Networking HQ BLOG with Larry James

Monday, May 28, 2012

Let’s Get Serious!

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

Business networking is NOT about attending an event, collecting stacks of business cards and telling everyone about YOUR business!

People who only do that just don’t get it!

TeamworkRarely few, if any will do business with you – much less refer new business to you – unless they have an established relationship with you. As my friend, Tom Hopkins, once said, “People only do business with people they like and trust.”

I am offended when meeting someone new at a networking event if the only thing they want to do is try to get me to buy their product or service. Are you kidding? “I don’t know you, much less trust you! Get lost!” Of course, I would never say that to anyone, but I’m thinking it. I simply conjure up a quick excuse to move on and put their business card in the pocket designated for “throw-away” later. Seldom will anyone refer you to their close business associates upon first meeting you.

So. . . Stop it! Don’t do networking that way anymore. It doesn’t work!

Rethink your strategy. Spend some time learning how the professional networkers do it. Research the hundreds of FREE networking articles in this blog. Take a look at the Networking Articles Index. Attend a networking seminar and begin to use the valuable tips you learn. Read good networking books. “Ten Commitments of Networking” is a great book to start with.

“Let someone else educate you, even if you’re tempted to stay closed minded, because you value their knowledge and appreciate their willingness to share it.” ~ Lori Deschene

Before you can get the attention of the professional networkers (the people you really need to know), the pros will want to know more about YOU first – then your business (in that order). They will first seek to understand how they might be able to help you, if you are someone that knows the networking ropes and whether you are someone they could work with in the future.

Once you gain the confidence of those in your network you will most likely be granted unlimited access to their knowledge of networking and when that partnership is in place you will fit nicely in their connection zone. Information that is timely, relevant and trustworthy is the reward. AND maybe even a business referral or two. With a solid business relationship in place you will be amazed how it will improve your productivity.

To sum it up. . . it’s time to get serious about business networking. Networking works better when we all work together, get to know each other better and focus on developing long-term relationships with other networkers.

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

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Thursday, May 24, 2012

How Do You View the People in Your Network?

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

How we view the people in our network is dependent on the relationship we have with them. We all need to free ourselves from being judgemental. Pre-judging a new member is a mistake. Preconceived notions are ideas or beliefs that a person forms, before actually encountering someone or something, or before getting to know them.

BeImpeccableWhat you think about and speak about, you bring about. In other words, if you view someone in your networking group with disdain, you well most likely never have the opportunity to build a close business relationship with them.

Suggestion: Be an optimist! Invite them to lunch outside and away from your networking hangout. Spend some time getting to know them. Ask lots of questions about them and their business. Pretend you never ever thought of them in a negative way and work to discover ways you can help each other. I call this “demystifying” people you think you don’t like (or have a good opinion about).

It is important to remember that “trust” is the foundation of ALL relationships! There are sometimes good reasons to never offer a business lead to someone in your network. I once gave a “red hot” lead to someone in my networking group and found out later that they never called them – even though they told me that they had called numerous times with no response. The referral was a good friend of mine and I had told him that the person I was referring him to was dependable, honest and reliable. After speaking with my friend, I discovered that he had received no calls or messages and after two weeks there was no follow-up from the person I referred to him. I had a very private meeting with the person I referred to my friend and called him on his stuff. Although he denied that he hadn’t called, I trusted my friend and told him that he would never receive further leads from me. He dropped out of the group two weeks later.

BadAttitudeNever underestimate someone because of his or her current profession. Do you have professional bias? We all have it at times – the belief that we are in some way superior to other professions or that because they are in a profession we are not familiar with they are someone that we could care less about. That’s a bad idea. Open-mindedness is the remedy.

enthusiasticPre-qualifying works but prejudging does not. Keith Rosen, MCC said in his book, “To permanently eliminate any confusion, let’s draw a distinction between what it means to pre-qualify and prejudge a prospect. If you read my cold calling book (The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Cold Calling), you know that I’m a strong advocate of pre-qualifying anyone before you invest your time in meeting or speaking with them. Conversely, prejudging shows up in the filter or barrier that you have in your listening.”

When you pre-qualify someone for membership in your group, you determine whether or not there’s a fit worth pursuing based on a predetermined set of criteria and the use of well-crafted questions. Prejudging, put simply, is all about you. To prejudge someone is to make assumptions about them before you have asked any questions or uncover any facts.

Stop it! If you’re guilty of prejudging, don’t do that anymore. You may miss an opportunity. Networking is about helping others. Do everything you can to be of service. Be enthusiastic when you meet someone new. Drop all judgements. Be respectful. Keep a positive attitude about the people in your network for much better networking results.

BONUS Article: Do You Vet Your New Networking Members?

netHQ

Copyright © 2012 – Larry James. Adapted from Larry’s latest book, Ten Commitments of Networking: Creative Ways to Maximize Your Personal Connections! Larry James is a Professional Speaker, Author and Coach. He presents networking seminars nationally and “Networking” coaching by telephone or one-on-one. 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, May 20, 2012

Is Your Business Card Costing You Business?

Filed under: Business Cards — Larry James @ 8:00 am
Tags:

Brian Feinblum, Guest Author

The public relations firm that I work for, MEDIA CONNECT, is a division of Finn Partners, a Ruder Finn Co. We recently renamed ourselves (formerly Planned Television Arts) upon celebrating our 50th anniversary this past month. As part of our new branding efforts, it was decided that our business cards would include our individual photo on the back, spanning the full size of the card.

Surprisingly, our staff was split over the idea. Some felt a business card shouldn’t have photos. After all, we are not a real estate business! Others, like myself, felt it was a nice touch. We are in the people business and a personal feel is important. Besides, who can be in PR and be shy?

NetBusCardPeople see our faces all over the place; on our Web site and on one’s social media profiles and pages, etc. I don’t get too many business cards that contain photos and I collect a lot of cards. But I think most people don’t think of putting a photo on or don’t want to lay out extra money to do so. I see it as an advantage to have my photo on there, but perhaps if one has concerns about their looks, age, or that one will see their demographic makeup from viewing their photo, they should avoid the photo thing. If you’re in the Witness Protection Program, don’t put your photo on the card.

What I don’t like about business cards is this:

• Ones with airbrushed photos or outdated Glamour Shots are tacky.
• Oversized cards are dumb—if I can’t put it in my wallet, it goes in the garbage.
• Cards that lack key information such as Web site, email address, or phone (do you want me to contact you or not?).
• Cards with too much information—three cell numbers, four websites, and a bunch of Facebook pages (no one is checking out all this crap).
• When the card is not easily readable—small font, distracting background, not enough white space.
• When the card is too thin and flimsy—if it feels light you’re a lightweight.
• When the card lacks texture, raised printing, or color—cheap and boring.
• Gimmicky attempts to desperately convey an image that is not consistent with who you really are.
• People who cross out information or cover it with a label—how lazy are you?

I once was contacted by a vender about creating 3D cards with photos. What’s next – a halogram?

Cards can have slogans as long as they don’t sound like a Chinese fortune cookie saying.

And if you are one of those people who say they ran out of business cards, I can only conclude one of three things:

1. You’re so busy that you need to print more cards up (wow!)
2. You really forgot them (shame on you)
3. You don’t want me to contact you ever again (sigh)

Some think they don’t need them, that paper cards are as fashionable as owning a printed encyclopedia. But no matter how green or cool you hope to be, you still need a business card.

A business card is one of many things that make impressions upon another and contribute to influencing whether our relationship will continue and develop. When you first meet someone you quickly assess many things, such as:

• The firmness of their handshake.
• If they look you in the eye when talking.
• If they sound genuine—or genuine bullshitters.
• Their energy level.
• The harmony of their voice.
• Dress appropriateness.
• If they are attractive.
• Their vocabulary range.
• Their sense of humor.
• Their overall trustworthiness vibe.
• If you feel a connection.

Okay, so you’re not dating or banging every person you meet, but let’s face it, you want to like those whom you do business with. So remember to make sure your business card is special. Consider adding a photo of yourself or Photoshop someone more attractive and slap it on your card. 😉 If people really like you, chances are they won’t look too closely at the photo. And if you decide someone is not card-worthy just tell them, “Sorry, I am fresh out of cards.”

BONUS Articles: What About Business Cards…
When Business Cards Aren’t Enough
Give Your Brand Personal “Curb Appeal” at Networking Events!
Networking is NOT a Card Game…
Eight Cringe-Worthy Networking Blunders

BrianFeinblumnetHQCopyright 2012 – Brian Feinblum. Brian Feinblum, MEDIA CONNECT is a book marketing Blogger. You can follow him on Twitter and e-mail him at: brianfeinblum@gmail.com.

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/

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Be an Information Hub

Filed under: Get Noticed,Networking — Larry James @ 8:00 am

The most successful networkers I know are truly “information hubs.” They are not only on the lookout for business leads for their networking buddies, they pass along valuable bits of information, tips, creative ideas and more as well.

infohubCreate “relevancy” with your networking friends. Be on the lookout for creative ideas, tips, etc., that are relevant to their business. Relevance makes people choose you and your company over others. Hear of a good deal? Tell the others in your network of support.

Pass along a Tweet about someone’s business to your followers – along with a link to their Website. Sometimes I do this without telling them, knowing that we are so well connected that they will soon hear about it from someone else. People love good news – it will help keep you on the top of your customers’ minds.

Always offer additional insight when you can. Be well read. Become a repository of the great information. Have something worthwhile to say (that will assist them with their business) and be able to say it well. Good communication is an art and networkers who master the subtle nuances involved when it comes to talking to other networkers can be far more effective than those who don’t. Be on the lookout for what other people need.

Scan the local newspapers and magazines for articles that might have ideas that can solve one of their problems. If you see a great article in a business magazine that effectively addresses a current and/or difficult issue a fellow networker is facing, send them a copy of the article with a brief note with your business card, “Charlie, I thought this might interest you.” If you bump into a Website or Blog that might be of interest, send them the link by e-mail.

Ask lots of questions to discover ways you can assist others. Talking before listening is a no-no. Listen to their “elevator pitch” (I call it a “30-second Connection“) for clues of how you might help. Talk about “their” business, not yours. Discover “their” needs before offering your ideas, suggestions, etc. If they publish an eZINE or e-mail newsletter ask to be on their list. Get on their Twitter list and take a look at their Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn pages. Watch for ways you can help.

Savvy networkers know that if you want to boost loyalty among others in your network you have to become a powerful resource for them. It’s a great way to create attention for you and your business.

puzzlehubMy friend, Kristi Lee in the Greater Phoenix area, is a great example of that. She is the Founding Partner & Director of Marketing at Bridging The Gap Consulting – a firm that specializes in cultural sensitivity training, conversational business Chinese, corporate and individual training on how to conduct business in China. She is the winner of the “2011 Positively Powerful Woman Award for Nonprofit Leadership.” She has a successful network marketing business with Send Out Cards and received the prestigious “Freedom Award” voted by the top leaders of Send Out Cards in Arizona for “Exceptional Leadership and Dedication.” Kristi is one of the most enthusiastic and highly proficient networkers I have ever met. She lives, breathes and eats networking and is always ready with creative ideas that will help you market your business. She is the best example of someone who is an “information hub” that I know.

By sharing great ideas, information, tips, etc., you are building a psychological debt and although you do it without expecting anything in return (that way you won’t be disappointed if they don’t reciprocate) it is more likely that they will also begin to look for a way to repay you with ideas, information, tips, etc., or better yet – quality business leads. By doing this the debt is paid.

“Get creative, think outside of the box. Keep asking yourself, what are my customer’s and prospect’s problems, needs, concerns, and challenges that have nothing to do with my products or services?” ~ Tim Connor

Are “you” an information hub or a walking, talking brochure who speaks only of “your” business? Others in your network are making snap judgments about you and the way you present yourself. Being an information hub makes you a major competitor – someone who is ready to share what they know without expecting anything in return.

Becoming a great networker is like everything else. You have to work at it. Become a source of information – it creates credibility and confidence. It moves you to a position of influence. It’s also a terrific marketing strategy and business lead generator for you and your business. Begin today to brand yourself as an “information hub.”

howcanihelpnetHQ

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

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Do You Vet Your New Networking Members?

Filed under: Screening New Members,Vetting New Members — Larry James @ 7:00 am
Tags:

No new members of networking clubs, leads or tips groups, etc. should be un-vetted!

business-networking-internallyVetting; Verb. – Pertaining to an investigation. Vetting is a process of examination and evaluation, generally referring to performing a background check on someone before offering him or her employment, conferring an award, etc. A thorough and diligent review of a prospective person or project prior to a hiring or investment decision. Investigate (someone) thoroughly, especially in order to ensure that they are suitable for a job requiring secrecy, loyalty, or trustworthiness.

Never recommend a new member (or a business) unless you know them and trust them. Finding talented people to include in your network is a talent unto itself. This hunt should be energizing, exciting and inclusive of many different people to serve all the member’s needs.

If you are going to take business networking seriously, then all members should be screened and vetted. How can you truly support or refer someone you don’t know very well (or trust)? It wouldn’t hurt to talk to their past customers, and business associates. Why so picky? There is so much at stake. Why? Because every time you refer someone in your group to someone else you stake your reputation on their performance. Never underestimate how bad performance reflects upon you. A vetted connector is a powerful connector and powerful connectors network better together.

meetingRather than leaving it to chance, you’re much better off vetting your new members. Form a special committee of three or five members to screen the applications of new members. Develop some guidelines and stick to them. Trusting your fellow networkers helps you establish solid business relationships which helps in the development and exchange of quality business referrals.

The comprehensive nature of vetting will sometime include private investigation services and social networking monitoring to ensure an accurate profile and honorable reputation of the person being considered for membership. What is their reputational capital? Vetting requirements give the group the ability to make the claim that their members are honorable and trustworthy.

From a new member’s point of view vetting will cause them to think twice about using techniques that might be frowned upon by the group. It demonstrates the groups reliance on professional standards. It helps weed out the losers. When you make it a little harder to join the group, in general, people become more interested. Very few groups go to the trouble of vetting new members. That’s exactly why your group might want to consider doing it. It will help develop dedicated business bonds with others in your group.

A close alliance with all members – not just the new ones – that reduces rogue behavior and benefits many should be what you are looking for. The objective is to protect, support, serve and reassure your members that the reputations of all members are checked before they can join the group.

To me it’s a selling point when I refer someone to my friends. I can honestly say, “I work with a network of trusted, vetted and elite business professionals whose integrity is assured.”

I know to some this may seem extreme. Why is vetting important? Because we want to know that the new member is who they say they are. I started 10 business networking groups when I lived in Tulsa many years ago. All of our members were vetted before they could join – they had to provide references which were all checked before their membership was accepted and approved. What that meant to the group was that every single member could be trusted and recommended with complete confidence.

BONUS Article: How Do I Build My Professional Network?
Evaluate Your Business Networking Group

netHQ

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

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Networking How-to: Lend Your Social Capital

Filed under: Guest Author Articles,Social Capital — Larry James @ 8:30 am
Tags:

Kathy McAfee, Guest Author

I recently read the book “Knowing Your Value: Women, Money and Getting What You’re Worth,” by Mika Brzezinski, co-host of Morning Joe TV news show. I rarely read books cover to cover, but this one captivated me from start to finish. It is an empowering collection of interviews and self-reflection of career women and men who have had to struggle to get paid what they are worth.

Mika

Click book cover for more info

As a board member of the YWCA Hartford Region, I have learned more about the barriers associated with women’s economic empowerment. The wage gap between men and women remains significant: with women earning approximately 77.4 cents for every dollar men earn in the USA. (check out the stats on http://www.pay-equity.org/). That figure hasn’t changed much in the past 16 years.

Lack of sponsorship, mentors and networks

Towards the end of Brzezinski’s book, she makes the statement that “Lack of sponsorship, mentors and networks: this was a recurring theme in almost all my conversations on the subject of women and compensation.”

I have written about the subject of mentoring, and I’ve become really intrigued with the concept of sponsorship and sponsoring others in the work place. I will be dedicating a much larger article on this subject on my other web site: MarketingMotivator.net early next month.

Here’s how Brzezinski defines sponsorship: “A sponsor: someone who is willing to use their own social capital to help pull another up the corporate ladder.

What is social capital?

I did a quick on-line search of this term and found a graduate student named Tristan Claridge who completed a Masters thesis on social capital theory in 2004 at the University of Queensland in Australia. He created a web site – http://www.socialcapitalresearch.com/ . Broadly, his definition of social capital includes reference to social networks and the productive benefits stemming from them. That sounds like networking to me!

Let me take my stab about defining what social capital is and how to use it to create opportunities for yourself and others.

“Social capital is an intangible but powerful asset that you can create for yourself when you network and build relationships with others in your professional and personal life. The power of your social capital is enhanced when you share and exchange it with others to create mutual benefit. Keeping it all to yourself does you little good.” ~ Kathy McAfee, America’s Marketing Motivator

netcapitolLending Social Capital

The next time you ask someone for an introduction or a favor, think about it like a banker. You are dealing with a different kind of capital: not money per se but relationship equity. This is tied directly to their reputation – something that has taken a very long time for them to establish and considerable effort to maintain.

The role of the lender of social capital. You don’t have to accept every request. Assess the risk of the borrower. Understand how they plan to use your social capital and to what end. Ask tons of questions. Assess their character and integrity. Can they be trusted with your asset? Will they represent you well? Be selective and be very clear about your expectations of usage and repayment with the borrower. When you agree, act swiftly on your offer. Set up the arrangements to transfer the social capital and make the personal introductions. Monitor their progress…

The role of the borrower of social capital. Know why you want to borrow their social capital and what you plan on doing with it. Make a convincing case that you will protect and honor their social capital and do only good with it. Keep them updated as to the status of your investment of their social capital. Pay it back (or pay it forward as agreed upfront) with plenty of interest and principle. If they decline your request, do not take it personally. Find another source or another way to get what you need.

Put this idea into action with your networking goal for this week (see below).

Your Networking Goal for the Week

Reflect back on the people in your professional life who have lent you their social capital. Perhaps they sponsored you in some way that paved the way for new opportunity and growth in your career. If so, reach out this week and thank you personally. Let them know what they did for you was significant and greatly appreciated. Time now to pay it forward by helping someone else in a significant way by lending your social capital. Who in your organization or in your network has impressed you? Who do you believe is high potential talent and just needs greater access and resources to realize it? Who could you introduce them to that could create opportunities for them? I want you to think and act like a lender of social capital. Then and only then do you have the right to borrow.

BONUS Article: Networking Mentors – Be One and Find One
Networking… The New Renewable Resource

netHQCopyright 2012 – Kathy McAfee. Kathy McAfee is America’s Marketing Motivator and author of the book Networking Ahead for 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 and NetworkingAhead.com.

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/

Friday, May 4, 2012

The 25 People You Need in Your Network

Filed under: Forming a Networking Group — Larry James @ 7:00 am
Tags:

Adelaide Lancaster, Guest Author

As an entrepreneur (or aspiring one!), you constantly hear about the value of expanding your network. But the truth is, when it comes to business relationships, it’s not quantity that matters – it’s quality. Having memorable, substantial relationships with people who understand your business and can help you over time is the real key to networking success.

NetGroupSo, instead of forcing yourself to meet and greet as many new people as possible, spend your time focusing on a few strategic relationships. You can get all the inspiration, information, resources, and connections you need to move your business forward from five people in each of five strategic areas. Read on for how to build your 25-person power network.

5 Trailblazers – People With Similar But More Established Businesses

Acknowledging that great businesses have come before you doesn’t make you any less smart or capable, and it doesn’t make your company any less successful. So don’t necessarily look at the established companies in your field as competition—instead, see them as your mentors! Learning what they’ve done well and what they wished they’d done differently can give you insight on what’s worked, plus help you avoid learning things the hard way. Don’t be shy here—pick a few of your role models, take them to lunch, and do a lot of listening.

5 Role Models – Businesses Who You Admire in Another Industry

It’s also important to get out of your own sandbox. It’s easy to be focused solely on your industry, but that really limits you from seeing the innovation and ingenuity that exists elsewhere. Smart entrepreneurship is all about transferrable learning. Think about other industries you find interesting and what they might teach you about your own business or customers. What about their tactics and techniques could be incorporated into your own shop? Pick five people you find fascinating in a wide variety of industries—and learn everything you can from them.

5 Thought Leaders – Smart People Who Make You Think Differently

Similarly, you should connect to people who help you broaden your perspective and see the world in a different light. These may be entrepreneurs, but they certainly don’t have to be – they can be anyone who asks the tough questions and doesn’t mind pushing the envelope once in a while. Make sure that a couple people in this group are those who you don’t automatically agree with. Few business strategies are automatically right or wrong, and people who challenge what you tend to think can be a great check and balance for your decisions.

businessnetworkingevent5 Informants – People that Love Being in the Know

As an entrepreneur, you’ll spend much of your time thinking about the things that you don’t know—business strategy, technical details, resources, rules, you name it. Of course, all of that info is out there somewhere, but it still requires lots of time sifting through unvetted leads to find. Fortunately, some people pride themselves on being walking encyclopedias. Get to know them. Ask them questions often, and take them to coffee to pick their brain from time to time. (In return, be sure to share your resources and experiences, too.)

5 Cheerleaders – Your Entrepreneurial Pals

Perhaps most importantly, you need your posse: your confidantes who will cheer you on when things are great, and hear about the worst (with no judgment) when they’re not. After all, entrepreneurship isn’t for the faint of heart, and only other entrepreneurs can truly understand the complex happiness/exhaustion relationship that comes with running a business. Make sure that you have people you can count on to help out when you need it most. (And make sure to reciprocate by lending an ear, hand, or shoulder when they need it, too.)

When you’re putting together this list, remember to have fun with it – these should be people you want to learn from and spend time with! Many slots will be filled by your friends and existing contacts, but don’t be afraid to think big. Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest are making it easier than ever to cultivate relationships with and get information from anyone, even VIPs. Reach out and ask – you might be surprised at who’s willing to help.

Copyright 2012 – Adelaide Lancaster. Adelaide Lancaster is an entrepreneur, consultant, speaker and co-author of The Big Enough Company: Creating a business that works for you (Portfolio/Penguin). She is also the co-founder of In Good Company Workplaces, a first-of-its-kind community, learning center and co-working space for women entrepreneurs in New York City. She is also a contributor to The Huffington Post and writes The Big Enough Company blog for Forbes.com. She lives in Philadelphia, PA with her husband and daughter.

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!”

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