Networking HQ BLOG with Larry James

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

It’s Important to Diversify

Harvey Mackay, Guest Author

Caution: Don’t build a network that looks just like you!

NETDiversityThe power is in diversity, so diversify – starting with age. When you’re just starting out, the older members of your network are likely to be in much better position to give you a leg up than your peers.

When you get to be a geezer, you need the younger members to give you a sense of what’s “in” and what’s “out.” You’re sure not going to get it from the Guy Lombardo (“Who’s he?” you ask) crowd.

The same goes for the benefits you’ll receive by adding different gender/religion/education/race/income level interests to your network.

diversityYou’re not going to have much of a reach if your networks consist of nothing but clones.

If everyone in your network is the same as you… it isn’t a network, it’s an anthill.

Larry’s NOTE: I recently spoke to a networking group and was asked, “What is your opinion of having people outside of your own group to network with?” First of all it is important to have loyalty to the members of your group. If you have others outside of your group that you network with and they do not conflict with the members in your own group, by all means network with them. Better yet, invite them to be a part of the membership of your group. The point of diversity in networking is to develop a network of support that includes people from all areas of business.

MackayCopyright © 2014 – Harvey Mackay. Adapted from the book, “Dig Your Well Before You’re Thirsty: The Only Networking Book You’ll Ever Need” by Harvey Mackay. His books are among the top 15 inspirational business books of all time, according to the New York Times. In total, Harvey’s books have sold 10 million copies worldwide, been translated into 37 languages and sold in 80 countries.Harvey is a nationally syndicated columnist for United Feature Syndicate, whose weekly articles appear in 52 newspapers around the country, including the Chicago Sun Times, Rocky Mountain News, Orange County Register, Minneapolis Star Tribune and Arizona Republic. Visit Harvey’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!”

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

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

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Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
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Saturday, October 25, 2014

How Strong is Your “Network of Support?”

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

Here is an idea that may help make it stronger!

If you cannot call your networking group your network of support, you have some work to do. Part of the expectation of a networking group is to support the people who are in it. If you do not have a network of support that provides what you need, you have some more work to do.

Everyone has one or two people that they know they can count on. A strong network of support is a group of people – who have become your friends – friends you know you can count on. Having the support of people with similar interests and passions greatly enhances your chances of success. A strong network is an invaluable source for planning, problem solving and social interaction.

NETsupportCultivating social support can take some effort. Some of the most important networks which we find ourselves a part of are strengthened by not just contact at our weekly network meeting, but the time we spend socially together. Get together with your networking friends at your office and together explore options for giving and receiving more support. You can do a lot more by meeting with 6 to ten people at a time. It is important to build this social network slowly, selecting only people you deem to be trustworthy and supportive. A few of these people could be someone you network with that is outside of your weekly networking group.

Invite like-minded networkers as they are the best. The purpose is to build allies. Be bold about reaching out. Arrange a get together at your office to show that you’re serious about growing your business and how you can assist them. Provide some snacks and drinks. Be direct about how they can help you. But be careful to focus more on what they can all do for each other, not on what you have to gain. This kind of social gathering pays dividends. It can provide a lot of benefits to anyone

A social gathering like this gives you the opportunity to learn from the experience of others. Listen. Take notes. Learn more about what they do and how you can help them succeed. Make a point to remember what’s going on in the lives of others. Then relate any interests or experiences you have in common. Sharing details about yourself and your life can also help establish rapport. Promote the success of others, your generosity will be remembered. Carefully choose a couple of people from this gathering to contact later to get to know them better. This kind of support provides a sense of belonging, security and a welcoming forum in which to share your business concerns and needs.

It’s also important to reach out to mentors by asking those people you admire to support you and help you learn more about their business and how you an assist each other. Your reach should far exceed beyond your own business environment. Attempt to vary the type of contacts you have in your network. The wider the variety of people, the better your network works. Help people remember you by being sincere and showing that you care about them. You can do this by saying “If there is anything I can do to help you, please let me know.” This opens doors for a great two-way exchange of support and also will make them feel special that you care about them. You will also learn who’s got your back – who you can depend on for support.

A gathering like this gives you the opportunity to do a little coaching. Share ideas that have worked for you and encourage others to do likewise. It is important to have a good network of support that you can bounce ideas off of and get feedback from. A good support network offers benefits that cannot be achieved otherwise.

Keep records of the people you meet and the conversations you have and never be afraid to contact them periodically to help them remember you. Successful people love to share and talk about their success. Do your best to get a commitment from every single attendee to take action to build their own support community, and to proactively help others do the same. Stress that to thrive on a long-term basis in networking, and to become leaders, they need to focus on the growth of others in their own personal network as well as other networkers in the network to which they belong. This attitude contributes to everyone and assists with their own success and development.

If this idea is too much for you to handle alone… buddy up! Solicit a like-minded networker to help you.

For networking to work, your efforts at it much be intentional. It also requires accountability. Perhaps a buddy that will be there to support you in being accountable for what you say you will do is another good idea. One of the best ways to feel more in control of your life is to develop a strong network of friends, relatives, co-workers and others you can count on for support. I can assure you that if you truly understand the concept of business networking, you could focus primarily on networking and I know you would be surprised how quickly your business would grow.

BONUS Articles: Build Your Network of Support Before You Need It
Are You Supporting Your Network of Support…

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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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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Storytime with Ivan Misner

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

Ivan Misner, Guest Author

I’d like to share with you a story that I originally heard from one of my BNI directors, Art Radtke: “Whoopee in the Cornfields…”

NETStoryTimeA farmer in Nebraska won the state fair four times in a row with his corn. Nobody had ever done that before, so the paper sent someone out to interview him.

The reporter asked, “What is your secret? Do you use special corn seed?”

The farmer said, “Absolutely. I develop my own corn seed, and that’s an important aspect of it.”

“Well, then, that’s your secret,” said the reporter. “You plant a type of corn that’s different from your neighbors.”

“No, I also give it to my neighbors,” said the farmer.

“You give it to your neighbors?” asked the incredulous reporter. “Why in the world would you give your award-winning corn to your neighbors?”
The farmer said, “Well, you’ve got to understand how corn is pollinated. It’s pollinated from neighboring fields. And if you’ve got fields around you that don’t have this top-quality corn, your field is not going to grow top-quality corn either. But if my neighbor’s field has this really strong corn, I have awesome corn. And that’s how I’ve won at the Nebraska State Fair the last four years in a row.”

This story is a great metaphor for how networking works. Put simply, if you’re going to be an effective networker, you need to go into networking with a commitment to helping other people because that is how you’ll be helped in return.

Larry’s NOTE: Amen to that!!

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

MisnerCopyright © 2014 – Ivan Misner. Called the father of modern networking, Dr. Ivan Misner is the Founder of BNI and the senior partner for the Referral Institute. He has written nine books, including his New York Times best seller, Truth or Delusion? Busting Networking’s Biggest Myths.

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

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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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Friday, October 17, 2014

It’s Really Okay to “Toot” Your Own Horn…

However, it’s best to learn how to do it with finesse.

Fi·nesse, noun:
1. Extreme delicacy or subtlety in action, performance, skill, discrimination, taste, etc.
2. Skill in handling a difficult or highly sensitive situation; adroit and artful management: exceptional diplomatic finesse.

TOOThornMany of us were taught from childhood that is was not nice to brag or boast about yourself. Bragging about you personally is not what I am talking about. I’m talking about tooting your own horn to exploit your business. Hey! If you don’t toot your own horn – who will?

Well, I give a “toot!” And so do your friends and family and some close business associates, however most of them need a little nudge to do it in a way that might be useful to you in your business. There is a chapter in my book, “Ten Commitments of Networking” called, “Ask For What You Want!

When I asked Master Sales Trainer, Tom Hopkins, if he would care to write something nice about my networking book, he wrote, “This highly thought-provoking book will help anyone determine the areas in their lives needing fine-tuning and get moving on making positive changes!”

Og Mandino, author of “The Greatest Salesman in the World,” wrote, “These wise and powerful guidelines will help you lead the life you deserve.”

If I hadn’t asked? Well, I’m sure you know the answer to that.

But what about you? Do you ask for written testimonials from your customers or clients? If not, why not? Often after making a sale someone will tell us, “Wow! I’m impressed. Your customer service is excellent.” I say, “Strike while the iron is hot!” That’s a really good time to ask them if they would take a few moments to put what they just said in writing (on their own letterhead) for your future customers. Most will say yes.

It’s time to get your courage up. What is the worse thing that could happen? They might say no. If you can’t handle a little rejection now and then, perhaps you should choose another line of work.

Tell people about the good things your business does. Talk about your business strengths and how you can be mutually beneficial to your customers and the community you serve.

If you are called on to make a presentation to a group, write your own introduction. Be sure to include a few talking points that can create a little buzz for you. In other words, toot your own horn. This is often a way that you can do a little bragging and it’s not coming from you. It comes from the person who introduces you.

The truth is, most everyone likes to hear a success story. Speak your own success story in a way that has it be interesting and shows the benefits to all concerned. (People buy benefits, you know!). Be your own buzzmeister!

BONUS Articles:How to Brag About Yourself Without Turning Others Off
Networking: An Opportunity for Shameless Self-Promotion
Sell Yourself. . . NOT Your Services!
The Buzz on Being a Shameless NetShaker!

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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Monday, October 13, 2014

How Do You Find the Time to Network Effectively?

One of the biggest challenges for people trying to network effectively is managing the time to do so. Business Networking Strategist Andy Lopata meets with Simon Phillips, author of “The Complete Guide to Professional Networking,” to discuss what he learned through writing the book and Andy asks for his advice on managing your time when networking. 2:40.

BONUS Articles: Don’t Have Time for Business Networking?
Schedule 30 Minutes a Day for In-Office Networking Activity

andy

Copyright © 2014 – Andy Lopata. Reprinted with permission. Labeled “Mr Network” by The Sun, Andy Lopata was called “one of Europe’s leading business networking strategists” by the Financial Times. The co-author of two books on networking, Andy is a featured columnist the US magazine “The National Networker,” as well as being regularly quoted in the national press. Previously, Andy was Managing Director of UK network Business Referral Exchange. Andy has since worked with companies from one-man bands to organisations such as NatWest Bank, Merrill Lynch and Mastercard to help them realise the full potential from their networking. He is a former vice-president of the Professional Speakers Association. Visit Andy’s Website and BLOG.

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

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

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

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Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
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Thursday, October 9, 2014

Overcome Social Anxiety with the 3-Second Rule

Shy people… pay attention. This idea could put your career on fast forward. If you are someone who is reluctant to meet and talk to new people you meet at networking events, you must stop hanging out on the sidelines and begin making small talk with the people you meet. Do you see yourself as awkward, self-conscious, insecure and bumbling? Okay! Now is the time to get in the game and play!

SocialAnxietyNETWhat is social anxiety? With no intention to over simplify it, social anxiety is basically the fear of interaction with other people that brings on self-consciousness, feelings of being negatively judged and evaluated, and, as a result, leads to avoidance. People who suffer from social anxiety disorders have a fear they will act in an embarrassing way or their anxiety will manifest outward in a fashion that will bring attention to them.

Learning to relax in social situations such as networking events is the key. Once you feel more calm socially, then thoughts like: “What do I say next?” disappear. It doesn’t matter how you feel or whether you’re blushing or sweating in a social situation, here is another key to overcoming social anxiety when networking: “Avoid the stress by making the decision to go up to the person you want to talk with within 3 seconds!” You must actually speak up.

Seek out social situations where your intention is to meet and talk with a few new people.

social-anxietycartoon“Remember, the more we avoid something, the more we send the message to the unconscious mind that: “This is dangerous, that is why I am avoiding it.” So your mind, trying to be helpful, builds up the fear (of what it is you’re avoiding) even more.” ~ Mark Tyrrell

Over at Live Your Legend, Scott Dinsmore gives 32 tips for attending large events. His 3-second rule is great if you have trouble approaching strangers:

When you see someone interesting to talk to, you have three seconds to walk up and say hello. Wait longer and you’ll either overthink it and screw it up or overthink it and never approach. Not sure what to say? It doesn’t matter. Anything is better than nothing, because it takes you from being a no-name in a sea of faces to being an actual person with a story (who had the courage to say hello). If it’s someone you’ve always wanted to meet, you’ll at least be able to open by thanking them for their work and how it’s impacted you.

Be sure to read, “32 Ways to Easily Befriend Strangers at Live Events (& how an introvert met 70 people in 12 hours)” @ www.LiveYourLegend.net

Larry’s NOTE: A special “Thank you” to Scott Dimsmore for introducing me to “The 3-Second Rule.”

BONUS Article: Networking Relationships Begin With “Hello!”
Don’t be a Networking Wallflower
Networking for Introverts – Video
Working a Room If You’re SHY – No Pills Required

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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Follow Larry’s “Authors & Speakers” BLOG at: http://www.AuthorsandSpeakerNetwork.wordpress.com/
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Sunday, October 5, 2014

What Isn’t a Network?

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

Harvey Mackay, Guest Author

One day a salesman driving on a two-lane country road got stuck in the ditch. He asked a farmer for help. The farmer hitched up Elmo, his blind mule, to the salesman’s car. The farmer grabbed a switch, snapped it in the air, and yelled, “Go, Sam, go!” Nothing happened. He snapped it again. “Go Jackson, go!” Still nothing happened. Then he flicked Elmo. “Go, Elmo, go!” And Elmo pulled the car out of the ditch.

“Hey, what’s with the ‘Sam’ and the ‘Jackson’?” asked the driver.

WhatNETisn't“Look, if he didn’t think he had any help, he wouldn’t even try!”

We all need help. Being part of a team is one way to get.

But a network is different than a team. Networking is not teamwork!

The easiest way to explain the distinction is to start way down the food chain.

An anthill is a marvelous example of teamwork. Each any has a role to play, sometimes several roles. Some ants go out every morning and forage for leaves. Other ants digest the leaves and convert them into a kind of manna used to feed the entire colony. Others spend the day in the anthill, feeding and caring for the young or doing maintenance work. Still others groom and care for the queen ant. In some ant societies, there is even a standing army that specialized in raiding other colonies. They bring back prisoners to serve as slaves and perform menial chores. (Hey, this is sounding a lot like human society.)

An ant colony is a perfectly ordered, self-contained society. Every ant has its duties and performs them, without variation or complaint, until it dies. There are no better team players in nature.

But anthills are not networks!

No ant has ever put down his leaf, waled back to the nest, and said to another ant he happened to grow up with, “Hey buddy, I’m sick of spending every day carrying around ten times my own weight in leaves. And you must be bored to tears doing nothing but sweeping out the nest. Maybe it would be good for our morale if we rotated these jobs. What do you say that if I can arrange a little extra manna for you, we could switch gigs?”

That would be networking, and ants do not network. They do what they do as part of the team and that’s it.

Most corporations do not network. They are organized into tightly contained departments that function like silos. Information is accumulated vertically but never flows horizontally to other departments that might need it. R&D never talks to sales, sales never talks to customer service, and so on.

Orders go down the chain of command. Obedience comes up. The folks who work there are like ants, they’re on automatic pilot.

DigYourWell

Click book cover for info!

Those organizations that do network, such as General Electric and 3M, are exceptions, and as a result, they are exceptionally successful. These companies try to break down the barriers between departments and the not-invented-here syndrome that goes with specialization and hierarchical systems.

They create cross-functional teams. They organize around serving customers instead of around serving themselves. They encourage individual initiative. They reward networking. THey are not anthills.

Jack Welch, General Electrics’s CEO, is so determined to promote networking he has even invented his own networking buzzword: “boundarylessness.”

“In business, what is worse than having departments?” asked Welch in Fortune Adviser in 1996. “They don’t talk to each other. You have to make open behavior something that is rewarded… Boundarylessness says that every time you meet somebody you’re looking for a better and newer and bigger idea. You are open to ideas from everywhere.”

Unfortunately, most people do not network. When it comes to shaping their own careers and their own lies, they are team members, no individuals. They cut their leaves, sweep their nests, punch their clocks, and duck their heads.

So, look around. If the only people you’re interacting with on a day-in, day-out basis are the other drones in your anthill, it’s time to make some new connections.

MackayCopyright © 2014 – Harvey Mackay. Adapted from the book, “Dig Your Well Before You’re Thirsty: The Only Networking Book You’ll Ever Need” by Harvey Mackay. His books are among the top 15 inspirational business books of all time, according to the New York Times. In total, Harvey’s books have sold 10 million copies worldwide, been translated into 37 languages and sold in 80 countries.Harvey is a nationally syndicated columnist for United Feature Syndicate, whose weekly articles appear in 52 newspapers around the country, including the Chicago Sun Times, Rocky Mountain News, Orange County Register, Minneapolis Star Tribune and Arizona Republic. Visit Harvey’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!”

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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 Relationship Tweets 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/
Visit Larry James on LinkedIn

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Are You a Gimme-Gimme Networker?

Successful and savvy networkers do not – I repeat, do not – measure their networking success by how many business referrals they receive!

The smart networkers measure their networking success by how many new relationships they can connect with face-to-face and how many they can assist in some way.

NETgimmeThe biggest faux pas is to be a gimme-gimme networker. People will join your network because of your connections and your willingness to share information, ideas, business referrals and more. They will notice your networking savvy and want to be a part of your network.

If you are doing it right, networking can be an accelerant not a deterrent. Some people I know skip around from one network meeting or event to another collecting business cards and looking for someone who will help them meet their monthly sales goal. That’s not networking. That’s prospecting!

You must give to get. Networking begins with the relationship. People will only buy your product or service if they like you and trust you. They need to know that you have their best interest in mind now and in the future. Introducing them to others in your network that they may need to know is important. It takes time to really get to know someone to the level of knowing what they want and need.

Don’t spend all your time networking. It’s important to find a healthy balance between the work your career path requires and getting out there, being seen and meeting new people. There is a big difference between good intentions and ulterior motives. Most people can immediately recognize someone who is not authentic and who is a gimme-gimme networker. Those are the people I very quickly cross off my list. I want to focus on meeting people who are givers.

Instead of using a “What’s in it for me?” approach, I prefer to network with people who are interested in both giving first and receiving second so that we can both help each other mutually. How about you?

You should never be afraid to go after what you know is right and what you know you want, but the best way to do it is one relationship at a time. Have meaningful conversations with people you meet, to really get to know them. Have fun with it. Be casual. Talk about whatever comes up. Give up your pre-conceived notions about what you “should” say and drift easily into inquiry… asking lot of questions. Give others a chance to let you know what might be helpful to them and discover new ways to find solutions for them. You never know when something you say may be the perfect idea that will help them in their personal life or business that they hadn’t thought of before.

Now, everyone knows that networking makes things happen and that developing good relationships is the key to developing a more successful business. In my networking seminars I teach people how important it is for everyone to – in effect – be a teacher of networking so that more people can succeed at their lifes work. Good networking isn’t about speaking to as many people as you possibly can, even though it might seem so. Effective networking is a reciprocal process and a forum for information sharing and relationship building that requires the right tools, approach, and frame of mind.

For a relationship to grow people must relate to people. It’s you they buy. Share your enthusiasm about who you are and what you do. When you think about something you’re enthusiastic about, it spills over and affects how you speak to others.

Discovering how you can best relate to the people you meet is a skill that must be learned. Looking for common ground, things you can both relate to is one of the keys. Personal disclosure is another key. Often by revealing things that are meaningful to you will be something that may help them. Having a conversation with someone you just met should not be idle chitchat. Get people talking about themselves, not just about their business. Build rapport, ask questions, and gather information. Showing a genuine interest in others is another key.

“Here’s the fun bit… you may never end up talking about work at all! You may spend an entire evening chatting to a whole variety of people and never mentioning the specifics of what you do or what you offer. What you will have been doing is making a whole bunch of investments that at some point you may call upon. We believe it’s fun to think this way because you’ll have a far better chance of enjoying yourself if you take the pressure off having to do business. If you’ve laid the right foundations, and focused on the relationships, the business eventually comes.” ~ ImpactFactory.com

I suppose the point is, stop pushing yourself and your business on others and focus on developing a more “giving” attitude toward everyone you meet. Then demonstrate that attitude by finding ways to truly give.

BONUS Article: “How Can I Help 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!”

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