Follow up Archives - Dr. Ivan Misner®
Don't be this guy

Don’t Be This Guy

A BNI Director once told me about a member who called him and said he was quitting his group because he wasn’t getting enough business.  That very same day, the Director received a call from the Membership Committee of that same chapter. He asked if they could remove that member. He wasn’t following up on the referrals he was being given by other members. Don’t be this guy!

When I hear stories like this I just shake my head in disbelief.  Referrals don’t equal more business.  Following up on referrals leads to more business. And yes, doing a good job and providing good customer service are important in order to keep getting referrals. 

If you get referrals and don’t follow up on them – you’re not going to get more business. 

When you give a referral, you give a little bit of your reputation away.  If you give a referral with a strong recommendation and then the service provider doesn’t actually follow up with the contact – the service provider not only looks bad – you look bad for giving the referral!

By the way, the group removed the member who wasn’t following up.  I heard he now has a job at the Department of Motor Vehicles. Repeat after me, “If you don’t follow up on referrals, you’re not going to get more business.”  And then, you might have to take a job at the Department of Motor Vehicles.

Following up on the referrals you get – – – is it me, or does that seem incredibly obvious?  Please tell me – that’s incredibly obvious right?


You Achieve What You Measure – A Truluck’s Story

Since I moved to Austin Texas, I’ve discovered a number of restaurants that I really enjoy.  One of them is Truluck’s in downtown Austin.  The first time my wife and I went to Truluck’s we couldn’t help but notice how engaged the host was when we walked up to check in for our reservation.  He was welcoming, friendly, and conversational.  It was unusual in that the host seemed more engaging than the normal friendly host you might get when you enter a good restaurant.  He was incredibly personable and it stood out to me. I took a mental note and wondered if the rest of the experience would be the same.

I sat down and the wait staff was very attentive (but not too attentive).  They were right on the spot when I needed something but they didn’t interrupt constantly.  The wine list was great (see this blog to know why that’s important to me).   Then, the meal came out.  It was phenomenal.  For me, a great meal paired with a great wine and great service are the proof of the existence of a divine being.  OK, maybe I exaggerate a little but it was really good.

My wife and I had a nice long dinner and a great experience.  When we were ready to go, the wait staff brought out the bill and a computer tablet.  The tablet had a series of survey questions on it.  The first is the screenshot on this blog.  They asked if I received a hospitable welcome from the host when I arrived!  Voila!  I now understood why the host really went out of his way to make us feel welcome.  (By the way, I scored it as “Absolutely!)”  The restaurant had about six questions in total relating to the experience during the evening and I checked each one of them at the highest possible level.


Trulucks measured key factors in their restaurant experience and the management got an immediate, real-time result for each of these areas.  This is a perfect example of “Achieving What You Measure.”  In their case, there was no delay in getting the results.  They could tell exactly how people felt about the experience before the customer even left the restaurant.  On one of my visits to Trulucks, I spoke to the manager, Thomas, about the survey system at the restaurant.  He said that the previous month they received a 98% positive rating from the customer surveys.  I told him that was outstanding.  I love his response.  He said, “actually, we always shoot for 100%.”

We could all learn from this type of management control system.  Well done to Trulucks.  I look forward to going back again soon.


five ways to better networking

Five Ways To Better Networking

Last year, I gathered almost 3,400 survey responses from business people around the world.   I gave them a list of almost 20 different characteristics on networking and I asked them to pick the top behaviors they’d like to see in a great networker.  From those responses, I have identified the top characteristics of what people believe makes a great networker and have listed the five ways to better networking in this video.

Good Listener.

At the top of the list is being a good listener.  Our success in networking 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. A good networker has two ears and one mouth and should use them both proportionately.  Listen to people’s needs and concerns and find opportunities to help them.  You can’t help others if you don’t know what they need, and you find that out by listening. In many ways, networking is about connecting the dots but to do that you have to listen so that you can help people make the connections they are looking for.

Positive attitude.

The first thing that people see from you is your attitude, how you take things in general. A consistently negative attitude makes people dislike you and drives away referrals; 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 and family to them.

Helps Others/Collaborative.

People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.  Helping people shows that you care.  One survey respondent said that “people want to network with individuals who have a collaborative attitude.”  Helping others can be done in a variety of ways. For example, clip a helpful article and email it to someone. Furthermore, put them in touch with a person who can help them with a specific challenge.  Several respondents commented about not wanting to network with people who are “in it for themselves.” A willingness to collaborate and help others is essential. It builds trust and helps establish a strong relationship.


You can offer the help, the thanks, the listening ear, but 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 respondent stated that “it’s all about the authenticity” that someone shows you.  We have all seen people who are seemingly good at networking but lack sincerity.  Faking it isn’t sustainable.

Follows Up.

If you offer opportunities, whether a simple piece of information, a special contact, or a qualified business referral, to someone who consistently fails to follow up, you’ll soon stop wasting your time with this person.  One respondent said that when it comes to networking, “the fortune lies in the follow up” and many people just “don’t follow up anymore.”

Click here to watch the video

stay in touch

Seven Strategies to Stay in Touch

People often ask me, “how can I get back in touch with people or stay in touch with people that I haven’t seen or spoken with recently?”

If you want to connect or reconnect with others, do what is best for you, but go to where these people want to meet with you. So, here are seven strategies that will help you improve in this area — now. If you can’t do them all — do what works for you.

Don’t be a cave dweller. Please watch this video

1. Sort through your list.

You can’t stay in touch with everyone. Who do you want to make sure to stay connected with and why? It could be personal, it could be professional, but create a list that you want to focus on.

2. Use the system they use.

It doesn’t have to be Facebook or LinkedIn — use Pinterest or other programs, Snapchat, What’s App — whatever they use. Each of my children use different systems.  If I want to connect with them — I need to go where they are. For my oldest daughter, it’s texting or a phone call. My second daughter, it’s What’s App or texting. For my son, it’s an online game called Steam. I have some business associates who only reach out to me on Facebook or LinkedIn. Others are strictly emailed. The key here — is to go where the people you want to talk to, hangout.

3. Use social media platforms.

Use social media platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter to your advantage by sharing news and reading updates without having to reach out to people on an individual basis. Social media is fantastic. Instead of starting your next call with, “What’s new?” you can jump to, “You cut off your hair!” “You have a new job!” If you need help with this, contact Brian Bentzen, my social media coordinator.

4. From time to time, use snail mail.

Yes, OMG, send a letter or a card.  It’s so “old school” and it’s almost guaranteed that someone will read it.

5. Skype or other instant message systems.

I’m not a big fan but — it’s not about me, it’s about the other person. What are they using? I see many people using messaging systems online? If you want to stay connected, connect where they are.

6. Periodic phone calls.

I know, crazy idea, actually talk to people. Your smartphone has a green button — use it. If appropriate, set up regular calls. My wife and her sister have done that for many years.

7. Face to face.

Don’t be a “cave dweller.” Nothing beats actually meeting someone face to face and having a conversation. You have to eat breakfast and lunch every day, so why not do this a few times a week with a good referral partner? You can kill two birds with one stone by strategizing with your referral partner about how to help each other over a meal.

Benign neglect is a horrible thing when it comes to building social capital.  Start today to stay in touch. Pick a few of the techniques I listed above and “touch” someone. You have to start by making a commitment to improving in this area. If you haven’t been good at this in the past, start to focus on improving today. I would love to hear any more that you might have. Do you have a strategy to add? Or an example of how you use one of the seven? Share it in the comments.

Followup System

The 24/7/30 Followup System

Today’s topic comes from Dr. Misner’s book Avoiding the Networking Disconnect. Dr. Misner’s co-author Brennan Scanlon came up with this system for following up with new contacts after meeting them at networking events. It’s called the 24/7/30 Followup System.

The 24/7/30 Followup System.

When you meet someone at a networking event, drop them a note within the first 24 hours.  It can be a personal handwritten note or an email, just make sure to use whatever approach that you will do consistently.

Within 7 days, connect with them on social media.  Make a connection via LinkedIn or Facebook.  Follow them on Twitter or join them on Google+.  Find ways to connect and engage with them via the social media platform(s) you are most active on.  Do NOT do this as a way to “sell” to them, do it as a way to start to establish a meaningful connection with them.

Within 30 days reach out to them to set up a 1-2-1 meeting.  If you live near each other, meet in person (that is almost always best).  If you are far from one another, set up a meeting via Skype or by phone.  At this meeting find out more about what they do and look for ways to help them in some way.  Don’t make it a “sales call” make it a relationship building opportunity.

If you do the 24/7/30 approach to your follow-up, you will establish a powerful routine that will help you to make your networking efforts meaningful and successful.

“Avoiding the Networking Disconnect: The Three R’s to Reconnect”

by Ivan Misner and Brennan Scanlon
This book is for business people wanting to increase their business through the “three Rs.” Similar to the three Rs of education (reading, writing, and arithmetic), the three Rs of business networking—relationships, referrals, and results—must be consistently cultivated to avoid the networking disconnect. The book provides you with the five steps for building and maintaining strong business networks—steps that go far beyond just showing up at events and passing out your business cards! It will take some effort, and the process won’t always flow smoothly, but with the aid of Avoiding the Networking Disconnect, you’ll soon be reaping the generous benefits of a business approach based on sharing and trust.
Avoiding the Networking Disconnect: The Three Rs to Reconnect



Voicemail Email Messages

Tips on How to Return Voicemail and Email Messages

Tiffanie Kellog and Jason Avery discuss how behavioral styles affect how we respond to voicemail and email messages.

So you received a message and you do not know exactly how to return it. Based on the book, Room Full Of Referrals, it depends on how people want to be treated, their behavioral style.

Behavioral styles are affecting your referability. When you receive a voicemail or email message, pay attention to the length and pace of that message.  Was the message long, detailed and full of information, or was it short and to the point? Know how to respond based on the behavioral style of the person who SENT the message. There are little clues in their message to identify what is the behavioral style of the person you are communicating with.


“Hey it’s Tiffanie, call me”. The person leaves a short message that is very direct and to the point or only a few sentences. They are a fast-paced busy-busy person without a whole lot of time and they expect the same from you. When you call them or reply to their email, start with “I am sure you are very busy, I only need a moment of your time. Here is what I got for you”. Get straight to the point with the relevant information listed in bullet points.


The message is upbeat and enthusiastic. The person is talking about having a good time. They are the “Fun Loving” people. They use in their message ALL CAPS, emojis and lots of exclamation points !!!!!! When you call them or reply to their email, use words such as  “Super, Great, Fantastic, or Awesome”.


The Message is very detailed with page numbers, questions and full of details. They want all the information. If they give you a long list, do not reply with just one or two short sentences. They might become offended and question your credibility. When you call them or reply to their email, start with “I am tied up at the moment but I will get to all these questions and I will respond by this date with all the information you requested”. Be specific.


The message has indecisiveness. They need more options to compare before making a decision or they want to consult with someone else first. When you call them or reply to their email, start with “Here is what you need to know about the impact on their business, family or community”.

Once you know their style, you can adapt. Mirroring is a good way to start. You behave the way that they are behaving and they will appreciate you. Another option is to have four different employees representing each of these four behavioral styles to reply to the various messages based on the sender’s behavioral style. 

Not Following Up

Not Following Up

Do you know one of the biggest mistakes you can do when networking?  It’s when you give a networking partner a referral and they do not follow-up on it. This drives me crazy and is so frustrating because it is so easily preventable.
If you are not following up when your referral partners call you or you are not following up on the referrals you are giving to others, you’re not just losing business, you’re also losing your credibility. That is something which is extremely difficult to earn back once lost.  So why not take time today to follow-up with someone. If you make following up your number one networking priority this year, I guarantee it will pay off in big ways.
Most businesspeople love working with someone who is considerate, and your follow-up etiquette is an easy way to show just how considerate you can be. Your follow up technique can leave a lasting impression on someone who may not have thought you were memorable at first. Remember, thoughtfulness always counts in the end.
Have you had an experience where you gave a referral to someone and they didn’t follow up on it?  If so, will you continue to give that person referrals?  Or, have you dropped the ball on following up on a referral before?  If the answer to either question is yes, did you learn a lesson from it?  Please share your experiences in the comments below.  Thanks!
Kai Bjorn

Comment concrétiser des opportunités d’affaires avec des suivis et un Merci?

Follow-up tips from various BNI leaders for International Networking Week

Submitted by Kai Bjorn, Président de BNI Canada. 

Please scroll to the bottom of this post to read the English version

Le monde des affaires ressemble à celui du sport : certains entrepreneurs sont de vrais athlètes dans leur discipline et connaissent un franc succès. D’autres performent bien, sans toutefois élever leur entreprise à un autre niveau. Mais qu’est-ce qui les différencie? Et bien, il s’agit de plusieurs actions simples, mais rentables, à commencer par les suivis durant les activités de réseautage. Pour vous aider à performer, voici 2 conseils très efficaces que tout entrepreneur devrait maîtriser pour laisser une forte impression et favoriser le développement de ses affaires.

Developpement des affaires : où, quand et pourquoi?

Sans développement des affaires, une entreprise ne peut survivre longtemps. De fait, les réseaux professionnels sont un excellent moyen de bâtir des relations avec d’autres experts et d’offrir ses services. Les entrepreneurs et travailleurs autonomes doivent donc participer à des activités de réseautage quotidiennement.

Reconnu à travers le monde entier, BNI est le plus grand réseau professionnel avec plus de 210 000 membres. Cela représente plus de 1.6 milliard $ en références et en ventes par année : imaginez le potentiel et les opportunités de vente! Il va sans dire que certains professionnels, qui sont de vrais experts en développement des affaires, en profitent plus que d’autres. Ces athlètes du référencement maîtrisent l’art de dire merci et de faire des suivis pour chaque rencontre. Oui chaque rencontre, qu’elle soit positive ou non. Et croyez-moi, en tant que Président de BNI Canada et ancien athlète olympien, les suivis et le développement sont aussi importants en affaires qu’en sport.

Activités de réseautage et suivis

Soyons francs: dans une activité de réseautage, 50 % de l’échange se fait durant la rencontre face à face et l’autre 50 % s’effectue après ladite rencontre. Il s’agit là des suivis professionnels : ces gestes font toute la différence et vous placent en priorité. Tout comme un sport, vous pouvez simplement être sur le terrain ou vous pouvez compter un but. La différence est dans l’action, la rigueur et la discipline.

Comment faire un suivi de développement des affaires?

Après votre activité de réseautage, conservez les cartes d’affaires ou coordonnées des gens avec qui vous avez échangé. Ne faites pas de sélection, conservez-les toutes. Oui, même celles qui ne vous procureront pas de vente directe. Gardez en tête qu’en affaires, vous ne savez jamais qui connaît qui. Un professionnel peut vous recommander à ses proches ou contacts.

Ensuite, écrivez un courriel à ces personnes dans les jours suivant la rencontre. Prenez le temps de leur dire «Merci» pour la belle rencontre et discussion. Surtout, n’hésitez pas à faire un tel suivi. Vous gagnerez beaucoup :

  • Vous serez en tête de liste : Ce contact professionnel pensera à vous au moment de référer ou d’acheter vos services et produits.
  • Vous aurez laissé une forte impression : Prendre les devants en faisant un suivi renforce positivement l’image qu’on garde de vous.
  • Vous rehausserez votre réputation : Faire un suivi et dire merci sont des preuves directes de votre leadership et professionnalisme. Vous aurez bâti une solide réputation dans ce réseau.
  • Vous bâtirez des relations positives fortes : Dire merci et faire des suivis aide à bâtir des relations entre professionnels : vous ouvrez la porte à une conversation et à entamer une réelle relation. C’est là que se trouve la différence entre rencontrer une personne dans une activité de réseautage et avoir un collaborateur potentiel dans son réseau.
  • Vous agirez avec éthique : Beaucoup de leaders disent merci et sont reconnaissants envers les gens qu’ils rencontrent. Entreprise en démarrage ou entrepreneur prospère, peu importe. Il s’agit avant tout d’une relation entre deux personnes. Soyez éthique et professionnel. Vos suivis et votre aptitude à dire merci deviendront une marque de commerce de votre code d’éthique.

BNI et les suivis

Les BNI ont d’ailleurs remarqué la force des suivis et d’un simple merci. Cela est si ancré dans leurs processus qu’ils ont mis en place des outils comme des cartes de remerciement. Les membres peuvent inscrire sur une note ou dire à haute voix: «Merci pour la référence et l’opportunité d’affaires concrétisée. La référence était excellente et nous avons pu collaborer ensemble.»

Les suivis de référence

Par ailleurs, les suivis sont utiles à tous les niveaux de votre développement des affaires. Non seulement après une activité de réseautage, mais bien après toute rencontre ou référence. Si un collaborateur vous réfère un client potentiel et qu’il se concrétise en opportunité d’affaires, par exemple, prenez le temps de dire merci. Vous renforcerez votre relation et démontrerez de la reconnaissance. Et cela risque fort bien d’ouvrir la porte à d’autres références.

Si toutefois un collaborateur vous réfère un client et que celui n’adhère pas à votre service ou produit, faites aussi un suivi pour le remercier. Même si la rencontre n’a pas été positive ou que le client ne correspondait pas à votre clientèle cible, faites-le. Vous ouvrez ainsi la porte à une discussion. Vous pouvez alors réajuster le tir et préciser à nouveau qui est votre client idéal. Et si vous êtes celui qui réfère un client à un collaborateur, tentez aussi de faire un suivi. Vous pouvez lui demander si tout a bien été et si la référence répondait à ses attentes. L’important est de faire un suivi et de discuter avec vos collaborateurs, que ce soit positif ou non. En affaires, il est impossible que toutes les recommandations deviennent des clients.

Saisissez les opportunités d’affaires

Surtout, rappelez-vous qu’un suivi et qu’un simple merci vous ouvrent une foule d’opportunités d’affaires. Peut-être avez-vous devant vous un futur collaborateur, un client, un représentant, un admirateur, etc. Vous ne savez jamais où cela peut vous mener. C’est une aventure qui commence par un suivi et un merci. Et heureusement, ces gestes sont simples, sans frais et rapides à effectuer. Ne vous en privez pas.

Please click on the link below to read the English version

International Networking Week 2017

Master The Art Of The Follow-Up

Follow-up tips from various BNI leaders for International Networking Week

Submitted by Elyse Wilson
President of the Americas

As business professionals, building relationships is at the core of what we do. It’s how we grow our network, client base, and ultimately, ourselves. As BNI members, we know foundational elements need to be in place before new acquaintances begin to trust us as credible and reliable referral partners. One of the first steps to building relationships is simple, and it’s often overlooked. If you want to build a strong and profitable network, you must first master the art of the follow-up.

Networking events are great places to meet new professionals and showcase your business, but it’s what you do afterward that sets you up for either success or failure. You’ve finally met someone in a tough industry to break into, and you had a great conversation. Now what? Don’t wait a week, or even a few days, to reach out to your new contact. While you vividly remember meeting them, they may only vaguely remember meeting you. The next day, reach out by sending a short email inviting them to grab a cup of coffee. Don’t forget to include one or two topics you discussed during your previous conversation.

Be diligent and keep your new contacts too of mind. Keep their business card in your business card holder so you don’t forget to reach back out to them. If you think one of your fellow members may be able to help them and their business, pass their card to them. They may be their dream referral. Be a master in the art of the follow-up.

International Networking Week 2017

Mahesh Mac Srinivasan

The Fortune is in the Follow-up!

Follow-up tips from various BNI leaders for International Networking Week

Submitted by Mahesh Mac Srinivasan
President, BNI Asia & Australasia

Follow-ups, more than anything, can be the capital on which your business can prosper.

Effective networking is critical to growing your business in today’s times. In addition to being a good networker, it is essential to follow up with the new contacts you make, to make your overall efforts more fruitful than what it could have been.

For example, when someone passes a referral to you, it is crucial that you connect with the referral within a 24 to 48-hour period. This enhances your credibility with both the person who gave you the referral and your potential client. Follow up generates interest and interest in your product or service and it cements your engagement.

Follow ups can be easily done via a phone call or a short email. Make sure to thank the person who has passed on the referral and update them regularly about any progress. This will further enhance their confidence in you and ensure that you stay foremost in their mind for future referrals.

When it comes to chapter growth, it is vital to follow up when new members apply. Our members are our core strength and the more members we have, the more is the potential we offer to other members. It is a win-win situation based on mutual growth and trust. So, we must make sure that we follow up on new applications, on the same day, thank the visitor for coming and to find out more about their core strengths to evaluate if we can integrate them within existing members.

A good follow-up helps deepen the relationship and trust. Most successful business owners, create a healthy business by building a large network of business associates, clients, mentors, and friends.

To summarize, following up is key to converting introductions and building sustained relationships. All it takes is communication at regular intervals on points of mutual interest to keep connections alive. You can be sure that the effort one puts in following up with contacts always pays back directly or indirectly – sometimes through straightforward contracts, at other times via a referral or a connection that might lend a helping hand in times of need.

The Fortune is in the follow-up!

International Networking Week 2017


Marc-William Attie

The Impact of Follow-Up in Sales and Networking

International Networking Week: Follow-up tips from various international BNI leaders

Submitted by Marc-William Attié
Directeur National, France et Belgique francophone

In order to get most of the International Networking Week, be aware of the impact of Follow-Up in Sales. Following up is a must to be in the position to succeed. This is the case in Networking, in our personal life, with our children, in managing our health, in financial management, in Business, etc…. Follow-up is one of the most important behavior to reach a high level of efficiency.
Follow-up and Sales
Here is an interesting statistic which proves the importance of follow-up in sales from the National Sales Executive Association:
40% of Salespeople never follow up with a prospect
25% make a second contact and stop
12% male three contacts and stop
only 10% make more than three follow-ups
and now be aware that only 2% of sales are made on the first contact
3% on the second
5% on the third
10 % on the fourth
and 80% on the firth to the twelfth contact.
What salesman do you want to be? You can easily decide.
Follow-up and Networking
During this International Networking Week, you will be meeting some potential future customers. I don’t recommend that you try to hard sale to the people you are going to meet. But if you want to get most of these new contacts remember that in order to create a relationship which will ease the future sales process you need to follow-up. Here are some quick tips:
1) Take note on the business card you will receive to keep track on some specific info
2) Send a personalized thank you email immediately after the event
3) Connect with those people on LinkedIn and create files in your CRM or equivalent (write a note about how you met and about what you can do for them.
4) Ask for phone and in-person meeting appointment one week later (the persons you want to reconnect with)
5) During these phone calls and in-person meetings give, ensure you give them something they can benefit from (information, connection, advise, .. remember you took note during the event).
6) Ask for help, people like to be useful.
7) Plan to have follow-up emails every 3-6 months and a call or in-person meeting every year.
Remember that follow-up is one of the most important behavior to reach a high level of efficiency. 

International Networking Week 2017

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