Get the RIGHT networking Mind-set and Skill Set – Part 3

Posted on September 24, 2010. Filed under: Uncategorized |

Sharp-shoot, don’t shotgun.

When talking about their businesses, many entrepreneurs try to get everything they do into a 30-second pitch – and potential referral sources miss most of it. They tune out after the first few items on the list.

Instead, focus on two, maybe three LCD’s (Lowest Common Denominators) for your business.  This may be benefits (please, not features!) of your product or service, target market examples, or even specific professionals with which you want to develop relationships.  Regarding this last example, to drive the point home, would you rather someone bring you a single client or would you rather them introduce you to someone who is connected to dozens of potential clients?

Keep in mind that you’re not marketing to your referral sources., in effect, you’re training a sales force. Your networking team is there to keep an eye out for potential clients. If you communicate exactly what type of client you’re looking for, better and more qualified referrals will result.

Hold one-to-ones.

Conducting a one-to-one is almost like doing an interview, except that you both get to ask questions. The idea is to share something in each category you discuss with your referral source.

This does two things a) it puts a business focus on the meeting and b) more info can be disseminated one to one than elsewhere.  This structured one on one approach literally transforms relationships.  We have countless examples of people who have been in the same group or organization for years getting more from (finally) doing a one to one than all the years of hearing each other at meetings.

One example is a couple of businessmen who grudgingly took this recommendation and did a GAINS exchange-
to talk about their goals, achievements, interests, networks and successes – and found that they had quite a few things in common. They both coached their young daughters’ soccer tams, they both collected sports teams’ hats, and their college degrees were in the same field. These two seemingly disinterested people became very close and developed the type of networking relationship that more only dream about.

See how networking is as much a mindset as it is a skill set? Clearly, there are many things to do that will make your networking attempts successful, but there are also a god many things to be that are equally important to this art.

Dr. Misner is co-author of the New York Times bestseller Masters of Networking. He is the founder and CEO of BNI, the world’s largest referral organization with more than 2,400 chapters in 13 countries around the world. He also teaches business courses at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, and resides in Southern California with his wife and three children. Dr. Misner can be reached at

Trey McAlister is a Regional Trainer for BNI (Business Networking International) and a professional trainer and coach for the internationally renowned Referral Institute’s Certified Networker Program and Referral Pipeline Program.  He is also a contributing author in Masters of Sales and the recently released Chicken Soup for the Network Marketers Soul. He resides in Santa Rosa with his wife and two sons and can be reached at


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