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Networking tip: Horn tooting

“HOW ARE YOU? How’s business?” How many times in a week does someone ask you a similar question? If you’re like most people, it happens a lot.

The typical response to this question is often mundane and counterproductive. In a business networking setting people often respond with “business is great, we’re swamped” or “we’re so busy at the moment.” The problem with this response is it’s like telling your potential referral partners that you’re currently too busy for extra work, so don’t try and refer me to your contacts. I’m sure you will agree that we go to networking for more work, not to scare people away.

However, there is a solution and it comes from BNI founder Ivan Misner in his book ‘The 29% Solution’. It’s called horn tooting… yes really. Basically, it simply means making positive, factual statements about your business in a way that highlights your successes while leaving the door open for new clients. Such as, “business is great, but I’m always on the look out for new opportunities” or “business is good and we’re hoping to double in size the next year.”

Horn tooting is great as it informs the person of your accomplishments in a positive manner, while providing information that can be repeated by someone else who now knows how they can help your business.

Why not try it yourself and see the positive effects it can have on your networking.


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