BNI’s fifth annual International Networking Week starts on February 7th. The purpose of International Networking week is to recognize the role that networking plays in the success of businesses around the world. BNI works in partnership with interested organizations to celebrate this program globally.
Watch this YouTube video to learn about the “networking disconnect.” People don’t go to networking events to buy. If you’re going to networking events hoping to sell something, you’re dreaming. It happens about as often as a solar eclipse.
Master networkers know that networking events are about moving through the VCP process, not about closing deals. Use International Networking Week to improve your connections with your referral partners.
To find out more, go to www.internationalnetworkingweek.com.
Sponsored by Networking Now.
Complete Transcription of BNI Podcast Episode 190 –
Hello everyone 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 am coming to you from Live Oak Recording Studio in Berkeley, CA. I am joined today by the Founder and Chairman of BNI, Dr. Ivan Misner. Hello Ivan. How are you and what do you have to share with us today?
I am doing great, and next week is International Networking Week. I thought this would be a great opportunity to give a little preview to all of the BNI members as to a YouTube video that is now available and what we will be talking about with International Networking Week. Actually, this is our 5th Annual International Networking Week. This year, it runs from February 7th through the 11th, every year, it begins with the first Monday in February. This year, the first Monday is February 7th.
It’s a week that is centered around helping businesses in every part of the world achieve growth and success through relationship networking. Although International Networking Week is an initiave of BNI. It was started by BNI, networking groups and individuals are invited to participate in International Networking week, particularly to participate with BNI. It’s BNI’s desire to work in partnership with interested organizations to celebrate and recognize this program globally.
Since our first ever International Networking week, which I think was in 2007, we have had many, many organizations and even governmental agencies recognize the program. International Networking Week is really about celebrating the important role that networking plays in the development and the success of businesses around the world. That is really important in the kind of economy that we have.
Next week I have a guest who is going to be talking about how much business he has generated in this tough economy. He is in the real estate business, so I think listeners will find that interesting.
International Networking Week is really about creating an awareness relating to the process of networking and how to do it. I think most people who are listeners to this podcast would agree that networking is really powerful. But there is a disconnect relating to the process and I talk about that in the YouTube video. In this podcast there will be a link to the YouTube video that I did on International Networking Week for 2011.
I invite the listeners of this podcast to take a few minutes after they listen to this to go watch the video. It’s less than 10 minutes long, and I talk about what I call the networking disconnect. I was at a big networking event last year. There were more than 500 people. The person who spoke before me asked the audience, “ How many of you came here today hoping to do some business? Maybe make a sale to someone?”
The majority of audience raised their hands. He then asked, “So how many of you are here today hoping to buy something?” Not a single person raised their hand. Not one.
This is the networking disconnect. If you are going to networking events hoping to sell something, you are dreaming. You are dreaming. Don’t confuse direct selling with networking. Effective networking is about developing relationships. Now, I know, I know, there is always somebody out there that says, “But Ivan, I made a sale by attending a networking event.”
Okay. I am not saying it doesn’t ever happen. It does. I am saying it happens about as often as a solar eclispe. I mean, face it, even a blind squirrel can find a nut. Any business person can stumble on some business at an event, a networking event. But when you have most of the people at an event trying to sell and virtually no one there to buy, you are crazy if you think the odds are in your favor to sell at a networking event.
So why go? You go because networking is more about farming than it is about hunting. It’s about developing relationships with other business professionals. It’s about the VCP process. Visibility leads to credibility, and credibility ultimately leads to profitability. Sometimes you go to a networking event in increase your visibility. Sometimes you go to establish further credibility with people that you know, and sometimes you may go to meet a long time referral partner and do some business with somebody that you know.
In any case, the true master networkers know that networking events are about moving through the VCP process and not just about closing deals. So, how can you as a BNI member start efficiently using the VCP process in your relationships and begin achieving lasting results in your networking efforts?
I think a perfect way to being is to make it your goal to use International Networking Week to improve your connections with your referral partners. Call them. Writer them. Do what works for you, but whatever you do, use next week, International Networking Week to establish or improve the relationships that you have with key people in your professional life. If you can, invite people to your BNI meeting next week.
As a matter of fact, Priscilla, we sent out a letter to directors, and hopefully it got out to the rest of the members. We have a recommendation of what they should do next week. One of the things that we recommend is bring a family member or close friend to your BNI meeting next week, International Networking Week. The reason we suggest this is it is a great way to bring people you may never have thought of to a BNI meeting.
You are not bringing them there, necessarily, as a prospective member, although they might potentially be that. You are bringing them to show other people in your personal network what it is that you do every week at o’dark thirty when you go to these BNI meetings and what is BNI. Is is a great way to share your experiences with other people. I think International Networking Week is a great opportunity to do just that.
That sounds great, Ivan. We’ve been doing that, actually, bringing a lot of guests to our meetings and it definitely expands the energy of the meeting and leads to wonderful connections.
We have thousands of BNI groups all around the world recognizing International Networking Week next week. We have hundreds of really big events that are being done all around the world. If you are a BNI member and you want to see some of the things that are going on, go to internationalnetworkingweek.com. There is a lot of information up there about what is going on for International Networking Week 2011. That is all I have for today, Priscilla. Thank you.
Okay. That is great. Thank you, Ivan. I would like to just remind the listeners that this podcast has been brought to you by NetworkingNow.com, which is the leading site on the net for networking downloadables. Thank you so much for listening. This is Priscilla Rice and we hope you will join us next week for another exciting episode of The Official BNI Podcast.