Networking Archives - Dr. Ivan Misner®
Networking Online

Networking Online

Because of the current health situation, a lot of us are working from home. Even if you cannot go to your usual places to network face-to-face with others at mixers, meetings, or social events, you can still take action and build up your networking online.

Earlier this week, I shared some tips for working from home. Please watch this video to learn a few things you can do right now to maintain a powerful personal network online:

Networking Online

Take a few minutes daily to reach out to a few people each day in your network and schedule an appointment to talk to them later in the week. There are many ways to connect with others, even if not face to face. The easiest way is to pick up the phone and actually have a conversation with them. If both you and that person are comfortable with setting up a video call, I recommend connecting with them at a scheduled time on Zoom, Teams, or some other platform. Not only chat about each other’s businesses but ask how they are doing personally. Find out if there are ways you can help them. Finally, it is ok to also ask them for help. We all could use a friend these days.

Now is the time to build up your online networking with your fellow BNI® members using our newest platform: BNI Online™. This will allow you to stay in touch and attend your BNI Networking meetings virtually during these days of social isolation.

If you’re not in BNI®, we are inviting local business professionals to join us online. If you know someone looking to grow their business online during these challenging times, please invite them as our guests to our online meeting. This is a chance for them to experience BNI and networking from the comfort of their home or office.

Find a local online meeting in your area:
https://www.bni.com/find-a-chapter

Please watch this video to learn some things you can do right now to maintain a powerful personal network. Now, more than ever, you need your network. Work together with them by networking online.

Gratitude

The Gratitude Effect

I recognize that when some people hear the phrase Attitude of Gratitude,” they are going to think, “Yeah, yeah, yeah, more new-age psychobabble, but we want hard facts.”  Well, I agree that hard facts are important and here are some from pretty reputable sources who argue convincingly about the science of gratitude’s positive impact.

The Benefits of Gratitude

  • Harvard Medical School recently reported that there have been multiple studies showing that people who express gratitude are “more optimistic and felt better about themselves.”
  • The Templeton Foundation conducted studies that showed that an “attitude of gratitude” can actually have a positive and “lasting effect on the brain.”
  • A paper published by the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence concluded that “expressing gratitude completes [a] feeling of connection” with others (something I’d say is pretty important in building relationships).
  • Even neuroscientists argue that gratitude is effective. Paul Zak, professor at Claremont Graduate University states that “the neuroscience shows that recognition has the largest effect on trust. . .” Especially when it’s tangible, unexpected, personal, and public.
  • UC Berkley conducted fMRI scans on individuals who wrote gratitude letters and compared them to the fMRI scans of people who did not. They found that the people who wrote gratitude letters had a greater activation in the medial prefrontal cortex than those who did not write the letters. The medial prefrontal cortex is, among other things, believed to be an area of the brain that triggers responses to nicotine, drugs and alcohol. In other words, showing gratitude is proven to be a healthy way of getting high.
  • Studies by the Cicero Group that were published in Forbes found that people who are on the receiving end of gratitude have a 33% increase in their innovation, a 22% increase in work results, and they stay with the organization longer than those who are in companies who do not have a practice of appreciating their people.

So much for psychobabble. Gratitude improves attitude, feelings of connection, and results.  It’s not new-age; it’s science.

The Gratitude Effect works when someone is coming from a place of being grateful and acknowledging people along the way.  This means that it is important to take time to notice all the good things you might take for granted. Like so many other principles of success, it’s simple, but not easy, meaning that this is a simple concept – but it is not an easy concept to apply regularly in your life.  It’s not easy, because the easy thing is to notice what is wrong, what you don’t like, what annoys you, or the problems that you face.

Solutions Focused

What I have learned over the years is that if you focus on problems – you become a world-class expert at problems, and it is hard to show gratitude when you are obsessed with the problems around you.  However, if you focus on solutions, you can become a world-class expert at solving those problems.  This process begins by recognizing what is right around us.  From that starting point we can be grateful for those elements. Plus, begin to acknowledge those around us for the efforts they are making.  The Gratitude Effect requires a life-long journey of developing our ability to be grateful.

Expressing gratitude completes the feeling of connection with others. Here is how you can start this practice today: many people have helped us during our lifetime.  They are “in our story.”  Have you acknowledged them? Have you thanked them?  Have you recognized the difference they have made for you?

I recently heard a story from a woman whose sixteen-year old son pretty much stopped going to school. His grades began to fail, and he started drinking alcohol.  Worst of all, he was caught stealing a car and joy riding late at night.  She told me that he was making some really poor life decisions and that she was beside herself with what to do.

She decided to send him to a leadership conference to see if that would help take his life in a new direction.  At first, he said, “no” but around the holidays, he said that if this was that important to her, he “would do it for her.”

He attended the multi-day event and came home telling her that the event was amazing.  He learned that people matter.  Decisions matter.  The people around you matter.  She told me that one of the speaker’s at that event had a particularly large impact on the young man.  Then she reached out to the speaker from that event and told him the story.  Expressing her gratitude for the impact that his talk had on her son’s life.  She told him “you gave me my son back.”  The speaker was so moved that he sent a video message to the young man telling him how grateful he was that he said something that the boy found helpful and that he was proud to be a small part of that. What’s more, the young man replied and told him a little about the life that he was now creating for himself.

The Gratitude Effect doesn’t take much effort and costs little or nothing. However, it makes a difference in yourself and the people around you. When you acknowledge people in this way, people are drawn to you like a magnet. This accelerates the relationship-building process. As the story above shows, the Gratitude Effect can come full circle and then continue to spiral off in new, impactful directions. Believe me.  It is science.

humility

Humility Makes For a Great Networker

Humble people don’t think less of themselves, they just think of themselves less.  Some of the best networkers I know are humble.  In fact, many of the most successful people I’ve ever met have been remarkably humble.  Humility and being successful don’t have to be mutually exclusive.

In my late teens, I remember going to a political function.  I had decided that I wanted to pour myself into a campaign for a particular individual whose platform I appreciated.  Then… I met him and was introduced to him by someone high up in his campaign.  As soon as he learned that I was a lowly college student, I almost immediately lost his attention.  His eyes were darting across the room looking for someone more successful than me.  He ended up being very dismissive and came across as incredibly arrogant.  After that encounter, I decided not to help in his campaign.  Instead, I picked someone running for a different office.  This person was engaging and friendly.  He was respectful of people that didn’t “appear” to have much to offer.  Speaking with everyone, rich or poor, educated or uneducated.  He welcomed my involvement in his campaign.  Within six months, I ended up running his entire regional campaign office.  I put in hundreds of hours in that campaign and helped this person win office.  This experience taught me a lot about the kind of leader I wanted to be as I became more successful in life.

Humility costs nothing but yields amazing returns.  Being humble sounds simple enough, but what does that actually look like?  There are many things that can help someone show their humility.  Here is a list of a few traits of being humble that I think are important.

Humility Traits:

  1. First and foremost, their ego does not enter the room before they do.
  2. They are approachable, meaning that they are friendly and easy to talk to.
  3. A humble person listens and asks questions during a conversation.
  4. Maintain eye contact in a conversation and stay engaged in the discussion. This shows genuine interest.
  5. They are comfortable making people feel at ease and thanking people when appropriate.
  6. Humble individuals tend to have an “abundance mentality” and they tend to focus on solutions rather than simply rail about problems.
  7. Be situationally aware and have strong emotional intelligence.
  8. They are not self-absorbed. They know their strengths and are comfortable with who they are, but they don’t behave as though the world revolves around them.
  9. Most importantly, they practice what I call “Givers Gain®.” They approach life with a certain amount of altruism and strive to make a difference for others.

As we become more successful in life, it’s critical to maintain one’s humility.  We’ve all met people whose ego enters the room before they do.  They behave in a pompous manner and generally expect to be the center of attention most of the time.  In the long run, I don’t believe this serves people well.

No one is perfect with this all the time.  The process is a journey, not a destination.  It is something we must always strive for.  At large networking events, I know that I’ve had a good day when people share with me that they are surprised at how easy I was to talk to or that they felt that I came across like a regular person.  I believe that there is a “regular person” in all of us.  Showing that person to others is part of being humble.

If you achieve success in business, strive to shatter people’s expectations and demonstrate real humility.  Be someone who is engaging and caring, as well as knowledgeable and successful. Above all, remember that humble people don’t think less of themselves, they just think of themselves less.

Frederick Marcoux

Say thank you and thrive! – by Frederick Marcoux

International Networking Week®: “A Week of One Million Thank You’s” stories from various international BNI leaders

Submitted by Frederick Marcoux, National Director – BNI Australia

Frederick Marcoux

This year’s International Networking Week theme is “One Million Thank You’s”. In Australia we’re really excited about this really engaging and meaningful theme! Saying “thank you” has a strong place in our culture. Furthermore, expressing gratitude and saying thank you is easy, fun and uplifting to give and receive. Therefore, this is really important and we’re doing it a million times during International Networking Week 2020!

Thank you to our amazing firefighters and other volunteers

The world press gave massive coverage to the bushfires happening in many parts of our country. We are still coming to grips with what 12 million acres of burned bushland and 1 billion animals killed means. However, many are suffering from the loss of loved ones and their property. Therefore, we are grateful to our amazing firefighters and other volunteers helping to address these challenges.

BNI Foundation Australia says Thank You!

We are grateful to BNI Global, BNI Members and Directors and others from 12+ countries who donated so far to the BNI Foundation Australia’s bushfires fundraising efforts (www.gofundme.com/bnifoundationaustralia). The funds will be used to help children and young people impacted by the bushfires. Furthermore, the GoFundMe organization itself donated $1,000 to our cause, and we are very grateful for that!

Resilience through abundance

Frederick MarcouxWe are very proud that BNI helps improve business resilience through the powerful support network we provide for business through our Chapters. It’s well documented that one of the top reasons for business failure in Australia is lack of support. Givers Gain® is serious business. Last year, the members of BNI in Australia generated $0.5 billion of additional revenue through a quarter of a million referrals. Members supported each other this way without expecting anything in return. This is an amazing display of abundance thinking and trust in the idea that “what goes around comes around”. This is why I believe that in BNI we support business by creating “Resilience through Abundance”.  The meaning of those few words put together is readily understood by business people experienced in our Givers Gain® philosophy.

Say thank you and thrive!

There are many more reasons to say “thank you”. In most cultures, the desire to be appreciated is common. It’s well documented that receiving thanks can have a profound impact on someone’s outlook on the day, on the week or even on their future. Does that sound a bit exaggerated? However, I don’t think so. The best job I ever had was when my accomplishments and efforts were regularly recognized and gratefully appreciated by my superiors.  Furthermore, there are even studies that show that someone regularly expressing gratitude has better heart health and more disease-fighting cells in their body!

Thank you Leaders of BNI in Australia

Frederick MarcouxGreat Leaders develop and nurture more Leaders, and BNI in Australia has many leaders who do just that! Therefore, BNI in Australia has more Franchisees than ever before thanks to the abundance mindset and awesome leadership of the Executive Director Team. A few months ago at the Global Convention in Poland, BNI Australia was awarded the “2019 Global Award for Franchise Development”. This means that Australia is the most developed “Franchised BNI Country” in the world today. Furthermore, that is thanks to the amazing collaborative spirit of our team. Therefore, in the spirit of recognition and expressing gratitude, it’s appropriate to acknowledge those who have contributed to this massive achievement:

  • Bob Greenup, Executive Director BNI Sydney Central for referring us Ilona Teremi the Executive Director of BNI Gold Coast. Plus, Paul English the Executive Director for BNI NSW South.
  • Braith Bamkin, Executive Director BNI Melbourne Central for referring us Lisa Thomas, Executive Director BNI Melbourne North and Helen Searle Executive Director BNI Melbourne West
  • Graham West, Executive Director BNI Melbourne East for introducing us David Harris
  • Glenn Anthoney, Former Executive Director of BNI Sydney North West for referring us Rebecca Raad, Executive Director BNI Sydney North West. Plus, Alison Attard, Executive Director BNI Sydney South West
  • Ilona Teremi, Executive Director BNI Gold Coast for referring us David McLean. Plus, Jeannie Anderson, Executive Directors for BNI Brisbane South East
  • Leisa Gill, Executive Director BNI Brisbane South West and Toowoomba without whom One Brisbane would not have been possible
  • Rob Warburton Executive Director for BNI Sydney North East for introducing us to Andrew Sim
  • Simon Derrick-Roberts, Executive Director for BNI Adelaide CBD and South for referring us Simone Douglas, Executive Director BNI Adelaide South

Finally, I would like to wish everyone an insanely great International Networking Week® 2020!

Frederick MarcouxNational Director – BNI Australia

 

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Sam Schwartz

One Billion Thank You’s – by Sam Schwartz and Yarden Noy

International Networking Week®: “A Week of One Million Thank You’s” stories from various international BNI leaders

Submitted by Sam Schwartz and Yarden Noy, National Directors – BNI Israel

Sam SchwartzYarden Noy

 

International Networking Week has a special place in the BNI Israel history. When it was first announced about 13 years ago, we decided to have our annual conference at the same time. This year’s theme is “One Million Thank You’s” we would like to change it to “One Billion Thank You’s” because in the last six years BNI Israel members reported / Generated on over “1 Billion Israeli shekels” thank you for close business. This is incredible.

We would like this opportunity and thank Dr. Misner for creating this amazing organization that is Changing the Way the World Does Business® influencing the economy of the small and medium businesses in Israel.

An attitude of gratitude it’s not a simple and easy thing to have and changing a culture to adopt it is even harder, but over the last 15 years since BNI was introduced to Israel, we were able to have thousands of members and directors that adopted this attitude doing business Locally Nationally and Internationally with BNI member all over the world.

According to the Israeli government statistics, the SME in Israel is responsible for 61% of the job in the commercial sector, generating 53% of the product and services that generate 78% from all the new net employment. We are proud to help our members and the economy to be successful.

BNI is not only a “Business Generating System” it’s a family!

We have a member Tomer Mor (photo above) that his parents went to Canada in 2018 for their Anniversary. His father felt some headaches and he was planning to go to visit the doctor but on his way, he fell asleep at the steering wheel. His mother woke him up at the last minute and took over driving. They went to the emergency care in the hospital where he had a CT done. They found 2 aneurysms: one new and one old and the brain was damaged, he was transferred by ambulance to a bigger hospital in Halifax which was an hour and a half away from the first hospital, he was hospitalized and waited for surgery.

The car they rented was at the old hospital and all their belongings were at the hotel. The family in Israel was worried and tried to find a solution to help the parents.

Tomer reached out to Hazel Walker which he met in the prior year when she was a keynote speaker at BNI Israel Conference. He knew she owned the territory in Canada. Hazel connected him immediately to Mike and Megan, owners of the BNI franchise in Halifax. They immediately took over and said, “Don’t worry. We will meet your mother tomorrow. We will take the keys and we will bring the car and your belonging to the hospital”. It took them over six hours on Friday to do all of this. They asked nothing in return! Tomer met with them after his father’s operation to offer to compensate them for all that trouble and they refused. So a big, big Thank You to Mike and Megan for the help and support.

A Week of One Million Thank You’s

We would like to thank our Members and our Executive Teams who trust us and followed the BNI system in an organization that changed their life. “One Billion Thank You’s” from the bottom of a heart to Dr. Misner and the BNI Global Support Team.

Wishing everyone a fantastic International Networking Week® 2020!

Sam Schwartz and Yarden Noy National Directors – BNI Israel

Jessica Gomplewicz-Milot

La Gratitude en France – by Jessica Gomplewicz-Milot

International Networking Week®: “A Week of One Million Thank You’s” stories from various international BNI leaders

by Jessica Gomplewicz-Milot, Directrice Nationale, BNI France et Belgique francophone

Saying thank you in France and receiving gratitude can be sometimes a bit tricky. Of course, you might have heard about how negative French people can be sometimes, but it is a bit more complicated than this! Let me give you a few explanations.

If you think about it, this difficulty to accept AND give gratitude starts in schools. While American teachers grade from 100% and then reduce the grade when they find mistakes in an essay or an exercise, French teachers start from 0 and add up points when you do good. It ranges from 0 to 20, the latter being perfection. You really have to prove that you are worth something, and it should suffice you. Having often 18/20 grades means you will be the top student of your class. If you get grades like 12/20 you are good enough to pass like most students, and below 10/20 means starting a schoolyear over again. 20 is not often, if ever, given. This is a good example of how French people have trouble recognizing their worth and accept and value gratitude. A lot of them are not cheer on or thanked for their hard work, and it almost feels too much when those moments of recognition arrive.

Take the French language for instance: many reactions to compliments or signs of gratitude consist in diminishing what they accomplished. “You shouldn’t have.” “It’s nothing really!” “It’s natural/normal, don’t worry about it.” “No, no; I’m nothing special really.” All these are quite common to say.

A Week of One Million Thank You’s

Thankfully we still exchange formally gratitude, especially in the workplace, through letters, thank-you notes, emails or, and that is the best possible option, gifts and food. If you want to wow a French person at the end of the year and express gratitude, chocolates, regional specialties and treats are always very happily received. It sounds a bit cliché but it’s true! Pro tip: this also works if you want to make amends for any misunderstanding or wrongs that happened along the path.

If your French coworker has trouble thanking you during the year, but later sends you a letter, an email, or even better, one of their regional products, you know they truly value you and the work you put in.

The key point that I want to make here is this: compared to American people for example, it can be trickier to make French people literally say “Thank you!” or to get the point across when you want to thank them. However, once they truly see the intentions and gratitude you give, and what they can give in returns, it creates long-lasting trust and bonds.

Wishing everyone a fantastic International Networking Week® 2020!

Jessica Gomplewicz-Milot| Directrice Nationale – BNI France et Belgique francophone

Here are a few messages of gratitude from our Members towards their Chapters.

Patricia Mancini

Member of BNI Bierset Liège net

“ “…you’re the right person for us in finance, credit and investment.”

What a pleasure to hear that, and what a boost to my self-confidence thanks to my Chapter and an organization that allow me to thrive… I say thank you to them, they understood that human contact allows real exchanges and real business.”

See the article (in French) https://bnisuccessnet.fr/actualites/25-temoignage/1169-temoignage-seul-le-contact-humain-permet-de-faire-des-vrais-echanges

Florian Branche

Member of BNI Argelès Success

“ BNI accelerated my professional life, I met the right people in the right place. I have changed my professional life and made friends. I get up at 5am once a week with a smile on my face to have fun!”

See the article (in French)

https://bnisuccessnet.fr/actualites/25-temoignage/1140-temoignage-grace-a-bni-je-n-ai-jamais-prospecte

Cécile Jamelot

Member of BNI Namur Capitale,

“I accepted the role of President because it is in line with my job: giving wings to companies, but above all to the people who are part of them. It’s a way for me to highlight each Member. I try to bring out the best in them and that each one can give to receive.”`

See the article (in French)

https://bnisuccessnet.fr/actualites/18-success-stories/1137-successtory-j-ai-beaucoup-recu-de-bni-donner-est-un-juste-retour-des-choses

Tim Roberts

Thanking Those Who Provided The Opportunity – by Tim Roberts

International Networking Week®: “A Week of One Million Thank You’s” stories from various international BNI leaders

Submitted by Tim Roberts, National Director – BNI United States of America

Tim Roberts

This week, BNI celebrates International Networking Week and its Million Thank You initiative. It reminds me of how important it is to think about those who have made significant impacts on our lives that may not have been obvious at that moment in time.  Who helped you with what may have seemed like an insignificant act that, through the butterfly effect, changed the course of your business or life forever?

Thank You, Seth Tebbetts

For me, it is Seth Tebbetts, a BNI member in the BNI Power Partners chapter in Nashua NH and owner of the Tebbetts Insurance Agency.  Back in 2002, Seth was a recruiter for another insurance company. He gave me an opportunity to chase my dream of being an entrepreneur.  Seth was able to help me see the possibility of unlimited growth and face the fears of uncertainty.  If it were not for Seth I would have ended up in a management program after graduation. I know I would have hated this and who knows where my path would have led.

I was very familiar with BNI at the time because of the involvement of my parents. However, I would not have been able to become a member if I did not decide to go work with Seth.  This decision led me down an amazing path: from a struggling member getting little results, to a successful member, to finding my passion for BNI, to working BNI fulltime, to becoming an Executive Director owning multiple franchises of BNI. Now, I am the U.S. National Director.  While there are countless people who I can and should thank along this now 18-year journey, it is Seth who helped me take the very first step.  There is no way either of us knew at the time that this is where it would all lead, but that is not the point.

A Week of One Million Thank You’s

I challenge all of us to think back and thank those whom without we would not be where we are today.  I often speak to BNI members and ask them, “When was the last time they thanked the person who initially invited them to their chapter?”  We also make sure to thank the person who just gave us a referral. However, without that initial invite, EVERY referral we have or will receive from BNI would never have happened.

Thank you, Seth, for convincing me to take the leap of faith to become an entrepreneur. Thank you for helping me be able to get involved in an organization that has made such an impact on my family and me.

Wishing everyone a fantastic International Networking Week® 2020!

Tim Roberts National Director – BNI United States of America

 

One Million Thank Yous

One Million Thank Yous – International Networking Week®

Welcome to the 13th annual “International Networking Week®”. During this first week in February, we at BNI and other organizations around the world celebrate networking worldwide. “International Networking Week” is an initiative of BNI created  13 years ago. This year, we are asking you to help us to spread One Million Thank Yous all around the world. Therefore, please provide gratitude and appreciation for those who helped us to grow our businesses this week. I would appreciate sharing this video with your chapter members as the “Educational Moment” this week. Thank you.

With gratitude, I believe, comes stronger connections. Think about those who’ve helped you throughout your journey. Have you thanked them? Well during “International Networking Week”, we invite you to do so. We all have people who are in our story, people who have helped us in some way. This is the perfect time to reach out and tell them “thank you” for what they have contributed to your life and to your business.

Identify those people and give them “The Gift of Recognition”. You can even thank someone at your BNI meeting or at a networking event this week. Demonstrate your gratitude for the things that they have done for you. Therefore, you can also consider sending a letter or thanking them on social media using the hashtags #BNIthankyou and #INW2020 with your posts. The truth is that the goodwill that you demonstrate will draw others to you just like a magnet.

With gratitude, I want to begin this week by thanking “YOU”. With your passionate commitment to networking, BNI is continuing to impact and enhance lives all around the world and I appreciate you. Furthermore, feel free to share in the comments about someone that you appreciate and thank them here for something that they have done in your life.

One Million Thank Yous

In conclusion, I want to say thank you to the following BNI National Directors for writing guests blogs for International Networking Week about “gratitude” this week:

 X
Wishing everyone a fantastic International Networking Week® 2020!

 

Encourage Employees to Network

Five Ways to Encourage Employees to Network

Too many entrepreneurs focus on bringing in new business themselves or in tandem with the sales force but overlook their support staff as a source of referrals. Building word-of-mouth for your business is not just the responsibility of your marketing or sales department. As you might imagine, it’s far better to engage your entire staff in your word-of-mouth marketing campaign-not only at startup, but also throughout the life of your business. Here are five tips on ways to encourage employees to network:

1. Include networking in the job description for each and every employee

Often, if a new hire knows upfront that he’s expected to incorporate networking into his job, it will happen.

2. Have clear and reasonable expectations.

If your company manufactures a very obscure product, your staff might have a hard time bringing in tons of referrals. However, keep in mind that people are more important in the networking process than the type of product being sold. When you have the right person, he or she will be able to build a network around any kind of product or service.

3. Teach your staff about how to network effectively for the company.

Hold focus groups where you role-play ways to ask for referrals from other customers, friends, and family. Bring in local networking experts for in-house training. If you belong to a weekly networking group, bring your staff to those meetings one at a time so each member can see firsthand what networking can produce. This also helps your networking partners feel that they know your business better since they’ve been able to meet the people in your company.  Until you teach someone how to do something effectively, expecting them to do it well or even at all is unrealistic.

4. Motivate your staff to bring referrals to the company.

My wife once worked for a business owner who incorporated monetary bonuses into her word-of-mouth marketing expectations. For every new customer, she was given a bonus. It was a win-win arrangement for the company, as each new customer brought in revenue well above the bonus amount, and my wife felt rewarded each time one of her referrals came through the door.

Having a bonus system in place made it obvious that she would be attending chamber meetings with the boss and developing other connections in the community while passing out business cards and flyers for the company. To properly execute this idea, check with your CPA or tax preparer.

You might even establish a “networker of the month” status for the staff, using a reserved parking spot or an overnight hotel stay somewhere fun as a reward. Make the motivation something that’s relevant to your industry and, most of all, exciting to your staff.

5. Be sure your staff sees you practicing your networking skills.

Often, we as entrepreneurs don’t share with our staff the amount of time and energy we put into building and maintaining our businesses utilizing word-of-mouth marketing. I have always felt very strongly about this point. If I am going to expect my staff to do something, motivate and reward them for doing it, I better let them see me doing it as well. All too often, networking is something done behind the scenes and not necessarily in front of the staff.

One way to change this is to track how much business you brought in, as well as the staff’s numbers. Imagine the pride one competitive staff member will have when he or she breaks your number. Imagine the profits your company will realize when everyone in the company focuses on growing the business.

Networking is a group activity. Make sure to encourage employees to network and get your whole team on board with the process.

shape up your business

Shape up Your Business With Networking Aerobics

It’s that time of year again when we make our “New Year Resolutions” and the world seems to be exercising more! I’ve put together a series of exercises you can consider to be networking aerobics. Diligent practice of these exercises will pay off in a healthy networking ability and improved contacts that will lead to contracts. Here are some exercises to help you to shape up your business and maintain networking momentum.

Leg lifts

Rise from your chair and get to a networking event. It might be tempting to indulge in “Cave Man” behaviors and never leave the office. This is not the best way to expand your business, much less develop a healthy word-of-mouth base.

Arm extensions

Extend your right hand from the shoulder to reach for the hand of any new contacts you meet. Shaking hands is an important part of making a new contact. Not extending the hand of friendship can be perceived negatively. It sets you apart as being aloof and cold. Just be courteous and warm, and I’m sure however you shake hands you’ll make a good impression.

Jaw flex 

Immediately after the arm extension, introduce yourself to the person you just met. Let the new contacts know who you are and what you do. Make sure to be specific and provide a benefit statement about your services. Don’t forget that a good networker has two ears and one mouth and should use both of them proportionately-so give the jaw a little break.

The splits

As you see groups of two or three people talking together, go join them and introduce yourself. However, notice if they are “open” twos and threes or “closed” twos and threes. The open twos and threes will have a gap between the individuals, almost inviting another person to join with them. The closed twos and threes will be completely self-absorbed and wouldn’t be the first place to start practicing the splits. Ask the person hosting the event, or perhaps the individual who invited you to attend, to come around with you and introduce you to clusters of people.

Drop and carry

Ask for your new contacts’ business cards. Drop them into your left pocket and carry them back to your office. I usually carry my own business cards in my right pocket and use the left pocket to carry the new contacts’ cards. This habit can spare you the embarrassment of reaching into your pocket for your card and coming up with someone else’s card. Prior to dropping the contacts’ cards in your pockets, write a note on the back of their cards that will help jog your memory about them.

Arm curls

After your networking event, follow up with a phone call to the people you met. You might wish to follow up via e-mail or by sending note cards-just do something to put you back in the new contacts’ minds.

Cool-down

After attending a networking event, you need to do a cool-down exercise as well. We recommend recording the event’s contacts in a journal. There are also computer programs which will allow you to record the results of the networking event. Referring back to the documentation from the exercises you did at the event will help you cultivate the contacts into a bumper crop of referral business.

As you attend various networking events to promote your businesses, keep these exercises in mind and remember: no pain, no gain! You’ve got to put yourself out there in order to develop a word-of-mouth-based business.

2020 International Networking Week

2020 International Networking Week ®

The 2020 International Networking Week ® is an initiative of BNI®. It is an opportunity for business owners to show appreciation for their valued customers and contacts from networking.

This will be a week of global recognition and gratitude from February 2 through 8, 2020 to thank those business owners who have helped you to grow your business while networking. Furthermore, this year’s action item is to recognize and thank those people in your BNI chapter, chamber of commerce,  and other networking organizations. Take a moment to say, “Thank You” in person, in your meeting, and on various social media platforms.
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The focus of International Networking Week is to bring together representatives of government, businesses and community leaders from around the world to network and to recognize the power of networking. Speakers will offer advice and information on how businesses can grow and succeed through good networking practices.
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The 13th Annual 2020 International Networking Week is just around the corner. Therefore, it’s time to build your powerful personal network now. Invite various business owners who have helped you to grow your business to your BNI chapter or to your networking mixer. Invite them to network and to recognize the power of networking from February 2 through 8, 2020. Check out the promo video for the 13th Annual 2020 International Networking Week. Please use the hashtag with your photos and posts: #INW2020

 

The 2020 International Networking Week theme is “One Million Thank Yous”

Expressing gratitude completes the feeling of connection. Many people in your life have helped you in one way or another. Therefore, have you thanked them? Consider sending a letter to someone telling them what their actions meant to you, even if—especially if—it happened long ago.   It costs little or nothing. Furthermore, it almost always follows suit that they will demonstrate their gratitude for what you do.

When you show an interest in others by noticing the good things they’ve done; they will be drawn to you like a magnet.  Therefore, it will accelerate the relationship-building process and enhance their overall impression of you.”

In conclusion, the goal of International Networking Week is to celebrate the key role that networking plays in the development and success of businesses across the world. Networking events are being held globally to celebrate International Networking Week. For more information about these international events during the first week of February or to promote your local networking event on our 2020 International Networking Week website please see: internationalnetworkingweek.com

Three R's of Networking

The Three R’s of Networking

Do you know the Three R’s of Networking? Remember, networking is not selling. Therefore, these three are slightly different from the Three R’s’ of Selling.  Networking, however, can help you develop a successful word-of-mouth-based business. The Three R’s of Networking are Relationships, Reliability, and Referrals.

Relationships

Word-of-mouth is about “relationship marketing.” If you approach the first year of your involvement in a networking group with the sole motivation of getting to know the other members well, you will be far ahead of the game. One of the most important things I’ve learned over the years is that it is not really what you know or who you know; rather, it’s how well you know them that really counts! People do business with people they know and trust.

In order for word-of-mouth marketing to work for you, you first have to build a strong foundation with the people you hope will refer you to others. That takes time, and the amount of time it takes varies from profession to profession. Obviously, some professions are much more sensitive than others to the development of referrals. So find reasons to meet with each person outside the networking meeting. Get to them, and work on having them get to know you better. Make it clear that you value your relationship with each one of them.

Reliability

For the first year or so in a networking group, you are putting in your time. Your referral partners are testing you, checking you out and making sure that you deserve to have their valuable clients and contacts turned over to you. Therefore, you must be credible to the other professionals with whom you hope to network. Bear in mind that you should feel the same way, too. Before you risk your reputation with your clients by referring them to someone who takes less care of them than you would want to be taken, you must be very sure that the person to whom you refer them is reliable! How else are you going to know that unless you use them personally over a period of time?

Referrals

After cultivating relationships and proving yourself to be reliable, you get referrals as the end result. In order for someone to receive, someone else has to give. This holds so true with referrals. I would suggest you perform a reality check to see just how effectively you are referring to the people in your networking group. You might be surprised to find how little you actually refer others, or that you consistently refer the same two or three people.

If you aren’t tracking your referrals (both given and received), it’s time to start tracking them. Look for patterns. I would anticipate that in the months following a month you were particularly active in referring others, you will find that you are receiving more referrals! I have seen the “what goes around, comes around” principle illustrated over and over in BNI, the networking organization I founded years ago.

This is a natural progression and one that can’t really be rushed. I know it can seem frustrating at times when you are anxious to see your bottom line increase quickly from all the referrals you are anticipating receiving, but believe me, if you are patient and apply these techniques, you will see word-of-mouth marketing work for you in a big way.

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