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Book Summary – The 29 Percent Solution

The 29% Solution

Ivan R. Misner and Michelle R. Donovan

Ivan Misner is well known as the founder of Business Networking International so it should come as no surprise to find that together with Michelle Donovan he has pulled together a solid book on how to improve your networking skills.

The authors take issue with the popular “wisdom” that we are all connect by six degrees of separation.  Instead, they argue that only 29% — hence the book’s title – of us are this well connected.

The book is broken up in to 52 tips (one for each week) related to networking, ten key traits that successful networkers possess, and ten key questions that successful networkers ask.

Taking the time to review the tips, traits, and questions would be a wise investment of your time.

52 Weekly Tips:

  1. Set Networking Goals
  2. Block Out Time to Network
  3. Profile Your Preferred Client
  4. Recruit Your Word-of-Mouth Marketing Team
  5. Give to Others First
  6. Create a Network Relationships Database
  7. Master the Top Ten Traits
  8. Diversify Your Contacts
  9. Meet the RIGHT People
  10. Reconnec t with People from the Past
  11. Talk to Your Family
  12. Stop Being a Cave Dweller
  13. Join a Web-Based Networking Group
  14. Become Magnetic
  15. Be a Value-Added Friend
  16. Become a Catalyst
  17. Find an Accountability Partner
  18. Volunteer and Become Visible
  19. Send a Thank-You Card
  20. Follow Up TODA
  21. Be “ON” 24/7
  22. Learn to Play Golf or Something
  23. Have Purposeful First Meetings
  24. Make First Impressions Count
  25. Seek Out a Referral Networking Group
  26. Join a Chamber of Commerce
  27. Sponsor Select Events
  28. Host a Purposeful Event
  29. Ask Your Own Questions
  30. Talk About Benefits, Not Features
  31. Become a Profiler for Your Business
  32. Become a Motivational Speaker for Your Business
  33. Leverage Your Smallest Billboard
  34. Give a High-Value Presentation
  35. Create an Informative Newsletter
  36. Write a Press Release
  37. Write Your Own Identity
  38. Ask for Written Testimonials
  39. Write Down Two Success Stories
  40. Write a Personal Introduction
  41. Toot Your Own Horn
  42. Ask for Feedback
  43. Adopt a Host Mentality
  44. Follow the Money Trail
  45. Write a Letter of Support
  46. Ask for Referrals
  47. Read the Paper, with Referral Intent
  48. Conquer Your Fear of Public Speaking
  49. Become the Hub Firm of a Power Team
  50. Become a Networking Mentor
  51. Recruit an Advisory Board for Your Business
  52. Commit to Lifelong Learning

Ten Key Traits

  1. Timely follow up on referrals
  2. Positive attitude
  3. Enthusiasm/motivation
  4. Trustworthiness
  5. Good listening skills
  6. Commitment to networking 24/7
  7. Gratitude
  8. Helpfulness
  9. Sincerity
  10. Dedicated to working one’s network

Ten Key Questions To Ask

  1. What do you do?
  2. Who’s your target market?
  3. What do you like most about what you do?
  4. What’s new in your business?
  5. What’s the biggest challenge in your business?
  6. What sets you apart from your competition?
  7. Why did you start your business?
  8. Where is your business located?
  9. What’s your most popular product?
  10. How do you generate most of your business?

If you have any questions, thoughts or comments about the topics covered in this article, feel free to reach out to me at any point in time.  I enjoy working with entrepreneurs, corporate executives, and families to define their goals and make sure they have plans in place they are executing to achieve those goals.

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Curt Stowers

Curt Stowers

Curtis Stowers helps individuals and families across the United States grow their financial assets, particularly in the Naperville, IL region. He is a Certified Financial Planner, holds a Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering from the University of Illinois, and is the founder of F5 Financial.