Networking HQ BLOG with Larry James

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Be a Networking Power Connector!

Filed under: Networking,Networking Article — Larry James @ 8:00 am
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What are “power connectors?” –

Power connectors are people who get involved. One way to make yourself more at ease is to give yourself something to do. Volunteering at a networking event not only gives you a job to do, but gets you involved and naturally connects you with other volunteers and participants.

Power connectors never over-power those that they meet. They use people’s names. People always like to hear their own name and it will help you to remember it when the conversation is over. They are the first to say, “hello.” People are waiting for someone to break the ice. They also make themselves accessible.

Power connectors use social networking sites not just networking events. They are active on Facebook, Twitter and others. They ignite word-of-mouth buzz and encourage their friends to past it on. They focus on awareness, not persuasion. Their participation, their e-mail signatures, and their profiles create awareness. Those who are interested will be attracted to you and will come to you for information and assistance.

powerconnectorPower connectors avoid making predictions. Have you ever zoned out during a conversation? If we think we know what someone is about to say, sometimes we stop listening and start drifting. One great communication technique is a term called focused attention. Focus on the words, not the person. Don’t get distracted by an ugly dress, weird hairstyle or goofy tie. It’s mostly about demonstrating effective listening skills. To be interesting you must first be interested! Pay attention. Ask a question that is on-topic whenever possible. For example, “So, where else do you normally network?”

Power connectors are very much aware that networking is about being genuine and authentic, building trust and relationships, and seeing how you can help others. Schmoozing pays off. They get to know people. Read, “Networking Defined.”

Power connectors do not spread themselves too thin. In other words, they seek out one or two networking events that makes the best use of their time instead of trying to be everywhere.

Power connectors scuttled the “what is in it for me?” attitude. They give more than they take. They ask, “How can I help you?” They avoid gravitating to people they know. After saying their brief “hellos” to their friends, they look for someone new to talk with.

Power connectors are always ready with a “30-second connection” (or less) ; sometimes called an “elevator speech.” Read, “Sam Horn’s Take on Elevator Speeches!”

Power connectors work hard to become known as a powerful resource for others. When you are known as a reliable resource, people remember to turn to you for suggestions, ideas, names of other people, etc. This keeps you visible to them.

Power connectors articulate what they are looking for and how others can help them. They have a clear understanding of what networking is and know what they want to accomplish from it.

powergroup2Power connectors ALWAYS carry business cards. They are NEVER without them. (The 500 cards you collected through networking activities last year aren’t doing you much good wrapped in a rubber band lying in desk drawer.)

Power connectors follow up quickly and efficiently on referrals they are given. They know that people have short memories. When people give you referrals, your actions are a reflection on them. Respect and honor that and your referrals will grow endlessly.

Power connectors don’t fear the big shots. They are the first to introduce themselves and say, “Hello.” They know that the best information comes from someone who is very successful. They also know that those people are almost always willing to share their success with you. Power connectors expand their comfort zone.

Power connectors have BLOGS. They BLOG regularly and consistently. Be consistent, not persistent. Long gaps in your BLOG participation will be noticed. They will often have guest authors share relative information with their readers. They cross-promote. Blogging is a valuable tool to stimulate personal dialogue with potential clients and customers. It can attract more hits to your Website and having a Website gives your business credibility in the eyes of prospective clientele.

Power connectors are strategic with their networking. They have a plan. That plan includes networking as part of their overall marketing strategy. They spend time with prospects – or people who might know a prospect – asking questions and collecting information. They focus on quality contacts versus quantity. They are extremely intentional.

Power connectors demonstrate the value of their expertise or services by sending prospects and clients an idea or suggestion they can use right away.

ginsbergbookPower connectors are approachable. Their very presence puts others at ease. They are ready to engage with conversation topics, questions and stories in the back of their mind ready to go as soon as they meet someone. This will help you avoid those awkward “How’s the weather?” conversations. You may want to read, “The Power of Approachability” by my friend, Scott Ginsberg.

Power connectors never wait until they need help before they network. Many people who network wait until they need new customers or their boss forced them to do so. Those kind of people often disregard the rules of engagement of networking or the “collaborative etiquette” of networking and come across as desperate!

Power connectors – like my friend, Scott Ginsberg, know that there is a time and place for networking: ANY time and ANY place. Because you just never know whom you might meet.

My friend, Donna Fisher, says, “Networking is like a treasure hunt. With a treasure hunt, you know there are jewels out there, you just don’t know where, and the fun is in finding the jewels. With networking, there are jewels out there everywhere – you just don’t know where. So you meet this person, talk to this person, go to this meeting, call another person… and sometimes nothing will happen until all of a sudden you’ll find one of those jewels! And sometimes those jewels show up in the most unexpected places. Let your life be a treasure hunt! Let it be fun. Let it be an exploration, and I guarantee you’ll have a life full of jewels!”

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! Can’t find my book in your bookstore, order a signed copy from Larry James. Visit Larry’s “Networking HQ” Website; articles, tips, networking books and more!

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3 Comments »

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