Ivan Misner has written quite a few books about business networking and referral marketing. Many more books have been written about the differences between men and women. However, no one has ever combined the two subjects before. Business Networking and Sex does exactly that, with the goal of understanding the communication roadblocks that occur between women and men in the networking process.

The book project started as a four-year study in which more than 12,000 businesspeople answered a simple survey. After analyzing the results, Dr. Misner invited two of his fellow networking experts, Frank DeRaffele and Hazel Walker, to add their gender-specific perspectives. Here are some key findings the three authors present:

A lot of men tend either to offend women or to be misunderstood by them. Until they get to the point where this no longer happens, they will continue to miss out on the potential involved in doing business with the other half of the world population.

On the other hand, while guys may act boorish and offensive at times, women need to understand that they sometimes enable this behavior without even realizing it. Every time we are offended by an off-color remark but say nothing, and just privately vow never to give the guy any business, and every time we wear a sexy outfit to a business function and then wonder why men ask us out rather than listening to our business ideas, we are contributing to the problem!

We all make business decisions based on our assessments of facial expressions, gestures, tone, manners, and even smell. To benefit optimally from the face-to-face networking process, the authors say, we need to keep up with gender-specific communication styles and preferences. Here are some tips for career-long success in networking with the opposite sex:

For women:

For men:

"Not only does networking play a major role in growing a powerful business, it also paves the way for a happy and secure life," says Misner. "Anyone can see the benefits of having a pool of amiable friends and associates ready to look out for them and send good things their way. Because of this, it is important for anyone working in the business world to understand both the similarities and differences between the networking styles of men and women. At the end of the day, we all want the same outcome; we just have different ways of getting there."

Paperback, 274 pages, $21.95;
Entrepreneur Press, 2012.