Networking HQ BLOG with Larry James

Friday, May 30, 2014

Five Warning Signs That Your Networking is NOT Working!

Here’s how to turn it around…

Jennifer Benson, Guest Author

Regardless of the need you may have, the purpose of networking is to connect with other people that you can help and that can help you. Networking connects you to resources you need to make the sale, connect the friend, promote the agenda, or just share ideas. From time to time we may begin to question whether our networking efforts are paying off.

WarningSignsHave you ever wondered if your networking efforts are worth the trouble? Perhaps wondering if it is working is the biggest indicator that your networking is not working. Here are five more warning signs that your networking is not working.

1. You have not received a referral this week. If you are providing service to others and you do not receive referrals all the time, something is wrong. You should receive at least one referral each week.

2. You have begun to consider cutting back on networking and spending more time cold calling. There is nothing that says desperate more plainly than the thought that you would much rather make cold calls than go to a networking event. Yet this decision is made every day by failing networkers. It is a result of not understanding danger sign number one. You should expect referrals.

3. You have a stack of cards on your desk but really cannot recall when you got them or why. Ah yes, the stack of cards that validates your attendance at numerous events. When in doubt you will take a look at that stack and remind yourself that you are networking. Unfortunately it just isn’t working for you. Maybe you don’t get referrals because you don’t follow up. Ya think that matters? (Uh, yes it does)

4. You decide which events to attend by the food and drink that will be served. This is akin to the trainer throwing in the towel when his fighter is punch drunk. (No pun intended. Of course we’re going to all the events with an open bar.)

5. People don’t recall meeting you when you call them. You aren’t remembered because you are not memorable when you tell people about you. The only way to be memorable is to be different. Like everyone else, you concentrate on telling everyone you meet about you and your company and fail to ask any questions.

If you believe your networking may be in trouble, there is good news. Turning things around is not as difficult as you might expect and the mere fact that you are thinking about becoming more successful means you have what it takes to do so. The first step in becoming a more successful networker is to begin by thinking of others first.

Most networkers fail because they focus on their needs rather than the needs of others. Begin thinking about how you can connect others and soon others will be thinking about how they can connect you. Some call this pay it forward. Others call it The Golden Rule. Treat others as you would have them treat you and you will reap a great harvest.

BONUS Articles: Two Top Networking No-Nos!
What to Do With the Business Card of a Loser
You Must Be Out of Your Mind…
ASK! – Always Allow Your Friends the Opportunity to Help You!
Making the Networking Follow-Up Call

Copyright © 2014 – Jennifer Benson. Jennifer Benson specializes in business development, leadership, entrepreneurship and finance at: Financenk.com

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

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

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

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Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
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Monday, May 26, 2014

Stop Selling, Start Connecting

Filed under: 30 Second Connection/Elevator Speech,Networking — Larry James @ 7:30 am

“Contrary to popular networking wisdom, regurgitating a memorized “elevator speech” all over a poor unsuspecting soul who happens to ask the dreaded “what do you do?” question, does not work to establish a true connection with another human being.” ~ Felicia Slattery

elevatorPITCHFelicia Slattery’s new book, “Kill the Elevator Speech” is about why those standard, memorized verbal vomits are so horribly wrong and what to do and say instead that will actually bring people together, help others understand who you are, and create the beginnings of a referral and professional relationship to go beyond the initial handshake and obligatory card swap. The reader will learn how to walk into any room, confidently knowing how to handle, answer and completely address the question “what do you do?” with ease and grace, while also making the person they are speaking to feel comfortable and connected.

A better question is, “How did you get started doing what you do?” Perhaps instead of talking about what you do, consider reframing your 30-second connection around what problem you can solve for your customers. Ask yourself, “What problem does my target audience have that I have a solution to?”, and incorporate the answer into your self introduction (30-second connection).

The “elevator pitch or speech” (I call it a 30-second connection), is especially good when you are at a networking meeting and are asked to stand and introduce yourself. Attending a large networking event and randomly rattling off your 30-second connection to everyone you see is not the right time or place. Hopefully you are going to networking meetings to actually meet people and make a connection that develops into a strong business connection.

KilltheElevatorSpeech

Click book cover for info!

There is a time and place for everything. I wouldn’t suggest that we should “kill” the “elevator pitch” altogether. Perhaps we should kill the word “pitch!” Stop selling and start connecting. Selling inhibits a relationship.

The purpose of crafting a 30-second connection is to help you be totally clear on your core identity and message. Clear in a way that could fit easily into the time it takes to go from one floor to the next in an elevator AND it should never be a pitch. A pitch has a negative connotation that rarely arouses the interest of the person you are talking to. It’s also rarely giving in an elevator. 😉 It’s also important to have an extended version of your branding message for when you know you’ll have some time to talk with someone who asks you what kind of business referrals you are seeking.

It must be a small message with a big impact; one that sells others on YOU and what problems your product or service can solve for others and not about your product or service alone. In other words, not a pitch for business. That’s selling. You cannot develop a relationship with someone if your agenda is to sell them – especially when first meeting them. The relationship must always comes first, and then perhaps the selling.

The “elevator speech” should never be a commercial about what you are selling. It’s an opportunity to tell people what you do and what kind of business referral you are looking for. When you take the pressure of selling out of the networking equation, you will notice that conversations will flow much easier and relationships bond faster.

BONUS Articles: No One Ever Bought Anything on an Elevator!!
What’s YOUR Story?
Do You Have an Effective “30 Second Connection?”

netHQ

Copyright © 2014 – 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!

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

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

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Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
Follow Larry’s “once daily” Relationship Tweet at: http://www.Twitter.com/larryjames
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Follow Larry’s “Wedding BLOG” at: http://CelebrateIntimateWeddings.wordpress.com
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Thursday, May 22, 2014

Plan a “Mix & Mingle” of Your Own at Your Office

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

Stay connected by planning a FREE “Mix & Mingle” at your office. A mix and mingle is typically a networking event on a more casual level that provides an opportunity for business professionals to mix and mingle with other professionals, and perspective clients.

Prepare a flyer and invite fifteen to twenty friends to an informal get-together. Don’t invite all your friends… a few close friends, maybe. The object is to offer an opportunity to meet new people and to get to know them better. Ask others to bring someone they would like to get to know better.

Mix&MingleHave a little wine and cheese or soft drinks and snacks. Tell them to come with a positive mental attitude, bring lots of business cards and enjoy a little unwind time! People with energy and enthusiasm are more attractive to fellow networkers. Let them get to know you and each other on a social level. Offer a brief tour of your office. One and a half to two hours is plenty.

If you are shy or awkward in professional networking situations, this is an opportunity to network in a very casual atmosphere. This kind of event will help your shy networking friends to overcome minglephobia.

“You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation.” ~ Plato

When they arrive, ask them to deposit their business card in the fish bowl. Have a drawing. Give something of value away; a gift certificate to a great restaurant, a popular networking book, one of your products, etc. Review the business cards the next day and follow up on the people you need to get to know better. This is also a good way to develop a mailing list.

Provide nametags. I recommend the plastic business card holders. This will assist the people in your network to associate the names with the businesses.

You may want to offer my definition of networking as a theme or guideline for the event:

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!

Help them get acquainted. About a half hour into the “mixer,” ask for everyone’s attention. Offer a welcome, make a few brief remarks about your business, and invite them to mix with others, exchange business cards and thank them for coming. Let them know there will be no “selling,” but encourage them to meet, greet and talk with as many people as they can. Make a toast to “networking!”

You may want to offer a few networking tips that have worked for you. For example, instead of asking, “What do you do?” encourage them to ask, “How did you get started (doing what you do)?” Print a few networking tips on your letterhead to give out.

Ask if there is anyone that has a special need to meet someone? See if you can help them make the connection. People are there to grip and grin, be liked, meet new people, gather information, and then move on to talk with someone else. Make the most of the time that you spend with everyone you meet.

Social connections are important. They allow you to mix business and pleasure. They let you feel comfortable with talking business in a relaxed setting.

Be creative when you stay connected. As they leave, give them something with your name, phone number and Website on it; e.g., a business card, flyer, etc.

netHQCopyright © 2014 – 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!”

the-archives2Click for Archives! ~ commentSubscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateLove.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com and CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

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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Sunday, May 18, 2014

Nine Ways to Network More Effectively

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

Lisa Manyon, Guest Author

No matter what business you are in, you also have a second job… you are a marketer. That means you are responsible for letting others know about how you can help them. One of the best ways to get those opportunities to convert prospects into customers is by networking. Here are some simple strategies for making your networking more effective.

1. Don’t describe what YOU do.

EffectiveNETworkingLet your potential client know how you can positively impact his or her life. Explain how your product or service will improve the life of your potential client.

For example, when someone asks me, “What do you do?” my first thought is almost always to explain, “I’m a writer and consultant.” Unfortunately that response rarely piques the interest of potential clients. Instead I’ve learned to answer, “I POWERFULLY communicate business messages to get results.” This answer not only grabs their attention but stimulates more questions about how I might help that particular prospect.

Action item: Develop your value response to the question, “What do you do?”

2. Turn interest into appointments.

Once you have developed your value response to the action item above, you are well on your way to more effective networking. When you describe what you can do for a potential client they are more likely to be interested in what you do. After all, it’s all about WIIFM – What’s In It For Me!

My friend Ray is a dynamic individual. Coincidentally he runs Interlink a faith based organization. I recently overheard someone ask Ray what he does. Ray quickly replied “I help seniors and others stay in their homes as long as possible.” The person asking the question was immediately touched and wanted to know more. By providing just enough information to increase curiosity, Ray quickly gained interest and a new volunteer for his organization. Ray also learned of a senior in need through this interaction.

You can follow this same strategy. Always provide information that is of value even if the prospect doesn’t schedule an appointment or need your services right now. The idea is to partner with customers to help them – not to trick them into services they may not want or need.

Action items: Develop a response to further inquiries about your business or service and provide valuable information to potential customers that helps turn interest into appointments.

3. Give prospects more than they expect.

Sure, your time is valuable but so is the time of your potential customer. Maximize the effectiveness and value of your initial meeting by offering to meet pro bono (or for free). While I don’t advocate giving services away for free, a complimentary initial meeting is a good way to find out if your services are right for the customer…and if the customer is right for YOU.

Recently, Wade, an investment services broker contacted a marketing specialist to discuss ways he could increase his client base. The marketing specialist granted Wade a complimentary ½ hour consultation and could have suggested all kinds of advertising and marketing placements that would have cost Wade lots of money. Instead, the savvy marketing specialist detected that it would be more beneficial for Wade to build networking skills and work on individual relationships to increase business. During this complimentary meeting both parties quickly assessed that they could probably work together in the future but the timing wasn’t quite right. Wade was grateful for the honest assessment and has since begun building relationships via the local Chamber of Commerce. When he’s ready to put together a marketing campaign, Wade knows who he’ll call.

Action item: Consider offering brief complimentary consultations to evaluate if you are a good fit with a potential customer.

4. Can’t assist? Try to provide a referral source.

Let’s face it. There will be customers you cannot help because their needs don’t fall within the scope of the services you provide. It’s a given. There will also be customers you don’t want to work with (which is why the initial consultation is so important). Regardless of why you won’t be working together, provide a reference to someone else who might be able to help if you can. This simple gesture continues to position you in a place of value.

Often if I have an initial consultation and find they need services I don’t provide (or if we are simply not a good fit), I keep a list of contacts handy so I can refer them elsewhere. I try to provide at least three contacts so they have a variety of providers to choose from. Yes, I even refer to other writers and consultants. I have found this actually helps rather than hurts business. I believe there is enough business to go around.

Action item: Develop a list of referral sources you can provide as added value to customers you can’t assist.

5. Collect and share business cards.

This may seem simple but oftentimes even network savvy people forget to gather business cards. Make sure to have a supply of your own cards on hand and trade cards with contacts you meet. It’s a good idea to make specific notes for future recall on the back of the cards you collect.

For example, I recently met an investment broker. So I would remember our
conversation, I discreetly made notes on the back of his business card when

we were done speaking. I also noted he was an avid golfer. Now when I pull
up his card, it jogs my memory about our conversation. You never know when the information might come in handy.

Action item: Make sure you have your own business cards on hand at all times. Start collecting cards when networking and noting possible projects and interests on the back of business cards. Consider creating notes in a “tickler file” if the cards are two sided leaving no room for notes. Staple your notes to the card itself.

6. Remember to follow up.

It’s the easiest yet most neglected step of networking. Many people miss out on future opportunities by simply not following up on leads.

Make it a habit to put aside time after a networking event to follow up with your new prospects. Once you get used to this step, it will become second nature. Enter their contact information in whatever filing system or software program (ACT or e-mail) you use. Now you can choose to send a quick email letting them know how much you enjoyed meeting them and/or send a handwritten note (include some additional business cards). Even if a person isn’t interested in your services right now, you want them to keep you in mind for future projects or referrals.

Action item: Take a moment to follow up with a prospect today. The time it takes to write a note and the small investment of a stamp could pay off mutually in the future.

7. Continue to follow up.

While you don’t want to inundate people with unwanted contacts, you do want to make sure potential customers know you are thinking of them. The key to continuous follow up is to be genuine.

One way to subtly follow up without being a pain is to be on the lookout for articles or information that may be of interest to the potential customer. Clip it out and mail it or e-mail to them with a brief note letting them know you’re thinking of them. About one week later, give them a quick call to make sure they received the information.

Action item: Choose one prospect and send him or her an article of interest today. Make a note to follow up with a phone call in one week. Chances are you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the response. After all, you are providing something of value for nothing.

8. Don’t forget your friends and family.

When you’re running your own business, it’s easy to get caught up in day to day operations. It’s also easy to forget some of our best references and (possibly even clients) are our friends and family. Be sure to keep in touch and let them know what you’re trying to accomplish.

I was recently visiting a childhood friend, Karen. We’ve been friends since we were five years old. Though we keep in touch via e-mail and letters we only see each other every few years because we live in different states. Over dinner, I learned that Karen is in the initial stages of planning a new business venture. I was able to share more about my own business and we found that we’ll be able to help each other. Karen needed resources for completing a business plan as well as help with marketing ideas. While she knew that I was doing freelance writing projects, she didn’t know that marketing and advertising plans are one of my specialties.

Action item: Never assume that everyone knows and understands what you are doing. Make a list of friends and family who may not be aware of what you do professionally. Send them a personal note along with business cards to ask for their help in prospecting. They could inadvertently become your top sales people.

9. Always thank your contacts for referrals and projects.

One of the first things we’re taught as children is to say “please” and “thank you.” Oddly enough it’s one of the first things that many business people forget.

It’s easy to fall into the mindset you are providing a valuable service and doing the work itself is enough. This is simply not true. People need to feel appreciated and valued when you let them know they are appreciated and valued. Continue to build relationships even after the sale by sending thank you cards and / or gifts. A little kindness will go a long way. Also, don’t forget to thank those who have done work for you.

Action item: Recall someone you have worked with lately you haven’t thanked. Then follow up right away.

Bonus Item: Thank you!

Thank you for taking the time to invest in yourself and your business. In the spirit of offering more than is expected here is a final networking tip.

Join organizations that help you connect with likeminded people who want to succeed. You can visit http://www.yahoogroups.com to find these types of groups. Or do a search using http://www.google.com for areas of interest. Check out professional business groups you are eligible for locally. Chambers of Commerce are often a great source for networking. (If you’re a writer I can highly recommend the National Association of Women Writers. Click here to learn more http://www.kickstartcart.com/. I have to say, as someone who POWERFULLY communicates business messages to get results, this organization has been an invaluable networking tool.)

Action item: Make a list of organizations you can join to help grow your business. Choose one to join today!

LisaManyon

Copyright © 2014 – Lisa Manyon. Lisa Manyon is a writer and consultant specializing in powerfully communicating business messages to get results. Manyon created a series of marketing training seminars for the Idaho Small Business Development Center and touts over 15 years of marketing, advertising, non-profit and writing experience. To learn more visit Write On ~ Creative Writing Services, LLC..

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Ignoring the Networking Rules? ~ “Guilty!”

Never pass up an opportunity to network. Networking is something you should continually be doing, however if you are guilty of breaking the networking rules, people will create distance between you and you will end up being alone. Networking is a wise investment of your time and energy when you follow the rules.

16NetRulesNetworking is about building meaningful relationships, earning trust and cultivating individual connections. When you break the rules, you put this process in jeopardy. Networking can be both exciting and daunting, however, networking events can become more manageable and allow for real growth for you personally when you adopt the following networking rules.

What are the rules? My business success has been built upon the following “Sweet 16” networking rules. Adopt them and plug them into your networking repertoire and watch amazing things begin to happen.

1. Forget about instant gratification and short-term results. Networking works better in the future than right now. Networking by definition means talking to people when you don’t need something. Think long-term growth. Harvey McKay’s book, “Dig Your Well Before You’re Thirsty” suggests that you should begin building your network of support before you need it. AND… only network with people you like and trust.

2. Be a “Swizzle Stick”; the person who – in any room – stirs things up by introducing people to each other.

3. Never SELL at networking events and never treat people as prospects. No brochures to hand out. Only exchange business cards when you feel that someone you have just met might deserve a follow-up. Make notes on the back of their business card to assist your memory of the encounter.

4. Focus on making new friends and building relationships! Friendship always trumps acquaintanceship. New connections are only as valuable as the depth of connection that you’ve made.

5. Follow-up. If you say you will do something… keep your word. Staying in touch requires effort. That’s exactly why those that do, stand out from everyone else.

6. Give everyone your undivided attention and be truly present in conversations. Not only is direct eye contact a better way to make a connection; sometimes it is the only way. Looking for someone better to talk to is the best way to doom a good relationship from the beginning. Focusing on the other person will help you get into a more substantive conversation.

7. Tap your strengths; your thirst for knowledge, desire to help others, interest in sharing best business practices, to help anchor your approach to help others remember you.

8. Arrive early and stay late at networking events. It’s easier to make one-on-one connections with fewer people competing for attention of many.

9. Concentrate on engaging everyone you meet with an enthusiastic, positive outlook. Smile. Had a bad day? It’s important to be up when meeting new net people! Scowling will ensure that you leave an event without business cards, but with your unpleasant attitude intact.

10. Spend more time listening than speaking. It’s one thing to appear to listen, and quite another to really hear what someone says. Be in the moment. Be genuinely curious about others. Ask lots of questions to clarify your thinking about whether to pursue a relationship. Your life story is far more interesting to you than to someone you’ve just met. Asking someone, “What do you do?” within a minute or two of meeting them suggests your interest in them depends on their answer.

11. Be approachable. An open and welcoming countenance is an invitation to connect. If you are not approachable in a networking setting, you simply will not be approached.

12. Networking is about reciprocity. However, you must first give. It often takes a while for others to give you business referrals. Be patient. Be generous and creative in sending business to other networkers. Most importantly… give first. That could be business referrals, tips, business ideas that work for you, clipping magazine articles that may be helpful to others, connecting two people who should know each other, etc. Over time, people who remember you will introduce you to their friends which will make your future networking at events go much smoother.

13. Use your network first if you need something. If someone has a product or service you want or need, contact them first. You don’t have to buy from them, but you should consider them. Networking is also about “giving” back. If someone asks you for a referral, start with your network – but only those you trust and who are relevant.

14. Be generous with sincere compliments. Doing this helps you to project your warmth, inviting nature, and most of the time, it gets you into a professional conversation right away.

15. Be yourself. Never try to be someone you think someone thinks you should be. Present the best side of you. Maintain humility and always put your best food forward. Make a good first impression. Manners are important too.

16. Don’t keep score. It’s the one fundamental concept that is the most misunderstood in networking. Few people truly get it. Give a business referral and do not expect anything in return. Do it because you love to help others, not because you will now expect them to return the favor. Unfulfilled expectations always cause problems. Expectations are resentments under construction. Yes, networking is about reciprocity, but you must understand that what you give will always come back to you, but not always from the person to whom it was given!

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

I must admit, none of this is easy, but it becomes second nature with time and practice and practice and practice. The quality of your life is determined by the quality of your relationships. The quality of your business is no different.

netHQ

Copyright © 2014 – 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!

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

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

letsbefriends2

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

Saturday, May 10, 2014

The Key Differences Between Winners & Losers in Business

Siimon Reynolds, Guest Author

Are winners in business just more talented? Or luckier than the average person? Most people believe yes.

But Professor Carol Dweck of Stanford University has proof to the contrary. After over a decade of research her team has shown that in the long term, consistent success does not largely hinge on IQ or luck.

WinVsLoseIt relies on a particular type of mindset. If you develop this mindset (and it can certainly be developed) your chances of achieving uncommon success are high, regardless of your field of endeavor.

Dweck calls that winning mindset the ‘Growth Mindset’, and the essence of Growth Mindset is as follows:

Growth Mindsetters have a core belief that their talents are not fixed. Therefore they are confident that anything they choose to do can be done better. Basically, they have a deep belief that their potential is virtually limitless, as long as they do two things.

1. Consistently focus on getting better at that particular area.
2. Try hard at it.

Effort, focus and belief are at the core of how a Growth Mindsetter thinks.

As a result, they may start off not being particularly good at something, but by concerted action they quickly get better at it. Excellence through constant improvement’ could be the credo of a Growth Mindset oriented person.

With this attitude, Professor Dweck showed that even people with lower than average IQ’s often succeeded at a higher level than more intelligent people who didn’t dedicate themselves to life long improvement.

A startling notion, I’m sure.

After all, if success over time is not about luck or inherent talent, then that squarely puts the pressure on each of us to commit to continual learning and effort to endlessly get better.

Do you have enough of a Growth Mindset ? If your honest answer is No, it’s time to get to work.

Larry’s NOTE: I would add that this applies to people who network too. Getting better as you network should be everyone’s goal… a “Helping Others Mentality” and with a “Healthy Attitude!” That’s what makes networking work! If you get stuck in a rut, immediately change your tactics; do something different; go back to the drawing board! Do it with gusto and a heightened level of networking discipline!

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Copyright © 2014 – Wedding Industry Experts 2014 Awards & Siimon Reynolds.

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

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

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

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Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Networking Quick Takes…

Filed under: Networking Tip — Larry James @ 7:30 am
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No matter how impressive your resume looks, getting ahead still depends a great deal on the truth of the saying, “It’s not what you know, but who you know that counts!” Making the right connections – networking – is a vital element in a person’s success. While some people are naturals at it, others often find it very difficult.

If rubbing elbows with people makes you feel awkward, here are some networking quick takes (tips) to help put you at ease when you have the chance to make some valuable business contacts.

NetQuickTakesBetter business networking introduces you to new inspiration, ideas, innovation, problem solving, more referrals, a better top and probably bottom line, and business growth. The goal of networking should be to help other people.

• Never leave your home without a supply of business cards – and don’t be afraid to ask another person for his or her card! Don’t hand your cards out to people you’ve just met. We all know the person who shoves his/her business card down your throat immediately. It’s a turnoff, and not a very polite way to engage a new contact. Offer your business card after having a conversation – and before asking for the other person’s card first.

• Don’t stay on the sidelines at professional functions or networking events. Mingle!

• Carry something in your hands – a book, a brochure, a videotape, even a cup of coffee – to help you feel less self-conscious.

• NEVER “sell” while you are networking. It’s your goal to meet people, not close a business deal. I repeat, NEVER sell at a networking meeting or event. If someone corners you and you do have the opportunity to mention your business, always keep your pitch short – let it be catchy and to the point.

• Attend networking functions with a friend who can introduce you to others in attendance.

• Dress up for the occasion. “You never get a second chance to make a good first impression.” ~ Will Rogers

• Ask lots of questions. Don’t be shy. You’ll make a better impression than if you keep the entire conversation focused on yourself and how great you and your business are. Ask questions that are much deeper than, “What do you do?” Get to know them and attempt to find commonalities. Engage them in a real conversation. They will tend to remember those conversations best. Networking is about being genuine and authentic, building trust and relationships, and seeing how you can help others.

• Listen more than you talk! People love to talk about themselves, and you can’t learn about the other person if you’re doing all of the talking.

“Be unconventional. Use those pesky waiting lines at the DMV to strike up a conversation with someone else in line and see if it makes sense to mention your business. Other great places to start a dialogue include on an airplane or even at your local grocery store. Be friendly, outgoing and talk to the people around you. You never know what connection you might make for your business.” ~ Pamela Springer

• The effectiveness of face-to-face networking is hard to measure, so how do we know when we’ve succeeded? Never leave without a second date. In other words, if you don’t plan to meet with someone you just met after the meeting or event, you’re making a big mistake. Follow up is key!

• Follow up with a “nice to meet you” note, which is also a good opportunity to enclose another business card, brochure, sales piece, or even a newsletter if it will give someone a better idea of your talent and abilities. Since most people don’t do this, you will stand out from the crowd. No contact after the networking event = No chance for a business relationship!

• Keep a contact file. Organize the business cards you bring to your office so you can call on people from time to time as necessary. Focus on building trust. Stay accountable to yourself first and foremost and then to the people you build relationships with.

• Always arrive early; you’ll get the opportunity to have meaningful discussions and people will remember you before they meet 100 others at the event.

• Give business referrals or referral other vendors new contacts may find interesting. Your new contact will remember you for it. Ask them what they need. Then try to provide it by connecting them with someone you know and trust.

learnmoremakemore• Don’t forget your current contacts. Networking doesn’t necessarily mean actively pursuing making new relationships. Cultivate those you have already and invest in those relationships first.

• Learn as much as you can about business networking. Read the networking articles in the articles menu of this blog. As of May 6, 2014, there are more than 430 articles about Networking available – all FREE! Read networking books. Watch others who are already successful to see how they network. As a matter of fact… you can never learn too much about networking!

“Don’t expect anything! The fact that you reached out and made contact with someone does not put them in your debt. No one is required to “pay you back.” Instead of approaching networking with the goal of gaining favors, try reaching out with curiosity. Contact interesting and relevant people and see what happens. Some of them will respond and some of them won’t. Learn about the people that follow up. Find out what makes them interesting and how you can help them – and don’t expect anything in return.” ~ James Clear

Networking can work to your advantage for many months – even years – to come. Who knows? A casual acquaintance you make today may be vital to your success tomorrow. If you wait to build your network when you need it, your desperation will show through. Just remember that when the opportunities arise, be yourself, show a genuine interest in the people you meet, and follow up new contacts to get to know them better.

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

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Copyright © 2014 – 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!

commentSubscribe 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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Friday, May 2, 2014

Networking Deposits ~ Networking Withdrawals

This story is true.

It’s about not quitting!

Some years ago I belonged to a networking group that ran by a long list of bylaws. Our group had a rule to hold members accountable for business referrals exchange. During my daily business calls I met a guy who was a real go-getter. He was very successful already and after getting to know him better I suggested that he join our group.

TrueNETstoryThis group allowed only one person in each business category, e.g., one banker, one Realtor™, one printer, etc. Our bylaws would not allow anyone who was a member to be a member of a similar group. This promoted loyalty among our members.

My friend was accepted into our networking group and was a member for 17 months without receiving any business referrals. He was not a quitter. Most people would have quit after 3 or 4 months. He would bring an occasional business referral and missed only one meeting during that time.

He was committed! Our monthly dues were $40. We had 50 meetings a year. Yearly dues were $480 + another $500 for lunch (Lunch was a buffet and was $10) = an investment of about $980 per year.

What did our group do with all that money? At our peak we had 62 very active members; members who were committed to attending 50 weekly meetings a year. Our collected yearly dues were just shy of $30,000. Our networking group sponsored yearly donations to several local charity groups that the members chose, and we scheduled what we called “Social Connections” which included quarterly parties, beach parties at the lake, road trips, and much more. It was a FUN group and we all had lots of fun socially as well as 98% of the group rarely missed a meeting because the meetings were strictly business and lots of business referrals were always exchanged.

I was president of the group and during one of our meetings I was encouraging our members to do a better job of actively looking for referrals for other members during the week so we could increase the number of referrals that were exchanged. During my talk I said:

“If you are not receiving business referrals, you are probably not giving any. (Someone said, “Amen!”) We need to do a better job of meeting each other outside of the meeting to get better acquainted with one another. You must be present at all meetings, so that you can be present for others to hear the kind of referrals you need. Being present at meetings calls attention to yourself and if you want more referrals, you must bring more referrals. If you want to call attention to yourself, pay attention to the other members!”

After the meeting, my friend (I’ll call him Bob) came up to me and said, “I really needed to hear that. From now on, networking will be different for me!”

The very next week, he came to the meeting early and paid for lunch for the entire group! Not only that, he brought 16 quality business referrals for our 62 members.

Remember… he had been a member for 17 months and had never received a business referral.

When networking you never know where your business leads will come from. He announced to the group that he needed a plumber. There was no plumber in the group, however I referred a plumber friend of mine to him. At the next meeting he announced that he had received his first business lead as a result of hiring my plumber and already closed the sale. The commissions from that one lead alone more than paid for the investment of time and money for those 17 months, plus lunches. The following week, he again bought everyone’s lunch and presented our networking group a check for membership in the amount of $480 for dues for a year in advance.

How many networkers do you know with that kind of commitment?

Networking is not only about building close business relationships, it’s about commitment, perseverance, loyalty, dedication to the cause, leadership and much more. People who are serious about business networking can receive nearly the equivalent of a college degree in business if their heart is in the right place. Personal growth is almost guaranteed.

Networking is also about making deposits and withdrawals. The deposits include our member’s time, energy, money and the giving of business referrals. The withdrawals are the close personal friendships we developed, favors from other members, and the hundreds of business referrals received from other members, to say nothing of the fun we all had at our quarterly “Social Connections!

In our second year together, we exchanged more than $2,000,000 in business referrals. Out group worked because everyone in the group was totally committed to it. The occasional member that wasn’t didn’t really fit in the group, quickly realized it and soon dropped out of the group. We held people accountable for bringing quality business referrals and they did. They did because they knew that was the only way they could ever make a withdrawal from the group!

If your networking group needs a swift kick in the pants… call me (480-205-3694). I will be happy to make some suggestions that actually work.

BONUS Articles: Does Your Networking Group Have a “Community” Presence?
Delayed Gratification
Choosing a Networking Group – 5 plus articles
“Qualified” Referrals – The Currency of Successful Connections!
What to Do If Your Networking Group Isn’t Working for You!

netHQ

Copyright © 2014 – 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!

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

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

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Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
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Follow Larry’s “Relationship BLOG” at: http://CelebrateLove.wordpress.com/
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