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29 Per Cent Solution: 52 Weekly Networking Sucess Strategies [Hardcover]

Ivan R. Misner
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
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Book Description

1 May 2008
In many ways, success at networking is the uncommon application of common knowledge. Most people understand that networking is important to their success - they just lack a step-by-step process to get the results they want. Almost no one really implements a comprehensive methodology that will build a business through networking. Thus, the need to network is 'common knowledge', and the development of the methodology required to be successful at it is the 'uncommon application'. By reading this book, you will experience the true essence and meaning of networking. "The 29% Solution" gives you the answers to two conflicting questions that a business owner or salesperson faces every day: How can I tend to my existing clients while at the same time network for new business? and, should I place higher value on my current clients or on new clients?

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 286 pages
  • Publisher: Olive Tree Press (1 May 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1929774540
  • ISBN-13: 978-1929774548
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 16.1 x 2.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 114,478 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Dr. Ivan Misner is the Founder & Chairman of BNI, the world's largest business networking organization. BNI was founded in 1985. The organization has thousands of chapters throughout every populated continent of the world. Each year, BNI generated millions of referrals resulting in over billions of U.S. dollars worth of business for its members.

Dr. Misner's Ph.D. is from the University of Southern California. He has written eleven books, including his New York Times Bestseller; Masters of Networking as well as his recent #1 bestseller, Networking Like a Pro. He is a monthly columnist for and is the Senior Partner for the Referral Institute - a referral training company with trainers around the world. In addition, he has taught business management and social capital courses at several universities throughout the United States.

Called the "Father of Modern Networking" by CNN and the "Networking Guru" by Entrepreneur magazine, Dr. Misner is considered to be one of the world's leading experts on business networking and has been a keynote speaker for major corporations and associations throughout the world. He has been featured in the L.A. Times, Wall Street Journal, and New York. Times, as well as numerous TV and radio shows including CNN, CNBC, and the BBC in London.

Dr. Misner is on the Board of Trustees for the University of LaVerne. He is also the Founder of the BNI Misner Charitable Foundation and was recently named "Humanitarian of the Year" by a Southern California newspaper. He is married and lives with his wife Elisabeth and their three children in Claremont, CA. In his spare time!!! he is also an amateur magician and a black belt in karate.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Indeed, the word is NetWORK 31 Aug 2010
By Robert Morris TOP 500 REVIEWER
Others have their reasons for holding this book in such high regard. Here are three of mine. First, in collaboration with Michelle R. Donovan, Ivan Misner has devised a 52-week framework within which to launch and then develop a cohesive, comprehensive, and cost-effective (i.e. time-effective) construction program by which to build a network of mutually beneficial relationships. A primary strategic objective is assigned to each week and all are located within a logical sequence. For example, in Section One: Create Your Future,

Week1: Set Networking Goals
Week 2: Block Out Time to Network
Week 3: Profile Your Preferred Client
Week 4: Recruit Your Word-of-Mouth Marketing Team
Week 5: Give to Others First
Week 6: Create a Network Relationship Database
Week 7: Master the Top Ten Traits (See Pages 45-48)

Section Two: Expand the Network (Weeks 8-14)
Section Three: Go the Extra Mile (Weeks 15-20)
Section Four: Get Value for Your Time (Weeks 21-28)
Section Fuve: Control Your Communication (Weeks 29-33)
Section Six: Become the Expert (Weeks 34-41)
Section Seven: Capture Your Success Stories (Weeks 38-41)
Section Eight: Do What Others Don't (Weeks 42-52)

This program requires a substantial commitment of time and effort to achieve the specific goals (whatever they are) and, meanwhile, to establish a sound foundation of current (constantly updated) contact information and vigorous (constantly nourished) relationships. The framework is sound. It remains for each reader to provide the specifics within it.

I also admire how skillfully Misner integrates what are frequently separate and disconnected functions: customer relations and prospecting.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Six degrees of separation: You've probably heard of that concept . . . that you can connect with anyone else through six contacts. The authors deconstruct that observation to point out that fewer than half the people (somewhere around 29 percent) can do that well, hence the title.

But do you really care if it takes three contacts or thirteen . . . as long as your message gets through? Probably not.

More important than getting through to others through mutual contacts is the ability to get help when you need it: That's the real value of being well networked.

So you can skip over the premise discussion. It just seems like a gimmick to help attract attention to the book.

Start with page 7 and the diagnostic questions to test how well you perform in creating, building, and sustaining a network. From there, perform one of the 52 assignments per week for a year. If you keep up on the prior lessons, you should become much better connected after a year.

This book is primarily designed for those who aren't very good at networking and haven't been introduced to the basics. So if you are new to the idea of getting acquainted with more people, this book is a good choice.

But if you have read at least two reasonably good networking books, you probably won't add that much value here . . . unless you find that a weekly lesson helps you maintain the discipline.

If you ignore the sketchy premise, this is a five-star book.

How many new connections did you make today that you will keep alive in ten years?
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5.0 out of 5 stars A savvy guide on how to network 27 Mar 2009
By Rolf Dobelli TOP 500 REVIEWER
How can you develop new clients and new business? The four most time-tested techniques are "cold calls, advertising, public relations and networking." Cold calls are more enjoyable than sticking yourself with red-hot needles - but not much. Advertising costs big bucks. Public relations can backfire if you don't know exactly what you are doing. That leaves networking. Networking is not demeaning like cold calls. In fact, it can be fun. It doesn't cost an arm and leg like advertising. And you won't inadvertently end up in some crusading reporter's crosshairs. Ivan R. Misner and Michelle R. Donovan's book teaches you the best networking techniques. They explain, "It's not net-sit or net-eat. It's net-work." You must "work the networking process." getAbstract thinks this savvy book does a good job of showing you how.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.4 out of 5 stars  57 reviews
38 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Reference to Keep You on Track 17 Sep 2008
By J. Kennel - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
The authors start out with the premise that although networking is proven to be valuable in business, it is still rarely taught in business schools.

The book begins with a self-analysis test to help determine one's networking skills. Topics and assignments are broken down into 52 weeks, with spaces in some of the chapters for you to write in the book as you do that week's assignment. (Not every week has a writing area, so you may want to keep a separate notebook or keep notes and action steps on a Blackberry/PDA.)

It could almost be called Networking for Dummies or for Introverts or even for Clueless. I say that because the book addresses so many topics that brought some former co-workers and bosses to mind. MANY people who are in business at various levels could be helped by networking, but are not born schmoozers or networkers, and don't know where to begin.

This book charts out one of the simplest game plans for success that I've seen in quite awhile. It is not all new knowledge, but it is all in one place, so you can check off your progress and see what the next step is for growing your skills and your business. The plan is simple, but not always easy. As the authors say, it's netWORKing, not netEATing or netSITTing.

Topics included may require major changes or just minor tweaks to a person's life. Examples are: being accountable to a group, writing thank you notes, being engaging, writing a press release, getting and giving referrals, following up, being a change agent, becoming an expert, and more.

Recommended for complete wallflowers and introverts who may even know but don't ever DO. It's also good for extroverts and "self-made" individuals who think they are the best networkers in the world but who need refinement and more focus on others than just their own abilities and personality.

Terrific reference book to use and refer back to again and again.
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Short but Effective 4 Aug 2008
By Amazon Customer - Published on
52 wonderful succinct ways to improve your business through word of mouth networking. Each of these also has an effective call to action at the end to help you put to use the advice just given. How many times have you read a good explanation of what to do, but were not sure of how to implement the tactic. The 29% solution not only give great advice on improving your business, but also provides instructions for putting the advice into action. This book goes beyond all the other networking books. For those businesses that can improve with word of mouth marketing, this book is a must read.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Primer for Networking Beginners 26 Jun 2009
By Gary Dale Cearley - Published on
Years ago when I first started to realize how important it was to be connected I just went at it willy nilly - trying to meet everyone. Now I see that there is much more to it than that. You should set out to do networking with a plan. You should know not just the why, but the how to go about it and realize how to focus on getting people into your circle who can help you to move forward.

Ivan Misner and Michelle Donovan should almost call this book Networking 101, but I would imagine that this title has been taken already. Instead they named it The 29% Solution: 52 Weekly Networking Success Strategies after the successful participant of the famous Six Degrees of Separation experiment many years ago. Ivan Misner is world famous for being the founder if the global business networking group Business Networking International, or BNI as it is commonly known. He also has a doctorate and has been a professor of Business Administration in southern California for a number of years, so he writes from authority. And although this is her first book, Michelle Donovan is known in business circles as "The Referability Expert" and has been in the networking business for some time in the western Pennsylvania area so she is no stranger to the networking game herself.

My first comment of the review has to do with the fact that Misner and Donovan start from the premise that the reader knows absolutely zilch about business networking so they set out to give the reader the advice and tools that will be needed to get off the ground and get within the 29% networking group. For instance they made sure that you know there is a very big distinction between a contact and a connection and why this distinction should be meaningful to you. In this sense of taking the beginner by the hand I believe the book really does a great job. For some of us who have been at the networking game for some time lots of the material could be second nature, but there was still some advantage to going through this. The authors offer more than advice but they also offer their vast experience. All of the information I saw that they put out is very practical and would be the same kind of information that I would offer myself to wall flowers who need help.

On top of this there were tips in there that many of us more experienced networkers could use and incorporate into our own business practices - so that alone would be worth the price of the book for the non-beginners. The book had a very holistic view of the nature of constantly working at expanding one's circles and I can't see anything wrong with that.

Before I finish with this I will say that I did appreciate that the authors did not take this subject as a one way street. In order to properly network, they assert, you need to put in to the network as well, otherwise it is like trying to drive a car with no gas. There was a great example in the book about periodically just letting people know that you can help them with other contacts even when this had no relation to you. They showed in one case how this really turned the flow on for one networker with inquiries starting to flood inbound as well. Now that's what I like to see! Why, because the authors were very correct in this assessment: This is how networking really works!
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Forget the Title; Buy The Book 26 Oct 2008
By Dave Carpenter - Published on
I have long been a believer of the power of effective networking. And, in the tough times we are encountering as a nation, I believe that effective networking will be even more important.

Ivan Miser, one of the county's leading authorities on networking, has collaborated with Michelle Donovan to write what I believe to be one of the best books in networking that has ever been written.(My other favorite is "Click" by George Fraser.)

I liked everything about the book...a lot...except for the title which is a case of copyrighting seemingly gone amuck. And to think that the subtitle doesn't even explain the mystery of the title. YUK!

But, get past the title and get on with the substance of the book and this book is an absolute gem. Jam packed with solid information, wonderful tips, and even helpful exercises.

Like some of the best things in life, there is no magic pill to effective networking. This point is reinforced by the central organization of the book into a year-long program to build networking effectiveness.

In turbulent times, being a silo, or a lone wolf, just is not going to cut it. I highly recommend that all professionals buy this book, follow the program and become one of the 29% who are separated from the rest of the world by just six degrees. (Ah yes, there is at least some rationale to the title.) Even more importantly than being part of that dubious group, by following this program you will increase the likelihood that you will have the relationships to help you prosper in tough times.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you want to increase business this is a must read! 25 July 2008
By Don Franklin - Published on
A recipe for success! If you want more business then check out this book. Follow these simple strategies and watch your business grow. Success is just around the corner with this book as your tool.
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