staying in touch with your clients.

new normal

How to Network in the New Normal

With so many businesses and entrepreneurs quickly transitioning from face-to-face interactions to digital, networking has completely changed. Instead of meeting people at in-person events or venues, entrepreneurs are now needing to adapt to digital networking. You can continue to grow your social circle despite the current climate when you learn how to network in the new normal. You and your business can continue to network effectively in the new normal by adapting to digital networking

Please enjoy watching this pre-recorded video when I was taking on questions from the Entrepreneur.com audience to clear the air on a few important topics.

As businesses and entrepreneurs quickly transition from face-to-face interactions to digital, the way we network has completely changed. Instead of meeting people at in-person events or venues, entrepreneurs are now needing to adapt to digital networking.

Robert

How to Get Attention, Build Trust and Generate Better Customers, Simplified by Robert Skrob

I’ve asked Robert Skrob to write another guest blog for my site. Today, he is sharing the topic of Jim Collins’ Good to Great. “Good is the enemy of great” rallied players of the 2004 Tampa Bay Lightning toward this professional hockey franchise’s first Stanley Cup. They were repeating the mantra within the business book phenomenon of the last decade, Jim Collins’ Good to Great, published in 2001. Over 2 million copies of the book were sold, creating a huge consulting and publishing business.

 

But what made the book Good to Great so great? Jim Collins used engaging and memorable stories to illustrate his otherwise mundane points.

The actual lessons of the stories, “hire the right people,” “stick with what you are good at,” and “building momentum with a consistent effort toward one organizational goal” are well-known business concepts.  Yet, his book was propelled to the top (and his consulting firm with it) by the power of those stories he uses to illustrate those points.

 

Jim Collins’ international bestseller became famous because of its compelling stories rather than its revolutionary wisdom.

 

Learning Stories

Just like Collins’ “get the right people on the bus” and “fly wheel” stories, Learning Stories illustrate specific teaching lessons. Each story focuses on a problem and provides details on how the problem was solved with an explanation of why it worked. Your goal for Learning Stories is to get your audience to say, “Now I know how to avoid that mistake” and “That makes sense now that it has been explained to me.”

 

Within Learning Stories, it’s important to provide a detailed context. Your audience must be able to see themselves confronted with the problem of putting together the right team to understand that they must get the right people on the bus and the wrong people off the bus. That’s why in Collins’ book, the author spends a lot of time talking about the problem team members and the frustrations the business faced before coming to this realization.

 

Spur Action Stories

These stories get someone to take action. A common example is the NutriSystem commercials that feature Dan Marino saying “I lost 22 pounds, and you can, too. Lose the weight; get back in the game.” This is a simple example because the target audience for this ad readily recognizes Dan Marino’s name, but this story has all of the basic elements of a Spur Action story.

 

Spur Action stories describe a successful action that took place in the past, state, or implies the impact of inaction and allow the audience to see themselves in that position. Your goal with these stories is to get the audience to say, “What if that were me?” and “It’s only going to get worse unless I do something about it.”

 

Mission Stories

A lot of marketers teach you to give a “reason why.” For example, if you are having a sale, you can’t tell your prospects that you are having a sale to generate new customers to upsell them into other products. Instead, it has to be because you over-purchased, it’s St. Patrick’s Day or you have a tax bill to pay. But whatever the “reason why,” it’s more than “sales are low and you need to generate some interest with lower prices.”

 

When someone is considering working with you, they are asking themselves, “What’s in this for you?” If your stated motivation is nothing other than profit, you’ll be looked at with suspicion.

 

Walt Disney was a relentless promoter of his theme parks. However, his customers forgave him because of his stated mission, “To create a place for parents and children to spend pleasant times in one another’s company, a place for teachers and pupils to discover greater ways of understanding and education.” In Good to Great, Jim Collins includes a Mission Story about creating a more productive world with leaders that employ his philosophies.

 

Empathy Stories

When I first heard about story writing, I was totally intimidated. I told myself, “Oh great, now I have to learn something else. How in the world am I supposed to become a good storyteller?” While I always marveled at stories and enjoyed hearing them, I believed storytelling was out of reach for me. I’m an analytical person and just not creative enough to invent stories. When I forced myself to try to write stories, I figured out that it’s not about inventing stories. Creating stories is simply writing down what happened. And I realized I told stories all the time—to friends, to my wife, and to my kids. All I had to do was channel a skill I already had into stories with a purpose.

 

Empathy stories relate to what your readers are thinking or feeling about a situation, empathize with their belief, and then show why that belief is false. The quick story above addresses a concern you may have had learning to write stories yourself. In it, I reveal that I had misgivings about what I’m now teaching, acknowledge the reasons for my belief, and then show why that belief was false.

 

Origin Stories

Good to Great includes a detailed description of the research methodology used to determine what great companies do that others do not. Collins gives descriptions of several great companies as well as a set of other companies he uses as comparisons.

 

Origin Stories are the most important stories for you to use regularly. When your customers look at you today, they see a successful person, someone with a lot of knowledge and money. They perceive you are different from them.

 

Writing Your Own Stories

The great communicators all use stories to help their audiences understand their messages. As you watch television and listen to radio commentators, keep an ear out for the stories. While reading books, pay attention to the stories and start a little catalog of stories organized by the five types outlined here. Soon, crafting stories and communicating in stories will become as easy as getting the right people on the bus and the wrong people off the bus.

 

Online Networking Meetings

The Dos and Don’ts of Online Networking Meetings

The technology that exists today is great.  When I started BNI 35 years ago, we couldn’t do any of this.  We all had to quickly learn how to utilize the net as part of your networking strategy this year. Naturally, there’s a great deal of overlap between face-to-face and online networking. However, networking online works only when you are engaged during your online networking meetings to learn about each other.  Therefore, you need to practice active listening so that you leave your online networking meetings with more ideas on how to refer your networking partners. Now, more than ever, you need your network to work together and support each other by networking online.

Seven Tips for Your Online Networking Meetings

Watch this video to learn how you can make your online networking meetings more successful:

Learn how to utilize the net as part of your networking strategy.

It will still be a while until we can attend face-to-face networking events again. Therefore, we need to attend online networking meetings instead. Online networking meetings will never replace in-person networking, but they work well together. If you remember these tips during your next online networking meeting, you will maintain a powerful personal network that will be even stronger once we return to in-person networking again.

What tips do you have for attending your online networking meetings? I would love to read your suggestions. Please share them in the comments below.

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