This guide to networking by Misner, the founder and chairman of BNI (Business Network International), is an invaluable roadmap for businesspeople seeking to develop or fine-tune a necessary and often overlooked skill. Misner and Donovan's title stems from a study that spawned the "six degrees of separation" theory, which actually revealed that only 29% of the population is connected to this extent. The authors say that despite its proven necessity, networking is scarcely taught in business schools, and their self-study course aims to fill the void with a self-assessment test and 52 weeks of assignments to beef up networking skills. Accessible and smartly structured chapters include action items and helpful tidbits like worksheets, assessments and questions to help readers schedule their networking from day to day and over the course of a career, from setting preliminary goals to becoming a "Networking Mentor." While readers might not be able to make it into the exclusive ranks of the highly connected 29%, they will assuredly derive new tactics, tools and motivation. (Sept.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
The 29% Solutionby Ivan R. Misner, Michelle R. Donovan
In many ways, success at networking is the uncommon application of common knowledge. Most people understand that networking is important to their success-they just lack a step-by-step process to get the results they want. Almost no one really implements a comprehensive methodology that will build a business through networking. Thus, the need to network is "common knowledge," and the development of the methodology required to be successful at it is the "uncommon application."
By reading this book, you will experience the true essence and meaning of networking. The 29% Solution gives you the answers to two conflicting questions that a business owner or salesperson faces every day: How can I tend to my existing clients while at the same time network for new business? and, Should I place higher value on my current clients or on new clients?
Ivan R. Misner, PhD, is the founder and chairman of BNI, the world's largest business networking organization. He has written nine books, including the New York Times bestseller Masters of Networking and his number one bestseller Masters of Success. He is a monthly columnist for Entrepreneur.com and is chairman of the board of the Referral Institute, a referral training company with trainers around the world.
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Years ago when I first started to realize how important it was to be connected I just went at it willy nilly - trying to meet everyone. Now I see that there is much more to it than that. You should set out to do networking with a plan. You should know not just the why, but the how to go about it and realize how to focus on getting people into your circle who can help you to move forward. Ivan Misner and Michelle Donovan should almost call this book Networking 101, but I would imagine that this title has been taken already. Instead they named it The 29% Solution: 52 Weekly Networking Success Strategies after the successful participant of the famous Six Degrees of Separation experiment many years ago. Ivan Misner is world famous for being the founder if the global business networking group Business Networking International, or BNI as it is commonly known. He also has a doctorate and has been a professor of Business Administration in southern California for a number of years, so he writes from authority. And although this is her first book, Michelle Donovan is known in business circles as "The Referability Expert" and has been in the networking business for some time in the western Pennsylvania area so she is no stranger to the networking game herself. My first comment of the review has to do with the fact that Misner and Donovan start from the premise that the reader knows absolutely zilch about business networking so they set out to give the reader the advice and tools that will be needed to get off the ground and get within the 29% networking group. For instance they made sure that you know there is a very big distinction between a contact and a connection and why this distinction should be meaningful to you. In this sense of taking the beginner by the hand I believe the book really does a great job. For some of us who have been at the networking game for some time lots of the material could be second nature, but there was still some advantage to going through this. The authors offer more than advice but they also offer their vast experience. All of the information I saw that they put out is very practical and would be the same kind of information that I would offer myself to wall flowers who need help. On top of this there were tips in there that many of us more experienced networkers could use and incorporate into our own business practices - so that alone would be worth the price of the book for the non-beginners. The book had a very holistic view of the nature of constantly working at expanding one's circles and I can't see anything wrong with that. Before I finish with this I will say that I did appreciate that the authors did not take this subject as a one way street. In order to properly network, they assert, you need to put in to the network as well, otherwise it is like trying to drive a car with no gas. There was a great example in the book about periodically just letting people know that you can help them with other contacts even when this had no relation to you. They showed in one case how this really turned the flow on for one networker with inquiries starting to flood inbound as well. Now that's what I like to see! Why, because the authors were very correct in this assessment: This is how networking really works!
At the onset, The 29% Solution sets the education stage by asking us ¿What do Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and ¿six degrees of separation¿ have in common?¿. Answer: People all over the world believe in them. You¿ve heard that there are six degrees of separation between you and anybody else on earth that would like to meet, right? Amazing, isn¿t it? Ain¿t true. It¿s one of those urban myths that have grown from a small kernel of truth. The book goes on to tell us that some people are just better connected than others. It is this important skill of ¿connecting¿ that we are about to acquire as we dive farther into the pages. Dr. Ivan Misner and co-author, Michelle Donovan do more then dispel myths. They address solutions with clear coaching and methods, connecting us as well as the 29% who were actually separated by those fabled six degrees. Are you still amazed that we are not all connected by the mythical six degrees? Well, the good news is that is possible through education, practice, and training. As a business owner who started with only one client and $7, I can attest to the fact that word of mouth marketing works¿even in L.A.! But you need proven success strategies. To keep your business headed in a positive direction,you need education, structure and commitment. The 29% Solution brings you 52 networking success strategies and a sure fire way to keep your business growing. Ask yourself: Is networking passive? Good networkers are proactive! They recognize a need to leverage both business and personal connections to bring new and regular supply of business to the table. They focus on goals and accountability. How to do this successfully without reinventing the wheel? Grab your PDA and plug each of The 29% Solution¿s 52 networking steps into your weekly calendar and work the networking process!