In this episode, Dr. Misner talks about strategic alliances and the need to gradually enhance relationships. Each member of a BNI group will contribute to your success. No one person in your chapter is likely to turn your business around, but together, over a long time, they can make a difference.
- Don’t give up if there’s no immediate payoff.
- Successful networking is a series of small actions.
- By working with multiple people over a long period of time, you build your business.
Sponsored by Networking Now.
Complete Transcription of BNI Podcast Episode 046 –
Hello everybody and welcome back to the Official BNI Podcast brought to you by networkingnow.com, the leading site on the net for networking downloadables. I am Priscilla Rice and I’m coming from Live Oak Recording Studio which is in Berkeley, California. I am joined on the phone today by the Founder and Chairman of BNI, Dr. Ivan Misner. How are you, Ivan?
I’m doing great, Priscilla, and I am talking to you from BNI headquarters in southern California.
That’s nice. Is it raining there today?
It is but it’s usually beautiful and sunny here.
Well, tell us what you are going to talk about today, Ivan.
I am going to talk about strategic alliances and how a series of small actions over time can really yield big results. I was recently speaking to a friend of mine who’s a partner in an international consulting and training company. In a conversation we discovered we had a mutual acquaintance who’s a best-selling author and fairly well known speaker, this mutual acquaintance of ours.
In our discussion, we found out that he had contacted each of us individually to see if there were any possibilities of some sort of strategic alliance with our companies. We were both open to that possibility, but we really couldn’t see any immediate or dramatic ways that our companies could link up with this guy at that particular moment for any specific projects.
We were both kind of amused in talking to each other. We discovered and figured out that there was no big deal that we could do right then and there, and we were pretty much dropped from his radar. There was no response to e-mails or any other attempts to connect from him after that. They were subtle things. We would send an e-mail and it would take months practically to get any kind of response. We got the sense that he was looking for one big alliance that would help his company just soar to the next level.
That realization started a conversation with him and I, this consultant, that night about the difference in the relationship between the two of us and this third-party who wanted to have a connection with us. Ironically, we had the same type of phone call. This consultant and I had the same kind of phone call 18 months earlier. We came to the same conclusion that there was nothing on a grand scale that we could do together at that moment.
But the difference was the rest of the story. He and I agreed to stay in touch and we did. We connected several times over the year. We met in person on several occasions. During that time, we found some really simple ways that we can help each other. We gradually enhanced the relationship. This is a sharp contrast to the third party that we had talked to individually. When this person didn’t see any big payoff, we became kind of persona non grata to him.
The other reason is that the two of us found ways to help each other gradually, and even to this day, we continue to build our relationship. We came to the conclusion that most people who are successful at networking and creating strong strategic alliances view the process as a series of small actions taken with many people to create long-term positive growth for your company.
The process is more of a marathon than a sprint. Throughout the race, you form these alliances and you help each other over the long haul. I think this is a great story and a great example about how you build relationships gradually. It’s not a get rich scheme. By working with multiple people over a long period of time, you build your business. Don’t just write somebody off if they can’t add something or contribute something to your business immediately.
I think it’s a series of little tests. In each one, if you succeed in that small test, which would be considered the small action, then you kind of progress to the next level of trust with the other person. You know?
Absolutely. It has to be organic. See, this gentleman and I – you know what, I don’t mind. I will tell you who it is here in this podcast. His name is Greg D. Link. He is the international consultant. He and I were talking. Greg is partners with Stephen M. R. Covey who just wrote the book — actually it was just released in softcover – The Speed of Trust.
It was Greg and I who were talking. He is the person I am referring to in this. It was he and I who really came to the realization that we had kind of achieved what we were thinking of a year and a half or two years earlier. But it took time. By plugging away and enhancing our relationship, we have gotten to the point where we’ve really been able to help each other.
I think the best is yet ahead of us because we have been referring a lot of people to Stephen and his great book, The Speed of Trust. They certainly have been very supportive of BNI. I think they really get it in this kind of relationship. The third-party who I won’t mention just doesn’t get it and is just looking for that one big hit — and I think he still is to this day.
I think that might be all we have time for. It’s a great piece of advice, Ivan. I really like it.
Thanks. Let me just add one quickly as this applies to BNI chapters. If you are a member, look at the members in the group. Each of them will contribute to your success and they layer a little bit of success on top of each other for you. Each one is a little layer of success for you. No one person in chapter is likely to turn your business around, but together over a long period of time, they can make a dramatic difference. That is what I try to talk about here. It’s a series of people helping you over a long period of time that really, really builds an incredibly solid foundation for successful business.
I think that is so true. I know it from my own personal experience in my chapter. Well, I think that’s it for this week, Dr. Misner. Thank you so much for sharing this with us. This podcast has been brought to you by networkingnow.com, the leading site on the net for networking downloadables. Thanks for listening. I look forward to having you join us again next week for another episode of the Official BNI Podcast.