I have just finished reading the latest book written by Dr Ivan Misner, the Founder of Business Network International (BNI). and can’t wait to write you a review! But before I do that, allow me to introduce the three authors:
You will know who is Dr Ivan Misner if you are from BNI but in case if you are not, he is the Founder of BNI, the world’s largest business networking organization which was founded 25 years ago. You can read more about BNI at their official page. Dr Ivan is the most well-respected pioneer when it comes to business networking. It is from his books and podcast that I start to see results from the effort that I put into networking.
Another author is David Alexander. He is an expert in referral training and also operates BNI franchises in several areas. The other author, Brian Hilliard, is a popular speaker and has helped companies like Kraft Foods and National Financial Services Group in their businesses.
To give you an overview, this book contains the following section which I find it is very easy to follow through:
- The Networking Mindset
- Your Networking Strategy
- Networking Face to Face
- Making Your Networking Work
- Secrets of The Masters
- Is Your Networking Working?
I would like to share with you the top three valuable things that I learn from the book and hope that you can benefit from benefit from them as well.
The Four Streams of Networking Rivers
This section opens up my mind and make me rethink about the current networking activities that I am engaged in. According to the book, in order to have a well developed referral network, you would need to understand these four streams of networking rivers.
Casual-Contact Network – These are general networking events that you attend from time to time. You often have a high chance of meeting new people from all kinds of profession in such events. This type of network is good especially for new start-ups who needs to reach out to more contacts and develop deeper relationships from there.
Knowledge Network – These are professional associations that relates to your particular profession. For example, I attend web analytics event as part of knowledge sharing and also get to learn from the other experts in this domain. One very powerful strategy is to form strategic alliance with some of the members in such network to create an irresistible offer to your market.
Online Network – These are networks that you can find online and participate without having to meet up face to face. Facebook and LinkedIn are two very popular online network that most people are using right now. While I believe that online networking will never replace face to face meetup, online network is a fantastic tool to follow up and maintain your visibility at least with your clients.
Strong Contact Group – Strong contact groups are like BNI. Members are committed to help out one another in terms of businesses. This is by far the best type of event if you want to develop long-term and deeper business relationships with the other business owners.
With this understanding, I think we can better understand and leverage different type of networking environment for maximum results!
You Must Be Interested In Others and Ask the Right Questions!
The second thing that I would like to share is all in chapter 14 – Standout Questions. Before reading this book, I have a general concept on how asking questions can be a very powerful tool to capture people’s attention. After reading this chapter, I take away very valuable specific questions that I can now apply in future networking events!
Of all the questions listed in the chapter, I find asking the question, ‘Where else do you usually network?’ is a great question to know more about the other person and see if there is any other relevant networking events that you may be missing out. Another powerful question is to talk about that person’s passion. You will learn a lot about that person more than anyone else in that event alone.
The 10 Levels of Referrals
Seriously, this is the chapter that makes me think deeper whenever I start to refer businesses to my contact sphere. The book talks about 10 different levels of referrals, from very surface referral like getting name and contact information to a close deal even before the connection is established. You do not need to buy the book to get to see all the 10 different levels of referrals, they are listed below:
Why I write a review about this book?
I don’t normally write reviews for all the books that I have read unless I find that it can really bring value to my readers or a specific group of people. For this book – Networking like a Pro, I would specially want to recommend it to professionals who wants to make networking works for them in terms of getting more businesses in a mid to long-term.
If you are really serious, try reading this book and doing what was stated in the 29% Solution and I can assure you that you notice an effortless streams of referrals in one or two years time.
If you have read this book, I would be glad to have your opinion in the comment box below =)