Networking HQ BLOG with Larry James

Monday, July 20, 2015

Networkers: Let’s be More Technical and Smart!

In order to be a master networker, you must always maintain a positive attitude no matter what. To me that’s the easy part, for others, not so much. Negativity runs rampant among many networkers who are not doing so well, who are more interested in making a sale than building a relationship that will eventually deliver their biggest return on investment.

NET-PrerequisitesSome of the signs that tip us off is the tendency to become more aggressive and persistent. The hard sell is dead. They chase away prospects using that approach. It doesn’t work when networking. You’ll be much more likely to make the sale once you’ve established a relationship. They’re not there to make friends. And they’re certainly not interested in developing mutually valuable relationships.

Some of these people just like to complain about everything. They quibble about not getting any referrals and often their quibbling has a profound effect on others. They either need to learn more about what works when networking or just quit. Not changing their attitude will keep them stuck. I think it’s time for a major shift in thinking as it relates to business networking.

Let’s all focus on shifting from aggressive and persistent to more technical and smart.

I’m sure you may have noticed that the more aggressive and persistent you become, the more frustrated you get. Being enthusiastic and motivated are part of the technical and smart way of networking. I suppose being technical is becoming familiar with networking ideas that really work and working smart is putting your own spin on how you network. Technical is not about iPhones, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. It’s about using networking tools that work and also about enjoying being someone who helps people. Someone who enjoys being a supportive friend. To me that is one of the top prerequisites. Others are to be self-less and generous. Enthusiasm is important too. Be interested in people first… business come second!

“Master networkers don’t let any opportunity to work their networks pass them by. They manage their contacts with contact management software, organize their e-mail address files and carry their referral partners’ business cards as well as their own. They set up appointments to get better acquainted with new contacts so that they can learn as much about them as possible so that they can truly become part of each other’s networks.” ~ Ivan Misner

That’s another thing. The people who are aggressive and persistent about their aggressiveness generally “only” network at the networking meeting or at specific networking events. Where is that written? To be a master networker you must be networking and thinking networking all the time! Always being on the lookout for people you can help. To me networking is a way of life and a extremely good way to do business.

The idea Ivan Misner wrote about above about carrying their referral partners’ business cards as well as their own wherever they go is a hot idea! I carry my referral list with me when on appointments. The closing conversation always gets around to me asking them if they need any help in any areas of their business. When they need a DJ for a wedding, I can give them several names with complete contact info. I also want to know if they would like a personal introduction. If so, I will call one of the DJs and tell them I have someone interested in their business and turn the phone over to them. You will become known as a powerful resource for others.

Networking does not come natural to most people. Some have a knack for it and others stumble until they learn better ways than being aggressive and overly persistent. A good way to get started is by learning from your mistakes. It’s important to keep in mind that networking is about being genuine and authentic, building trust and relationships, and seeing how you can help each other. Networking is not for those who are caught up in the “if I don’t make this sale, I’ll be up the creek!” mode.

If you’re going to networking events focusing on getting clients, you’ll miss out on what you could find: Connections! Focus on getting to know people instead. They may not buy your product today, or ever, but in time they may send numerous people your way who could – but not unless you develop a relationship with them. You’re find networking opportunities in places like elevators, busses, supermarkets or parks not just networking meetings or events. Networking is a fundamental tool to the success of any business provided you use the right tools effectively.

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

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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Your Work… Is It the Right Work for You?

Filed under: Attitude,Belief,Comfort Zone,Networking — Larry James @ 7:30 am
Tags: , , , ,

Recently, after presenting my “10 Commitments of Networking” talk to a networking group, I was talking to a networker who told me that she subscribes to this blog and reads every article, but no matter what she does, nothing seems to work. I asked her if she loved what she did. The answer was an emphatic, “No!”

No wonder networking was not working for her!

I hate my jobSo… the question is, if you don’t love what you do, how can you be successful at it and how do you expect to make networking work for you? People can tell. They can look at you and know that you don’t believe in what you do. It’s nearly impossible to be successful if your thinking about your work is off track.

It’s tough to go to work every day when you hate it, but don’t tell the world – especially on social media, because the wrong person is probably going to see what you posted. Keep it to yourself as you look for something better. You don’t want to lose your job before you start looking for a new one. Do your best to make the job work while you are there.

Get ready to leave. Don’t obviously pack your bags and head for the door, but lay the groundwork for your departure. When you do find better work, leave gracefully, giving at least a two weeks notice and never mention to them that you hated your job. Companies check references. They ask about previous employers in interviews and what you say really does matter.

The truth is, you are only limited by what you think about most of the time. What you think about and speak about, you bring about. If you do not love what you do, most likely that is what your mind is focused on. You’re stuck! It’s like your foot is nailed to the floor. You dug the hole with your stinkin’ thinking! Now it’s time to get the heck out of the hole. That means getting out of your discomfort zone.

If you think you cannot find a better line of work… you’re right! You can look and pray for a new opportunity, however you must be intent upon actively “looking” for something new. It rarely just drops into your lap. Be honest. Figure out if it’s you or the job that’s making your life miserable.

Some will say that you could network for a new job. I agree. However, a definite change in your attitude about yourself and your job must come first. You will be surprised how much of a difference that will make. Never talk about how you hate your job, and don’t lead with the fact that you are looking. Ask questions about them, if you like what you hear you may say something like, “If you hear of anything like that opening up, I’d love to to know about it!” and go from there.

I do not feel sorry for people who stay stuck because they are the cause of the problem and only they get do something about it.

Read the following quote by Steve Jobs several times. (That means: More than once!). 😉 Print it and put it on your mirror as a reminder to find work that you love and that provides a worthwhile service to others – work that you can love and be proud of. Then watch what happens!

YourWork:SteveJobs

“People often stay in jobs they don’t like because they don’t realize what else they can do,” says Maggie Mistal, a career consultant, radio host and speaker. “They haven’t taken the time to identify what makes them happy or where their talents lie. They haven’t clarified their values and thought about how they’d like to use their abilities to make a difference and align their work with their purpose. Too often people assume work is supposed to be a chore so they don’t even look for anything other than that when embarking on a career.”

Still stuck? You’ve got some work to do! Get busy!

BONUS Article: Pay Attention to What You’re Thinking About

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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Friday, January 11, 2013

How to Network With the Elephant in the Room

Filed under: Attitude,Communication,Etiquette,Networking — Larry James @ 7:30 am
Tags:

Ivan Misner, Guest Author

Most experienced networkers know that it’s nearly inevitable, especially in established business-networking groups, that you wind up in situations with people whom you simply just… can’t stand to be around.

network-elephant-in-roomDrama or bad blood can occur any time we occupy the same space with other humans. But they’re even more likely where wide varieties of people and personalities interact. Business-networking meetings are included in these situations by their very nature.

Several reasons exist why you might wind up in a business networking situation with someone you’d rather not have to encounter. Here are three of the most common and suggestions for navigating them gracefully.

1. Poor referrals

The main purpose of networking groups is to develop close enough relationships between members to refer business to one another.

Related: A New Definition of Networking

“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

In nearly every case, this is a win-win for the person getting the referral and for the one who gave it. However, in a small percentage of referrals, something goes wrong.

Then human nature kicks in and makes it even worse: People tend to talk about each other, not to each other. Suppose that Margaret gives Larry a referral and for some reason Larry did not deliver what he promised. What tends to happen is that Margaret then tells her friend Sam what an idiot Larry is, and how bad his service is. . . without ever going to Larry and talking to him to personally discover what went on and discuss how it could be fixed.

At best, this behavior perpetuates the negative feelings. At worst, it exacerbates them.

In the vast majority of these situations, nothing was wrong with the referral. The problem usually is simply a matter of miscommunication.

The bottom line: Things sometimes go wrong, but don’t perpetuate the problem through lack of open, honest communication. If you take a few minutes right after it happens to talk about it in a nonconfrontational way, you’ll avoid making an awkward situation even worse.

2. Personal disagreements

I’ve often said, only half kidding, that networking would be so much easier if people weren’t involved. But since they are, disagreements now and again are inevitable. I’ve often been asked to handle disagreements over the years. My advice is always been the same: Don’t focus on the problem, focus on the solution.

Why? If you only focus on the problem, you become an expert at the problem, but you never come up with a way to fix it.

That doesn’t help anyone — not the people disagreeing, and certainly not the others who have to listen to this drama at every meeting.

If you’re getting drawn into a drama, take aside one adversary and ask: “Just how bad is this situation?” Give them a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the best and 1 being the worst. Usually, the answer is 3-4.

If that’s the case, ask: “Why is it so high?” They will probably look at you as if you’re crazy and say something like, “But it’s low.”

Then ask, “What is good about the other person you are in this disagreement with – to the point that you didn’t give them a 1 or a 2?” Then help the person build on that. Encourage open, honest and direct communication between the two members.

breakup3. Breakups

Networking groups tend to attract like-minded people, so they can often bring people together for more than just business. This can be a blessing, but it can quickly turn into a curse if the relationship ends and the members are still in the same group.

Rules that members cannot date aren’t realistic or recommended. If you find yourself in a breakup with a regular member of your networking group, I argue that given the value of your network, it’s worth working through those feelings.

I’ll put it bluntly: Suck it up, and continue to network. Don’t lose a network of valuable referral sources you have built over a few days or weeks of discomfort.

The more professional you remain through and following the breakup — by not talking badly about the other person, or bringing your personal situation into the business operations of the group, the more highly you will be viewed by the other members. The same goes for business-related breakups, too.

No matter what the details, the fact is that at some point or another almost everyone involved in business networking will face an awkward moment with another networker, so it’s probably going to happen to you.

It’s the end game that you should be working toward, and that is growing your business. Don’t ever burn bridges with people in your group, because you never know, you might end up being friends and valued referral partners.

MisnernetHQCopyright © 2013 – Ivan Misner. Reprinted with permission. 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.

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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Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Don’t Push! – Pull

Filed under: Attitude,Networking Tip,Personal Growth,Rules of Engagement — Larry James @ 7:00 am

I’m sick and tired of pushy people at networking meetings. Why can’t they understand that networking is NOT about selling?

“Business people attend networking meetings to get introductions to meaningful people, in particular, prospects. But there are no prospects at networking meetings, only salespeople.” ~ Level 7 Un-Networking

netImageTo pushy people, networking is an uncontrollable compulsion to offer services to total strangers (usually other salespeople who are doing the same thing) while ingesting small blocks of cheddar cheese on a five-inch circular foam dish. They focus on asking people to buy their product or service and push a business card into the hand of anyone who will take it rather than take the time for quality relationship building. As a result they think that networking must be “hard sell.” Many are already in “panic” mode because they waited to long to learn the skills required to network and suddenly realize that their business is on a downward spiral – by then, for most, it’s too late.

Because your numbers are down and your boss is on your back is not a good reason to get out there and start networking. If you would have done it right the first time, you would already have enough prospects to sell to. Prospects don’t come to networking groups. People do. People who should be more interested in developing close business relationships rather than viewing a networking group as a room full of prospects.

Networking is not just about schmoozing; it’s not just handing out business cards, selling, marketing or small talk. Those activities are part of networking, but unfortunately, many people’s misunderstanding of the term and it causes them network ineffectively.

Most are what I call, “serial networkers.” They are networking tarts, card collectors, and braggers who seem to be everywhere, networking with everyone. They attend a networking meeting nearly everyday and belong to 3 or 4 groups and wonder why no one gives them referrals. They push people away rather then pull them closer into a relationship that just might work if they would learn why this is happening. They are professional networking wannabees. They want the results and the kudos of the professionals but as yet have not undertaken the education that builds up networking skills.

Let me repeat part of that. They have not undertaken the education that builds up networking skills. They hear about network and dive headlong into the deep end of the networking pool without really knowing what the heck they are doing.

“Networking wannabees turn up for one event and claim that networking is not for them. ‘I tried it once and I didn’t get any business!’ They don’t commit to the necessary building of visibility and credibility. As a result, they should not be surprised when the results of their networking amount to a big fat nothing!” ~ Rob Brown

thePastPerhaps it’s time for you to let go of the past; those things that you have tried when networking but don’t get you the results that you would like. Perhaps it time to focus on re-educating yourself to the ways of networking that really work! Just perhaps.

Here is the truth! If you really want to be successful at networking you must take the time to learn how to do it without pissing everybody off! Opps! Did I just say that? 😉

Learn to build the relationship first, then offer assistance that will gently “pull” others into your network of support. They will want to get to know you better because they see that what you are doing apparently works and they would like some of that. That is what a network is… a network of people who take the time to work to support each other. A successful business network is designed around mutuality. As my friend, Bob Burg says, “Givers get!” That is, I will help you and you help me – and as a result we work closely together to build a strong connection with each other that works mutually to help each other.

How do I know this? As a result of my networking book, “Ten Commitments of Networking,” and my many years of effective networking I am frequently asked to join various networking groups and then I explain that I’m a networking coach and would rather visit the group to teach others what I have learned that makes networking a valuable asset to my business. I am where I am today because of networking. Believe me, it works. If you think you can bypass the learning curve you are mistaken.

Some of you know that I lived in Tulsa, OK for 23 years before moving to Scottsdale in 1995. I have traveled nationally for many years presenting my networking seminar to associations, business groups and Fortune 500 companies. One of the most productive ideas I ever had for the group I formed, “The Tulsa Business Connection,” was to have my group sponsor a city-wide networking training event. We invited every networking group in Tulsa to attend. The fee for this half-day event was low so everyone could afford to be there. It was a great success. It was a great way for “The Tulsa Business Connection” to call attention to itself. Because my group was the sponsor, we received a multitude of newspaper, radio and TV coverage. People were talking about it for months. The productivity of my group alone was phenomenal.

So many groups have meetings, everyone gets a time to do their elevator speech (I call this a 30-second connection), each week a specific member gets 5 or ten minutes to talk about their business, they exchange business cards, everyone hangs out for a few minutes after the meeting and everyone splits. There is seldom any genuine focus on teaching people the correct way to make networking work. I am of the opinion that networking education should be one of the groups highest priorities.

What say you?

netHQ

Copyright © 2012 – 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 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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Thursday, June 21, 2012

Think Faster…

Filed under: Attitude,Change,Comfort Zone — Larry James @ 8:00 am

It is a waste of time and rather discouraging to continue to network if you are not having success with how you are doing it.

What do I mean when I say, “Think faster?”

STOPIt’s simple. Be quick to analyze what isn’t working when you network! Then stop doing it and do something different. This means getting out of your comfort zone. Stop making excuses! It means changing how you react and how you respond to others in your network. If what you’re doing isn’t working, perhaps it’s because you believe you don’t deserve it. Time for an attitude adjustment.

So many people I know go to networking meetings and events nearly every day of the week. They keep going hoping that something will change and someone will buy their product or service and maybe give them a business lead. They spend lots of time and energy doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result. Some say that is the definition of insanity. I agree. The real cost in terms of time, stress and frustration is usually much more than simply admitting that an incorrect choice was made and that it needs to be fixed.

They expend more effort – which only saps their energy – on what is not working or they make attempts to justify their action as the only correct way of networking. In such a situation, what they need most is flexibility. Never get stuck with only one viewpoint. Try out as many perspectives as you can if you intend on being flexible. People who fail at flexibility are usually afraid to fail and to change. They don’t realize that change is the engine of fulfillment.

We all need to learn to think faster when we are in a networking conversation. Think on your feet. It about improv. Adapting to any given situation that arises and shifting the conversation to the direction you want it to go. Not like manipulation, but like a professional salesperson would to design a better outcome for everyone concerned. It must have direction and purpose. You may want to enroll in a class on improvisation.

“Using ‘yes… and’ can also help you direct a conversation to where you want it to go. Here’s an example: Your son says, “I hate my math teacher.” Instead of saying, “Well, that’s just silly” or, distractedly, “Aha,” and ending the conversation right there, you could say, “Yes, you hate your math teacher. And that reminds me of how much you hated your history teacher — until you started to love her. Remember? I mean, things can change, right?” ~ CNNLiving.com

Intuitive thought is usually the best way to keep the conversation going. Trust your intuition and its ability to bring to you the right thoughts at the right times. Sometimes you have to make it up as you keep going. Be careful not to say something that you will regret later. Always tell the truth. You must learn to trust your instinct. Be outrageous. Engage in positive reinforcement, not debate. You don’t have to prove yourself to be the smartest person in the room. Your brain does not have a speed limit. You just need to think faster and smarter.

A great business network is crucial for your career and business success. Even though most of us know this, we seldom spend enough time building and maintaining our network. You must have access to diverse networking skill sets.

Communication skills come with practice. It’s important to find common points of interest to talk about. What you say must add value to the conversation. You don’t have to say anything brilliant. You have to be brave, allow your inner voice to open up your mouth and speak encouraging words; not the same old stuff you’ve been saying that isn’t working. It takes practice. Lots of it. You don’t have to be the smartest, wittiest or brightest star in the room to make your mark. While some people naturally exude qualities that help them stand out in a crowd, making an impact on someone is a skill that is learned.

thePastLet go of the stuff that doesn’t work. Let it remain in the past.

You will learn from your mistakes AND that is HOW you learn. Do your best to tune your intuition so that you make perceptive leaps of logic to get where you want to be. Engage is new ideas and different perspectives that move each conversation you have with other networkers forward. Have a balanced conversation. Anyone who’s been on the silent end of a one-sided conversation knows how unpleasant it is, so be sure not to monopolize things. Think fast. Be interested and interesting. Ask questions to learn what your contact cares about. People become interested in you as a result of your interest in them.

“Be like a farmer. He prepares the soil for months before ever planting the seeds. He tends the seedlings with care, feeding and watering them regularly, putting up a scarecrow to keep pesky birds away. It’s a long, drawn-out process to go from seeding a field to harvesting the crops. There’s no quick return.” ~ Ivan Misner

May I have your attention please? Success isn’t just about how long or how hard you work – it’s about what you work at; it’s about working smart and knowing when something you are doing in business networking isn’t working. To succeed, you need to let other people help you. You can never get there by schmoozing, selling yourself and sucking up to people. That’s why the first rule in business networking is building relationships. Business networking doesn’t happen by itself. The kind of support you get from a network of support is immeasurable. That’s working smart.

Be flexible – if what you’re doing isn’t working, do something different. If you want something wonderful to happen as you network, you will have to do something different, and continue to vary your behaviors until you get the result you really want. It requires effort. It also requires you to think faster at discovering that you MUST do something different.

netHQ

Copyright © 2012 – 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 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 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/

Thursday, May 24, 2012

How Do You View the People in Your Network?

Filed under: Attitude,Networking Tip,Relationships — Larry James @ 7:00 am

How we view the people in our network is dependent on the relationship we have with them. We all need to free ourselves from being judgemental. Pre-judging a new member is a mistake. Preconceived notions are ideas or beliefs that a person forms, before actually encountering someone or something, or before getting to know them.

BeImpeccableWhat you think about and speak about, you bring about. In other words, if you view someone in your networking group with disdain, you well most likely never have the opportunity to build a close business relationship with them.

Suggestion: Be an optimist! Invite them to lunch outside and away from your networking hangout. Spend some time getting to know them. Ask lots of questions about them and their business. Pretend you never ever thought of them in a negative way and work to discover ways you can help each other. I call this “demystifying” people you think you don’t like (or have a good opinion about).

It is important to remember that “trust” is the foundation of ALL relationships! There are sometimes good reasons to never offer a business lead to someone in your network. I once gave a “red hot” lead to someone in my networking group and found out later that they never called them – even though they told me that they had called numerous times with no response. The referral was a good friend of mine and I had told him that the person I was referring him to was dependable, honest and reliable. After speaking with my friend, I discovered that he had received no calls or messages and after two weeks there was no follow-up from the person I referred to him. I had a very private meeting with the person I referred to my friend and called him on his stuff. Although he denied that he hadn’t called, I trusted my friend and told him that he would never receive further leads from me. He dropped out of the group two weeks later.

BadAttitudeNever underestimate someone because of his or her current profession. Do you have professional bias? We all have it at times – the belief that we are in some way superior to other professions or that because they are in a profession we are not familiar with they are someone that we could care less about. That’s a bad idea. Open-mindedness is the remedy.

enthusiasticPre-qualifying works but prejudging does not. Keith Rosen, MCC said in his book, “To permanently eliminate any confusion, let’s draw a distinction between what it means to pre-qualify and prejudge a prospect. If you read my cold calling book (The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Cold Calling), you know that I’m a strong advocate of pre-qualifying anyone before you invest your time in meeting or speaking with them. Conversely, prejudging shows up in the filter or barrier that you have in your listening.”

When you pre-qualify someone for membership in your group, you determine whether or not there’s a fit worth pursuing based on a predetermined set of criteria and the use of well-crafted questions. Prejudging, put simply, is all about you. To prejudge someone is to make assumptions about them before you have asked any questions or uncover any facts.

Stop it! If you’re guilty of prejudging, don’t do that anymore. You may miss an opportunity. Networking is about helping others. Do everything you can to be of service. Be enthusiastic when you meet someone new. Drop all judgements. Be respectful. Keep a positive attitude about the people in your network for much better networking results.

BONUS Article: Do You Vet Your New Networking Members?

netHQ

Copyright © 2012 – 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 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 Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: Larry James, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com

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

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Saturday, March 17, 2012

“What’s in it for me?”

Filed under: Attitude,Change — Larry James @ 7:00 am

I hope this is not the attitude you have when you are networking!

Sadly, this is often the norm. Often typical of self-centered business people.

BrianTracySome say we live in a time when too many people ignore the wants and needs of others and instantly wonder about their own loss or gain in every situation.

“Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.” ~ Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

That means catch yourself shrugging off another person at a networking event and make an effort to smile and say hello. If you give up on the attitude of “what’s in it for me,” and contribute… the entire dynamic changes.

Contribute means digging a little deeper than a smile and a hello; it means finding ways that you might be able to assist them in their struggle. It means opening up to the possibility that coming from a place of authenticity will ultimately be a great gift to yourself and all those you come into contact with.

I like to engage others at networking events with the attitude of “how can I use some of my experience and resources to help those who truly need help.” The result? More genuine friends to add to my network of support. To me that is what networking is truly about.

“Seek those whose first reaction is collaboration, not those whose first reaction is ‘what’s in it for me!'” – Thom Singer

Encourage others to jump on this bandwagon. When you reach out to others in a sincere effort to help, you both benefit from the encounter.

Engagement has to start before people become part of your network of support. Engagement needs to happen from the start of the potential relationship; it needs to happen as part of your intent to give assistance and to get involved.

Can you see how you both will quickly recognize the benefits being offered? People are cautious to the point that we are missing opportunities. A gentle shift in an attitude can swiftly change the relationship to one of collaboration.

It is your role to improve and innovate the networking experience, and to incite and encourage others to learn how networking can be done better.

That is what’s in it for you!

Larry’s Note: A special “thank you” to Marcia Mauskopf, Photographer, for posting the Brian Tracy quote on Facebook. It was the inspiration for this article!

netHQ

Copyright © 2012 – Larry James. From the chapter, “Be Coachable!” in Larry’s latest book, Ten Commitments of Networking: Creative Ways to Maximize Your Personal Connections! Larry James is a Professional Speaker, Author and 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 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 13, 2011

Are You a Network Kamikaze?

Filed under: Attitude,Network Training,Networking Tip — Larry James @ 9:00 am

Let’s get something straight! Kamikaze is a crazy strategy. You attend a networking event and nothing happens. You become disappointed. If you continue to crash and burn when you network perhaps you should just STOP networking!

kamikazeNo need to perpetuate the pain, disappointment and embarrassment of knowing that how you are networking isn’t working. Just STOP!

Next. . . take a deep breath! Right now! Do it. (Breathe) Take a deep breath and continue reading. Feel better?

Here is what I know. Networking must excite, engage and enrich you. If it doesn’t, you are doing it wrong! Networking for the sake of networking never works!

Most newcomers to networking tend only to think about the sales or referrals that they will get from their network. That is never what your original intent should be. Read on. . .

Face it. Networking can become a little hectic when nothing seems to be happening from the effort you continue to make. It’s time to try something new; discover a tolerable alternative to what you have been doing. When you stumble do you feel that all eyes are upon you? They are. Well, not all, but certainly those who are close by. You may notice that people begin to walk the other way. That’s never a good feeling.

networkinggroupMany networking events are laced with people who want to talk your ear off about how great they are. I usually listen for a few brief moments, then politely move on. That is not why you go to a networking event. People want to know whether you are someone to do business with, have friendship with, create projects with, exchange business leads with in the future. Be someone worth their time. Be memorable (in a good way!).

It’s time for you to become the “Networking Ninja!” A much better choice than Kamikaze. Agreed?

One of the keys to networking success is to be a communicative, approachable and open-minded person without prejudices who is absolutely intent on exchanging information with other people. Here is my personal definition of business networking:

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

The spirit of professional networking is to exchange information and by doing so profit from your connections. However, an absolute “no-no” of business networking would be to “only” establish business contacts with people who can only help you. In effect networking is a mutual admiration society, meaning – your intent should be to help each other.

“When you meet people for the first time at networking events, show interest in the person rather than the business. If you find that there is a genuine rapport and areas of interest in common, you have the beginning of a relationship that can lead to referrals, support, valuable introductions and more. Move away from the opening question “what do you do?” and find out more about them personally. Successful networkers sell through the people they meet, rather than to them. Work on the basis that if they like you and need what you offer, they’ll buy from you anyway.” ~ Andy Lopata

Here are a few networking tips that work:

Find a fresh way of projecting a confident self-image. Introduce yourself differently. Be “other-focused.” Never lead with business. Focus on helping others, NOT promoting yourself. Make it all about THEM. Never “think” the words, “What’s in it for me?” Show a genuine interest. Find out what they need and help them make a connection. Ask, “If I could do one thing for you to help what would it be?” If you “click” with the person you just met, there will be time for that later. Patience is a virtue. Results come later – to those who wait – and the results will surprise you and exceed your expectations. Building close, personal relationships with others takes time. AND. . . that is what networking is really about!

Volunteer yourself to the top. Every networking group need volunteers. This is a great way to stay visible and give back to groups that have helped you.

It’s best to be brief in your conversations, until such time as the two of you agree that you want to talk further and at length. You can always follow up and meet outside of the meeting. Dig. Ask lots of questions. Find out from others what you wish they knew about you.

If the meeting is a ‘sit down” meeting, don’t sit with people you know. Make some new friends. Never drink too much at a meeting. The last thing people want to hear is slurred speech. Develop an intent on being a strong relationship builder! Be interested in those you meet. No fast judgements. Just listen. The more interested you are in them, the more interested they are in you and the more likely they are to help you.

If you make a mistake, begin again. Networking “mess-ups” happen at every event. But now you don’t have to be the one messing up.

Embrace the networking experience. Get back to the basics. Use all of your senses. Our senses are the physical means by which all living things see, hear, smell, taste, and touch. Generally speaking we are most aware of four of them when we network.

• Sight: Look around. What do you see? Watch for “wallflowers.” They are those people who are often standing by themselves. They often feel uncomfortable and do not have the courage to start a conversation. I’ve met some very interesting people by being the first to reach to shake hands and introduce myself. Keep an eye out for people who are the leaders of the group. Don’t fear the big shots. They are in a position to introduce you to the people you need to meet. Look in the other person’s eyes when you are in a conversation with them. Observe: listen and watch.

• Hearing: Listen to others as you mill around the room. If you overhear something interesting, stand close and wait for someone to invite you into their circle. You don’t have to say anything, just wait. Being included int the group usually happens when those who are talking back up a bit which allows you to step closer. If you have something interesting to contribute, speak up. Listening, really listening is a skill that will push you ahead of the rest. Listen more than you talk. Listen for something that demands a compliment.

• Touch: There are about 100 touch receptors in each of your fingertips. Be sensitive to touch when you shake someone’s hand. Mae sure your grip is not too tight and not to soft.

• Smell: Our sense of smell is connected really well to our memory. There have been times when I avoid some people for the obvious reasons. 😉 Be sure to do a small dash of perfume or cologne before you attend a meeting.

“Get yourself in the right frame of mind – make sure you are feeling positive about the event, looking forward to meeting new people and having interesting conversations with them. If have the attitude that you don’t really want to be there, it will show in your body language and tone of voice.” ~ Diana Marsland

BONUS Article: Networking and Selling DO NOT Mix!
Networking Article Index – More than 200 articles, tips, etc., about networking. Kamikazies: spend some time here!

netHQCopyright © 2011 – Larry James. Larry James is a Professional Speaker, Author and Coach. Larry 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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Saturday, July 9, 2011

Give Your Brand Personal “Curb Appeal” at Networking Events!

Filed under: Attitude,Business Cards,Dress for NetSuccess,Proper Dress,Self-Image — Larry James @ 7:00 am

Making a great first impression is important if you want to be successful in business, especially when it comes to networking events. People form permanent opinions of those they meet within a few minutes of setting eyes upon them. Making a great first impression can be tricky to say the least. Our words, appearance, actions, facial expressions and body language play an important part of how others perceive who we are.

Every point of contact with your personal brand should reflect the impression you want to make on your potential customers, clients and friends. There are many key differences between top-producing salespeople and low performers. Both show up at networking events and you can spot the losers from across the room. They stand out. . . AND so do the winners!

If you show up in attire in which you are comfortable but less dressed up than the event demands, are you being authentic (true to yourself) or disrespectful of other networkers/clients? You are being disrespectful of other networkers (clients, etc.) and it is tantamount to hurling an insult, because it shouts “my comfort is more important than impressing you.” People get it when you dress to impress and they smile inside with delight.

networking2Do you demonstrate a memorable impression? Attitude should be at the top of the list! It’s a quality that makes people say “wow,” when others first see you. It’s your own personal “Wow Factor.” If you are depressed or have had a bad day, stay home! Don’t spread that attitude to others. Veg out on TV and give yourself some time to bounce back.

How does your smile measure up on the smile-o-meter? No one likes a sour-puss. When you greet someone, Leil Lowndes, author of, “How to Instantly Connect with Anyone: 96 All-New Little Tricks for Big Success in Relationships,” says to use what she calls a “slow-flooding smile.” Leil says, “Instantly switching to a 100-watt smile can make you seem phony. Instead, let your smile slowly when you make eye contact. This sends the message that there is something about this person in particular that you like.”

I’m sure you probably know someone whose dress, behavior, or body language, makes you want to avoid them. When attending business networking events, dress like a business person. Over dress rather than under-dress. Dress appropriately for the occasion, of course, but always appear a little more polished than everyone else. The way you dress and carry yourself makes a difference. You don’t have to be on the “best dressed” list for the year, but dress for success, and at least dress up for the occasion. People with bad grooming habits and a crummy outlook on life detract from their personal curb appeal.

buildyourbrandMaintain eye contact long enough to determine the color of their eyes. No stalker-staring. People are inclined to like and trust those who make strong eye contact rather than someone who is constantly looking over their shoulder to see if they can find someone more interesting to talk with.

Face people directly when talking with them. Even a slight turn away signals your lack of interest and can cause the speaker to shut down. No slouching. If you want those you meet to talk more, slightly nod your head up and down as if agreeing with them. This sends a message of acceptance. Research shows that people will talk three to four times more than usual when the listener nods in this manner.

It’s important to be mindful of the nonverbal communications you are sending to your networking friends, to potential clients and other people you meet. You ARE your “brand.” Bring your personal touches and creativity to each event. Make sure you wear your brand in the most favorable way.

When someone hands you their business card, (whether you want it or not), treat it with respect. Take a few intentional moments to read it, comment on it, if appropriate, then put it in whatever pocket you’re putting the “possible future contacts” cards in or the pocket that contains all the contacts that you are sure you have no interest in contacting. Never just shove it in your pocket or purse.

Never invade someone’s personal space. Standing too close or too far away may make them feel uncomfortable. On an average, if anyone is closer than 18 inches, you may find them backing up or looking for an excuse to move on.

Be a “committed listener.” If you have a sincere interest in the person you are talking with, listen for clues that might help you keep the conversation going. Leil Lowndes, tell us, “If you can spot these words and topics, you can redirect dull, forgettable small-talk conversations toward things that people actually want to talk about.”

Overall, the perception of untrustworthiness, cleanliness (bad breath and body odor), lack of charisma and more is what detracts from your brand’s personal curb appeal. Be interesting. Be noticeable. Be friendly and personable.

Ineffective brand curb appeal undermines success! Jazz up your personal presentation of you!

Your curb appeal doesn’t matter what YOU think about it. . . it only matters how others perceive you.

BONUS Articles: When You Shake Hands. . . Really Shake Hands!
What About Business Cards. . .

netHQCopyright © 2011 – Larry James. Larry James is a Professional Speaker, Author and Coach. Larry 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!”

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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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

When Giving it Your Best Shot. . .

Filed under: Attitude,Networking Tip — Larry James @ 7:00 am
Tags: , ,

Pick a worthwhile target!

Never waste time on a moving target or with someone who comes across as over agressive and pushy.

NetattitudeWant greater impact when networking? Focus on helping others. An attitude of “giving’ is one of the most important keys to networking. Spend more time listening than talking. That will help make you more efficient.

Mental preparation is the first and most important step in being successful in networking. The reason for this is because you will need to face your fears and get beyond your fears and the fears that other people try to give you. A healthy attitude toward business networking helps build trust and makes you more “attractive” to other people.

Never underestimate the advantage of surrounding yourself with successful people in networking. Always remember, “success breeds success.” You will learn much more from success people than people who are not doing so hot. You might do well to pay less attention to the latter.

“When you are on a roll you tend to be more successful. Why is that? When you are successful it is likely that you are doing the right things. And when you are rewarded with success you will tend to continue doing the right things. If what you are doing is working you will probably stick with it.” ~ George Torok, Professional Speaker

attitudeDo whatever you have to do to keep your confidence up and your spirits high. Consistently energize your networking attitude. If you are down. . . don’t stay there, and if you are not at your best, you probably would be better off by staying home rather than screw up at a networking event. First impressions can mean everything. Go for a walk. Get some fresh air. Listen to your iPod and make sure it’s music that gives you a lift.

Networking success does not automatically result from attendance at a business networking event. You will only get the desired results when you approach it with the right attitude. Living life with a great attitude changes everything! Always give your best show to everything you do.

netHQ

Copyright © 2011 – Larry James. Larry James and Larry Winget. Larry Winget is the best branded, most recognizable speaker in the business. Through humor and sarcasm, Winget teaches universal principles that will work for anyone, in any business, at any time. Many speakers claim to be original, but Larry Winget is THE original. He has established himself as an icon in the world of personal development and self-help. You won’t find many people who don’t know or who won’t recognize him as a result of his six national bestsellers, his thousands of on-stage appearances or his many regular television appearances. Visit Larry’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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