BNI Reveals How to Ensure Your Business Connections Will Be With You to Stay

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Dr. Ivan Misner, Founder and Chairman of BNI, the world's largest business networking organization, explains that effective networking is all about building relationships. By following three phases of relationship marketing and networking, your connections will be with you to stay.

Relationship marketing involves building deep networks strongly rooted in a bond or connection that is developed over time with other people. These relationships don't just spring up full grown; they must be nurtured. As they grow, fed by mutual trust and shared benefits, they evolve through three phases: visibility, credibility and profitability. BNI refers to this evolution as the VCP model.

Dr. Ivan Misner says, "The VCP model describes the process of creation, growth and strengthening of business, professional and personal relationships; when fully realized, such a relationship is mutually rewarding and thus self-perpetuating."

The first phase of growing a relationship is visibility, where you and another individual become aware of each other. The greater your visibility, the greater will be your chances of being accepted by other individuals or groups as someone to whom they should refer business.

Next is credibility -- the quality of being reliable and worthy of confidence. Credibility grows when appointments are kept, promises are acted upon, facts are verified and services are rendered. Once you have credibility, the relationship can mature and you can move onto profitability.

Whether business or personal, the mature relationship can be defined in terms of its profitability. Is it mutually rewarding? Do both partners gain satisfaction from it? If it doesn't profit both partners to keep it going, the relationship will probably not endure.

Visibility and credibility are important in the relationship-building stages of the referral marketing process, but it is only when you have established an effective referral-generation system that you will have entered the profitability stage of your relationships with many people. All of this is critical to successful relationship marketing and networking and these three phases are the key to keeping your networking connections.

Misner provided these tips in his monthly column for (the online home of Entrepreneur Magazine). Read the whole story online at:

Questions? Call Dr. Ivan Misner at BNI Headquarters in the USA at 1-909-608-7575.

BNI ( is the world's largest business networking organization, with more than 5,000 chapters in 37 countries worldwide. BNI's Founder & Chairman, Dr. Ivan Misner is the author of several books including Masters of Sales, the latest addition to his bestselling Masters Series (, and the #1 best-seller, Truth or Delusion--Busting Networking's Biggest Myths ( He is also the Senior Partner for the Referral Institute (, a referral training company with operations around the world.


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Erin Mellinger
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