Mickey Griffith joins Dr. Misner today to share his tips for making connections when you’re new to an area and don’t have an established network. He just moved to Sacramento after 20 years in Sonoma County and has used all these tools himself.
- Trust in the system. Join a BNI chapter in your new region and follow the program.
- Network. In addition to BNI, join at least one other network, such as a chamber of commerce or rotary club. Make sure they are groups that you’ll be able to contribute to.
- Aim high. Ask for a one-to-one with your regional director and other people in the “upper echelons” of business.
These approaches aren’t just for people who’ve just moved into a new area or a new field: they work for everyone.
Do you have something you’d like to add to Mickey’s list? Leave your suggestions in the comments on this podcast.
Brought to you by the Networking for Success Channel on YouTube.
Complete Transcript of Episode 523 –
Hello everybody and welcome back to the Official BNI Podcast, brought to you by the Networking for Success Channel on YouTube, which features Dr. Ivan Miser and many other networking experts. I am Priscilla Rice, and I am coming to you from Live Oak Recording Studio in Berkeley, California. I am joined on the phone today by the Founder and the Chief Visionary Officer of BNI, Dr. Ivan Misner. Hello, Ivan, how are you and where are you?
I am doing great. I am in Galveston this week taking a few days off. I have a guest on today’s podcast, Mickey Griffith, Mickey has been in marketing for 20 years, so not new in marketing. He has some ideas that I think will help BNI members. He has been a BNI member for nine years, an associate of BNI almost nine years.He has had almost every leadership team role including President and Director Consultant. He is presently with Ascentive. He has been with Ascentive as a coach and consultant for six years and has been in the top three in the US for franchises of Ascentive for a number of years. Mickey, close to BNI Podcast.
Thank you very much.
Yeah, thanks. It is good to have you here. So when you are new to an area and I bet that some of these techniques that you are going good to share are good for people who aren’t new to an area. But let’s say that you are new to an area or are new to a particular network. What should you do? What is y our advice?
Well, this came about because I am actually really brand new to an area right now. My wife and I actually picked up and moved after 20 plus years in Sonoma county and moved to Sacramento. And I find myself suddenly being without a network, so to speak.
Sacramento is pretty close to Sonoma county so I still have some people with some basic connections here but there have been a few things that have been super helpful or things that I am staying focused on that will bring me up to speed quicker than average.
The first one is I would say to trust in the system. What I mean by that is you can go out and try to reinvent the wheel, create a new network and those kind of things, but I went direct to BNI because I know BNI works. I did a lot of homework first by way of the Internet by way of BNI Connect and BNI.com and I checked out the region here which is a fantastic region. And I looked through a lot of the BNI chapter rosters and made sure to do my homework. Then so I wasn’t wasting their time or my time, I made sure that my category was open.
Then primarily, when I looked at the chapter that I am at, I made sure that my contact sphere was well-attended and that was a big deal for me. Then beyond that, it was just telling myself to let the system work. With the experience that I have, I think there is a strong tendency to go in and say this is how we did it.
And here is another of if I can just jump in here for a second. I had somebody that I ran across that said, “Well, I went into a new area and I didn’t want to pay the membership dues for the organization so I just started my own.” You probably know where this is going.
So I asked, “Well, are you getting a lot of business?”
“There are six of us. We just aren’t getting that much business.”
I felt like Dr. Phil. How is that working for ya, you know?
He said, “It is not working well at all.”
I said, “Why would you reinvent the wheel? You are in business to do x. Do x. Don’t try to create your own thing.”
I totally agree with you and I think that there is a real kind of temptation to start something new. “I am going to be in a new area so I am going to try something new, I am going to do something different because, you know, that BNI thing worked so well for so long. I am just going to try something different.”
I kept away from that temptation pretty easily and did my research before coming here. The other thing is after years of being in BNI, it’s like saying I know it works so just give it time and trust the process. So that was a big deal for me.
So, number one, we have two more to go. Number one, believe in the system. Number two, network. Talk about that.
Number two is network. This is one of the things that I believe a lot of BNI members and just business people in general are missing out on. You have talked about this time and again. We talk about it in Ascentive, about how you need to have the three major types of networks and I have not seen a lot of that happen.
People are just in BNI and it’s just in BNI. They are not doing a rotary and a chamber or something like that. So as soon as I got here, I started vetting networks. I got out here and started networking hard. I went to a Sacramento speakers network. Fantastic network. Already established and good group of people,e. I have been to a couple of chambers of commerce events. I have been to a couple social events.
To be clear too, what I am not doing is l am not going to networking events at things that I can’t eventually make deposits in. So I am not going to the Realtors’ association or the photographers’ association and just trying to sell my business.
If you are listening to this podcast, I have said for years that networking is a contact sport. Get out there. Diversify your networks. And this is always surprising for people to hear from the founder of BNI. You have to go out and participate in different kinds of groups. Don’t be in the same kind of group because that is like doing an investment and you put all your money in one thing.
So do BNI and be in a rotary or you know, a service club–Lions Club, Kiwanis, or be in a chamber of commerce. Be in an organization that are a little bit different. Get you out there and get you connected with people.
That is number two. Do you want to said anything to that before we hit number three?
Yeah, just a quick caveat. I have been very deeply involved with the acting 20/30 club, which is another service organizations for years and years in Sonoma county. They actually started club number one in Sacramento. So when I have been meeting with people and asking how I can help them which is very little in an brand new networkin, I have already been able to invite three young people to the active 20/30, so I am able to give local active 20/30 network and I am establishing connections with Woolley that I have met.
So I am able to make some deposits pretty quickly in the way that I can and I think that has been an important addition.
I have heard of the 20/30 so I will check it out.
They are an international organization dedicated to giving back to children.
Excellent. The BNI foundation is all about that, so I will definitely look it up. So number three is aim high. Do you want to talk about that one?
Sure. Aim high is something that came up when I was very close with Don and Mike in my Sonoma County team and I was on their team for a long time. It always surprised when people told me that Don and Mike were hard to reach. I remember that they didn’t want to bug Don and Mike. Then I would talk to Don and Mike and they would say, “You would be surprised at how many people don’t ask us for, I don’t know, a 1-2-1. ”
So when I went here, I didn’t say, “John Lisle is the Executive Director. You wouldn’t want to meet with little old me. I just shot high and asked for the 1-2-1. The worst thing he can do is say no. As it turns out, in my experience, reaching out for people who are in the “upper echelon” of business, I have been pleased and surprised by how many times they want to meet and by how many times there is some way that I can actually help them. That is what I have been working with Lisle. We have had a couple of 1-2-1s and of course he was very accommodating. It has been a good part of the networking.
John the Executive Director in Sacramento.
This is great information, Mickey. And it’s great for somebody who is new in an area but honestly, it is pretty good a a reminder for those of us who maybe have been in an area for a while. Every thing here can work for anybody.
Believe in the system. You have to believe in the system, you know. If you don’t, I have said this in the podcast a number of times. Hockey without rules would be boxing on ice. You have to have rules, you have to have a system. You have to believe in it.
You have to network. Actually network. Really network. Have those 1-2-1s.
And aim high. Nothing wrong with aiming high. It’s a good suggestion.
We talk about it not being rocket science, it really isn’t but I think the toughest part out of all of these things is getting down and actually going out there and doing it.
Yeah. You are absolutely right. Getting out there and doing it. That is where the rubber meets the road. Great advice, good information for everyone.
I would love to hear if you are listening to this podcast, if you have something that you would add to Mickey’s list, please put it right here on BNIpodcast.com. I read every single post that comes up here.
Mickey, thank you so much for being on my podcast.
Thanks for having me, Ivan. I appreciate it.
Back to you, Priscilla.
Okay then. I think that is it for this week. I want to thank both of you. That was really, really interesting, I would just like to remind the listeners that this podcast has been brought to you by the Networking for Success Channel on YouTube. Thank you so much for listening. This is Priscilla Rice and we look forward to having you join us again next week for another exciting episode of the Official BNI Podcast.