Networking HQ BLOG with Larry James

Saturday, January 17, 2015

How to Use Business Cards to Network and Market Your Business

Linda Elizabeth Alexander, Guest Author

You’ve had 1,000 of the finest, most eye-catching business cards printed. Now, what do you do with them? Networking with business cards is one of the most cost effective means of marketing your business–and yourself.

A&SBiz-CardDon’t leave them sitting in the box, they do you no good there. Get them into the hands of your prospects! If you think of your business card as a mini-billboard for your company, you’ll realize that you need people to see it in order for it to be effective. Here are a few ideas to get you started…

Keep them in your pocket, purse, briefcase, and wallet, on your desk, and at the reception area of your office

Leave some in your car. Always have them on hand so you can introduce yourself to new people when the moment is right. They should be a necessary part of your routine before you leaving home every day. When checking for your wallet and keys, check for a stack of business cards too. Keep replenishing your supply.

Store your cards in a nice holder so they don’t get bent

Keeping your business cards in a stylish case makes a better presentation when you give your cards out. Likewise, treat others’ cards well when you accept them. For example, spend a few moments reading the card closely before you put it away. You won’t impress the person by mishandling their business card. If your contact information should change, have new cards printed immediately. Writing in your new email address or phone number leaves a bad impression.

Place business cards on bulletin boards at local restaurants, supermarkets, libraries, and your children’s schools

At your place of business, have a bulletin board where others can post their cards in return for passing out your cards to others. If you see a fishbowl offering a drawing for a prize, throw your business card in. Somebody important might see it and contact you.

Include business cards with all of your correspondence, including bills you pay

You never know who might open the mail that day. If Realtors can sell houses this way, why can’t you generate business the same way? If you ship products, for example, include a card with every package. Send business cards with all thank you notes and letters you send out. Include your contact information in your email signature as well. It serves as an electronic business card.

Use them as scrap paper when you need to jot down a note

Instead of a napkin, use the back of your business card to write in your cell phone number. “This is my direct line,” you might say, making the prospect feel important and giving him or her a reason to keep your card.

Give people a reason to hold on to your card

Print something unique on the back of it–a calendar, a list of your services, important measurements, or anything relevant to your industry. You could also print a coupon on it, and ask them to return the card with their order, so again they have a reason to keep your card.

As a business owner or manager, have business cards printed for all staff members, right down to the lowest ranking person

The novelty of the cards for those who usually don’t have them will entice employees to hand them out. At the same time, you’ll make them feel appreciated. Your employees are part of your network, so use their networks to generate business for your company.

Use your business cards to introduce yourself to prospects you meet at networking functions, in the park or at your children’s soccer games

However, don’t be pushy. Make sure the time is appropriate. One way to do this is to ask for the other person’s card. He or she will likely ask you for your card in return. Another idea is to hand out two or three cards at a time–one for the person you meet, and extras for him or her to hand out to referrals. (Offering to do the same would be the polite thing to do here.) When you go to the doctor or dentist, present your card to the receptionist to announce your presence.

Leaving your business cards to sit in a box or a drawer collecting dust defeats the purpose of having them. They are inexpensive enough to print by the thousands, so hand them out liberally. It’s a cost-effective way to market yourself and your business. Think of the many other ways to empty that box so you need to print more cards. Be creative and you will soon have more business than you can handle!

Does your business card work as hard as you do to gain new contacts? If not, you need cards that will grab attention and spur curiosity. Design your cards online and choose from thousands of free business card backgrounds.

Larry’s NOTE: Need new business cards? Order Great FX Business Cards here!

BONUS Articles: You Need More Than a Cardboard Connection
May I Have Your Business Card?
What About Business Cards…

Copyright © 2015, GreatFX Business Cards. All rights reserved. http://www.gwinnettnetwork.com/articles/buscard-marketing.htm

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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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Monday, June 23, 2014

You Need More Than a Cardboard Connection

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

Do you attend networking events with the intention of collecting all the business cards you can and giving out as many business cards while you’re there?

That is a big mistake!

Most folks think if you go to enough events and pass out enough business cards the phone will begin ringing. That is seldom ever true. Even if you do get some business that way, you still have to do what is necessary to build and cultivate that relationship so they continue to do business with you and/or send you referrals.

busNETcardHanding out your business card to everyone who crosses your path makes only a cardboard connection!

Haven’t you emptied your pockets, looked at the cards and wondered why you bothered to bring them back to your office. Instead, pour your conversational energy into finding a real connection, a good, solid business reason to exchange cards.

John, who has just started his own business, is looking for an accountant. You are happy to give him your accountant’s name, as well as some tips on record keeping. Ask John for his card and tell him you will call him with the information.

Give him your card, but only after you tell him why he needs it. “I hope that when you need any remodeling, or hear of someone who does, you’ll give me a call.”

Next, follow up and call him with the accountant’s contact information. The follow up is the most important ingredient for effective business networking and will help you solidify the connection. You may want to arrange a time to get together (make an appointment) to get to know each other better.

“Speak to a few people and have genuine conversations rather than rush around the room trying to grab a card from everyone. Show a genuine interest in the other person and engage in conversation rather than trade elevator pitches.” ~ Andy Lapata

I rarely go anywhere without have a few business cards with me. I was at a small event recently and after meeting this woman I asked for her card. I saw an immediate possibility that we could help each other, but when I asked I heard, “Oh, I didn’t think I was going to need any cards this morning so I didn’t bring any with me.” Oh, really? I gave her my card and asked her to send me one of hers, but most often that gets forgotten. So… for her, another missed opportunity. Guess what? I never heard from her again.

You never know when you are going to meet someone useful to you or you to them. Always be sure you have several business cards with you. I “always” carry business cards with me. If I am out to eat (and leave a nice tip), I will usually leave my card. Several years ago, I did that and about 6 months later, the waitress called me and hired me to perform her Wedding ceremony.

BONUS Articles: What to Do With the Business Card of a Loser
Networking is NOT a Card Game…

Larry’s NOTE: A special “Thank you!” to Anne Baber, author of “Great Connections: Small Talk and Networking for Businesspeople,” for the inspiration for this article.

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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Friday, September 20, 2013

Business Cards Pack a Wallop!

Filed under: Business Cards,Follow Up — Larry James @ 7:30 am
Tags: ,

Business cards are small, weigh less than 1/4 of an ounce and are one of your most effective pieces of marketing literature you can invest in, provided it is used effectively. Your business card is the second most important thing to have in place when you show up. Your business card will help people remember who you are and what you do. They create your first impression, so be sure to design them with as much attention as you give to your personal image.

busNETcardNecessary info for your business card includes your name, company name, title, phone, fax and cell numbers, e-mail and your Website address. Make sure your business card is explicit about what you do. If your company name does not accurately describe what you do, add additional information. Use the back of your card to post a detailed description of what you do. Many people will call the first phone number listed on your card, so prioritize your office number or your cell.

Don’t be “business card thruster guy (or girl),” ready to force-feed your card on anyone who will take it. Something that helps me get more mileage out of my business card is by being selective about who I offer my business card to. I don’t stand there with a handful of business cards. Unless I am really interested in them, I will usually withhold my business card unless they ask for it.

10CsBe selective about whose card you take. Remember, networking is about developing close, personal and business relationships. How can you possibly build a relationship with a person when your objective is to get out there and be a business card collector? If I do not see a connection in how I might help the other person, I do not ask for their card. If they offer it, I will take it and put it in a special pocket for designated for throw-aways.

Remember to take notes on the back of the business cards of the people who you will follow up with to help you remember what was said. When you get back to the office, put all this information into your PDA or contact management software. If you tell someone you will call to follow up, keep your word. Follow up within 24 hours. Strike while the meeting is still fresh in their mind. Networkers have long memories when they are given false promises during casual conversation.

The experienced networker will often take notes about the conversation on the back of your card if they are interested in your product or service. I watch for that. When someone writes on the back of your card while you are talking to them, be sure to get their card and follow up with them because they could be very interested in you or your business.

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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Friday, May 31, 2013

Are You an Overly Assumptive Networker?

I’ve heard the “always give two business cards” trick several times. The idea is to give two cards so the other person keeps one and can pass one on to another person. I disagree. When I have two business cards forced upon me by someone I just met, it feels overly pushy and much too assumptive for me. Others have told me it’s a big turn-off.

OneCardThere are times when I want several cards from my contacts, as I plan to give them away. The rule for me is that in order to give someone else’s business card to one of my friends, I have to know them “well,” have used their services or they have been highly recommended by one of my networking friends. No relationship… no referrals (no business card).

Never give someone 2 of your business cards when you first meet. It infers “keep one and pass the second one to someone else,” a right you have yet to earn. One business card in the beginning is quite enough. First of all, if we are meeting for the first time, I don’t really know you and if you assume that I will pass your card to someone else, having just met you… you are very wrong. We don’t have a relationship yet. We just met. It’s too soon to assume such a task.

I never give anyone more than one business card, if that, unless they ask for more. As a matter of fact, I don’t just give my card to anyone. Sometimes after a brief conversation I can instantly discern that they are not someone who I would like to get to know better.

Hand out your business card only after you determine that there has been a connection; that this person is someone you really would like to stay in contact with. Immediately after we have spoken, I jot a quick not to myself about why I should follow-up with this one.

Obviously, the next step is to follow-up the next day; more than two days later in my opinion, is too late to follow-up. By then, they may have forgotten meeting you. When you “call” (not e-mail or text) remind them of where you met and request a time to get together so that can learn more about what they do. It’s best to meet them at their office.

Important: Resist the urge to talk about your business or to attempt to sell them anything if your meeting them at their office. You are there to learn more about them. Generally speaking they will ask about you and your business. They have given you a green light, however I usually tell them a little… just enough to whet their appetite to know more – then once I have determined that they are someone I would like to have a business relationship with, I invite them either to a lunch or a visit to my office.

REVIEW the many other articles on this Blog about business cards: https://networkinghq.wordpress.com/category/business-cards-2/

BONUS Articles: Networking is NOT a Card Game…
What About Business Cards…

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/

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

How Long Has it Been…

Filed under: Business Cards,Leads,Referrals/Leads — Larry James @ 7:30 am
Tags: , , ,

Most networkers will agree that they got involved in business networking to “get” leads from others that will increase their business. That makes sense, but that’s really not the most important reason to network. The real reason you should be networking should be based upon my definition of networking. Read it slowly and let it sink in.

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

leads2aI speak at and attend a lot of networking meetings and the biggest complaint I hear is, “I never get any leads/referrals.” My first question is, “Are you ‘giving’ any leads/referrals?” Please understand that networking is first about building long-lasting business relationships that – after the relationship is established – the leads will come.

The best way to create attention to yourself is to bless someone else in your group with a lead.

Many people attend their weekly networking meeting, talk to a few other networkers, leave the meeting and only think of networking when it is again time to attend another meeting. And you wonder why networking is not working for you and you never receive any leads? Really?

How long has it been since you took some of your valuable time each day to focus on doing your best to bring “at least” one business lead to the meeting next week?

leadsIf you do not have a specific intention of actually looking for business leads for your networking partners… you will most likely be the networker who complains the most that you never get any leads. Does that make sense?

Suggestion: Purchase a nice looking business card holder. Put at least 3 t0 5 business cards of each of the members from your group in it and carry it with you wherever you go during your busy business week. I set this precedent as a mandatory rule for all members of the Tulsa Business Connection when I started the group many years ago. Virtually every member carried it with them. And nearly every member received as least one business lead each week from someone. Our 60 members (one from each business classification) generated more than $2,000,000 in business leads between members in our very first year!

Networking only works if you work it! You must consciously be looking for business for others before you can expect to receive leads and referrals for yourself.

I can tell you for sure, that if your networking group would adopt the idea of carrying the business cards of every member of their group in a handsome business card holder with them on their sales calls, appointments, etc., business leads would begin showing up at your meetings and the entire focus and dynamic of the group would change for the better.

If you don’t look for business leads for others, you won’t notice them when the show up.

Larry’s Note: If your group needs some inspiration or perhaps a kick in the seat of the pants that will help them to get off their butts and to network the way that works, perhaps you may want to invite me to speak to your group.

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/

Sunday, January 27, 2013

May I Have Your Business Card?

Filed under: Business Cards — Larry James @ 8:30 am

May I have your business card?

WHAT! You don’t have one with you? You’ve got to be kidding! Opportunity is staring you in the face and you don’t have a business card with you!

CarryCardsI never ask anyone for their business card unless I feel there is a possibility that I might be of service to them or I feel that there is an opportunity for us to support each other in our networking efforts. I am continually amazed at the people I meet that carry no business cards.

OR… how about the idiot I met recently who said he never carries business cards anymore. When I asked why, he said, “If anyone cares to contact me they can look me up on the Internet.” I just stood there with my mouth open. “So,” I asked, “how do you ever expect anyone to contact you if there is not at least a card with your name on it?” He mumbled some really stupid reason and I moved on to someone else. Business cards are still relevant. Love ’em or hate ’em, business cards are here to stay. They make communication a less daunting task. You can meet someone, exchange cards, and enjoy the conversation rather than wasting time writing down phone numbers, e-mail addresses, Websites, etc.

Being able to hand out a business card does more than guarantee that they have your contact information and even goes beyond making it easy to pass it along when they find someone else who may need your services. Often when I am asked for a card, I give it then ask if there is anyone else they know that might benefit from my services. If so, I will hand them an additional card or two.

Not carrying a few business cards with you is a major faux pas!

“I just ran out,” or “I gave my last card away yesterday,” or “Opps! I forgot to bring any cards,” “I didn’t think I would need any cards today!” or… Whatever!

Opportunity is everywhere… often when you least expect it. It is always better to carry a few business cards with you or at least have a few cards close by if someone asks for one. You never know when you might meet someone who you can help or who can help you. Family or friends social events can often produce unexpected encounters with people. Don’t discount those events. By the way, having a “clean” business card handy can make or break your next business deal. Keep your own cards clean and crisp by using a cardholder. Dirty cards do not make a good first impression.

I rarely go anywhere without have a few business cards with me. I was at a small event recently and after meeting this woman I asked for her card. I saw an immediate possibility that we could help each other, but when I asked I heard, “Oh, I didn’t think I was going to need any cards this morning so I didn’t bring any with me.” Oh, really? I gave her my card and asked her to send me one of hers, but most often that gets forgotten. So… for her, another missed opportunity.

You never know when you are going to meet someone useful to you or you to them. Always be sure you have several business cards with you. I “always” carry business cards with me. If I am out to eat (and leave a nice tip), I will usually leave my card. Several years ago, I did that and about 6 months later, the waitress called me and hired me to perform her Wedding ceremony.

If you are a serious networker you will ALWAYS carry business cards. It’s a reflection of your competence, mindset and demonstrates that you are a pro. Cards are your professional currency. They help build your level of legitimacy and credibility. They are also about your professional image.

Business cards are affordable, portable, versatile, and accepted everywhere. Forget trying to produce your business cards at home using an inkjet printer. They rarely ever put forth a good impression and do you a disservice. Keep all the information in your business card current. If you’ve changed an address or phone number, don’t scratch out the old number and write down the new one by hand; get new business cards! Your business card will be the first impression people receive of your business, so let them convey the best possible one. Carry your cards with you everywhere.

My personal preference is the standard sized business card. For those special people that I refer often I carry a card holder with several of their cards. Odd-shaped business cards are sometimes more difficult to display in the card holder.

Always order more cards than you need. I usually order 2,500 at a time. Your cost per card goes down the more you order. No matter how much you spend on your business cards, they will probably still be the cheapest and most effective piece of marketing collateral that you will ever purchase.

10CsbuscardNEW

When I attend or speak to Networking groups
this is the card I give.

In the Greater Phoenix area, I order my cards from Paper Crazy. Tell Joanie I told you to call (602-234-0184). They have great prices and very high quality. Don’t be afraid to pay extra money for higher quality paper. It’s an easy way to show that you care about quality and it will help you stand out from the crowd.

Carry an ample supply of business cards in:

• Your laptop bag
• Your suit coat pocket
• Your handbag or purse
• Your car
• Your desk drawer
• Your briefcase
• a Business Card Case
• Your backpack

I personally carry a few emergency business cards in my wallet and even more in my car glove compartment. I leave a small stack of cards on a table near my front door to assure that I never leave home without them!

The important thing to keep in mind when using business cards is that they are the first step in the connection process. They help establish familiarity, however, you have to follow-up to turn that meeting into a long-lasting business relationship.

Larry’s Note: A special “Thank you” to The Efficiency Coach, Heather Townsend for inspiring this article!

BONUS Articles about Business Cards: http://NetworkingHQ.wordpress.com/category/business-cards-2/

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.

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/

Friday, July 27, 2012

What to Do With the Business Card of a Loser

Let’s face it. At major networking events we often end up with a business card from someone who shoved it in your hand, spoke only about doing business with them and had no interest in us. They don’t know that passing out business cards is not considered networking. Collecting business cards isn’t networking either.

stackBUScardsI may ask, “What type of businesses are you looking to connect with, maybe I can help with networking,” to get the conversation going in a better direction. If that doesn’t get me anywhere, I put their card in the pocket reserved for losers. When you become the connector of two businesses, you create an opportunity for reciprocity, seldom before.

Not much chance of ever doing business with them or establishing a business relationship with them, right? Hmmm. Let me think… maybe.

Most of the time those business cards end up in my trash basket. At least, that’s what I have done in the past. Recently after tossing a stack of business cards I received from people who have no clue about how to effectively network, I reached into the trash and put them back on my desk.

followUPI decided to practice what I preach – Follow-up!

I designed an e-mail to be used as a a template to send to people like them that does several things.

1. Follow-up. Following up is what the pros do. By doing this I want to demonstrate to them that follow-up is important.

2. Teach. It contains several links to several articles (on this blog) that might be of help in the future.

3. Give them an opportunity to connect with a pro. I invite them to link to my social networks. I add another link that lets them know I am available for networking coaching and a way to subscribe to this blog for free.

I know, it’s a long-shot, however, it takes only about 1 minute per card. I have no expectations about whether they will respond or that I will ever receive business from the contact. It’s just something to do when you have a few extra minutes. I keep the cards for at least 2 weeks just in case “they” do follow-up. If not, they go in the trash for good.

The first time I did this I received four e-mail thanking me for the links. Networking has helped to make my businesses a success. Yes, I made lots of mistakes when I first began networking, but thanks to great networkers like Anne Boe (deceased), Bob Burg, Donna Fisher and more, they helped me get on the right track.

My intention with this new follow-up e-mail is to truly help others to see what a terrific advantage effective networking gives them over their competition.

How about you? Can you spare a couple of minutes to help someone?

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
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Sunday, May 20, 2012

Is Your Business Card Costing You Business?

Filed under: Business Cards — Larry James @ 8:00 am
Tags:

Brian Feinblum, Guest Author

The public relations firm that I work for, MEDIA CONNECT, is a division of Finn Partners, a Ruder Finn Co. We recently renamed ourselves (formerly Planned Television Arts) upon celebrating our 50th anniversary this past month. As part of our new branding efforts, it was decided that our business cards would include our individual photo on the back, spanning the full size of the card.

Surprisingly, our staff was split over the idea. Some felt a business card shouldn’t have photos. After all, we are not a real estate business! Others, like myself, felt it was a nice touch. We are in the people business and a personal feel is important. Besides, who can be in PR and be shy?

NetBusCardPeople see our faces all over the place; on our Web site and on one’s social media profiles and pages, etc. I don’t get too many business cards that contain photos and I collect a lot of cards. But I think most people don’t think of putting a photo on or don’t want to lay out extra money to do so. I see it as an advantage to have my photo on there, but perhaps if one has concerns about their looks, age, or that one will see their demographic makeup from viewing their photo, they should avoid the photo thing. If you’re in the Witness Protection Program, don’t put your photo on the card.

What I don’t like about business cards is this:

• Ones with airbrushed photos or outdated Glamour Shots are tacky.
• Oversized cards are dumb—if I can’t put it in my wallet, it goes in the garbage.
• Cards that lack key information such as Web site, email address, or phone (do you want me to contact you or not?).
• Cards with too much information—three cell numbers, four websites, and a bunch of Facebook pages (no one is checking out all this crap).
• When the card is not easily readable—small font, distracting background, not enough white space.
• When the card is too thin and flimsy—if it feels light you’re a lightweight.
• When the card lacks texture, raised printing, or color—cheap and boring.
• Gimmicky attempts to desperately convey an image that is not consistent with who you really are.
• People who cross out information or cover it with a label—how lazy are you?

I once was contacted by a vender about creating 3D cards with photos. What’s next – a halogram?

Cards can have slogans as long as they don’t sound like a Chinese fortune cookie saying.

And if you are one of those people who say they ran out of business cards, I can only conclude one of three things:

1. You’re so busy that you need to print more cards up (wow!)
2. You really forgot them (shame on you)
3. You don’t want me to contact you ever again (sigh)

Some think they don’t need them, that paper cards are as fashionable as owning a printed encyclopedia. But no matter how green or cool you hope to be, you still need a business card.

A business card is one of many things that make impressions upon another and contribute to influencing whether our relationship will continue and develop. When you first meet someone you quickly assess many things, such as:

• The firmness of their handshake.
• If they look you in the eye when talking.
• If they sound genuine—or genuine bullshitters.
• Their energy level.
• The harmony of their voice.
• Dress appropriateness.
• If they are attractive.
• Their vocabulary range.
• Their sense of humor.
• Their overall trustworthiness vibe.
• If you feel a connection.

Okay, so you’re not dating or banging every person you meet, but let’s face it, you want to like those whom you do business with. So remember to make sure your business card is special. Consider adding a photo of yourself or Photoshop someone more attractive and slap it on your card. 😉 If people really like you, chances are they won’t look too closely at the photo. And if you decide someone is not card-worthy just tell them, “Sorry, I am fresh out of cards.”

BONUS Articles: What About Business Cards…
When Business Cards Aren’t Enough
Give Your Brand Personal “Curb Appeal” at Networking Events!
Networking is NOT a Card Game…
Eight Cringe-Worthy Networking Blunders

BrianFeinblumnetHQCopyright 2012 – Brian Feinblum. Brian Feinblum, MEDIA CONNECT is a book marketing Blogger. You can follow him on Twitter and e-mail him at: brianfeinblum@gmail.com.

Larry James is a Professional Speaker, Author and Coach. He presents networking seminars nationally and “Networking” coaching by telephone or one-on-one. 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
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/

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Networking’s #1 Faux Pas!

Filed under: Business Cards,Guest Author Articles — Larry James @ 9:00 am
Tags:

Andy Lopata, Guest Author

I have to put my hands up and admit my guilt. I made what many people tell me is the number one mistake when networking. And I did it in style.

On my way to the airport for my speaking trip in Vietnam last week I suddenly realized that I had forgotten to pack something. My suit, belt, shirts and shoes were all in place. Cufflinks at the ready. I had my passport and my tickets, my hotel booking and my travel insurance.

Everything was in place but one… my business cards!

I scrambled around in my passport holder and my wallet and found nine cards in total. That’s all I had for a trip to Asia complete with two speaking engagements, a gala dinner and a series of meetings. What a disaster when I was going there to speak about effective networking.

Fortunately, when people have told me in the past that not having business cards is the cardinal sin (pun unintended) for networkers, I have always disagreed with them. It is good to have a business card when people ask for it, for sure, but it is far worse not to ask for someone’s card when you want to follow up with them.

Give your card away and not ask for one back, and you cede control of the conversation.

Having said that, the last place you’d want to not have your cards available is Asia, where people pass them to each other at the beginning of a conversation out of courtesy. Explaining my predicament was very embarrassing, but I did so politely and promised in every case to send on my details by email. Which I did as soon as possible.

That’s the key. If you don’t have cards for any reason, ask for those of people you’d like to keep in touch with and make sure you follow up promptly.

Of course, my client told me at the end of my visit that I should have sent him the artwork and he would have printed cards for my arrival! That would certainly have helped.

BONUS Articles: What About Business Cards. . .
When Business Cards Aren’t Enough
Give Your Brand Personal “Curb Appeal” at Networking Events!
Networking is NOT a Card Game. . .
Eight Cringe-Worthy Networking Blunders

recommended

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andynetHQ

Copyright © 2011 – Andy Lopata. Reprinted with permission. Labeled “Mr Network” by The Sun, Andy Lopata was called “one of Europe’s leading business networking strategists” by the Financial Times. The co-author of two books on networking, Andy is a featured columnist the US magazine “The National Networker,” as well as being regularly quoted in the national press. Previously, Andy was Managing Director of UK network Business Referral Exchange. Andy has since worked with companies from one-man bands to organisations such as NatWest Bank, Merrill Lynch and Mastercard to help them realise the full potential from their networking. He is a former vice-president of the Professional Speakers Association. Visit Andy’s Website and BLOG.

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
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/

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.

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/

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