Networking HQ BLOG with Larry James

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

You Must Be Out of Your Mind. . .

Filed under: Network Training — Larry James @ 8:00 am

If you don’t network for business, you must be out of touch or out of your mind.

Networking is more than a buzzword. People hear about networking, start attending networking meetings and events and expect immediate results. Sorry to pop your bubble, but it doesn’t happen that way. There is seldom any “over-night” successes reported from networking.

successEffective networking takes sustained and focused effort. Which, in my opinion, is why many people get involved in networking only to quickly determine that it doesn’t work. Why? Occasional participation rarely works, because it takes this kind of commitment – sustained and focused effort – to create awareness for you and your business, and to build long-term business relationships that lead to the kind of collaboration that nets results. You must be committed to enthusiastic involvement in whatever group or event you choose. This kind of involvement inevitably gains attention and over time will work best to the benefit of everyone. It’s the only way to substantially increase support and referrals.

afraidtobedifferentBusiness networking – like any other business activity – requires concentrated effort to produce results. One of the best things about networking is its unbeatable potential for exposure. Combine it with Facebook, Google+, Twitter and awareness of others to you grows exponentially. How do you draw the line between social and professional networking? It always comes down to face-to-face contact and how how you conduct yourself in the presence of others as to whether there is a possibility of a continued relationship.

Present yourself in a way that has you stand out in the crowd. Never be afraid to be different!

Find a networking group and stay with it. It will put a face to your business and give your business a presence outside of it’s physical place. A weekly group seems to work best – 52 meetings a year. Sound like a lot of meetings? It is. Remember, effective networking takes sustained and focused effort. That kind of participation allows people to really get to know you. As time passes and the group grows, so will your business. It will help you build social capital – the value that you and your networking contacts bring to the party.

If you don’t go to the business networking groups to create new relationships, develop new partnerships, and demonstrate a genuine interest in what resources are available to you, what is the point? There is none. Go with the intent of rubbing elbows other people who are also driven, have ideas that can be implemented into business opportunities, are resourceful, energetic, and ambitious. In addition, target potential resources and to leverage resources that may lead to a real opportunities. To learn from and to be motivated by others in your network. The key is in the “LEARNING!”

Networking is an effective, friendly platform for growing your business where like-minded people meet to inspire, share experiences, strengthen and grow through trusted relationships and a steady stream of business referrals.

Here is an important tip to remember: Never confuse networking with selling. They are not synonymous.

BONUS Articles: Are You a Network Kamikaze?
Networking and Selling DO NOT Mix!
What I Know For Sure About Networking. . .
Shop for a GREAT Networking Group… Then STOP!

learnmoremakemorenetHQCopyright © 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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Saturday, November 26, 2011

How to Work a Room: HOLIDAY DOs and DON’Ts

Filed under: Guest Author Articles,Happy Holidays!,Networking Tip — Larry James @ 9:00 am
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Susan RoAne, Guest Author

Since “How To Work A Room” was published, Susan RoAne been been asked for the best tips to make the most of Holiday parties, because they can be so daunting. Here are a few Do’s & Don’ts for holiday parties.

HolidayPartyDO

• RSVP and say YES when the invitation arrives.

• Organize a potluck if the company has cancelled their party. People love the comradery.

• Focus Your Conversation on the Event: The season is the reason. If it’s a company sponsored party you already have a subject for conversation.So, bring your O.A.R. and start the small talk with the items you have in common.

Observe – The venue, food or entertainment. “What wonderful ambience! Didn’t Pat and Joe do a great job planning this party and the food is fabulous.”

Ask – Other guests seasonally topical questions. “Do you have any special plans?” “Do you plan to travel for the holidays?”

Reveal – Your ideas, thoughts, plans. “I plan to be on the slopes for the holidays.”OR “For obvious reasons we’ve decided to stick closer to home rather than fight the crowds.” Add something lighthearted: “I’m still trying to find a low calorie eggnog recipe.”

• Act Like A Host: Be interested; pay attention; listen and introduce people to each other.

• Treat Spouses/Guests (yours and theirs) With Respect: Introduce them with enthusiasm and include them with eye contact, comments and questions.

• Remember That Holiday/Christmas Parties Are Still Business Networking Events: Dress and act appropriately.

HolidayParty2DON’T

• Don’t Drink Excessively: Free drinks have a cost.

• Don’t Assume Everyone Celebrates Christmas: (And if you don’t, be gracious about the error.)

• Don’t Touch Inappropriately: keep hands (and lips) to yourself; “handle” with care and caution.

• Don’t indulge in foods with garlic or onions; bring breath mints.

• Don’t forget to detach from the techie toys (Smart phones, Bluetooths and iPads) and refrain from text messaging, emailing and IMing others when talking with others.

• Don’t Kvetch, Whine, Ridicule, Compete, Correct, Interrogate or Brag.

HowtoworkaroomCopyright 2011 – Susan RoAne – Reprinted with permission. Susan RoAne is the leading authority and original expert on how to work a room. She 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

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.

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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, November 22, 2011

Testing the Networking Water? It’s Better to Jump in the Deep End!

Filed under: Network Training,Networking Tip — Larry James @ 8:00 am

If you want great success from business networking you must get started and never quit. Jump in the deep end of the networking pool and get busy networking.

Surround yourself with successful people who know about networking and learn from them. Networking is not something that happens overnight. You must be committed to work at it and make it a consistent part of your business strategy.

It would be wise for you to give up all of your expectations about networking and just let it happen. Contact interesting and relevant people and watch what happens. Some will be good contacts and others will not. That’s okay. Never take a “No,” personally. In your initial conversation find out what makes them interesting and how you can help them and don’t expect anything in return. NEVER request help, leads, referrals, favors, advice, etc., when you first meet someone.

toeinwater“If you are not totally committed, don’t expect to get all the benefits that are there for those willing to jump in with all their heart! Halfhearted doesn’t cut it in love, sports or business or making money.” ~ Jack M. Zufelt

In the beginning it’s important to attend several networking groups and events to get the hang of it. Notice the tone and attitude of the group. Do the people sound supportive of one another? Does the leadership appear competent? Observe. Do you feel comfortable there. Your primary goal of networking should be to help other people.

Tell the event planner that you are new to networking and ask if they can recommend several people that you should talk with. When you network, it is no place to be shy. Ask for what you want and need. Have a clear understanding of what you do and why, for whom, and what makes your business special or different from others doing the same thing. The important part of this is to learn to effectively communicate this with your “30-second connection.” Make sure your hype is the truth.

Look for the movers and shakers. Introduce yourself. People who are genuinely successful love to help other people – that’s what networking is really about. Keep in mind that networking is about being genuine and authentic, building trust and long-term business relationships. Networking champions work at providing value to everyone they meet. It’s more about value, not how much experience you have. Listen more than you talk – especially about how you talk about yourself. The more value you create, the more it will come back to you many times over. It may be that they introduce you to someone else who is in a better position to assist you. They may offer to give you some networking tips.

Avoid people who appear to be protective of their business. They are usually the takers not the givers. Run fast if their networking strategies come across as pushy, needy, or self-serving because they probably are.

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

stand_out_from_the_crowdIf the idea of networking makes you uncomfortable or confused, step out there and do it anyway. When you do the thing you fear, the death of fear is certain. Never let fear hold you back. You have to take the first step while you are still afraid. Be brave. Demonstrate your self-confidence.

When you meet someone you would like to get to know better, always follow-up! The more you get to know someone, the faster you can build a relationship and the quicker you learn to like and trust each other. Effective follow-up assures you that if and when you need support from them or a small favor in the future it will be less awkward to ask for it.

Focus on others. Always network with the intention of helping other people, not yourself. It’s far more important to understand the needs of people you meet before you tell them about your needs. Sharing useful information, referrals and connecting like-minded people are simple actions that will quickly establish you as a great networking resource and help you stand out in the crowd.

Need more help? You have to learn to walk before you can run. Research networking strategies, tips, and articles. Take networking seminars. Read networking books. Take a look at the more than 200 articles about networking on this blog by checking the “Networking Article Index.” Or… call me for networking coaching!

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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Friday, November 18, 2011

Community. . . Not Just a Buzzword!

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

I don’t know about you, but I’m really big on giving back. In my career as a professional speaker and author there have been many people who have helped me along the way. As a result, I’ve been on a mission to do my best to live up to my purpose in life: “Helping others, help themselves!

huddleWhen I network, I look for a group that is involved in activities that supports the community in which they thrive. They huddle, then come up with ideas that can make a difference in the cities where they live. Or they rally around and support projects already underway in their community and offer group assistance.

In my many years (not saying how many) I have enjoyed the many blessings of sharing and giving to others. I have built my business through networking and over the years I have discovered what works and what doesn’t. Giving back to the community works!

puzzle word CommunityCommunity is not just a buzzword. It should mean something to you. First of all, there are the people in your networking group. They are your community. That is where your giving should begin. Every member must be dedicated to helping each other succeed.

Give what you know about networking to those in your group. Give tips, information, advice, business referrals. Give the gift of yourself. Share your expertise. This could be a special project, a service, time spent together, and more. You and your network will benefit through others’ thoughts, opinions and feedback. Always give without expecting anything in return – it will come back multiplied! That’s the key. If you “give” because you want to “get” referrals, you are simply “bartering.” To give, you must act without the expectation of recognition or reciprocity.

ThinkCommunityMost of us know that what you put out to the Universe always comes back to you. You do people in your network a disservice by not giving them the gift of giving. Giving is much more than an obligation. It is an opportunity to contribute to someone else.

“The manner in which it is given is worth more than the gift.” – Lynn Johnston

Second, I look for a group who uses their networking brand to identify itself with the community, town, city, etc. It’s time that we take our community – the one we network in – seriously. Give! Give! Give! It’s the human connection with it that serves the community and you. Promoting business in the community takes a stand for responsible business relationships with each other. It can help transform our communities by stimulating growth to help make them better places to work and live.

If your networking group is a hotbed of entrepreneurial talent then put it to use. Design a project for your community that everyone can support, promote it and your group and watch the results begin to show. Be creative. Make sure it delivers. Challenge others to “Be The Change You Wish To See In The World!”

“It is more blessed to give than to receive!” – Acts 20:35 Many of us still have a hard time with that one. Giving generously is a win-win-win proposition.

I wish for you a networking group that has participants who are committed to giving to each other and your community!

BONUS Article: Does Your Networking Group Have a “Community” Presence?

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
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Follow Larry’s “Wedding BLOG” at: http://CelebrateIntimateWeddings.wordpress.com
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Monday, November 14, 2011

Connecting Is Not Enough

Filed under: Guest Author Articles,Networking — Larry James @ 8:00 am
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Andy Lopata, Guest Author

Larry’s Note: In an exclusive extract from the second edition of his bestselling book, “…and Death Came Third! The Definitive Guide to Networking and Speaking in Public,” Andy Lopata looks beyond common misconceptions and investigates what networking really is and how it is a powerful tool when approached in the right way.

“Networking shouldn’t be a hit and miss affair, businesses need to actively seek out opportunities where they can meet and mix with others in the business world. As well as being highly motivational, these kind of events throw up contacts and ideas that can significantly boost your business potential.” ~ Lord Digby Jones, former Director General, Confederation of British Industry and Minister of State for UK Trade and Investment speaking in Sheffield in February 2005

Networking occurs everywhere, as a part of everyday life. From parents at the school gates exchanging contacts, local knowledge and asking for help while waiting for their children to emerge, to businessmen discussing their companies after a game of golf. It has been around since the dawn of time and it is only in recent years that networking groups have sprung up in masses with a clear business focus. Networking isn’t about groups and organizations, they merely facilitate it. Networking is, and should be, about people – and it should occur naturally.

networkinggroupAs Carol Harris says in her book, Networking for Success, “People are the essential element in today’s business world. In past times, bricks and mortar, machinery, equipment and money were the major resources; nowadays we increasingly come across terms such as knowledge management, intellectual capital and relationship management.”

Yet still many people turn their back on networking. Marketing consultants and agencies discuss it as a business strategy much less frequently with their clients than advertising and PR campaigns; businesses turn their noses up at invitations comparing events to Masonic Clubs or the “Old School Tie,” while others worry about being hunted down as sales fodder at such events.

Some people have approached networking from the wrong direction in the past, but I have seen many changes over recent years that suggest that networking is maturing as a business tool. No longer do people go to such events to ‘hunt’, or certainly fewer people do.

This change was surely due. It is a fallacy to see man in his traditional role as ‘The Hunter’. The truth is that, if the human race had relied on hunting for survival, we would probably be extinct by now. We are not naturally equipped to hunt; we did not have the necessary speed, strength, sense of smell or the claws and teeth to emerge victorious against other large species. Only by working together and using our minds to develop tools and strategies to survive could we thrive.

For the majority of our existence, man has been a farmer. We found that, by domesticating animals, they could provide us with both milk and meat without us needing to track and chase them down. We have nurtured and fed our livestock so that they could produce enough food and drink to satisfy our cravings. We harvested crops to supplement our diet. We have prospered the most where we have given back to the environment, planting new seeds, building shelters, looking after our livestock and rotating our crops.

Why then, do we approach our business contacts by hunting, looking for the quick kill? The traditional routes to marketing our business tend to focus on targeting prospective customers with the ‘close’ or the sale in mind. Cold calling is the prime example of this, with techniques taught to help salesmen lure their prospects to a point where they are bound to sign a contract.

wordofmouthMore and more people now recognize the growing importance of “word of mouth” marketing as a positive alternative. The focus is on attending networking events to build their business. However, the first instinct for many when walking into a networking event has always been to look for potential customers, the people who will buy from us. On the other hand, experience tells us that nothing is more off–putting than somebody trying to sell to us without finding out about us first and ascertaining whether we truly need what they have to offer.

I remember attending a networking event in Liverpool a few years ago. As soon as I walked through the door, I was met by a member of the group hosting the event. Upon introducing myself, he thrust a business card into my hand and proceeded to tell me all about his business and its benefits. What he didn’t know, because he had not taken the time to find out, is that I was already a customer of theirs! Salespeople call it “research.”

Many people, myself included, take advantage of the opportunity to block cold calls to our domestic telephone lines. Junk mail is often binned before being opened and advertising breaks on television are used as an opportunity to make a drink, or simply skipped. If we don’t like to be sold to, then why do we think that we should sell to others?

In accord with man’s natural skills, the most successful networkers are farmers, the people who go along to events to develop and nurture relationships. They are people who collect business cards from those they have made real contact with rather than hand their own cards out to anyone they meet. They are people who build a network of contacts whom they will support and who will support them in return. And the good news is that there are more and more “farmers” than “hunters” now, certainly at the events I have attended recently.

Networking is not about competing with others to see who can come out on top and claim the kill. It is about working together for the common good. Jan Vermeiren, in his book,Let’s Connect, offers an excellent summary of the difference between networking and selling: “In a sales process the goal of the interaction between two people is the sale of a product or service. When networking, this sale could be the consequence of a contact that is built with respect and care. So it is clear that the sale is not the goal of networking, but a welcome and, in many cases, logical consequence.”

connectingNetworking is about connecting. Networking is about enhancing your own individual potential by sharing knowledge, ideas and resources with others.

Go along to networking meetings and share your ideas with people there. Have a look at social networking sites, such as Ecademy, Twitter or LinkedIn, where members are constantly asking for advice, connections and new ideas. See how much people are prepared to help each other. Ask yourself how much time, effort and failure would have to be endured, without that support, by doing things on your own.

Many people who take advantage of networking opportunities are owners of small businesses. Across the world people are leaving multinational corporations, either through choice or because of redundancy, and are setting up their own businesses. A high proportion of these work on their own.

I have met many small business people who network more to get out of their own ‘cave’ than for new leads. One member of one of the Business Referral Exchange (BRX) weekly breakfast networking groups ran an Alfa–Romeo service centre. He did not need referrals; new business would come to him through Alfa dealerships, magazines and clubs.

He told me that he was networking because, day in and day out he found himself working just with his team of mechanics, people who either didn’t understand or didn’t care about the frustrations of running the business. At networking events he could interact with people who shared the same joys, the same frustrations. Basically, the same experiences. And he could rely on their support and encouragement.

When you hear people talk about networking, and they perceive that it is all about selling, selling and selling, you know that they haven’t grasped how networking can help them to grow their businesses. Enhanced sales are not the be all and end all of networking; they are one of the benefits that can be gained from networking effectively.

Andynewbook

Click cover to order!

Networking is the exchange of information. People help and support each other and, through that process, enhance each others potential.

“In this book Andy Lopata demonstrates how so many businesses ignore potentially their most powerful resource – their networks. Andy’s in-depth, practical advice will show you how to both build and profit from the relationships in your network.” ~ Ivan Misner, NY Times Bestselling author and Founder of BNI and Referral Institute

Andy’s book, “Recommended: How to Sell Through Networking and Referrals,” is now available.

andy

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.

netHQLarry 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, November 10, 2011

Staying Ahead is Possible!

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

We know what drives your business… change! That’s why this networking blog delivers on the skills you need with a passion you would expect to keep you moving forward. It brings talent and expertise together to focus on the latest networking ideas and techniques to help make you a force to be reckoned with. Our mission is to help you fulfill your every networking need.

Internet blog conceptWhether this is your first visit or perhaps you are new to networking and are starting from scratch, it’s important to know that the networker with the best and latest networking techniques rules. To stay ahead you must have an intention to consistently rethink and refine the way you have been networking. Work to develop collaborative business contacts (while maintaining existing contacts) and to use them to build long-term business and personal relationships. You must develop the proper mindset so you can stay calm in the face of any road blocks you may encounter.

For many years I’ve noticed that many people who claim to be successful business networkers are lazy and undisciplined. The “Good ole boys” network is obsolete. Professional networkers don’t do it that way anymore. My friend, Kathy McAfee (author of Networking Ahead or Business) says that it is the shortest path to mediocrity. I agree.

If you are too lazy to investigate the nuances of business networking, develop new collaborative strategies and tools and continue to network based on what everybody else is doing you probably should quit now and not waste your time. If you network the right way it will help you build a business that is wildly successful.

networkerstalkingThe game is changing. It’s no longer just showing up at a networking event. Networking insists that you be proactive – that you continually refine your expertise. You have to think ahead to get ahead! Be one of the few who take a step back and look around for new and exciting ways to network. Do the unexpected, the new, the different. Make some waves! Do it with no self-doubt, no delusions, no indecision, no hesitation. Learn to network better than everyone else then find someone to mentor. Show everybody else how it’s done. Apply the knowledge gained and see your business grow. You have to be good at networking for it to work.

It is wise to get your networking info from a variety of resources. This site is but one. We are serious about bringing you the latest info in the form of articles and tips. Something new about business networking is posted every 4th day. Direct the members of your networking group to connect with and subscribe to this blog. Click on the “Sign Me Up” button in the right column to subscribe so you won’t miss a single article. You can unsubscribe at anytime. Be sure to check out the “Networking Articles Index” for a list of articles and tips on this blog. Occasionally we feature Guest Authors who are experts on business networking.

Attend networking seminars, workshops and read networking books. Click here to see a list of Networking books.

Need a speaker for your networking meeting? Invite Larry James to speak at your group. He has been a professional speaker presenting Networking seminars, speeches, training sessions, network coaching and workshops nationally since 1987. As of the date of this post he has written 2 Networking books and more than 250 articles about networking both on this blog and his Networking Website. Call his cell at 480-205-3694.

For several years now “Networking HQ BLOG with Larry James” has been a best kept secret. It’s time to spread the word! Tell your friends. Pay it forward. Subscribe to it.

After hearing Larry James speak, thoroughly checking out the Networking Articles Index and re-educating yourself about business networking… some day you will think about the previous way you used to network and chuckle.

Blog orangenetHQCopyright © 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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Sunday, November 6, 2011

No Pressure Networking

Filed under: Guest Author Articles,Qualifying Questions — Larry James @ 9:00 am
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Mindy Selinger, Guest Author

When you take the pressure of selling out of the networking equation you will notice that conversations will flow easier.

NoSellingRelax. Networking is about meeting new people and learning what is unique about them in a business sense. Stay on topic! Much of the fear about attending events comes from the unknown… not knowing what to talk about. No more random conversations for you!

The Four Pre-Qualifying Questions!

1. This is a no-brainer, admittedly, but it starts you on your path of discovery:

• “What does your company do?” or
• “What line of work are you in?”

These questions can take various forms when you take a clue from their name tag,

• “What type of company is Jones & Associates?”

Many times the answer to this question will give you a clue to additional partnership possibilities. Example: If the answer to this question is, “My company provides IT support for small to medium-sized businesses”, you know that they interface with many different industries, some of them may be the demographic you want to meet. If you also work with small to medium-sized businesses, you have a similar client base.

2. The second piece of information you need to know is where they fit in the company, so you ask;

• “What is your position with the company?”, or
• “Is this your own business?”

businessnetThese questions continues the process of discovering the ultimate business contact, a PowerPartner. You need to know if you are talking to a Sales Person, or the HR Director. The Owner or the IT specialist. Managing Partner or the CFO. Know beforehand who is a good PowerPartner Potential for you… but there’s more.

3. You are in the middle of a great conversation, but most importantly, you know exactly where you’re going with your questions, and the next one is the most important one:

• “What is your target market?” or…
• “What type of clients do you work with?”

Hopefully, the clients they describe are your clients too! However, their answer may be a bit unclear; not because they don’t know, but because most people generalize or try to cast too wide of a net. A Realtor® could say, “Anybody buying or selling a house?” Your job is to get them to narrow down their ideal client profile. Possible niche markets could be seniors, empty-nesters, condos, horse properties, fist-time buyers, short sales, etc. Now you have a target to aim for.

4. This question continues to zero in on the perfect PowerPartner:

• “How long have you been with your company?”

If the answer to this question is, “I just started with them last week”, that person may have little clout, and few contacts. But not so fast… It could be they’re very well connected, having moved to their present job after a long association elsewhere. They may still be a good PowerPartner. The point is: Do not jump to conclusions, keep digging. Here are some possible secondary questions depending upon your circumstances:

• “How long has your company been in business?”
• “How many employees are at your company?”
• “Is your company regional or national?” (good to know if your business is national or you like to travel)
• “What is your territory?”

Seek out the person standing alone and strike up a conversation. Be the rescuer of forlorn networkers. You know their pain. You may find a gem of a connection you would have never met because they were not in the middle of the action.

Selinger

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Authors & Speakers Network Blog

Copyright © 2011 – Mindy Selinger. Reprinted with Permission. Mindy Selinger is a Networking Strategist. She is the author of the “Face-To-Face Networking Book.” She has been actively involved in business networking on many levels since starting her first business in 1991. Mindy is the founder of a national resource for the professional business networking industry, NetworkingEventFinders.com, which publishes a local Networking Guide & Event Calendars across the country. She lives in San Diego, California.

Larry James is a professional speaker and the author of three relationship books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” His newest book is “Ten Commitments of Networking.” Larry James also offers “Author & Speaker” coaching. Contact: AuthorsandSpeakersNetwork.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. CelebrateLove@cox.net – More than 110 articles especially for Authors & Speakers at: www.AuthorsandSpeakersNetwork.com

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

NOTE: All articles and “LoveNotes” 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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Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Your Networking Fortune is in Your Follow-Up!

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

When networking, following up does not mean simply adding those people you meet at networking events to your e-mail list, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. It’s more than that.

puzzleIt takes a concentrated effort to go out of your way – in other words, “plan to follow-up” – to stay connected to the key players in your network. Effective follow-up is a key piece of the networking puzzle!

Let me clarify: As a part of your follow-up “it is” important to add contacts to your e-mail list, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn… especially with your new networking connections. But… don’t stop there!

Listen up! I’m only going to say this once! (or maybe as many times as necessary to make sure you get the point!). It is my belief that the lack of follow-up has caused the the demise of more salespeople in networking than any other single reason.

Follow-up will elevate your success and your own impression of networking because it really works! Follow-up will help you turn networking into an extraordinary experience. It’s the best prescription for your future success.

One of the biggest mistakes new (and some seasoned) networkers make is trying to sell their product or service to people they have just met at a networking event. Only fools rush to close the sale. That doesn’t work! They are the ones who need a crash course in “effective” networking. Your networking fortune is in your follow-up! That’s where you “test the water;” where you begin to develop the relationship. There is seldom ever a sale made without first pursuing the relationship.

follow-upThe genius of follow-up is that it is where great relationships begin. Build the relationship first and business leads, sales and more will follow.

The BEST of the new breed of networkers follow this 4-step process:

1. Reach Out. In the beginning, attend lots of networking events, meetings, leads groups, etc., then as you become more savvy with networking, zero in on one or two of the best. To increase your network, from time-to-time, visit a new event or meeting to expand your network. Reaching out to connect is only the beginning.

2. Connect. Meet lots of people. Fine-tune your initial conversation with them to help you sort through the people you meet to assure that the connection is valuable to both of you. Ask questions about how you can help them. Taking advantage of your first connection with them requires a unique perspective. The experience and expertise you demonstrate will help move you to the next step.

3. Engage. Keep a sharp eye for those who impress you as the movers and shakers. They are the people who do not rush to sell you their product or services. Dig deeper. Looks for things you have in common; a topic of interest, whether personal or professional. You power your network and business growth by uncovering and unlocking their networking intentions. The information you get will enable you to connect with them at a more personal level. Make sure they know you are on a mission to help others. These are the people you will want to have longer conversations with.

followupafternetworking4. Follow-up. Set the tone for the follow-up when you first meet them (provided they are someone whom you would like to get to know better). Follow up starts when the conversation begins. Ask if they would be interested in getting together to talk more about how you can help each other. The faster the follow-up the quicker you move forward with the relationship. Keep the momentum going. Exchange business cards and agree to call to arrange a time to get together. Breakfast, lunch, their office, your office, it matters not where, only that you get together. At the meeting, offer an idea, a contact or some other resource that may be helpful. The most effective follow up highlights the benefits of working together.

Develop a meticulous follow-up plan; a relentless pursuit of ways to help others in your network. Think of it as being fiscally responsible for your business success.

No follow-up plan? Trust me. You will get burned. The good news is that networking works! It will help you experience a dramatic turn-around. The bad news is that unless you seek powerful networking guidance tools (and use them) you will most likely complain that networking doesn’t work and eventually you will quit. How sad!

Networking is our communication life-line and follow-up provides us with opportunities to enjoy what we treasure most – great relationships!

Follow-up is the first smart step in the right direction. It’s a start to which there is no finish because it’s where the relationship begins. And… when the relationship is good, it goes on and on. It becomes the foundation for a healthy business that brings you more friends, business leads, ideas and more clients and customers than you ever imagined.

Now… get off your butt and follow-up!

BONUS Articles: 5 Ways to Use Follow Up to Achieve Results
Shop for a GREAT Networking Group… Then STOP!

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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Follow Larry’s “Relationship BLOG” at: http://CelebrateLove.wordpress.com/
Follow Larry’s “Wedding BLOG” at: http://CelebrateIntimateWeddings.wordpress.com
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