Networking HQ BLOG with Larry James

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Musical Seats, Anyone?

Filed under: Networking Tip — Larry James @ 7:30 am
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When you attend your networking meeting, where do you sit?

Have you noticed that many of us tend to sit in the same seat each week or with the same people? There is still no substitute for face-to-face connections at meetings. Do not just stick with the people you know. Since networking is about making new relationships… reach out. Don’t fall into the trap of sticking together with people you already know. Sit where you know no one, you have more to gain.

If you need an introduction to a new member or someone you don’t know, talk to the leader of the group and ask for what you want. It’s important to un-clique. It may be comfortable to stick with known friends at networking events, but challenge yourself to meet new people and you may be rewarded with a new friend, mentor or future referee.

MusicalSeatsCould we be limiting our ability to get better acquainted with other members as well as guests? Perhaps it’s time to carefully pick a seat next to someone new! Before you attend your next meeting, show up early and consciously decide to sit with someone new. You’ll get more out of the meetings. Make it your mission to move around the room and sit next to someone different every week. Your friends are already your friends. It’s time to make some new ones.

Remain standing until the meeting is about to begin. Make the first move. When someone you do not know or a guest walks into your meeting and everyone is sitting down, they usually feel very uncomfortable and unwelcomed. You’ll be helping them break the ice and begin a conversation. Be the host. Welcome them and sit next to them.

Breaking the ice can be as simple as commenting on the venue, someone else’s 30-second connection (elevator speech), the program or the food; asking people where they’ve traveled from or whether they’ve been to the event or place before; or expressing an interest in why they are attending.

When they give their 30-second connection really listen. Ask questions for clarification. Ask open-ended questions. These are questions that ask who, what, where, when and how – as opposed to questions that can be answered with a simple yes or no. Use these encounters to your fullest advantage. Discover what areas where they may need help. Always get a business card from them and follow-up before the next meeting. Stay in touch with your new connections. Look for a business lead to specifically give them at the next meeting.

How many of you would be willing to sit in a new seat next week, next to someone you haven’t sat with before?

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

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Friday, July 25, 2014

How to Make Introductions in 5 Simple Steps

John Corcoran, Guest Author

I want to outline a framework you can use for making introductions on an ongoing basis. Using just five very simple and easy steps, you can make doing introductions a habit, and both you and your connections will benefit.

Step 1: Identify Your High-Value Contacts

Doing introductions can be time consuming, so it’s valuable to focus on people who matter to you. In other words, it’s best to spend your time connecting people who you would like to deepen your relationship with and who are going to greatly benefit from your introductions.

IntroductionsFor me, there are two types of people who automatically go on my personal list of high-value contacts: my clients, and anyone who has been on my podcast. I owe a debt to anyone who has hired me, or given me 30-45 minutes out of their day to be interviewed for my podcast, and therefore I am always trying to think of ways to repay the favor by introducing them to someone else.

Since just about everyone I’ve interviewed on my podcast is kinda a bigger deal than I am, this is a great way to follow up and deepen the relationship after having forged an initial relationship.

Step 2: Be on the Lookout for Introduction Opportunities

The second step is to always be alert for opportunities to make an introduction. Chris Johnson says this doesn’t mean he has to constantly rack his brain for people to introduce, “It’s a reflex. I try hard to remember my network, and remember what they do. I try hard to ask people if there’s any introduction I can make.”

You don’t have to have a complex system. It just takes a little forethought and time. “I don’t have anything like ‘Johnson’s laws of intros,’ says Johnson. “I just try hard to do it once a day.”

In addition, you have to make sure the value in the introduction is reciprocal. If I went around introducing every rabid Jets fan who also happens to love social media to Gary Vaynerchuk, I wouldn’t be giving Gary Vee much value. So it’s better to introduce two people who can provide equal value to one another.

When in doubt, check first to see if your introduction recipients actually want the introduction. They may not. If you don’t check first, you may just create an unwanted, drive-by introduction that burns bridges rather than builds them. The last thing you want is your introduction recipients feeling burdened rather than benefited by the introduction sitting in their inbox, even if it was unintentional.

You wouldn’t stop by a buddy’s house unannounced with someone you want to introduce them to and leave the person sitting on the couch in the living room, so don’t do the same with their inbox.

Step 3: Use Tools to Make Introductions a Regular Habit

Like anything, in order to make a pattern stick, you have to make it a habit.

To make introducing people a habit, I use a couple of simple tools:

A Calendar

One of the most powerful tools for creating any regular habit is the most simple: adding a repeating reminder on your calendar. Give and Take author Grant uses this approach for reconnecting with his “dormant ties” — people who you used to know, but with whom you’ve lost touch. “I added a repeating reminder to my calendar: reconnect with at least one dormant tie each month,” he wrote in The Huffington Post.

A Relationship-Management Program

connecting1I use a CRM program called Contactually for managing relationships, in part because it sends me reminders to follow up with people who I haven’t communicated with in a long time. When I receive these reminders, I then think about someone I can introduce them to. By doing so, I give them something of value and I don’t look like I’m just reconnecting for the purpose of trying to get something out of them.

Step 4: Make the Introduction Brief, Relevant, and Fun

A non-urgent introduction can quickly fall to the bottom of the priority list, especially if the people you are introducing are busy, successful professionals. So you have to explain clearly why your introduction matters.

That’s why I try to make my introductions brief and to the point. I want to be respectful of others’ time, which is why I aim to clearly articulate anything the two people I am introducing have in common.

Be wary when introducing very successful, very busy people who likely are the recipient of many introductions of dubious value. The last thing you want to do is create awkwardness by introducing a very successful and very busy person to someone who provides little value in return.

I used this approach when I introduced Andrew Warner, founder of the video podcast Mixergy, to Susan RoAne, the bestselling author of How to Work a Room.

I had interviewed both Andrew and Susan for my own podcast, and I thought Susan would be a good fit for Mixergy.

Now, I could have very easily talked myself out of making this introduction. After all, Andrew has a team of producers and guest bookers who handle booking his guests. Why would he even need me to make an introduction?

The same could be said for Susan. As a bestselling author and in-demand keynote speaker who specializes in talking about mingling, she is incredibly well-connected.

Who am I to be so presumptuous as to introduce those two?

But even well-connected people don’t know everyone on the planet, and Andrew needs a steady stream of quality guests.

So here was my email to Andrew and his team:

introdutions1

I turns out my instincts were right on. Not only had Andrew read Susan’s book, but it turns out he was a big fan.

I immediately did an introduction:

introdutions2

As you can see, I kept the introduction short and made it a little lighthearted.

AoM’s own resident style guru is another expert in the art of the gentlemanly virtual introduction. I wouldn’t be writing for AoM if I hadn’t been the beneficiary of Antonio introducing me to Brett and Kate. Here’s Antonio’s original email:

introdutions3

Antonio’s email was short, to the point, and relevant. He even went the extra step of reporting that he had read through my free ebook and that it was of high quality. That’s why it was a well-executed introduction.

Step 5: Follow Up Later

Finally, follow up with the people you introduce a few weeks or months later to be sure they connected. Oftentimes people get busy and they simply forget to follow through on the introduction you made.

Introductions may simply get lost, or overlooked. That’s why it’s best to have a system for tracking the introductions you do.

Recently, I followed up on one introduction I had made 18 months ago. It turned out the two guys I had introduced had hit it off so well, they had launched a new marketing consulting business together.

I use a free tool called Intros.to which allows you to track your own introductions when you introduce two people via email. You can simply bcc Intros.to, and the system will track your introductions. It can also send you reminders to follow up with people who you introduced previously.

Society as a whole benefits. Apple computer wouldn’t exist if Bill Fernandez hadn’t introduced Steve Jobs to Steve Wozniak. The Beatles would never have recorded a note if Ivan Vaughan hadn’t introduced Paul McCartney to John Lennon.

And where would we be if someone hadn’t introduced Daryl Hall to John Oates? I don’t know about you, but I can’t go for that. No can do.

BONUS Articles: Make Friends! Make Introductions!
Making the Networking Follow-Up Call
What to Talk About at the Follow-Up
Your Networking Fortune is in Your Follow-Up!

netHQJohnCorcoranCopyright © 2014 – John Corcoran. John Corcoran is a former Clinton White House Writer, creator of SmartBusinessRevolution.com. You can download his free 52-page guide, “How to Increase Your Income in 14 Days By Building Relationships with VIPs, even If You Hate Networking.” John works at The Corcoran Law Firm, Attended University of San Francisco School of Law, University of California, Santa Barbara and lives in Marin County, CA. This article originally appeared on the Art of Manliness Website. To read the complete article, click here.

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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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Monday, July 21, 2014

There are Networking Advantages…

When a motivated group of business owners come together there is an abundance of advantages and opportunities! When you arrive 10 to 15 minutes early for your networking meeting you have several advantages over those who choose to arrive late!

The benefits to being early include exchanging business referrals with other members, getting to know them better, talking over new business ideas, taking a few moments to select your choice of breakfast (or lunch), asking for advice, scheduling a breakfast of lunch with another member to get to know them better and much more. Being visible and getting noticed is a big benefit of networking.

NETAdvantagesOh, yes! …And most important, arriving early demonstrates the value you place on your time, the importances of the meeting, and the time of others.

Myth: Better late than never!

Reality: Better never late!

I understand that there are times when being late is unavoidable, and I also understand that if being late is a constant problem, being aware of the problem will help you look for and implement a solution. Want to raise your business profile in the group? Suggestion: Leave for the meeting early! Arrive early – stay late! If you make this a part of your plan for the day… problem solved!

Good attendance at your networking meeting is consistent with getting good business referrals. A “hit & miss” approach simply doesn’t work! Networking takes effort… much like all the other things you consider important to the success of your business. The seed to achievement at your networking group is being there consistently. Most people will only refer business referrals to people they like and trust. Building a trusting relationship with someone requires being in touch with that person and seeing them on a regular basis.

I also understand that business comes before business clubs. And if business is so good you have no need to attend, maybe you should consider creating an opening in your business classification so that someone else can benefit from “active” membership. OR call the leader of your group and let them know that you are: busy, not interested, or whatever. Any member who misses any meeting should extend the courtesy of calling in an excused absence.

And while I’m on a roll… the purpose of the “30-second connection” (often called your elevator speech) at the beginning of the meeting is to help you to learn more about other member’s businesses and the type of business referrals they would like to have. Consider the possibility that you can learn a lot more about them when you actually “listen” than when you are talking while someone else is speaking.

When I am asked to speak to networking groups around the Greater Phoenix area, I enjoy watching how the group responds when members are giving their “30-second connection.” Often there are quite a few private conversations going on during this very important part of the meeting. I know, you’ve heard it all before, however, as a courtesy to the member who is telling you about their business, let’s remember to give them your full attention.

When you give your “30-second connection” at the beginning of the meeting, please remember to speak louder than normal so everyone can hear and remember to talk slower than normal so everyone can understand what you are saying. Remember, this is a time when we all learn more about other member’s businesses. Please: No talking, other than the person speaking to the group.

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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Thursday, July 17, 2014

Be Authentic When Giving Your 30 Second Connection

Some people call it your elevator speech (never pitch)… I call the introduction you give to introduce yourself at a networking meeting a “30 Second Connection.”

Whatever you call it be sure you express authenticity!

BeAuthenticOn an instinctual level, when we hear a “30 second Connection,” one of our first thoughts is: Can I trust this person?

The numbers, the facts, the opinions, the ideas – none of these really matter without trust. Delivering your “30 Second Connection” in person means that you have to connect with the person first of all (that means, YOU, and your material) and be completely authentic. You have to connect with what really matters, if you want it to matter to anyone else.

The most persuasive communicators inspire trust. They are authentic, and that authenticity leads their audience to action. Trust is the source of persuasion. It’s easy to get people to listen to your numbers, facts and opinions – but when they take action, it’s because they trust you.

Authenticity means that you have to connect with you. You have to believe your story, your mission, and your principles with a conviction that is contagious. That’s why energy is so important when you deliver you elevator speech.

Your “30 Second Connection” must be sincere if you wnat others to engage with you.

NEWelevatorPitch

Click book cover for info!

Authenticity is a commitment. Your powers of persuasion are linked to your ability to commit to your material. Real human connection is one of the deepest human needs that we all share; we know it when we see it and we check out when we don’t. The authentic connection is instinctual; we respond to one another at a basic, emotional level when someone is speaking from a place of truth. Your “30 Second Connection” doesn’t have to be an earth-shattering revelation as long as it’s authentic.

Larry’s NOTE: I have substituted the words “30 Second Connection” in the place of the word “pitch” in the article above. Pitching is selling. That is a giant “no-no” at a networking meeting or event. It’s better to give your “elevator pitch” or as I call it, “your 30-second connection” without making it sound like an elevator pitch. Practice saying it different ways so it doesn’t sound canned.

BONUS Articles: Stop Selling, Start Connecting
Do You Have an Effective “30 Second Connection?”

Copyright © 2014 – Chris Westfall. From the book, “The NEW Elevator Pitch.” Chris is a speaker, author and entrepreneur. He has appeared on CNN, ABC News, NBC and in the New York Post, among other media outlets. A former technology executive, his clients include Hewlett Packard, Lutron, Great American Insurance, REMAX, the YMCA and many others. Visit his Website at: http://TheNewElevatorPitch.com

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

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

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

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Sunday, July 13, 2014

Are You Really Committed to Networking?

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

Networking is an UP experience when you are totally committed! To be accomplished at anything, it takes more than a casual interest; it takes total commitment. You must have a serious commitment to learning and implementing a process of relationship building. You meet new people and make great friends. It’s natural that all members feel stronger, more confident and self-assured. They are working together for the good of everyone in the group.

The strength in networking is the sharing of ideas. It give you a competitive advantage. Being around people with mutual interests boosts your ego and sense of self-worth and it reaffirms your own value to society.

NETConnectThere is usually a period of time during which members are often wary of each other. Spending time getting to know your networking partners takes time. You must learn to build trust among members if your network efforts will work. It’s an exercise in connecting; an opportunity to enhance your career by building close business relationships and alliances with others. The feeling of solidarity in networking brings out the best in you. It fosters instant bonding.

These connections provide you with a perspective about how you work and provide you with different approaches to problems; they sharpen your own ideas about what is possible. They make you more visible to others like yourself. Contacts in networking release you from a feeling of dependence, allowing you to be bolder in your thinking because you are no longer afraid that you are alone in what you do. These connections are life-giving, enriching and assures you of many other opportunities that you may not have noticed before.

People who network are not afraid to label themselves as elite and are not afraid to apply words like ambition, power, prestige and status to their list of desires. They are the doers of the world.

Here are 10 things that effective networkers must always keep in mind.

1. Be open minded. Be ever looking for opportunities to give, to receive and to make new connections.

2. Be prepared. Success is when preparedness meets opportunity. Carry an abundance of business cards and business brochures. Always be thinking: “What can I contribute to my networking partners.

3. Treat those in your network as equals. Networks are different from bureaucracies. In a bureaucracy there is a hierarchy, a ranking. Everyone should be equal in your eyes.

4. Choose members based on information not position. Your goal is to share you knowledge and acquire information and business referrals. Select members of your network because they are a resource not a person in a position to find you a resource. People in high places aren’t always closely in touch with the people who have the information you may need.

5. Don’t be afraid to ask… Lots of cards and contacts are only lots of cards and contacts unless you ask for the information or service you require. If you follow #3 you will treat everyone as an equal.

6. Don’t waste your resources. #5 warned you not to let your resources go to waste by being unused. Never use your resources the wrong way. You can abuses the members of your network only once – after that you may find that they will make themselves unavailable to you. Be sure to get permission to give a referral from the referred. Brief the person you are referring about the referral. Always give quality referrals. Screen them. No “off-the-cuff” referrals. For example, is it a lead or a referral? It’s important to know the difference.

Results7. Give without expectations. That means avoiding the attitude of “what’s in it for me?” When you give of yourself only because you expect something in return, you leave yourself open for disappointment. This can cause ill will between you and other people in your network. It’s very likely that a referral may not come back to you immediately, but it always will although it may not come from the person you gave a referral to.

8. Remember to say, “Thank you!” Always let the person who gave you a referral how it turned out. It’s always better if this happens face-to-face. It’s also very important to follow-up on all referrals immediately! For the person who gave you the referral to find out that you never followed up is a colossal networking no-no!

9. Set realistic and achievable networking goals. Don’t over burden yourself by thinking that you have to attend a networking event every night of the week. That’s spreading yourself much too thin. Pick one networking group and spend your time getting to know each member individually. Effective networking takes time and lots of effort. Keep the business cards of your group in a card holder and keep it with you went making appointments. I always asked every business encounter if there was anything that I can help them with.

10. Be committed and determined to do whatever it takes to make networking work. Don’t give up. Spend time developing close business relationships. Never miss a networking group meeting. Be loyal to the members. You’ve got to know exactly how you add value to the group. Actively search for referrals for others. Don’t just show up. Show up with a handful of referrals for other members. Volunteer. Make yourself visible to everyone. One of the best ways to do that is to volunteer to become an officer or one of the leaders of the group. Always make networking a HIGH priority!

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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Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Your Networking Credibility is Earned!

Heather Townsend, Guest Author

Credibility is an intangible quality which is difficult to define accurately as it means different things to different people. I personally define someone who is credible as a person who has developed a reputation as someone who “walks the walk and talks the talk” and delivers on all their commitments. Ivan Misner, founder of BMI, defines credibility as “the quality of being reliable, worthy of confidence.”

Before someone is willing to risk their reputation by recommending you to someone within their network, they want to know that you are credible, i.e., committed, will conduct yourself appropriately and will be able to deliver on something they put you forward for.

CredibilityRobin, a coach, had a friend called Steve who was a committee member of two local photographic clubs. Both clubs were small but had different kinds of members. One had a long, extensive history and an older membership; the other was much younger and had a good mix of ages. Steve was treasurer for one and secretary for the other “because no one else would volunteer.” But holding committee posts in two clubs was adversely affecting his credibility. You may be wondering why.

His credibility was low because both clubs saw he had divided loyalties. Robin asked him, “In your heart of hearts, what do you want to be doing?” Steve said, “Taking good photos.” “So, which club is going to provide you with the best stimulus for that?’ “The younger on,” “So what are you going to do” “Resign from the other club!” Steve did that and his photos are now being critically acclaimed around the world. One photo has been viewed 21,000 times in its first weeks on the Internet.

Until you get the opportunity to actually win business or get and interview, like Steve at the photography clubs, your credibility is built up via the perception of your personal brand, and your behavior and attitudes. For example, if you want to be seen as “credible” when networking, you need to:

HTownsend

Click book cover for info!

• do what you say you are going to do, e.g., phone people when you say you are going to
• arrive on time to meetings and events
• share client and customer success stories and testimonials
• have business cards with your contact details, plus details of your personal associations and memberships, professional qualifications and any awards won
• keep your messages consistent over time
• focus on building the relationship rather than selling
• find simple ways to help the person you are meeting, for example connecting them with someone in your network
• get introductions to people you want to meet from “credible” people within your network.

I found my first coaching client, who was not an employee of my old employers, as a direct result of a recommendation from a partner within my old firm. This trusted recommendation helped my credibility and was a key factor in the client’s decision to first talk with me and subsequently hire me as his coach.

Make sure that when you are out networking, you are focused on finding out “who you know” rather than the heinous crime of selling. There is nothing quite damming for your credibility than a sign on your forehead that says “I am desperate for business” or “I am selling.”

Your credibility is normally tested after a networking event or after meeting someone. Why? Remember that your credibility is directly linked to your ability to “walk the wal and talk the talk” and deliver on all your commitments. Potential clients or employees are always looking fr someone who is keen and eager to work with them.

It may only be something small, such as sending a short e-mail saying you enjoyed meeting the, but the small and often inconsequential stuff is taken as evidence of how you may behave if they hired or employed you. I was amazed, when I started face-to-face networking in earnest, how few people actually did follow up after a networking event. On the basis of my personal experiences, I can promise you that a simple e-mail or handwritten note stating how much you enjoyed meeting someone will make you positively stand out from your peers.

heatherTCopyright © 2014 – Heather Townsend. From the book, “The Financial Times Guide To Business Networking.” Heather helps professionals and firms become the Go-To-Expert. Unusually for someone with an Engineering Degree, she accidentally became a writer and used her knowledge on social media to write the current best-selling and award-winning book on networking, “The Financial Times Guide To Business Networking.” (75+ five star reviews on Amazon). She is a widely published writer, international speaker, Executive Coach and a referral marketing expert. Visit Heather’s Website!

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

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

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

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Saturday, July 5, 2014

No Relationship is Ever a Waste of Time…

Filed under: Networking — Larry James @ 8:30 am
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If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you know that business networking is about relationships.

Some say it’s not what you know, it’s who you know. There is a lot of truth in that, however, let’s take it a step further. It’s also who knows you.

NETrelationshipsYour value in the business world depends on what you can do for the people who are in your network of support. Thus, it’s important to carefully select the people you include into your network. It seems to make sense that the more people you know, the better off you will be. I have been careful not to limit who is in my network, but I am also aware that there are some people who I may not be able to help, who I might benefit from.

Networking is about people. People become your social capital. You need people… people you like and trust and who feel the same about you. People who are connectors; who can introduce you to the solid people in their network. Networking is about increasing your depth and breadth as a person. What begins as a business relationship may well turn into a close friendship. A widening circle of influence is an unintended result of networking, not necessarily a calculated one. You can never predict the end result of meeting just one new person.

No relationship is ever a waste of time because we can all help each other in some way. I may receive a business referral from you but may not be able to reciprocate, however, I may know someone else who can help. One of your goals in networking should be to know a lot of people who will do their best to try to help you when you have a specific need. Keep this in mind. You can lose social capital when you request more than that person can provide. Be careful to never confuse knowing someone, with actually having a mutually beneficial relationship with them. It bears repeating… beneficial relationships take time to nurture.

To be an effective networker you must be willing to help others without any assurance or expectation that you will receive anything from them. That is the true spirit of business networking. Give first and then you receive. Give the time and effort it takes to network without complaint. Successful networkers understand that a broad and powerful network is built over time.

Eventually the more people who know you will actually begin to seek you out. It’s like gravity. It works every time. When others notice that you are willing to help without expecting anything in return it becomes a force that draws more people automatically into your world. That’s when you can begin to notice that networking is truly worth the time and effort.

When you do nice things for others, you gain their attention and usually they will feel the natural desire to do something nice for you in return.

“If you are expecting to find a direct, immediate correlation between your networking activities and the dollars you harvest, you’re going to be sorely disappointed. … The returns you receive through networking are like the apples you pick from an orchard you started from a single seed. Eventually that tree will not only bear fruit but also spread the seeds that will ultimately become a whole grove of apple trees.” ~ Ivan Misner

To be a successful networker it’s important to treat everyone you meet with kindness and respect… not just the ones who may be able to do something for you. When you have learned the ins and outs of business networking and you don’t just hit and run from every group meeting you attend, but work to become grounded with a specific group of people, I promise that you will be meeting the right people at the right time for the right reasons.

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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Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Build Your Network of Support Before You Need It

Filed under: Networking — Larry James @ 7:30 am
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I’ve met so many people over the years that when they are at major network events seem to be scrambling for business instead of taking the time necessary to build relationships that could be helpful in the future. Most of them never think about networking until they begin to feel the pressure put on them by a manager to make more sales or to do better.

BEST ADVICE: Never wait until you are desperate for business before you begin networking. The odds against instant gratification are slim when you first begin.

BuildNETworkNOWThat’s why I continue to encourage people to learn as much about the intricacies of networking “now” so they will have already built their network of support before they need it.

“Your Network is not something you can start putting together when the need arises. When you need it, you need it now. You should begin developing relationships now with the people whose help you will need in the future.” ~ Ivan Misner

Even if you have an aversion to networking – as many people do – it’s imperative to start forging deliberate connections with new business people before you feel the need. If it feels awkward – get over it. If you are shy or lacking in self-confidence – it will take courage to begin.

Many people begin to proactively network when they need something; a new job, or new clients. Sorry! That’s too late. The keys to any networker’s continued success are strong relationships built on a foundation of trust. These relationships and trust don’t magically appear on a first or second meeting; they take time to establish.

You don’t have to join a networking group to network. Virtually everyone is a potential contact. Start with the people you already know; friends, acquaintances, family, local business people, relatives, your banker, doctor, dentist, neighbors, past work colleagues, fellow students, your attorney, minister, insurance agent, etc.

So… for these reasons it is important to build and invest time in your network at least six months before you need to call upon it. Make your time count. Then, Follow up. Follow up. Follow up!

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

Smart people dig the well before they are thirsty. Effective networking is the most efficient way to generate the results you require for your business and career success.

How-can-I-help-youMany people is the networking groups I speak to want to know how I manage to generate about 85 per cent of my business via my networking activity. They intend to replicate my actions for their own success. That’s a great idea until they learn about the time I have invested to be able to do that. Over the years – since about 1987 – I have built a valuable network of support of hundreds of people who trust me, have become my friends and continue to feed me quality referrals. I do the same for them. Do you believe in reciprocity?

It’s important to systematically pick and choose which network group you want to belong to as well as the major networking events you choose to attend – keeping in mind that time is money. Figure out who should be in your network. Ask yourself, “What kind of person can I best help,” and “Who is in a good position to provide me with the kind of referrals I need?” You really don’t need everyone to be a part of your network, just the people who are in a position to assist you when and if you need assistance. Smart people spend about an hour a week maintaining their networks, because greater effort yields greater results.

Stop and think. If you needed a favor right this second from your circle of networking pals, how many of them would actually stop what they were doing and take a moment to help, promote, or find out whatever it is that you needed? Those are the kind of people you want in your network.

You must learn to look beyond all the handshakes, head nods, smiles and positive body language. Strong relationships are the ones that teach you to give without taking. If you don’t genuinely care about helping people, you might as well not network at all.

“Some of the most successful sales people in the world have taken years to develop some of their most powerful relationships. And they didn’t do it by wining and dining them; they did it by caring. With all the “noise” of networking aside, it truly comes down to showing someone that you are; that they matter; and that you want to build a genuine relationship with them that will add value to both of your lives.” ~ Derrick Fung

When should you start networking? Long before the need presents itself!

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
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