Networking HQ BLOG with Larry James

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Plan a “Mix & Mingle” of Your Own at Your Office

Filed under: Mix & Mingle,Networking — Larry James @ 7:30 am
Tags: , , ,

Stay connected by planning a FREE “Mix & Mingle” at your office. A mix and mingle is typically a networking event on a more casual level that provides an opportunity for business professionals to mix and mingle with other professionals, and perspective clients.

Prepare a flyer and invite fifteen to twenty friends to an informal get-together. Don’t invite all your friends… a few close friends, maybe. The object is to offer an opportunity to meet new people and to get to know them better. Ask others to bring someone they would like to get to know better.

Mix&MingleHave a little wine and cheese or soft drinks and snacks. Tell them to come with a positive mental attitude, bring lots of business cards and enjoy a little unwind time! People with energy and enthusiasm are more attractive to fellow networkers. Let them get to know you and each other on a social level. Offer a brief tour of your office. One and a half to two hours is plenty.

If you are shy or awkward in professional networking situations, this is an opportunity to network in a very casual atmosphere. This kind of event will help your shy networking friends to overcome minglephobia.

“You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation.” ~ Plato

When they arrive, ask them to deposit their business card in the fish bowl. Have a drawing. Give something of value away; a gift certificate to a great restaurant, a popular networking book, one of your products, etc. Review the business cards the next day and follow up on the people you need to get to know better. This is also a good way to develop a mailing list.

Provide nametags. I recommend the plastic business card holders. This will assist the people in your network to associate the names with the businesses.

You may want to offer my definition of networking as a theme or guideline for the event:

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!

Help them get acquainted. About a half hour into the “mixer,” ask for everyone’s attention. Offer a welcome, make a few brief remarks about your business, and invite them to mix with others, exchange business cards and thank them for coming. Let them know there will be no “selling,” but encourage them to meet, greet and talk with as many people as they can. Make a toast to “networking!”

You may want to offer a few networking tips that have worked for you. For example, instead of asking, “What do you do?” encourage them to ask, “How did you get started (doing what you do)?” Print a few networking tips on your letterhead to give out.

Ask if there is anyone that has a special need to meet someone? See if you can help them make the connection. People are there to grip and grin, be liked, meet new people, gather information, and then move on to talk with someone else. Make the most of the time that you spend with everyone you meet.

Social connections are important. They allow you to mix business and pleasure. They let you feel comfortable with talking business in a relaxed setting.

Be creative when you stay connected. As they leave, give them something with your name, phone number and Website on it; e.g., a business card, flyer, etc.

netHQCopyright © 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!”

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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Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
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Saturday, August 3, 2013

Networking How-to: Mix Business With Pleasure

Filed under: Guest Author Articles,Mix & Mingle,Networking Tip — Larry James @ 8:30 am
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Kathy McAfee, Guest Author

It’s summer and that means BBQ’s, get togethers with friends, parties, celebrations and vacations!

NetPartyYou are probably looking forward to a little down time and the last thing you want to bring along is your business card. After all, who wants to talk business on your holiday? I do.

Social events don’t preclude networking

This past weekend, I attended my neighbor’s outdoor party. It was her father’s 85 birthday and their 17th wedding anniversary. They invited close to 75 people, rented a large white tent, had it catered with fabulous Polish food, and even hired a musician with an Accordion for live entertainment. They are originally from Poland and have built up an enormous support network across the area.

The heat index this past weekend was wicked and we all dressed as nicely as we could, while wearing light weight fabrics. Since I live nearby and was walking to the party from my house. I considered leaving my purse behind. But I knew that I would want access to my business cards, just in case. My business card philosophy is “never leave home without them.”

Sure enough, an opportunity presented itself. I was getting to know one guest who told me that her job included developing and managing the special education curriculum for a near-by school system. It made me think of a networking conversation that I had with a friend just the other day regarding a job opening in his department. He was searching for someone to help him develop new courses for an online university and asked if I knew anyone who would be interested. I told him that I would keep my eyes and ears open.

Standing before me at this weekend party was someone that might be a good fit. So I shared what I knew about the job opening with her and asked her if she might be interested in it. She then mentioned a good friend of hers who might be perfect for the position. I offered my business card (thankfully I had one with me) and asked her to email me after the party, so we could connect her friend with my friend.

It may be a long shot, but it felt good that she and I were helping other people (and potentially reducing the unemployment rate!). Having my business card with me helped to create a bridge for follow up. Without it, neither of us might have remembered our conversation or had the contact information easily available for follow up.

Bringing your business cards with you to social events allows you act on spontaneous opportunities, helping others, even on ‘down time.”

Being tactful is important when you mix business with pleasure. Your spouse or date may not appreciate your habit of mixing business with pleasure. Your timing, approach and intention are important factors in helping people feel more comfortable and open to combining business discussions with social activities.

What happens if you cross the line?

Mix these past networking tips at your next summer social

Three steps to trim your social media contacts down to a more manageable size –
http://networkingahead.com/networking-how-to-cull-your-contacts/

Why you should make a daily practice of picking up the telephone to speak to your clients –
http://networkingahead.com/networking-how-to-dial-for-dollars/

Increase your productivity with these savvy tips from productivity expert, Neen James –
http://networkingahead.com/networking-how-to-employ-the-15-minute-rule-of-productivity/

How raising your hand for opportunity can change the trajectory of your career. Read Deirdre Quinn’s story –
http://networkingahead.com/networking-how-to-carpe-diem/

If you are introvert, you must read this -it will change your life –
http://networkingahead.com/networking-how-to-embrace-your-inner-introvert/

kathynetHQCopyright 2013 – Kathy McAfee. Kathy McAfee is America’s Marketing Motivator and author of the book, “Networking Ahead for Business.” In her role as an Executive Presentation Coach and Motivational Speaker, Kathy helps her clients become the recognized leaders in their field by mastering the arts of high engagement presentations and more effective networking. Learn more at her Website: MarketingMotivator.net and NetworkingAhead.com.

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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/

Friday, August 24, 2012

Put Your Focus Where it Belongs When Networking

Filed under: Connectors,Mix & Mingle,Networking Tip — Larry James @ 7:00 am
Tags: , ,

Many people who don’t like to network also don’t like talking about themselves. They find networking difficult or stressful. You are not alone.

If your idea of networking is pitching your product or service to as many people as you can, you’re assuming the “hunter” role. Instead of viewing others in your network as prey, view them as someone you may want to know better.

focusFocus! Stop trying to make a sale! That should cause you to feel a little less stressful. Focus on “quality of connections!” Effective networking begins with a decision to connect. You will feel less pressure, and the experience will be much more pleasant.

The good news is there is a better way. Networking professionals don’t talk about themselves. If you do all the talking, how can you possibly qualify someone that you might like to work with? Networking should be beneficial to both of you.

In fact, spend the first part of the conversation asking thoughtful questions about the person you meet. Spend your time getting to know the other person. Be engaged and engaging. Be friendly and very curious about them and gain as much information as you can. Demonstrate a sincere interest in them. Use their name often in the conversation. Be humble.

If you think that you never know what to say, come prepared with a few questions that will take the focus off you so you can learn more about them. Find out what their issues and challenges are. Think long term. Is this someone I would like to include in my network? Networking is a long term business and contact building effort.

targetothersAsk open ended questions to keep the conversation going. An open-ended question is designed to encourage a full, meaningful answer using the subject’s own knowledge and/or feelings. It is the opposite of a closed-ended question, which encourages a short or single-word answer (yes or no). This is when it is time to be a good listener. Give them your undivided attention and look for ways to connect with them and support them. Find out how you can help them. Networking is not about only getting what you want, it’s about meeting people, building relationships, and supporting others to get what they want.

Give them more questions. This takes the target off you and pins it on the person you are talking with. People love to talk about their business. It’s up to you to give them the opportunity. This sets the law of reciprocity in motion.

“The law of reciprocity sets in motion in-kind responses of individuals based on the actions of others. I like to call this the ‘givers gain®’ approach. It takes the focus off of what you stand to gain from the networking relationship, and in doing so, creates bonds based on trust and friendship. Put it to the test. You’ll be amazed by the outcome.” ~ Ivan Misner

Never allow yourself to be monopolized by one person. Five to seven minutes is an ideal amount of time to spend with anyone.
It will help you discover if the person is a deadbeat and just trying to pitch you. If the person doesn’t turn out to be the right contact you were hoping to connect with, it is perfectly acceptable to excuse yourself politely and gracefully move on.

Don’t focus on yourself. Put your focus where it belongs; on the other person. Doing so will help you increase your chances for networking success.

BONUS Article: Exit Strategies From Networking Bores!

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/

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Host(ess) With the Most(est)

Filed under: BE the Host!,Guest Author Articles,Mix & Mingle — Larry James @ 7:00 am
Tags: ,

Andy Lopata, Guest Author

Many networking experts – including Larry James – recommend that you “act the host” at an event as a great way of meeting lots of people, encouraging others to feel at ease and feeling confident.

man&womanshakinghandsThis is essential if it’s your event but also useful if you attend something regularly. Done properly, the impact you make on other people can be very powerful.

Last week I attended an event hosted by Women in Banking and Finance (WiBF) for their speakers, committee and sponsors. I had the pleasure of speaking for WiBF late last year at Citi and welcomed the early opportunity to carry on building some of the relationships I had made that evening and previously.

Sylvana Caloni is the President of WiBF and was hosting the event last Wednesday. Not content with just meeting and greeting everyone, Sylvana was a hive of activity. She knew everyone present and who they should be meeting and she was continually making introductions.

I benefited personally from about five very strong introductions made by Sylvana. Not only did she introduce me to people, she explained to both parties who the other person was and why we should be talking to each other. The ice was broken and constructive conversations were the outcome each time.

If I wanted to meet someone in particular, Sylvana made it happen.

When you have the opportunity to introduce people at an event, whether you are the host or not, take a leaf from Sylvana’s book and grab it. People are always grateful to the introducer when a new connection turns out to be a positive one, so look for the chance to make those introductions.

BONUS Article: At a Networking Event, BE the Host!

recommended

Click cover to order!

andynetHQ

Copyright © 2012 – 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/

Sunday, January 1, 2012

You Can’t Network if You Dance With Who Brung You!

Filed under: Mix & Mingle — Larry James @ 9:00 am

In other words, if you attend a networking event or meeting and only hang out with or sit with the people in your own office or friends that you already know, you’re wasting your time. It’s natural to huddle with your friends because it makes us feel safe, but it borders on being anti-social.

womenshakehandsNetworking is about mixing, mingling and meeting new people. Most of us are not born minglers. Practice and preparation will help you develop the skills it takes to be an effective networker. You must get out of your comfort zone and work the room. Be brave. You can’t be shy while networking and expect results. Make it a choice to have fun as you reach out to new contacts to introduce yourself and build some new relationships.

Say “Hello” to all wall flowers. Just don’t be one. Interact with strangers. Help them by making introductions to others you’ve met already. As difficult or awkward as it may feel at first, the ability to meet and make a positive impression on anyone will become easier the more you are willing to do it. Do yourself a favor and as quickly as possible determine what you have in common with other people there. Talk about that.

Ask questions and really “listen” to the answers. The answers often lead you to new conversations. The goal of the conversation is to learn as much as you can about the person you are meeting, NOT to talk about yourself.

Some people may not respond to your introduction in the way you would like. Never take it personal. If that happens, excuse yourself and move on. The person you think is rejecting you may just be preoccupied with his or her personal stuff.

It’s fine to attend with someone else for morale support, however when you get there you and your friend should split up. After the event you may want to hook-up with your friend and compare notes, but don’t let me catch you hanging out together. 😉

Always remember how important it is for you to physically move around the room. You can accomplish much more and be much more efficient when – as “The Efficiency Coach” says – “divide and conquer!”

BONUS Article: Working a Room If You’re SHY – No Pills Required

netHQ

Copyright © 2012 – Larry James. 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.

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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