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BNI San Diego Member Kris Polanco Receives Business through BNI Connect Profile

2013 February 28

BNI Connect brings members around the world together in an a way that continues to changethe way the world does business.

Local BNI San Diego member, Kris Polanco, from BNI Wave Of Success has experienced the benefit of having a Kristine Polanco BNI SD Wave of Success Membercompleted profile with her BNI Connect Account.

Kris recently shared:

“Hi Kathryn, I just wanted to share a BNI Connect story with you.

I received a phone call from a person from out of state which needed a private appraisal completed in my area. She stated that she found me through BNI Connect.  She is actually a member of BNI in the state of Washington and knew to look through BNI to find someone.  She also has a brother that lives on the east and he wanted to hire just a “regular” appraiser so that they could get two opinions to compare.

They told me afterwards that the other appraiser was only at the home a few minutes and had a very vague report; however I took the extra time to discuss the situation,  updates on the property, the neighborhood and that my appraisal report was extremely thorough and they agreed with my overall value.  They stated there was a huge difference between the two appraisers and the two appraisals and that is why they chose the BNI appraiser.   It was a pleasure working with them!

It is great to know that since I am a BNI member and my profile is completed on line that people can find me throughout the country through BNI Connect.  Thank you!!”

Kristine Polanco
On Target Appraisals
Wave of Success


Congratulations Kris! The BNI SD Director team loves hearing about your success stories.  Contact your local Director Consultant and share yours too!

Debbra Sweet

BNI San Diego Director Consultant


What is “Member Traffic Lights”?

2013 February 25

On February 8th, 2013 BNI SD held an All Chapter Regional Event titled “Go for the Green in 2013″.

This event revealed insights on the five key things you need to know to help you increase your BNI Membership results up to 33% this year.

go for greenTraffic lights is a way to measure individual activity based on recognized and recommended BNI standards to discover just how fast you are moving along the road to success in a strategic word of mouth marketing plan.

Where does it come from?

The report is generated from the PALMS data which is entered by your chapter Vice President weekly

What does it measure?
It measures activities that you as a member have full control over: Attendance, referrals given, One to Ones, Education, and bringing visitors

Is it a ranking tool?
Nope, it’s an activity report where we have assigned a score to each of the 5 activities (each worth 20 points) that create success in BNI membership.  There is a maximum score of 100 points, so we can all WIN!

It all comes down to the POWER OF 1.

We have found that if you can do these things with consistency, you will have great success as a member of BNI…and help make your chapter great in the process!

1 Referral Given per week
1 One to One per week
1 CEU per week
1 Visitor per month
1 Absence per term

Want to see the Member Traffic Light Report?

Login to, go to the Documents section and look for “2012 Member Traffic Light San Diego Chapter Sort” PDF.   It’s alphabetized by chapter name, then find your name.

You will be hearing your Director Consultant and your chapter Leadership Team members talk about this tool more often.  It’s exciting and members around the region who attended the Feb 8th event are already creating a buzz about the potential they now see for better results with their own membership!
Just ask your Director!  We’re here to help you succeed!

Debbra Sweet

Director Consultant, BNI SD

Good Networking Opportunities and Missed Ones

2012 January 26
by Denny_Howe

Submitted by Sean Canning, Architect, LEED AP, Member BNI Carmel Valley Chapter

In life and in business there are good and bad opportunities. However in regards to networking, there are only good opportunities and missed ones. Below is an account of each.

As a young architect with a new business, I knew it was important to get the word out, but it wasn’t until the construction of a dream project began in my own backyard that I realized how critical it was. After a year of being in business for myself, my dream project – a ground up residence, still eluded me. About 6 months ago I noticed the construction of a new studio residence directly across the alley from my apartment. I literally watch the construction daily from my living room window. I had met my neighbor previously but never mentioned that I was an architect, surely a missed opportunity that could have been avoided if I had maintained a consistent dialogue.

Some people question, is there ever a bad time to network? Over a decade ago I was considering transferring to New Jersey Institute of Technology to study architecture. One particular day I was at the funeral of my second uncle when my parents introduced me to the husband (Jeff) of a distant family friend. We had a brief discussion about the industry and the school. He actually attended that same college, graduating in the 1980s. I eventually made the decision to transfer to NJIT and pursue a career in the field of architecture. Midway through the 5-year architecture curriculum I contacted Jeff again and he offered me an entry-level position at his firm. I spent the next 4 years working with him, eventually being promoted to a senior member of the staff. Jeff became my professional mentor, which is very important in our industry.

I believe a key to networking is to see the opportunity in every conversation, whether a somber event or a casual greeting. You never know when a chance encounter can be an opportunity you don’t want to miss.

International Networking Education is Information to Use Everywhere

2012 January 9

BNI is more than just my personal local chapter. BNI is a world wide organization.
The training, whether it is networking between genders, how to get more quality referrals, or just how to build relationships with others is amazing.

Member Day 2011 was all that and more. Other people came from the home, whether it was in Utah or Australia- and everywhere in between just to share help and support.

Just meeting a couple of people who are in other parts of the world who are in the same organization doing the same weekly activities is simply amazing.

You have not truly experienced BNI until you a tent and international networking event. The I truly does stand for International, but the information works everywhere.

James Fields
Member, BNI Partners In Business Chapter

Forbes Magazine Interviews BNI’s Founder about Business Networking and Sex

2011 November 29

BNI San Diego is fortunate to be near the founder of BNI- Dr. Ivan Misner. With the global headquarters located in Upland, CA, our members will be enjoying the opportunity to spend time with Dr. Misner live and in person when he comes into San Diego to promote his new book: “Business Networking and Sex- It’s Not What You Think.”

ladies networkingThis book is already generating much publicity as it hones in and addresses some key insights to the ways men and women network.

Forbes magazine’s Frieda Klotz interviewed BNI’s Founder, Ivan Misner, about how gender affects networking skills and got a wealth of insight into this interesting topic.

“How your gender affects your networking skills”

A friend of mine gives keynote speeches at conferences in a male-dominated industry. She is glamorous, bright and very successful. After each event, she fends off multiple requests for her email address, queries about her opportunities at her company and offers of dinner. The worst part of her job is networking, mostly other people’s attempts at it.

We have all perhaps been on the receiving end of an anxiously-proffered business card and repeated follow-up messages. I certainly also know what it’s like to be in a room with six editors and 140 budding journalists all hoping to talk to them (ie. no fun at all). Whatever your gender, it can be a challenge to network gracefully, but for some reason I had assumed men would be better at it than women — that they might be more assertive and outgoing. My friend’s experiences, and a book coming out next year, suggest that this is not necessarily true.

The authors of Business Networking and Sex (Not What You Think) conducted a survey of 12,000 small-business owners and entrepreneurs across the world, and concluded that women are excellent networkers. I spoke to one of them, Dr. Ivan Misner, to find out exactly why this is.

“Men tended to be very transactional in their networking and women tend to be a bit more relational,” he told me. “Women said it’s better to focus on the relationship. But when it came to the question whether it’s better to focus on business and build the relationship later, men really felt is was better to focus on the business first.” Women show more interest in their person they’re speaking to than in closing a deal, and this approach works: more women than men said that networking had helped their business.

Misner did have some advice for women. “Dress for business at business events.” He said he was shocked by some of the provocative photos people used on their LinkedIn and Facebook accounts, and although most women do dress professionally, when they don’t, they fit a stereotype.

For men, Misner’s suggestions were somewhat different.

“Edit what you’re saying using filters, and avoid what’s not appropriate,” he said. Many of the women surveyed complained that men hit on them at networking events. Misner added that men need to learn how to engage women on topics that might interest them — something that women often already do (he gave the example of one woman who reads the sports pages regularly to supply her with small-talk). “Speak to women to relate to them, not to impress them.”

Both genders need to be more systematic about their networks, keeping records and tracking contacts. “Consistently, people who had systems in place did better whether they were men or women.”

This survey dwells on businesspeople and entrepreneurs, and for corporations, where women are notoriously absent from executive positions, the situation may different. But Misner thought the results bode well for women who run their own firms. “Absolutely, positively,” he told me. “Female entrepreneurs should be very pleased reading this book and men should be embarrassed.”

Still, some of my favorite networking advice comes from a man. The British journalist Polly Vernon interviewed Vanity Fair‘s editor Graydon Carter a few back, and asked him how one should navigate New York‘s intimidating publishing circles. Interestingly, his reply also stressed the role of relationships. “Just be nice,” he said. “Things will happen. People think they have to be ambitious. But at a certain age, all you want is to be around nice, decent people. Oh, nice is a cheap word, maybe not quite the right word… Kindness! Generosity! Be that way, you’ll do well in New York.”

Dr. Misner’s networking advice for women:

  • Dress for business at business events.
  • Put systems in place to track your business.
  • Stay in touch and follow up on referrals and friendships made.

Dr. Misner’s networking advice for men:

  • Edit what you’re about to say using filters, and avoid what’s not appropriate.
  • Stay informed about the best networking practices. Develop systems for tracking contacts.
  • Speak to women to relate to them, not to impress them.

Do you have any networking tips or stories to share?   Read the story on Forbes and feel free to comment here.

Debbra Sweet
Director Consultant BNI San Diego

Advance copies of Business Networking and Sex are now available for BNI Members

2011 November 27

Business Networking and Sex CoverWhat is the book about?

There have been a lot of books written about business networking and referral marketing. There have also been a lot of books written about the difference between men and women.  However, no one has combined the two subjects like this book does.

Three networking experts come together bringing a unique perspective to this innovative book. They include the New York Times bestselling author Dr. Ivan Misner as the expert, Frank DeRaffele writing from the male perspective and Hazel Walker writing from the female perspective.

This book will read like no other in the market place currently addressing a subject from an untouched perspective.

What is the single most important concept in the book?

Are men and women really so different or do we have a tendency to just focus on what makes us different instead of how we are similar? It is important in the world of business to understand both the similarities as well as the differences. Understanding that we all want the same outcome, we just have different ways of getting there.

We are more alike than we are different when it comes to business, with some simple understanding we can be more successful when networking and referring the opposite sex.

When will it be out?

The book is scheduled for release in January of 2012. HOWEVER,  BNI Members can order their own advanced copies now.  We’ll be giving you advance glimpses of what’s to come throughout the year!

For more info on the book and upcoming events around it, you can visit:

This book, based upon the research done- is eye opening and of value to anyone (male or female) who truly wants to be more effective growing their business with networking.

Happy reading!


Debbra Sweet
BNI San Diego Director Consultant

Announcing the Grand Prize Winner of BNI’s 25th Anniversary Video Contest!

2011 November 18

This video (named “The Way to Pass Referrals”) was shown on Members’ Day at the 2011 BNI International Directors’ Conference last week when Lawrence Conyers, who created the video and was in attendance for Members’ Day, was recognized and honored for his great work.

Lawrence Conyers, owner of Anson Photography and member of the BNI Prince Bishop chapter in the UK, has won the Grand Prize in BNI’s 25th Anniversary Video Contest for his video submission entitled “BNI — The Way to Pass Referral(s).” This video really captures what BNI is all about.

Our Local BNI San Diego Chapters share in the same fun and referrals!

The Networking Attribute That Equals Success and How to Get It

2011 November 17

At a recent event in San Diego, Dr. Misner (the founder of BNI)  asked one of the best networkers in the United States, Kathryn Lodal, (BNI San Deigo’s Exeucutive Director) to talk about the ability to be truly engaged, the attribute she considers to be the most important in a networker.

In this video, Kathryn and Dr. Misner discuss the importance of being genuinely engaged and involved in the networking process and Kathryn explains the three most critical aspects in becoming an engaged networker.

Watch the video now and then offer your thoughts about it in the comments section . . . what do you think about Kathryn’s three traits of an engaged networker?

Do you possess these three qualities already, or do you have a ways to go? 

If you have questions about how to develop these qualities or about other ways to become engaged in the networking process, Kathryn and the BNI San Diego Directors look forward to receiving them!

Debbra Sweet
BNI San Diego Director Consultant
Founder: Sweet Marketing Solutions

BNI Chapter Holiday Closures

2011 October 27
by Kathryn_Lodal

Submitted by Mari Lyn Richardson 

It is already the time of year when BNI chapters decide on how they want to use the Holidays to best serve their members’ businesses.  Year-end Holidays pose a challenge to doing business the referral way.  We still need to keep in touch and exchange referrals to end the year in a strong manner. A three-week hiatus during the Holidays can pose a difficult challenge in rebuilding momentum, and members still need the business.
Does your chapter plan to go dark on one of the two end-of-year weeks?  Perhaps you are planning a “social”?  What will keep the referrals flowing and start the New Year with strength and energy?  Most successful BNI chapters choose to meet every week.
Here are some basic suggestions:  If your meeting day lands on Thanksgiving or the day after, on Christmas or on New Year’s Day, it is understood that your chapter will not be meeting.  On the other hand New Year’s Eve is a great day to focus on New Year’s Resolutions for your businesses! It’s an important, lucrative business day.
Another possibility at the end of the year is that you may want to meet on a different day of the week. Or, you may want to have that chapter social to celebrate the season together and have the face-to-face contact so members can still generate business. Another option is to have a joint meeting with another BNI chapter in your area on a different day.
Remember you will want to inform your venue well in advance if you will not be there.
Enjoy the Holiday season by keeping your business strong!

BNI San Diego Members Learn That When You’re Specific, Referrals are Terrific!

2011 September 12
by Debbra_Sweet

Specificity is a word often not heard in day-to-day language.   However, in the language of referrals, it is a cornerstone that should be understood.

Most people who engage in the practice of networking for the sake of building their business are actually out communicating with people for the hope and intention of getting business by referral. That seems to be an obvious statement- and for many people, the HOW- behind getting amazing referrals eludes them.

One of the fundamental changes that professional networkers learn, understand, and apply- is the importance of being very specific when you ask for a type of referral.

Humans are very visual people. We think in pictures. Even people who are audible or tactile in their thought process first, will benefit by applying the strategy of being very specific when giving or asking for a referral.  The reason specificity is so important is that it allows a visual person to actually create a vision around the details of what is being asked.  This helps memory recall. It can trigger a referral when it shows up.

For people who are audible- the specific details that are translated or taught when asking for a referral- are heard. It is the details that will help that person listen for a referral.  For people who are kinetic or tactile, often they will write down the details of the specific ask. That helps them recall to give you the referral.
The action of specificity brings about amazing results. It may be counter-intuitive for many people at first to speak this way when asking for a referral. However, the learning curve is short on this one. Taking one step to change how you ask for a referral can open up new doors and new opportunities from the very first time you apply this strategy.

Personally, I remember the first time I applied this. I was looking to connect with a marketing director at a company up in L.A. Since I was networking locally,  I had done my research and knew with a specific name, title, Department, and company address that the L.A. contact had.  I really wasn’t sure how well this strategy would work, so as a ‘back up’, I also researched out to local contacts here in the San Diego area who worked for the same company.

When I went into my local BNI chapter the following week,  I applied specificity in my commercial referral ask- and asked for the introduction to what the local contact. It was amazing, what happened that day.

We had a substitute for one of our members. She stood up and told me that she did not know the local San Diego contact- but she was best friends with the marketing director up in L.A!  (I was quickly humbled- because that was really who I needed to get in contact with. ) I thanked our substitute and told her thank you and that I would love to talk to her contact up there. :)

My specificity got me what I was looking for with a single referral. But wait… there’s more!  Another person stood up in our networking meeting and said they would personally introduce me to the local marketing contact that I specifically asked for. On top of that, one more person gave me a third referral. It was not a referral for that exact company, but someone in a similar company.

The outcome of my learning curve? I was specific in my search for the details of the type of person that I wanted to get introduced to. I carried that specificity into my referral ask for a personal introduction to the person that I researched.

Stepping out of the comfort zone with the willingness to apply a strategy that is known to work-only caused temporary discomfort. :) The result of three referrals (two of which were exactly what I was looking for) were very worth that new action in how to get great referrals.

If you are asking for an introduction to ‘someone, anyone, any person, anybody’ in your commercials…  quickly change your language and be very specific about who you would like to meet.   This is one of those times that if you ask- you will receive.

Debbra Sweet
Director Consultant