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Kiss Fewer frogs


When you’re generating referrals for your business, you want to spend less time with the networking frogs and more time with the princes and princesses. And you want to be a prince(ss) rather than a frog, too.

So how do you find like-minded referral partners and avoid the networking amphibians? Here are a few indications that you might be kissing a frog:

  • They’re always asking you for referrals, but don’t reciprocate.
  • They don’t make the time to find out about your business (e.g. GAINS Exchange)
  • They take forever to return phone calls and emails.
  • They rarely go out of their way to help you.
  • They talk excessively about themselves and their businesses and don’t ask questions.
  • They move from person to person at networking events, handing out cards and not making connections.
  • You feel a little slimy after interacting with them.

So how do you identify the princess and princesses?

  • They’re always willing to make referrals.
  • They introduce you to their referral partners.
  • They go out of their way to help you with your business.
  • They make the time to learn about you and your business.
  • They listen actively when you talk to them.
  • They share information gladly.
  • They follow up on referrals and return calls and emails.
  • They greet everyone with a smile and make introductions at networking events.

You might also be interested in Episode 389: Kissing Frogs.

Brought to you by Networking Now.

Complete Transcript of Episode 414 –

Hello everyone and welcome back to the Official BNI Podcast, brought to you by, which is the leading site on the net for networking downloadables. I am Priscilla Rice, and I am coming to you from Live Oak Recording Studio in Berkeley, California. I am joined on the phone today by the Founder and the Chief Visionary Officer of BNI, Dr. Ivan Misner. Hello, Ivan. How are you and where are you today?

I am wrapping up my tour of BNI Asia. I am in Japan this week. This is my second visit to Japan, absolutely love Japan. The BNI members here are just amazing. It is just incredible how much they have engaged in the BNI program and how strong chapters are in Japan. It’s really impressive.

How many chapters are in Japan?

Dozens. Dozens of chapters in Japan.

Excellent. What is this title? What is this topic?

Kiss your frog. When you are generating referrals for your business, you are going to want to spend less time with frogs and more time with princes and princesses. At the same time, you want to make sure that you are not a networking frog, either. You want to hang out with people who are princes and princesses in terms of referral marketing- the kind of people that you want to build a professional relationship with.

So how do you become networking royalty and how do you find other likeminded referral partners, avoiding those amphibians who are out there? So let me give you some of the telltale signs that I think might be kissing a networking frog.

If you meet someone and the person is always asking you for referrals, introductions and favors but they rarely reciprocate, that is a networking frog.

If the person doesn’t seem to have time to sit down and learn about your business, your goals, your ideal customers, or do what we call a GAINS exchange in BNI- if they are not willing to or just don’t seem to have the time to do that for you, then they are probably a networking frog.

If the person takes forever to return your phone calls or your emails and they just don’t get back to you quickly, or ta ll, they are probably a networking frog.

If the person rarely goes out of his way to help you, and they seem inconvenienced when following up on a request that you are making for some assistance, it’s probably a networking frog.

If the person talks incessantly about herself or himself and their business and if they rarely ask questions- and if they do ask questions, they don’t really listen. If you are talking to somebody and they are not listening to what you have to say, kind of glazing over- well, if you have a person like that, it is probably a networking frog.

I will give you a couple more. If you are are a networking event and the person is hunting for new prospects. They are shaking hands, they are passing out as many business cards as humanly possible, and they are moving from person to person without making any connections, chances are pretty good you are dealing with a networking frog.

And of course, if you are feeling a little bit slimy after an encounter with somebody, and you need to get a shower, then you are definitely dealing with a networking frog.

You know, we have all met some people who are like what I just described. So the question is who do you want? What are the kinds of people that you should be looking for. The answer is that it is just sort of the opposite of what I just described.

You can find someone who is always willing to give reaferrals. They are making introductions to their referral partners. They are constantly going out of their way to help people with their business. They learn about you or your other referral partners. These are the princes and princesses of networking that you want.

When you talk to somebody and you really feel like they are listening to you, they are maintaining eye contact. They are maintaining focus on you. You don’t have to force them to share information. They willingly and gladly do it.

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You know, these are the people that you want to do business with, people who follow up on referrals in a timely manner. They return your phone calls and return your emails. They are the kind of people that if you meet at a networking event, they are greeting other people with a smile. They are meeting people. They are introducing you to those other people.

These are the kinds of people that you want to look for in terms of finding really good referral partners. Have you seen people like that, Priscilla?

Definitely. It is very self-absorbed, self-centered, selfish people that are planning to kind of use you. Like a frog, they are kind of hopscotching over other people to benefit themselves to benefit themselves and they are not reciprocating. Nobody needs that kind of people in their lives, period.

Right. You may not be able to tell right away, especially at first if you dealing with someone like that. Certainly not at your first meeting, or at least probably not at your first meeting. It will take a little bit of time to discover a person’s true networking nature.

Listern, observe people as you are meeting them for the first few times. Look for the kinds of signs that I am talking about here. Sometimes frogs are on their best behavior at networking events when they meet them for the first time or two. Their scales and warts unfortunately reveal themselves in later interactions.

In networking, you are simply going to have to kiss a few frogs in order to find your prince or princess. Just make sure that you are not being a networking frog yourself. So pattern your networking skills after the kind of people that I was just talking about. The kind of people that do listen, who do make introductions.

Be the kind of person that you want to work with in terms of networking with others so you are not identified as one of those networking frogs themselves.

Definitely. Good advice, Ivan.

You know, I really love this concept because we all meet them. I will meet people who are not really engaged in the process. They are just looking to get business not give business. You have to be cognizant of the behaviors of other people, to watch and to observe. Gravitate to those people who are willing to do things for you and the kind of things that you would expect.

No matter how success the person may appear to be on the outside, it is not worth doing business with people like that unless they are willing to support you and contribute to your welfare as well as you contribute to theirs.

And it doesn’t work well with givers gain and the group.

No, it doesn’t. I have seen people like that in BNI, where their primary reason for participation is to get business and not to give business. With that said, I have to tell you that the overwhelming majority of BNI members are people who are there to give and support one another. The more you look to bring in people like that, the more that becomes the culture of the chapter and the more successful the chapter will be, I believe.


Kiss your frogs, Priscilla.

Such great advice. Okay. Thank you so much, Dr. Misner. I would just like to remind the listeners that this podcast has been brought to you by, which is the leading site on the net for networking downloadables. Thank you so much for listening. This is Priscilla Rice and we hope you will join us next week for another exciting episode of the Official BNI Podcast.

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