Networking HQ BLOG with Larry James

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

What If I Hadn’t Answered the Phone?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How committed are you to your networking group?

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

netHQCopyright © 2015 – Larry James. Adapted from Larry’s latest book, Ten Commitments of Networking: Creative Ways to Maximize Your Personal Connections! Larry James is a Professional Speaker, Author and Networking Coach. He presents networking seminars nationally and “Networking” coaching by telephone or one-on-one. Something NEW about Networking is posted on this Networking BLOG every 4th day! Visit Larry’s Networking Website at: “Networking HQ!”

the-archives2Click for Archives! ~ commentSubscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateLove.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com and CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

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

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

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Sunday, November 2, 2014

Why Keeping Your Commitments Is Critical to Your Influence

Michael Hyatt, Guest Author

When we think of someone with integrity, we think of someone we can count on to come through on what they promise. Unfortunately, that’s not always a safe bet today.

Over the last several years I’ve noticed a change in the way we use the word integrity. The word used to mean staying true to your word—even if it’s difficult, inconvenient, or expensive. But today I hear more and more people using the word as if it means being true to themselves—even if that means leaving someone else to clean up the mess.

NETinfluenceThis might look like a win if we’re trying to save ourselves from difficulty and discomfort, but it will come back to bite us in the end. Nothing destroys our credibility faster than bailing on a commitment.

The phrase “To thine own self be true” comes from Shakespeare’s Hamlet, but it became popular through self-help books and programs. There’s nothing wrong with these words by themselves, but they’re usually taken out of context.

If you’ve ever read or seen the play you know the full story. The phrase comes after advice about being prudent and preserving friendships. The idea is that we are true to ourselves so that others can count on what we say. That was having integrity.

But if you listen to the way people use it today, they usually mean something else. “To thine own self be true” is often used as an excuse to do whatever a person wants instead of what’s expected—or even what they’ve already committed to. This is suicide in business—and the rest of life.

Not only is integrity essential for strong friendships, it’s crucial for all of our relationships. “Honesty,” says Stephen Covey, “is making your words conform to reality. Integrity is making reality conform to your words.” We won’t get far in life without it.

Just think about your work. Without the kind of integrity Covey describes, you cannot be an effective leader. Why?

1. Trust depends on integrity. If people can’t rely on your word, they won’t trust you. They may extend some grace, but eventually people will doubt and disbelieve.

2. Influence depends on trust. People will refuse the influence of leaders they distrust. Just look at how this plays out in politics or the media. We follow people we trust.

michaelHyatt3. Impact depends on influence. You can’t make the impact you want unless you can influence others and shift their behavior.
Now think of other relationships: marriage, parenting, church, whatever. The strength of our relationships is measured by how much people can count on us. If we’re not true to our words, that means our relationships will be as unreliable as we are.

“The strength of our relationships is measured by how much people can count on us.” ~ Michael Hyatt

Yes, keeping our word can sometimes be very costly. I’ve had times in my career when it’s been very expensive to do the right thing. Once I had to pull the plug on a multimillion dollar project we desperately needed to make our numbers.

Another time I had to uphold an exorbitant commitment of an executive I let go, even though he didn’t have the authority to make the agreement in the first place. The P&L was already hemorrhaging, but the cost of not following through would have been more expensive to the company in the long run.

There’s nothing wrong with asking to be released from a commitment. But if we can’t get free, then we need to make good on it. If we try living true to ourselves at the expense of others, it’ll cost us our relationships, our success, ultimately everything of real and lasting value.

BONUS Article: Demonstrate Your Commitment to Networking ~ Here’s How

MichaelHyattCopyright © 2014 – Michael Hyatt. Michael Hyatt, one of the top business bloggers in the world, provides down-to-earth guidance for building and expanding a powerful platform. Michael is the former Chairman and CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers, the seventh largest trade book publishing company in the U.S. I have worked in the book publishing industry for most of my career. He is the author of Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World (Thomas Nelson). It is a New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestseller. Recently, Forbes magazine named me one of the “Top 10 Online Marketing Experts To Follow In 2014.” Visit Michael’s Blog @ http://MichaelHyatt.com/

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

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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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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Demonstrate Your Commitment to Networking ~ Here’s How

With all the busy demands on our time made by our business, professional and personal lives, it’s easy to assign a lower priority to networking as an activity designed to meet new people. Your time is valuable. You have to assess key reasons as to why you need to be at your networking meetings consistently.

NetMeetingCommitmentWhen you belong to a business networking group it’s important to maintain a level of loyalty to the group. There are very few genuine excuses that I would accept for not being at “every” meeting.

An excuse that often comes up is, “I have an important meeting with a client and cannot attend.” Really? Have you ever considered that you might have a lot to gain by inviting your client or business acquaintance to your networking meeting, introduce them to others in your network and have your meeting with them after the meeting or reschedule for later. Why wouldn’t you want to help your client widen their center of influence and contacts?

The first time I did this I was scheduled to make a presentation to the group and thought this would be a good time for my client to see me in action. He was impressed that I also gave 4 business referrals to four members.

I know. This may not make sense to some. I’ve been networking long before we called it networking and I have had numerous instances when a client wanted to meet on the day of my networking meeting and I have explained that I have a weekly (or monthly) meeting commitment and would like for them to join me for lunch (or breakfast) with my group. It doesn’t hurt to ask. Several potential clients went so far as to join my group. One client was so impressed with my commitment that she came to the meeting and two of the members actually ended up doing business with her. An unexpected result.

“When was the last time you invited a referral source to a networking event? Introducing him to other businesspeople you know gives your source an opportunity to meet others in your target market and may also provide new business opportunities.” ~ Ivan Misner

The clients you invite to come to the meeting with you do not necessarily have to be a good addition to your group. Your intention is not to recruit them into your group – although that could happen – it’s to allow them to see you in action within your group and to let them be an important part of your networking community for an hour or so. There may be no more powerful way to demonstrate your commitment to networking than to invite them to visit your group with you. Every client that I have ever invited to visit one of my networking meetings has thanked me for the invitation and has been impressed that I would think to do it.

“Networking can be your life support. It can propel you to the next level professionally, while simultaneously enhancing different aspects of your personal life.” ~ Amanda Ebokosia

By the way… let’s stop calling business networking groups “leads” groups! I recommend calling them “referral” groups. There is a distinction that networkers must learn. There is a BIG difference between a lead and a referral. It’s very important to know the difference if you want to be a successful networker. Here’s why. Read: “Is It a Lead or a Referral?

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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