Networking HQ BLOG with Larry James

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Want to Stand Out in Your Networking Circles? Get Involved!

Filed under: Networking Tip,Volunteer — Larry James @ 8:30 am
Tags: , ,

Laura Orsini, Guest Author

Many years ago, I knew a man from the same organization where we did the Hokey Pokey. Stan was a Melaleuca distributor and I remember two other things about him: (1) he publicly bitched and moaned at every opportunity about being single and wanting to meet a woman, and (2) he complained that after a year with our group, he’d never gotten any business from it. Of course, all he did was show up for the meetings 5 minutes before they started, recited his boring 30-second intro during the meeting, tried to sell the people he met on the value of a Melaleuca membership, and left 5 minutes after the meeting ended. Is it any wonder he never got any business?

networking3About the same time, I was asked to act as greeter at a meeting for a different group. I went to the front door of the hotel where we met, greeting the guests and members as they arrived and directing them to our meeting room. A new member walked in, and I greeted her by name: “Hello, Kerri!” I don’t know who was more surprised that I knew her name, she or I? After my initial shock wore off, I realized that I knew her name because I was an officer, and part of that responsibility involved getting to know every member – even the new ones.

In Phoenix, as I’ve mentioned, there’s a TON of competition for our networking time and dollars. As a result, many groups are struggling for membership as they find themselves redundant and/or ineffective. The groups that thrive have active members who care about the mission, vision, and future of their organizations.

Most networking groups have boards of officers made up of volunteers. The better ones have regular planning and strategy meetings. Larger groups also invite non-office members to take active roles by serving on committees.

If you want to increase your visibility and improve your networking ROI, get involved in the leadership of your favorite group. Will it take time? Yes. How much depends on the specific role and the nature of the particular group. Will it benefit you? OF COURSE! You will develop leadership skills, come out of your shell if you’re the quiet type, and be visible so that all the members become familiar with you and your business. Most importantly, you will become an indispensable part of the team that makes your group function properly.

As my friend Katreena Hayes-Wood (who needs no help to come out of her shell) says, “It’s time to step in, step up, and step out!”

BONUS Articles: Be Seen!
Be an Information Hub

netHQlauraCopyright © 2012 – Laura Orsini. Laura Orsini is a professional editor, writer, and marketing advisor with a BA in Nonfiction Writing from the University of Arizona. She is the author of several eBooks, including the award-winning 1,001 Real-Life Questions for Women and Author Networking Made Easy, available for sale on her website. She also presents seminars on social media, eBooks, creativity, writing, gratitude and abundance, visualization, and brainstorming. Contact her at Laura@WriteMarketDesign.com or 602-518-5376. Visit her Website @ WriteMarketDesign.com

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 “Networking HQ BLOG with Larry James” and receive a fresh networking article or tip every 4th day by e-mail. Click on the “Email Subscription” link on the right under the “search” box. You can unsubscribe anytime!

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

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

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Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
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Saturday, October 27, 2012

What’s Your Brand’s Baker’s Dozen?

Filed under: Contribution,Networking — Larry James @ 8:30 am
Tags:

Scott Ginsberg, Guest Author

It started out as an insurance policy.

By adding one additional cookie to the order, bakers protected themselves against accidentally short weighting customers, paying severe government fines, losing a hand to an axe, having an ear nailed to their shop door and becoming known around town as a dishonest businessman.

Of course, that was seven hundred years ago.

Now they call it a baker’s dozen because they care.

Because that one extra cookie, that one purposeful, tactile expression of effort, which only rounds out to about eight percent extra dough, is worth giving away to the customer as a thank you for spending their dough on the first twelve.

What’s your brand’s baker’s dozen? What meaningful, memorable and meditated bonus do you offer at the end of every transaction?

It doesn’t have to be about labor and time, just intention and attention.

That’s the only insurance policy your brand needs.

BONUS Article: Give!
BE Contribution!

scottginsburg2netHQ

Copyright © 2012 – Scott Ginsberg. Scott Ginsberg is a professional speaker, “the world’s foremost field expert on nametags” and the author of “HELLO my name is Scott” and “The Power of Approachability.” He speaks to companies and associations who want to become UNFORGETTABLE communicators – one conversation at a time. He’s “That Guy with the Name Tag.” Visit his BLOG.

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

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

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

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Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
Follow Larry’s “once daily” Relationship Tweet at: http://www.Twitter.com/larryjames
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, October 23, 2012

Need Help Networking? Find a Mentor!

Filed under: Mentoring — Larry James @ 8:30 am
Tags: , ,

A networking mentor is an invaluable resource for your networking success. If networking hasn’t been working as well as you would like, you would be wise to find one.

mentor2A mentor can be a great partner to have in a broad range of scenarios, whether they provide pointers on business strategy, bolster your networking efforts or act as confidantes when your work-life balance gets out of whack. All of us can benefit from having a mentor at our back to teach, promote and encourage us.

“What is a mentor? And how and why does one become a mentor. The concept is almost as old as humanity. The role of the mentor was established in law by Hammurabi in his code, which is recognized as the first codification of civil law, about 1770 BC. The word “mentor” is derived from the name of the person entrusted with the education of Ulysses’ son, when Ulysses went off to fight the Trojan War, in about 1200 BC. The concept was institutionalized down through the ages in every apprenticeship and guild that has ever existed. But while every management book of our age raves of the benefits of mentorship, still few of us actually have mentors.” ~ Dave Iuppa

You could buy some networking books or attend some networking seminars, however there is nothing like having someone you can turn you when you get lost in the networking jungle. You’re basically flying solo. The definition of mentorship includes people at all ages and experience levels; mentors aren’t just for twenty-somethings anymore.

“Mentoring is a brain to pick, an ear to listen, and a push in the right direction.” – John Crosby

Everybody needs a good reliable sounding board, a second opinion, and sometimes just emotional support. Look around. Identify the people already in your network, people who have “been there, done that.” Look for someone who motivates others by setting a good example. You can usually tell who the successful networkers are. If not, ask around. Let those already in your network know that you are looking for someone to learn from, someone who is willing to teach you the ropes.

Never be afraid to admit that you don’t know everything there is to know about business networking. Every time I speak to a networking group or hang out with my networking friends I learn something and I’ve been doing some serious networking for many years.

“Mentoring is an voluntary advisory relationship between an older, more experienced individual and a younger person. Sometimes these relationships are formal and structured (think Big Brothers/Big Sisters organization) and sometimes they are loose and undefined. Sometimes a mentor is selected for you; more often you decide who you want to mentor you based upon whom you respect, admire, like and trust. Sometimes the mentor picks you because they see great potential in you that can be realized with a little positive guidance.” ~ Kathy McAfee

Keep your eyes open for possible mentors when you meet fellow networker with whom you share a common interest, perhaps one that has nothing to do with business. In this hi-tech world where everyone is overloaded with e-mail, sometimes a simple phone call can be surprisingly effective when reaching out for guidance.

mentorMentors are readily available, usually free of charge. You can begin by scheduling monthly mentoring lunches. Agree to meet close to their office and make sure you demonstrate that you’re grateful for their time and guidance. Be willing to buy their lunch several times a month, to hang out with them at their various networking events to watch, listen and learn.

Make sure to make it clear to the person who becomes your mentor that you envision the meetings and relationship will be a two-way street, with each party learning and contributing. Another thing is to be sure that the person who mentors you already has a good reputation in networking and has already achieved what you want to achieve.

When asking someone to be your networking mentor, don’t make it sound like work. Exude a sense of excitement, smile, and laugh a little. Mentorship is an energy-boosting opportunity for both of you, and it often turns into a long-term friendship as well as a business relationship. Mentorship is responsible work but if there isn’t a promise of fun, initiative or excitement on your part, don’t expect your would-be mentor to embrace the opportunity to help you.

Dr. Ivan Misner, founder and chairman of BNI, has identified “7 Characteristics of a Good Mentor

1. A desire to help. Individuals who are interested in and willing to help others.
2. Have had positive experiences. Those who have had positive formal or informal experiences with a mentor tend to be good mentors themselves.
3. Good reputation for developing others. Experienced people who have a good reputation for helping others develop their skills.
4. Time and energy. People who have the time and mental energy to devote to the relationship.
5. Up-to-date knowledge. Those who have maintained current, up-to-date technological knowledge and/or skills.
6. Learning attitude. Individuals who are still willing and able to learn and who see the potential benefits of a mentoring relationship.
7. Demonstrated effective managerial (mentoring) skills. People who have demonstrated effective coaching, counseling, facilitating and networking skills.

The person you are looking for should have all seven of these characteristics in place and be willing to spend some time with you.

BONUS Article: Networking Mentors – Be One and Find One

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 “Networking HQ BLOG with Larry James” and receive a fresh networking article or tip every 4th day by e-mail. Click on the “Email Subscription” link on the right under the “search” box. You can unsubscribe anytime!

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, October 19, 2012

There is Enough Business for Everyone! Be Selfless!

Filed under: Collaboration,Networking Tip — Larry James @ 8:30 am
Tags: , , , ,

Do not be afraid. There really is enough business for everyone. When you shift your thinking from a “scarcity” mentality to an “abundance” mentality you will discover how to make the pie bigger for everyone.

NetworkingNoteMoving from a mindset of competition to collaboration will set you free and allow you and those who you may have thought of as competition to work together. It’s important to selflessly collaborate with your competitors. There is no competition… there is only cooperation through collaboration!

That is why it’s important to learn that networking is really about relationships. The more close business relationships you have the more successful you will be when networking. It’s also about connections. Not so much about who you know but who knows you.

“The sad irony of selfishness – More often than not, the selfish person is insecure, fearful and filled with doubt. The selfishness springs from his belief that this is his only good idea, his last dollar, his one and only chance to avoid failure. ‘I need this, not you,’ he says, because he truly believes he’s got nothing else going on, no other chance, no hope. The irony, of course, is that selflessness (not selfishness, its opposite) is precisely the posture that leads to more success. The person with the confidence to support others and to share is repaid by getting more in return than his selfish counterpart. The connection economy multiplies the value of what is contributed to it. It’s based on abundance, not scarcity, and those that opt out, fall behind. Sharing your money, your ideas, your insights, your confidence… all of these things return to you. Perhaps not in the way you expected, and certainly not with a guarantee, but again and again the miser falls behind.” ~ Seth Godin

Be selfless. Focus on helping others in your network.

ljspacer

The Benefits of Collaborating with your Competitors in Business by Kathy McAfee

In contrast to sports, the goal in business is to create as much value for as many people as possible. Businesses also want that value to last for a long as possible, not just for the immediate moment. I believe that collaboration is a fundamental part of winning in business. By adopting a collaborative mindset, you too can enjoy these benefits in business and in life:

1. Your sphere of influence grows when you collaborate with your industry peers versus compete with them;
2. There’s enough business for everybody. If you shift your thinking from a ‘scarcity‘ mentality to ‘abundance‘ mentality you will discover how to make the pie bigger for everyone;
3. You grow and development more personally and professionally when you collaborate with others and learn from their experience and expertise;
4. You become more valuable to your clients and your company as a skilled collaborator than as a fierce competitor;
5. You can make and receive more opportunities for yourself and others when you collaborate;
6. In my opinion, it’s more fun to collaborate than to compete with others.

Keep in mind that when you collaborate with others you may be developing a relationship that will become significant to you in the future.

kathyCopyright 2012 – Kathy McAfee & Larry James. 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.

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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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Monday, October 15, 2012

What’s YOUR Story?

Don’t be caught off guard. It’s important to be able to know how to respond when someone asks, “What do you do?” or “Tell me about yourself.” What would you say?

Have you ever thought about what it’s like for someone else to meet you? Once you are out of sight, what do people say about you? Your story defines you. It’s your personal brand. Your brand is your appearance, your demeanor, and most important, how you tell your story.

When networking, smart networkers develop their story which is the most important aspect of your conversation when you are networking. You must be able to communicate it in under one minute – sometimes less. To be able to tell your story, you need to take time to do some serious thinking about how you can present yourself in the most positive light that has people want to get to know you better.

Your story is the one thing that makes your business standout from your competition. Stories define us. For some businesses this is very easy to see the difference. Take some time and do some research on your competition to discover what makes your own business unique.

Your story about your business could be part of your mission statement. Knowing how to effectively communicate who you are and what you do helps others to identify your brand. Research tells us that it takes less than ten seconds to make an impression when we meet people so you need to get to your story quickly. Could you tell your professional story to a key contact on a 30 second elevator ride? With less than 10 seconds to make an impression, your opening line (or punch line) should immediately hook whoever you’re talking with. Design it to get attention fast.

How you speak about your business can either hurt or help you. The goal in any situation is to make a connection when you tell your story. You may want to have several different versions of your story for different occasions. Your story is a great way to engage people and get them interested in what you do and sell.

thinkbeforespeakingIf you need some “brand therapy,” here is a good place to begin. Adapt your brief story to your 30-Second connection or elevator pitch. It will help others to make sense of what you do. There are four important elements to an effective “30 second connection.”

1. Your name.
2. The name of your business.
3. Specifically what you do and how it can help others!
4. What kind of business leads you are looking for.

“Briefer is better. Keep is short and sweet. Begin with a positive, focused opening of 4 to 6 seconds; follow up with a core message of 15 to 18 seconds, stating how you can help your listener (this is not about you), and close concisely in 4 to 6 seconds as you mention how those listening can connect with you.” ~ Fred R. Doidge, author of “Public Speaking Is Fun!“

You need to have the fourth element of a “30 second connection” ready for the right occasion. There are some groups, such as networking groups, where it is totally appropriate for you to tell people what kind of business leads you are looking for. As a matter of fact, it is expected!

BONUS Articles: Do You Have an Effective “30 Second Connection?”

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 “Networking HQ BLOG with Larry James” and receive a fresh networking article or tip every 4th day by e-mail. Click on the “Email Subscription” link on the right under the “search” box. You can unsubscribe anytime!

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/

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Give Praise to Others in Your Network

Filed under: Networking — Larry James @ 8:30 am
Tags: , , ,

In networking groups everyone is familiar with the time usually given to each member at the beginning of the meeting to give your 30 Second-connection. It’s a time when you can toot your own horn.

thankyouThere are four important elements to an effective “30 second connection.”

1. Your name.
2. The name of your business.
3. Specifically what you do and how it can help others!
4. What kind of business leads you are looking for.

You must learn to present a well refined description of you and your business in just 30 seconds. Some groups allow one minute, but for it to be effective and something that helps people remember you must tell it in a crisp, clear sound byte. It’s your branding statement. State is well.

The primary intention of networking in a group is to develop close personal relations that allow for the “exchange” of business leads. Notice I said exchange. Focus! Focus on looking for and giving lots of quality business leads to others in your network.

A networking group is NOT a social club. While it’s nice to visit with our friends, but we must never forget the real reason we attend networking meetings.

thankyou3There is a chapter in my networking book, “Ten Commitments of Networking” called, “Say, Thank You.” We must remember to give recognition to those in our group who have given us business leads – and allow others in our group to hear it. When you receive a business lead that leads to business, we all remember to tell them “thank you,” however how often do we remember to acknowledge them in front of the group. This is important because it helps to reveal their character and allows others to move them up a notch on the competency scale. That is how we begin to like and trust others in our group enough to begin to refer them to our friends.

Do not do this on the spur of the moment. Think about how you can give the kind of thanks that truly expresses how you really feel. “WoW! Jenny said some really great things about me to her friend that all I really needed to do was show up and make the sale. Thanks, Jenny!” “A special shout-out to George for a great business lead to his friend, Sam.” Be creative. Make your “thank you” special.

After you present your “30 second connection” might be a good time to sneak in some praise for someone who gave you a lead or did something special for you.

Your group may want to devote a special time during the meeting to allow for lead acknowledgements.

BONUS Article: Do You Have an Effective “30 Second Connection?”

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 “Networking HQ BLOG with Larry James” and receive a fresh networking article or tip every 4th day by e-mail. Click on the “Email Subscription” link on the right under the “search” box. You can unsubscribe anytime!

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

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

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Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
Follow Larry’s “once daily” Relationship Tweet at: http://www.Twitter.com/larryjames
Follow Larry’s “Relationship BLOG” at: http://CelebrateLove.wordpress.com/
Follow Larry’s “Wedding BLOG” at: http://CelebrateIntimateWeddings.wordpress.com
Follow Larry’s “Authors & Speakers” BLOG at: http://www.AuthorsandSpeakerNetwork.wordpress.com/

Sunday, October 7, 2012

30 Ways to Become the Most Interesting Person You Know

Scott Ginsberg, Guest Author

gaggedHow much money is being boring costing you?

ANSWER: Too much.

Boring ideas lose.
Boring people fade.
Boring organizations fizzle.

LESSON LEARNED: There is inverse relationship between how successful you are and how boring you are.

Seth Godin talked about this at length in a recent podcast with Ductape John:

“If the marketplace isn’t talking about you, there’s a reason,” Seth says. “If people aren’t discussing your products, your services, your cause, your movement or your career, there’s a reason. The reason is that you’re boring.”

This reminds me of the movie American Beauty. Towards the end, Ricky (the outcast) finally shoots down Angela (the popular girl) by evoking her deepest fear: That she’s normal.

“You’re boring. And you’re totally ordinary. And you know it,” Ricky says.

Devastated, Angela storms out of the room.

Ouch.

What about you?

Are YOU normal? Do your customers perceive you as normal?

Hope not. Your business depends on it.

Today we’re going to explore a list of thirty ways to become the most interesting person you know. As someone who makes a living writing books about “not BEING normal,” (as well as being pretty abnormal himself!) each of these practices comes from my direct experience, observation, research and reflection.

1. Avoid the Always/Notice the Never. Find out what people who do what you do ALWAYS do, then do the opposite. Similarly, find out what people who do what you do NEVER do, then do the opposite. Here’s a helpful video module with an exercise you can implement to make this practice happen. What are you currently doing that’s unpredictable?

2. Make the mundane memorable. What do your voicemail, email signature, business card, website and blog have in common? ANSWER: They’re all boring. Keep in mind: Nobody notices normal. Nobody buys boring. And nobody pays for average. So, the secret is to create a seamless predictability among all marketing touchpoints. All of these are underused branding hotspots (and more!) require a unique touch. How many customers is being boring costing you?

3. Don’t be one-dimensional. I once had a boss whose sole interest, purpose and passion in life was sports. That’s it. The guy couldn’t carry conversation like a normal person unless the topic related to sports. Or, if the conversation was not about sports, he’d go out of his way to make sure it slowly became that way.

THE most uninteresting, one-dimensional guy I ever worked with.

Now, I’m not against having a passion for sports. I love sports. (Go Cardinals!) What IS as a problem, however, is when you maintain such a limited worldview and openness for activities and experiences outside of your scope of interest, that is mars your ability to relate to others in a healthy way. Bor-ring. How many dimensions do YOU have?

4. Learn the principles of amazing storytelling. Stories are powerful. Stories are better than statistics or quotes. Stories are what customers; readers and audiences remember and connect with most. Ultimately, stories are the best way to communicate a message. So, if you want to become a master storyteller, my suggestions are: (1) Listen to Garrison Kiellor, (2) Read Made to Stick and (3) Attend Doug Stevenson’s Story Theater program. How many people are repeating YOUR story?

5. Be a story distiller. BUT, you can’t just tell the story. Because that’s not enough. So, when your story is over, don’t just move on to the next story. First, figure out the lesson(s), universal human experience/emotion, practical take home value and Call to Action. Here’s a helpful article on how to extract take-home value. Why are you telling this story?

6. Be a Smokin’ Hot Piece of Brain Candy. One of Edward DeBono’s most underrated books is called How to Have a Beautiful Mind. In the opening he states: “As you get older, physical beauty tends to fade. But beauty of the mind is independent of age and can actually increase with wisdom and experience.”

In short: Be Brain Candy.

This idiom of psychological attractiveness means “someone with high mental appeal AND significant substance.” It’s more enduring, attractive, marketable, approachable, memorable and, of course, more INTERESTING. Check out my Top Twenty List of Smokin’ Hot Pieces of Brain Candy. Are you eye candy or brain candy?

excitedlittlegirl7. Be childlike, but not childish. One person’s playful spirit brings out the same in another. So, by acting childlike, you subconsciously give other people PERMISSION to the same. It’s contagious. It’s approachable. It’s memorable. And everyone can relate to it. How are you giving people permission to be playful around you?

8. Be more challenging. Ask questions like: Is that always the case? So what? What stops you? What would happen if you didn’t? What’s your proof? Break people’s patterns. Make them stop, think and say, “Wow…” It works. How challenging are you?

9. Be radically honest. It’s unexpected and unforgettable. Read this life-changing book and, if you practice what Brad practices, I guarantee you’ll become twice as interesting of person by the time you’re done. How are you branding your honesty?

10. Become a Question Master. It’s not just about asking a bunch of questions; it’s about valuing a questioning attitude. So, every time you hear or read a question that makes you react in ANY way, write it down. Add it to your running list of questions. Categorize them. Sort them alphabetically to make it easier on your eyes. My list has 6000. How many questions do you have on your list?

11. Books. Speaking of books, I suggest you make a list called, “Top Ten Most Interesting Books I’ve Read.” Next to each one, write three attributes, actions or states of being that make those books so interesting. When you’re done, look for patterns. Extract the key ideas and then ask yourself how you can practice that in your own life. What did you read today?

12. Consciously choose how you experience the world. In his mind-blowing book, Playful Perception, Herbert Leff suggests, “Expand your repertoire of useful awareness plans and you will improve the flavor and value of your inner experiences. Increase the choice about the quality of your experience.” Check out this awesome list of 43 awareness plans to make your daily life more interesting. Are you making mindful choices for experiencing the world?

13. Create Points of Dissonance. Vagueness stimulates curiosity. And curiosity is a natural motivator of human engagement. So, there’s a certain dissonance when people observe an unexpected or unexplained behavior. Especially when it’s inconsistent with their environment. (Like seeing some guy wearing a nametag at the gym, for example.)

The challenge is to craft an idea, a message, or a look that when people are first exposed to it, they can’t help but respond with, “Huh?” or “Ok, so, I just HAVE to ask…” Those words are money in the bank. Remember: The most effective way to attract people’s attention is to B-R-E-A-K their patterns. Copyblogger has a killer post about being interesting as it relates to this topic. What patterns are YOU breaking?

14. Establish your voice. If you want to make your thinking, writing and speaking more unique, relevant, persuasive, memorable, appealing and more creative, you need to pull material FROM, and cite examples USING multiple, eclectic and personal sources.

In the words of Kurt Vonnegut: “If you want to be a great writer, be a great date for your reader.” Here’s a meaty, practical guide on how to do this. WARNING: If you’re an Oprah fan, you may not want to read it. Is your writing innovative or imitative?

15. Expand your references. In the book Unlimited Power, Tony Robbins said, “Limited references create a limited life. If you want to expand your life, you must expand your references by pursuing ideas and experiences that wouldn’t be a part of your life if you didn’t consciously seek them out.”

Remember: The more interesting experiences you have, the more interesting people you meet, the more interesting things you see, watch, hear, read, taste, the more interesting places you go, the more interesting you will become. Everything is a plus. How have you stepped out of your comfort zone this week?

interesting16. Explore the word “interesting.” It literally means: Engaging or exciting and holding the attention or curiosity. Arousing a feeling of interest. A state of curiosity or concern about or attention to something. Involvement with or participation in something. An excess or bonus beyond what is expected or due. Something, such as a quality, subject, or activity that evokes this mental state.

OK, so, now that you know that, go do that. Go BE that. On a scale from 1-10, how interesting would you say you are? How interesting would your top 20 customers say you are?

17. Extract the positive characteristics. Make a list called, “Top Ten Most Interesting People I Know.” Next to each one, write three attributes, actions or states of being that make those people so interesting. When you’re done, look for patterns. Extract the key ideas and then ask yourself how you can practice that in your own life. This exercise is how I began writing this very module on being interesting. It works and it’s fun. What would an interesting person do in this situation?

18. Extract the negative characteristics. Next, make a list called, “Top Ten Least Interesting People I Know.” Next to each one, write three attributes, actions or states of being that make those people so uninteresting. When you’re done, look for patterns. Extract the key ideas and then ask yourself how you can practice the opposite of in your own life. What would an uninteresting person do in this situation?

19. Fascinate yourself with the ordinary. “Evaluate critically every novelty you encounter,” Mihály Csíkszentmihályi wrote in his amazing book Creativity. “One of the surest ways to enrich life is to make experiences less fleeting.” If you do this, you WILL boost your creativity. You will flood your mind with new ideas. You will build a solid foundation of curiosity. And the combination of those three results will mold your melon into an attractive, valuable commodity that your clients will want to have access to.

Remember: Clients don’t want to hire consultants or marketers or coaches – they want to hire cool, smart people who happen to do those things. What ordinary stuff fascinates you?

20. Find interesting in almost anything. Similarly, Edward DeBono encourages people to embrace curiosity by constantly saying, “Now that’s interesting…”“Be able to find interest in almost anything,” DeBono says in the aforementioned How to Have a Beautiful Mind. “Be curious. Explore things. Bring up a discussion. Get people’s opinions, ideas and values. Explore, elaborate and make connections.” Are you practicing that enough?

21. Gain an eclectic education. In his book, The Invaluable Leader, my friend Dale Furtwengler suggests, “Gain an eclectic education. Expose your mind to things outside your normal areas of interest or discipline. The more quickly you can connect with your listeners, the more effectively you can communicate in their language, the more insights you can port from other disciplines, the more valuable you become.”

Your challenge is to infuse your writing, ideas and conversations with the cool, interesting things you’ve learned through your eclectic education. People will become interested. What weird books have you read recently?

22. Hang with interesting people. Listen. Watch. Soak it in. Ask yourself what it is about this person that makes them so interesting. Then DO that. Then BE that. How many of your friends are boring?

23. Have a killer vocabulary. That doesn’t mean use fancy words that showcase your brilliance. Just strong words. Powerful words. Well-timed words. Unexpected words. Perfect words. And of course, killer questions that nobody else is asking. Does your language challenge people?

24. How to Answer a Question. Answering questions creatively, counterintuitively an unexpectedly leads to a higher level of thinking. Which elevates the conversation to a new level. Which enables both parties to discover their individual truths. Which yields more compelling results than if you would have offered a simple yes or no.

This, of course, is very interesting. (You may enjoy this handy guide on how to answer questions in more interesting, cool ways, too.)

So, think about the last time someone answered a question in that way. Weren’t you instantly drawn into that person’s radius? Weren’t you curious and intrigued about what they were going to say next? How often people respond that way to YOUR answers?

25. Identify and amplify your Personal Philosophy. Simply ask yourself the following question, “If everybody did exactly what I said, what would the world look like?”

The answer(s) to this question will become a blueprint of your personal philosophy. Your unique, interesting approach to business, life and people. And if you were smart, you would print these bullet points on a Philosophy Card. Very interesting, indeed. Do you have a business card or a philosophy card?

26. Insert your passion into everything. Embed your passion into the pavement of your daily encounters. You will engage, excite and inspire people because that’s what passion DOES. Embed your passion into the pavement that leads the way.

For example, let’s say your passion is guitars. Cool. The next step is to begin inserting that passion into every possible Passion Point. Your metaphors. Your pictures. Your gifts to customers. Your ezines. Your tweets. Your office. Your voicemail. Check out my homeboy Mark Williams, The Rockin’ Realtor. Pretty interesting dude. What’s your passion? How many of your customers know what it is?

27. Keep an Interesting Log. Any time someone (yourself included) says, “Wow, that’s SO interesting…” make a note. Write down what was interesting about the topic, thing or idea at hand. Look for trends and patterns. Extract the key ideas and then apply them to your business and life. What three interesting things did you notice yesterday? How many of them did you write down?

28. Pioneer in obscure areas. Believe it or not, I’ve been internationally recognized as “The World’s Foremost Expert on Nametags.” Folks, that’s absolutely insane. I still can’t believe that’s what people call me. However, ever since The Washington Post gave me that title in 2003, it’s stuck. (No pun intended.) So I just went with it. And over time, it’s served me, my business and my wallet well. What specialized knowledge have you developed?

29. Predictable Unpredictability. In Edward DeBono’s book, I Am Right You Are Wrong, he answers the question about what makes something (or someone) interesting:

“There is always interest in a pattern-rich repertoire. If around any subject there is a rich networking of patterns, that subject becomes interesting.”

Your challenge is to build up a critical mass of interest by being what I call Predictably Unpredictable. You do this by positioning yourself in a way where people want to know what’s going to happen next, i.e., “I wonder what nametag related adventure he’s going to have today!” I call it The Caveman Principle™. How unpredictable are you?

30. Transform ideas into questions. I call this creative process “Catapulting.” It’s something I’ve been doing every single day for years. Here are two examples of how it works.

*If someone casually mentions, “I can’t believe I just stumbled upon this for the first time!” then you would write down on your question list, “What have you recently stumbled upon for the first time?”

*If you read the passage, “This behavior will make it hard for people to take you seriously,” you would jot down, “What is affecting your ability to be taken seriously?”

See how that works? Pretty cool. Pretty darn interesting, too. That’s how I’ve collected over 6000 questions. How are you turning ideas into questions and questions into catapults?

REMEMBER: Nobody notices normal. Nobody buys boring. And nobody pays for average.

On the other hand:

Those who are interesting get noticed.
Those who get noticed get remembered.
And those who get remembered GET business.

How successful you become is a function of how interesting you are.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
How much money is being boring costing you?

scottginsburg2netHQ

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

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

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

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

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Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Don’t Push! – Pull

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

I’m sick and tired of pushy people at networking meetings. Why can’t they understand that networking is NOT about selling?

“Business people attend networking meetings to get introductions to meaningful people, in particular, prospects. But there are no prospects at networking meetings, only salespeople.” ~ Level 7 Un-Networking

netImageTo pushy people, networking is an uncontrollable compulsion to offer services to total strangers (usually other salespeople who are doing the same thing) while ingesting small blocks of cheddar cheese on a five-inch circular foam dish. They focus on asking people to buy their product or service and push a business card into the hand of anyone who will take it rather than take the time for quality relationship building. As a result they think that networking must be “hard sell.” Many are already in “panic” mode because they waited to long to learn the skills required to network and suddenly realize that their business is on a downward spiral – by then, for most, it’s too late.

Because your numbers are down and your boss is on your back is not a good reason to get out there and start networking. If you would have done it right the first time, you would already have enough prospects to sell to. Prospects don’t come to networking groups. People do. People who should be more interested in developing close business relationships rather than viewing a networking group as a room full of prospects.

Networking is not just about schmoozing; it’s not just handing out business cards, selling, marketing or small talk. Those activities are part of networking, but unfortunately, many people’s misunderstanding of the term and it causes them network ineffectively.

Most are what I call, “serial networkers.” They are networking tarts, card collectors, and braggers who seem to be everywhere, networking with everyone. They attend a networking meeting nearly everyday and belong to 3 or 4 groups and wonder why no one gives them referrals. They push people away rather then pull them closer into a relationship that just might work if they would learn why this is happening. They are professional networking wannabees. They want the results and the kudos of the professionals but as yet have not undertaken the education that builds up networking skills.

Let me repeat part of that. They have not undertaken the education that builds up networking skills. They hear about network and dive headlong into the deep end of the networking pool without really knowing what the heck they are doing.

“Networking wannabees turn up for one event and claim that networking is not for them. ‘I tried it once and I didn’t get any business!’ They don’t commit to the necessary building of visibility and credibility. As a result, they should not be surprised when the results of their networking amount to a big fat nothing!” ~ Rob Brown

thePastPerhaps it’s time for you to let go of the past; those things that you have tried when networking but don’t get you the results that you would like. Perhaps it time to focus on re-educating yourself to the ways of networking that really work! Just perhaps.

Here is the truth! If you really want to be successful at networking you must take the time to learn how to do it without pissing everybody off! Opps! Did I just say that? 😉

Learn to build the relationship first, then offer assistance that will gently “pull” others into your network of support. They will want to get to know you better because they see that what you are doing apparently works and they would like some of that. That is what a network is… a network of people who take the time to work to support each other. A successful business network is designed around mutuality. As my friend, Bob Burg says, “Givers get!” That is, I will help you and you help me – and as a result we work closely together to build a strong connection with each other that works mutually to help each other.

How do I know this? As a result of my networking book, “Ten Commitments of Networking,” and my many years of effective networking I am frequently asked to join various networking groups and then I explain that I’m a networking coach and would rather visit the group to teach others what I have learned that makes networking a valuable asset to my business. I am where I am today because of networking. Believe me, it works. If you think you can bypass the learning curve you are mistaken.

Some of you know that I lived in Tulsa, OK for 23 years before moving to Scottsdale in 1995. I have traveled nationally for many years presenting my networking seminar to associations, business groups and Fortune 500 companies. One of the most productive ideas I ever had for the group I formed, “The Tulsa Business Connection,” was to have my group sponsor a city-wide networking training event. We invited every networking group in Tulsa to attend. The fee for this half-day event was low so everyone could afford to be there. It was a great success. It was a great way for “The Tulsa Business Connection” to call attention to itself. Because my group was the sponsor, we received a multitude of newspaper, radio and TV coverage. People were talking about it for months. The productivity of my group alone was phenomenal.

So many groups have meetings, everyone gets a time to do their elevator speech (I call this a 30-second connection), each week a specific member gets 5 or ten minutes to talk about their business, they exchange business cards, everyone hangs out for a few minutes after the meeting and everyone splits. There is seldom any genuine focus on teaching people the correct way to make networking work. I am of the opinion that networking education should be one of the groups highest priorities.

What say you?

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 “Networking HQ BLOG with Larry James” and receive a fresh networking article or tip every 4th day by e-mail. Click on the “Email Subscription” link on the right under the “search” box. You can unsubscribe anytime!

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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