Networking Tactics Archives - Page 29 of 32 - Dr. Ivan Misner®

The Power of a Rolodex–What’s Your Story?

Hazel Walker (pictured below) is not only one of my Business Networking and Sex co-authors and one of my business partners in both BNI and the Referral Institute, she is also the author of the great article below about the importance of remembering that you never know who might be in someone’s Rolodex. As Hazel explains, assuming for any reason that somebody couldn’t possibly know anyone that might be able to help you in your business is wrong and it does you a great disservice.

I’ve heard some amazing stories about hugely valuable, highly legitimate referrals that came from people whom others had initially discounted as unlikely to know anyone that could help them.  I absolutely love hearing these stories because they’re amazing testaments to the power of networking.  What’s YOUR story??  If you have one, by all means, share it in the comments section after reading Hazel’s article below! 🙂

“Power of a Rolodex” by Hazel Walker

One of  the biggest challenges I have with business people is they underestimate the power of other people’s Rolodex.  It’s close-minded.  I hear this especially from the Business-to-Business people who walk into a networking group, look around and think, “I’m B2B (business to business) and high dollar and there’s nobody here who can help me!”  And they walk out.  What they have just done is discount everyone’s Rolodex.

They don’t know who I’m sitting with at PTA, or playing golf with.  They don’t know who my brother-in-law, my mother-in-law, or my friends are.  I see that happen more than anything when people discount who other people know.  It’s the same when they only get to know one side of the relationship.  They get to know the husband and everything about him, but have they asked where the wife works and who’s in her network?

There’s a tendency to just look at the person, a Mary Kay lady for example, and say “Yeah, she sells Mary Kay, she can’t help me.”  I had a banker in one of my networking chapters, a good member of the chapter who’s been in the group for a long time.  I sent a Mary Kay person to his chapter.  He called me up and was not happy.  He said, “I don’t know why you would send a Mary Kay person, we are doing business-to-business, Mary Kay is just not going to help us, blah, blah, blah . . .”  So I asked that he just give her a shot, you never know who she knows, and that he let her be in the chapter.

They let her in.  Shortly afterward, the banker sent me flowers thanking me for sending the Mary Kay associate who, in her first three months there, referred over $400,000 (USD) in business to him!  This was after he had discounted her based on the company she works for.  I think that is the biggest mistake business  people make: not getting to know people well enough to find out who they know.



“Money on the Table”–How to Generate More Referrals for Networking Partners

[tube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9GpIfb-ymqU[/tube]

If you’re not familiar with Power Teams or Contact Spheres, they are two things that any networker aiming for maximum networking results will want to get very familiar with.

I have just released a new book with my co-author, Lee Abraham, called Money on the Table which is all about how to use Power Teams and Contact Spheres to generate more referrals for your networking partners.  Why should you take the time to learn how to get more referrals for those in your network?  Because this will ultimately pay off in more referrals for you and maximum results for your networking efforts.

In this short video, Lee and I talk a little bit about our new book and why we wrote it and we also explain a simple, quick exercise that will get you on the road to making the most of your network and generating more referrals for you and your networking partners.  So, grab a sheet of paper and a pen before clicking the play button–there are six bullet points you’ll definitely want to jot down.

After you’ve watched the video and done the quick networking exercise, come back and leave us a comment about what you thought of it.  We’d love to hear your thoughts!

To purchase a copy of Money on the Table, CLICK HERE.

The Referral Process–Step 8

Today is the day big day that those of you who’ve been following my blog series on the referral process have been waiting for . . . the day I’m going to talk about the final step–the step we all anticipate most:  Step 8–Closing the Deal.

By the way, feel free to catch up on the previous steps in the easy, eight-step referral process at any time by reading my blog entries about steps 1 & 2; step 3; step 4; and steps 5, 6, & 7.

  • Step 8.  Close the Deal

Now that you have your proposal done and you know all the details, go back to the prospect and close that deal! Once that’s done, don’t forget to implement your referral thank-you program to inspire your source to continue referring business to you.

You’ve probably been told that you have to contact most prospects 20 times or more before they will buy.  That may be true in ordinary marketing strategies, but in the eight-step referral process, the sale happens in as few as two calls.  Didn’t close on step 8?  No sweat . . . just repeat steps 5 through 7 until it’s a done deal.

The eight-step referral process is a formal procedure that is simple and comprehensive at the same time.  It includes every single step you might need to take in order to fully and properly develop a first-time referral. Keep in mind, many referrals, especially those you make with established contacts, are much simpler; for example, some don’t involve a referral source and thus require only a couple steps.

Have you tried any of the steps in the referral process yet?  If so, I’d love to hear about your experience and the results you’re getting.  Please feel free to comment!

The Referral Process–Steps 5, 6, and 7

In my last blog, I discussed step 4 of the eight-step referral process and in the weeks prior to that, I went over steps 1, 2, and 3 Today I’m going to cover steps 5, 6, and 7.

  • Step 5.  Report Back to Your Source

Report back to your referral source and let her know the outcome of your meeting (unless, of course, she went along with you).  Ask her to follow up with the prospect to find out about his impression of you.  Let her know how important it is for you to make her look good to the prospect.

  • Step 6.  Your Source Gets Feedback from the Referral

The referral source calls your prospect on your behalf to get information that you can use to address any concerns for your next meeting.  Since the prospect is likely to tell your source of any concerns that he may not have expressed to you, this is the best way to find out what your prospect is thinking.

  • Step 7.  Your Source Reports Back to You

Your source reports back to you with more information about the prospect. This increases your chances of closing the sale on the next call or, if the prospect is already under contract or not currently in the market, perhaps at the next available opportunity.  With this information, you can contact the prospect at a more appropriate time and be first in line with a proposal and sales plan ready to go.

If you would like to find out about the last step in the easy, eight-step referral process, be sure to come back next week.  Step 8 is usually most people’s favorite step and it’ll probably be yours too because it’s all about closing the deal.

The Referral Process–Steps 1 and 2

Last week, I wrote a blog explaining that referral networking is a system –when it comes to the actions of generating, developing, and closing a business deal through a referral, there is a well defined, systematic process.

The good news is, this process can be broken down into eight easy steps and today I am going to explain steps 1 and 2.

  • Step 1.  Your Source Discovers a Referral

The referral begins with an event that is outside your direct involvement: your referral source uncovers a referral opportunity for you.  This occurs without your direct involvement, but it happens because you have laid the groundwork for it by cultivating a mutually beneficial relationship with the person who is going to be motivated to bring you the referral and by making sure she can inform the prospect about the benefits your business can provide.

  • Step 2.  Research the Referral

Your referral source tells you she has a referral for you.  At this stage, your impulse might be to call the prospect immediately–you know, strike while the iron is hot!  But that would be a mistake.  In fact, it’s the most common mistake people make, and in many cases it’s referral suicide.

Don’t let your excitement cloud your judgment about the opportunity.  As soon as you get the call from your referral source, and before you even think of picking up the phone and calling the prospect, you should start digging to find out everything you can about your prospect and his company.  How old is the company?  What is the prospect’s main line of business?  How successfully does it compete?  What is the company’s market valuation?  What products or services of yours might be of most use or interest to the company?  What is its track record with vendors?  Does it deal fairly and straightforwardly with suppliers and clients?  Is it in good financial condition?  Will you be competing with other vendors for its business?

Can you think of any other questions that would be good to consider when researching a referral in Step 2 of the referral marketing process?  If so, please share it in the comment section.  Also, be sure to check back next week to read about Step 3: Checking Back in with Your Referral Source.

The Referral Process – 8 Easy Steps

Much of what I write about networking and referrals emphasizes the circuitous, sometimes mysterious nature of referral networking.  In a deep, broad-based, mature referral network, where you spend a lot of time doing good things for others without looking for a direct reward, and where the good that you do winds its way through the system and eventually comes back to you in the form of referrals, it may seem odd to describe referral networking as a system.  But that’s what it is, and when it comes to the actions of generating, developing, and closing a business deal through a referral, there is a well defined, systematic process.

What is a referral?  It’s not as simple as it’s sometimes made out to be.  We leave college and go into business knowing little about referrals, because referral marketing is rarely part of the curriculum.  We know what a great thing it is to get a referral, because it generally means lucrative business with a reliable client.  We often think of it simply as a connection to someone we can call on to do business with or, if it’s not our kind of business, someone we can refer to someone else.

We understand that referrals are the best kind of business.  What we don’t understand is how to make them happen when we want them and, when they come in, how to get the best results from them and make them last.  The referral process is a system that has a lot of feedback built into it.  If you follow it for every referral, you will get predictable results: more closed business deals and a never-ending supply of referrals.

I have broken the referral process down into eight easy steps:

  • Step 1–Your Source Discovers a Referral
  • Step 2–Research the Referral
  • Step 3–Check Back In With Your Referral Source
  • Step 4–Meet With the Referral
  • Step 5–Report Back to Your Source
  • Step 6–Your Source Gets Feedback from the Referral
  • Step 7–Your Source Reports Back to You
  • Step 8–Close the Deal

I’ll  be breaking these steps down in detail in several different blog entries over the coming weeks so if you’re interested in getting specific guidance on how to execute each step in the referral process, be sure to check back in weekly.

Jack Canfield Talks about Why the VCP Process® Makes Sense

A couple of weeks ago, Jack Canfield and I did a one-hour interview where we talked about business networking and success principles.  In about a month, the video of the interview will be available to view on Jack’s website (www.JackCanfield.com) in the “Inner Circle” section.

In the meantime, I invite you to check out the 3-minute video above where Jack talks about some of what he picked up about networking during our interview and why the VCP Process® really strikes a chord with him.

A New Twist on a Simple Technique to Refer Networking Partners

If you’re a good networker, you know that by looking for ways to refer those in your network and referring them any chance you get, they’ll be anxious to return the favor and you will get more referrals as a result.

This video talks about how my friend Mohammad Favakeh, owner of Monte Carlo Chauffeured Transportation (www.mctlimo.com), has put a new and interesting twist on a technique which I’ve been recommending for years that makes it easy for people to refer their networking partners.

Watch the video and you’ll see how easy it is.  Really–all you need is a simple card file and it’s a great technique for anybody who wants to build their network!

Do You Want To Become a Best-Selling Author? Here’s Your Chance. . .

I’m working on a new project with Nick Nanton, Esq., The Celebrity Lawyer, which gives small business owners, entrepreneurs, and businesspeople around the world the opportunity to establish themselves as experts in their field by achieving best-selling author status.

We recorded a call outlining the details of the project last month and you can listen to the call for free by clicking here.  If you have ever been interested in becoming a best-selling author, I highly encourage you to listen to the call today as registration for participation in the project ends this Friday (3-25-11).

One of the reasons I chose to become involved with this project is because I firmly believe that being recognized as a best-selling author is a highly effective way for businesspeople to establish credibility as an expert in their field and drive business, and I wanted to be a part of an initiative that helps give people this opportunity.  I also think that Nick Nanton is the perfect person to partner with in a project of this nature because of his experience and his background in promoting hundreds of authors to best-seller status.

Nick is known as The Celebrity Lawyer and Agent to the top Celebrity Experts for his role in developing and marketing business and professional experts, through personal branding, to help them gain credibility and recognition for their accomplishments.  He is recognized as one of the top thought leaders in the business world and has co-authored 8 best-selling books, including Celebrity Branding You!®.  Nick has led the marketing and PR campaigns that have driven more than 100 authors to best-selling status.

If you’d like to find out more about this opportunity, listen to the free recording of the call. You will learn how you can:

  • Become a Best-Selling Author
  • Position Yourself Above Your Competition
  • Use Your Best-Seller Status in Your Marketing to Grow Your Business
  • Use a Book to Drive Traffic and Lead-Generation on Your Website
  • Repurpose Your Content to Get Business Even from People Who Don’t Buy or Read Your Book
  • And More

CLICK HERE to listen to the free recorded call now.

Great Opening Question

A good networker has two ears and one mouth and should use them both proportionately. When you meet someone in a networking environment you should ‘listen’ more than you ‘talk’ (especially if it is the first time you’ve met). Consequently, in books like The 29% Solution and Networking Like a Pro, I’ve written a lot about the kinds of questions you should ask when you meet someone for the first time.

Recently, I was at a networking event and, at the end of the conversation, someone asked me a question that no one has ever asked me before at a networking meeting. She asked, “What is the most amazing thing that has happened to you today?”

I love that question because it is so positive and unique.  It made me stop focusing on anything other than the question at hand and required me to be completely present in the moment because I truly had to think about what the greatest thing was that had happened in my day so far.  At the time, I shared what came to mind with the woman who asked me the question.  However, it’s interesting to note that today, many months later, what I remember most is that question . . . not whatever “amazing” thing happened to me that day.

If you have a great opening question, I’d love to hear it. In the comments section, share a stand-out question that you, or someone you’ve met, has asked at a networking event.

Preview of Business Networking and Sex Book

Last week I posted a blog asking all BusinessNetworking.com blog readers to take a short survey relating to the book I’m currently writing with Frank De Raffele and Hazel Walker about gender and networking.

The book won’t be released until early next year but I’ve already received several requests for more details in regard to what the book is going to be all about.  In light of that, Frank, Hazel and I decided to make a short video for those who are curious to learn more about our upcoming book.  The video is only a few minutes long and you can view it by clicking on the link above.

I’d love to hear what you think of the concept of the book, or even of just the video, so please feel free to leave a comment.

“Tell To Win: Connect, Persuade, and Triumph with the Hidden Power of Story”

Peter Guber, Chairman and CEO of Mandalay Entertainment, has a powerful new book coming out on March 1st called Tell To Win.

This book is not only an extremely interesting read, it is also an important resource for networkers in every part of the world.  Peter is a master storyteller and, with this book, he teaches readers how to achieve success in business and life by connecting with people and engaging them on an emotional level through the power of stories.

I met Peter at one of his storytelling symposiums which he conducted in preparation for this very book and, I can assure you that if there is one person in the world with the expertise to teach others how to change lives through the power of stories, it’s Peter.  Tell To Win offers dynamic storytelling techniques that are greatly beneficial in a face-to-face networking setting. Below I have pasted an excerpt of Peter’s words, specifically discussing the importance of telling your story in a face-to-face environment.  If you find this material useful, which I have no doubt you will, I strongly encourage you to pick up a copy of Peter’s new bookLearning how to connect with others through storytelling is an ability that will continue to serve you well throughout your entire lifetime.  It is an invaluable skill that you will be endlessly grateful for obtaining and, as you can tell from Peter’s words below, he is the ultimate teacher.

The highest and best use for telling purposeful stories in the room, face-to-face, breathing the same air and reading each other’s micro-expressions–something you can’t do in any other medium.  In writing my new book, Tell To Win, I conversed with the foremost folks in technology–people like Chris Kemp, chief information officer at NASA Ames Research Center, Phil McKinney, the chief technology officer at Hewlett Packard, Arianna Huffington, founder of the Huffington Post, and many others–and asked them if digital or state-of-the-art technology could replace what I call state-of-the-heart technology.  Their response was an overwhelmingly consistent “not at this time.”  In fact, Arianna said it best when she asserted in front of one of my masters UCLA classes (I’ve been a professor at UCLA for over 30 years), that the more time we spend in front of screens, the more we crave the intimate in-person interactions where we tell our stories to realize our dreams.  And, she didn’t stop there!  She exhorted my students that if there’s something incredibly important upon which everything depends, you always want to be in the room.

You can’t yet duplicate the same effects of telling oral stories in the same room, breathing the same air, pressing the flesh.  However, many of the critical elements of telling purposeful stories work in other mediums.  Always motivation comes first which starts with you–your intention.  This authenticity must shine through.  The trick is not to try to be interesting, but to be interested–know what your audience is interested in and deliver what’s in it for them.  All good telling of stories has a goal–the action you want your listener to take.  Don’t hide it.  Interactively engage your listener, your audience, so it’s not a monologue, but a dialogue.  It is a conversation in which the telling becomes a “we” experience rather than a “me” experience.  A critical marker is the willingness of the teller to surrender proprietorship over the story so the listener can own it and viral market it as her own.  The story content is lurking everywhere–first person experience is best, but equally powerful is an observed event, a movie/book/artifact, or even a metaphor or analogy.

To learn more about Peter Guber and Tell To Win, please visit: http://www.peterguber.com/telltowin


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