I attended a conference here in Southampton in the UK yesterday and had a great time listening to some great speakers talking about Networking.
I have been a member of BNI (Business Networking International) for over 5 years. For those of you who have not heard of this organisation, the philosophy can be summed up in two words – givers gain. The whole purpose of the weekly meetings is to pass referrals to fellow members. Don’t worry about what you are going to get out of it as a member but concentrate on giving – the point being that if I give you business you will want to give me business. I love that idea. What a great approach to business!!
If you follow my blog for any time you will soon learn that I consider networking to be the best way to grow your business, be it face to face in BNI meetings or through on-line sites such as Ecademy.
The two best speakers in my opinion were Dr Ivan Mizner – founder of BNI and Frank De Raffele who has co-authored books on Networking and Executive Director for the Hudson Valley BNI Region in New York.
The interesting thing is that I have always considered BNI to be very American. BUT and this is what fascinated me – Dr Ivan Mizner in his talk said that setting up BNI was probably the most un-American thing he had ever done. His whole background had been companies who had that ‘dog eat dog’ – ‘kill the competition’ attitude.
Yes there are different approaches to business – but just look up the stats about BNI and it is hard to argue against the success of a collaborative approach to business.
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