Networking HQ BLOG with Larry James

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Are You Easy to Forget?

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

To be effective at business networking, people must remember who you are and what you do! When it comes to business networking, it’s not just about making a great first impression – it’s about making a long-lasting one. It’s important to make a genuine impact, and make valuable connections for yourself and your business.

NETEasytoForgetOne of the best ways to be remembered is to “go with giving in mind.” Think about what you have to give to others. Go to every meeting with 3 or 4 business referrals for the people you know. The person you give a referral to will remember you. Others in the group will begin to pay attention to you. Be an example of what networking is really about; building relationships and giving business referrals. Go armed with a healthy stash of business cards to swap with likeminded attendees.

Shy people don’t do very well at networking unless they can break out of their shell. They often wait around the edges of the room, waiting for someone to approach them. When given the opportunity to talk about your business, stand up and SPEAK UP! I hear networkers who remain seated and speak so you can barely hear them when they give their “30-second connection” – often called an elevator speech. When you take your self-introduction seriously, and work on it to have it be an attention-getter, people will begin to notice you. What makes you and your business different from the competition? Speak about your business with enthusiasm, pride and passion. The words you choose to describe your efforts have just as powerful an effect on you as they do your networking friends. You should talk about something that makes you stand out and that might make someone interested to learn more.

Many shy people leave right after the meeting, when, for others, this is a great time to stick around and get to know others in the group. Some of my best contacts have been made by planning to hand out “after” the meeting to visit and meet people I don’t know very well.

“The most successful networkers (think of those you’ve met) are good at making other people feel special. Look people in the eye, repeat their name, listen to what they have to say, and suggest topics that are easy to discuss. Be a conversationalist, not a talker.” ~ Jacqueline Whitmore

Be responsible to get others talking! People love to talk about themselves. Knowing that, you can continue the conversation by using open-ended questions that keep the discussion going. Ask lots of questions. Any question that cannot be answered with a simple yes or no are best. The person who is asking the question is in control of the conversation. Keep them talking by asking thoughtful follow-up questions. Focus only on them. Listen intently to their replies. Show a sincere interest in who they are and what they do. This can be easy to forget when you’re shy or nervous.

When it’s time to move on, one of the best ways to do that is to introduce the person you’re speaking with to someone else in the group or make a comment about how much you’ve enjoyed talking with them, then move on to someone else.

If you want your business to work, you need to get out there, overcome your fears and be confident in selling yourself, your products or services. Plan ahead. Feeling tongue-tied in a room full of strangers won’t do anything to boost your confidence. You must learn how to talk about your products or services succinctly and confidently and avoid rambling. Practice. Practice. Practice.

When you meet someone that you would like to know more about… Follow-Up! Get their business card and arrange a time to get together, preferably at their office. Be sure you keep your word when you say you will follow-up. Failing to follow-up is a big networking no-no!

One of the best ways to help people to remember you is to “volunteer!” Get involved in the group. Make waves. Be seen at every meeting, helping the leader of the group by passing out flyers, or greeting people as they arrive. Out of sight… out of mind!

Networking is a skill that everyone can learn even if you’re not a natural conversationalist. Your connections are an invaluable resource for expanding your business – and only if they remember you!

BONUS Articles: Be Seen!
Be an Information Hub
6 Tricks for Staying Top of Mind With Your Network
Overcoming Networking Nerves

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!”

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, March 26, 2015

Power Your Connections ~ Give Them Something to Talk About!

Networking is always about communications. You power-up your connections by giving them something exciting and different to talk about. What you say is important.

You should aim to attract people by being visible. Show up and shine. Dress well. When you dress well, you exhibit self-respect. Wear your best smile. Smiles are contagious. Be confident to inspire confidence in you. Be interested and interesting.

NET30SecondsIf you are truly interested in meeting people and are open to learning about who they are, they will get this in a first impression. There are two sides to networking: getting to know other people, and getting other people to know you. When you are meeting people for the first time approach them with a genuine interest in who they are. Be memorable. The first impression you make on someone is very important.

Invariably someone will say, “”So, what do you do?” Those five words are on the minds of everyone you meet. Or, you will be given the opportunity to introduce yourself at a networking meeting. For this, you must practice, practice, practice. Practice so that the delivery is natural, conversational, and effortless. It has to roll off your tongue. Do it well and it enhances both your image and your results. Create a script that conveys who you are, what you offer, your market, and the distinctive benefits you provide.

Work to make your self-introduction exciting and informational. Add some excitement. If you aren’t excited about what you do, there’s no reason anyone else should get excited either. There was some sort of passion that lead you to get involved with your business; let it show through. If you’re not passionate about your topic, how do you expect anyone else to be? Be creative. Use props. Give them something to talk about! Do not take this step lightly.

Most networkers call this introduction your elevator speech – some are 30 seconds and some are limited to one minute. (By the way, we no longer call this an elevator “pitch.”) Your elevator speech is more appropriate if you are attending a networking meeting, not a networking event. It’s not exactly a speech that you memorize, an elevator speech is a couple of refrains that you remember that you can build around, given the situation. I recommend what I call the “30 Second Connection” (your statement of introduction). It’s a concise, carefully planned, and well-practiced marketing message about your professional self. It allows you to succinctly and positively position yourself in the mind of the listener.

Edit your 30 second connection until you can introduce yourself and your business in less than a minute, which is how long most prospects will give you to win their interest. Shrink your introduction even further so you can tell your story in 20 words or less or 30 seconds or less. Focus your 30 second connection on who you are and what you are looking for. I recommend that you repeat your name twice in your introduction, at the beginning and at the end.

Have your facts on hand about your business and services and give them something to talk about when you explain what sets you apart from the rest. Ask yourself, “What makes you different than your competition?” Begin by making a list of as many things as possible. Talk to your friends. Ask them what they think makes you stand out. What’s unique about you? What can you do for others? I cannot stress how important it is to be prepared. Write them out. This will get the juices flowing. Practice talking about them “out loud” in front of a mirror. Set yourself apart by thinking before you speak.

Take stock of interesting things going on in your own life. In my case, if given the chance I always mention that my Networking Blog has more than 500 free networking articles. If you or your company have won an award, include that. This will help you build your credibility. There is no need to ramble on listing all your achievements, just pick the top one or two rock star moments of your career. These things can be hard to think of on the fly when someone asks what you’re up to, so it’s good to give them some thought ahead of time so they are fresh in your mind when someone asks. Always deliver your 30 second connection with enthusiasm and a little “attitude” thrown in. Be empathetic, be knowledgeable and get them hungry for answers. Always leave them wanting to hear more.

Your 30 second connection should not be carved in stone. If you come across a better explanation of what you do, include it in your introduction. It’s even worthwhile to test out multiple versions of your elevator pitch and make changes based on the result. It’s never one size fits all. I have three or four 30 second connections depending upon where I am and whither it’s a networking meeting or a large networking event. You can more easily adapt to the situation if you’re flexible that way. Over time you will discover that your audience will be a determining factor in what specific message you want to convey. Be willing to ad lib.

“Ultimately, you’re going to want to deploy your pitch everywhere – in your conversations, on your website or Blog, in your brochures. As in a game of “telephone,” you better be crystal clear in delivering your message upfront, so it survives subsequent iterations intact — and can turn into real business and real money for you.” ~ Dorie Clark

Be flexible. If you hear a problem stated in someone else’s 30 second connection, shine your light on a solution. The end of your introduction is a priceless opportunity to leave embed brand in the mind of other networkers, teaching them how to talk about you and solidifying what you want to be known for. Look at the real benefits to people who are listening to you – not what you think the listener wants to know – what they actually need. Remember your 30 second connection is perhaps the most important thing that you created in your networking marketing package.

BONUS Articles: 8 Tips for a Great Elevator Speech
Click here for lots of articles on the importance of an effective “30 Second Connection!”

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!”

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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Saturday, November 22, 2014

The “30-Second” Connection Revisited

Milo O. Frank, author of the book, “How to Get Your Point Across in 30 Seconds of Less,” says:

“There are two clear and compelling reasons why 30 seconds is the ideal length of time in which to get your point across.

Front view of a modern elevator with closed doors in lobbyTime Constraint ~ The first is time constraint – not only on yourself, but also of those you’re trying to convince.

Attention Span ~ The second and more important reason why 30 seconds is the ideal length of time to get your point across is that even when a person has time to listen to you, their mind can accept only so much information in one steady flow. How long can you or anyone pay attention to what someone is saying without letting your mind wander off to sex, money, or the other good things in life?”

Radio and TV news also make use of the 30-second attention span. They call it a “sound bite.” They need you to make your point in 30 seconds of less. One TV producer said, “I’ve discovered that if you can’t say it in 30 seconds, you probably can’t say it at all. The 30-second message is always applicable, anytime and anywhere. It’s a basic tool. When you master it, it’ll become second nature to you.”

I no longer use the term, elevator “pitch.” Why? Because to pitch is to sell. Selling is a BIG “no-no” at a networking meeting or event. Your purpose is to cultivate long-lasting and mutually profitable relationships, not sell. It’s better to give your “elevator speech” or as I call it, your “30-second connection” without making it sound like an elevator pitch/speech. Practice saying it different ways so it doesn’t sound canned.

The purpose of a “30-second connection” at the beginning of a networking meeting or when someone asks what you do, is to help them learn more about your business and the type of business referrals that would be helpful to you. It must connect with your audience, describe your abilities, convey interest in your company, sell your brand to everyone listening and describe the kind of referrals that are best for you – all in 30 seconds or less.

“Be clear, to the point and make it memorable. While it can be good to be creative when writing your elevator speech, your 30-second connection is not the place to be so clever that people don’t have a clue what you’re talking about! It should be clear and to the point, but that doesn’t mean that it has to be boring! You can use humor, create a mental picture, and be energetic. Just don’t use hype, or exaggerate who you are and what you do.” ~ Rebecca Livermore

Before you create your 30-second connection, you must have clarity about your purpose in saying it, especially if you are in a business that is complicated and difficult to explain. The first thing to consider should be to find a way to explain your business in a way that people will easily understand in 30 seconds. What are the benefits – not the features – of your products or services? By communicating these aspects of your business to referral sources, they are learning more about how they can refer business to you.

30SecondsOrLess

Click book for info!

Never try to disguise or hide behind what you do! Be proud of what you do. If you are in a business that had a tarnished reputation, create a way to describe it that will have people wanting to know more. For example, you sell used cars. Some might describe used car sales people as pushy, aggressive, dishonest or worse. If you do not fall into those categories, you have some work to do. Pre-owned is a word I would use. If you have a warranty or guarantee, talk about it. Light humor may work. Highlight benefits. It must ommunicate who “you” are. Always speak the truth and present your 30-second connection in a way that has others wanting to hear more about you and your business.

elevatorPITCHI believe that it’s a good idea to have several versions of your 30-second connection – at least two – for different occasions or at different times. Every 30-second connection isn’t for every person. That means you must set aside some time to privately go much deeper when it comes to understanding your ideal audience, their pain points, and how you’re going to meet those needs. It takes some work, but once you get comfortable with it, your 30-second connection means you’ll never again be tongue-tied when opportunity knocks.

“Whether you’re introducing yourself to an individual or to a group, you have the choice of how you deliver your message. People will judge not only the message, but the messenger as well. How you look, carry yourself, listen, and leave the conversation will affect what others do with the message you’ve delivered. The important thing to remember is to speak as if you’re addressing a single person, a good friend.” ~ Ivan Misner

The more you present your 30-second connection the easier it becomes. Write it down, and practice in front of a mirror or to your friends. If your friends don’t understand what you are saying, change it until they do.

Always stand when presenting your 30-second connection. AND if you really want people to pay attention to what you say, remember to speak up. Talk a little louder when speaking to a group of networkers. I’ve been to to many networking groups where they go around the room, everyone sitting, and speaking so low when they give their 30-second connection that they cannot be heard. That doesn’t do you or anyone else any good. STAND UP and SPEAK UP!

It’s important to get your point across in 30 seconds of less. In order for others to refer you, they must know exactly what you do – what product or service you provide or make, how and under what conditions you provide it, how well you do it, and in what ways you are better at what you do than your competitors. It may be time to re-do or re-shape your 30-second connection.

BONUS Articles: Do You Have an Effective “30 Second Connection?”
How to Be a Red Ferrari in a Sea of Silver Cars
Quiet Please!

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 “Wedding BLOG” at: http://CelebrateIntimateWeddings.wordpress.com
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Visit Larry James on LinkedIn

Sunday, September 7, 2014

“What do you do?” ~ Switch it Up!

Different is good. I am always looking for different ways to get other networkers attention. It’s been said that to call attention to yourself, you must pay attention to others.

switchitupIt’s time to take advantage of the fact that people love to talk about themselves. At large networking events, I’ve been testing something I learned from Rhonda Sher in her book, “The 2 Minute Networker.” She talks about the “inverted” elevator speech.

When someone approaches me at large networking events and asks, “What do you do?” I respond by saying, “I’m more interested in hearing about what you do.”

The response has been interesting. While they are going on an on about them and their business, I get to learn about their business and needs and then have enough information to help me determine how I can best help them. I can also quickly decide if they are someone that I should spend some more time with or if I should move on and talk to other networkers. Be watchful. There may be times when you do not want to avoid their question.

But you say, “Don’t you want them to know about what you do?” Of course. I have found that I just don’t need to start there because after they have told me about themselves, they always return to the question they originally asked. Always. And in the rare case where they might not, I write them off as someone with whom a relationship would probably not be worthy of pursuit. Now that I have really paided attention to them, they become curious about what I do. If it is someone who I rule out as a follow-up, I give them a quick answer and move on. I make it a rule to never waste my time initiating relationships that aren’t going to thrive and benefit “both” sides.

This idea does not work well in small networking groups because most everyone knows everyone already. Small meetings are more about your “30-second connection” (your statement of introduction) that is given at the beginning of most meetings.

BONUS Articles: What do you do?
How to Be a Red Ferrari in a Sea of Silver Cars
Do You Have an Effective “30 Second Connection?”
What to Talk About at the Follow-Up

netHQ

Copyright © 2014 – Larry James. Adapted from Larry’s latest book, Ten Commitments of Networking: Creative Ways to Maximize Your Personal Connections! Larry James is a Professional Speaker, Author and Networking Coach. He presents networking seminars nationally and “Networking” coaching by telephone or one-on-one. Something NEW about Networking is posted on this Networking BLOG every 4th day! Visit Larry’s Networking Website at: “Networking HQ!”

Subscribe to “Networking HQ BLOG with Larry James” and receive a fresh networking article or tip every 4th day by e-mail. Click on the “Email Subscription” link on the right under the “search” box. You can unsubscribe anytime!

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

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

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Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
Follow Larry’s “once daily” Relationship Tweet at: http://www.Twitter.com/larryjames
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

Friday, August 22, 2014

Quiet Please!

The purpose of a “30-second connection” (some call it an elevator speech) at the beginning of a networking meeting is to help you learn more about other member’s businesses and the type of business referrals that would be helpful to them.

During that time… “it’s your job to be helpful.” 😉

QuietPleaseYou can best do that by being respectful and simply listen. Consider the possibility that you can learn a lot more about them and their business when you listen than when you speak while someone else is talking.

It has been noted that there are sometimes quite a few private conversations going on during this very important part of the meeting. During that time, it’s important to listen.

As a courtesy to the member who is telling us about them and their business, let’s remember to give them our full attention.

Part of your responsibility to other members is to weekly (not weakly) be on the lookout for opportunities to offer business referrals to other members. What is your commitment to do so? It only takes a few minutes each week to focus on a single member to give referrals to. When you listen to other member’s “30-second connections” you are better prepared to do so.

Elevator-SpeechCartoonMake a couple of notes and place them in your car, on your desk, on your bathroom mirror, to remind you to actively look for business referrals. Make it part of your daily routine.

If you are not getting very many business referrals, you are probably not giving many. It you want to call attention to yourself and your business you must – not should – but MUST pay attention to others!

Larry’s NOTE: I have substituted the words “30 Second Connection” in the place of the word “elevator pitch.” Pitching is selling. That is a BIG “no-no” at a networking meeting or event. It’s better to give your “elevator speech” 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: More about “30-second connections”

netHQ

Copyright © 2014 – Larry James. Adapted from Larry’s latest book, Ten Commitments of Networking: Creative Ways to Maximize Your Personal Connections! Larry James is a Professional Speaker, Author and Networking Coach. He presents networking seminars nationally and “Networking” coaching by telephone or one-on-one. Something NEW about Networking is posted on this Networking BLOG every 4th day! Visit Larry’s Networking Website at: “Networking HQ!”

Subscribe to “Networking HQ BLOG with Larry James” and receive a fresh networking article or tip every 4th day by e-mail. Click on the “Email Subscription” link on the right under the “search” box. You can unsubscribe anytime!

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

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

letsbefriends2

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

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.

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/

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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Monday, May 26, 2014

Stop Selling, Start Connecting

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

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

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

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

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

KilltheElevatorSpeech

Click book cover for info!

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

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

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

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

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

netHQ

Copyright © 2014 – Larry James. Adapted from Larry’s latest book, Ten Commitments of Networking: Creative Ways to Maximize Your Personal Connections! Larry James is a Professional Speaker, Author and Networking Coach. He presents networking seminars nationally and “Networking” coaching by telephone or one-on-one. Something NEW about Networking is posted on this Networking BLOG every 4th day! Visit Larry’s Networking Website at: “Networking HQ!”

Subscribe to “Networking HQ BLOG with Larry James” and receive a fresh networking article or tip every 4th day by e-mail. Click on the “Email Subscription” link on the right under the “search” box. You can unsubscribe anytime!

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

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

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Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
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Monday, June 24, 2013

Designed by Apple in California…

May I have your complete attention for a few moments?

Apple’s New Ad Campaign is Focusing on Branding and Enriching Lives! I believe that the text from their ad should inspire everyone who networks.

Does what you do or does the service or product you offer enrich others?

If so, how?

Read the question again: Does what you do or does the service or product you offer enrich others?

If so, how?

If you are stumbling over all the answers that are swirling in your head about that question, you are probably not alone. We all think we know what is best – about our product or service – for our customers and clients. But do we really?

Please take time to really listen and watch the video below. Listen carefully to the words! You may want to watch it several times.

Apple

Text from another Apple Commercial.

Does what you do enrich the lives of others? How you speak about your business and about what it does to enrich the lives of others will certainly clarify the distinction you need to be aware of between success and failure. Investing in the time it takes to carefully articulate the intention of what you do when you speak to others – and to those in your network – about your business, could be the breakthrough you have long awaited.

You can speak more clearly about that which you fervently believe. There is a sense of passion about how you or your product or service can help others. People can hear the conviction in your voice.

I believe in using your influence to enrich the lives of others. When you do this in a constructive and helpful way more people will want what you have. Not just your product or service, “but what you have;” that healthy attitude, that smile that projects the confidence that comes from helping others.

I hope you know by now that that is exactly what business networking is all about… helping others.

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

netHQ

Copyright © 2013 – 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!

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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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

How to Be a Red Ferrari in a Sea of Silver Cars

Do you have the “WoW” factor suitable for business networking? If you want to be noticed, you need to be different; you need to stand out in the networking crowd. Networking is less about meeting new people than having them remember you after you have told them who you are. It’s not just about making a great first impression, it’s about making a “lasting” impression.

Your assignment – if you choose to accept it – is to become a red Ferrari in a Sea of silver cars!

red-ferrariYou have to bring sizzle to the table. Be bold. Turn up the charm. Take a stand for who you are and what you represent. Don’t use buzz words or jargon. Plain English isn’t boring. It’s clear. It’s precise. Be clear.

Effective networkers are less concerned about what they might “get” in return for attending an event. They focus on helping others first! If you are more concerned about your ROI (return on investment) then you are missing the point. Getting yourself noticed expands your credibility and puts you in a better position to be a resource for assisting others. Networking is about helping others. Always ask, “How can I help you?

Professional networkers name names. When you meet someone, say your full name loud and clear, and try to use word association. I make it easy for them by saying, “Hi Joni (got her name from her name tag), I’m Larry James, the guy with two first names.” I’ve had people I’ve met track me down because they make the connection with “names” and “James.” Some get it wrong and call me Jim or James. I’m okay with that because I know they are trying to remember. When someone tells you his or her name, repeat it in the conversation as soon as possible. It demonstrates that you’re interested and it helps you to remember their name.

“First impressions are critical. When you stand out in the crowd, your status is elevated, you attract people to you, and you begin relationships in the way that ultimately increases the likelihood of people buying from you, hiring you, and refering to you.” ~ Larina Kase, PsyD.

Make a dazzling 30-second connection! Making your introduction all about you is dull and boring. Yawn. Ho-hum. Change it up. Insert humor (if it’s really funny!). An offbeat but memorable “elevator pitch” will help you stand out in the crowd. Beyond just giving a run-down of what you do in your 30-second connection, you should talk about something that makes you stand out or that might make someone interested enough to learn more about you. Your job title, e.g., “I’m a life coach” or “I’m a Realtor®,” will not set you apart from your competition or get you remembered! You must learn to captivate them with your words. Set yourself apart. Be the only person like yourself in the room!

Be well-dressed. The first thing that they will notice is your physical appearance. Clothes reflect yourself and your brand.

Engage others. We often evaluate people based on who they know. Instead of thinking about who you want to meet, think of who others want to meet and be their connector. This will assist you in becoming a powerful resource to others.

Be unique. Be sure you keep your word. No news spreads faster than the fact that you may be presenting yourself in a less than honest way. Just because you are unique does not mean that you are useful. Stand and deliver. No hype or stretching the truth. No telling half truths or misrepresenting facts in any way. Mean what you say and say what you mean. Speak only the truth. If you want respect, you must earn it!

Confidently share who you are with others. Be authentic. Push the envelope. People will be impressed with someone who is passionate about what they do. Amateurs tend to talk more than they listen. Don’t be a chatterbox! In networking, you should take the time to listen as much as you take the time to speak. Good relationships are rarely built when only one person dominates the conversation. Go back and forth. Ask good questions that do not require a yes or no answer. “Where else do you network?”

Whenever possible seek to be the speaker. When you have an opportunity to present yourself at a networking event or meeting, never let their minds wander while you are speaking. Be interesting. And for goodness sake, speak up. Pump up the volume. Face the people you are talking to. If you are holding a microphone hold it about 2 inches from your mouth and speak “clearly.” It is frustrating to try to get excited about someone who mumbles. If you want people to hear what you say you need to speak loud enough so everyone can hear you. Keep your listeners on track with short phrases like: “Let me explain why.” “And now comes the best part.” “Not only that…”

Stand tall, shoulders back, open posture, eye contact, and wear your best smile. Never fidget, sway or shift your weight repeatedly, jiggle change in your pocket, tap your foot, or scan around the room. Don’t talk all the time about your product, your service, your business. Because nobody’s that interested. Focus on which problems you can solve for them. How can your business provide a solution for what’s ailing them. Where is their pain? How can you fix it?

panel discussionNever insult your listener’s intelligence by stating the obvious. When everyone knows you are a Realtor, say it no more. It’s time to give them the latest info on the market or offer a tip about preparing their home for sale that blends with your marketing efforts. Talking only about your products bores your listeners. Talking about their problems grabs their attention. Talk about the hassle you prevent; the headaches you cure; and the glitches you can help them avoid. Don’t be clever. Be clear. No gobbledygook.

Discover ways to let others know you are there. You need every edge you can get. Always have some small bit of information to pass along that will help others. Share an article or a link to a Website you think they might like; one that may help them promote their business or introduces them to a new social media idea.

“Make a list of exciting things you can share with others throughout the event – like interesting clients or projects you’re working on or the fantastic book you just read. You don’t want to throw all of them out rapid-fire to everyone you meet, but having a few interesting points prepped will give you some talking points as your conversations flow organically.” ~ Susan Blond, The Daily Muse

Panel discussions are a great way to be in front of the people who count. Seize the moment to be on one. Know what you are going to say. Or, when listening to a panel discussion, stand tall, introduce yourself confidently, and ask a question of one of the panelists.

Never use profanity. Profanity grabs attention, but for the wrong reason. Be smart.

Don’t brag. If you’ve had many years of specialised experience or have won a prestigious industry award of excellence say so with humility. Go slow. Think before you speak. Be prepared. This “no brag” idea takes some practice. Consult with your closest friends in your network to get some ideas. Asking the advice of others also calls attention to yourself.

Be a souped-up Ferrari. Go faster, make more noise, stand out, and attract attention in a polished sort of way! Now, when someone at a networking event asks you who you are, you can proudly proclaim, “I’m a Red Ferrari!”

BONUS Articles: 6 Things Every Small Business Can Learn From Lady Gaga
It’s Really Okay to “Toot” Your Own Horn…
How to Brag About Yourself Without Turning Others Off
Do You Have an Effective “30 Second Connection?”

netHQ

Copyright © 2013 – 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!

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

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

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

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