Networking HQ BLOG with Larry James

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Proper Dress Code for Networking Events

Filed under: Dress for NetSuccess,Proper Dress — Larry James @ 7:00 am

First impressions are powerful. How you dress at a networking event communicates either a positive or negative message about you.

welldressedIn general, you can expect to wear business casual to most networking events (especially in the Greater Phoenix Area). Informal networking events require business casual wear and formal events require suits for men and suits, skirts, or dresses for women. Men should consider wearing black or gray dress pants with a dress shirt and black or brown dress shoes. Women should consider wearing dresses or nice dress pants, a dress shirt and heels or loafers.

First impressions count and are formed in the first 10 to 15 seconds. What does your dress say about you? It is helping you or hurting you? You never get a second chance to make a good first impression. Your appearance is key to how you interact with others and how they interact with you. Dressing well is an instant confidence booster.

Dress appropriately for the situation, group or event. It makes a difference in the contacts that you make. Not being dressed appropriately for the situation shows a lack of respect for others. Improper attire could lead to being alienated or not being taken as seriously by others. People can easily become distracted by how you dress at a networking event. If you’re not sure what everyone will be wearing, ask around to ensure you won’t be the only one in jeans or shorts.

“OMG! Put a light in your closet!” ~ Dave Sherman, Author of “The Networking Guy’s 50 Top Tips” (Upon seeing a sloppy dresser at a networking event!)

Sloppy dresser equals sloppy business practices to me. Proper dress helps keep the focus on who you are and not what you look like. When in doubt it’s a better idea to slightly overdress. Do your best to dress slightly better than the average for the group; overdress and look like you don’t belong or underdress and look like you’ll never belong.

Present yourself well. Business networking is often about first impressions, and first impressions are often about your personal presentation; how you look.

It might help to read, “How to Dress for Success!” by Edith Head.

BONUS Article: Dressing Up in a Down Economy
Getting Dressed

netHQCopyright © 2011 – Larry James. Larry James is a Professional Speaker, Author and Coach. Larry James presents networking seminars nationally and offers Networking coaching; one-on-one or for your Networking Group! Invite Larry James to speak to your group! 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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Friday, August 26, 2011

7 Habits of Highly Horrible Networkers

Filed under: Guest Author Articles,Networking Tip — Larry James @ 7:00 am
Tags:

Scott Ginsberg, Guest Author

Networking is a term that didn’t exist (academically) until almost 40 years ago. It’s a word uttered in and around the business world every day, yet is unclear to most as to how it actually works. Still, it’s a fundamental tool to the success of any business.

By definition, the term networking is the development and maintenance of mutually valuable relationships. It’s not schmoozing; it’s not just handing out business cards, selling, marketing or small talk. Those activities are part of networking, but unfortunately, many people’s misunderstanding of the term causes them network ineffectively.

The following are The 7 Habits of Highly Horrible Networkers™, and they can stand in the in your way of developing mutually valuable relationships. So, next time you attend your Chamber or Association meeting, keep these ideas in mind so you can offer the most value to your fellow networkers.

Habit #1: Attitude – Much like the development of any skill, networking begins with attitude. Unfortunately, Highly Horrible Networkers have the wrongattitude. If you’ve ever attended a networking function before, perhaps you’ve encountered businesspeople who act in the following ways:

The hard sell – they believe networking is about one thing and one thing only: selling products and services to everyone in the room.

Business only – they’re not there to make friends. They’re not there to have fun. And they’re certainly not interested in developing mutually valuable relationships.

It’s all about me – they don’t take the time to help and share with others, but rather focus on their own needs. In other words, they can’t spell “N-E-T-W-O-R-K-I-N-G” without “I.”

Attitude is fundamental to effective networking. In fact, it’s the most important habit to understand.

Habit #2: Dig Your Well WHEN You’re Thirsty – One of my favorite networking books is called, “Dig Your Well Before You’re Thirsty,” by Harvey McKay. It’s probably the most well known text on this subject. The key to McKay’s work is making your friends, establishing contacts and developing relationships – before you need them. Getting what you want by helping others get what they want first.

exchangingbuscardEnter the Highly Horrible Networkers, who only network because:

a) They need new customers

b) They have a new product or service to sell

c) Their boss forced them to do so

Take my friend Lawrence, for example. He’s quite successful in the insurance business; however he recently approached me about using networking to obtain some hot leads.

“My numbers are down. My boss is on my back. I gotta get out there and start networking…or else! What do you suggest?”

“Networking takes time,” I explained, “and you can’t expect to come into loads of business or dozens of potential clients without developing the relationships first.”

As you already learned, networking is the development and maintenance of mutually valuable relationships…over time. If you try to dig your well WHEN you’re thirsty, you may never find a drink.

Habit #3: Dealin’ the Deck – Habit #3 is a dangerous one, and it happens all the time. Have you ever seen people distribute 173 of their business cards during the first 5 minutes of the event? They move as quickly as possible from one person to the next. They don’t make eye contact, they don’t ask to exchange cards – they just deal them out.

“Here’s my card, call me if you need a designer! See ya later.”

“But… I… never even got your name!” you muse.

This is guaranteed to make people feel puny and insignificant. Notice these Highly Horrible Networkers don’t spend time actually meeting and establishing rapport with new people; but rather concentrate on giving out as many cards as possible. It’s quantity over quality, right?

Wrong.

Dealin’ the Deck is one of the most common networking pet peeves. Whenever I give my program “The Habits of Highly Horrible Networkers™,” I walk out into the audience for a quick demonstration of this habit. I grab a stack of business cards and quickly jump from table to table tossing out dozens of them without as much looking at the audience members I’m handing them to.

Unfortunately during one speech, it backfired.

Literally.

Last year, I was demonstrating Highly Horrible Habit #3 when speaking at a local business meeting. While hopping from table to table as dozens of cards flew through the air and into people’s laps and salads, someone yelled out, “Oh my God!”

I stopped dead in my tracks. I looked back at the head table and noticed that one of my cards landed in the centerpiece…

… which was a candle!

MY BUSINESS CARD WAS ON FIRE!!

I threw down the microphone, lunged at the table and snatched the burning business card from the candle! As I toppled over the chair in front of me I yelled something to the effect of “Oh my God!” shook the flames off my half burnt card and regained my balance to a roaring applause and laughter from the audience.

“And… uh… this just goes to show you ladies and gentleman,” I fumbled, “When you deal the deck of business cards without eye contact or consideration… uh… people may as well set them on fire – because they’re not going to read them anyway!”

Nice save.

Habit #4: Unprofessional Information – It’s remarkable how often some business cards will contain unprofessional information. Have you ever received someone’s card with one of those ambiguous, offensive and questionable e-mail addresses with AOL, Hotmail or Yahoo? Not only are those e-mail servers frustrating and ineffective for business communication, but just imagine how it looks when someone has to send business e-mail to:

HotLips98@aol.com
KaylasMommyRules@yahoo.com
Isellcars2U@hotmail.com

I have nothing against AOL, Hotmail or Yahoo. But if possible, always send and receive e-mail using the address of your organization’s website, i.e., scott@hellomynameisscott.com. If you must use free servers like MSN, SBC and the like, choose a simple username that doesn’t question your professionalism, i.e., jackgateman@yahoo.com.

networkHabit #4: Sit with the Wrong Company – I’ll never forget my first Chamber meeting. One afternoon I sat down with 6 other local businesspeople for our monthly networking lunch. Naturally, the first thing I did was look at everyone’s name tags. (Not only to learn their names but to examine the effectiveness of their name tags’ design and placement.)

But these were the name tags I saw: ADM Financial, ADM Financial, ADM Financial, ADM Financial, ADM Financial, ADM Financial, Scott. (Company name changed to protect the victims.)

Highly Horrible networkers not only attend meetings with their friends and/or coworkers, but they talk and sit with them the entire time! These are people with whom they’ve worked 5 days a week, 8 hours a day for the past 3 years! This is not a good technique to maximize your company’s visibility.

This habit creates an elitist, unfriendly attitude. And think how uncomfortable this makes the one or two people sitting at the table who don’t work for that company! It’s unfair to them because they’re unable to meet a diverse group of people with whom to develop mutually valuable relationships! Remember: If you’re sitting with YOUR company – you’re sitting with the WRONG company.

Habit #6: Small Talk is for Suckers – Highly Horrible Networkers forget about the small talk. It’s a waste of their time. They don’t ask or answer about “New and exciting things happening at work” or “How Thanksgiving was,” they simply jump right into (what they believe to be) the most important part of the discussion: selling 17 of their products before the salad arrives.

Has this ever happened to you? For example, has someone ever introduced themselves, breezed right through the conversation and flat out asked you for a referral?

Refer you? I don’t even know you!

Reciprocating self-disclosure is the most effective way to build rapport and ultimately develop trust. The people you want to do business with are those with whom you have built that rapport and trust. So, small talk is not for suckers. Debra Fine, author of The Fine Art of Small Talk put it best when she said: “Small talk is the biggest talk we do.”

Habit #7: Limitations – Finally, Highly Horrible Networkers believe there is only one specific time and place for networking. It’s called “A Room with A Sign Posted Outside That Says So.” In other words, they only network when someone forces them to. They don’t believe networking opportunities in places like elevators, busses, supermarkets or parks.

That’s it? A measly half hour for networking? Doesn’t give you much time, does it?

The truth about networking is that it can happen anytime, anywhere. There is a time and a place for networking – it’s called ANY time, and ANY place.”

scottginsburg2netHQ

Copyright © 2011 – Scott Ginsberg. Scott Ginsberg is a professional speaker, “the world’s foremost field expert on nametags” and the author of “HELLO my name is Scott” and “The Power of Approachability.” He speaks to companies and associations who want to become UNFORGETTABLE communicators – one conversation at a time. He’s “That Guy with the Name Tag.” Visit his BLOG.

Larry James is a Professional Speaker, Author and Coach. Larry James presents networking seminars nationally and offers Networking coaching; one-on-one or for your Networking Group! 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
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Follow Larry’s “Wedding BLOG” at: http://CelebrateIntimateWeddings.wordpress.com
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Monday, August 22, 2011

Networking’s “#1 Rule of Engagement!”

Filed under: Networking Tip,Rules of Engagement — Larry James @ 7:00 am

How we go about networking is important because in the end result, if networking isn’t effective, there is little reason to continue doing it. Networking has many rules of engagement. To ignore them and to try to reinvent the networking wheel is frivolous; it’s high-risk behavior that can leave you wondering why networking isn’t as productive as you thought it might be. Here you will learn the #1 Rule of Engagement.

engagement2“Networking is the process of developing and maintaining quality relationships that enrich our lives and empower us to reach our goals. It’s about giving first and realizing we can learn from everyone we meet.” ~ Andrea R. Nierenberg, Million Dollar Networking

With this one rule you will have the knowledge to know just what to do when attending a networking event. Here is the first rule of engagement and the most important one:

1. NEVER attempt to SELL anyone anything the first time you meet them, especially at a networking event or meeting. An “authentic” relationship must be established first. One that is there because you genuinely care about having them as a person in your network of support. Be there to serve not sell.

This #1 rule must be understood and followed if you are going to be successful at networking. Networking is not about selling anything to anyone! PERIOD!

It’s about relationships. It’s about surrounding yourself with people who become your friends and are committed to working with you to exchange business referrals, and to help each other become more successful. Seldom does anyone buy from someone who approaches them at a networking event with a pitch to buy their product or service.

Networking is mostly about giving. It’s about doing something for someone. Are you adding value to others? This is where the “giving” come in. It’s about exploring all possibilities and discovering together ways you can help each other. Annoying someone with your “sales” pitch will get you nowhere.

My friend, Tom Hopkins says, “People like to do business with people they like and trust!” Not one or the other – BOTH “like and trust.

Always keep your networking on a professional level. For the best results, invite only trusted friends and colleagues to join your network. Be selective. If possible do some research to verify their credibility and trustworthiness.

Trust “must” be earned! You “must” get to know each other FIRST! Be transparent. Allow people to see who you really are. If you feel you must “pitch” your product or service, do it somewhere else – NOT at a networking event or meeting – UNLESS you are requested to do so. (That isn’t likely!)

Perception is reality. If people see you as someone to be avoided because you appear to not know this most important rule, you will find disappointment in your networking experience.

Let’s review my definition of 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

netHQCopyright © 2011 – Larry James. Larry James is a Professional Speaker, Author and Coach. Larry James presents networking seminars nationally and offers Networking coaching; one-on-one or for your Networking Group! Invite Larry James to speak to your group! 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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Thursday, August 18, 2011

Distinctions Networkers Often Miss!

Filed under: Networking Tip,Relationships — Larry James @ 7:00 am

Networking is all about building long-lasting business relationships! However, there are two distinctions about networking relationships that people who network must know.

One is the relationship that is there because you want something from the other person and the other kind of relationship is an “authentic” relationship which is there because you genuinely care about them as a person in your network of support.

failuresuccessUnderstanding these two distinctions can really up your success ratio at networking events and have you move from failure at networking to success much smoother.

Networking is not just about attending networking events, it’s about the people in your network who are around you who genuinely want to help you. It’s also about who you need to meet and who can assist you in getting to where you want to go. You must communicate your biggest challenges and how other people can help you.

Let’s review my definition of 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

So. . . what’s this about expecting nothing in return? Often we expect people who we help to help us. That would be nice. And it doesn’t always work that way. Some people are in better positions to help some than others. Just give. That’s the key! Just give. Willingly.

Authentic relationships must be based on a foundation of respect. They occur when trust and understanding are at an optimum level. That doesn’t happen until you really get to know someone. AND. . . that takes time. It will require you to schedule some one-on-one meetings with each other – not to sell – but to determine each others interest in continuing the relationship to help each other. Never try to rush a relationship.

CLUELESSnametagThose who have the kind of relationship where they want something from you practice “eye-to-name tag” contact. They glance at your name tag to see if you are someone to whom they can pitch their product or service and then quickly blow you off to get to their next victim. These people are clueless!

To establish an “authentic” relationship requires “eye-to-eye” contact. It’s not asking them what they do, it digging deeper to discover common interests and ways to help each other. It’s also discussing mutually beneficial ways you can assist each other in the challenges that you face in business.

You sell THROUGH the people in your network, not TO the people in your network. If your intention is to GET business you must talk NON-BUSINESS first! ~ Andy Lapata

We network to become better known, to become better equipped to be successful in our business and to become better connected, NOT to sell. We need to understand that we network to meet the kind of people who we would like to know will speak well of us and refer us to others.

So. . . from now on network to establish “authentic” relationships; people who you get to know on a deeper level and who – in time – you will call your friends!

netHQCopyright © 2011 – Larry James. Larry James is a Professional Speaker, Author and Coach. Larry James presents networking seminars nationally and offers Networking coaching; one-on-one or for your Networking Group! Invite Larry James to speak to your group! 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
Follow Larry’s “Authors & Speakers” BLOG at: http://www.AuthorsandSpeakerNetwork.wordpress.com/

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Working a Room If You’re SHY – No Pills Required

Filed under: Networking Tip,Shyness — Larry James @ 7:00 am
Tags:

Susan RoAne (The Mingling Maven®), Guest Author

No matter if it’s a convention, meeting, party or company barbecue, events can be daunting because we are often out of our personal comfort zone. Proof: according to research stats, over 90% of America Adults self- identify as shy. The percentage of phobically shy is between 8 and 10%.

Marketing Pills For Shy People To Pop

shyIn the 2007 edition of How To Work a Room I addressed the “medicalization” of shyness as something that ought to be stopped. I wrote that it seems that Pharma didn’t have enough customers for anti-anxiety/depression drugs, so they began to target the nervous speaker, the lone attendee, the person who was uncomfortable entering a roomful of people. Nothing like a big ad campaign to make something that 90% of American adults find to be daunting and make us feel abnormal! Of course, I recommended my book as a less expensive, but more valuable, antitidote. 😉

It’s Normal To Be Uncomfortable

Less than 10% of us find walking into rooms full of strangers (or even acquaintances or family) to be easy to do. Therefore, the 90 % who don’t feel comfortable and self – identify as shy are normal. Take that info pill, Pharma!

A Room Full of Shy People

I’ve often said that I’d rather be at an event… in any room… with people who think they are shy.

1. Shy people focus on conversational partners. We don’t see their eyes darting around the room for the “more important” people or checking out their smart phones for messages as they talk to us.

2. They arrive on time so they don’t have to walk into crowded rooms.

3. Shy people know what it’s like to feel uncomfortable so they avoid those behaviors, actions and words that would make others feel that way.

The Magic “Pill” is preparation… for any event!

How To Work A Room®: 21 Timeless Tips

• R.S.V.P. – Say Yes!
• Read newspapers, magazines and websites.
• Dress appropriately.
• Arrive within 15 minutes of scheduled time.
• Plan a 7 to 9 second self-introduction.
• Be approachable: make eye contact and smile.
• Wear nametags on your right side.
• Use information on nametags to open conversations.
• Wear a conversation piece (tie, brooch, scarf, necklace).
• Be open to serendipity.
• Best icebreaker: Hi! or Hello! with a smile.
• Don’t wait. Initiate. Approach those standing alone.
• Be nice to everyone.
• Act like a host.
• Start with small talk.
• To avoid the “forgotten name nemesis,” always reintroduce yourself.
• Be in the moment. No glancing over shoulders.
• Keep Bluetooths in your pocket.
• Turn off all electronics, except your pacemaker.
• Listen actively and with your face – pay attention.
• Exit conversations graciously.

And one more for good luck… Have fun!

BONUS Articles: Exit Strategies From Networking Bores!
Shy, eh? Get Over It!
Networking for Introverts – Video

Copyright 2010 – Susan RoAne – Reprinted with permission. Susan RoAne is a speaker and author who has worked trade shows, conventions, planes, and the bleachers at Wrigley Field, and taught others to do the same. Her latest book, How to Create Your Own Luck: The You Never Know Approach to Networking, Taking Chances, and Opening Yourself to Opportunity, is out and her other books include How to Work a Room and The Secrets of Savvy Networking. To learn more call 415-239-2224. For further information: www.SusanRoAne.com, or e-mail @: Susan@SusanRoAne.com

book-worknetHQLarry 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! 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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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Why Attending Networking Events Won’t Change Your Business Overnight

Filed under: Guest Author Articles,Referrals/Leads,Video — Larry James @ 7:00 am
Tags:

Andy Lopata, Guest Author

UK Business Networking Strategist and author of “Recommended: How to sell through Referrals and Networking,” Andy Lopata, explains why simply attending as many networking events as possible can be counter-productive, and how best to get referrals from networking groups.

recommended

Click cover to order!

andynetHQ

Copyright © 2011 – Andy Lopata. Reprinted with permission. Labeled “Mr Network” by The Sun, Andy Lopata was called “one of Europe’s leading business networking strategists” by the Financial Times. The co-author of two books on networking, Andy is a featured columnist the US magazine “The National Networker,” as well as being regularly quoted in the national press. Previously, Andy was Managing Director of UK network Business Referral Exchange. Andy has since worked with companies from one-man bands to organisations such as NatWest Bank, Merrill Lynch and Mastercard to help them realise the full potential from their networking. He is a former vice-president of the Professional Speakers Association. Visit Andy’s Website and BLOG.

Larry James presents networking seminars nationally and offers Networking coaching; one-on-one or for your Networking Group! Invite Larry James to speak to your group! 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
Follow Larry’s “Authors & Speakers” BLOG at: http://www.AuthorsandSpeakerNetwork.wordpress.com/

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Cut! Take 27! – That’s a Wrap!

Filed under: Network Training,Networking Events,Networking Tip — Larry James @ 7:00 am

When actors are shooting scenes in a movie, if the scene didn’t go well, the director will shout, “Cut!” Next, he will have a few brief words with the actors and do another take. When the actors do the scene to his satisfaction, he’ll say, “That’s a wrap!” and move on to what’s next.

moviesetIt seems to me that with so many people attending large networking events that after a few events they would see that how they are attempting to network isn’t working and the next time. . . do another take!

Hmmm. Some people never learn.

Networking is such a popular contact sport that you would think that after a few unsuccessful events – meaning: no significant change in business or no one seems to be wanting to contact them – that they would learn from the errors of their ways and seek some support from someone who knows the ins-and-outs of business networking or, at least, stop and observe how the winners are doing it. Yet, they toil on, soliciting business, collecting business cards and hoping at the next event things will improve. That’s insane!

They keep doing the same thing over and over, expecting a different result. Pardon me, but “It ain’t gonna happen!”

They press on being someone’s new pest. . . asking for business when what they should be doing is focusing on making new relationships with people that “they” might be able to help.

If you want to call attention to yourself, you must pay attention to others! ~ Larry James

“Effective” business networking is about developing long-lasting business relationships, not about soliciting business or collecting a pocket-full of business cards you can call by phone or solicit by e-mail. True quality networking takes time. It is never a slam-dunk!

Developing long-lasting business relationships takes time. “NetHustlers” – that’s what I call these pests – just don’t get it. They wait until business is so bad then they zoom in on anyone in their way to try to “get” as much business as they can without the slightest notion that this strategy isn’t working. By that time they are so desperate that they piss more people off as they blunder along, getting nowhere.

There is hope! You can do another take. You get a “do-over!” However, before you can correct a problem, you must be willing to admit that it exists!

networking-eventAsk anyone successful in business networking how they do it, and there’s at least one thing they will all agree on: “You will never make it without the guidance of special people who have walked the networking path before you.”

If you have been successful at networking, make it a point to help these people. At your networking meetings, share ideas that have worked for you. Make it a special part of every meeting. When introducing yourself, add a brief networking tip that has helped you make new friends and get new business. Encourage others to do the same.

You might even have a networking “Top 10” tip sheet that you hand to others at networking events along with your business card. Make sure you write something like, “These free networking tips are compliments of (your name and your business contact information).”

Consider sponsoring a “Free” networking training session at your business. Invite people in businesses that you would like to get to know better.

Encourage the leaders of the networking groups you attend to always have a small part of each meeting be dedicated to learning more about how to network more effectively.

Attending a large networking event? Offer networking tips to break the ice. Or, ask the new person you just met, “What has been the most effective tool you have used to network?”

If you are someone who feels the need to network better, the next event you attend, set a goal to meet three people, at most, with whom you have more than a 10-second conversation. Ask them what kinds of clients they serve and ask what types of people they want to meet. This next question should get their attention, ask them how you can help them. You see, the goal is NOT to meet lots of people, the goal is to single out people that you may be able to assist in their business. If you both “click,” and you see there is possibility in the meeting, ask for a business call and promise to call the next day to set up a time to get together – to see how you can further assist them.

Believe me, this approach will take your networking to another level.

If that doesn’t get their attention, they are probably dead that they haven’t been buried yet. 😉

Always remember: Business networking is about building authentic, long-term business relationships with the intention of assisting each other as you get to know each other better. Become a trusted source for quality referrals and contacts. Always be helping others connect to the people they need to know.

netHQCopyright © 2011 – Larry James. Larry James is a Professional Speaker, Author and Coach. Larry James presents networking seminars nationally and offers Networking coaching; one-on-one or for your Networking Group! Invite Larry James to speak to your group! 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/
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Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Networking Isn’t About Attending Events or About Fake Small Talk!

Filed under: Guest Author Articles,Networking — Larry James @ 7:00 am
Tags:

Lisa B. Marshall, Guest Author

That word, “networking” used to be a dirty word for me. I hated going to events to “network.” I viewed it as “wasting time,” I felt like I was forcing myself to make useless small talk with strangers. Really, that’s honestly the way I felt and as you might suspect, I didn’t have much success with my networking. I just didn’t get it.

Eventually, though, I finally realized that networking wasn’t about attending events or about fake small talk. I was looking at it all wrong.

Networking is really just a process. A process that starts with an initial contact, which leads to a connection, which can then lead to a relationship. Networking should be viewed as a process of building relationships that get incorporated into the fabric of life — both your professional and personal life.

Networking is about being genuine, not fake. It’s how we look for a job, it’s how we find prospects, it’s how we engage our existing customers, and it’s how we stay in touch with our friends and family.
NeDollarBillNetworking in a Troubled Economic Environment

And in these economically troubled times, my professional and personal relationships are even more important. Opportunities come from people. And when opportunities are limited, you need to have a strong, thriving network to go to so that you can find and take advantage of those opportunities.

People want to work with people they know and trust, especially in difficult economic times. If you have a limited network, your ability to discover opportunities is severely diminished.

People want to work with people they know and trust. Especially in difficult economic times, if you have a limited network, your ability to discover opportunities is severely diminished.

Procrastinating Hurts

This episode is a reminder that now is the time to renew, refresh, and revitalize your network. Don’t wait until you need something to contact your friends and colleagues.

Think about it.

Who would you rather be approached by? Larry or Harry… Larry, “ I just got laid off and I’m wondering if you know of any opportunities to help me?” or Harry, “What can I do to help you?”

If you wait to approach someone when you’re in need, it seems as if you are only interested in helping yourself. In fact, I think that’s why most people find networking so uncomfortable, because they wait. But if you approach networking with a thought of genuinely wanting to help the other person, think how much more receptive the other person would be and how much more comfortable you would be.

networkingtipsNetworking Tips

Every day, think about how you can have more conversations and make more connections. Think about what you can do to move your connections into relationships. Mutually beneficial long-term relationships. This way, when and if you need help, you’ll have people to turn to. You won’t need to sell yourself, because they’ll already know you.

I know many of you listen to the show for concrete, practical tips. So, I thought I’d share with you a few techniques or guidelines that I’ve found helpful over the years. My hope is that for some of you, maybe an idea or two will be new, and for everyone else, these will just be reminders of the things you’ve already found to be true.

1. So the first thing, and perhaps the most important thing, is to be yourself. Talk real, act real, be real. Being yourself allows you to be comfortable, confident, and consistent.

2. I’ve already alluded to my second guideline, it’s important to be genuine. Take a genuine interest in the other person. Get to know someone. Learn from him. Show an interest in him. Don’t just qualify the people you meet.

3. Next, be prepared. Always project confidence. Smile. Always communicate your story in a compelling manner. Use good posture and have a firm handshake. People make judgments quickly, some researchers say in minute or less, so all of these things can have a significant impact on the first impression.

4. Quickly find common ground. People build bridges between themselves by discussing things they have in common. Think of small talk and questions, not as insincere conversation, but as tools for quickly discovering what it is that you have in common. Common ground is what moves an initial contact to a connection

5. Pay attention. You can make connections almost anywhere. Take people to lunch instead of sitting at your desk. Talk to the people sitting next to you at every event you attend—at a conference, at a wedding, at the supermarket. Opportunities for contacts and connections are all around, don’t wait for a networking event.

6. Give. Give. Give. To build a strong relationship you need to give something. Add value; even if it’s just an introduction to another person. Always think about how you might be able to help a person in your network. Be generous with your time and energy.

7. Stay in touch. Follow through with your promises. Continue to provide useful information. Send quick notes just to check-in and ask how things are going. Staying in touch is what moves connections to relationships.

So there you have it, seven actionable tips that can help you to make contacts, establish connections, and develop mutually beneficial relationships. With busy lives, it certainly is easier to talk about these ideas rather than implement them. However, the economy is getting worse, not better. Now is the time to think about strengthening and expanding your network. Now’s the time to take action.

netHQ

Copyright © 2011 – Lisa B. Marshall. Lisa is passionate about communication (and networking), your success is her business. She would love for you to join her professional network. You can connect with her in all the usual places, like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and of course, e-mail. Leave a voice-mail at 206-350-7970. For information about keynote speeches or workshops, visit LisaBMarshall.com.

Larry James presents networking seminars nationally and offers Networking coaching; one-on-one or for your Networking Group! Invite Larry James to speak to your group! 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.

letsbefriends2

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
Follow Larry’s “Authors & Speakers” BLOG at: http://www.AuthorsandSpeakerNetwork.wordpress.com/

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