Steps to Networking – Step 94: IBI Global’s SNAP

Written By Rick Frishman Published April 19th, 2010

STEP 94: IBI Global’s SNAP

IBI Global, Inc. has developed a trademarked accelerated networking process that it calls SNAP. Here’s how SNAP works.

At networking a meeting with 50 or more people, instead of networking by swapping business cards, five or six chairs are placed in a circle. There are no tables, only chairs. On the floor, in the center of each circle, are three items: (1) a large, brightly colored hat, (2) a glossy wand with a ball at one end and (3) a stack of “See Me” cards, which we will describe below.

The participants in each circle are seated in the chairs facing each other with their knees a few inches from the neighbor next to them. The circles where participants initially sit are their home circles. One member of each circle is designated to go first and he/she puts on the hat.

The SNAP session begins, when the designated member tells the other circle members, “Here’s what I’m doing” and “Here’s what I need next.” Their messages should take no longer than 10 to 15 seconds and other members of the circles may ask questions that the speaker might use to sharpen his/her pitch. Speakers may use props such as photographs or illustrations of their work, copies of books they have written and samples of their products. They can also distribute cards or literature.

The key in delivering the message is to get right to the heart of the matter, clearly explain precisely what you need and not give extraneous information. When addressing circle members, participants should smile and connect with everyone in the circle, but move fast.

When the first speaker finishes delivering his/her message, the person seated to his/her left informs the other circle members what he/she is doing and what he/she needs. In turn, each circle member addresses the group until they go around the circle. The full round for all circle members to deliver their pitches takes only three minutes. The initial phase can be repeated twice to help all of the participants refine their messages.

After each circle member has delivered his/her pitch, the other members of the circle hand him/her a “See Me” card. The words “See Me” are printed across the top of the card followed by spaces where each participant writes his/her name, room number and email address. Seasoned IBI participants and those in IBI’s week-long sessions, often have preprinted stickers with their contact information and their picture.

Below the contact information, the words “Yes! See Me! I am Your:” are printed in bold, upper-case letters. Below that line are three entries, which state:

A. Solution for _________________________________________________
B. Introduction to a contact that will resolve your project (because I CAN influence them) ______________________________________________
C. Introduction to a contact that “Can” resolve your project (they CAN do it! – I’ll introduce you today) ________________________________________

• Item A tells the recipient, “I am the solution for your problem. I personally can provide what you need.”

• Item B means that the giving party has a contact who can provide the solution the recipient needs and that the giving party has influence over his/her contact’s decisions.

• Item C states that the giving party has a contact who can solve the recipient’s problem, but the giving party does not influence his/her contact’s decisions. It also conveys that the giving party will introduce the recipient to his/her contact today.

In the spaces provided after Items A, B and C, the giving party can write additional information. Or they can merely circle the letter on the card that indicates the level of help they can provide.

After giving See Me cards, the giving parties should make notes to themselves stating who they gave a card, the degree of help they indicated that they would provide and why. Therefore, when the recipient contacts them, they can remember why and how they though they could help. IBI encourages participants to give freely and promotes giving back. So those who provide high quality contacts, can receive substantial returns including fees, stock or both.

After the members go completely around their circle, the designated member, who is wearing the hat, stands up and runs around to the other circles. He/she jumps into seats vacated by other hat wearers, who have now moved to other circles. Hat wearers deliver their messages quickly and the circle members circle then give the hat wearer See Me cards listing the type of help they can provide. After receiving cards, or receiving no cards, the hat wearers move on to circles that they have not visited. The object is for the hat wearer to sit in at as many different circles as possible.

As the hat wearers run from circle to circle, some circles have a vacant seat. So members of those circles will wave the wands and call to hat wearers to inform them of the vacancy.

After a set time, usually three to five minutes, the hat wearer returns to his/her home circle and the hat is passed to the persons seated to his/her left. When a signal is given, the new hat wearer starts racing around to give his/her pitch to other circles. The process continues until each member of the circle has worn the hat and delivered his/her message at other circles. This is super networking; the practice of going beyond your own network.

“Super networking is the master skill of the new century. It is the process by which you invite and capture the contacts of your expanding network,” IBI cofounder Bernhard Dohrmann explained. “Your network is not used for who they are, but for who they know. In this process, you rapidly develop connections and contacts for your purpose or agenda of the moment, which is to solve priorities one at a time, not five at a time. You use your network to resolve the priority of the moment primarily by who they know, which means you’re super networking. If you solve them by who they are, you’re only networking. Those who know a little bit about networking skills will always be outperformed by those who know how to super network.”

IBI teaches that who you know in your own circle doesn’t matter, even though you may have some great cards and great contacts. What does matter is connecting with as many circles you can and tapping into their resources.

After participants receive See Me cards, they must follow up. At SNAP sessions, people move so fast that they often need reminders to inform them why they offered help. The best approach is to contact them immediately after the SNAP session, show them their See Me card and set a firm time for further contact.

At SNAP sessions, IBI prefers as wide a mix as possible because diverse backgrounds produce more contacts. Similarly, “SNAP works better with larger groups because you have more resources for connectivity,” according to Dohrmann.

“Most people ask for something that they want in the future. SNAP enables them to get what they need now,” Author Barry Spilchuk, an experienced SNAP session leader explained.

When IBI holds sessions for corporate clients, it asks them to bring their key subcontractors, suppliers and vendors because they have insightful, creative solutions that companies can utilize. IBI believes that the presence of these resources help corporations unbottleneck roadblocks and develop customers. It also requests companies to bring their customers to SNAP sessions because customers will tell them how to get and satisfy more customers, if they’ll only listen and let them.

Dohrmann believes that, “In a super networking session, you can accomplish more in 90 minutes than you ordinarily can in 90 days.” He recommends that organizations hold SNAP sessions twice a year and require every participant to bring one new member or guest. If they do, Dohrmann is convinced that they will double club membership.

(Excerpted from NETWORKING MAGIC: Making Connections That Will Change Your Life By Rick Frishman and Jill Lublin With Mark Steisel)

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