Archive for June, 2012

Business Networking and Sex (not what you think) – book highlights

June 5, 2012

Ivan Misner, father of networking and founder of Business Networking International www.bni.com is currently touring Australia launching his new book Business Networking and Sex (not what you think) co-authored by  Ivan Misner, Hazel M. Walker and Frank J. De Raffele Jr. I had the privilege of being the emcee at his Sunshine Coast book launch last week and want to share some of the key points I took away from Ivan’s fantastic presentation:

“Has someone you didn’t even know ever solicited you for a referral or business?” Ivan calls that PREMATURE SOLICITATION

“Are you completely insane? I’m going to introduce you, someone I don’t know and don’t have any relationship with, to someone I do know and have built a relationshp with over a long period of time? And you are going to proposition him just as you have me, to sell him your product or service that he may or may not need. And that I know nothing about and have not used myself. That’s never going to happen!”

Yet how often is this happening to you at many of the Australian networks you are going to? In this current tight market, many people barely tell you their name or ask yours, before they move in with their sales pitch. And they get quite offended when you don’t respond enthusiastically. (RH)

“Networking is not about hunting. It is about farming. It’s about cultivating relationships. Dont engage in “premature solicitation.” You’ll be a better networker if you remember that”.

“The message I’m about to give you is really for men, but should be considered by women, too. Spending money needlessly on marketing is just stupid. The benefits of face-to-face networking not only outweigh paid advertising, but stretch far beyond just growing your business. Guys, if you persist in discounting networking and some of the small challenges that accompany it, you’re foolish….

If you were to add up the soft-money investments of labour, networking, connecting and building relationshps you may be surprised at the financial value you’ve delivered to your business. Let’s look at the array of positive wealth effects that networking brings, beyond just sales numbers:

* added sales volume

* higher average transaction amount per sale

* greater closing ratio

* referrals tend to be very qualified professionals

* higher occurrences of leads and referrals

* more repeat business

* greater positive word-of-mouth marketing benefits

* more customer loyalty

* stronger community recognition

* greater perceived value.”

MEN VS WOMEN

“Our survey says that men spend more time networking than women do, but it appears that women get better results. At first this seemed a little confusing until  I began to look at what women do compared to what the men do. Women call going to events to network, networking….

Remember that women are more likely to be relational, they taken their time, they look for common ground and find places that they can support and collaborate…. Women socialize, they connect. Men always called it gossiping; often it was done over the back fence, it was relationship building…. The next step in the progression for women is how to ask their networks to help them build their businesses. Women spend a great deal of time networking; but it is often unintentional. One of the ways to strengthen their networking muscle is to be intentional with their networking activities. Men often serve on boards as a way of connecting and networking, but women serve on boards because they care about the cause and often never connect their business networking to it. If we would be more cognizant of our network, we would realize  that we have a vast array of people who can and will help us in our business.”

THE TORTOISE AND THE HARE

Women take the slower, steady path to networking, stopping along the way to invest time in building their relationships, while men sprint the male dash straight to getting business fast by skipping some of the developmental, middle steps in networking. At the finish line, men seem to have a quicker return for their time, but it is the women who are winning the race, breaking through the ribbon with deeper, and more fruitful connections.”

I hope you have a chance to see Ivan Misner during his Australian tour – more details are available at www.bni.com.au or if that is not possible and you want to read more about the results of this 6000+ participant networking survey – go to www.businessnetworkingandsex.com

Happy networking until next time

  

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