Networking HQ BLOG with Larry James

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Networking: A Woman’s Contact Sport

Filed under: Networking,Women Networking — Larry James @ 12:00 pm
Tags: , ,

Making the right contacts in business is extremely important to your success.

The truth is, no one really has cornered the market on networking as a contact sport. Networking is too big a sport for anyone to ever get a corner on it. For those of you who are successful, however, it’s more than a favorite pastime. It’s a way of life.

Most successful business women that I know are active networkers. Women excel in networking. Ask me, I know. I know a professional networker when I see one. I have built my professional speaking and publishing career by networking.

Meeting people is a must. It’s not only “who you know,” it’s “who knows you.” Meeting the people who count has to be a top priority. Meeting the right people gets you noticed and gets you places. If you have a desire to work smart, networking is one way to effectively do that.

Successful women in networking are not shy. Nancy Siegel, owner of Nancy Siegel Insurance Agency, Inc.,, Broken Arrow, OK, says, “Don’t be afraid to be the first one to speak to a stranger. Most people feel as uncomfortable as yourself and are usually glad to have someone to talk with after the ice is broken.”

It has been my experience that women seem to have a special knack for networking. Perhaps it is inbred in our culture. Women always seem to intuitively understand where to go or who to contact for just about anything they need or want to know. There are many men who are very successful at networking, however, when it comes to being creative with contact talents, women get “thumbs up” from me.

Let’s put networking in the right perspective. For the purpose of this discussion, let’s work with a definition of networking that has served me well.

Networking is. . . using your creative talents to help others achieve their goals as you cultivate a network of people strategically positioned to support you in your goals. . . expecting nothing in return! – Larry James

Now, lets take a moment to think about that. Is that a belief system you could buy into? Read it again.

It is estimated that 65 – 75% of those people who are actively engaged in networking are women. People who network keep score by how many business leads they give others, not by how many leads they receive.

Kathy Holt, owner of Forget-Me-Not Gift Baskets, Inc., Tulsa, says, “If you really network right, with a commitment to only helping others, you will get back twice as much and make lifetime friendships.” She should know. Kathy experienced a 38.6% increase in business in five months after she joined The Tulsa Business Connection, a group I founded in 1985. She also recommends joining and getting involved with the Chamber of Commerce.

You won’t find people who take the easy way out actively participating in networking groups. Experienced networkers can spot someone who is only in it for themselves a mile away. People who want something for nothing do not succeed at networking. They fade in and drop out.

We erroneously call these people losers. They are not losers, they have yet to understand that to be successful you must first have integrity and second, commitment. They seldom stay with a project until its completion. Therefore they don’t do well when networking because networking demands both integrity and commitment. People who know the truth behind my definition of networking know that when you help others get what they want, you ultimately get what you want.

High achievers consistently are looking for a way to better themselves and to assist others in the process. They know that by participating in someone else’s success, they become more successful. You can’t be afraid of hard work and effectively network.

Networking works. And you must consistently work it. Rose Mary Winget, former sales manager at McCaw Communications, Tulsa, (and wife of professional speaker, Larry Winget) once told me, “Don’t say you don’t have time. You don’t have time not to network.” Her entire sales staff is actively involved in networking groups. She also hired me to present my networking seminar, Networking: Making the Right Connections, to her group.

Rose Mary’s experience has taught her that networking gets quicker results than prospecting. When you prospect, you are looking for potential customers and clients. When you network, you capitalize on the alliances you have developed with others in your network; they do your prospecting for you.

It makes sense. You can multiply your own personal effectiveness by the number of people you know, who believe in you, like you, trust you and are committed to refer business leads to you. Isn’t it a better use of your time to develop close personal and business relationships with people who are on your side and will help you succeed?

Many salespeople never get down to business. Their only interest is “busy-ness.” I don’t know about you, but busy-ness has never made me any money. To be successful, you must do what counts. Focus on what matters. Networking is building supportive personal and busines relationships; it’s meeting new people and making new friends; it’s helping others help themselves.

Marilyn Minter, a former Tulsa real estate agent started her own networking group, “Tulsans Networking Tulsa” (TNT) in March, 1991. Marilyn says, “Networking has given me the opportunity to make contact with literally hundreds of people. I never would have met those people without networking. The heart of my real estate business came from the personal referrals acquired while networking.” Her advice to women who are considering networking, “Get started. Be patient. Believe in yourself and never quit.”

Within the concept of networking is a blueprint for change. With change comes new ways of thinking. If you always do what you’ve always done, you will always get what you’ve always gotten.

There is only one way to keep your career growing. YOU must keep growing. Ask the women who network about the personal growth they have experienced. Ask them about how much better they feel about themselves now that they are doing more of what the pros do.

In meetings that are specifically designated for networking, each person is asked to give their “30 Second Connection” as a way of introducing themselves and their business to the group. After her first networking meeting, Vicky Olsen, who was visiting the group to fill the banker slot, confided in me that standing up to give her “30 second connection” to the group was very scary and she wasn’t sure she would return.

I asked her what her goals were for her advancement at the bank. She told me. I then explained that if she ever expected to achieve her goals, one of the most important elements of her success would be networking. To overcome her fear, I suggested that she take the Dale Carnegie Course. She did and later became one of their top “graduate assistants.”

I also told her that as far as presenting her “30 second connection” was concerned, if she followed the guidelines, she couldn’t get it wrong because no one in the audience knew what she was going to say anyway. I also suggested that she take an active part in the leadership of the group.

Less than a year later, she was the Treasurer of the group and served two one-year terms. Each week she stood unafraid to give the Treasurer’s report. And now the good news: Vicky was promoted to Vice President of the bank.

It takes courage to network; do put yourself “out there;” to consistently move toward something better; to become the someone you look up to. The more you network, the more courage you receive. Be courageous and you will discover more courage!

Unless you are committed to doing more than you’ve done before, you will feel some discomfort when becoming involved in networking. This is natural. You will be in the presence of doers. You, who are not doing, may be confronted by this. Thus, you may feel uncomfortable.

People who do more get results! They are actively engaged in activities that feed their enthusiasm for their calling. For them, backward in not an option. They are on “fast forward.” They get things done. They make every minute count when they are networking. They are aware of the “net” result. They know that what you put out to the universe, always comes back to you. They are dedicated to doing good for others.

How many successful people do you know? Network to get to know more. The energy they dedicate to helping others is infectious. Listen to their success stories. Listen for the opportunity that a fresh perspective presents. For me, it’s a lesson in inspiration; inspiring me to be the best I can be.

For a horse, one inch farther often wins the race. In networking, you never know when the next contact you make may be the one inch that puts you in the winner’s circle.

I met Gregory J.P. Godek — America’s Romance Coach — while networking. Greg is the best-selling author of 1001 Ways to Be Romantic. We sat at the same lunch table at a National Speakers Association meeing many years ago. He referred me to his book distributor. Five days later, I had a three year contract for them to distribute my relationship books to all the major book stores. This was a big break for me. We have since become great friends. He mentions my work in the relationship area in his books; I mention his work for the “romantically impaired” in my books.

Networkers play too! When they play, they have fun. They know that the time they devote to social and recreational activities with family and friends pays off with a sense of having recharged their batteries. After 11 years of networking, Nancy Siegel advises: “Know when to stop and recharge. Learn how to say “no” to please yourself instead of “yes” to please others. when you network, network! Whey you play, play!”

Remember too, the energy level of successful people operates above average because they love who they are and what they do.

Above average people network for above average results. They know a good thing when they see one. They stick with it. They are the above average women who have discovered a wonderful contact sport called “networking” and are still making new and exciting personal and business contacts after “all these years.”

Did you know?

• Women are starting businesses at twice the rate of men.
• One out of every 11 American women owns her own business.
• Currently there are over 10.6 million women-owned businesses employing 19.1 million people and generating $2.5 trillion in sales.
• Women make or influence over 85% of all purchasing decisions.
• Business growth is the #1 concern of business owners.
• By 2010 women will have the majority of wealth in America.

Source for “Did you know?” – Linda Hollander @ http://www.WealthyBagLady.com.

netHQ

Copyright © 2009 – Larry James. Larry James is a Professional Speaker, Author and Coach. He presents networking seminars nationally and “Networking” coaching by telephone or one-on-one. His latest book is, Ten Commitments of Networking: Creative Ways to Maximize Your Personal Connections! Visit ” Networking HQ!”

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: Larry James, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com

NOTE: All articles and networking tips listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

Add Larry James to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
Follow Larry’s “once daily” Relationship Tweet at: http://www.Twitter.com/larryjames
Follow Larry’s “Relationship BLOG” at: http://CelebrateLove.wordpress.com/
Follow Larry’s “Wedding BLOG” at: http://CelebrateIntimateWeddings.wordpress.com

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Thursday, August 27, 2009

Name Tag Tip

When you attend a networking event, be sure you bring your own name tag. Buy a name tag plastic holder at an office supply store and place your business card in it. Or prepare a name tag in your computer and make it say what you want it to say.

Some events provide blank name tags. Write your name and your business for all to see.

Always place your name tag on the right side of your clothing. That way, as you shake hands, the line of your arm draws the other person’s attention directly to the name tag.

REPEAT: Name tags only help if you wear the name tag on the right side so that your eye will easily travel to it as you make the initial handshake.

When you meet someone new, call them by their name right away. This will assist you in remembering their name.

Larry’s NOTE:  Need a “last-minute” name tag for you networking meeting?  Fill out a FREE Designers template for a temporary name tag or badge insert at:  http://www.layoutserver.nl/

netHQ

Copyright © 2009 – Larry James. Larry James is a Professional Speaker, Author and Coach. He presents networking seminars nationally and “Networking” coaching by telephone or one-on-one. His latest book is, Ten Commitments of Networking: Creative Ways to Maximize Your Personal Connections! Visit ” Networking HQ!”

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: Larry James, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com

Add Larry James to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
Follow Larry’s “once daily” Relationship Tweet at: http://www.Twitter.com/larryjames
Follow Larry’s “Relationship BLOG” at: http://CelebrateLove.wordpress.com/
Follow Larry’s “Wedding BLOG” at: http://CelebrateIntimateWeddings.wordpress.com

NOTE: All articles and networking tips listed in this BLOG are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

Monday, August 24, 2009

The Buzz on Being a Shameless NetShaker!

So, what’s the buzz on being a shameless NetShaker? Can you keep a secret? To sum it up in one word. . . “collaboration.” It is one of the most important keys to shameless self-promotion on the Internet. Some call it “connectivity;” others call it “networking.” Whatever you call it, having a community of support to assist you in your self-promotion efforts must be a top priority.

Collaboration (connectivity or networking)… is using your creative talents to help others achieve their goals as you cultivate a network of people strategically positioned to support you in your goals. . . expecting nothing in return!

It’s the “expecting nothing in return” that stops most people. I suggest that we are all in this to help others and ourselves. . . in that order. What you put out to the universe, always comes back to you.

Disappointment may follow if you expect a return from the person or Website to whom you have contributed. Collaboration is about building supportive personal and business relationships; it’s consistently connecting with new people and making new friends, sharing ideas and having lots of fun in the process.

Having a clear understanding of the definition of collaboration is a prerequisite for Internet success.

Never fear the competition. When you fear the competition, it’s like your feet are nailed to the floor. Everyone is moving and shaking the Internet except you. Fear is an energy drain. It thwarts your creative imagination. Your worry keeps you from moving forward.

Whatever you are doing to shameless promote yourself on the Internet is either moving you closer to your goals or further away. There is no middle ground.

Know this. There is no competition. . . only insecure people who fear losing something or someone to another website. AND they usually do.

Studies of the Internet have shown that the majority of people find other relevant sites by clicking on “links” to other interesting sites.

While search engines do bring hits to your site, keeping them updated can cost you time and money.

Getting “linked” or linking to other related Websites through your collaborative efforts is an opportunity for your site to be discovered and a much more reliable way to ensure steady traffic to your site.

It’s also a lesson in the economics of collaboration. It doesn’t cost you a cent. . . only the time and energy you are willing to put forth in making the right connections. This is something you can do. You will only need the services of your webmaster to post the links to your site unless you learn to make these simple changes on your own site like I did.

First-time hits to CelebrateLove.com more than quadrupled within two weeks of posting, not one, but several links pages and making those pages more visible on our Website.

To most of the major search engines, the more links coming “into” and going “out of” your site make your site appear more valuable when someone is searching for your product or service. Having links to your web site is essential to getting a good listing in most of the major search engines.

The innovative trend of trading links will multiply hits to your website. Reciprocal links with similar sites are free, and provide long-term traffic. The biggest problem with great information is that people aren’t willing to share it. NetShakers trade links! Trading links is about sharing information.

Our philosophy is that if a person comes to our site and chooses not to stay, we would rather share other quality relationship sites than have them drift off into cyberspace with no direction. We know that they appreciate this opportunity. The fact is that the more links we post to other relationship sites, the more hits we receive on our site.

We shamelessly and consistently contact other quality Website owners with an invitation to link to our site provided that have a reciprocal links page. If we really like the site we will add their link to our site first, then send a personal e-mail to the site owner telling them something we like about their site so they will know we have visited their site and are not just randomly sending the e-mail to everyone. Personalize this e-mail with the site owner’s name if you can. We then give them several benefits to linking to our site and ask them for a reciprocal link.

Include html code in your e-mail so all they have to do is cut and paste the link to one of their web pages or refer them to a special page on your site that explains your reciprocal links trade plan. (Note: we have two pages). This page should include text link examples, a photo image, small banners, “cut and paste” html code and detailed link instructions to make it as easy as possible for them to link to you.

Webmasters know the value of having the appropriate keywords written into the html code of each page on their Websites. In the “link invitation” e-mail we send, we also tell them that we will add their name and website into the keywords on the page on our site where their link appears.

There are two advantages to doing this:

This gives them additional exposure to the top ten search engines we submit to, and
it will often result in Web surfers finding our site while looking for them.
If there is no response and we feel the site is good, we will keep it linked anyway.

We also check the keywords of other similar sites that may fit on our links criteria for keywords that might help us move up in the search engine rankings.

Most sites will respond favorably provided you have a site that has content that their visitors may find interesting. So, there’s another “shameless clue.” Add content. Lots of it. This is another key ingredient to being a NetShaker and an Internet success.

Unfortunately, a lot of Websites that we might consider link candidates are only about their service or product and have little or no content. Content is king. No-one can beat a site that offers quality content. CelebrateLove.com has over 730 pages. CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com has over 430 pages. My five Websites now have more than 2,000 pages on the Internet and they are all linked to each other.

We have also had success by putting up special pages that dedicate space to causes we like. I have had asthma and allergies most of my life, my sister is a breast cancer survivor and my mother died of Alzheimer’s Disease. May is “National Allergy & Asthma Awareness Month,” October is “National Breast Cancer Awareness Month” and November is “National Alzheimer’s Disease Month” and “National Family Caregivers Month.”

For each of these months we post an “attention grabber” on our home page with a link that leads to several pages of info about each topic. We then submit these pages to the top ten search engines with appropriate keywords.

Holidays are also an attention grabber. People are always looking for sites that have information about their favorite holiday. Even though a holiday link may have little to do with our relationship site – with the exception of Valentine’s Day – our holiday links bring us lots of visitors who venture on to other parts of our site.

Always look for tie-ins. Example: November (Thanksgiving) and December (Christmas) are months that typically bring to mind family and friends. It is often a difficult time for people who have lost a loved one through death, divorce or separation. Each of these holiday sections are linked to relationship books and several articles: “Rx for the Holiday Blues” and “A Sure Cure for a Hangover.” We list 14 holiday links on one of my sites, each with lots of information about that holiday and links to other holiday sites. The next step is to offer to trade links with other similar holiday sites.

If a Website has content we will gladly grant permission to reprint any of our many relationship articles (with no editing) provided they will add a copyright notice, brief bio, e-mail and a link back to our site. In addition, since I have written three relationship books, I include the URL to each book on Amazon.com and suggest that they apply for an affiliate program and offer my books for sale on their site. Shameless, eh?

May I share a pet Internet peeve? There is nothing worse than finding a site you would like to link with and then have to spend your valuable time looking for a contact e-mail, address or phone number.

Tip: Put your contact information on “every” page on your site!

Other keys to our shameless Internet promotion is to join affiliate programs. By way of example, if you have a book for sale on your site, Amazon.com might be a good choice. When your visitors click on a book title or cover and buy it from Amazon.com, Amazon will pay you a small commission.

We offer a book store that lists hundreds of books on various topics, videos and CDs. All are linked to Amazon.com. Many are linked to related articles pages and special interest sections on our site.

Affiliate programs are an effective Web marketing tool and a natural fit with the nature of the Web since they make value flow along with the links. A delicately placed affiliate text link or small banner on the right page can help greatly to support your site financially. The most profitable affiliate programs are those that are closely related to the genre of your site and are personally recommended by you. Generally speaking, a text link recommendation works best.

One more thing: make sure your site is easy to navigate. When it comes to navigation, it’s okay to be repetitious with your internal links. You must also make sure that every linked page on your site starts with an element that confirms where the visitor has arrived.

Provide lots of links – in prominent places – on each page to encourage your visitors to move between the related areas without getting lost. If you achieve this, your visitors will have the maximum opportunity to eventually gather the information that came to see.

Use these internal links to cross sell. If you have posted an information page about dogs, be sure to include several links to the best selling dog books in your affiliate program.

Broken links and malfunctioning site features cost you page impressions, customers and respect. Broken links are bad for your business. They drive customers away. Net users rate broken links as the second-biggest problem online, right behind slow-loading pages (Source: a Web usability study by the Georgia Institute of Technology).

Maintaining the integrity of your site is critical to building a captive audience of repeat visitors. If your site does not function correctly, you are likely to lose the visitors you have worked so hard to attract.

No matter what you do, errors will creep in your web pages when you develop them. Finding broken links is a time-consuming, tedious task. Be your own “link police” or at least wise enough to hire an outside Internet company to automatically give you a weekly report of “link rot,” or broken links.

I cannot stress the importance of collaboration and the use of effective reciprocal linking strategies with similar sites enough. They are the hidden power of the Internet. It’s the first rule of building your Website presence.

There are two benefits to exchanging links.

The immediate increase in traffic to your website from referral partners, and the ongoing funnel of new, prequalified prospects it brings to your door step. Give some serious thought to the economics of collaboration. When we work together to support each other, everyone benefits.

Link long and prosper! 😉

netHQ

Copyright © 2009 – Larry James. Larry James is a Professional Speaker, Author and Coach. He presents networking seminars nationally and “Networking” coaching by telephone or one-on-one. His latest book is, Ten Commitments of Networking: Creative Ways to Maximize Your Personal Connections! Visit ” Networking HQ!”

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: Larry James, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com

Add Larry James to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
Follow Larry’s “once daily” Relationship Tweet at: http://www.Twitter.com/larryjames
Follow Larry’s “Relationship BLOG” at: http://CelebrateLove.wordpress.com/
Follow Larry’s “Wedding BLOG” at: http://CelebrateIntimateWeddings.wordpress.com

NOTE: All articles and networking tips listed in this BLOG are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Networking Should be “FUN!”

Filed under: Networking,Networking Tip — Larry James @ 12:01 am
Tags: , , , , , ,

Have fun at networking events! Smile and talk to lots of people! Be someone who everyone would like to meet.

Make good eye contact. Keep a twinkle in your eye. Never let anyone catch you looking over their shoulder. It gives the appearance that you are looking for someone more important to talk with. Mix and mingle.

Show up at networking gatherings with a specific intention of having a good time, having fun and meeting several new people. Notice I didn’t say “lots of people.” That is a mistake. Pick and choose who you spend your valuable time with.

If after meeting someone new, you feel they are someone you may want to stay in touch with, exchange business cards. Consider making an appointment to get better acquainted later while you are still face-to-face.

It is a major business irritant to hear someone say, “Call me Monday and we’ll make an appointment to get together.” Now! Do it now! Carry your pocket calendar with you to assist in that process, then move on. Remember your goal is to meet 5 to 10 new people! You can talk to your friends anytime. If you leave the event with only one really terrific connection, that’s better than zero. Don’t focus on the numbers.

Focus on others. “What can I do to help you,” is a great question to ask. Be their friend. Giving out lots of business cards places the emphasis on you. That is not why you are there. I like to ask them what they like best about what they do. Keep the conversation on a positive note.

Don’t talk about politics, the weather or the “rotten” economy! First of all, it is not “rotten” to everyone and second, that topic usually makes the conversation so south. Be a promoter of good. Talk about uplifting things. Tell a funny story but don’t try to be the “laugh” of the party. Keep it clean! Let everyone know you have a good sense of humor. If you pick up on some negative vibes, change the tone of the conversation or move on.

If someone asks and you’ve have a great day, week or month, say so, but don’t brag. No one likes a braggart. Be humble. Focus on them.

If food and drinks are being served, don’t hang out in the chow line. Eat before you arrive. You are there to network. If you run into someone who has had a few too many, quickly move on to someone else. They came to drink. You came to network.

If you are in a bad mood or have had a down day, it is a better idea if you don’t show up. Don’t spread the negative vibes. No one likes a sourpuss. You may think you can but you cannot hide how you feel. When you are feeling up, that’s the time to show up.

Be enthusiastic but don’t overdo it. Be yourself. Never try to be someone you think someone else thinks you should be. Demonstrate who you are. Always put your best foot forward and make sure it’s connected to the real you.

netHQ

Copyright © 2009 – Larry James. Larry James is a Professional Speaker, Author and Coach. He presents networking seminars nationally and “Networking” coaching by telephone or one-on-one. His latest book is, Ten Commitments of Networking: Creative Ways to Maximize Your Personal Connections! Visit ” Networking HQ!”

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: Larry James, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com

Add Larry James to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
Follow Larry’s “once daily” Relationship Tweet at: http://www.Twitter.com/larryjames
Follow Larry’s “Relationship BLOG” at: http://CelebrateLove.wordpress.com/
Follow Larry’s “Wedding BLOG” at: http://CelebrateIntimateWeddings.wordpress.com

NOTE: All articles and networking tips listed in this BLOG are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Do You Have an Effective “30 Second Connection?”

If you are going to be an effective networker, you must. . .

Develop a good self-introduction!

I call this very important self-introduction a “30 second connection!” Some call it a soundbite or an elevator speech. It must be taken seriously. It is often the first words people hear from you. Practice, drill and rehearse it.

Your “30 second connection” must be like a brain tatto; a mental imprint that turns blah-blah into rah-rah! It’s your “verbal business card.” Don’t ramble. Remember: Less is more! Keep it brief and to-the-point. Know what you are going to say. It should tell, sell and be compelling. It must emotionally engage your listener in a way that truly gets their attention.

Here are a few common mistakes networkers make: 1. Giving waaaay to much information. You should not be aiming to give your company’s life story – nobody cares, and they care even less after sitting through 15 other 30 second connections. 2. Just talking about the features of your product or service, rather than the benefits, is a sure-fire way to lose your audience’s attention. 3. You demonstrate a still, small voice. You are you too quiet, too monotone, or too fast in your speech. Speak up so everyone in the room can hear you. 4. You have a deadly dull pitch. Brighten your 30 seconds up with humor, a prop, a picture or an interesting statistic.

After you’ve been introduced, people should know precisely who you are and what you do. It shouldn’t be longer than 30 seconds and it can be shorter.

It is important for you to be able to introduce yourself quickly without stumbling over your words. This is why I said you must practice, drill and rehearse. My friend and networking expert, Anne Boe once said, “Clarity is power!” Connections that begin with clarity can become long-lasting because they stand out; they will be remembered.

When you clearly communicate who you are, and what you do, people are in a much better position to assist you in your networking efforts. They are more likely to remember you when the opportunity for them to help you shows up.

Grant G. Gard says, “If it’s fuzzy in the pulpit, it’s cloudy in the pew!” Learning to speak clearly teaches us to say good-bye to confusion. Crystal clear communication allows us to make the connections that enable ideas to flourish and positive actions to occur.

There are four important elements to an effective “30 second connection.”

1. Your name.
2. The name of your business.
3. Specifically what you do and how it can help others!
4. What kind of business leads you are looking for.

“Briefer is better. Keep is short and sweet. Begin with a positive, focused opening of 4 to 6 seconds; follow up with a core message of 15 to 18 seconds, stating how you can help your listener (this is not about you), and close concisely in 4 to 6 seconds as you mention how those listening can connect with you.” ~ Fred R. Doidge, author of “Public Speaking Is Fun!

You need to have the fourth element of a “30 second connection” ready for the right occasion. There are some groups, such as networking groups, where it is totally appropriate for you to tell people what kind of business leads you are looking for. As a matter of fact, it is expected!

Most networking groups offer an opportunity for you to give your “30 second connection” and solicit business leads. There are other places where it is less appropriate. Use your good judgement. Always be looking for the opportunity to tell people what you do when you show up! No time to be shy when you are networking.

Here is an example of a “30 second connection:

Hi, my name is Larry James with CelebrateLove.com. I present “Networking Seminars” & “Relationship Enrichment LoveShops” for solo singles, singles with partners and married love partners both nationally and internationally. I have authored three books on relationships and one on business networking. I offer personal relationship and business networking coaching for high functioning singles and married couples; people who are committed to “doing” whatever it takes to make their relationships work better.

A good business lead for me is anyone who is in a position to make a decision about hiring a relationship coach or a speaker for a seminar, workshop, keynote address, convention or association meeting. (Hint! Hint!) 😉 Larry James with CelebrateLove.com.

Be prepared! Commit your “30 second connection” to memory. Adjust the words (ad-lib) for various occasions but always be prepared.

There’s no one way to give a 30 second connection. Don’t get caught up in what you think a 30 second connection should sound like. Don’t be afraid to break the rules. If you give the same commercial week-in and week-out, you’re training your fellow members to forget you.

“Be sincere, be brief, be seated.” ~ Sir Winston Churchill (on how to give a good speech)

What does your product or service do for your customers? Figuring out the most relevant answer to this question is key to creating an effective 30 second connection. If you have time and an opportunity to do so, consider ending your 30 second connection with a solution to a problem that you may have helped others fix.

I attended a networking meeting recently where we were all given a change to talk briefly about our business and the kind of business leads we would appreciate. One member got up and very cleverly recited her 30 second connection through poetry. Very effective and different. She received a round of applause.

I often begin my 30 second connection by saying, “Hi everyone, my name is Larry James, the guy with two first names!” and I pause briefly before continuing. Usually people laugh. AND. . . they remember my name. It also helps “brand” my name. A recent search on Google.com for “Larry James” had me listed 4 times out of the top 10 listings.

BONUS Article: The Best Elevator (Anti-) Pitch

Here is my friend, Vickie Sullivan’s take on “Elevator Speeches!”

netHQ

Copyright © 2009 – Larry James. Larry James is a Professional Speaker, Author and Coach. He presents networking seminars nationally and “Networking” coaching by telephone or one-on-one. Larry James offers Networking coaching. His latest book is, Ten Commitments of Networking: Creative Ways to Maximize Your Personal Connections! Something NEW about Networking is posted on this Networking BLOG every 4th day! Visit Larry’s Networking Website at: “Networking HQ!”

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: Larry James, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com

NOTE: All articles and networking tips listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
Follow Larry’s “once daily” Relationship Tweet at: http://www.Twitter.com/larryjames
Follow Larry’s “Relationship BLOG” at: http://CelebrateLove.wordpress.com/
Follow Larry’s “Wedding BLOG” at: http://CelebrateIntimateWeddings.wordpress.com
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Sunday, August 16, 2009

Attending A Networking Event

Filed under: Networking — Larry James @ 12:01 am
Tags: , ,

Ivan Misner, Guest Author

As every good networker knows, one of the fastest ways to grow your business quickly and successfully is through word-of-mouth marketing. That’s the fundamental reason networkers attend networking events. And people who have made a science of systematic networking keep six essentials in mind. Each time they attend an event, they have 1. a purpose, 2. a goal and 3. a plan, and they make sure to 4. execute the plan, 5. evaluate their efforts and 6. follow up on all contacts.

NOTE: To order a copy of Ivan’s newest book, “Network Like a Pro” click here!

netHQ

Copyright © 2009 – Ivan Misner. Reprinted with permission. Called the father of modern networking, Dr. Ivan Misner is the Founder of BNI and the senior partner for the Referral Institute. He has written nine books, including his recently released New York Times best seller, Truth or Delusion? Busting Networking’s Biggest Myths. Adapted from the article, “Attending Networking Events.”

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: Larry James, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com

Add Larry James to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
Follow Larry’s “once daily” Relationship Tweet at: http://www.Twitter.com/larryjames
Follow Larry’s “Relationship BLOG” at: http://CelebrateLove.wordpress.com/
Follow Larry’s “Wedding BLOG” at: http://CelebrateIntimateWeddings.wordpress.com

NOTE: All articles and networking tips listed in this BLOG are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

The Ten Commitments of Networking

To begin, let’s look at a carefully worded definition of business networking. . .

Networking is. . . using your creative talents to help others achieve their goals as you cultivate a network of people strategically positioned to support you in your goals. . . expecting nothing in return! – Larry James

Having a clear understanding of the definition of networking is a prerequisite for networking success. What you put out to the universe, always comes back to you! Disappointment may follow if you expect a return from the person to whom you have contributed.

Networking is about building supportive personal and business relationships; it’s consistently meeting new people and making new friends, sharing ideas and having lots of fun in the process!

Making a commitment is often most difficult when you are not sure of what you want to accomplish from your networking adventures. That is why the first commitment is so important.

Commitment #1 – Blueprint Your Life! – No Purpose. No Goals. First, define your purpose. Know Purpose! Know Goals! Design your future by setting goals. Decide what you want.

Commitment #2 – Accept Responsibility! – Be accountable to yourself for the choices you make and for the consequences of your actions.

Commitment #3 – Be Coachable! – Listen for and be open to new ideas and suggestions others in your network of support may offer.

Commitment #4 – Show Up! – Be places that count. Make an encounter. Don’t expect a quick fix. Get involved in charitable and community projects, but choose wisely. Not all events will be valuable to you. Be seen. Attend business and professional meetings. Networking opportunities are everywhere! Begin local, then expand nationally.

Commitment #5 – Be Yourself! – Demonstrate your own authenticity. Be unto others as you would have them be unto you. Be real.

Commitment #6 – Pay attention! – Look for opportunity! Talk 20% of the time! Listen 80% of the time!

Commitment #7 – Contribute! – Be the solution! Networking is contribution; it’s helping others help themselves! Allow others to contribute to you!

Commitment #8 – Ask For What You Want! – Tell people what you need. They can’t read your mind.

Commitment #9 – Say “Thank You!” – Express appreciation. Acknowledge others for their contribution to you. Be creative with your gratitude!

Commitment #10 – Stay Connected! – Be in touch! Network on the phone, by e-mail and frequent notes. Never forget the people in your network of support and never let them forget you!

Now. . . get out there! How much networking you do is up to you. It’s a good idea to put some effort into expanding your collection of contacts all the time. Don’t wait until you need something. You must first give. The getting comes second!

Always remember the five most important words you can say while networking:

How may I help YOU?

There are two types of people – those who come into a room and say, “Well, here I am,” and those who come in and say, “Ah, there you are!” – Frederick Collins

netHQ

Copyright © 2009 – Larry James. Larry James is a Professional Speaker, Author and Coach. He presents networking seminars nationally and “Networking” coaching by telephone or one-on-one. His latest book is, Ten Commitments of Networking: Creative Ways to Maximize Your Personal Connections! Visit ” Networking HQ!”

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: Larry James, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com

Add Larry James to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
Follow Larry’s “once daily” Relationship Tweet at: http://www.Twitter.com/larryjames
Follow Larry’s “Relationship BLOG” at: http://CelebrateLove.wordpress.com/
Follow Larry’s “Wedding BLOG” at: http://CelebrateIntimateWeddings.wordpress.com

NOTE: All articles and networking tips listed in this BLOG are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Welcome to Networking Headquarters!

Filed under: Networking,Welcome — Larry James @ 7:03 am
Tags: , , , ,

This is a BLOG dedicated to the art of business networking. Consider it your “Networking Headquarters” for accurate networking information to help your business grow and prosper! Periodically (hopefully about every four days), I will post random thoughts, ideas, observations, insights, articles, rants, commentary, suggestions, tips and solutions for better business relationships.

Networking is. . . using your creative talents to help others achieve their goals as you cultivate a network of people strategically positioned to support you in your goals. . . expecting nothing in return! – Larry James

netHQYou are welcome to post your thoughts, ideas, observations, insights, commentary, suggestions and tips about networking that will contribute to the relationships of others. Give thought to what you will say before you say it. Any topic is okay as long as you show respect for the thoughts and feelings of others. I will post various thoughts about networking as time permits. Time does not permit me to answer networking questions on this blog.

You are invited and welcome to post your comments on our BLOG. Perhaps one of the most inspiring ideas of the decade is to “Pay It Forward.” Pass this Networking BLOG along to your Networking friends.

Private one-on-one Networking coaching is available if you have relationship issues you need to discuss with Larry James. Go to: Networking Coaching for details and fees.

Copyright © 2009 – Larry James. Larry James is a Professional Speaker, Author and Coach. He presents networking seminars nationally and “Networking” coaching by telephone or one-on-one. His latest book is, Ten Commitments of Networking: Creative Ways to Maximize Your Personal Connections! Visit ” Networking HQ!”

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: Larry James, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com

NOTE: All articles and networking tips listed in this BLOG are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

Add Larry James to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
Follow Larry’s “once daily” Relationship Tweet at: http://www.Twitter.com/larryjames
Follow Larry’s “Relationship BLOG” at: http://CelebrateLove.wordpress.com/
Follow Larry’s “Wedding BLOG” at: http://CelebrateIntimateWeddings.wordpress.com

NOTE: All articles and networking tips listed in this BLOG are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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