Hello everybody this is Kody Bateman Welcome to our relationship marketing weekly show we are so excited today I’m coming to you live from Salt Lake City Utah. And very very excited about this interview today let me just caution you right now you need to have a pen you need to have a pad of paper and take some really good notes today we have the one and only Dr Ivan Misner the founder of Business Network International known as BNI Ivan welcome to the show here today
Thanks Kody it’s great to be on and it’s great talking to you again it’s been a while It has it’s an honor to be with you we had a little pre-show and just kind of got caught up in Ivan has already told me a whole bunch of stories that just really inspired me today so we’ll just continue that conversation for everybody else to listen to I really need to share a little bit about who this guy is you know there’s a lot of people on here today that know you well Ivan but there’s others who don’t know you well and they’re just getting familiar with BNI and what what you have done over the years so I really kind of need to share some of your accomplishments here and here’s what’s funny is Ivan is very uncomfortable with this he’s very humble guy what’s one of things I love about him but guess what Brother I got to share some of your accomplishments just for a second and so this is Dr Ivan Misner he’s coming to us live from his home office in Austin Texas he’s known as the father of modern networking He’s the founder and chief visionary officer of Business Network International This is the world’s largest business networking organization Now I want to share with you some numbers just so you understand the significance of what Ivan has been able to build over the years establish this started in nineteen eighty-five been building it ever since we’re talking there are two hundred twenty four thousand global members of BNI this is a huge global organization. It has eight thousand one this is as of today eight thousand one hundred thirty eight global chapters so each chapter has on average twenty six to thirty members and I think is the blended average of each chapters of these chapters are all over the world now listen to these numbers now you might think this is just a little social gathering and BNI s typically meet once a week and some of you may think this is just a little gathering once a week let me share with you what they generate this is mind boggling OK so in the last twelve months these chapters have generated nine point five million referrals that’s generated thirteen point eight billion dollars in business revenue for its members so this is not just a get together chapter this is this this is an organization that gets results from people so Ivan with that just want to welcome you to the call what I’d like to do right up front if you could just tell us a little bit about. Two things or two things I’d like to start with the first is just tell us a little bit about how a chapter works and what is the driving philosophy behind that chapter.
Yeah yeah happy to do that and by the way thirteen point eight billion dollars worth of business in for referrals for our members just so you know could be thirteen point eight billion is the same as the gross domestic product for the country of Liechtenstein. OK OK it’s a small country I know but still how cool is that you know we’re generating as much business for a small nation on looking for a bigger nation next year but I think it’s a great start so you ask what is a chapter and what’s our core philosophy. So we have eight thousand one hundred plus chapters we allow one person per professional category two to be in a chapter of BNI many chapters have Send Out Cards representatives and they’ve been in BNI for many many years it’s been a long term great relationship between our two organizations we have one person profession we get together every week and our sole purpose is to build relationships and pass each other referrals our principle core value we have seven core values in and I think that culture eats strategy for breakfast culture is so important in our organization and I know Send Out Cards has a fantastic culture I had the opportunity to speak at one of your conventions and and while I do so many keynotes and they’re really mercenary you go in you do your thing you’re leave but I really felt like I was with a lot of people a lot of friends I mean it was just it was a great experience for me thank you I think culture is so important and BNI our principle core values givers gain if you want to get business you have to be only to give the business to other business professionals it’s not a get rich quick scheme it’s a way to build a solid foundation for a long term business.
So you know I recall the days going to those networking events there but it’s collecting business cards and everybody is there like you mentioned to get business and when you started this in nineteen eight five you simply what I love about your foundational philosophy is how simple it is you just flip flop you said look we’re not here to get business we’re here to give business and then allow the law of reciprocation to take care of itself yeah Personally my humble opinion I really believe that’s one of the key reasons for your massive success is the that givers gain driving philosophy is phenomenal so congratulations for that really.
Thank you we don’t we don’t teach this in colleges and universities we don’t teach networking referral marketing and so what happens is people they just go out. They start trying to build their business and they go right into sales mode and they use networking as a face to face cold calling opportunity instead of a relationship building opportunity which is what it should be if it’s done right
Now you told me a story just in our little pre-show you told me a story about you just recently spoke at an event yeah he asked a key question it kind of relates to what we are talking about can you share that with us.
I did I spoke in London it was a little while ago in and there were about nine hundred people in the audience and I asked everyone there and it wasn’t a it wasn’t an industry event so there are you know nine hundred people in there probably from five hundred different professions many many different professions and I asked them I said how many of you are here today hoping to maybe just possibly sell something could you had nine hundred people raise their hand they said OK Second question how many of you are here today hoping to maybe just possibly buy something. No one raised their hands not one single person this is what I call the networking disconnect people show up at networking meetings want to just sell but they’re not there to buy and that’s why you go to meetings sometimes and you feel like you need a shower afterwards because everyone’s trying to sell to you.
Now you have a book titled Networking Like A Pro I’d like you talk a little bit about that because in that book you you really talk about these philosophies and tell all kinds of stories. Share that with us.
Yeah sure the so the first edition of the book is out now but the second edition is coming out in just a few weeks and I can tell you the page on the second edition this is the book here by the way this is the second edition Networking Like A Pro I think you can do advance orders online but here’s the thing is on page two hundred two I talk about Send Out Cards and I have mentioned Send Out Cards in probably four or five of my books and the only reason I keep doing that is I think it’s a fantastic product and it. It’s perfect for building networking relationships and so our topic today is the follow up and in that follow up that I highly recommend Send Out Cards.
Excellent So yeah the topic is is follow that that’s per your request as you really want to discuss the keys to follow up in fact you had mentioned that there’s. What I like too about you is you do all kinds of smart I call the smart people studies you’re a smart people study guy he studies on stuff seven top characteristics of a great networker Can you share with us a little bit about what that what that is.
[bctt tweet=”Networking is more about farming than it is about hunting it’s about cultivating relationships. ” username=”galvestonlife”]
Well I surveyed about. I surveyed about thirty four almost thirty five hundred people from all over the world they weren’t just BNI members it was open to the public and I asked them what do you think what do you think the top characteristics of a good great networker were or are by the way almost all of them were a relational oriented and almost all the characteristics of the poor networkers were very transactional and so one of the top seven was follows up that someone who is a good at networking or somebody who knows how to follow up effectively and I thought that plus the fact that I mentioned send out cards in this follow up section is a great topic to talk about because if you want to build a relationship it has to start somewhere and where it starts is you make that first meeting you meet somebody and now you’ve got to follow up and connect with them again and so I think that the this is a perfect topic for the beginning of building relationships with people.
Excellent and speaking of you have a system known as the twenty four seven thirty I think this is a great time to talk about about that because you get into the core of how to how to create a relationship it’s called the twenty four seven thirty system you know you talk about that it in your book but could you just share a little bit of that with us right now
Yeah absolutely So twenty four seven thirty if you can just remember that it’s pretty easy to remember what you should be doing within twenty four hours you meet somebody at a networking event you go to a chamber event or maybe your at BNI or your maybe maybe you’re visiting a BNI remember you’re a member of BNI and somebody visits and you want to follow up with them within twenty four hours I say reach out to them and touch them just connect just say hi. A great message might be hey it was really nice meeting you at that event yesterday. You know I enjoyed what you said about your meeting or I enjoyed our discussion I hope our paths cross again something simple listen to me don’t sell to people yet don’t do that all too often people you know they follow up and it’s immediately Hey I’ve got a great business opportunity or I have some products that you might want to you might be interested in or whatever look it happens when you go to networking meetings you will run into people who want your product or service but that’s not what networking is about so you want to just make a connection you just want to say hi and so one of the best ways to do that this is where I talk about it on page two hundred two send a send out card to someone because I’m horrible at doing handwritten notes but send out cards is a great way to connect with people you know email works but it’s it’s impersonal getting something through the mail is like so all the school nobody does it you’ll stand out. Send them something and just tell them it was nice meeting them that’s the twenty four want to hear the seven so the seven seventh’s kind of interesting seven is that within seven days you connect with them on social media but here’s the thing and here’s the interesting part is. You got to connect with them where they are not where you are and I learned this from my kids matter of fact just today Entrepreneur dot com published an article that I did on the twenty four seven thirty and in they tell this story about how my my kids taught me something about networking and here it is quick. My eldest daughter at one point when she when she moved out I would call her on my phone she never answered never answered but I learned that if I texted her she’d respond immediately so I OK I’ll text her my next daughter she didn’t know that the phone actually had an earpiece I’ve never talked to her on it and texting was so old school but my wife told me look connect with her on what’s app and she’ll respond to you and I’m like I don’t even know whatsapp is I downloaded whatsapp so that I could connect with her and have her respond then my son my youngest. He didn’t know how to use a phone didn’t like texting and of course email forget about all of them but he was a he’s an online gamer so he I find out he was on this game called STEAM which was online and had instant messaging feature so I actually downloaded steam. Because I could I could message my son and say Hey buddy what are you doing with this or that and he respond immediately but he wouldn’t respond in any other way now here’s why I’m telling you the story you want to connect with people in seven days. It doesn’t matter where you hang out. It matters where they hang you want to build a relationship with them you gotta learn how to sell and to network effectively and that means you need to be where they are and so find out if they’re active on Facebook or Linked In or Twitter and connect with them in seven days and by connect with them I mean comment on their posts. You know give some feedback make it positive and just every now and then not. Every day not ten times a day but periodically just just touch them OK so oh and don’t sell to them. OK getting the message. Like it’s I think people sometimes have sales Tourettes they just can’t stop themselves it’s just you know they blurt it out thirty within thirty days reach out to them now here you can you could call him or you could send another card and say hey it was great meeting you a month ago I’ve been following some of the things that you’ve done online really found this interesting or that interesting and I’d love to meet with you and learn more about what you do and if you have some time maybe you can learn about what I do and set up an appointment where you can sit down with them have a one to one and this is the beginning of the relationship building process and don’t forget whatever you do don’t sell to them even now we’re giving them some time look if they want your business they’ll tell you they’ll tell you but even a blind squirrel can find a nut you know you can stumble over the business.
You know Ivan I think I think part of the challenge with a lot of new people coming into business or even even old school people that have done business that have done business a certain way for many years. T he disconnect they have with what you’re saying right now it’s solid foundational philosophy that works wonders but a lot of people hesitate because what I’ve noticed is that people are looking there they’re looking for the home run like it’s like it’s like I met somebody and by golly they are my ticket and so it becomes this you know I’m going to chase that person until I hit the homerun. Versus just consistently creating relationships over time and allow the home run hitter to show up naturally does that make sense?
Makes total sense you’re absolutely right and and I just did an interview with inc dot com and we talked about this very topic and if you do a search on inc the topic is I think that in the title is called Networking up where you’re trying to find that homerun and I’m here to tell you it’s even worse to try to sell to them so let’s say you’re talking to somebody who’s really successful they are the person you want and so I want I have people do with me all the time is it never hurts to ask right. Wrong totally wrong completely wrong if you ask before there’s any kind of relationship you got to know like can trust people and if you have no relationship and you ask them not only are they going to tell you no you have now lost any opportunity to possibly do business with them in the future check out the inc dot com article and I promise you I’ll give you very specific when I met the Jack Canfield the Chicken Soup for the soul author This is what I did when I met Richard Branson this is what I did and I give very specific examples about what you want to do so that you can connect with them again because they’re just they’re bombarded with people trying to sell to them bad idea.
Well it is it’s a matter of just transitioning your mind to think exactly opposite even of what you’ve learned in business school like you’ve said this stuff is not taught in your business schools today it’s kind a funny I had a gentleman that was speaking at one of our events a while back and both of us are really ingrained in that givers gain philosophy and it was so funny because when I first started interacting with this gentleman you know I was applying the principles and so as he saw I was like hey you know tell me about you know tell me about your business you know how can I help you what kind of things you like how can I be of service to you and then he come back say well enough for me Tell me about you and so you got caught in the giver’s side. I mean it was kind of funny and we joked about it afterwards but you want to get so that stage where you’re completely disconnected with the outcome and again in all the relationship marketing shows we’ve done over the previous weeks we’ve interviewed some incredible business owners. It’s being intentional with your relationships it’s it becomes business becomes life not just business but life in general becomes about relationships period with a disconnect on business and it’s you teach this all over the world so tell us a little bit about the challenge of overcoming that that the issue that people have with this.
Well I think the secret is that to understand that it really is not an effective way to build build business you know if you’re out there hunting you basically eat what you kill that day but if you’re farming and you’re building a based on referrals then then it’s a long term strategy for immensly successful business the problem is exactly what you said people meet someone they think this is a great opportunity and when that happens it’s there’s a sense of desperation that comes across you may not realize it but I’m here to tell you I see it all the time there’s a sense of desperation and desperation is not referrable. It is not referrable and so instead you want to build the relationship and that’s what I love about you doing this this theme for your podcast is about relationships it’s all about relationships and if you don’t get that then you’re just never going to build a solid powerful personal network.
Absolutely you know you mentioned referrals I gotta make sure I got this right. You also. Tell us about your the referral Institute a little bit about the referral institute says not only are the greatest networker guy but you’re kind of the master at helping people generate referrals in their business and we always talk a lot about referrals on this show tell us about referral institute and what you’ve learned there
Referral Institute which is now transitioning to the name asentive a s e n t i v it’s really my answer to the fact that we don’t teach this in colleges and universities now if you’re a member if you’re a member of BNI we teach you how to network in BNI but there’s a much broader. Concept of networking you know how do you know work in an in a chamber How do you network in service clubs How do you build your business through the relationship building and so asentive the referral Institute really tries to fill the gap that we’re not teaching in school so you know it’s like getting a graduate degree in referral marketing and I put that together because really because of my reaction to the fact that we don’t teach this in colleges and universities and by the way I’m a sixteen year I was I was an adjunct professor for sixteen years I know the system I was on the board of trustees for a university for eight years so I know the university system I’m here to tell you we’re going to teach in any time soon we don’t even teach sales in most universities you think we’re going to teach networking its not going to happen any time soon.
it’s incredible So how would somebody there’s again there’s a lot of people out here that this is the first. Exposure to BNI how would somebody go about learning more about it or about becoming a member of one your chapters
Go to BNI dot com and look up to find a chapter near you and if you know someone if you’ve heard someone talk about BNI have a conversation with them first and maybe you know maybe they can bring you into their group if not then go to be BNI dot com reach out and you tell them that BNI and send out cards has a very very long history of supporting each other and that you would like to just visit a group. Find a group that I would look for a group that has a great energy is really positive and you can find a chapter of people that you want to surround yourself with so that they can help you build your business. That’s what I do go to BNI dot com By the way are also on my website Ivan Meisner dot com tons of content so if you like some of the things I’m talking about here you get a ton of content all free and Ivan Meisner dot com.