The Proper Way to Plug In
What can help you get a better job, drum up new customers for your business or simply get ahead in the chaotic business world? Networking.
But while people are quick to sing the praises and cite the benefits of networking, few provide insight into how to do it effectively. That’s the gap Ivan Misner, Mike Macedonio and Mike Garrison seek to fill with their book, Truth or Delusion?: Busting Networking’s Biggest Myths.
Misner, known as both the “Father of Modern Networking” and “The Networking Guru,” is the founder and chairman of Business Network International, an organization which allows business people to generate referrals in a professional environment.
Co-authors Macedonio and Garrison are president and vice president, respectively, of the Referral Institute, a referral training organization with franchises, trainers and coaches around the world
Debunking the Myths
The three authors bring their combined expertise to 49 concise chapters, each addressing a specific networking assumption. Each chapter begins with a statement, such as, “To be good at networking, you have to be a real people person” or “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” The authors then declare each statement either “truth” or “delusion,” and explain why. Most chapters then include a real-world example to illustrate their point, sometimes followed by instructions to help readers put the knowledge to use. Key points or advice are highlighted, making the book easy to navigate.
The Abundant Mindset
Chapter 9, for instance, begins with the statement, “There is an unlimited supply of referrals.” True, claim the authors, who note that when businesspeople look for new customers, they often mistakenly scramble for a limited number of referrals, which can appear desperate to potential clients. “Desperation is not referable,” declare the authors, who recommend readers adopt “an abundance mind-set,” based on the assumption that there is plenty of business available for everyone.
To illustrate, the authors tell how an abundance mindset could have aided a restaurant owner who worried about added competition when a new donut shop opened next door. In reality, because the two operations served customers at different times of the day, they never competed. The authors suggest that a savvy marketer in this situation might capitalize on it “by arranging a joint promotion or by encouraging mutual referrals between the two businesses, thereby increasing sales for both.”
Five Steps to Action
It’s left to the reader to determine the veracity of the authors’ final “truth or delusion” statement: “Reading more about networking will increase your business by referral.” Nonetheless, a five-step process for getting an answer is provided.
First is a quiz that lists all of the book’s statements, with spaces to check if each is considered truth or delusion by the reader. Readers are then encouraged to check the 10 statements with which they identify most strongly and develop a plan for implementing these new points of knowledge into their professional lives. The fourth step is to devise a system to track actions and results.
Finally, readers are encouraged to ask themselves if reading the book had a positive impact on their networking ability. If not, the authors write, “Read this book again. You missed something.”
Why We Like This Book
Truth or Delusion?: Busting Networking’s Biggest Myths is as readable as it is usable. With concise chapters, plainly written advice and ample use of pull-quotes to grab the reader’s attention, the book goes down like a quick snack. The ideas it explores, however, deliver some real substance.