International Networking Week 2019® is an initiative of BNI®. International Networking Week 2019 will feature a number of networking events across the world!
The 2019 International Networking Week® is just around the corner. Therefore, it’s time to build a powerful personal network. Invite your best client to your BNI chapter or to your networking mixer during February 4 through 8, 2019. Check out the promo video for next year’s International Networking Week®. #BNIINW19
Are you planning on participating in the 2019 International Networking Week®
Therefore, join us for the 12th Annual International Networking Week® on February 4-8, 2019.
This Year’s International Networking Week 2019 Theme: “A New World of Opportunity!”
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. Therefore, simultaneous events are held globally to celebrate International Networking Week®. In conclusion, for more information or to promote your local networking event please see internationalnetworkingweek.com
By knowing why you are networking and what you want to achieve, it is possible to plan accordingly and get great, measurable results. If you have any comments about Andy’s “U” list or any additional “U” words about networking you will want to add to the list. please leave me a comment below.
As a business networking strategist, Andy Lopata works with companies on how to use networking tools to develop their businesses. Networking is not just about sales. Whether for lead generation, breaking down silos internally, recruitment and retention of top staff or developing future leaders, networks and collaboration have a key role to play. Andy works with clients to help recognize that role and put the strategy and skills in place to leverage it.
Do you love the life that you created? Learn how to live your best life, embrace happiness, and discover how to manage “Who’s in Your Room”.
This video will give you a good overview of what the book is about. Therefore, please watch this video at creating your best life
Live your life to the best by learning how to manage the best room to live in
is your room to full of people already?
is your room too loud?
is your room full of drama?
is your room boring?
is your room full of angry people?
is your room chaotic?
is your room full of weird people?
Do you feel lost without people who can provide friendship and advice?
The solution is to take control of your room and take control of your life.
The quality of your life depends on the people in your life. First, learn the secret to creating your best life by managing “Who’s in Your Room.” Therefore, change your life and click on this link: https://tinyurl.com/WhosInYourRoom
Quantity is important, but networking is not so much a numbers game as a people puzzle, one that works by making connections between other people. You need to have a wide set of contacts, but your connections need to go deep. It’s not just who you know, but how well you know them. If you know your connections well enough to be able to call and ask for a favor–and get it–that is a powerful network. Quantity is good, but quality truly is king.
The more people you meet at an event, the more successful your networking efforts are–and that’s simply not the case. Instead, the quality of the connections you form is much more significant than the quantity of connections you make.
Networking is not a numbers game. It’s more like a people puzzle. It’s about building relationships with the close people in your network. That means that it’s about finding ways to interconnect the relationships you have to build a powerful personal network. In order to do that – you actually have to have a fair number of quality relationships in that sea of contacts.
If your network is a mile wide and an inch deep, it will never be successful.
Instead, your network needs to be both wide and – in places, deep. That is, you need to have a wide set of contacts but some of those need to be connections that go deep. Therefore, the quality of your network is just as important, if not more important than the quantity of your network. This doesn’t mean that quantity isn’t important. It is important. The thing is that a small network of quality people limits your success. However, a large network with multiple quality relationships makes for a much more powerful, personal network.
It is a little like your left hand and your right hand. Both are really important. But one is generally stronger, more powerful, and generally used more than the other. You can’t accomplish what you want as easily without both. However, one is the stronger hand. This is similar to the quantity vs. quality argument in networking.
Click here to listen to a personal story about this comparison
I believe that it is NOT, what you know, or who you know – it’s how well you know each other that counts.
Strong relationships take simple “contacts” and turn them into powerful “connections.” It doesn’t really matter if I have an amazing database of people with many phone numbers. What really matters is if I can pick up the phone and ask some of them for a favor and they take my call then are willing to do that favor.
I’m really excited about the upcoming release of my latest book, “Who’s in Your Room?” in December. It is my 23rd book and I believe it will have the biggest impact on people’s lives than any other book I’ve done. This is the public version of the book and is vastly different than the BNI version.
What if you had to live your life in one room? Whoever you want to interact with in life is in that room. There is only one door. It is a one-way door. Whoever is in your room, stays in your room forever. Whoever comes into your room impacts your life directly in many ways. If you knew that this person would be in your room forever, would you have let that person in your room?
We design the room we live in, along with the people who are in it. We can do that consciously, or we can do that by happenchance. The choice is ours. Understanding this idea now, who are we going to let in our room from this point on?
What do you think about the concept of “Who’s in Your Room?” Knowing this concept now – what would you do differently in the future? I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Networking is the perfect way to help take your business to the next level. However, putting your eggs in one basket and depending on one networking group to satisfy all your needs won’t work. So, which business networking organizations should you join?
We all select different people in our lives that satisfy various needs that contribute to our well being; our parents provide comfort and guidance, our close friends provide support and cheer, our business relationships provide trust and honesty. While these satisfactions may overlap from group to group, it’s important to have more than one person you’re leaning on for all your emotional needs.
It’s the same with your networking groups! While you may find cheer and honesty in more than one group, it’s important to spread your interests to gain a varied support system. Business professionals who don’t have a lot of spare time often ask us which networking groups provide the biggest bang for their buck. There are five main types, and what works best depends on the business they’re in and the prospects they want to meet. Therefore, when selecting your business networking organizations, you need to understand which types are available so you can make an informed decision.
Here’s a quick rundown of the most familiar types.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
Successful networking of any kind starts with the genuine desire to build relationships for the purpose of giving and receiving business. If you are only networking to gain and not to give, you’ll never be successful.
Building Relationships should become one of the most important components of your business. You should build your business by farming not hunting. If your network is a mile wide and an inch deep, it’s not powerful. Social capital is like financial capital. To amass financial capital, you have to invest and grow your assets. You have to have money in the bank before you can make a withdrawal. Relationships are very much the same – referral relationships in particular. You must support and help others with their business before you can ask for their help.
Remember business networking is more about FARMING than it is about HUNTING.
It’s about cultivating relationships and taking the time and energy to help them grow and flourish. A good farmer knows when to tend to his crop and when to harvest it; if you over pick, you’ll be left with nothing. But if you continue to care for and maintain your crop, it will grow abundantly.
Let’s think of the farmers, the ones who cultivate steady, growing, genuine and authentic relationships with the people they feel are important to include in their network. They have a steady back-and-forth of interactions that benefits not only them. Everyone involved is rewarded. Why? Because the time is taken to really get to know people enough to make a relationship means that when it comes time to make a referral, it’s much easier to call upon them.
Watch this video below to hear more details about the true meaning of business networking.
How do you define “Business Networking”?
This word has become so overused that some business professionals can no longer define networking. Many people think that networking is attending social or business after-hour events, shaking a few hands, collecting a few cards, and, of course, giving away a few cards of their own. Sadly, they actually believe that’s all there is to networking. To be fair, we could say they’re engaging in social networking. That’s never to be confused, however, with business networking.
Businesspeople tend to fall into one of two groups when it comes to their views of networking. For many, the current mindset is that networking is a passive business strategy, not a proactive marketing tool. This attitude results in a scattered, often ineffective networking approach that consequently wastes the business owner’s time and money. Not surprisingly, when people feel they’ve been wasting their time and money on something, they’re understandably not going to continue that activity.
On the other hand, some proprietors do consider networking a proactive marketing tool for their business. How can you tell? They make it a significant part of their marketing and business plans. These business owners have networking goals. They may even have a budget line item for networking. Most importantly, they practice it and live it every day. They are training a sales force. Their networking team is there to keep an eye out for potential clients. If you “target talk”, that is, hone in on exactly what type of client you are looking for, better, more qualified referrals will result.
After watching the video, let us know your thoughts on the definition of business networking. Do you have a different definition or any feedback on what may be missing from the new definition of networking that we’ve provided here? We’d love to hear from you so please leave your comments in the comments below. Thanks!
When you want to nail a presentation, start by explaining your lowest common denominators, or the most immediate, universal value of your business.
If you can break your business down to its smallest components and focus on just one aspect of your business in your weekly presentations, it works much better than providing a laundry list of things you do, or a vague and meaningless term like “full-service.”
For instance, a real estate agent might do 60-second presentations about first-time home buyers, condos, single-family-homes, investment properties, house flipping, downsizing your home for empty-nesters, buying a larger home for a growing family, the communities you focus your business on, and so forth.
No matter what your business is, you know enough about it to break it down in the same way. If you do a whole series of LCDs over the course of a year, by the end of the year everyone in your chapter will know so much about your business that they can give you great referrals.
When it comes to telling people about what you do, the deeper you go into the specifics the greater your success will be. In this video, I talk about how to explain and promote your business by breaking it down into its Lowest Common Denominators .
Many years ago, I visited a BNI meeting where I witnessed the absolute best presentation I’ve ever heard at a weekly networking meeting and it was given by a florist who focused on the details of a single rose. Watch the video now to hear the story of what the florist did and said that made his presentation so successful and to learn why specificity is key in talking about exactly what it is that you do. If you belong to a strong contact network where you give weekly presentations, the more specific you can be in explaining the aspects of your business, the greater your results will be.
If you struggle to come up with talking points about your business at your weekly networking meetings, this video is for you. I offer a simple strategy for pre-planning your presentation topics for an entire year–never again will you have to wing your presentations because you’re not sure how to describe what you do.
So, what aspect of your business are you going to focus on at your next networking meeting? Make up a quick list of ideas for LCD presentations right now. Share your list–and your stories of how LCDs worked for you. I’d love to hear about it. Please share your thoughts in the comments below. Thanks!
People who say that networking played a role in their success spent an average of 6 1/2 hours a week networking and had half of their clients from their networking time. However, people who did not invest as much time networking also did not report as much reward. So, how much time should you spend networking?
Therefore, spend about 8-10 hours per week networking and do the right things to build the relationships first when networking.
The secret to getting more business through networking is. . . spending more time doing it! OK, well, it’s a little more complicated than that because you have to spend time doing the right things. However, devoting the necessary time is the starting point. So how much networking time (or NetTime) should you spend developing your personal network and what kind of results can you expect to see?
The survey results
Based on a survey that I helped to write and conduct of over 12,000 business professionals from every populated continent in the world, we finally have a definitive answer to those questions. The study found that people who said “networking played a role” in their success spent an average of 6.3 hours a week participating in networking activities. On the other hand, the majority of people who claimed that “networking did NOT play a role” in their success spent only 2 hours or less per week developing their network.
Clearly, those people who spent very little time engaged in the process felt that networking was not an effective way to build their business. As with many other aspects of life, you clearly reap what you sow. It’s no wonder that the people who didn’t invest as much time also did not realize as much reward. This demonstrates the direct correlation between the amount of time you devote to the networking process and the degree of success that you will likely realize from it.
You may be reading this article and thinking – OK, I now know that I need to be spending at least 6 ½ hours a week networking. Well, that’s true IF you want to be average (and what successful business person wants to be average)! If on the other hand, you’d like to be above average – you need to devote more time than that to the cause. The optimum amount of NetTime is more likely to be 8-10 hours a week if you want to be one of those people that are generating well over half their business from referrals.
How much time do you spend networking each week? More? Less? and what percentage of business do you get from your networking efforts? Comment below.
The fear of rejection is a powerful driver in most people’s lives. It dictates what we take risks on, it makes us hold back, and it even hinders us from reaching our potential.
The fear of rejection is an emotion that many of us carry in our personal lives, but it can very easily seep into our professional one as well. We all come to that nexus point in our lives: we can do something, or we can do nothing. The fear of rejection almost held me back from promoting my book, The World’s Best Known Marketing Secret, because I was worried some bookstores wouldn’t want to carry my book. But you know what I realized?
Some will, some won’t–so what?
Watch the video below for more on conquering the fear of rejection.
Don’t let the fear of rejection stop you from doing what you are excited about. If you are excited about your business, don’t let rejection stop you. You have to just know that when it comes to asking somebody to do something; some will, some won’t, so what? It’s not the end of the world. For me, I just had to put myself in the frame of mind that what I was facing was simply not that big a thing. I now do this same thing whenever I’m faced with a situation which opens up the possibility for rejection. I just tell myself that if someone doesn’t want to do what I’m asking, that’s fine. It’s not that big a deal.
Imagine you’re at a networking event. You are mixing and mingling and start passing out your business cards like candy. Suddenly, someone hands it back you and says, “No thank you, I do not need your business card.” This actually happened to a BNI Member. He wrote to me, astonished, and asked what I would do in his situation. Well, here’s my answer.
A business card is a tacit invitation to make a future connection. How you handle that connection afterward will determine how responsive your new contact will be. So be respectful of what you do after someone gives you their card.
You should always have plenty of business cards with you. It still amazes me that people go to networking events and knowingly don’t bring cards with them. I recently read a blog where many people said they didn’t bring cards so that they wouldn’t get spammed by people they meet. Really? Have they never heard of a spam filter? I use it regularly with unwanted spam. Besides, that argument is like saying I don’t want to advertise because someone might read the ad and cold call me? What kind of logic is that? Buck-up, dandelion, bring cards. It is a “networking” event!
The ideal scenario is to have a meaningful (even if brief) conversation with someone where they ask for your business card (how to do that is an entirely different blog). However, that doesn’t always happen. When it doesn’t, it is still ok to offer your business card to someone. There is nothing wrong with that.
Refusing to take someone’s offered card is just plain bad manners. What do you do if this happens to you? Realize that some people just have little or no people skills and move on to someone who does.