Networking HQ BLOG with Larry James

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Be an Information Hub

Filed under: Get Noticed,Networking — Larry James @ 8:00 am

The most successful networkers I know are truly “information hubs.” They are not only on the lookout for business leads for their networking buddies, they pass along valuable bits of information, tips, creative ideas and more as well.

infohubCreate “relevancy” with your networking friends. Be on the lookout for creative ideas, tips, etc., that are relevant to their business. Relevance makes people choose you and your company over others. Hear of a good deal? Tell the others in your network of support.

Pass along a Tweet about someone’s business to your followers – along with a link to their Website. Sometimes I do this without telling them, knowing that we are so well connected that they will soon hear about it from someone else. People love good news – it will help keep you on the top of your customers’ minds.

Always offer additional insight when you can. Be well read. Become a repository of the great information. Have something worthwhile to say (that will assist them with their business) and be able to say it well. Good communication is an art and networkers who master the subtle nuances involved when it comes to talking to other networkers can be far more effective than those who don’t. Be on the lookout for what other people need.

Scan the local newspapers and magazines for articles that might have ideas that can solve one of their problems. If you see a great article in a business magazine that effectively addresses a current and/or difficult issue a fellow networker is facing, send them a copy of the article with a brief note with your business card, “Charlie, I thought this might interest you.” If you bump into a Website or Blog that might be of interest, send them the link by e-mail.

Ask lots of questions to discover ways you can assist others. Talking before listening is a no-no. Listen to their “elevator pitch” (I call it a “30-second Connection“) for clues of how you might help. Talk about “their” business, not yours. Discover “their” needs before offering your ideas, suggestions, etc. If they publish an eZINE or e-mail newsletter ask to be on their list. Get on their Twitter list and take a look at their Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn pages. Watch for ways you can help.

Savvy networkers know that if you want to boost loyalty among others in your network you have to become a powerful resource for them. It’s a great way to create attention for you and your business.

puzzlehubMy friend, Kristi Lee in the Greater Phoenix area, is a great example of that. She is the Founding Partner & Director of Marketing at Bridging The Gap Consulting – a firm that specializes in cultural sensitivity training, conversational business Chinese, corporate and individual training on how to conduct business in China. She is the winner of the “2011 Positively Powerful Woman Award for Nonprofit Leadership.” She has a successful network marketing business with Send Out Cards and received the prestigious “Freedom Award” voted by the top leaders of Send Out Cards in Arizona for “Exceptional Leadership and Dedication.” Kristi is one of the most enthusiastic and highly proficient networkers I have ever met. She lives, breathes and eats networking and is always ready with creative ideas that will help you market your business. She is the best example of someone who is an “information hub” that I know.

By sharing great ideas, information, tips, etc., you are building a psychological debt and although you do it without expecting anything in return (that way you won’t be disappointed if they don’t reciprocate) it is more likely that they will also begin to look for a way to repay you with ideas, information, tips, etc., or better yet – quality business leads. By doing this the debt is paid.

“Get creative, think outside of the box. Keep asking yourself, what are my customer’s and prospect’s problems, needs, concerns, and challenges that have nothing to do with my products or services?” ~ Tim Connor

Are “you” an information hub or a walking, talking brochure who speaks only of “your” business? Others in your network are making snap judgments about you and the way you present yourself. Being an information hub makes you a major competitor – someone who is ready to share what they know without expecting anything in return.

Becoming a great networker is like everything else. You have to work at it. Become a source of information – it creates credibility and confidence. It moves you to a position of influence. It’s also a terrific marketing strategy and business lead generator for you and your business. Begin today to brand yourself as an “information hub.”

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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/

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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Be Seen!

Filed under: Get Noticed,Networking Tip — Larry James @ 8:00 am

Don’t keep yourself a secret! Be seen – and heard! Put your fears aside, your intimidation in the closet, and your insecurities to rest. If you want to be successful in business networking, you must put yourself out there – be engaged. Get out of your comfort zone. Be genuinely interested in the people who are there. Smile and relax. Shake hands with people. Introduce yourself.

BEseenAll types of personalities – both introverted and extroverted – attend networking events. All it takes is good listening skills, good conversation, and the willingness to start building long-lasting business relationships. Feeling anxious, nervous, self-conscious, and exposed? Sorry, but you need to get over that. Proceed with confidence. My friend, Tom Hopkins says, “practice, drill and rehearse.” I say, “practice does not make you perfect, it makes you much better!”

There are several people that you always want to be sure to network with at an event: the speaker (if any), the event host/organizer, and the person doing registration and sign-in. Why? Because they see and usually know who is there and who it is important to hang out with. Make sure they know who you are – from the beginning of the event. Get involved. Participate.

“The physical act of walking into the event may be the hardest part, especially if you don’t know a soul. So take a deep breath, stand tall, and walk into the center of the room, rather than stopping just inside the door to clog traffic or bee-lining for a dark corner.” ~ Susan RoAne, author of “How to Work a Room

When you enter an event, never head straight for the bar, the buffet, or your seat. It’s best to eat before you arrive so you can devote all your time to making yourself known. By not eating you won’t talk with your mouth full. By not drinking alcohol, you won’t stumble over your words or end up with a lampshade on your head. Have a Pepsi. Hold it in your left hand so when you shake hands you won’t have to apologize for your cold hand. Image and how you present yourself is high on the list of things you must learn to manage when networking.

You must develop a strategy for being seen at networking events. Hang out by the door. Watch who enters. Read name tags. Look for people you have want to connect with. Do something to really stand out. To make an even bigger splash, offer to present at an event. Never be pushy or arrogant to be seen or be heard. Think outside the box. Demonstrating your creatively is often a good call.

standOUTIf given the opportunity to introduce yourself – do it with pizazz. Don’t be ordinary. Be extra-ordinary! Up the ante – jazz up your “30 second” connection. Focus on your Unique Selling Point (USP) – it is what sets you and your business — or you as an individual — apart from your competition. It can be an actual fact or a perceived difference or specialty. Every networker needs one.

“Observe people you consider to be good shmoozers. Note what behaviors are effective and try to add them to your skill set. The art here is to still be yourself at the same time. Think of it as an adjustment to your approach rather than a complete redo.” ~ Mark Meshulam

It is important to not sell your services or products or talk about them in an effort to be seen. Hmmm. Ignore this and you are on your way to becoming a nuisance. This turns people off. It’s the wrong kind of attention you want. The only thing you should be selling is yourself.

“My advice is to start networking to get noticed, but remember that (at first), no one cares about you. It’s a harsh reality but I’m willing to bet that aside from your family or significant other, no one–not your boss, colleagues or friends–are staying up late thinking, “I wonder how I can help Julie make more money, find new customers, grow her biz…” If you want it, you have to make it happen. ~ Bryan Elliott

Never go up to others at a networking and start talking of all your amazing achievements – you should be able to spin this through a conversation that ideally starts with a question. Learn to come across as intellectually curious in others. If you really want to call attention to yourself, ask other people a little bit about themselves… and really listen!

BONUS Article: Do You Have an Effective “30 Second Connection?”
Shy, eh? Get Over It!
At a Networking Event, BE the Host!

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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.

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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