Networking HQ BLOG with Larry James

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Uncomfortable, Awkward and Downright (fill in the blank)!

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

What are your feelings about business networking? From my experience, I find that some people dislike networking. One of the many reasons is because they feel awkward or uncomfortable or worse. For many it’s on the bottom of their to-do list.

For people who want their business to prosper it’s a necessary evil. When you first begin networking you may feel a little out of place. That’s normal. Anytime you do something of such great importance for the first time it can take you back a step or two.

UncomfortableNETNetworking is more than shaking hands and passing business cards. It about building your network of support by developing and maintaining good relationships. Unfortunately so many people who are active in networking haven’t a clue of what networking is really about. They wander around an event collecting cards and try to find somebody that will stop long enough to hear their pitch to sell something. Many people completely misunderstand the point of networking events and have little idea why they are attending them apart from hunting for business, or what they should be doing in order to enhance their credibility at the events.

STOP!

No wonder you feel awkward and uncomfortable!

“Some people feel like a fish out of water in a room filled with strangers. If you are like this, just remember that all those other people are there because they are just like you: they want to meet new people and build new relationships. You might know something that they would value. You might be the answer to another networker’s needs.” ~ Arnie Fertig

How can you make networking less taxing – less awkward – less uncomfortable?

If you don’t know what your doing when you network and you keep on doing it that way… someday soon you will become disillusioned and give it up altogether. And… I don’t blame you. Smart people know that if something isn’t working they usually find better ways to do it. Take an “education” break! Learn more about networking.

HonestNetworkingMost people know how to ask questions. When you show a sincere interest in others, you get their attention. They become even more interested in what you have to say if you NEVER ever try to sell them your product or services the very first time you meet. That is a major networking blunder!

Wanna take the pressure off? Ask lots of questions and find out that they are interested in. Next, LISTEN to their response. Be attentive. Resist the urge to talk about work. Counterproductive? Hardly. Networking will be even more productive if you can build long lasting relationships. People tend to shun you when you are too eager to start the selling before they even know you. That is not the kind of reputation you want to have.

“I find that when I am just shooting the breeze with people, the pressure is taken off on how we can mutually benefit each other. Not thinking about what the other person can provide me has helped form stronger connections. If you get to know someone, without asking anything of them, chances are they will be more likely to help you out when you ask for things later on.” ~ Rebekah Epstein

Great advice, Rebekah. I agree. People love to talk about themselves. I’ve been networking for many years and I have found that one of the best ways to make a friend is to engage them in what they are interested in. You can only do that if you ask the right questions to find out what trips their trigger.

Be friendly. Some people at networking events often stand to the side waiting for someone to come up and talk to them. Be assertive… not aggressive. Talk to strangers. Make them feel welcome. Be your real self. Be curious. I will often introduce myself and ask, “What do you like to do when you are not working or networking?” or “What do you do for fun?” or “Do you have any kids?” or “Are you a sports fan?”

Remember, the more personal you get, the better you understand the person and build on your relationship foundations. This doesn’t always get the conversation going in the direction I would like, but most of the time it does. At least its better then being a wallflower. There are no perks in being a wallflower. If you see someone you don’t know go talk with them. I let them know that I have been networking for many years, let them know that I can be a great resource for them and always ask if there is anything I can help them with.

A big part of networking is discovering what people need. Become their resource partner. Find a need and fill it. Provide others with value in knowing you and having you in their network. Discovering what people need is about working your way to find out what their needs really are. It’s all about giving. Being of help to others feels good.

AfraidNetBecome a friend… without pushing your stuff off on them. Obviously, if they ask what I do, I tell them. But I seldom ever will push the conversation to business unless they do. I want them to know that if they need something they can be comfortable enough to give me a call. This approach usually catches the people that have been “rushed” by others to do business with them by surprise. Often I will have a call on my voice-mail before I return to my office. That’s always a good start. Be a friend and make lots of friends. Never monopolize the conversation.

So if you don’t know what to say, perhaps you may want to think of several things before you are standing if front of someone wondering what to say. When I started networking, I spent some time coming up with several questions that I could ask that would not lead to a conversation about business. I felt more at ease and so did everyone I spoke with. People tend to open up faster when you show genuine interest and curiosity.

When I stumble upon someone that might be able to help me, I might ask for advice or an opinion. This can be a good conversation starter, and a useful way to get helpful information. Most networking talk is forgettable because it’s so generic. Good questions illuminate common interests and often lead you to helpful conversation. People’s responses will make you ask more questions, and you’ll soon find you have had an entire conversation, just by encouraging them to talk.

By asking great questions you have a chance to get to know the person and it shows that you really do care and that’s the best compliment you can give anyone. Great questions help people remember you from all the other people they met.

BONUS Articles: 5 Storytelling Tips to Make Networking Feel Good Again
Networking How-to: Overcome Fear and Just Be Yourself

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Copyright © 2013 – 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 Networking 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 26, 2013

Talk in Elevators

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

Talk in elevators. We don’t do that very often, do we? I do. It’s fun. Make it a game. I once got in an elevator with a group of four gentlemen. I listened to their conversation for a couple of floors and it became apparent they were attorneys. I was standing at the front of the elevator facing them. When there was a break in the conversation, I told them one of my attorney friends died recently.

TalkInElevatorsI told them that when he arrived at the gates of heaven, Saint Peter greeted him. The attorney said, “Saint Peter, there must be some mistake!” to which Saint Peter replied, “No mistake, you made it! You really are in heaven!” “Oh, no” the attorney replied, “I didn’t mean that. I’m only forty years old. I’m too young to die. I shouldn’t be here yet.” Saint Peter looked through his papers to see if there had been a mistake. He found the attorney’s name on the roll and told him, “Sorry, there’s been no mistake. According to your billable hours, you are eighty years old.” They all laughed, the elevator door opened and we all got off on the first floor.

When I speak, I often tell this story.

Several months later, I spoke at a regional meeting of the American Marketing Association. When the meeting was over, a man came up to me and said he had heard me speak before. I asked him if he remembered where. He was one of the attorneys in the elevator.

He put me in touch with the meeting planner of an state-wide organization he belonged to and they later hired me for a seminar.

Networkers! Be friendly. Have something nice to say to everyone. You never know what can come from it. Do something more than watch the numbers go by or look at your shoes when you are in elevators! It can be profitable.

netHQ

Copyright © 2013 – 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 Networking 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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Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Train Your Referral Resources

Whenever I talk with a client, at the end of the conversation I always ask if there is anything that I can help them with. Most of the time they say no… however, I go on to make suggestions of others in my network of support that may be able to offer their services.

Two businesswomen in suits shaking hands and smiling.There is a Cajun word called lagniappe (/ˈlænjæp/ LAN-yap). When I think of business networking I always think of that word when I am speaking with my clients and customers. My definition is: “give all you can… and then some!” In other words I always give my clients what I promise and then some. Under promise… over deliver. I consider that part of my service is to discover additional ways to help them.

I don’t just want customers and clients. I want to make new friends of them so that we can have strong, committed relationships with one another – the kind of relationships that has us thinking of each other and helping each others businesses grow and prosper.

“It may take awhile, but if you select and train your referral sources well and you use the system to its best advantage in referral development, you will really speed up the process of turning connections into referrals for your business.” ~ Ivan Misner

If you are not having a brief “networking how can I help you” session at the end of a client’s meeting, I suggest that you begin. I would bet that even some of the most successful networkers don’t remember to do this. It only takes a few seconds to say, “How can I help you?” It only takes a brief minute to offer referrals or people that might be able to help them. For me it’s an instinct wired deep in my brain… something that I now do automatically. Some of my most solid networking contacts continue to bring me unexpected referrals year in and year out. Many are my best friends. They can do a great job marketing for you when they run across someone that needs your service or product. Often you will have to coach them as you go.

When you interact with your clients, customers, referral sources, and contacts with a referral mind-set, show them that you are a “giver,” that you help others, and continually and strategically give referrals, you’re modeling the behavior you want others to exhibit toward you. Remember to talk “with’ your customers, not “at” them. People usually trust the recommendation of a friend, family member, colleague, or even stranger.

People do business with those they like and trust. Being there for someone with an unexpected offer to help can lead to more business than you can imagine over the years. It’s time that we take a serious look at training our referral resources better. Let them know that you can be a resource for them. Give them examples of how you have helped others. Be sure that they know the best kind of referrals that would be of interest to you. Referrals are only helpful if they’re given to the right people for the right reasons.

teamworkThe people you know that are in your network can be a valuable source of referrals… but they need to be reminded of this every so often. It’s important not to be a pest. It’s also important to make it clear that your are not just asking them for referrals but you are offering – first – to be of assistance to them. Be specific about this. When you are passing a referral to an untrained but potentially valuable referral partner, let them know exactly what you’re doing and suggest ways he can reciprocate.

I call this “recruiting cheerleaders.” I am building a team of supporters for my business by giving them what they need. These are people who not only help cheer you along, but sing your praises to others they know, spreading the great words about your business all because you offered to act as their resource whenever they need something. Talk about your resources. Maintain visibility. Let them see you in action. Let others know how well you are connected. They need to know that you are not just flapping your gums but are serious about helping others. It’s been said that just about anything you need can be found within 3 to 5 phone calls from a well-connected networker.

Many entrepreneurs continually pass up this golden opportunity to build their business. Train yourself at the conclusion of a successful client meeting to ask if there is anyway that you can help them, and to suggest that they pass along your name to others who might benefit from your services.

By talking openly and honestly about what you are doing, you are not only modeling the behavior you want from your potential referral partner, you are allowing them to think about it and to discover ways to incorporate what you are doing into their way of doing business and networking. Educate your customers. Share your knowledge freely. When you do, your business will generate referrals like a well-oiled machine.

Obviously there are no guarantees that reciprocation will occur, but I can tell you this, it most likely will not occur if you don’t casually train your networking friends about the benefits of giving.

BONUS Article: How Can I Help You?

netHQ

Copyright © 2013 – 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 Networking 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
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Friday, October 18, 2013

Hyper-Active Visibility Is Not a Good Thing!

Filed under: Network Training,Relationships — Larry James @ 7:30 am
Tags: ,

Ivan Misner, Guest Author

Years ago, I met a woman who was known as the consummate networker – she had hundreds (if not thousands) of contacts, giving her a wide-ranging network made up of people from all walks of life. She was well-known as the go-to person if anyone needed anything. Then, one day during a conversation she and I were having, she dropped a bombshell… she said that her networking efforts weren’t really paying off for her. She went on at some length about all the groups she went to, all the people she met, and how she had made all these contacts and was continuing to make more all the time but wasn’t actually getting any solid business from her efforts.

hyperactivenetworkerWhy wasn’t she seeing real results? Because despite her great talent for making contacts and gaining visibility, she was never really getting to the heart of what networking is about – building relationships. She was so busy running around and making appearances that she wasn’t ever learning how to actually “work” the networks she had built in order to build deep relationships with people and develop credibility with them.

It’s true that she was visible in the community – very visible, actually. The problem was that she viewed “activity” as an “accomplishment” when it came to her networking efforts. Her network was a mile wide but only an inch deep. She had not taken the next, and most important, networking step with the many, many people in her wide-reaching network – she never devoted the time to developing the kind of rapport with any of them that would allow them really get to know her, like her, trust her, and want to pass her business.

I bring this up because I just recently saw the same thing with someone I’ve known for a few years. He made a consistent habit of going to every single networking meeting/event he could go to and he was incredibly visible. Not only was he always at networking meetings but he was always full of energy and enthusiasm from the time he arrived to the time he left. Again, the problem was in no way due to a lack of activity, effort or enthusiasm in regard to putting himself out there and meeting new people; the problem was that he was running around so much that he never stopped long enough to spend the time necessary to establish the kind of long-term roots that lead to an ongoing, reciprocal referral relationship.

If your goal is to significantly grow your business, networking with your main focus being solely to make as many contacts as possible will not help you achieve your aim. If you’re networking in this way, you’re also guaranteed to get burned out on networking because constantly being on the go and trying to keep track of hundreds of people who you don’t really know is exhausting. There needs to be a balance between the visibility – creating aspect of your networking efforts and the credibility – creating aspects of your networking efforts.

BONUS Articles: A Network Relationship Takes Months to Build, Not Minutes
Networking?? Focus on Relationships!
Let’s Get Serious!
Distinctions Networkers Often Miss!

MisnerCopyright © 2013 – Ivan Misner. Called the father of modern networking, Dr. Ivan Misner is the Founder of BNI and the senior partner for the Referral Institute. He has written nine books, including his New York Times best seller, Truth or Delusion? Busting Networking’s Biggest Myths.

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

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

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

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

Monday, October 14, 2013

An Exercise in Futility

Filed under: Guest Author Articles,Networking,Video — Larry James @ 7:30 am
Tags: , ,

Ivan Misner, Guest Author

Larry’s NOTE: In this video Ivan explains each step of the VCP Process® approach to networking in careful detail. He also shares a personal story which demonstrates why trying to drum up referrals from people you’ve never met before is an exercise in futility as you’re not even at the visibility stage with them, and he outlines the absolute best way to establish credibility with others.

When you join and attend meetings in a business networking group, you build social capital in a number of ways. You gain the trust and friendship of fellow members; you provide valuable referrals; you contribute knowledge and skills to the effort; you become more knowledgeable and improve your social and business skills.

“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

BONUS Articles: A Network Relationship Takes Months to Build, Not Minutes
Networkers: Looking for Customers?
Networking?? Focus on Relationships!
Distinctions Networkers Often Miss!

MisnerCopyright © 2013 – Ivan Misner. Called the father of modern networking, Dr. Ivan Misner is the Founder of BNI and the senior partner for the Referral Institute. He has written nine books, including his New York Times best seller, Truth or Delusion? Busting Networking’s Biggest Myths.

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

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

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

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 10, 2013

The Networking Personality Examined

Diana Bourgeois, Guest Author

In networking events all across the country, from Chamber After Hours to professional luncheons to business mixers, there are always those people to meet and greet everyone. Often referred to as the “movers and shakers,” the truth is these people are in possession of the networking personality. You know, the networking personality is that set of charismatic characteristics that turns everyday business people into born promoters and marketers to help grow their contacts and enhance their connection based.

NeverFailFollowUpWhile this may seem like good fortune for those lucky few, the truth is the networking personality is only a matter of practice of these few simple rules:

THIS IS NOT PROM – GET OVER YOURSELF: This is perhaps the hardest rule for people to overcome. Many people stand on the outside of groups during networking events waiting for someone to come up and speak to them. In truth, the only person who ever talks to them is the servers passing around food or drinks. The purpose of a networking event is meet people. It is expected. Every time you approach someone and extend your hand, you are taking a risk, but most people receive an approach very well and appreciate the effort.

“NO” CAN BE GOOD: In most people’s minds, hearing NO is the ultimate failure in networking; however, in some cases, hearing NO can be a ground breaking opportunity to disengage early and move on to an introduction that will lead to businesses. In this case, it is very much like buying a house. You will know quickly if the person in front of you is a good contact for you. There is no tragedy if both of you disengages and moves on to new connections. Be professional, ask for their business card, and move on!

TAKE INSTEAD OF GIVE (Business cards): There are two problems with giving out a business card without being asked. First, you are spending money with every business card you give. Save your business cards for the people who are great leads. Second, if you give someone your business card, this means they are responsible for the contact. Receiving a business card gives you the opportunity to stay in contact and makes your responsible for the correspondence. Even in cases where the person is not a good contact, ask for a business card for net-weaving (see below).

PRACTICE NET-WEAVING: INTRODUCE (3) AND CONNECT (2): At any business event, the goal is always to make connections and introduce yourself to other decision makers. Net-weaving is a great way to keep your placement in the minds of those who are currently contacts as well as make new contacts by connecting people around you. At every event, make it a habit to introduce three current connections and connect two new connections to others. Why? It is simple – when you are interested in other people’s business you stay in their mind.

YOUR NAMETAG IS YOUR FRIEND: There are three very common mistakes to wearing a nametag. First, most people with pre-printed name tags tend to forget to wear it. Just like wearing a shirt or shoes to a networking event, your nametag should always be in the right place. The second most common mistake? Putting your nametag on the wrong side. Your nametag should always be on the right shoulder because people’s eyes travel up your arm when you extend your hand to shake hands. Third and final note about your nametag? Invest a few dollars in a pre-printed nametag. Often times, writing your name on a white tag is hurried and looks unprofessional as you try to squeeze your name and company into the little 5×7 sticky paper. It is worth a few dollars to have a clean, branded nametag that is easy to read and associate.

BE KNOWN FOR SOMETHING – A DISTINCTIVE SIGNATURE: Establishing a moniker for your appearance or a staple that people can lock in their mind is vital to the networking personality. In a place where everyone is wearing a golf shirt with khaki pants or a simple black dress, it is easy to be “the person who always wears __________.” For women, it might be a scarf or a hat. For men, it might be a bowtie or a cleaver shirt pattern. Either way, connecting something about your person to your brand makes people remember you all the more.

NETpurseIF YOU JUGGLE, YOU LOOK LIKE A CLOWN: Over and over again, business struggle with the presentation of their materials. Especially true of women with purses or bags, digging for a business card or, worse, giving someone another person’s business card is incredibly unprofessional. If you have to dig for a clean, crisp business card, then it says that you do not have your act together. HINT – keep your business cards in your right pocket and the business cards of others in your left pocket. With this habit, you will automatically be able to produce a business card at moment’s notice.

SOCIALIZE LATER – MEET THE PEOPLE YOU DON’T KNOW: It is easy to fall back into the waiting friendships of people who you know and feel comfortable with at a networking event; however, socializing is not the goal. Your goal is to get out there and meet the people who you are not connected. Take the time to gather your senses and really get comfortable with those who are not in your business circle while using those opportunities to connect with familiar people through net-weaving.

EVERYTHING IN YOUR HANDS ARE OBSTACLES: At many networking event, food and drinks are supplied as part of the entrance fee. Although this is done with goodness to allow people to relax, everything in your hand presents an obstacle to shaking hands, giving business cards, and interacting with others. If you have set down a drink or ask someone to hold a plate of food, then you are not presenting the most positive professional appearance before those people who are thinking of doing business with you. Clear your hands and streamline your interactions.

THE BIGGEST FAILURE – FOLLOW UP: Many times, when people leave networking events, the handful of business cards end up on a desk or thrown away. The most important thing about the networking personality is the plans for how you will connect with the leads you develop during the event. All of the dynamic character and outreach of the networking personality will be wasted if you do not follow up immediately with people while you are fresh in their minds.

There are many reasons to work on building the networking personality. If the cliché is true about first impressions being the best impressions, then creating a dynamic lasting connection relies on claiming a unique presence in the mind of each person encountered at the event. After all, there is no point going to a networking event if people don’t remember you have been there.

BONUS Articles: At a Networking Event, BE the Host!
The Art of the Follow Up! ~ 19 FREE Articles

DianaBourgeoisCopyright 2013 – Diana Bourgeois. Diana Bourgeois presents Marketing – That includes everything from social networking to blogging to articles to web design. We call it “Leave Your Mark” Marketing. Every where that your company is… that is where you leave your mark for others to follow you back. It’s marketing that works smarter… not harder. Visit Diana’s Website!

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

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

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

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

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Word-of-Mouth Marketing Fuels Success

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

Donna Fisher, Guest Author

When Sally is not treated well at the local cleaners, she not only doesn’t go back there, she tells others of her unpleasant experience. People talk! They talk about their frustrations, disappointments, poor service and inadequate products.

Statistics indicate that every unsatisfied customer tells at least eight people about their unpleasant experience. People tend to readily talk about unsatisfactory service and yet what you want is to have them talk about great service.

word-of-mouthImagine if every person who came to your center told eight people about how you are enhancing the lives of people everyday. The people you serve are you best vehicle for positive word-of-mouth marketing.

Tips for Generating Word-of-Mouth Marketing

1. Create a memorable, easily repeatable value statement.

Decide what it is that you want people to say about your center. What do you want people to think of when they think of your center? Make it easy for people to talk about you by giving them the words to say.

2. Provide quality service, and most of all treat people with respect.

Make sure respect is present in everything you do and say. Respect creates a feeling of honor which nourishes people at a soul level. Communicate your commitment to “respect” by the way that you speak; i.e. “We respect the difficulty you must face when…” “We respect your need to…” “We want you to feel like you’ve been treated with the respect you deserve…”

3. Ask people to spread the word.

Never be afraid to ask others in your network of support to help you reach others who can benefit from the services you provide. With a little encouragement individuals will help you spread the word to others throughout the network community.

4. Give people something great to talk about.

Do something extraordinary that makes people want to talk. What can you do that will just naturally get people talking? It could be a community project, a new service, an in-house program. Be willing to be creative and do something extraordinary that gets people’s attention.

5. Stay in touch with people.

By staying in touch with people you increase the chance that they will mention and recommend your center to others. There are always plenty of reasons for being in touch with people. Make sure you don’t get too busy to ignore those nudges to call people. Be aware and alert to opportunities to be in touch.

6. Acknowledge people.

Acknowledge people for being clients, contributors, vendors, community supporters. Make sure that the people in your life realize they contribute to the work that you do. Include people in celebrations and acknowledgements regarding the impact that the center is making in people’s lives.

Does your community really know about the value and benefit of your services? If not, they need to and it is up to you to get the word out. You can initiate a word-of-mouth grapevine that creates positive visibility and exposure. Creating this type of visibility is critical – it is the way that the people who want and need what you have can find you.

DonnaFisherCopyright 2013 – Donna Fisher – Reprinted with permission. Donna Fisher, CSP (Certified Speaking Professional), is a professional speaker, trainer and author of Power Networking: 59 Secrets for Personal & Professional Success. She teaches people skills essential for business success. For further information: www.DonnaFisher.com or 800-934-9675.

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

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

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

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Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Always be Expressing Appreciation!

Filed under: "Thank you!",Networking — Larry James @ 7:30 am

I’m sure you can think of many things that occur in your networking activities that deserve appreciation. I’m suggesting that you spend some time actually looking for reasons to say, “Thank you!”

It doesn’t have to be something that would be on the 5 o’clock news. It just has to be something that gets “your” attention.

NETComplimentAnother networker gives you a referral. I’m certain that should be appreciate worthy. What if the referral didn’t come out quite like you would have liked. Perhaps it wasn’t a good match to your business… however, always remember to thank them anyway and use this as an opportunity to paint a clearer picture of what a great referral would would look like.

Tell them you appreciate their thoughtfulness and confidence in you. If the business lead didn’t work out because the person wasn’t right for your product or service, look at this as an opportunity to continue the conversation with the person who gave you the referral about what you do and what kind of business leads you are looking for. Be specific. Make sure your friends know precisely what kind of business leads would be most useful to you.

I’m told by networkers that have been in my networking seminars that they often get a cursory “thank you” for the referral but never hear from them as to whether the referral resulted in business. That’s a big mistake.

Of course the biggest mistake that I have noticed that happens most often and often results in people giving up on business networking is that in many networking groups the members are remiss in taking time to actually look for and bring referrals to the meeting. That’s a bigger mistake.

When someone gives an extra ordinarily good “30 second connection” that helps you more clearly understand what kind of referrals they desire… show some appreciation.

When someone shows up at the meeting looking really great. Say so.

The best time to write thank you notes is when you are most thankful (another great way to express appreciation) – immediately after the sale, receipt of a business lead, idea or occasion while thankfulness is fresh on your mind. It only takes a few minutes.

When you see an article – online or in a newspaper or magazine that might benefit someone in your group, clip it or note the URL and send it to them with a note of appreciation of how they contribute to the group.

Expressing appreciation calls attention to what other members are doing well and as a result it calls attention to you too and hopes you stand out in the group. Be certain that your appreciation is sincere. Otherwise, you would be better off keeping your mouth shut.

It’s important to become known for “giving” an abundance of business referrals and being helpful to other networkers in or outside of the group.

It’s your job to be helpful!

BONUS Article: When to Say, “Thank You!”
Say “Thank You!”
“How Can I Help You?”
Amplify Your Influence!

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Copyright © 2013 – 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 Networking 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/

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