A blog about sex

April 8th, 2011

If it’s good enough for Dr Ivan Misner, father of modern networking, then it’s good enough for me. Misner has sent out a tweet about the launch of Business Networking and Sex, a book which he and two collaborators are writing. It won’t actually hit the streets till 2012, but Dr Misner clearly believes in allowing plenty of time for foreplay.

As explained on the web site set up to launch the book, when Dr Misner says ‘sex’, what he’s actually talking about is gender. His two co-authors are Frank de Raffele and Hazel Walker, who between them promise to help men work more effectively with women – and vice versa.

And, as I say, if it’s good enough for Dr Misner, it’s good enough for me. I have been reflecting today that I should launch the blog on my new web site with a posting about networking. Only when I logged on after supper did I realise I was going to be given such a deliciously baited hook to hang the story on.

BNI (Business Network International, founded in 1985 by Dr Misner) is the world’s most successful networking organisation. I joined the Sutton Chapter in 2008. But everyone is using networks now: you can buy diet supplements at a health food store or pharmacy, but the clever way to distribute them is to get people using them – and talking to family, friends and colleagues about it; I subscribe for a mixed case of wine once a quarter, but what the supplier really wants is for me to persuade others to sign up, for which he’ll reward me with a few more bottles; if I give a magazine subscription as a birthday or Christmas present, the publisher will send me a diary. I can’t support this statistically, but I wouldn’t mind betting that in each of these examples, the cost of achieving a sale is less than it would be if we were sending a rep out on the road, knocking on doors.

That’s certainly true of BNI. Membership costs, very roughly, £10 a week. Attending the weekly chapter meeting costs another £10 – with breakfast thrown in. What that buys me is some time and effort to promote my business, from each of the other members – two dozen in the case of our chapter, but it could be twice that number in some chapters. If anyone knows better value for £20, please tell me about it.

So, I’ve got this sales team, which only costs me £20 a week. Question is: am I telling my sales force exactly what I want them to sell, and to whom?

Categories: Networking

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  1. Aernout Fabius

    Very well written article and having your own sales forces is very important. How you present yourself and develop your contacts is, in my opinion the more important part of the equation.

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