Howard Bienstock interview – Entrepreneur & Founder OneDegreeConnected.com
Howard M. Bienstock is an Entrepreneur and the Founder OneDegreeConnected.com
Josh: How do you define Business Networking and why do you feel it is important?
Howard Bienstock: Business networking should be the sharing of relationships for the betterment of all. This is done by meeting people both online and live and helping them connect directly to the decision makers who you know that they can provide value to, and that they want to meet.
This is important because you not only quicken your sales cycle you deepen your relationship with both the person asking for the introduction and the person you are introducing them to… It’s actively facilitating a mutually beneficial connection between currently ‘unconnected’ individuals.
Josh: Can you share an idea or two that someone could put into practice that would help them to improve their business networking skills?
Howard Bienstock: Practice. Practice. Practice. Did I say Practice? You don’t get better at anything unless you practice, and networking is no exception. You need to get good at asking people how you can help them, and in letting them know how they can help you.
Be exact. Don’t say; I’m looking for anybody. Instead say; I would like to meet the CFO of XYZ company. People cannot connect you to ‘anybody’, but they can connect you to a specific person or company. Try it, it works every time. The more you network and the more specific you are both in what you have to offer, and then in what you need (in that order), the more successful you will become in all networking efforts.
Josh: Do you see any common mistakes that people tend to make when it comes to attempting to make business connections? If so, what are they and what corrections could they make in your opinion which would help them to be more effective in their approach towards networking?
Howard Bienstock: One of the most common mistake I see is when people go to a networking event (either live or online), and don’t have a specific target or channel that they want to meet. If you are not specific I can’t help you. The next “big” networking mistake is pushing information overload on everyone you meet. Initial conversations should be about showing that you genuinely CARE about the other person and their needs.
Most initial conversations are a one-sided sales pitch… wrong move!
Make it a habit to, when you first meet someone, ask them what they do and what they are looking for and how you can help them. Once people begin to feel that you are genuine in wanted to help them, most will reciprocate without being prompted.
Josh: Can you give us a brief overview of OneDegreeConnected? What makes it unique, and can you share some specific examples where others have benefited from being plugged into what you all are doing there?
Howard Bienstock: What is One Degree Connected (ODC)? OneDegreeConnected.com is a confidential, permission-based, direct relationship-management website designed by business professionals.
It’s geared to provide professional networkers, sales and marketing experts, executives, and business owners with a state-of-the-art alternative vehicle to shorten their sales cycle while improving the level of contact through meaningful relationship management and effective business development. We don’t share contact information.
Our proprietary system helps to facilitate personal, credible introductions to decision-makers outside of someone’s current contact base “from” existing contacts with whom they (decision makers) already share a respected relationship!
Josh: How is ODC Different from other social networking tools?
Howard Bienstock: ODC is an online tool designed by professional business people to serve the needs of professional business people. It is not a social networking site, but it provides a means for subscribers to effectively ‘leverage’ their social networks!
ODC is a cost-effective solution to social networks newly developed “Business Solution” membership option. At $500/month, one of the “FREE” sites offer limited open correspondence to a new (unknown) contact.
In contract, for a mere $29.99/month (less than avg. cost of many professional memberships) ODC provides you unlimited access to request an actual personal introduction or direct referral to as many people as you have earned points to request (points earned by the number of contacts you have contributed to the secure global database) – with no expiration date.
There is no external advertising, banner ads, data farming, etc. We allow you to RATE your relationship levels to create more efficient referral requests. We provide the resources to help make sure you are getting the most out of the ever-evolving online referral process.
We help to create a “buzz” about you, your company or product by effectively leveraging fellow subscriber’s relationships through multiple, personal introductions. We pay a cash bonus for each new subscriber that joins using your personal referral code referral code.
Josh: How does ODC work?
Howard Bienstock: When you’re ready to accelerate your network, you JOIN, then set up your profile. (This is what other subscriber/members will see about you and your company).
UPLOAD your contact database to our secure server. You will earn points based upon the completion of your contact info (i.e., names, titles, rating, etc.) the more thorough the info the more points you earn to request introductions and referrals.
CONNECT. Search the member contacts for someone you need to meet (by name, job title/position, and/or company). The ODC search is specific which is how we can provide multiple, personal introductions.
REQUEST AN INTRO/REFERRAL/RECOMMENDATION: You can see who (fellow subscriber/members) knows the person you need to meet and send a system generated request for a personal introduction and/or referral based upon how well they are connected with that person (via the 5 star rating system).
Prior to granting your request, fellow subscriber/members will/should look at your profile to learn about you and how to best introduce you to their contact – then they will send you the contact info and e-mail the person you’ve requested to meet that you will be contacting them directly.
Receiving intro requests will cost you points.
GRANT AN INTRO/REFERRAL/RECOMMENDATION REQUEST: Fellow subscriber/members may need to meet someone in your circle of influence and request an introduction from you. If it’s someone you don’t know, then check out their profile to determine whether or not to approve the request to meet.
Approving intro requests will earn you points.
ODC WORKS because each subscriber/member is leveraging the others’ existing relationships. When you facilitate getting people together with common interests/needs everyone wins. Existing relationships are enhanced, new relationships are formed and business gets done!
You can also INVITE your existing non-member contacts to JOIN One Degree to help them accelerate their networks as well. When your contact becomes a member, everyone can see his/her profile but more importantly, everyone is now only “1” degree away from all of his/her contacts as well!
Subscriber/members will earn $10 cash bonus for each new member who joins ODC. You can send a system invitation which tracks your member ID and will generate a check quarterly for bonuses due on all new members who’ve joined via your invitation. Additionally, you can invite anyone to join the website using your ID and earn unlimited cash referral bonuses!
ODC has helped its subscribers to double and triple business in less than a year. Example one of our subscribers a bookkeeping business wanted to me CPA’s she new that if she met 1 CPA per week over the course of a year she could double her business. To do this she would need to spend 10 hours a week networking to be able to get the one meeting a week she needed to grow her business.
With ODC she was able to spend 30 minutes on the site each week and was able to be introduced (with multiple referrals) to the CPA’s she wanted to meet and was meeting 4 per week so she cut her time down from 10 hours to 5 hours and raised her face to face with CPA’s from 1 to 4 per week. So in the half the time she met 4(four) times the people and was able to meet and exceed her goal in 16 weeks vs. 52.
This has happened time and time again One Degree Connected is the most powerful Business tool available for the serious person wanting to get key introductions and referrals to the decision makers they need to meet.
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