Networking HQ BLOG with Larry James

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Networking and Socializing – Never Confuse the Two

Filed under: Networking Defined,Networking Tip,Show Up! — Larry James @ 7:00 am

“If you’re confused about networking, you’re not alone. Men and women sometimes equate networking with socializing, when in fact the two are quite different. There’s no doubt that online networking has a social component. But generally, when they talk about the value of networking, career experts are referring to professional interaction.” ~ Paula Santonocito

twitter_bird_learningThere is a lot of interest in social networking on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. The key word is “social.” Social networking will never replace the idea of a face-to-face connection with live people. Just because 3,642 people on Facebook “like” you doesn’t really accomplish the same thing as meeting people up close and personal. I won’t lie. I do it too, however, I have yet to receive more than a dozen business leads that have actually turned into real business.

Unfortunately as a Networking Coach I find far too many networking groups and events where the emphasis seems to be on socializing. Far too many people replace real networking with professional socializing. Of course there is always a little bit of that wherever you find groups of people, however that is not only what networking is about.

Professional socializing is connecting with people to be social rather than to drive sales. Socializing is often thought of as hanging out with no purpose and often results in nothing productive happening. It’s fun to be with friends for a drink and some light conversation, however, light conversation often doesn’t get you anywhere. Meaningful conversation does.

connecting2The most productive networking is with people who are likely to be close to the people you want to meet – people who you can help and those who are in a position to help you. You talk about meaningful stuff and the focus is on helping each other. Great networks are those in which people help each other get where they want to go.

“My definition of business networking is this: 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, author of “Ten Commitments of Networking: Creative Ways to Maximize Your Personal Connections!

I once heard someone say, “Two things to have on you at all times: breath mints and business cards.” 😉 Not a bad idea. That way you are always prepared to make some good connections. Remember, networking is not about YOU! It’s about helping others and nurturing long-term relationships. Always ask them what they are about and what they might need from others in their network. Really listen to the other person and ask questions in response. If you first show an interest in them, they will usually be interested enough to ask about you.

“Networking with a purpose is connecting with people with a goal in mind, and that goal is to help them get where they are going, and to ask them for help in getting where you want to go. When you attend a meeting filled with prospective customers, you are marketing yourself (I hope) and developing prospects. When you attend a meeting with few customers, your goal should be to find those who are influential and connected to the customers you want to reach.” ~ Tony Signorelli

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Copyright © 2012 – Larry James. Larry James is a Professional Speaker, Author and Coach. He presents networking seminars nationally and “Networking” coaching by telephone or one-on-one. His latest book is, Ten Commitments of Networking: Creative Ways to Maximize Your Personal Connections! 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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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Host(ess) With the Most(est)

Filed under: BE the Host!,Guest Author Articles,Mix & Mingle — Larry James @ 7:00 am
Tags: ,

Andy Lopata, Guest Author

Many networking experts – including Larry James – recommend that you “act the host” at an event as a great way of meeting lots of people, encouraging others to feel at ease and feeling confident.

man&womanshakinghandsThis is essential if it’s your event but also useful if you attend something regularly. Done properly, the impact you make on other people can be very powerful.

Last week I attended an event hosted by Women in Banking and Finance (WiBF) for their speakers, committee and sponsors. I had the pleasure of speaking for WiBF late last year at Citi and welcomed the early opportunity to carry on building some of the relationships I had made that evening and previously.

Sylvana Caloni is the President of WiBF and was hosting the event last Wednesday. Not content with just meeting and greeting everyone, Sylvana was a hive of activity. She knew everyone present and who they should be meeting and she was continually making introductions.

I benefited personally from about five very strong introductions made by Sylvana. Not only did she introduce me to people, she explained to both parties who the other person was and why we should be talking to each other. The ice was broken and constructive conversations were the outcome each time.

If I wanted to meet someone in particular, Sylvana made it happen.

When you have the opportunity to introduce people at an event, whether you are the host or not, take a leaf from Sylvana’s book and grab it. People are always grateful to the introducer when a new connection turns out to be a positive one, so look for the chance to make those introductions.

BONUS Article: At a Networking Event, BE the Host!

recommended

Click cover to order!

andynetHQ

Copyright © 2012 – Andy Lopata. Reprinted with permission. Labeled “Mr Network” by The Sun, Andy Lopata was called “one of Europe’s leading business networking strategists” by the Financial Times. The co-author of two books on networking, Andy is a featured columnist the US magazine “The National Networker,” as well as being regularly quoted in the national press. Previously, Andy was Managing Director of UK network Business Referral Exchange. Andy has since worked with companies from one-man bands to organisations such as NatWest Bank, Merrill Lynch and Mastercard to help them realise the full potential from their networking. He is a former vice-president of the Professional Speakers Association. Visit Andy’s Website and BLOG.

Larry James presents networking seminars nationally and offers Networking coaching; one-on-one or for your Networking Group! Invite Larry James to speak to your group! His latest book is, Ten Commitments of Networking: Creative Ways to Maximize Your Personal Connections! Something NEW about Networking is posted on this Networking BLOG every 4th day! Visit Larry’s Networking Website at: “Networking HQ!”

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

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

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Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
Follow Larry’s “once daily” Relationship Tweet at: http://www.Twitter.com/larryjames
Follow Larry’s “Relationship BLOG” at: http://CelebrateLove.wordpress.com/
Follow Larry’s “Wedding BLOG” at: http://CelebrateIntimateWeddings.wordpress.com
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Saturday, January 21, 2012

Evaluate Your Business Networking Group

Filed under: Evaluate Your Group — Larry James @ 8:00 am

Is networking not working for you as well as you would like? Have you ever considered that you may be in the wrong networking group?

Perhaps it’s time to re-evaluate which group works and which ones you should eliminate! If your networking group just isn’t all it’s cracked up to be and if you’re not seeing the results from your networking activities, after you have re-evaluated all aspects of the group and YOUR participation, perhaps you should look for another group.

evaluationEvaluate which business networking groups were worthwhile and which were not. Networking is an important way to make new connections with prospective clients, customers, partners, and team members directly, so it should be planned and reviewed carefully. Take out your calendar and flip through the pages. Mark those events as “A” where you met the people you wanted to meet, “B” where you know there is the potential to meet those you wish, and “C” where you won’t return for one reason or another. Share this info with your team and ask them to do the same so you can compare notes. One person’s “B” might be another person’s “A,” so you can learn a lot from sharing this process. ~ Bill Ringle

No networking group is free. If no fee, you must consider your time. However, the fee, if any, to be in the group you’re in should not be a consideration. If you are getting results the cost is irrelevant.

Evaluate who is attending your group. Are they duds or dudes and dudesess? Do they give without expectations? Or, are they there to sell you their product or service? Do they really understand the basics of effective business networking? Do the other members reach out to find out what you need so they can help you. Does the group have outside speakers that will teach you more about networking? Do members attend on a consistent basis? What do they do, if anything, to ensure that all of the members contribute? Are there a variety of businesses represented? Fact: You will always have a few duds in each group, however you will find that they eventually leave the group and blame everyone but themselves.

Networking groups must excite, engage, excite and enrich you. If it doesn’t, you may be wasting your time in the wrong group. Networking should be fun! Are the other member truly motivated? Do they generate lots of networking referrals? It’s smart to connect with like-minded people – people who are savvy networkers. Some groups pass over quality members in favor of how many members they can sign up. Remember, there are no good or bad groups, just the right or wrong groups depending on your goals and your needs. What are your networking objectives? Are they clearly defined? You should be looking for members who are the perfect fit for your business.

Does size matter? I believe it does. Bigger is not always better. My opinion is that you will most likely reap greater rewards from a group of high energy networkers of not more than 30 to 40 members. A small meeting with the right people is better than a huge group with the wrong people. I also believe that you are taking your chances when you visit a mega networking event. There you have the possibility of running into lots of people who are there solely to hock their wares. That’s not networking… that’s selling.

In a smaller group you can watch the action of the members for several months to see who knows what they are doing and then single out the people you want to get to know better. Once you’ve established a relationship with another group member and you are certain that he or she knows you, likes you and trusts you, you can invite that person to coffee of lunch for the express purpose of finding out how you can best help them. I prefer to focus on 1-to-1 meetings with those in my group as opposed to the 1-to-many.

evaluateWhat about you? Are you referring business to them, providing them with information that can help them, brainstorming business building ideas, and more? What are you doing to help your referral partners? Be sure you are doing your part before you decide to leave a group. Make sure that the message you give every week during your 30-second connection is succinct, to the point, and benefits-oriented. Be sure you drop the “what is in it for me?” attitude. Being a member isn’t enough. Showing up to meetings regularly – and I mean “no excuses for not showing up – is a must.

Getting more involved in the group you are already in will get you better visibility and enable you to build stronger relationships with other members quicker. Before joining a new group, make sure you keep in mind your networking objectives for the year and determine whether the new group’s activities and purpose are aligned with your goals.

Remember, networking is not a get-rich-quick scheme. It takes time to build strong relationships. Patience is required. You make a big mistake if you look for immediate gains. Get rid of your expectations and do what needs to be done to make networking work. If you don’t, you may be spinning your wheels.

BONUS Article: How Do I Build My Professional Network?

netHQ

Copyright © 2012 – Larry James. Larry James is a Professional Speaker, Author and Coach. He presents networking seminars nationally and “Networking” coaching by telephone or one-on-one. His latest book is, Ten Commitments of Networking: Creative Ways to Maximize Your Personal Connections! Something NEW about Networking is posted on this Networking BLOG every 4th day! Visit Larry’s Networking Website at: “Networking HQ!”

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

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

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Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
Follow Larry’s “once daily” Relationship Tweet at: http://www.Twitter.com/larryjames
Follow Larry’s “Relationship BLOG” at: http://CelebrateLove.wordpress.com/
Follow Larry’s “Wedding BLOG” at: http://CelebrateIntimateWeddings.wordpress.com
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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

ASK! – Always Allow Your Friends the Opportunity to Help You!

Filed under: Networking — Larry James @ 7:30 am

I had a dream recently and as convoluted as dreams often are, I awoke not remembering the beginning of the dream. All I remembered was that my friend, Bob, didn’t at least allow me the opportunity to help him in a time of need.

In the dream, his car broke down the day before. He had to walk a great distance and somehow I found out about it after the fact. Bob was a little depressed and looked like he needed a hug. I remember having a conversation with him that went something like this:

helpinghandLarry: Bob, why didn’t you give me a call. I would have been happy to give you a ride.
Bob: I know you are very busy and I didn’t want to be burden.
Larry: But, Bob, that’s what friends are for. They make time for a friend in need.
Bob: Yeah, but I just figured you would be busy and besides I needed the exercise.
Larry: I’m disappointed that you didn’t at least give me a chance to offer you a ride. Promise you will call me in the future?
Bob: Okay! Will do!

Fast forward…

My friend Bob lives in Las Vegas. In truth, I would not have been able to give him a ride, however it didn’t appear that way in the dream. I called Bob today to make sure he was okay and told him about my dream. (Sidebar: He’s okay! We had a laugh about the dream and he closed by saying, “If I ever need a ride, I’ll call you.” – From Las Vegas… I don’t think so!) 😉

While that dream had nothing to do with business networking, I was disturbed by it and woke up wondering how many other times our friends don’t call when they need something because they think they don’t want to bother us or that we might be too busy to talk?

helpafriendThe friends we make with the relationships we develop while networking are part of our support system. They need for us to tell them that if they ever need “anything” – a ride to work, a great restaurant referral, business advice, just need someone to talk to… whatever! – that they should call. If you are too busy to talk at the moment you can promise them you will return the call. Or, if you can’t help them, do your best to refer them to someone who can.

respectRemember, in networking you are usually only a few people away from someone who can help you with whatever you need.

AND… you have to ask for what you want!

If you are a real networker, you know that your primary focus should be to be of service to others. Are you sending that message to the people in your network?

Perhaps it’s time to place more emphasis on becoming closer friends with the people we network with. Make some breakfast or lunch appointments this week to get to know those people in your network that you might like to get to know better. Start with the ones you think you might be able to help.

Sometimes it’s a great idea for your networking group to target one member and focus the groups energy on helping that member for a week. The next week choose another member.

I don’t know about you but I always do my best to “make time” for my friends. That’s what friends are for.

BONUS Articles: How Can I Help You?
Ask For What You Want!

netHQ

Copyright © 2012 – Larry James. Larry James is a Professional Speaker, Author and Coach. He presents networking seminars nationally and “Networking” coaching by telephone or one-on-one. His latest book is, Ten Commitments of Networking: Creative Ways to Maximize Your Personal Connections! Something NEW about Networking is posted on this Networking BLOG every 4th day! Visit Larry’s Networking Website at: “Networking HQ!”

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

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

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Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
Follow Larry’s “once daily” Relationship Tweet at: http://www.Twitter.com/larryjames
Follow Larry’s “Relationship BLOG” at: http://CelebrateLove.wordpress.com/
Follow Larry’s “Wedding BLOG” at: http://CelebrateIntimateWeddings.wordpress.com
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Friday, January 13, 2012

Real Networking Winners Don’t Compete…

Filed under: Networking — Larry James @ 8:00 am

Real networking winners don’t compete… they collaborate!

Those people who may be in your same business as you are are not your enemy. Some of them are so protective of all they know about what they do that it hinders them from making the connections that might just help them get to where they want to go. They believe that one wins and the other loses.

collaborationI prefer to believe that both can be winners. There is plenty of business to go around. It takes a bold step forward. I no longer fear the competition, I embrace it. Some say that competition brings out your greatest potential. However, when it comes to business, I no longer believe that. In sports, perhaps. The gift of collaboration yields more than the gift of competition. For it to work collaboration must be reciprocal.

Compare someone who is protective of their turf and someone who believes that there is no competition and you will find that there indeed is but one winner in that comparison. It’s not the one who protects their turf and is afraid to collaborate with others.

The real winners in the real world are those who join forces to meet the challenges of everyday business together. They find ways to work together – to combine their forces – to help each other. They make friends of the so-called competition and learn to pool their creative resources – to help each other. It’s about building up rather than tearing down. You must learn to trust the process and respect the synergy that flows from collaboration. They realize that becoming a better professional networker begins with adjusting their priorities. It’s no longer about “me, me, me,” it collectively about us and how we can best work together.

In essence the two – working together – become a team. And together they share new ideas on effective teamwork, and experience a quick surge of creativity, or burst of innovation! How can that not help each other grow?

It’s true that there are company secrets that one must guard, I’m not talking about that. Guarding company secrets is one thing but for managers or companies to forbid fraternization with the so-called enemy is stupid. It is ineffective to subscribe to the total gridlock that has brought many people and companies to a grinding halt.

Study to learn the collaborative etiquette of networking. You have the ability to discover and develop new relationships and to learn the skills of working together – so do it. What is the collaborative etiquette of networking?

collaborateCollaborative, n.
1. The act of working together; united labor.
2. To work together, especially in a joint intellectual effort.

Etiquette, n.
1. The practices and forms prescribed by social convention or by authority.
2. The customs or rules governing behavior regarded as correct or acceptable in social or official life

So, collaborative etiquette is: The act of working together within the practice of mutually beneficial social convention. Put another way, it is networking in a way that subscribes to the idea that networking is about 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. Collaborative etiquette is the lubrication that makes things run smoothly. Without it, you may permanently alienate others.

What if it were not the economy but the mindset within the the person networking and the company? Networking not only requires effective collaboration to succeed, it demands it and those who are willing to bend to the winds of attitude adjustment will benefit from it and those who don’t will be left behind.

For me, I prefer to seek out people in my industry that seem to have a bigger following than me. I review their Facebook and Twitter posts, look at their upcoming events, review their other social networks, determine the best way I can offer service to that person and then reach out to them. Some are willing. Some are not. Be okay with that and don’t take it personally.

One way to ensure your long-term success is to get strategic collaborative partners to help you gain exposure and new prospects. The business and partners will automatically follow. Next… you count your blessings!

There is no competition… only cooperation!

BONUS Article: The Joy of Collaboration – Part 1 of 3
The Networking Collaborative
Networking Events are a Waste of Time…

Larry’s Note: A special “thank you” to Robert Green, Chairman of Intergrated Biomolecule Corp., Tucson, AZ for inspiring this article.

netHQ

Copyright © 2012 – Larry James. Larry James is a Professional Speaker, Author and Coach. He presents networking seminars nationally and “Networking” coaching by telephone or one-on-one. His latest book is, Ten Commitments of Networking: Creative Ways to Maximize Your Personal Connections! 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/

Monday, January 9, 2012

Jump-Start Your Network in 2012! – ReConnect!!

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

It’s a great time to give yourself the gift of a “fresh start!” It’s a new year! You can begin again – to reframe how you network, not like a resolution, but a promise to yourself that you keep! Define some new targets!

target“When you fail to hit the target… it is never the targets fault!” – Larry Winget

With a fresh new year upon us, it’s time to take stock of the strength of your professional and personal network.

• How many people do you know and know well? Which ones are trusted allies and “advocates?” Which ones are merely causal acquaintances?
• How deep are your relationships in business and in your personal life?
• Are you connected to the kind of people who can get you closer to your dreams and goals?
• How much equity have you built in those relationships? Have you invested enough time and effort into building the critical connections?
• How many people could you call upon right now for help if you needed it?

This list of questions (courtesy of Kathy McAfee, Networking Ahead for Businsess) will kick-start your thinking. Answer each question honestly. Notice that each question focuses mainly on relationships and helping others – NOT about selling or promoting yourself!

It’s always a great idea to stay in touch with the people you already know to determine how better you can help each other. These are already trusted friends. They know you. If they are advocates of you and your business, I believe this is the best way to begin the new year! ReConnect!! Utilize the resources you already have.

Kathy says, “Stay in Better Touch with People.” I agree!

businesslunchIf you are someone who in the past has attended every major networking event and all the networking functions you had time for and seem to be no further ahead… then you must take time to reflect upon your successes, failures and lessons learned from last year, make some significant changes and start over. Reevaluate “how” you network. Revise your 30-second connection (some call it an elevator speech). Schedule a face-to-face “get reacquainted” lunch. Focus on your friend – not you!

If networking has not been working up to your expectations, maybe… just maybe you need a refresher course from some networking professionals. Attend a networking seminar. Read more than 225 networking articles (as of 1/3/12) in the “Networking Index” on this blog. Take look at the Networking Articles Index, start at the top and being by reading a new networking article every day! Re-educate yourself. Make a new promise to read at least 1 networking book each month this year. Here are a few of my favorite networking books to get you started (in no particular order):

newyearahead1. Dig Your Well Before You’re Thirsty – Harvey MacKay
2. The Go-Giver: A Little Story About a Powerful Business Idea – Bob Burg
3. Endless Referrals – Bob Burg
4. Ten Commitments of Networking: Creative Ways to Maximize Your Personal Connections – Larry James
5. Power Networking: 59 Secrets for Personal & Professional Success – Donna Fisher & Sandy Vilas
6. Truth or Delusion?: Busting Networking’s Biggest Myths – Ivan R. Misner
7. How to Work a Room – Susan RoAne
8. Networking Magic: Find the Best – from Doctors, Lawyers, and Accountants to Homes, Schools, and Jobs – Rick Frishman & Jill Lublin
9. Cracking the Networking CODE: Four Steps to Priceless Business Relationships – Dean Lindsay & Jay Conrad Levinson
10. The Networking Survival Guide: Get the Success You Want By Tapping Into the People You Know – Diane Darling
11. Breakthrough Networking: Building Relationships That Last – Lillian D. Bjorseth
12. Networking Like a Pro: Turning Contacts into Connections – Ivan Misner, David Alexander & Brian Hilliard

Here is a link to more networking books!

Focus on making the network you already have and the friends you already know work for you!

Place a high priority on helping others! ReConnect!!

netHQ

Copyright © 2012 – Larry James. Larry James is a Professional Speaker, Author and Coach. He presents networking seminars nationally and “Networking” coaching by telephone or one-on-one. Invite Larry James to speak to your networking group! His latest book is, Ten Commitments of Networking: Creative Ways to Maximize Your Personal Connections! Something NEW about Networking is posted on this Networking BLOG every 4th day! Visit Larry’s Networking Website at: “Networking HQ!”

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

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

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Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
Follow Larry’s “once daily” Relationship Tweet at: http://www.Twitter.com/larryjames
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, January 5, 2012

Keeping Score is for Sports, Not Networking!

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

Wouldn’t it be nice if every time you passed a referral to someone in your networking group they would respond with a referral for you? You bet! Networking is not a “this-for-that” kind of thing. It doesn’t work that way.

It’s not important to keep score of how many referrals you receive and how many you get back from that person. So many networkers are obsessed with keeping score of how many referrals are created, how many are given and received by each person in the group that they often become distracted from the real reason they are there. In my opinion they should be more interested in who is not receiving referrals so you and the others in your group can make a concerted effort to help them.

collecting“Go without any expectations and enjoy yourself. The secret to the whole process is your attitude.” ~ Jessica Pierce, Executive Director of Career Connectors

Let’s say that you have given lots of referrals to someone in your network of support and one day you realize that they have never given you a referral. You begin to wonder, “What’s up with that? I sent him all this business, but he never gives anything back!” You think about not referring him anymore until he gives back to you. Makes sense, right?

Wrong!

When you focus on keeping score and stop referring, you can miss out on numerous opportunities. You can never tell where you’re next referral is coming from. When it does… rejoice that you will have received “unexpected income!”

“My Golden Rule of Networking is this: Reciprocity without keeping score! Simply stated, it means what can I do for you without expecting anything in return?” ~ Harvey Mackay, author of “Dig Your Well Before You’re Thirsty: The Only Networking Book You’ll Ever Need

“My definition of business networking is this: 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, author of “Ten Commitments of Networking: Creative Ways to Maximize Your Personal Connections!

You must give without keeping score. Don’t shop for gratitude in your phone calls, your one-on-ones or e-mail. Network with others because you like and respect the other person and honestly want to help. If you manage your career and live your life in this way, magical things will happen.

Harvey Mackay says, “Never abuse confidences and or share inside information. You only have to do this once, and you’ll be marked as a security risk for life. Worst of all: You’ll never learn what others know about you and why they won’t trust you.”

The quality of your business (and your life) is determined by the quality of your relationships. That’s the key. People who like and trust you will go to extraordinary lengths to help you. If you become distracted by keeping score, you often lose the opportunity to focus on developing and nurturing the kind of relationships you need to have that happen. Creating meaningful relationships is difficult, but maintaining mutually beneficial relationships is even more difficult. Connecting with others is a constant process of giving and receiving and of asking for and offering help.

team2One more thing… never not pass a referral just because the person isn’t in your networking group. Just keep doing unto others as you would have them do unto you, without expectations. Unfulfilled expectations always cause problems.

To build a powerful network of genuine, mutually beneficial relationships, you must truly care about helping others to become successful. Your network of support should operate as a team. Everyone on a team is suppose to support each other. If you do not share this idea, you should stop networking today!

If you MUST keep score… periodically check the numbers on how many people you have helped in your network! Continue to run that number up!

Savvy networkers have discovered that the currency of effective networking is not greed but generosity. STOP keeping score!

BONUS Article: Networking Defined!

netHQ

Copyright © 2012 – Larry James. Larry James is a Professional Speaker, Author and Coach. He presents networking seminars nationally and “Networking” coaching by telephone or one-on-one. His latest book is, Ten Commitments of Networking: Creative Ways to Maximize Your Personal Connections! 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/
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Sunday, January 1, 2012

You Can’t Network if You Dance With Who Brung You!

Filed under: Mix & Mingle — Larry James @ 9:00 am

In other words, if you attend a networking event or meeting and only hang out with or sit with the people in your own office or friends that you already know, you’re wasting your time. It’s natural to huddle with your friends because it makes us feel safe, but it borders on being anti-social.

womenshakehandsNetworking is about mixing, mingling and meeting new people. Most of us are not born minglers. Practice and preparation will help you develop the skills it takes to be an effective networker. You must get out of your comfort zone and work the room. Be brave. You can’t be shy while networking and expect results. Make it a choice to have fun as you reach out to new contacts to introduce yourself and build some new relationships.

Say “Hello” to all wall flowers. Just don’t be one. Interact with strangers. Help them by making introductions to others you’ve met already. As difficult or awkward as it may feel at first, the ability to meet and make a positive impression on anyone will become easier the more you are willing to do it. Do yourself a favor and as quickly as possible determine what you have in common with other people there. Talk about that.

Ask questions and really “listen” to the answers. The answers often lead you to new conversations. The goal of the conversation is to learn as much as you can about the person you are meeting, NOT to talk about yourself.

Some people may not respond to your introduction in the way you would like. Never take it personal. If that happens, excuse yourself and move on. The person you think is rejecting you may just be preoccupied with his or her personal stuff.

It’s fine to attend with someone else for morale support, however when you get there you and your friend should split up. After the event you may want to hook-up with your friend and compare notes, but don’t let me catch you hanging out together. 😉

Always remember how important it is for you to physically move around the room. You can accomplish much more and be much more efficient when – as “The Efficiency Coach” says – “divide and conquer!”

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

netHQ

Copyright © 2012 – Larry James. Larry James is a Professional Speaker, Author and Coach. He presents networking seminars nationally and “Networking” coaching by telephone or one-on-one. His latest book is, Ten Commitments of Networking: Creative Ways to Maximize Your Personal Connections! 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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