Networking HQ BLOG with Larry James

Friday, June 27, 2014

Do Actions Speak Louder Than Words?

Filed under: Networking — Larry James @ 7:30 am
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When you are networking… the answer is, “Yes!” There are things you must “DO” before you attend a networking event.

Before you attend a networking event, your first action should be to do your homework. Assess the event to decide if you will benefit from it. Is there a sponsor you should meet? Who will attend. Will it be fun? Can you make it fun?

NETActionsThere are so many meeting you have to go to, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy yourself. Focus on the value of meeting new people, exchanging pleasantries and getting the business cards of those who impress you as someone you should include in your network.

Don’t hangout in the hallway. That may look to some that you are scared to come in. Glance around, checking the layout of the room. Where are the people who look like they know what they are doing congregating?

Don’t be shy. Initiate conversations – “with people you do not know.” Networking events are not times to visit with your friends. That doesn’t mean you ignore them. You can always talk to your friends at another time. Once you are in the room walk up to someone new and start talking. Lead with questions that cannot be answered with yes or no. Chat for a while and move on to someone else. Initiating conversation sometimes feels like you might be setting yourself up with rejection, however you attend these events to meet new people and you cannot afford to be a wallflower. I often look for someone who is standing alone to the side observing, clutching a drink and looking uncomfortable. They usually welcome your conversation because you saved them from anonymity. Check ’em out.

Another action… remember to bring your business cards. Not everyone should have your card. The exchange of business cards should follow a conversation in which rapport has been established. If you want to give your card to someone, but they have not asked for it, ask for theirs first. Most people will respond in kind, especially if you make your card available, obviously read to trade.

Do be an effective networker, you must take action to prepare yourself for whatever happens, including your small talk. Silence is downright boring. Topics might include the purpose for which you are meeting, business news happenings, and even the weather. You already have something in common because you are attending the same event. Ask about the successes they have had while networking. Being prepared will allow you to keep the conversation on a positive note if talk begins to go south.

NeverFailFollowUpThe action of a smile can mean a lot when networking. Make eye contact. Shake hands like you mean it. When you say “it’s nice to meet you,” be sure your face matches your words. Speak sincerely. People can very quickly spot someone who doesn’t know that networking is about building relationships, not trying to sell someone something that you just met. Make introductions to people you think may be helpful to someone you’ve just met. Always remember to tell people what you do that might benefit them. Prepare! Speak it in a way that will have them ask more questions. NEVER begin a networking conversation with, “What do you do?

Don’t get bogged down with talking to one person. Learn to gracefully move on to someone else. You’re there to make new acquaintances. To make your exit easier, take this action… wait until you are finished talking, smile and say, “Excuse me, it’s been nice talking with you. I hope you have a great evening.” If you choose to follow up with them, you may want to tell them you will give them a call to arrange a time to get together to get to know each other better. If they are receptive… remember to keep your word. Want more about “follow up?” Click here!

Remember to wear a smile and remember the reason you are there! Have a good time.

BONUS Articles: Do You Fade Into the Wall?
Mind Your Networking Manners

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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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Monday, June 23, 2014

You Need More Than a Cardboard Connection

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

Do you attend networking events with the intention of collecting all the business cards you can and giving out as many business cards while you’re there?

That is a big mistake!

Most folks think if you go to enough events and pass out enough business cards the phone will begin ringing. That is seldom ever true. Even if you do get some business that way, you still have to do what is necessary to build and cultivate that relationship so they continue to do business with you and/or send you referrals.

busNETcardHanding out your business card to everyone who crosses your path makes only a cardboard connection!

Haven’t you emptied your pockets, looked at the cards and wondered why you bothered to bring them back to your office. Instead, pour your conversational energy into finding a real connection, a good, solid business reason to exchange cards.

John, who has just started his own business, is looking for an accountant. You are happy to give him your accountant’s name, as well as some tips on record keeping. Ask John for his card and tell him you will call him with the information.

Give him your card, but only after you tell him why he needs it. “I hope that when you need any remodeling, or hear of someone who does, you’ll give me a call.”

Next, follow up and call him with the accountant’s contact information. The follow up is the most important ingredient for effective business networking and will help you solidify the connection. You may want to arrange a time to get together (make an appointment) to get to know each other better.

“Speak to a few people and have genuine conversations rather than rush around the room trying to grab a card from everyone. Show a genuine interest in the other person and engage in conversation rather than trade elevator pitches.” ~ Andy Lapata

I rarely go anywhere without have a few business cards with me. I was at a small event recently and after meeting this woman I asked for her card. I saw an immediate possibility that we could help each other, but when I asked I heard, “Oh, I didn’t think I was going to need any cards this morning so I didn’t bring any with me.” Oh, really? I gave her my card and asked her to send me one of hers, but most often that gets forgotten. So… for her, another missed opportunity. Guess what? I never heard from her again.

You never know when you are going to meet someone useful to you or you to them. Always be sure you have several business cards with you. I “always” carry business cards with me. If I am out to eat (and leave a nice tip), I will usually leave my card. Several years ago, I did that and about 6 months later, the waitress called me and hired me to perform her Wedding ceremony.

BONUS Articles: What to Do With the Business Card of a Loser
Networking is NOT a Card Game…

Larry’s NOTE: A special “Thank you!” to Anne Baber, author of “Great Connections: Small Talk and Networking for Businesspeople,” for the inspiration for this article.

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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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Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
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Thursday, June 19, 2014

Seven Deadly Sins of Ineffective Name Tags

Scott Ginsberg, Guest Author

Your name tag is your best friend. It is a lifesaver in meetings, trade shows and events to start conversations when you meet groups of new people. It also identifies you as well as your company in the minds of others. As a result, you will become more approachable so you can connect and communicate with anybody. Unfortunately, name tags are useless and ineffective if they are designed and worn without careful consideration.

name-tagIf you avoid “The Seven Deadly Sins of Ineffective Name Tags,” you will maximize your approachability when you make your name tag more visible, accessible and efficient. You will also discover that when you invite people to “step onto your front porch,” they will cross the chasm between a stranger and a friend, or a prospect and a customer.

Size ~ How many times has someone rudely squinted at your chest desperately trying to make out those tiny letters? This is self defeating, embarrassing and actually works to decrease your approachability. Not to mention it makes the other person feel ridiculous! So, much like a retail price tag, your name tag must be readable from ten feet away — both the font and the name tag itself.

According to a name tag survey done by David Alder of Biz Bash, 50% of a group of meeting planners claimed that “illegible font size of name tags was a major problem.” And, consider the 75 million baby boomers that have reached, or will reach their bifocal days, this is a top priority. The recommended font size is 24 point – hopefully bigger if possible. Also be certain to avoid cursive, script or other fancy letters.

Clutter ~ Avoid name tags with overly thick borders, unnecessary clutter or too much text. Make it easy on the eyes. All of the information contained must be readable and memorable in less than five seconds. For trade shows or other venues with hundreds of people and limited time, be sure that your company name, position and logo are positioned adequately from a networking/prospecting standpoint. (Still readable from 10 feet away)

Other than that, make sure that any supplementary, less important text is significantly smaller than the name itself. Remember, they call them name tags because the name must be the focal point, whether it’s the name of the person or the name of the company, those are the two most important pieces of information.

Color ~ The most effective background color for name tags is white. This allows maximum visibility for your logo, name and position. Dark blue, green or red backgrounds are used occasionally, but they have a tendency to “steal the show” from the rest of your name tag.

Write the font in black or dark blue. Never use yellow, orange or any other light color. Even if a dark color choice means an aesthetic digression, fashion must be outweighed by your name tag’s approachability and visibility! Finally, unless you work in an academic capacity, avoid gold name tags.

Turnaround ~ A frustrating name tag problem that people face is “the name tag turnaround.” No name. No logo. No company. Just the blank back of the badge! While lanyard or necklace style name tags reduce clothing damage, no doubt these will get accidentally turned around and tangled at some point!

Therefore it is vital to always write the exact same information on both sides. And, if someone who doesn’t know your name sees your reversed name tag, they might shrug their shoulders, turn away and find another person to talk to! (NOTE: If you write the information on both sides also eliminates the possibility that some of us will purposely turn our name tags around. “Lead us not into temptation…”)

Name TagPlacement ~ The horizontal placement of your name tag is a function of the context in which you wear it. For example, on the right, name tags will be easily visible in the line of sight that correlates to your handshake. Most businesses handbooks will instruct you to wear name tag in this manner. And, it is a good visual aid for people who have can’t remember names – which is everyone!

On the other hand, for mobile and populated events such as trade shows, expos and conventions, it is more effective to wear your name tag on your left side. This allows people who approach in your opposite direction to see your name tag with significant ease, since we traditionally walk on the right side of the road/aisle/hallway.

Presence ~ Although horizontal placement of your name tag is an important consideration, vertical placement is the most important visibility characteristic. A name tag in the middle of your chest is likely to get covered by your arms, papers or some other obstruction. Furthermore, central placement of your name tag will make you unavailable to people outside of your conversation, thus limits your ability to meet more valuable people.

So, your name tag is pointless if it’s worn below your breastbone. The most effective location is two to three inches below your collar bone on whichever side most appropriate for your function. This allows maximum eye contact. Furthermore, high vertical placement of your name tag eliminates the possibility that it will be covered by something. For example, if your name tag hangs too low, it will be impossible for other people to read it when you: sit down, cross your arms, wear a jacket, write down information or use gestures while you talk.

Maximization ~ Have you ever seen a five inch name tag with tiny letters the size of sunflower seeds? What a waste! Use any and all blank space provided by your name tag. Make it huge! Don’t worry if you look silly, because everyone looks silly! And, although font size must be large anyway, don’t hesitate to increase the font commensurate with the size of the name tag itself. Imagine your name tag is a personal advertisement. Maximize your space efficiently. Think about this: you will never see a billboard on the highway that only uses half the space provided!

The next time you go to a meeting, convention, seminar or trade show, remember that your name tag is your best friend. In other words, think of your name tag as your “front porch.” It invites people. It makes them feel comfortable. And, it initiates conversations that transform strangers into valuable connections. But, like any good front porch, it’s important to create and wear name tags that are visible, accessible, and efficient so you will maximize your approachability.

“Your name tag is your best friend for several reasons. First of all, a person’s name is the single piece of personal information most often forgotten–and people are less likely to approach you if they don’t know (or have forgotten) your name. Second, it’s free advertising for you and your company. Third, name tags encourage people to be friendly and more approachable.” ~ Ivan Misner

BONUS Articles: Name Tag Tip

Larry’s NOTE:  Need a “last-minute” name tag for you networking meeting?  Fill out a FREE Designers template for a temporary name tag or badge insert at:  http://www.layoutserver.nl/

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Copyright © 2014 – Scott Ginsberg. Scott Ginsberg is a professional speaker, “the world’s foremost field expert on name tags” and the author of “HELLO my name is Scott” and “The Power of Approachability.” He speaks to companies and associations who want to become UNFORGETTABLE communicators – one conversation at a time. He’s “That Guy with the Name Tag.” Visit his BLOG or HelloMyNameisScott.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
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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Sunday, June 15, 2014

“Myth-Information” about Networking!

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

There are so many misconceptions about business networking. It is often a misunderstood concept. Have you been assaulted by a business card bombardier who only wanted to sell you something? Attended one of those “grab and gab” and “tell and sell” rubber chicken so-called networking events where you left feeling violated? The purpose of business networking is to forge meaningful relationships that you can rely on – and that can rely on you – for introductions, collaborations and referrals. In this article, checking out the myth-information about networking will help you get on the right networking track!

“Developing a strong network requires making connections that will sustain more than a simple introduction. Those connections, and the support required to maintain them, are the necessary ingredients to developing a network.” ~ Sherri Edwards

Myth-InformationMyth #1 ~ “There’s no strategy to networking – you’re either good at it or you’re not.”

WRONG! If networking doesn’t come natural to you, you better learn the networking tools that the professional networker know. Anyone can be good at it – it’s whether or not you have a desire to learn all you can about networking and then use what works for you.

Myth #2 ~ “People who are shy and are introverts are horrible networkers.”

Networking will bring you out of the shy rut if you are smart about doing it. The tool great networkers know is that more than 50% of a result oriented networking interaction is not talking about yourself – it’s opening the door to a conversation through questions about the other person. Shy people can easily progress quickly when they know that the person asking the questions is in command of the conversation.

Myth #3 ~ “A large networking is a great place to find customers to sell to.”

Horribly wrong! People only do business with people they like and trust. The truth is you must develop the relationship first before others will refer business to you must less buy anything from you. Building relationships takes time. There is never enough time at a major networking event to even consider building a relationship.

Myth #4 ~ “Networking is about giving your business card to as many people as possible.”

Someone once said, “Handing out your business card like it’s free Halloween candy guarantees one thing – you’ve given people something to pick their teeth with after lunch.” I never ask anyone for their business card unless I feel there is a possibility that I might be of service to them or I feel that there is an opportunity for us to support each other in our networking efforts. I never give my business card to just anyone I talk with. I wait for that moment when you know you’ve made a connection worthy of pursuit.

Myth #5 ~ “You must have the persona of a sleazy car salesman to be successful in networking.”

Are you kidding me! Those are the kind of people who are aggressive as heck and after turning everyone off, generally fade into the distance complaining that networking doesn’t work. Trust! That’s one of the keys to networking success. Building trust takes time. Be patient.

Myth #6 ~ “Networking stops when the meeting is over!”

Not true. It’s actually the beginning… the beginning is called “follow-up!” Many networkers miss that point. It’s crucial. I say it’s extremely significant. The follow-up is when you begin to build the relationship. It’s the time when you take the time to get to know each other; exploring all the possibilities of working together in the future. Follow up with a phone call, an e-mail, regular mail, or a meeting over breakfast or lunch. The greatest mistake people make in networking is not having a well-developed follow-up plan.

Myth #7 ~ “Networking is about getting business referrals and leads.”

That’s pure folly! Effective business networking is about giving! It’s not about asking others for referrals and leads, it’s about giving others referrals, leads, ideas, etc. Sometimes it’s clipping a newspaper story or copying an idea that may help others by sending it my snail-mail rather than e-mail. It’s true that preperation of snail-mail takes more time, however it also signals that you thought what you sent is special. Send a hand-written note. When you network, you must always to looking for ways to “give” to others in your network of support. By the way, there is a big difference between business referrals and leads. Read: “Is It a Lead or a Referral?

Myth #8 ~ “Networking about being a schmoozer or smooth talker.”

Have great communication skills certainly helps, however being a good listener is key. You can never learn much about the other person if you are doing all the talking – especially if all you talk about is you. A schmoozer is a person skilled in the art of ingratiating small talk – talk that is business oriented, designed to both provide and solicit personal information AND who avoids overt pitching of their product or services. Unfortunately many schmoozers have earned a reputation that has people looking at them as people who overtly pitch their products or services without allowing time to learn anything much from the person with whom they are talking. Focus on asking sincere questions and on being a good listener. Networking is a dialogue in which both people should contribute. If you want to call attention to yourself, you must pay attention to others!

StayConnectedMyth #9 ~ “Networking takes so much time. I don’t have the time to network.”

Think of business networking as marketing and promoting your business and brand, meeting new people (who may become customers in the future) and cultivating new relationships. Networking is a reciprocal relationship. You never have time to do the things you don’t want to do. Networking should be a part of everyone’s business plan. The people who skip around from one networking meeting to the next, and attend four or five events each week would do well to network with a plan or strategy. They become exhausted and have no time or don’t take the time for follow-up or are in it only for what they can get out of it. Your time is precious. To me the very large groups are all about social networking and in many cases the people who attend know very little about the collaborative etiquette of networking. Pick and choose one group, and stay with it. I hear people leave groups because they don’t get any referrals. My first question to them is, “How many referrals did you ‘give’.” Networking events may be in themselves intimidating or misleading. Calling a large event a “networking opportunity” may create unnecessary pressure for the inexperienced networker. Attend a large group once in a while to keep your conversation sharp, to visit with friends and have a soda. Attending one “highly targeted” networking event makes a lot more sense than going to 10 generic networking groups or events.

Myth #10 ~ “Networking is all about who you know.”

Networking is all about who knows you, who likes you, who trusts you and who respects you. Pete Leibman once said, “Before working with you or referring you to someone else, a successful person is consciously or subconsciously asking himself, ‘Do I like and respect this person enough to put my reputation on the line by working with her or by introducing her to someone I trust?'”

Myth #11 ~ “You have to memorize an elevator pitch.”

Memorize? No. I will say that knowing how to tell others what you do in a creative way helps. The “elevator pitch or speech” (I call it a 30-second connection), is especially good when you are at a networking “meeting” (not a large event) 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. 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!” 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. Once you decide what your 30-second connection will be, play with it. Be flexible. Learn to adapt it to any situation you may encounter.

Networking is such a popular contact sport that you would think that after a few unsuccessful events – meaning: no significant change in business or no one seems to be wanting to contact them – that they would learn from the errors of their ways and seek some support from someone who knows the ins-and-outs of business networking or, at least, stop and observe how the winners are doing it. Yet, they toil on, soliciting business, collecting business cards and hoping at the next event things will improve. That’s insane!

“I believe your [networking] goal is to #1. Show up authentically; #2. Know your value proposition (what do you have to offer?); #3. Be able to articulate how your experience relates to the goals and needs of others in your network; and #4. Have a clear follow-up strategy ready to go after the event.” ~ Lida Citroën

Business networking is about “giving!” Professional networkers give to other networkers whenever they can because it causes them to feel good to give, not because they expect to be rewarded later.

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

One of the most common places you express your personal brand, your values, and your style is in networking. Whether you’re at a business event, job fair, or standing in line at Starbucks, there is always in a potential opportunity for networking. Networking doesn’t just happen at business events. Opportunity is everywhere! Be prepared to take it! A robust and well-curated network is the most powerful tool in your professional arsenal. Don’t let bad advice and the preconceived notions of others stop you from using it to your fullest advantage.

BONUS Articles: Building a Case for LARGE Networking Events!
Shop for a GREAT Networking Group… Then STOP!
Networking Events are a Waste of Time…
Demonstrate Your Commitment to Networking ~ Here’s How
8 Steps To Build Relationships After A Networking Event
NEVER Start a Networking Conversation With, “What do you do?”
Networking Events — Which Event Or Organization Is the Right One for You?

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

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Susan RoAne, “How to Work a Room”

Filed under: Networking,Video — Larry James @ 7:30 am
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SusanRoAne“How to Work a Room” is the classic bestselling book on improving communication and socializing skills, and using them to create and leverage connections. This Silver Anniversary Edition is fully revised and updated to include the role of technology and social media in networking, as well as Susan RoAne’s proven tips for using digital strategies to your advantage—plus practical hints for starting conversations and strengthening rapport with strangers.

“How to Work a Room: The 25th Anniversary Edition” is a vital tool for business professionals, job seekers and career changers of all ages. Susan lays down the fundamentals for savvy socializing, whether at a party, a conference, or even communicating online. RoAne clearly shows how to overcome the five roadblocks that keep most people from making new contacts; mix chutzpah and charm to start and end conversations smoothly; know when to use humor – and when not to; and follow simple rules of etiquette.

Incorporating years of feedback from hundreds of presentations, as well as anecdotes from around the globe, RoAne keeps “How To Work A Room” fresh and on target. New chapters include: strategies starting, maintaining, and exiting conservations; and advice on commutating effectively in today’s tech driven world.

Larry’s NOTE: Susan speaks about “once in a lifetime opportunities” and I would like to say that hearing Susan speak is, for some, a once in a lifetime opportunity. She – in my opinion – is the Guru of Business Networking. This video is 58 minutes and 14 seconds. Some may want to bookmark this page and save it for watching later. Don’t miss this opportunity.

Copyright © 2014 – Susan RoAne. Susan RoAne is a speaker and author who has worked trade shows, conventions, planes, and the bleachers at Wrigley Field, and taught others to do the same. Her latest book, How to Create Your Own Luck: The You Never Know Approach to Networking, Taking Chances, and Opening Yourself to Opportunity, is out and her other books include How to Work a Room and The Secrets of Savvy Networking. For further information: www.SusanRoAne.com, or e-mail @: Susan@SusanRoAne.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
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

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Networking Events: 10 Quick Tips

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

Allison, Guest Author

Networking events are a great way for you to meet other professionals in your area, but it can be exhausting to keep up with a busy calendar, and make the most out of each event. And, for those who are more introverted, meeting a lot of new people at one time can seem daunting.

10QuickTipsWhether you’re a networking pro or need a little coaxing when it comes to putting yourself out there, these 10 quick tips will help you master networking events!

1. Clear your mind before entering the event. ~ Many networking events take place in the early evening, after you’ve most likely had a long, arduous day at work. Be sure to check your negative energy at the door, or others might sense it! Even if you feel so tired you wish you could back out, go in with an open mind. Focus your mind on the task ahead of you – meeting new people and establishing relationships.

If you can, try to give yourself a bit of alone time prior to the event to re-charge whether this is listening to your favorite music driving over, or stopping for a quick coffee prior to the event and enjoying it while checking out some blog posts or recent news from the day.

2. Talk to people who are standing alone. ~ Ever feel a bit awkward at a networking event? Everyone has at one point or another! If you see someone standing alone, strike up a conversation. They’ll be happy to have someone to talk to, plus you won’t have to worry about breaking up a group’s conversation by approaching multiple people mid-way through and introducing yourself.

3. Repeat your contact’s name. ~ While you’re speaking with someone, repeat their name back to them a few times during the conversation. It helps you to demonstrate that you’re paying attention to what your contact is saying, and you’ll remember names better that way. Two or three times per conversation should do the trick!

4. Act as a facilitator for others at the event. ~ Welcome others into your conversations by introducing the people you’ve spoken with to others. Try it by introducing each new person you meet to at least one other person, and soon you’ll know a lot more people! Also, by being the one who connects others, people will see you as resourceful.

5. Personalize your encounters. ~ The exchange of business cards is fairly standard at networking events, but you can make yourself more personable (and memorable) by writing your personal contact information on the back of your card and a quick note such as ‘Please be in touch!’Your new contacts are much more likely to reach out to you through your cell phone number or personal email address than they are a main company phone line.

6. Be selective about your events. ~ Choose networking events where you know you’ll have something in common with the other people attending. Many local networking events may not be industry-specific, so try to filter out the events that are most worth your time. Check out the WeddingWire World Tour schedule to see if we’ll be coming to a town near you, or be on the lookout for an email from us when we’ll be near you for a Mix & Mingle, Networking Night or Workshop!

7. Make the first move. ~ If you’ve been to a lot of networking events, you’ve noticed that attendees tend to polarize. Some people are extremely social and will spend the whole time proactively making conversations with others. The other types of people tend to sit alone, waiting for other to approach them. They’re often on their phones trying to look busy. Approach those people and make the first move! You’ll be helping them break the ice and begin a conversation. It’s great for your network, and it’s a kind deed you can do for others to ease their tension.

8. Be yourself. ~ Although you’re at a professional event, don’t be afraid to show some personality! It can be stressful and draining to keep up an overly-stiff façade while at networking events, and as a result it can make the whole ordeal much more unpleasant than it has to be. Honesty and authenticity are great traits, and they’ll shine through if you’re being yourself. Don’t worry about trying to keep your personal life separate (unless you want to!). Be yourself and you’ll make both friends and professional contacts.

9. Pull, don’t push. ~ The conversations you have with other wedding and event professionals is the whole reason to attend networking events. When you’re engaging in a conversation with another Pro, be sure to pull the conversation in a certain direction without pushing a topic. You can pull the conversation by asking questions about the other person and getting to know them. Don’t push the conversation by talking about yourself and forcing the topic.

10. Reward yourself. ~ If networking isn’t your thing, make it easier to on yourself by providing an incentive! If you meet your goal of attending an event and walking away with a few good connections, be sure to reward yourself afterward. Whether your reward is a weekend getaway or even just a nice dinner, give yourself a pat on the back for breaking out of your comfort zone!

Copyright © 2014 – Allison. Allison is a staff writer for WeddingWire.com‘s ProBlog.

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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, June 3, 2014

Either Help Those You Network With or Stop Networking!

Filed under: Networking — Larry James @ 7:30 am
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“The real joy in life comes from giving. It comes from service. It comes from doing things for other people. That is what is so powerful about this. Nothing will make you happier than giving.” ~ Marc Benioff, SalesForce.com

NetworkingSUCKSNetworking is about helping other people in your network of support. It’s supporting each other is many ways; with ideas, information, business referrals and more. If you network to sell to those you network with, most likely you will never be successful in business networking. Many think networking is all about meeting people. The more you meet, the better the network. This is one of those misguided themes that lead many people to frustration.

The fact is, you are networking to help you and others. The problem comes when you focus more on getting than giving. If you cannot get that helping others should be your main focus when networking, I would recommend that you stop networking and focus on what else that works best for you. Do everyone else a favor and realize the pointlessness of random networking that focuses on getting. I have discovered that many networkers know this but don’t actually practice it.

They have a bad week and their boss begins to put pressure on them to perform and they switch their focus on getting which to many reeks of desperation. You begin to focus on what is urgent instead of what is important. You come across as scheming, crafty, aggressive and sometimes malicious. Not cool. Not cool at all. People notice. They get turned off by this and you are the one who loses.

People under pressure do not come across as genuine. Networking teaches you patience. People who are desperate want instant gratification. Networking doesn’t give you that. It makes you wait until you meet the right people and those people begin to like you and trust you… that’s when networking gives you the best results! Re-think your networking strategy to make lasting connections.

“You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.” – Dale Carnegie

Networking should never be about meeting as many people as possible in as short amount of time at an event. Why? Because there is no glory in returning to your office with a handful of business cards if nothing comes from your efforts.

Cultivating a network takes time. The people in my network who help me the most are people I have developed relationships with over time – sometimes years. They are my friends. We help each other. We are not afraid to share our business issues with each other and ask for help. Personal relationships run the world. I learned early on that a non-prospect may be just as important to my future needs as a prospect because they may connect me with someone or something I need. The more people I help, the more friends I make.

Helping others requires that you pay attention. “Pay attention” is one of the Ten Commitments of Networking. It’s nearly impossible to genuinely help others if you don’t pay attention.

“It all comes back to helping others. If you spent 100 percent of your waking hours thinking about how you can help absolutely everyone you come in contact with — from the woman who makes your latte, to the top authority in your industry — you will find everything else tends to take care of itself. The world will suddenly be in your corner.” ~ Scott Dinsmore

If business networking sucks for you… you are probably very bad at it. The solution? Stop networking and start helping people that you already know. Become better friends with them. Be a giver, not a taker. Change your mindset from a selfish one to an unselfish one. If you can provide a benefit or a helping hand to someone, they will remember that down the road when they actually need your services. Stop aiming to generate business and aim to understand and help people. That’s when networking will give you the results you desire.

BONUS Articles: Networkers! Pay Attention!
Stop Selling, Start Connecting
Ignoring the Networking Rules? ~ “Guilty!”

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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.

letsbefriends2

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

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