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Over 1,000 business people from every populated continent in the world responded to the BNI Business Index for year-end, 2013.  According to the survey results, almost 76% of the respondents felt that business was better today than in 2012.  That’s up over 9% from the 2011 survey.    In addition, only 6.1% felt that it was declining in the 2013 survey which is down from the 9.6% that said that business was declining in 2011. The most promising news was the hiring trend numbers.  The 2013 survey found that 55....


This week marks the 8th annual celebration of International Networking Week® which is recognized each year by thousands of people around the world. International Networking Week is about celebrating the key role that networking plays in the development and success of business around the world.  It is about creating an awareness relating to the process of networking.  Not just any kind of networking, but what I call “relationship networking”–an approach to doing business based on building long-ter...


It’s often been said that “starting is the hardest part” of a project. Well, building your business through networking and word-of-mouth marketing is no exception. Here are four things you can do to get your networking program off to a strong start: 1. Don’t be a cave dweller: Get out and meet people! 2. Know how to ask for the referral. Learn and develop specific techniques that will help you hone your ability to ask for the referrals you want. 3. Consciously select at least three business or networking grou...


Last week I posted a video blog on the tremendous importance of following up with the contacts you make when networking in order to be successful and get results.  In today’s video, I take the discussion on follow up a step further . . . The fact is, how you choose to follow up can really make a significant difference in getting people to remember you–if you get a little creative, you can really put yourself in a prime position for maximum referral generation.  In this video, I share a story about a you...


Years ago I wrote a blog on the importance of attitude in networking and recently I’ve had several situations arise which have reminded me yet again that attitude shapes the outcome of everyday dealings in huge ways so I’d like to revisit the idea in today’s blog post .  Some days my schedule involves marathon radio interviews beginning at 4 a.m. and, as you can imagine, getting up at an hour when roosters haven’t even begun to think about warming up their vocal chords is not the most enticin...


In this short video, business networking expert Charlie Lawson demonstrates how powerful storytelling can be in relation to networking for your business and he does it by none other than . . . you guessed it . . . telling a story. The fact is, you can tell someone what you do for a living all day long but chances are, that’s not going to make you stand out.  You need to start relaying true stories about how your products and services have had a significantly positive impact on the way your customers feel and t...


We’ve all heard the phrase “It’s not so much about what you say, it’s more how you say it that really matters” and, let me tell you, I learned the hard way how true that actually is.  Conversations can be tricky–especially when one or more of the people involved are upset. Back in the 1980s when I first started BNI®, there were only a handful of chapters in existence, as the organization was in its very beginning stages, and it was still small enough to where I was able to make p...


In this third installment of the “Why People Resist Networking” Video Series, I discuss another popular theme surrounding why people tend to resist networking – impatience.  If new networkers don’t see immediate payoff from their efforts, they become impatient, inevitably resulting in failure early on in the networking process. Quite often, people simply don’t understand the value of taking time to build fruitful relationships and, like it or not, fruitful relationships are the cornerstone of effec...


Just a couple of weeks ago, I was in Sweden on business and my wife Beth and I had the truly unique and memorable experience of staying at the Ice Hotel®.  The owner of hotel happens to be a member of BNI®, the global networking organization I started back in 1985, and during my time there I had the opportunity to not only spend time with some of the members of the nearby BNI chapters,  but also to record this short video with Gunnar Selheden (National Director for BNI Scandinavia). In this video, Gunnar and I di...


In this video, I talk to bestselling author Stewart Emery about his concept “Who’s in Your Room?” which prompts people to practice discernment in regard to those they let into their life. Just imagine you are going to have to live your entire life in one room with an entrance door but no exit door–who would you let in and who would you keep out?  Knowing the answer to this may be more valuable than you realize . . . What do you think about this concept?  Does it encourage you to be more care...


International Networking Week®  2013 is almost here and with it comes tremendous opportunity for  businesspeople across the globe to grow business through the development  of powerful new connections! International Networking Week®  is an initiative of BNI® and its focus is to celebrate the key role that networking plays in the  development and successs of business around the world.  It’s about  creating an awareness of the process of networking.  Not just any kind  of networking, but “relati...


In this short video, filmed at the 2012 International Conference for BNI, the networking organization I founded back in 1985, I talk with my good friend and BNI Executive Director Mark Carmody about systems and business. Mark tells how one of the stories in Michael Gerber’s book The E-Myth caused him to have an epiphany about the value in systems and how systems can make it substantially easier to run an efficient business.  To sum things up, the more systems you incorporate into your business, the more succes...


Stewart Emery (Success Built to Last) was over my house a few months ago.  At breakfast one morning he told me about an interview he did with a well-known billionaire in the computer industry.  The billionaire shared an intriguing story with Stewart about an experience he’d had when the senior executives of a company interested in purchasing his company visited his office to discuss the possible purchase.   At lunch, the billionaire told the senior executives of the company he was negotiating with that h...


How specific are you when asking for referrals?  Do you say you want business from “somebody”. . . or “anybody”. . . or do you give the name of the specific person you want to meet? Joining me in this brief video is Andrew Hall, a master networker based in China. Watch as Andrew tells an engaging story about the importance of being specific, or as he calls it, “Referral Magic.” After watching the video, please leave your thoughts, comments, and/or feedback in the comment forum bel...


In this brief video, filmed at the 2012 BNI® International Directors’ Conference in early November, I talk with Terry Hamill, a respected business networking expert based in Europe.  Terry explains two important keys for maximum effectiveness and success in business referral generation–preparation and follow up. Terry advises that the true gold is in the follow up and that the most successful networkers use the strongest follow-up methods; he also offers a few important tips for preparation prior to att...


Earlier this month, I had the opportunity to speak with my good friend Andy Hart, a networking expert from Ireland, at the BNI International Conference in Long Beach, CA.  Andy is a true master of networking and in this short video, he explains the Levels of a Relationship and how having a huge network of contacts doesn’t necessarily mean you have a huge pool of contacts from which you’ll actually gain business. Andy discusses five main relationship levels in regard to business networking and the possibi...


  In this brief video, Roger Green and I talk about online networking versus in-person networking and also what I discovered when doing research for the book Business Networking and Sex in regard to how much time is necessary to invest in networking in order to get results. When it comes to networking, there’s online networking and there’s face to face networking.  The simple fact is–it’s not “either/or” . . . it’s “both/and.”  Online networking doesn’...


In this brief video, Australian networking master Paul Lomas shares some ideas with me about making people feel welcome when they arrive at networking meetings and events. He also gives a very useful tip on how to give a great response when someone asks how you are doing in order to create an opportunity for positive, genuine connections. The video emphasizes the importance of the visitor’s experience to a networking group and how it can very significantly shape their choice regarding whether or not to return t...


TR Garland (pictured with me in the photo below) is a friend of mine and co-author of one of my most recent #1 best-selling books called “Building The Ultimate Network.”  He’s also considered a top trainer for the Referral Institute.  For some time now, we’ve both observed a need to drill down on one of the most important and foundational concepts to networking – The VCP Process®.  Nine months ago, we started a much-anticipated 12-part monthly series of blog posts which addresses this and contains some ...


We vs. Me10/22/12

 

While it may not single-handedly solve all the economic problems facing the world today, a new model of community and networking may well be the key to pulling the global economy out of the effects of the long-term global recession. Networking has always been a powerful strategy to get business by giving business and connecting with others. Community and networking will be a particularly potent formula for success and prosperity over the coming decades. Michael R. Drew, publishing expert and friend of mine whom I’v...


………………………. This week I am in Bangkok and Hong Kong speaking to business professionals about networking.  When you travel (especially internationally) it is easy to forget something you really need while you are in meetings or speaking to groups of people.  Last month,  I did an interview with an international magazine on this very topic.  The reporter asked me “what should business people think about taking with them on business trips that they might not...


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