Networking is such a powerful form of building your business. I’ve done it for years quite successfully. I’ve given business to others, have gotten leaders from others and have a network of business friends I can turn to for help, advice, and leads. However, there’s a lot I have to learn.
Ivan Misner’s book “Truth or Delusion? Busting Networking’s Biggest Myths” walks the reader through 49 Questions and Answers about networking.
Dr. Misner is the founder and chairman of BNI (Business Network International) the largest business-networking organization in the world.
The book is light reading and rich in information. If you are a power networker, an expert if you will – you’ll still learn something. If you are just beginning you’ll learn a lot of things and will be able to start networking the right way.
Some of the questions include:
If you provide good customer service people will refer business to you? Answer: Delusion.
Good customer service is expected but GREAT customer service gets referrals.
The best way to ensure referral success is to follow the Golden Rule: treat your referral source the way you want to be treated? Answer: Delusion.
Treat your referral source the way THEY want to be treated.
What about online networking? Although “Truth or Delusion” was mainly written for face-to-face networking Dr. Misner told me that many of the principles can still apply to online networking.
In an article for Entrepreneur.com he writes Never forget that online networking is still about developing trust. With online networking, the bottom line is still the same as with live networking. In order to drive business to your company by word of mouth, you must focus on developing real, personal relationships with people. Once you’ve established that foundation of trust, you’ll feel comfortable referring people–and so will your network. The same hold’s true with online networks, although it may take a bit longer to develop that trust over the internet.
Although there really are no short cuts, technology has made it somewhat more convenient to connect with many more people. That being said, I cannot stress enough that those connections aren’t terribly valuable if there isn’t trust, respect and friendship being established.
Truth or Delusion? Busting Networking’s Biggest Myths is full of helpful tips like this. I’d highly suggest you buy a copy for yourself, your sales team or a friend.