Shape up Your Business with Networking Aerobics

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5 exercises to help you maintain networking momentum

Dr. Ivan Misner, a referral networking expert, recently released a list of business “exercises” aimed at keeping your companies in shape. “Diligent practice of these exercises,” Misner says, “will pay off in a healthy networking ability and improved contacts that will lead to contracts.”

1. Leg lifts: Rise from the chair where you usually sit and get to a networking event. With all the technology available, it might be tempting to indulge in "cocooning.” This isn't the best way to expand your business, much less develop a healthy word-of-mouth base.

2. Arm extensions: Extend your right hand from the shoulder to reach for the hand of any new contacts you meet. Shaking hands is an important part of making a new contact. Not extending the hand of friendship can be perceived negatively.

3. Jaw flex (to follow immediately after arm extensions): Let the new contacts know succinctly who you are and what you do. Make sure to be specific and provide a benefit statement about your services.

4. Drop and carry: Ask for your new contacts' business cards. Drop them into your left pocket and carry them back to your office. I usually carry my own business cards in my right pocket and use the left pocket to carry the new contacts' cards.

5. Arm curls: Reach down to the telephone receiver, lift it off the cradle and curl it toward your head as you bring it to your ear. Follow up your networking event with personal contact. If you don't call, you can also e-mail.

“Keep these exercises in mind,” Misner advises, “and remember: no pain, no gain! You've got to put yourself out there in order to develop a word-of-mouth-based business.”

BNI ( is a referral networking organization, which at last count had over 3,600 individual chapters in 22 countries worldwide. BNI's Founder & CEO, Dr. Ivan Misner is the author of several book’s including the NY Times best-seller, Masters of Networking, ( and the recently released #1 best-seller, Masters of Success (


Michael Drew



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