I recently listened to the BNI Podcast Episode 670, titled “Networking Is a Contact Sport,” and found it provides valuable insights. While listening to the podcast, I picked out three takeaways for BNI members looking to leverage referral networking for business growth.

  1. Engagement is Key to Success:
    • Dr. Ivan Misner emphasizes that success in BNI comes from thoughtful engagement. Networking is not just about attending meetings but making a promise to support fellow members and taking action to fulfill that promise. Meaningful engagement involves connecting on a deeper level than regular business contacts.
  2. Strategies for Deeper Connections:
    • To achieve effective engagement, BNI members should implement specific strategies:
      • Regular One-to-One Meetings: Take the time to meet with fellow members individually outside of group meetings, building professional relationships.
      • Education over Sales: Instead of focusing solely on selling products or services during BNI meetings, educate members regularly about key aspects of your business. This helps in training a referral-focused sales force rather than closing immediate sales.
      • Reciprocal Education: Be knowledgeable about the businesses of your networking partners and reciprocate the education process. This mutual understanding strengthens relationships.
      • Visit Each Other’s Offices: Gain firsthand insight into the operations of fellow members by visiting their offices. This promotes a better understanding of each other’s businesses.
      • Use Each Other’s Products/Services: Actively engage with the offerings of your networking partners to gain firsthand knowledge of their quality. This enhances trust and strengthens the networking relationship.
  3. Networking as a Contact Sport:
    • Dr. Misner underscores that networking is a contact sport, requiring full engagement for solid results. Research shows that actively engaged individuals in a business environment are 43% more productive. The engagement includes regular dialogue, a quality working relationship, shared values, and recognition. Successful networking is about building meaningful, long-term relationships and is more akin to farming than hunting.

In conclusion, Dr. Misner encourages BNI members to reflect on additional ways to support networking partners, fostering even greater engagement within the group. By incorporating these strategies and promoting full engagement, members can substantially increase referral opportunities within their chapters.

Book a meeting with me to discuss this or other topics on growing your business.



The Official BNI Podcast with Dr. Ivan Misner
Episode 670: Networking Is a Contact Sport (Classic Podcast)

Episode 670: Networking Is a Contact Sport (Classic Podcast)