BNI Master Connector

BNI Master Connector YouTube Livestream Eventstring(45) "BNI Master Connector YouTube Livestream Event"

It was very exciting to be a panelist during The BNI “Master Connector” YouTube Livestream Event on Tuesday, May 18th, on the BNI TV YouTube channel. If you missed the event and want to watch it, click here.

Thank you to all attendees who sent me their messages. The comments from this third global event were just as positive as our first event: Growing Forward Together, and just as informative as our second event: Restart the World. Thank you to each of the BNI members, directors, and visitors who joined us during this worldwide event.

About The BNI “Master Connector” YouTube Livestream Event

I want to thank BNI Chairman and CEO, Graham Weihmiller, for hosting an engaging panel discussion about becoming a Master Connector. I also want to personally thank the other two panelists for participating in the discussion: BNI Uganda National Director, Diana Ninsiima Kabuuka and the President of Membership Services Inc., Robert Skrob.

The event was open to businesspeople and entrepreneurs worldwide to help them build their business in 2021. During the panel discussion, I shared my vision for the future as well as my insights for business growth and personal success. We discussed how BNI and its 279,000 members are teaching businesses worldwide to foster global business recovery. Building strong relationships and empowered networks will lead to professional referrals and business growth. We shared ideas on how entrepreneurs can effectively build strong business relationships that can restart and ramp up their businesses.

Become a Master Connector

Master Connector is a BNI global initiative to help businesses and people connect. We hope that the tips we shared will help your business navigate through challenging times. Ultimately, we can build our relationships to create empowered networks and give referrals to others. Different people, different places, different countries, different faces, different cultures; we all speak the language of referrals, as we become Master Connectors.

If you are not a current BNI member, we invite you to visit a local BNI chapter and begin the process of building meaningful relationships with the other professionals at the meeting. If you are looking to grow your business, we can help and support your business in the essence of Givers Gain®. To receive an invitation to a BNI chapter in your area, simply click here.

During the livestream event, my fellow panelists and I featured the benefits of becoming a Master Connector and helped attendees understand that the person who builds trust by giving referrals and bringing visitors to their BNI chapter, is the person that experiences the greatest growth. Everyone learned how they can become a Master Connector by building strong relationships, giving referrals, and putting the “Connector Effect” to work in business and in life.

“The Connector Effect”

Viewers learned about the Amazon best-selling book, “The Connector Effect”, which I co-wrote with Graham Weihmiller and Robert Skrob. In this book we describe how using “The Connector Effect” can make business more lucrative, rewarding, and fun.  This book supports the broader business community with tips on how to become a Master Connector.  Use this link to download your own Kindle version of the book.

Connect at BNI Global Convention 2021 – Master Connection

Learn more about the content available to Connect. Master. Grow. by attending BNI Global Convention October 6-9, 2021. BNI is excited to offer two ways to participate, either in-person in Miami, Florida or virtually.

  • Connect to Master Connectors near and far through easy-to-use technology.
  • Master skills from industry leaders with a flexible schedule to meet your needs.
  • Grow through the Master Connections you are creating with the other attendees.

Tickets for the BNI Global Convention 2021 are now available. Click here to register.

Thanks to the BNI Marketing Team for the planning, marketing, and execution of another amazing livestream event. I also want to personally thank the BNI Chairman and CEO, Graham Weihmiller, for his inspirational vision for the future. BNI brings so many people together and connects them with each other for such a productive purpose.  With BNI you can become a Master Connector too.

 

Networking

Networking In-Person, Online, or a Blend?string(41) "Networking In-Person, Online, or a Blend?"

In 2017, I was sitting in the back of a senior leadership meeting for BNI.  The group was talking about the future of the organization and what we saw ahead of us as opportunities and challenges.  Someone from the group looked over at me and said, “you’re the Founder & Chief Visionary Officer, what do you see for the future of the company?”  I stood in the room and boldly said that because of advancements in mixed reality and holographic technologies, I thought the future of networking was likely to be online.  While I thought that would raise eyebrows – instead, it raised voices.  “No way,” was the overwhelming chorus of voices in response to my proclamation. The pushback was almost complete (with the exception of a few of the millennials in the room).

“Really?” asked one incredulous participant.  “Really, you’re the Founder of the world’s largest in-person networking organization and you honestly think that we will transition to online!?”   “Never,” said another person in the room. “I can’t believe that you would think that.” 

I re-learned a valuable lesson that day – when you have a bold vision, don’t just blurt it out.  Instead, ease people into that vision.  People aren’t receptive to massive change at first, they need to be eased into that change whenever possible [see The Cat’s on The Roof blog to see how to do that].

Recognizing the error of my ways, over the next year I began to talk at company events about disruption and how companies could become complacent in the delivery of their services and how they sometimes don’t see the train coming down the tracks at them. I spoke about Kodak, Sears, and Blockbuster as examples of what happens if a company is complacent with their operations.  I hoped that these stories would get them thinking about how we might be disrupted if we were not careful.  I later wrote about this type of disruption on Entrepreneur.com after I had been talking about it for well over a year.

In December 2018, I wrote another article for Entrepreneur about the change that I saw coming in networking organizations, a change like the one I suggested a year earlier that caused such a vocal reaction when I brought it up.  I re-introduced this concept more than a year after I first blurted it out because I felt that I had laid the groundwork more effectively over the previous year.  It was my formal prediction in this article that the future of face-to-face meetings would be online.  Over time, I referred people in my organization to these two articles to help prepare them mentally for what I believed to be coming. Granted, I foresaw this development because of the emergence of technology and not a virus, but I saw it coming, nonetheless.

In mid-January of 2020, I was at a mastermind event where we were doing an exercise lead by Kian Gohar, Founder of Geolab. It was his “Moonshot Exercise.”   In it, he asked us to create a vision that we wanted to be embraced within our organization.  My vision was that by the end of 2020, the senior management of our company would see the inevitable fact that the future of networking would be, at least in part, online.  Little did I know that by the end of that very month, we would embrace that vision.

Credit needs to go to the CEO of BNI, Graham Weihmiller, who saw that Covid was going to be a far bigger problem in the world than anyone else in our organization thought (or people from most organizations for that matter).   By the end of January, he had transitioned some of BNI in Asia to online.  By February, he had transitioned much of Europe and by March of 2020, he, the franchisees, members, and the Global Support Team, had transitioned the entire organization to online.  This was no small feat.  In January of 2020, the company had 9,700 networking groups that were meeting in-person, every week!  By March of 2020, we had over 9,700 groups meeting online every week!  This was a pivot of monumental proportions.

Since that time, the company has added more than 400 additional chapters bringing the total number of networking groups to over 10,100 world-wide.  Virtually all of these groups were meeting online for most of 2020.  What seemed completely unfathomable to most people a couple of years earlier became the norm in just two years.

The question now within the company is – “what does the future hold for meetings going forward?”  The answer to that question has not been settled but it is under discussion.  That process has begun with a survey of over 2,300 members from around the world asking them if they would like their networking meetings to be:

1) In Person Only,

2) Online Only, or

3) A Blend of Online and In Person Meetings.

As you can see in the results below, one third of the participants of this survey wanted to go back completely to “In Person” Meetings.  However, 16% wanted to stick with “Online Meetings Only, and a whopping (considering the attitude just two years prior) of almost 51% of the survey respondents were in favor of a blend of meeting both in-person, and online.

Networking

What was unthinkable to most leaders in the organization just a few years earlier was now very possible for two thirds of the people surveyed by the organization.

Because of the continuous advancements in technology, the move to online networking meetings was inevitable.  The spread of Covid simply expedited the imminent disruption that lay ahead.

Lead the disruption or be disrupted.  That is the mantra that entrepreneurs must embrace to survive in the 21st century.  For networking groups, that means that it is time to embrace the inevitable transition to meeting online.  That said, I do believe that a blended approach is perfect at this time. For most businesspeople, meeting in person and shaking someone’s hand (when it is safe for us to do that again) has no online equivalent.

What are your thoughts about these ideas?

Has online networking been effective for you and your business?

Master Connector

Join Us To Become a Master Connectorstring(36) "Join Us To Become a Master Connector"

Business leaders from around the globe will learn how to become a Master Connector on May 18th during the BNI Master Connector YouTube Live Event. I, along with a panel of experts, will be sharing ideas on how entrepreneurs can effectively build strong business relationships that can restart and ramp up their businesses.

Master Connector

On April 1, 2021, BNI kicked off a global movement, Master Connector, to unite organizations and business leaders worldwide to help local, national, and global businesses get back on the path to growth by building strong relationships with trust, giving referrals, and putting the “Connector Effect” to work in business and in life. Watch my video about becoming a Master Connector.

BNI’s Master Connector YouTube Live Event

If you are looking to grow your business beyond where it is today, then you will want to mark your calendar for May 18th, 2021 to watch BNI’s Master Connector YouTube Live Event on May 18th at either 8:00 am or 4:00 pm EDT. During each of the one-hour sessions, Graham Weihmiller (BNI Chairman and CEO) will be hosting an engaging panel discussion about becoming a Master Connector, with Diana Ninsiima Kabuuka (BNI Uganda National Director), Robert Skrob (President, Membership Services Inc.), and meClick here to register to attend one of the event sessions.

The BNI’s Master Connector Event will stream to over 70 countries via YouTube Live.  Viewers will enjoy learning about the Amazon Best-Selling book, “The Connector Effect”, which I co-wrote with Graham Weihmiller and Robert Skrob. The event also features the benefits of becoming a Master Connector and helps attendees understand that the person who builds trust by giving referrals and bringing visitors to their BNI chapter, is the person that experiences the greatest growth.

We are expecting tens of thousands of BNI Members, alumni, collaborators, and colleagues to attend these two sessions. Master Connector is a global initiative that will continue well past this event. We hope that the tools and tips that you learn will help your business successfully navigate through challenging times. Ultimately, we can build our business relationships together, create empowered networks, and give referrals to others.

“The Connector Effect”

Consider downloading Amazon’s Kindle version of “The Connector Effect” book where co-authors, Graham Weihmiller, Robert Skrob, and I, talk about how using “The Connector Effect” can make business more lucrative, rewarding, and fun.  This book supports the broader business community with tips on how to become Master Connectors. You’ll learn how to leverage your network and connections to effectively grow your business, and support those around you. Use this link to download the Kindle version of the book.

X

Master Connector Sessions Time Schedule

This one-hour event will stream to over 70 countries during two sessions via YouTube Live. The chart below lists the scheduled local time for your country.

Remember the Registration

Registration is now open to join us during one of the two event sessions. Visit https://cvent.me/lzAqLr?RefId=IvanMisner  to register or click below.

BNI brings so many people together across so many boundaries for such a productive purpose.  Therefore, we invite visitors and build meaningful relationships with our fellow members. We extend our hand to those who are looking to grow their business to visit a local BNI chapter. You can receive an invitation to a BNI chapter in your area with this link: https://www.bni.com/find-a-chapter. We can help and support your business in the essence of Givers Gain®. At BNI, we are Master Connectors and we invite you to become a Master Connecter, too.

checked in

Get Checked Instring(14) "Get Checked In"

Today’s guest blog about being checked in is by my Personal Assistant, Dana Coyle.

Dr. Misner, the Founder of BNI, wrote an article about how to be mentally present to succeed. It was about someone so engrossed in their cell phone that they almost walked into him. He talked about being fully present in whatever you’re doing rather than just going through the motions.  Be here now – make sure that you are ‘checked in’.

At a busy US airport there was an older gentleman who went to the gate attendant in the boarding area to check in for his flight. That attendant told him that it was a full flight and all of the seats were taken.

He said that they had made the reservation and purchased the tickets two months ago.

She said, “I understand, but it is a full flight and there are no seats.”

He continued to explain that they had a paid reservation and he wanted to check himself and his wife in for the flight.
She replied that “…you have to check in within 24 hours to confirm your seats.”

He said, “We couldn’t check in before. The hotel shuttle brought us to the airport and we just got here. We’ve had the tickets for two months.”

To which she said, “I’m sorry sir. It doesn’t matter when you bought the ticket, it’s when you checked in.” 

Be checked in at your BNI meeting

This sometimes happens at BNI chapters.  Members pay for their membership and then just go through the motions. Some are 90-minute members, only thinking about BNI on the day of their meeting, which can lead to fewer referrals, minimal visitors and less business growth.

Then something clicks – a Member has an effective One-to-One and gains a new referral partner, so they schedule more One-to-Ones. Getting to know their fellow members better means they are able to GIVE more referrals. This often leads to gaining more referrals, too, so they get more business. The excitement of successful referral marketing spreads as they tell others and invite them to visit the chapter.

They…get….checked…in.  They realize there is more for them in BNI if they are willing to put in the effort and use the tools available with their membership. The Givers Gain philosophy, put into practice, can be pleasantly contagious as the chapter gains energy and grows, while members see growth in their own businesses, too.

It doesn’t matter when you bought the ticket, it’s when you checked in. Are you fully participating in all that you do? It’s a good reminder in BNI, in business, and in life — Be checked in so you can be here now.

SynAtria

Rodent Roller by SynAtriastring(25) "Rodent Roller by SynAtria"

I’m supporting the start-up of a small gaming company called SynAtria and their new video game called “Rodent Roller.This game combines platforming, ball physics, and collect-a-thon gameplay into one fun and unique experience. Important: read below to learn how you will get a special gift from me by supporting an amazing small business.

About SynAtria

The name of the video game company is SynAtria. They combined the words “synapse”, the base component of the brain, and “atria”, the main chambers of the heart. Therefore, their name symbolizes their goals – to make meaningful games with integrity. SynAtria has a big vision of creating whimsical and engaging games. However, without the overstimulating (and often hyper-violent) experience of typical video games.

Founders Trey and Aria Tempest (my son and daughter-in-love) share the positive and negative effects of video games in this video. The games/products developed under SynAtria focus on spreading positivity and supporting mental wellness. They are a determined team to create products with a message and a purpose. SynAtria’s goal is to connect with their players in a very special way by touching upon the minds and hearts of their audience.

Get my complete professional audio library (valued at $119) with a $50 donation to their game campaign.

All donors of $50 to Rodent Roller’s crowdfunding campaign (make sure to pick the Ivan Misner Founder’s Pack) will receive an email with a coupon code within 60 days after their donation. This special code will provide one FREE download of my complete professional audio library (valued at $119) from Misner Audio Programs.

Therefore, consider the free networking and business audio programs as a gift from me, to the supporters of SynAtria. Help them to create amazing new games for the videogame lovers in your life. In conclusion, a win, win, win!  Click here.

your C.P.A.

Do Not Allow Your C.P.A. To Ruin Your Businessstring(46) "Do Not Allow Your C.P.A. To Ruin Your Business"

We are living in a world more connected than ever. However, this hyperconnectivity can create situations when your C.P.A. can effect your business. Working from home can easily lead to a state of “Continuous Partial Attention” (your C.P.A.). This occurs when people are only partially paying attention to others during their online networking or Zoom meetings.  There are some definite pitfalls in our hyper-connected world when we are not giving our full attention to others. Your business relationships and networking may be affected because of your C.P.A. in these three situations.

Monitor your C.P.A. when attending your online networking meetings

Continuous partial attention can hamper your relationship-building efforts – on both a personal and professional level. When attending an online function of any type, it is becoming increasingly common to find people typing away during the meeting. They remain connected to their emails and social media networks during their meeting. This desire can dilute our efforts by driving us to stay “live” online with other things instead of with the person in front of us. You can easily watch them on camera not paying attention to the meeting. Even worse, they fall asleep in their recliner during the online Zoom meeting with their camera live for all to see until they are awoken by another chapter member calling their phone.

Keep your C.P.A. away from your phone 

Speaking of phones. We have probably all experienced being in conversation with someone at an in-person networking function and getting pinged during the conversation. This is happening much more now during online meetings. When we take our attention off what is happening in front of our nose to take a look at what is happening on our phone, we lose the connection with the person who is presenting. We will not remember this part of the conversation well, if at all. And we send a subtle message to this person that he or she does not matter as much as the various pings coming in on our mobile device do.

Our desire to connect and be connected is one of the strengths of business networking. Therefore, when doing online networking, or when we return to in-person events, we will want to effectively be connecting with others. Over the years, I saw people many times on their phones texting during networking meetings, such as at a BNI chapter meeting, a Chamber of Commerce luncheon, or even a gala dinner event.

Be honest: whom do you greet first when you get up in the morning — your spouse, kids, the dog, OR your virtual community? Do you reach for your phone before you even throw your legs out of bed to get up? I have found myself doing that. Consider waiting to look at your mobile phone until after you are ready to receive messages. For me, I wait to turn it on until after I am up, have exercised, showered, and had my breakfast. Furthermore, I think social media is great. I use it regularly to stay in touch and build relationships. But knowing when to focus on your networking and not your phone is extremely important in this digital age.

Do not allow your C.P.A. to distract you when working online

Most of us work from our computers, laptops, or tablets with notifications switched on. Our email, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Teams, and WeChat accounts are sending us notifications. Across your screen, they distract you with their messages. “Look at me! Someone retweeted you! Someone wants to be your Friend!” Even people who do not have ADD are working in a state of attention deficit due to the distraction all these notifications cause.

It is very easy to lose track of whom you have just followed up with. You end up sending your follow-up email twice. You reference something you were discussing with someone else. Worse yet, you send an email to the wrong person entirely. (Who hasn’t done that?) Continuous partial attention keeps you from being alert, attentive, and focused and can hamper your post-event follow up not to mention your day-to-day activities.

Don’t allow your C.P.A. to ruin your business. Continuous partial attention can hamper your efforts to build profitable business relationships with the people you want to connect with. I believe a price is being paid by how this constant connectedness is affecting our real-time relationships. The truth is that our brains are not capable of multi-tasking. Brains don’t work like a computer, which can have many programs running simultaneously. Our minds have to switch among tasks. Some of us can task-switch extremely quickly, seemingly multi-tasking, but we are not actually multi-tasking. Others of us task-switch with a little more difficulty, making it extremely challenging to really pay sustained attention to anything when we try to multi-task.

Frog

The Networking Frog and The Networking Princestring(45) "The Networking Frog and The Networking Prince"

In generating referrals for your business online, you want to network more with a prince and less with a frog. You will kiss a few frogs at first before finding good referral sources. Someday, your prince will come. How can you be sure that you are a networking prince or princess and not a frog?

The Characteristics of The Networking Frog

  • Always asking for referrals, introductions, and favors but rarely reciprocates
  • Does not ask about your business, goals, and ideal customers
  • Often reschedules the appointment
  • Does not return your phone calls and emails
  • Rarely goes out of the way to help you
  • Inconvenienced when complying with your request for assistance
  • Talks excessively about their business
  • Rarely asks you questions and does not listen
  • Quickly turns the conversation back to their business.
  • Their attention is not focused on you with continued eye contact

Make sure that you are not a “Networking Frog” by displaying these characteristics when networking online. Just do the opposite of what a frog does to become a Networking Prince (or Princess).

A Great Example of The Networking Prince

Jerry is always giving referrals and making introductions for his referral partners, many times before they even ask. Jerry is constantly going out of his way to help people with their businesses because he has invested the time and energy to learn what his referral partners are looking for in a potential client. When you talk to Jerry, you feel listened to — he maintains eye contact and focuses on you. You almost have to force him to share about his business and how you can help him. You can count on Jerry to follow up on referrals you send him promptly, and he returns your calls and emails within a day or two. If you run into Jerry at a networking event, he’s greeting new people with a smile, introducing them to others, and just being generally helpful. After an encounter with Jerry, you feel like royalty!

Identifying if someone is a networking prince or frog can be difficult in your first meeting. It takes time to discover someone’s networking nature. Therefore, know and look out for the characteristics of a networking frog. Sometimes networking frogs pretend to be royalty at online networking events. Their scales and warts reveal themselves later in follow-up interactions with them. While networking online, you will kiss a few frogs before finding the true princes (and princesses). Just make sure that you are not being a Networking Frog yourself. Pattern your networking skills after my friend Jerry, and you will become known far and wide, throughout the land, as networking royalty.

positive

Pursue Positive Actions For Positive Rewardsstring(44) "Pursue Positive Actions For Positive Rewards"

The concept of Givers Gain® is a principle related to the law of reciprocity, a social-science theory that a positive action results in another positive action, which potentially rewards both parties as well as having a ripple effect that continues to help other people.

Giving has many cultural and legal differences around the world. In some cultures, it’s viewed negatively. It is ultimately a positive societal force that can be applied in every business regardless of location or culture. What’s important in acts of giving is our motivation.

The motivations that fit with the philosophy of Givers Gain

  1. We give because we understand that in a community, what we do affects what others will do, and we all benefit.
  2. We give because we know that in the same situation, others would do the same for us.
  3. We give because we want to give back where we have profited.
  4. We give because when we work together, we get bigger and better results than working on our own.
  5. We give because we enjoy it.

Having an ethical motivation is key to giving. You can easily justify giving once, but giving over and over again requires a motivation that’s understood not only by you but also by those you surround yourself with. Adopting one or more of the motivations above will help you stay grounded.

Positive giving in business changes lives

Allen is a commercial real estate agent in Orange County, California. A number of years ago, Allen met with as many businesspeople as he possibly could using his network. The more people he met, the more he was able to become a super-connector for the local business community. He was generating a ton of business for the local economy simply by making connections and giving the gift of a referral.

He even won awards for it and became the star of his group. He was recognized as having the most one-to-ones, and he also gave out the most referrals. Allen focused on building relationships. Once he was convinced he had found a good business opportunity for both of his contacts he would often phone them on the spot and put them together, thus creating a powerful introduction much more likely to lead to business.

When I asked him how all of this activity had affected his business at a bad time for real estate, he said, “I am completing the best year in my 26 years in the business.”

Giving in business, as in life, works in many positive ways

Take David, who runs a fantastic print business offering a brilliant service, great value, and reliable delivery. If you ever try to pay him a compliment, he’ll offer a sheepish smile and an explanation that he was only “doing his job”.

Just up the road from where his business is based is the area’s largest independent hotel. He is a trusted supplier for this hotel. After turning around an order on a particularly short deadline, the hotel manager exemplified his gratitude. He offered David a meal for two at the hotel’s restaurant as a way of saying thank you.

David graciously declined the offer and instead asked for something else — to take the call of one of his other clients, a commercial designer, and project manager named Suzanne. Suzanne had recently asked for help, and David decided to use this opportunity to get her the introduction that her business needed. The introduction was made, business was done, and both of David’s clients were happy.

In the true spirit of giving, Suzanne’s additional revenue has allowed her to take on larger development projects, which David now prints for. The local subcontractors she uses on these projects have increased revenue and now come to David when they are in need of his products, becoming ambassadors and referrers for his business. The cycle of giving continues to benefit him and those around him.

Acts of giving change lives. Acts of giving can be powerful in business regardless of the size. We can give many things.

The types of giving that make a real impact in a business community

  1. Give a referral opportunity between two other businesses you know (maybe a supplier and a client).
  2. Give mentoring to a business that needs your expertise.
  3. Give your knowledge to local business groups.
  4. Give to local education and youth community groups.
  5. Give to the elders of the community.

All of this giving activity is part of an eco-system. It will come back and benefit you and those you care about in a positive way. You can choose how to practice Givers Gain in whatever way is right for your business. The more this happens, the more energy can be given to important global social concerns. Infinite giving allows us to focus on the bigger picture, on living in a world of plenty where resources are plentiful and suffering is scarce.

fear

Frozen by Fear or Focused by Fearstring(33) "Frozen by Fear or Focused by Fear"

The time you focus upon your networking efforts will improve on the connections that you would like to turn into stronger relationships. Take the time to reach out to your closest colleagues and see how they are doing. Find out if there is anything you can do to help them. You may not be able to help everyone but you can help someone. Talk to them about how you are doing and ask for help that you think they may be able to provide. It may be moral support or it may be referrals to assist your business.

I don’t know what our future holds but I do know that we can influence it and the best way to influence it is to embrace the relationships that you’ve established over the years. Today, more than ever, you need your network. You need people around you to help and support you. You can get frozen by your fear, or focused by your fear, and your network is a beacon of hope in a sea of fear.
cheese

Big Block of Cheese Daystring(23) "Big Block of Cheese Day"

Anyone who has known me for long, knows that I loved the TV series, West Wing.  It was television at its best.  One of the episodes introduced the “Big Block of Cheese Day” concept to many people, myself included.

The idea stems from a situation in 1835 where U.S. President, Andrew Jackson, was given a 1,400-pound block of cheese from a grateful dairyman. The gift was delivered to the White House which was a decidedly mixed blessing.  It was a wonderful gift, but it was also 1,400 pounds!!!  Jackson didn’t know what to do with all of this cheese so, he opened the doors of the White House for the public to come in and take some of the tasty (and according to some accounts, smelly) cheese for themselves.  Apparently, thousands of visitors came to the White House and dispatched the massive block in just a few hours.

The TV series had a couple episodes where they took this concept further and required that all the top staff meet with public citizens to listen to topics that they wouldn’t normally embrace.

BNI Founder’s Day

That tradition has motivated me to do a “networking variation” of the idea.  On the third Thursday of June every year, I’m going to have a “Founder’s Day”.  On this day each year, I will book at least 16 individual 1-2-1’s with BNI members from around the world.  The purpose is for BNI members to ask any business or networking related questions they would like to run by me during their 25 – 30 minute 1-2-1 with me. If you are a BNI member, I invite you to complete the form included in this blog. We will select the best responses from many places all around the world.

Business owners and professionals, have you invited your team or your customers to have a conversation with you or ask some questions? It can be a great way to build and strengthen your business relationships. Even without the cheese.

CLICK HERE TO SUBMIT YOUR 1-2-1 REQUEST WITH DR. IVAN MISNER

BNI Founder’s Day = Thursday, June 24, 2021 from 9:00am – 6:00pm CDT

THIS COMPLETED REQUEST FORM MUST BE RECEIVED BY MAY 21, 2021.

I’m sorry, you have missed the deadline. The opportunity for BNI members to submit their request for a 30-minute one-to-one with me has passed. Please try again next year.

 

deep

Is Your Network a Mile Wide But an Inch Deep?string(45) "Is Your Network a Mile Wide But an Inch Deep?"

Is your personal network deep or shallow? Chances are, it is a bit of both. A shallow network is where all of the people you meet will start, and where far too many of them will remain. In the course of developing your network, you meet and learn a little about lots of people. However, you don’t go much deeper. You don’t know much more than the superficial things about these people — their names, their jobs, and maybe one or two other small facts about them.

A deep network contains the contacts that you know much more about, and who usually know much more about you. The question is, how strong is the deep part of your personal network? It’s great to have a large network, but if it is a mile wide with tons of people in it with no deep relationships (or very few of them), it will never be powerful.  To maximize the relationship, you want to know as much about that person as possible. You want to find out about their family, their hobbies, their interests, etc.

You need both a wide and a deep network

One of the masters of developing a deep network is entrepreneur, author, and speaker Harvey Mackay. It is truly amazing how much information Harvey asks for — and retains — when he decides you are someone he wants to have in his deep network. When I met him for the first time, I remember having a nice conversation. The second time I had a conversation with him, he started up with the following:

  • So, how are your kids?
  • You’ve got three, right?
  • What’s Ashley doing now?
  • What’s Cassie doing now?
  • And how’s Trey doing?
  • Is he about ready to go to college?

I was flabbergasted. How did he remember all that? The more I spoke to him, the more I realized he must have taken notes. As it turns out, that’s exactly what he does. To help him deepen important relationships faster, he takes careful notes about things important to the people who are important to him. Harvey Mackay carefully catalogs that information and adds to it every time he meets with someone, with things such as children’s and pets’ names, your birthday, the anniversary of your business — tons of information.

Harvey Mackay developed a great method that helps him deepen relationships. To be successful at building a powerful personal network, you need to develop a method that works for you. We live in such a sound-byte society. After a simple, “Hi, good to see you again”, so many people jump right into business without getting to know the other person. That’s too bad because one of the things I’ve found is when you get to know somebody, amazing things happen.

The GAINS Exchange

One of the best ways I’ve ever seen for shallow — or casual — business relationships to deepen is through a tool called the GAINS Exchange. Looking back, I remember the first time I introduced the GAINS Exchange into my business. GAINS stands for “Goals, Accomplishments, Interests, Networks, and Skills”. I wrote these five elements on a paper so that two people who meet for the first time — or who had met only briefly and had a shallow relationship — could take turns learning about each other’s GAINS and writing them down.

Build trust with deep connections

Guess what happened? They had known each other casually for a year in a networking group — and had never done business with each other. Within three months of discussing their GAINS, they began passing referrals to each other. This began because they found out they were both soccer coaches, and that made a deeper connection between them that led to trust. If they had continued with their more “shallow” relationship, they may have never passed a single referral. It’s really fun to see two people at a GAINS Exchange that start out learning about each other on a business level by asking each other the following questions:

  • What do you do for a living?
  • Describe what your business is like?
  • What are you looking to do to grow your business?

Then, one of them shares something unique, like an unusual hobby or an unusual place they dream of traveling to see, and conversation just takes off.

If your network is a mile wide and an inch deep, it will never be very powerful. You need a strong and stable network that is both wide and deep. Like the supporting roots of a huge oak tree, some of your referral relationships need to go deeper. You create deeper relationships by learning as much as you can about other people. You want to find out details about their family, their interests, and their goals. Get to know them a little bit better to learn what is important to them.

Growing Forward Together

Growing Forward Together™string(27) "Growing Forward Together™"

The global business world experienced many challenges with growing forward during “The Great Pause of 2020”. Last year was the most difficult economic time worldwide since the Great Depression. However, BNI® not only faced these challenges but thrived during the global pandemic. BNI’s Global Leadership Team focused on finding solutions instead of focusing on the problems. It is amazing that I love what BNI is doing for our members and I love what our CEO, Graham Weihmiller, is doing with this company.

Growing Forward Together™

Watch the first part of this video about BNI’s innovative programs from last year and what they achieved during “The Great Pause of 2020”.  Then, watch the second part of this video for announcements about upcoming BNI global initiatives, programs, and events as we enter “The Great Acceleration” phase of 2021.

The Great Pause of 2020

For over 35 years, BNI was the leader in hosting weekly local in-person referral networking meetings worldwide.  However in March 2020, for the safety of our members, BNI paused over 9,500 in-person BNI meetings and transitioned these to an online virtual meeting platform: BNI online.  This maintained business continuity and allowed our 275,000 BNI Members worldwide to support their fellow BNI Members during the pandemic. In 2020, our BNI chapter members passed over 11.5 million referrals which generated over $16.3 million(USD) of global business revenue for each other. Here are a few more of BNI’s innovative programs from 2020:

The Great Acceleration of 2021

BNI is a Beacon of Hope in a Sea of Fear

Today, now more than ever, you need your network and you need to be networking with them.  You need a team of people who will be there to help you during difficult times.  During 2020, many people became frozen by their fear.  However,  I also saw many people became focused by their fear.  They were focusing on surviving and thriving because “BNI is a beacon of hope in a sea of fear”.

Since 1985, BNI has created over $130,000,000,000 USD in revenue for BNI Members via over 130,000,000 Referrals. Today, the average BNI referral results in over $1,000 in revenue. And we’re just getting started. Your local BNI community can give you, and the people that you know, the support you need to thrive. Our BNI members are growing forward together. Today, more than ever, you need your network. Today, more than ever, you need BNI.

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