Networking HQ BLOG with Larry James

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Top 11 Women Networking Mistakes

Filed under: Guest Author Articles,Networking Tip,Women Networking — Larry James @ 9:00 am
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Dawn Billings, Guest Author

Many women ask me, “What are the biggest networking mistakes women make when trying to market their products and services through networking?” Here is my list of the top 11:

1. Not networking. The biggest mistake women make around networking is simply not networking. Business Networking is one of the most effective ways to expand your circle of influence and create community recognition. People cannot choose to do business with someone they don’t know.

2. Reach for the stars. Women usually feel more comfortable with their peers. We can sometimes be timid about stretching and getting to know the stars in our community. Shine bright and join the full galaxy of talent in your community. Become someone worth meeting.

3. Say “NO” to negative self-talk. Take actions and make choices that strengthen your belief in yourself. Quite the negative self-talk. That critical voice in your head is motivated by fear. Don’t listen. Bring your best to your business networking events and leave the negative self-talk at home.

4. Market as hard as you work. Don’t just work hard, Market hard as well. Most women I know are very hard workers, but it does you no good to have a great product of service and work your tail off if no one knows about you. You have to be willing to market as hard as you work. Hard work alone is not enough.

5. Network with integrity. Be who you say you are, and do what you say you’ll do. Do not over promise and under deliver. Over-booking yourself can damage your reputation and your relationships when you don’t follow through.

6. Networking is professional. Don’t take it personal. Just because someone doesn’t choose to do business with you immediately, be graceful. Don’t take things personally. Networking is about being a professional. Just keep your head up, and keep at it. It works, if you are willing to keep working it.

7. Be consistent. Networking is not about immediate gratification. Marketing is about consistent touches. It is about you keeping your name in front of people who can refer you and use your services themselves. Attend your business networking events consistently. Let people know they can depend on you.

8. Be interesting. People love interesting people. Read, learn, grow. The more interesting you groom yourself to be, the more interested others will be in knowing and referring you.

9. Remember you are your best advertisement. How you look and how you present yourself are very important. People make snap decisions about who you are. Look your best, but not only that, get a coach to help you when you present your products of services. Use your words well. You often only have a minute of two to communicate who you are.

10. Emulate greatness. Find someone you admire and emulate his or her greatness. Examine what makes them great and copy trait. Great people often surround us. Learn from them how to become great.

11. They don’t listen. One of the biggest mistakes women make when they network their business is that they are desperate to tell people about what they do and the products and services they love. My recommendation is to listen first. Being a great listener makes you stand out. Once people feel like you have listened to them, they are more interested in hearing about you.

BONUS Article: Networking: A Woman’s Contact Sport

netHQCopyright 2011 – Dawn Billings. Dawn Billings,CEO & Founder of The Heart Link Women’s Network, with 150 women networking locations in US and Canada, and TROVA Business Network, business networking for ALL small business professionals. Visit Dawn’s Website!

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! 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
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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Happiness in Networking is YOUR Problem…

Filed under: Networking Tip,Personal Growth — Larry James @ 9:00 am

If you are not happy with the results you are getting from business networking… guess what?

Happiness is a choice! Stop complaining and do something different! Being an adult means making happiness your problem to solve. Instead of expecting others in your network to make you happy or playing the victim so that you can feel in control or blame others for your lack of results you must have a tremendous attitude shift and know that you have to work at pleasing yourself.

helpinghandsBusiness networking can be an exercise in personal development. It’s time to figure out what you would need to avoid to keep you from being displeased. Who should you avoid? Avoid people who bring you down, who talk negatively about their business and others and who don’t inspire you when you are around them.

What different or new choices in your networking arsenal could you put into action? Could one be to focus less on promoting yourself in favor of paying more attention to the needs of others in your network?

I once heard someone say, “If you want to shake yourself loose from what holds you back, volunteer to help someone else!” Many people don’t understand the profound sense of happiness that you get when you help others.

In other words, focus on helping others in your network. Be a resource for them. Be sincere in your interest in them. Make good eye contact. You must give before you receive. Find out what they need and help them find it. Just do that and I can promise surprising benefits and amazing results.

Perhaps attending a networking seminar or finding someone – a mentor – who will offer creative suggestions that they have used that they find useful. Positive results come from being open and friendly (being approachable), from taking the initiative to learn more about networking, from working smart at making genuinely helpful contributions wherever you meet people. We crave feeling supported, valued and connected. Do everything you can to help others feel this way.

If there is no special difference between you and the other people in your network, then people have no special reason whatsoever to like you and trust you and choose to work with you. Find a way to create a new you. Keep your commitments and promises. Don’t be like everyone else. Connect with others. Learn how to strengthen old bonds and make new ones. Helping others is a strength. That kind of strength gets special attention. You help others by setting a good example. You can best help others when you are not emotionally attached to the outcome.

EmersonSomeone once said, “We are all students on this path. Some who are farther along the path may be called upon to help you; others, who have not traveled as far, may look to you for help.”

When you meet like-minded networkers with these kind of attitudes, your network will grow and prosper because they’ll see you are indeed interested in helping others and you can make things happen. The better your attitude of helping others, the better you will feel about yourself.

My friend, Zig Zigler, once said, “You can have everything you want in life if you help enough people get what they want.” When you help people, the world you live in begins conspiring to help you get what you want.

In one compelling study, a key difference between very happy people and less-happy people was good relationships. What are the benefits from better relationships with others? You develop an envious reputation, more confidence, more peace of mind, and more happiness (happiness is contagious) which is a natural outcome and will help insure much better results from your networking efforts. You will become a positive influence that people admire, not the unhappy, boring networker who attempts to sell their services before the relationship is in place and that others avoid.

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
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Friday, October 21, 2011

Plant Some Networking Seeds!

Filed under: Networking,Referrals/Leads — Larry James @ 9:00 am

If you have every planted a garden or tried to start a plant by planting a seed, you know by now that it takes several things for the plant to pop through the soil. And… it takes time. Patience is definitely required.

When you plant corn, if it does not grow well, don’t blame the corn. Look for reasons it is not doing well. When you find the reasons, (and you may have to dig deep for them), take action and do what needs to be done. It’s the same with business networking.

When you network, if it does not work well, don’t blame the network. Look in the mirror! Most likely what you see is the problem. Here’s part of the solution. You must continue to plant networking seeds!

plantseedsKeep the word “networking” constantly on your mind. Talk about networking to your closest “personal” friends and ask them to help you pass the word that you are becoming a great resource for all things business to their business friends.

It is okay to ask for what you want! In the Greater Phoenix area I frequently get e-mail and calls from people I have never met asking me if I can put them in touch with other people they need to know in the business world. Why? Because I have planted hundred of networking seeds. I am known as a great resource for people who network. When you are a savvy networker word gets around. I am always happy to refer others to the people I like and trust and who I know are dependable.

To me, being dependable means that I can count on them to give the best possible service and to follow-up with the people I refer to them. I am high on integrity!

Your ultimate intention is to create a following; to get people to talk about you and your business and to – in time – build the kind of relationships with people who will be happy to pass their business referrals to you.

But first… you must plan the seeds!

Your opportunity for success in networking is only as good as the number of “quality,” not “quantity” of people in your network and the quality of business leads you can cultivate.

Business leads help you generate more sales and therefore more business. To effectively cultivate business leads in your network and a networking group, you must do several things:

1. You plant the seeds. You must clearly communicate who you are, exactly what you do and what kind of business leads you are looking for and what kind of businesses that are in your network whom you can refer to others.

2. You till the soil. In other words, you must make a commitment to consistently mix and mingle at networking meetings and events to keep your business in front of the people who are in a position to offer you referrals. A wise networker knows how to till the soil and WAIT! Sell yourself first. Meet with prospective clients. You are the brand. You must cultivate brand value. You must demonstrate that you have an excellent product and deliver outstanding service. What can you do to assist the others in your network? You have to cultivate referrals from other like-minded business people who know that the more they give the more they will receive.

3. “Patiently” wait for the seeds to grow. Always remember, it takes time for seeds to grow and it takes time to develop long-term business relationships. You need to have regular one-on-one meetings with each member of your group. That is where the connections really happen and people really get to know you, like you and trust you. The more seeds you plant, e.g., the more referrals you give to other members the more you will receive. Just like you water the soil in a garden, you must nurture referrals from other members.

“Good networking is like good farming. You prepare the ground, plant the seeds, add water and fertilizer and time… then reap the harvest. The Wise Farmer knows that the more she puts into the effort—the more she gets to know her contacts and seeks ways to benefit them—the more she will realize in return. She knows that growing a crop takes patience and perseverance; you don’t see the payoff right away, but if you work at it long enough you will be amply rewarded.” ~ Ivan Misner

Stay engaged with relevant conversation about you and your business and do it consistently. It’s not enough to fill your lead pipeline just for today – you also need to think toward the future. That’s is why consistency is one of the keys to savvy networking.

If you’ve planted networking seeds, be patient. The same goes for planting good thoughts in your mind about networking. They will never grow unless nurtured and nourished with full understanding of how to network effectively. Although blaming has no redeeming value, if you must place blame, you will be wise to accept responsibility and know that the blame goes to the person looking back at you in the mirror.

BONUS Article: Premature Solicitation & Other Networking Nightmares

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
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Monday, October 17, 2011

Effective Networking = Soaring Prosperity

Filed under: Networking Tip,Social Capital — Larry James @ 9:00 am
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It takes only a moment of conscious decision to become a networker, with no interference to one’s daily routine. All it requires is a slight shift in attitude, and adopting one simple rule: Greet each new acquaintance with an openness to learn more about him or her, a willingness to help and an offer to stay in touch. This approach is equally applicable to every form of networking, whether in business or social contexts, and whether the encounter takes place in person or online. ~ Goke Ilesanmi

AND. . . it takes more than a moment of conscious decision to become a “savvy” networker; one who makes the most of each moment and who recognizes that the connection between networking and prosperity is built over time. It rarely happens on the first meeting.

$$upRelationships! Networking is about cultivating long-term business relationships. Close knit relationships lead to more business down the line.

If you work at networking; have patience and “make” time for it, it will reward you by taking you places you could never imagine. You will have more genuine friends; people you you can call on when you really need a friend. They will be your network of support and because of your consistent networking efforts and your persistence of doing the right things, your income will soar.

If you’re an opportunity hopper, that is, you go from one so called opportunity to the next, you will most likely stay stuck and you will almost always experience a decrease in self-confidence and income.

Focus! I repeat. . . Focus!

Networking works if you work it correctly, effectively and persistently. Begin by establishing relationships with other business professionals. Do this first and you will have the opportunity to substantially increase your business. Networking will assist you in increasing business through shared business activities and a strong referral network. The benefits are numerous and sometimes – at least at first – not so obvious.

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/

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Are You a Network Kamikaze?

Filed under: Attitude,Network Training,Networking Tip — Larry James @ 9:00 am

Let’s get something straight! Kamikaze is a crazy strategy. You attend a networking event and nothing happens. You become disappointed. If you continue to crash and burn when you network perhaps you should just STOP networking!

kamikazeNo need to perpetuate the pain, disappointment and embarrassment of knowing that how you are networking isn’t working. Just STOP!

Next. . . take a deep breath! Right now! Do it. (Breathe) Take a deep breath and continue reading. Feel better?

Here is what I know. Networking must excite, engage and enrich you. If it doesn’t, you are doing it wrong! Networking for the sake of networking never works!

Most newcomers to networking tend only to think about the sales or referrals that they will get from their network. That is never what your original intent should be. Read on. . .

Face it. Networking can become a little hectic when nothing seems to be happening from the effort you continue to make. It’s time to try something new; discover a tolerable alternative to what you have been doing. When you stumble do you feel that all eyes are upon you? They are. Well, not all, but certainly those who are close by. You may notice that people begin to walk the other way. That’s never a good feeling.

networkinggroupMany networking events are laced with people who want to talk your ear off about how great they are. I usually listen for a few brief moments, then politely move on. That is not why you go to a networking event. People want to know whether you are someone to do business with, have friendship with, create projects with, exchange business leads with in the future. Be someone worth their time. Be memorable (in a good way!).

It’s time for you to become the “Networking Ninja!” A much better choice than Kamikaze. Agreed?

One of the keys to networking success is to be a communicative, approachable and open-minded person without prejudices who is absolutely intent on exchanging information with other people. Here is my personal 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

The spirit of professional networking is to exchange information and by doing so profit from your connections. However, an absolute “no-no” of business networking would be to “only” establish business contacts with people who can only help you. In effect networking is a mutual admiration society, meaning – your intent should be to help each other.

“When you meet people for the first time at networking events, show interest in the person rather than the business. If you find that there is a genuine rapport and areas of interest in common, you have the beginning of a relationship that can lead to referrals, support, valuable introductions and more. Move away from the opening question “what do you do?” and find out more about them personally. Successful networkers sell through the people they meet, rather than to them. Work on the basis that if they like you and need what you offer, they’ll buy from you anyway.” ~ Andy Lopata

Here are a few networking tips that work:

Find a fresh way of projecting a confident self-image. Introduce yourself differently. Be “other-focused.” Never lead with business. Focus on helping others, NOT promoting yourself. Make it all about THEM. Never “think” the words, “What’s in it for me?” Show a genuine interest. Find out what they need and help them make a connection. Ask, “If I could do one thing for you to help what would it be?” If you “click” with the person you just met, there will be time for that later. Patience is a virtue. Results come later – to those who wait – and the results will surprise you and exceed your expectations. Building close, personal relationships with others takes time. AND. . . that is what networking is really about!

Volunteer yourself to the top. Every networking group need volunteers. This is a great way to stay visible and give back to groups that have helped you.

It’s best to be brief in your conversations, until such time as the two of you agree that you want to talk further and at length. You can always follow up and meet outside of the meeting. Dig. Ask lots of questions. Find out from others what you wish they knew about you.

If the meeting is a ‘sit down” meeting, don’t sit with people you know. Make some new friends. Never drink too much at a meeting. The last thing people want to hear is slurred speech. Develop an intent on being a strong relationship builder! Be interested in those you meet. No fast judgements. Just listen. The more interested you are in them, the more interested they are in you and the more likely they are to help you.

If you make a mistake, begin again. Networking “mess-ups” happen at every event. But now you don’t have to be the one messing up.

Embrace the networking experience. Get back to the basics. Use all of your senses. Our senses are the physical means by which all living things see, hear, smell, taste, and touch. Generally speaking we are most aware of four of them when we network.

• Sight: Look around. What do you see? Watch for “wallflowers.” They are those people who are often standing by themselves. They often feel uncomfortable and do not have the courage to start a conversation. I’ve met some very interesting people by being the first to reach to shake hands and introduce myself. Keep an eye out for people who are the leaders of the group. Don’t fear the big shots. They are in a position to introduce you to the people you need to meet. Look in the other person’s eyes when you are in a conversation with them. Observe: listen and watch.

• Hearing: Listen to others as you mill around the room. If you overhear something interesting, stand close and wait for someone to invite you into their circle. You don’t have to say anything, just wait. Being included int the group usually happens when those who are talking back up a bit which allows you to step closer. If you have something interesting to contribute, speak up. Listening, really listening is a skill that will push you ahead of the rest. Listen more than you talk. Listen for something that demands a compliment.

• Touch: There are about 100 touch receptors in each of your fingertips. Be sensitive to touch when you shake someone’s hand. Mae sure your grip is not too tight and not to soft.

• Smell: Our sense of smell is connected really well to our memory. There have been times when I avoid some people for the obvious reasons. 😉 Be sure to do a small dash of perfume or cologne before you attend a meeting.

“Get yourself in the right frame of mind – make sure you are feeling positive about the event, looking forward to meeting new people and having interesting conversations with them. If have the attitude that you don’t really want to be there, it will show in your body language and tone of voice.” ~ Diana Marsland

BONUS Article: Networking and Selling DO NOT Mix!
Networking Article Index – More than 200 articles, tips, etc., about networking. Kamikazies: spend some time here!

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, October 9, 2011

Connections!

Filed under: Connectors,Networking Tip — Larry James @ 9:00 am

Isn’t that what networking is all about? We are on a continual quest to discover the places we fit into and the people we’ll reach out to. The intent is to turn your connections into trusted relationships. You grow your network connections one new friend at a time.

If things aren’t working out quite like you think they should, perhaps it’s time to push the reset button!

NetpuzzleEvery day and every moment in life is an opportunity to network. People cross our paths for a reason. Networking just isn’t for networking events. Opportunity is everywhere. You have to be ready for it when it occurs. Simply start conversations with people. Engage with other people. The essence of networking is to reach out and connect with people. A few good connections can assist you in piecing together the networking puzzle.

If you desire networking success you must always seek relevant networking groups and connections. A group that is close to your office may not be the most relevant group. Sometimes we need to drive a few miles further to get to the group that can be the most beneficial for us. The more relevant your targeting of groups and contacts, then more useful your meetings and referrals will be.

A valuable business network is a connected system of people within which referrals and opportunities can be passed through several connections, or circulated to all who are connected. Choose carefully. In most networks you will find a few close and “trusted” connections. Focus on the ones you like and trust. Reputations are built according to the connections you hang out with. It is wise to focus your efforts on groups and connections of integrity.

networkingcardObtaining network connections for your business doesn’t have to be a difficult thing to do. When you network you are building a community of people who – over time – become your network of support. That’s why it is important to develop your own strategy for making connections. I’ve been successful in becoming a “solution finder” to my networking friends. They have come to know me as someone who is well connected and who they call when they need to make a connection with a plumber, a photographer, etc. I do my best to connect their needs or goals with the resources I have in my network.

When I make a new connection I never move the conversation to me. You would be surprised at the kind of responses you will receive when you ask, “What do you like best about what you do?” It helps them understand that I think they matter. This question creates much better conversation than, “What do you do?” I focus completely on them and by showing a genuine interest in what they do, what they need, who they need to meet, etc., I build a relationship faster than if I immediately began to promote what I do. At the same time I leave a lasting impression. Eventually they usually begin to ask about what I do and “POW” we’ve made a connection.

Don’t forget their name. Say it several times during the conversation. People like the sound of their own name, so by acknowledging that you know their name is often a very good way to end a conversation, “Very nice to meet you Barbara”.

It’s important to connect with the people you meet as quickly as possible after the meeting, so that they remember you. If you don’t follow up, ask yourself, “Why not?” Not following up can be the death of a salesperson.

When networking with professionals, you have to be persistent and you must be patient. It takes time to build long-lasting connections, but with much effort, your hard work will always pay off.

When diligently building connections that serves others as well as yourself, your ability to serve others quickly becomes part of your personal brand. Remember: Not everyone wants to have a chat with you and not everyone wants to network. You cannot be all things to all people. Let’s face it, some connections don’t “click.” If that happens to you, silently shout, “NEXT” (to yourself, of course) and move on to someone else.

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.

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/

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Teach Your Kids How to Network Before They Need to Know!

Kathy McAfee, Guest Author

Larry’s Note: This is a great review for BIG kids too! 😉

Kids need to know more than Social Media to be successful.

Will your teenagers be ready to enter work world? Are they able to handle themselves in a mature and confident way with adults and hiring managers? How would they perform during a job interview over an meal? Do they know how to dress for success? Do they know how to network and communicate with people, other than their peers, in face-to-face situations?

Are your children techno-addicted?

A study from the Kaiser Family Foundation in 2010 found that teenagers spend 53 hours per week on media. “Today, 8-18 year-olds devote an average of 7 hours and 38 minutes (7:38) to using entertainment media across a typical day (more than 53 hours a week). And because they spend so much of that time ‘media multitasking’ (using more than one medium at a time), they actually manage to pack a total of 10 hours and 45 minutes (10:45) worth of media content into those 7½ hours.”

Erosion of social skills

In addition to the scholastic implications of this finding, I am personally concerned about the rapid deterioration and disappearance of basic networking and social skills amongst our youth. Many teens and many young professionals have little knowledge of how to conduct themselves in professional or more formal settings. Many of them have no sense of etiquette. How did this happen?

More than just reading, writing and arithmetic

In addition to reinforcing the importance of education, parents need to teach our children and young people basic networking skills to ensure that they don’t get left behind. Some colleges and even more progressive high schools are starting to introduce some classes in networking and career development. But most of these skills can be started in the home, when kids are very young.

The 14 social skills parents need to teach their children

Here’s what young people need to learn how to do in order to lay the foundation for future professional success. The good news is that you, as parents, can help teach them the vital life skills:

1. How to make proper eye contact with other people. Young people often feel intimidated when speaking to adults and will cast their eyes down to the floor when speaking. Encourage them to look you in the eyes when they speak. Show them how they can smile with their eyes when they speak. Help them notice when and how often other people blink their eyes or identify what color eyes the other person has. This will at least get them looking at the eyes.

2. How to shake someone’s hand. Teach young people how to give and how to receive a professional handshake. Have them watch videos or read tips on the mechanics of a professional handshake. Explain to them why the handshake is so important in our culture and what it can do for them. Encourage them to do it often when greeting people, versus using other gestures that are often associated with street culture. Practice the professional handshake with them and have fun with it. Don’t let them get away with a whimpy handshake. It will hurt their future prospects.

3. How to have good posture. Help young people become more aware of what poor posture looks like it and the negative impact it has on their image and body. Give them feedback on their unconscious body language habits that you observe and what signals it is sending to others. Teach them to use good posture and to stand grounded with both feet on the floor. This not only sends a strong confident image, it is also better for their health and energy levels. Discourage them from slouching at the table, desk, while standing. Find a way to make this a fun discussion, rather than a one-way nagging lecture. Make a game out of it.

4. How to use their voice properly. Help our young people find their voices and learn how to use them more powerfully. Explain to them why UpSpeak, the bad habit of turning sentences into questions when they were not meant to be questions, and why this diminishes their credibility and authority. Help them reduce or eliminate the use of overused phrases and distracting words like “like” or “so” or “um” or even “duh.” Teach them that “yah” is not a word. It is “yes.” And grunting in response is something that animals do, not humans.

5. How to have a conversation. Talk to your kids, a lot. Engage them in thoughtful conversation. Turn off the television more often and turn on the dialogue. Don’t let your children get lost for hours in the artificial world of video games, internet and cell phones. Teach them to art of story telling and the art of conversation. Practice it in the home, in the car, everywhere you go.

6. How to introduce yourself. Many young people are shy and afraid of introducing themselves to adults. They make jokes, jiggle or simple avoid the introduction altogether. Give your young people a simple script to follow until they are comfortable with impromptu introductions. It starts with “Hello. My name is ___________. What’s your name? Nice to meet you.”

7. How to answer the telephone properly. Don’t let your child answer the phone until then learn how to properly answer it with a greeting and introduction. Again, the basics “Hello. This is ___________. Whom am I speaking with?” The last sentence may seem a little formal, but it will give them important information on how to direct the call/caller. Don’t forget to train them on how to politely end the telephone conversation. “Thanks for calling. Goodbye.”

8. How to write a thank you note. Don’t let your kids receive gifts from others without them sending a handwritten thank you card through the mail in a timely basis. Don’t write the cards for them. Don’t let them get away with quick emails or phone calls that you initiated on their behalf. Even a 3 year old can draw something creative and scrawl their name on a piece of paper. The thank you card is an essential, basic form of appreciation and acknowledgement. It shows class and refinement. It is a social grace that needs to be taught by parents.

After every major gift-giving holiday, including birthdays, you should help your children schedule time to complete their thank you cards promptly. Equip them with stationery and note cards. Show them how to properly address an envelop and how stamps work. Check out SendOutCards.com/MotivatingCards for a way that your kids can write their greeting cards on-line and have them sent through the old-fashioned mail system. That best of both worlds!

9. How to eat in public. Remember that job interviews can be lost based upon sloppy table manners. This is often the final test in the interview process and few people are aware of it. Teach your child how to set a proper table, including which side the knife, fork and spoon go on, where the glass should go; how to cut their food and eat it with grace and ease. The best way to teach this is to practice it at your daily meals, taken together as a family.

I realize eating together as a family is becoming a lost tradition, replaced by stand up meals, busy schedules and television and electronic gadget distractions. One of the best that you can do for your children is to take the time to sit down and share a meal with them. Model excellence in your own table manners.

10. How to use polite language in company. Children will copy what they see and what they hear in the home, at school and on the street. While you can’t control every environment, you can control what goes on in your own home. Make the language in your own home a G rating – good for all audiences. Weed out the four letter words and use of slang. Do not tolerate racial jokes or inappropriate conversation. Model excellence in language and communication for your children in your home and in your community.

11. How to dress for success. The last I checked, underwear was supposed to be under there, not hanging out for the world to see and be grossed out by. Help your children take pride in the way they dress by setting a standard that you can both live with. In our family, it is collared shirts and belts Monday through Thursday. On Fridays, we allow appropriate level T-shirts and more casual wear. Sloppy dress carries over into a sloppy attitude and disregard for self and others. Teach your children how to groom themselves, including regular nail trimming, daily flossing and teeth brushing, combing hair and of course regular showers with soap and water.

12. How to be tidy and organized. Don’t let your kids live in your house and act like pigs. They don’t pay the mortgage or rent and thus they need to abide by your standards of clean and tidy. It starts with their rooms – how they manage their personal space. You can help them develop systems and structure to take better care of their things, their time and themselves. All of this carries over into their adult life. These life skills will not only impact the harmony of your home, but it will impact their academic success and future lifestyles. It’s time to clean up their act.

Click cover to order!

13. How to build relationships. Most kids have fleeting friendships with one minute being “my best friend” and the next minute “he’s not my friend.” Most kids are highly influenced by peer pressure and the need to be accepted by others. This can cause them to do things that they otherwise might not do. Perhaps this is part of the growing up process, but we as parents need to help young people get greater perspective on friendships and relationships.

We need to help them identify the healthy relationships from the unhealthy relationships and how to be both selective and open to meeting new people. We need to teach our children what it means to be a good friend, how to make new friends and how and when to let go of the unhealthy relationships.

14. How to talk to strangers and which ones to avoid. Perhaps this one may be the hardest one of all, because it goes against our protective instincts. We don’t want our young people becoming victims of bad people who might try to deceive them, lure them and hurt them. However, there are equally as many good people out there, if not more. You need to teach your children how to be comfortable around new people, how to strike up conversations with strangers, as this will be a useful skill for their future professional success.

Of course, we also need to teach our children how to trust their instincts, what good and bad touch looks and feels like and how to defend themselves if the occasion calls for it. I recommend that you expose your children to the martial arts, where they will learn basic self defense techniques along with the core values of respect, trustworthiness, polite, patient and modesty. As our young people mature, they will need to move in the larger world with confidence and connection.
About the Writer

netHQCopyright 2011 – Kathy McAfee. Kathy McAfee is America’s Marketing Motivator and author of the book Networking Ahead of Business (Kiwi Publishing 2010). In her role as an Executive Presentation Coach and Motivational Speaker, Kathy helps her clients become the recognized leaders in their field by mastering the arts of high engagement presentations and more effective networking. Learn more at her Website: MarketingMotivator.net

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! 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
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Saturday, October 1, 2011

We Are All Connected? Yes! By Six Degrees of Separation!

Filed under: Connectors,Guest Author Articles,Networking — Larry James @ 9:00 am

Jonathan Peters, Guest Author

The first reference to the concept that everyone on the planet is separated by six degrees was in Frigyes Karinthy’s 1929 short story Láncszemek. One of the characters claimed he was connected to everyone else through, at most, five acquaintances.

sixdegreesThe urban myth was established some time between Karinthy’s Hungarian short story and the appearance of John Guare’s play Six Degrees of Separation in 1990. Various sociological and mathematical studies popped up along the way to try to prove our connectivity, but it wasn’t until 1998 that we had computers large enough and networks defined enough to study. We finally were able to scientifically study how connected humans are.

In his book, “The Tipping Point,” Malcolm Gladwell labelled those who are especially linked as connectors. Connectors are responsible for making humanity so connected. They have a “knack” for “curiosity, self-confidence, sociability, and energy.” They draw many times more people to them, and they are able to make introductions across vast geography, social groupings, industries, and so on.

More important, our business and our success depends on having these people in our networks, because it is only then that we can bridge into other niches, sub-groups, and communities.

handsSo it is our responsibility to get off our butts, and interact with others to discover connectors in our markets and industries. Simply liking people on Facebook, or sending out LinkedIn requests is not actually connecting. Yes, we are linked, but we aren’t truly connected until they know us or know of us.

Which is why so much of the hype of social media, email marketing, video blasts and so on is often misguided or misleading. We must establish real connections with people for them to know enough about us to actually buy us or buy from us.

For those of us who are not natural connectors, don’t believe that if you build it they will come. Know that you have to find connectors, and make sure they are aware of your existence and what you have to offer other people in their network.

BONUS Article: Twitter Shortens the Six Degrees of Separation to Five

JPetersCopyright 2011 by Jonathan Peters. Jonathan Peters, Ph.D is a recognized trainer and writer with an emphasis in business communications, and a Co-founder of BEvents.biz. If it involves words, it involves him. He has trained thousands of people across the country and his audiences have learned better presentation skills, improved their business communications, and beefed-up their writing and document designs. During his doctoral studies, Dr. Peters became interested in how the new sciences influence our culture. He is excited about what the emerging science of networks says about how we conduct our social lives and our businesses. Visit Jonathan’s Website.

netHQLarry 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.

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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