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Ivan R Misner
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Called the “father of modern networking” by CNN, Dr. Ivan Misner is a New York
Times bestselling author. He is the Founder and Chairman of BNI, the world’s largest business networking organization. His newest book, Networking Like a Pro, can be viewed at www.IvanMisner.com. Dr. Misner is also the Senior Partner of the Referral Institute, an international referral training company.


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Member for
9 years 3 months


As the Founder of BNI (the world’s largest referral networking organization), I often get asked about the best way to end a conversation in a networking situation. Candidly, I think the answer is pretty simple.  So, I’ll startthis piece with the “simple solution” and then for those of you who love to over-think things – I’ll give you some
In business, we are often confronted with problems that seem to be a no-win situation.  While I acknowledge that they sometimes exist, I believe that there are almost always alternatives that can be explored to find a good result.  I recently thought back to where this started in my life and realized that it was when I was a university
So, you want referrals and you want them now?  Well, you can’t have them – unless, you’ve built meaningful relationships with your referral partners first. I’m often asked, “How long does it take for people to receive referrals from their network and how do we speed this process up?” Building a referral-based business is all about
When I was in elementary school, I generally received good reports from my teachers.  However, one thing that came up time, and time again was a comment by almost all of my teachers: "Ivan “talks too much in class.”My mother had numerous conversations with me about this, but to no avail.  I figure that she thought my grades were pretty
I recently visited Los Angeles and drove through an area that I grew up around.  I was regaling my wife with a story about a job I had in a pretty tough neighborhood when I was in college.  At the end of the story she said, “you have to write about this experience!” so, here it is. I grew up in a very “working class”environment
Body language can be a powerful attractant or deterrent when it comes to building relationships with others. People assess you visually within the first fewminutes of meeting you.  I’ve been asked a lot about body language by the media over the years.Here are some of their questions along with my answers relating to the use of body language



I remember my first box of business cards.  I spent countless hours poring over the design and layout, considering each kerning of the font.  I wondered whether I would lose credibility with a potential client because my address was left justified instead of center or right justified.  I boggled whether to include my cell phone
Just like fishing,  the  process of meeting people, staying in touch, and then asking for their business is something you can do time after time. Do referrals happen by accident? A few years ago, a longstanding member of a business networking organization was talking about canceling his
Has anyone ever said to you, “If there’s anything I can do to help you with your business, let me know”? And was your response “Thank you. Now that you mention it, there are a few things I need”? Or did you say, “Well, thanks, I’ll let you know”? If you’re like most of us, you aren’t prepared to accept help at the moment it’s offered. Before you
There’s a very old joke about a man who asks his brother to watch his cat while he’s on vacation. The man comes back and asks his brother, “How’s the cat?” and the brother tells him, “Sorry, but the cat’s dead!” The man was shocked and appalled that the brother was so blunt and told him
Having run the world’s largest networking organization for many years, I occasionally hear people express concern about family obligations interfering with their ability to attend business meetings. Earlier this year I published a large scale survey that addressed gender issues in networking. I was expecting to see a dramatic
I travel several months a year, speaking to business professionals about networking. When traveling (especially internationally) I try very hard not to forget important items I need for meetings or speaking to groups of people…but I admit it’s hard to remember everything all the time.   Last month, I