Networking HQ BLOG with Larry James

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

The Perils of Routine

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

There is a danger in sticking to the commonplace and familiar.

“A routine keeps you on task and keeps you moving when things are hard (which can be often). It also gives you space and a structure to work within. And it gives you a structure to break when it makes sense. There has to be a balance here – if you always break your routine, then it’s not a routine – but sometimes breaking your routine is exactly what you need.” ~ Dan Cumberland

NET-RoutineIt’s much better to have a plan of action to try to keep expanding your range of experience and knowledge about business networking. Anything helps that keeps you sharp, particularly if it puts you in touch with new ideas and people. We get stuck in mental ruts doing menial jobs.

Some people call it “Mind Maintenance.” It’s breaking out of the sometimes boring routine and allowing yourself to intentionally be side-tracked by something that will help train your brain… not strain your brain. Unfortunately, when some of us reach a certain status and level of success, we often feel complacent, contented with our way of life. We must break free from this cozy cocoon. Shake things up a little; take on new responsibilities and risks, and see where they take you.

Get up out of that chair, go jogging, take a different route to work, get out to the gym, stayed off your computer at night, take a swim, bike around the lake, shovel manure for an hour, do something. Working up a sweat gives your subconscious a chance to idle for a while, and as a bonus, it’s good for your body. Take a sandwich to work and eat it in the park. Read a chapter in a book you have put off reading. Do your to-do tasks in reverse order for a day. Learn to say no. Turn down opportunities if they aren’t in your best interest. Changing your routine is also a very easy way to give yourself new input from the world: new sights, sounds, perhaps new people to meet along the way.

“There are no limits to what you can accomplish when you are supposed to be doing something else.” ~ Larry James 😉

Look at it as an adventure. Finding new people to spend time with can open you up to different conversations. Learn to take a moment to learn something new every day. That’s one thing I do. It not only helps me in my business, but my everyday life. That “something new” doesn’t have to be about business. It needs to be something that broadens my horizon. It may be taking a few minutes to read the paper (a section I don’t usually read and at a time when I don’t usually do that) or taking a quick “power nap” for 5 to 7 minutes in the middle of the afternoon. That, my friend, is invigorating. Your goal is to explore life. Do something different. Make it more interesting.

Of course, I always recommend that you network. Try this. Give yourself a couple of nights off this week. Instead of attending every networking meeting on the planet, begin to focus on what you can give to one group. This demands loyalty. Networking says you must venture out into the world and meet as many people as you can, however, they don’t have to be people from lots of groups.

Talk to strangers. I meet new people standing in line at the bank. I recently met one woman who had similar interests in jazz. She had her husband call me to ask if I would like to be their guests at a recent jazz concert. Her husband happened to be an executive at a trade association and about a month later I was asked to be the keynote speaker at their annual meeting. This keynote had a healthy fee attached to it. You never know who you will meet.

Routine1Another distraction that I intentionally set up was someone who I like and trust and who has similar values and who I will be in constant contact with, motivating one another to do better. We brainstorm ideas together and learn from each other’s feedback. Not being in the same business is helpful too because I can get more honest feedback about new ideas, etc.

I will often vary my work schedule to hit the snooze alarm to get an hours more rest, sleep in and work later into the evening. Often getting up and hour or two earlier to get my day started sooner and, if possible, quit earlier and go to a movie. Breaking routine often give you a sense of adventure.

Keep your routine because it will make your life work for you, and break your routine when it needs to be broken. Sometimes life, energy, and creativity are found outside of your usual routine. Take a day off to evaluate that routine and shuffle it around. Give yourself permission to do anything you want with the day. Catch up with an old friend – face-to-face, not on social media. If you always check e-mail first thing in the morning… check it first thing after lunch.

Routinely break your routine. It can get your mind kickstarted in a new direction. It helps me be open to the new and different. You will be surprise at the results of what such small adjustments in your daily routine will give you. I often do what needs to be done and then call it quits to take some time out for me (that’s a difficult one for me!). However, I get inspiration from it. My creativity as a writer always gets a surge. It challenges me to go beyond my comfort zone. Often simply breaking routine helps me get more done from my to-do list.

Some of your chores, tasks, e-mail, social media posts, etc., can all wait a few hours or a day. I promise. Stepping out of your routine can provide your brain with fresh information. Like me, you will see your world differently, be refreshed and be more prepared to take on what needs to be done next.

BONUS Articles: What Successful People Do With The First Hour Of Their Work Day
Schedule 30 Minutes a Day for In-Office Networking Activity

netHQCopyright © 2015 – 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.

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/
Visit Larry James on LinkedIn
Follow Larry’s Networking on Facebook: https://www.Facebook.com/NetworkingHeadquarters/timeline
Follow Larry’s Networking Pinterest Page @ http://www.pinterest.com/larryjames2012/networking-blog/!

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Friday, August 21, 2015

The #1 Contact Sport

Business and personal networking is the #1 contact sport for people on the move. Networking is about building supportive personal and business relationships; it’s consistently meeting new people and making new friends, sharing ideas and having lots of fun in the process.

It is the reciprocal process of exchanging, leads, recommendations, and other valuable information, through networks of established relationships, in an effort to make business processes easier and more profitable.

NETContactSportIt helps to establish referral networks, bolster name reputations and business branding, gain recognition and credibility, and strengthen relationship assets. Networking fuels business growth and can help further your career.

It also assists you in benefiting from who you know by leveraging your relationships to increase business opportunities, advance your career, make new contacts, and much more.

Power networkers effectively use “word-of-mouth” strategies in creative ways to attract new customers and meet new people. Word-of-mouth marketing works because it is initiated from trusted sources and shared through a network of friends, family and acquaintances. It’s also called “creating Buzz.”

Referrals and recommendations are the most effective and the least expensive form of developing new business and obtaining quality business referrals. To be effective in networking, you must be an investor in relationships. This Networking Blog will help you master the skills necessary to effectively utilize existing connections and cultivate new ones.

You would be wise to accept the following definition of business networking as your guide:

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

Successful business networkers are “go-givers.” They give without the expectation of getting! They know that unfulfilled expectations always cause problems; disappointment, anxiety, frustration and sometimes, intense displeasure. To avoid these maladies, they give up their expectations and focus on giving to help others!

Your contact list is your greatest off balance sheet asset. It doesn’t take an investment of a lot of money in developing this asset, but you do need to put forth time and effort and be consistent in acquiring a robust and every-expanding business network of like-minded people. Creating and maintaining these strong connections must be one of your highest priorities. I promise this will pay dividends far beyond what you can imagine.

There is a time and a place for networking – it’s called “anytime, and any place!” Always bring your best attitude with you!

BONUS Articles: Your #1 Networking Priority!
7 Most Common Networking Mishaps
Think You Know HOW to Network?

netHQCopyright © 2015 – 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.

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/
Visit Larry James on LinkedIn
Follow Larry’s Networking on Facebook: https://www.Facebook.com/NetworkingHeadquarters/timeline
Follow Larry’s Networking Pinterest Page @ http://www.pinterest.com/larryjames2012/networking-blog/!

Monday, August 17, 2015

“Your Name is Larry James!”

Imagine my surprise when I went to my favorite Taco Bell (101 & Frank Lloyd Wright, Scottsdale) to get a “*Diamondback Special” and the gal who waited on me called me by name. She looked me straight into the eyes and said, “Your name is Larry James!” It was only the second time that Hanna had ever taken my order.

I was not the only person she called by name. People in front of me and behind me were simply amazed at her recall of customer’s names. I heard, “WoW!”, “I can’t believe she remembered my name!”, there were smiles and giggles and many other remarks of astonishment. The buzz near the cashier was incredible. I watched as one customer looked down to see if he had forgotten to take his name tag off.

NET-URLarryJamesEveryone was talking to each other – even those who, it was obvious – did not know each other before today. It was all about the girl ringing up the orders. Even after I received my order and was sitting in a booth I could hear other taco lovers nearby still talking about it. Her interaction with her customers was causing quite a wonderful stir.

I sat there enjoying my tacos, thinking (outside the bun, of course). I wondered if her manager had told her to do this? I wondered if he knew she was doing this? I wondered how she did it? Did she do it with everyone?

Finally I was so curious that I watched for when she had no customers and went to talk with her. I told her that I admired what she was doing. She blushed. I told her what a great thing she was doing for Taco Bell. She looked a little puzzled. I went on to say that people love to hear their name and everyone there whose name she remembered was talking about it.

The fact that she remembered me only after waiting on me once before was quite amazing. She said, “I do pretty good at remembering the regulars.” She said she tries to remember something about the person that helps her remember their names. And she speaks their name often when she waits on them which also helps her to remember. When their order is ready, she calls their name and gets to see them again.

I asked if her manager knew she had a knack for remembering names. She said no. I told her not to tell her manager, Javier, that it would be best if he heard about it from her customers – that it would soon get back to him and I would be surprised if she didn’t receive some special recognition for it. (We now know that he WILL know very soon because word gets around & I will make sure of that!).

3FREEtacosWhat a terrific way for people to remember Hanna and her Taco Bell store. She told me that she did it for fun to help her pass the time away. I’m pretty sure that she also enjoyed hearing the great comments from the customers.

Often it’s those extra little things, attention to detail, sometimes it’s just a smile, that brings customers back to your business. Today, I would like for everyone one of you networkers be especially aware of thinking up creative ways to make your customers and other networkers in your network feel good enough to smile – or laugh. It’ll cause you and the people you interact with to feel real good. Do it.

It would be great to see some of the ways you do something special for your customers and other networkers in the “Comments” below.

* Diamondback Special: When the Arizona Diamondbacks baseball team scores at least 5 runs in any game, the next day, when you purchase a large drink at Taco Bell, they will give you 3 Free beef tacos.

netHQCopyright © 2015 – 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.

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/
Visit Larry James on LinkedIn
Follow Larry’s Networking on Facebook: https://www.Facebook.com/NetworkingHeadquarters/timeline
Follow Larry’s Networking Pinterest Page @ http://www.pinterest.com/larryjames2012/networking-blog/!

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Getting to Know You…

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

You’ve probably been told that networking is about building relationships and getting to know people, right? It is. AND just attending a weekly networking meeting and hoping someone brings you a referral is not enough. Networking is much more than that.

We all know that time is a limited resource for most business people, and it’s important to use your time well. The people who take the time to regularly meet with those in their network are the ones who come out ahead. It’s also much more than just a quick “follow-up” after you meet someone new. It requires regular dialogue. That is called smart networking.

NETGetting2KnowU“Engagement is an absolutely critical step in the networking process. It involves a promise and an action. In order to achieve success in your group of networking relationships, you and your relationships must promise to support one another and then take the actions necessary to fulfill that promise.” ~ Ivan Misner

You may recall the line in the song… “Getting to know you, getting to know all about you.” Let’s focus on the second part, getting to know “all about you.” That’s how you develop close business relationships. Getting to know the people in your network must be a high priority. It is basically the ability to connect with like-minded people to share, recognize, create or pursue opportunities not just in the meeting but making time to get to know each other outside of the meetings as well. It leads to mutual trust and respect. You have to cultivate deep relationships with your connections before you can ask them for a favor or expect them to give you business referrals.

High-performing professionals know their careers will be defined by the relationships they build. Reach out and touch someone. That’s when your networking skills really come into play. When someone approaches you to meet and get to know you better, that should get your attention. That’s what it does. It impresses me that someone wants to know more about what I do. That’s also what it does for them. It’s your chance to make a lasting impression. This face-to-face engagement is – in my opinion – the best way to deepen the relationship. Before I leave, I always ask, “What is the best way for use to stay in touch?”

Networking is nothing more than meeting new people and getting to know them better. It’s the art of building alliances. Your goal is to get people to open up about a subject dear to them that helps you develop rapport. A get-together outside of a meeting is NOT about telling them all about you. What do they like to do when they are not networking (families, hobbies and special interests). Don’t be shy to ask questions. Be a good listener.

Get specific. Ask them who would be a good prospect or referral for them, or what resources they might need. Find out what they need. Who do they need to meet. Offer to help them find that someone. You’re there to focus on building a relationship, not trying to get something out of them. Please remember that. Seek out ways to collaborate. This activity is reciprocal: other people get to know you better too. You soon become friends with benefits and remember, most relationships endure because we continue to stay in touch.

If you want an advantage in your career, you need to start building relationships with amazing people others have overlooked. Some of those people may already be in attendance at your local meetings.

It’s important to invest the time and effort in getting to know the people in your network. “Make” some time. Get to know your networking friends and maybe even get to like them too. The time you invest will be paid back many times over. Always send a handwritten follow-up note through the U.S. Mail within 24 hours of your meeting. This is not only a courtesy, it will differentiate you from the many others they may have met, however they will remember you!

netHQCopyright © 2015 – 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.

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/
Visit Larry James on LinkedIn
Follow Larry’s Networking on Facebook: https://www.Facebook.com/NetworkingHeadquarters/timeline
Follow Larry’s Networking Pinterest Page @ http://www.pinterest.com/larryjames2012/networking-blog/!

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

What If I Hadn’t Answered the Phone?

Several years ago I was getting ready to leave my office for a networking luncheon meeting. As I was heading out the door, my office phone rang. I had only a split second to choose to answer or allow my voice-mail to pick up. I answered the phone and I am glad I did.

Over the past several months I had been talking with a client about presenting a series of networking events in Chicago and discovered that she was calling from a hotel in Scottsdale – the same hotel as my networking meeting. What a convenient coincidence. I told her I was on my way to her hotel to a business networking meeting and invited her to go with me. She accepted.

NET-InviteClientI was excited to introduce her to my friends and to let her see that I was actually practicing what I preached and to be an example of how important my networking meeting was. Another coincidence was that I had been asked to present my “Ten Commitments of Networking” talk for the group and since she had not heard me speak I was glad it was all coming together.

After the meeting was over, I was anxious to meet with her to talk about the Chicago event, but she had been cornered by someone who was interested in her business. I watched as she made an appointment to meet with them later that day.

I found out later that she had other business in Scottsdale and was calling me just to stay in touch, not being sure we would be able to meet during her visit.

The point I want to make is that unless it is absolutely necessary, never miss a networking meeting. If you have a meeting scheduled and a client shows up at the last minute… invite them to go with you. In other words, having a client show up at the last minute is no excuse for missing a meeting. You have to think smart and fast.

This was not the first time I had invited a client to visit a networking meeting with me, but it was the series of events on that day and the twists and turns that happened that made it one of the most financially profitable invitations for both me and her. She booked me for a series of 7 networking seminars for her company and invited some of her special clients to attend at no fee (another one of my creative ideas). I later discovered that she made a big sale as a result of attending my meeting with me. After the 6th networking event in Chicago, one of her clients booked me for a networking seminar for their large insurance company – about 165 sales associates attended.

I know. They all don’t work out like that, but what if I had gone to the meeting without answering the phone as I was leaving my office? Literally thousands of dollars would have been down the drain. Last minute or not, invite your clients to your meetings (buy their breakfast or lunch), allow them to see how active you are in the networking community… especially if you think they or someone they know would be a good fit for the group you’re involved with. If they are attending for the first time, you should make sure that you introduce them to other people in your group who may need their product or service.

It’s important to get to the point where your networking is so integrated into your normal business activity that it no longer feels like something you must do, but that you truly enjoy doing, not only for you but for others as well.

A true networker is one who constantly seeks to form new relationships and strengthen them by helping others solve problems and achieve their goals. The next time you attend a business networking event, take along a referral partner, client or other contact from your own personal network.

How committed are you to your networking group?

BONUS Article: Demonstrate Your Commitment to Networking ~ Here’s How
Invite Your Referral Resources to Your Next Networking Meeting

netHQCopyright © 2015 – 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.

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/
Visit Larry James on LinkedIn
Follow Larry’s Networking on Facebook: https://www.Facebook.com/NetworkingHeadquarters/timeline
Follow Larry’s Networking Pinterest Page @ http://www.pinterest.com/larryjames2012/networking-blog/!

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