Episode 353: Give One Reason I Should Do Business with You

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Synopsis

Dr. Misner has become hooked on “Shark Tank.” He recently saw an episode where the panel of “sharks” asked the entrepreneur, Raven Thomas of The Painted Pretzel, why they should invest in her. Her first answer was all about her family and how she loved her business. It was a relational answer–and she was speaking to transactional people. It wasn’t an answer that spoke to the audience.

One of the “sharks” took pity on her and gave her a do-over. “Answer the question again, for investors.” This time she said that she’d had to walk away from a $2 million deal because she didn’t have the capital to fill the order. And this time she got an investment offer on the spot.

The lesson is know your audience–and it’s just as important when you’re asking for referrals as when you’re asking for investments.

Share your own success stories–or horror stories–about how it helped to know the audience, or hurt not to, in the comments for this podcast.

Brought to you by Networking Now.

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Episode 352: “EGBOK” (Classic Podcast)

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Synopsis

Dr. Misner brought up the concept of EGBOK at the recent national conference in Rhode Island as part of a discussion about change, leadership, and solutions. The idea, introduced by Mark McKergow, is that you need to focus on what’s working, not what’s wrong.

If you focus on solutions, you can get almost anything done. Panic shifts responsibility away from ourselves. It reinforces counterproductive impulses.

So take a deep breath and remember EGBOK. Everything’s Gonna Be OK. It’s going to be okay because you do the hard work to make the vision a reality, because of your adaptability. The commitment and shared vision of the people in BNI mean that Everything’s Gonna Be OK in spite of challenges, technology problems, and personality conflicts.

Dr. Misner even handed out EGBOK buttons at the national conference. If you think the buttons are a good idea, say so here in the comments, and BNI will make more.

Brought to you by Networking Now. [View the entire transcript of this episode]

Episode 351: Dog Sled Leadership

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Synopsis

A husky sled dog team at workLast year in Sweden, Dr. Misner and his wife had the opportunity to take a dog sled excursion. While waiting to start, all of the dogs on the team barked, leaped up, and strained at their harnesses–except for the lead pair of dogs. The lead dogs sat quietly and watched for the signal to start. And when the lead dogs stood up and prepared to respond to the mushers’ signal to run, the rest of the dogs settled down and pulled in the same direction.

It struck Dr. Misner that this was a great metaphor for leadership in general. The lead pair of dogs in each team had a single-minded focus, ignoring the chaos around them. In business, people often get excited, they strain and pull and agitate for immediate action, but a good leader remains alert and attentive without overreacting, and waits for the right time to move. They remain steady and calm, and their teams pull in the same direction when they give the signal.

Post your experiences with great–and not so great–leaders in the comments.

Brought to you by Networking Now.

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Episode 350: Invite a Visitor (Get Connected–Stay Connected, Part 7)

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Synopsis

Jeremy Walsh joins Dr. Misner for the seventh podcast in the “Get Connected–Stay Connected” series. The topic today is how to use BNI Connect to invite visitors to BNI meetings.

To use the visitor invitation tool in BNI Connect, go to Operation | Chapter | Create Email | Send Visitor Invitation and fill out a simple form with the invitee’s contact information. Add your personal message.

BNI Connect inserts the information you’ve provided into an email template and fills in all the pertinent information about your chapter along with a request for an RSVP.

Using BNI Connect to invite visitors to BNI provides a process for invitations and ensures that visitors get all the information they need about the meeting time and location.

But remember, you still need personal contact with prospective visitors. Have a personal conversation before sending the invitation and make a follow-up phone call afterwards.

Listen to other BNI Podcast episodes on the subject of inviting visitors.

Brought to you by Networking Now.

 [View the entire transcript of this episode]

Episode 349: BNI Business Index 2013

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Synopsis

More than 1000 members, representing every populated continent of the world, responded to the BNI Business Index Survey in 2013. Over 76% thought that business was better than in 2012. Only 6% felt that business was declining in 2013. For BNI members, everything is going in the right direction.

How is Business

The most common reasons given for doing well were restructuring or reorganizing, niche marketing, and networking.

One of the most promising indicators was the response to the hiring survey. Just over 35% of respondents were definitely hiring.

Is Your Company Hiring

Of the businesses that were struggling, many attributed their difficulties to government regulation (irrespective of which country they were in).

Go to BNIBusinessIndex.com to see the whole report.

There’s a lot to be learned here about why people survived the recession. What more can you do in the way of niche marketing, reorganizing, and networking?

Use the comments to tell us whether your business is better or worse than it was this time last year? Will your business be hiring in 2014?

Brought to you by Networking Now.

 [View the entire transcript of this episode]