Networking HQ BLOG with Larry James

Thursday, November 6, 2014

How Many Times Do I Have to Tell You. . .

My dear mother used to say this to me as I was learning something new. Sometimes you have to hear something more than once to begin to realize that it really works.

How many times to I have to tell you that business networking is NOT about selling! It’s about building meaningful relationships. It’s about helping others.

NETnoSELLINGIt is NOT about collecting business cards or making sales presentations. You cannot build trust in relationships and friendship with others if your only goal is to talk about yourself and pass out business cards.

People do not like to be talked at or sold to. While some may be polite and listen to your detailed advertising tirades, the likelihood of a follow-up is practically nonexistent.

Networking is NOT about chowing down at the snack table. If you are hungry, eat before you come to the meeting. Remember, you are there to network, not to stuff your face and miss out on opportunity.

Networking is about building a network of support. These are people who like you and trust you and are willing to step forward and help you in anyway they can. Once you establish a quality relationship with them they will most likely refer you. They are the ones who are “count-on-able.” You can count on them when you need assistance.

Also read: “Networking Defined.”

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.

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/
Visit Larry James on LinkedIn

Advertisements

Monday, August 18, 2014

Elevate Your Networking Game

There are all kinds of people in networking. Some are confident and some are not. Self-confidence is important if you are going to be successful as you network.

Confidence is a strange quality. Most people don’t have anywhere near enough to push them forward to undertake tricky challenges. Our confidence is affected by a huge number of factors, including how we were brought up when we were young, our parents’ style and approach, the equality and strength of our relationships, and our own ability to maintain a positive self-image. Self-confidence can be gained only through practical know-how; know-how comes from knowledge and experience, and experience can be gleaned only through a willingness to confront obstacles and situations that others ordinarily fear. It is much easier to overcome any fear with a high level of self-confidence.

ElevateNETgameIf you are anything but a natural networker, you may obsessively worry about coming across as someone who lack confidence in your networking abilities. If you are tired of collecting business cards and funneling names into your contact database without actually getting anywhere you may want to think about what you must do to convert those names into friends who like and trust you and who are willing to pass referrals to you on a regular basis.

Profitable networking isn’t about generating leads or making a pitch-perfect impression that gets the sale on the spot. Networking isn’t about selling… it’s about developing long-lasting relationships. Perhaps more confidence in your networking abilities are required. Today’s competitive market and challenging economic climate mean you have to always be at the top of your game.

Confidence in yourself helps you deal honestly with your shortcomings and compels you to make corrections consistently. Confidence in yourself gives you a clear vision of your goal and creates desire that is strong enough to sweep away all obstacles. Confidence in yourself is the key to all achievement. It reinforces ability, doubles energy, expands mental facilities, and increases your personal power.

The real secret of successful networkers is the absolute confidence they have in themselves, their network, and their networking abilities. Those abilities come from doing what other successful networkers do and from being on a continuous journey of learning new techniques that work. Real confidence in yourself is always demonstrated by action.

Your network is your net-worth. Small-group and partner training programs are hot options. Better networking education in general may be the most important strategy for gaining a competitive edge. If you’re not staying current with the hottest networking ideas and getting better at what you do, your self-confidence will stagnate. Hopefully you will do everything you can to boost your self-confidence and elevate your game.

BONUS Article: Boosting Your Confidence – Grow Faith in Yourself and your Business

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.

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/

Monday, April 4, 2011

Networking Lite

Filed under: Networking Article — Larry James @ 7:00 am

Who are those people who subscribe to the “Networking Lite” philosophy?

Think about it. Have you ever been to a networking meeting or event where you met someone who – by all outward appearances – seemed excited to meet you, promised to give you a call to schedule a time to get together to get better acquainted. . . and you never heard from them again?

“One of the biggest mistakes you can make in networking is to dismiss someone too early, to assume that he or she has nothing to offer you because of his or her professional background or some other reason, and not pursue the relationship.” ~ Ivan Misner

How about the person who shoves a business card at you, quickly tries to sell you their product or service while all the time looking over your shoulder for their next victim?

Some have a cocktail in one hand, business cards in the other and a pre-rehearsed elevator speech always at the ready. They can also be found chowing down on finger food. My question is this: “Did you come to network or eat?” They are not influential people – they downgrade networking to a activity that is scorned by the masses.

Yawn! Borrring! May they RIP! 😉

These people are the lightweights of business networking. They are often silently called, “networking jerks.” This kind of relationship-building process is what has come to represent the general population of those who network in the business arena, and it’s not just yawn-inducing, it’s also highly ineffective. I often wonder why they even bother to network. It’s no wonder they are so aggressive. Networking is not working for them and they wonder why. Panic sets in and they eventually move on to something else. They are the ones who give networking its bad name.

network$$.jpgThe heavyweights know that networking is not about them. They have a true sense of helping others. They take time to build relationships. They take the time necessary to get to know you on a personal level. They quietly invite you into their network of support and genuinely are interested in how they can be of service to you. They know that making money from business networking only comes “after” the relationships are secure and “trust” has been established.

Consistency of effort is their watchword. They display confidence in everything they do. They have learned to “work a room” without it looking like they are working the room. They have learned that last impressions also can be lasting impressions. They are smart enough to not overstay their welcome, in a conversation or at an event. They are business-minded individuals, not boring, unsophisticated leaches you work to avoid. These are people who have a passion and a flair for developing a creative community of business support and they share it with no expectations of getting anything in return.

“Networking is. . . using your creative talents to help others achieve their goals as you cultivate a network of people strategically positioned to support you in your goals. . . expecting nothing in return!” ~ Larry James

The collective wisdom of most of the networking gurus I know is to have a strategy in mind before you get to a networking event, know what you want to say and to whom you want to say it. In other words, have a goal going in so you can make the best of the time you spend there. The beauty of your network of support is that the people in it also know other people.

Please people. . . no more “networking lite!” Become a heavyweight. Study and get to know the intricacies of networking. Understanding the intricacies of networking is what thoughtful business owners and major corporations consider a must know “survival tool.” There is no such thing as a perfect networker. Doing it right is a learned skill. Networking is not a game. It has become a core success skill. It is a legitimate way to help others and develop your own personal network of support – people who have the same mindset that you do. There are human psychological and sociological insights that must be learned.

Networking is all about giving. My friend, Bob Burg, author of “Endless Referrals: Network Your Everyday Contacts into Sales,” and “The Go-Giver: A Little Story About a Powerful Business Idea,” writes that the “superstar, mega-successful, high-dollar-earning rainmaker is the greatest and most active giver you know. He is constantly referring business to others. She is always on the lookout for a piece of information that will interest someone in her network of friends and prospects.”

I’ve been “helping others help themselves” for many years. The journey that led to my immersion in the mechanics of business networking began when I was ten years old. I came from a great family and they were poor. My mother helped me buy my first bicycle (a used one for $10 from a neighbor down the street – Jay Bayless, Topeka, KS), put a big basket on it and filled it with a few products that I sold door-to-door until I graduated from high school.

barberpoleBack then, haircuts were 25 cents (Opps! Guess I’m dating myself. ;-)) and while getting a “burr” haircut I would hear the men in the other barber chairs talk about their businesses, give leads to each other and talk about how great it was to be in the “good old boys club.” This was before the word “networking” exsisted. Eventually they would see my bike basket filled with stuff and parked next to the barber shop sign and would ask me what I was doing. Before long I had a regular clientele of old guys buying my stuff to take home to their wives.

Today my businesses are almost entirely based on the strength of my network. These are people I know well, can trust and with whom I share ideas that can forward the momentum of our businesses.

Business networking is the best way of shaping collaboration between friends and business associates.

netHQ

Copyright © 2011 – Larry James. Larry James is a Professional Speaker, Author and Coach. Larry James presents networking seminars nationally and offers Networking coaching; one-on-one or for your Networking Group! Invite Larry James to speak to your group! His latest book is, Ten Commitments of Networking: Creative Ways to Maximize Your Personal Connections! Something NEW about Networking is posted on this Networking BLOG every 4th day! Visit Larry’s Networking Website at: “Networking HQ!”

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

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

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/

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Knowledge Versus Belief

Filed under: Guest Author Articles,Networking Article,Personal Growth — Larry James @ 7:00 am
Tags:

Greg Peters, Guest Author

One of the challenges of networking for a lot of people (including myself at times) is the old “knowledge versus belief” problem. We know that the best long-term strategy to succeed in our business and personal life is developing strong relationships through networking. The problem is we don’t always believe it. What else could cause us to try to sell at a networking event, despite the fact that the numbers don’t support it?

gregpeters

Greg Peters

Okay, so most of us aren’t that blatant about it, but sometimes when we’re talking to someone we hear that voice in the back of our heads saying “This guy is never going to need my widgets. I should go talk with someone else.” We’re ignoring the fact that, while he doesn’t need our product, his sister very well might – and we’re never going to discover that until we learn more about him and who he is.

So, how do we embed this belief into our hearts? Maybe it just takes a mental exercise.

You’ve probably heard about keeping a “Victory List”. For those who haven’t, the idea is to make a list of all of the victories you’ve had in your life. Then you periodically look back on it to give you confidence that you can achieve even more in the future. This is a great practice and I definitely think everyone should maintain such a list. Here’s the twist on it, though. Each night when we do our networking scorecard, or do our planning for the next day, or even just after we turn out the lights, we should take something from that list and reflect on how many people helped us get there.

Who were the teachers who gave us the knowledge? Who were the coaches who pointed the way? Who were the friends and family who supported us? Who were the heroes who inspired us? Who were the partners who contributed their effort? Who were the connections who made the introductions? Who were the advocates who went to bat for us?

In short, who made it possible for us to succeed?

If we do this exercise just a few times, it quickly becomes apparent how much more important the relationship is than the sale. If we do it daily for a few weeks, we’ll be a lot less likely to slip into “sales thinking” and be a lot more likely to look for ways to connect which each new person you meet.

BONUS Articles:Networking and Selling DO NOT Mix!
Sell Yourself. . . NOT Your Services!

netHQCopyright © 2011 – Greg Peters. Reprinted with permission. Greg Peters built a thriving Web development business over the last fifteen years using only the networking skills he developed during that time. A computer programmer by training, he was the original reluctant networker. Through study, practice, and lots of trial and error, however, he has been able to transform himself into a networking superhero — a transformation he would like to help all entrepreneurs make.

Greg now has a coaching practice helping people develop their skills to build better connections and stronger networks. In addition to his blog, “The Reluctant Networker“, he also speaks to groups regularly on the topic of good networking practice

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

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

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

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/

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Monkey See, Monkey Do! – Be a Change Agent!

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

You’re at a networking event. Check out the scene.

Does anyone look like they know what they are doing? Or. . .are they running around passing out and collecting as many business cards as they can stuff in their pockets or purses? How smart is that? That is NOT networking!

followtheleaderNetworking is NOT about you! It’s about helping others.

It’s not some last-minute thing you do to save your business from the brink. Developing new relationships take time.

I love networking. It is what helped get me to where I am today. Networking got me interviewed by Barbara Walters on ABC TV’s “The View.” It helped me connect with a major book distributor which put my books on the shelves of nearly every major book store in the U.S. It helped me connect with international publishers who now print my networking book (Ten Commitments of Networking) in 11 countries world-wide. It didn’t happen by attending an event and collecting business cards and it certainly didn’t happen over night.

It took patience, persistence and a sincere desire to help others first. Networking is a breeze and it really works if you do it right. Do it right and if you are really well connected you can find out what you want in 2 to 3 phone calls to others in your network of support.

If you always do what you’ve always done, you will always get, what you’ve always got! Perhaps it time for all of us to be different and do things – meaning networking – differently. Don’t be like everyone else. Hang out. Observe. Pay attention to what is going on in the room and venture outside the ordinary. Monkey see, monkey do may not be your best strategy. How far do you think following someone who doesn’t really know what they are doing get you?

toteachistolearnFollow in the footsteps of the networking experts – the leaders – who religiously follow networking protocol. Evolutionary psychology tells us that people follow because the benefits of doing so outweigh the costs of going it alone or fighting to become the leader of a group. Tune in to the leaders who have studied the many benefits of business networking and learned to put others ahead of their own interests. Read their books. Attend their seminars. Follow their networking blog. Ask them to mentor you. Explore all the possibilities of effective networking.

People respond differently when you show a sincere interest in them. After all, the primary strategy in networking is building long-term business relationships – the benefit of which shows up after trust is established and eventually as someone with whom you can exchange business ideas, discuss ways to promote your business, business leads and more. The long-term effect is “win-win” for everyone!

When you attend networking events and do what everyone else is doing, I can assure you that will not work.

Be different. People who are intentionally different stand out in a good way. Be a change agent. Make it part of your mission to help teach others how to effectively network by being a good example.

Plug into the networking experts. Find someone who will push you to become a better networker. You can learn what you need to know and teach what you’ve learned by following them. Offer to speak to your networking group and other networking groups about what you have learned. Learn and serve. When you do, you step into a new world of networking possibilities. I guarantee it!

netHQ

Copyright © 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! 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!” Larry James provides “Networking Coaching” one-on-one and to networking groups!

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, March 11, 2011

Premature Solicitation & Other Networking Nightmares

Filed under: Guest Author Articles,Networking Article — Larry James @ 7:00 am
Tags:

Michelle Villalobos (vee – ya – low – bos), Guest Author

Question: What do you call it when someone hands you a business card before you’ve even had a chance to speak?

Answer: “Premature Solicitation!”

If you network at ALL then I’m sure you’ve met this guy… the guy that walks up to a group of people and hands out his business card like he’s dealing blackjack. And I’ll bet you’ve rolled your eyes and thought (I’m definitely NOT calling THAT guy). Eeeeew.

networking2Bad networking is bad news.

Despite the annoying parts, networking (the right way) has truly transformed my business. It has directly translated into revenues by generating new readers for this newsletter, traffic to our events, and a viral, word-of-mouth effect that has grown our email list into the several thousands in just over a of year!

Unfortunately, while I’m out there, I experience lots of wimpy handshakes, over-eager salespeople, lack of eye contact, rudeness, close talking, bad breath, failure to follow up (which, by the way, the MAJORITY of people who network admit to)… and more. Ugh.

But there’s hope! Here’s a little secret: when I started “networking” (I use the term loosely), I was terrible at it.

I used to walk into events terrified of meeting new people, I’d immediately find and cling to people I already knew – the entire night (poor them). I used to hand out my business card with abandon, try to sell people on what I was offering right there and then, and I used to follow up, well, let’s just say sporadically.

What I overlooked was that trust is at the core of strong business relationships, and trust takes time to build. That said, it begins the moment you meet someone – sometimes before.

Here are some of my favorite networking do’s and DON’Ts to quickly build like and rapport, so you’re on your way to building trust and turning all that hand-shaking into deal-making.

I’ve also linked to the full-length audio from Stop Drowning in Business Cards, about how to turn all those business CARDS you’ll gather into BUSINESS.

1. Check your attitude. When you walk into an event, make sure you’re in a great mood. I always play a song that pumps me up in my car before I go in. (A great pick-me-up: “Send Me On My Way” by Rusted Root.)

2. Make MORE eye contact. Sustained eye contact generates immediate feelings of like and trust. Try to hold eye contact for a few seconds longer than you’re comfortable with, and watch what happens… It’s amazing.

3. Wear a name tag if one is offered, and wear it on the right side, not the left (it makes it more conspicuous when you shake hands).

4. A good, firm handshake is essential for BOTH men and women. Women should never use the dainty “fingertip handshake” in business.

5. When shaking hands (firmly, of course), make sure that your palm is perpendicular to the floor. Palm up is a sign of submission and palm down implies you are dominant. The very nature of a handshake is to connote equality and balance. Make sure that’s what you’re doing.

6. Almost everyone feels out of place and awkward at a networker. You can use this to your advantage by acting like a host/hostess and introducing people to each other. People are usually grateful for the help.

7. When someone you know greets you while you’re talking to someone else (or in a group), always introduce the new arrival to the person (or people) you were talking to.

8. We all forget a name now and then. If it happens to you, just apologize and ‘fess up rather than ignore an introduction. “I’m so sorry, I keep wanting to call you Penelope because you remind me of my college roommate, Penelope, but I know that’s not your name…” People are usually not offended because it happens to them too!

9. When you do forget a name, laugh it off but don’t insult yourself, for example: “must be my Alzheimer’s” (especially if you’re older) or “blame my ADD” (especially if you’re young). These seemingly innocuous statements reinforce stereotypes and plant negative thoughts about your skills or qualifications.

10. Focus on who you’re speaking with, don’t let you eyes wander.

11. Put away your handheld (BlackBerry, iPhone) when talking to someone. Otherwise, the message you’re sending is: “Anyone who has my email address or my phone number is more important to me than you, even though you are right in front of me.”

12. If you must take a call, excuse yourself first and then do it. For example: “I’m sorry but I’ve been waiting for this call all day and I have to take it.” Then walk to a quiet, more secluded area to speak.

13. When talking with a group, distribute eye contact evenly. It’s human nature to focus on people we like, but often we inadvertently focus on one person to the exclusion of others. People notice this – even if only on a subconscious level.

14. Even if you’re a salesperson, don’t launch into a sales pitch upon meeting! LISTEN FIRST. People do business with people they like, so establish trust and rapport first, you can sell later.

15. What you can do is nail down your “elevator pitch” (actually I prefer “elevator teaser”) which is a quick and intriguing response to the question “What do you do?”

16. In your teaser, focus on the benefits (results) you provide rather than the features (process) of your business. For example, instead of saying: “I’m a personal trainer,” you could say: “I help people look better naked.” (yes, I stole that from David Barton Gym)

17. Don’t talk too much. If you tend to dominate conversations, practice asking questions.

18. Avoid using qualifiers that belittle what you do. For example, words like “only,” “try” or “just” have no place when you’re describing your business. As in “I just try to help companies with their computer needs,” or “I’m only a part-time teacher.” Lose the weak words and stick with the rest.

19. Take care to not “one-up” people. I know it’s difficult when someone tells a story and you have a better one, but at the very least, let them finish theirs and then offer yours – with references back to their story to show you were listening. (“I know how you felt, something similar happened to me once and the experience also made me…”)

20. Keep moving. Even if you’ve met someone great, remember that they may want to meet other people. If the rapport is strong and the opportunity promising, make plans to see each other again.

21. If you’re worried about offending someone by leaving them, a great way to move on is to say: “I’ve truly enjoyed talking with you and I’d like to pursue this conversation further – but there are some other people I need to speak with. May I have your card so I can follow up?”

22. The END of the conversation (or at least after some rapport has been established) is the appropriate time to exchange cards, not the beginning.

23. Don’t forget your Sharpie (of course!) Sharpies write on anything, even those annoying glossy cards that ballpoint pens, rollerballs and other markers won’t. If you need to follow up with someone, write FU (follow up, not you-know-what) on the front, then you write your notes on the back. Easy breezy to keep track just of the cards you need to follow up with.

24. Make sure you have a solid, consistent follow up process. For example mine starts with CardScan (once a week) and ends with this newsletter. Check out my program (this is the FULL version – free – aren’t you glad you read all the way down?) “Stop Drowning in Business Cards” here. It could help you figure out a way to balance the “one-to-one” networking model with a “one-to-many” model that’s more time effective and scalable.

25. Have fun!

Michelle Villalobos

Copyright © 2011 – Michelle Villalobos (vee – ya – low – bos). Reprinted with permission. Michelle Villalobos teaches business concepts and skills to professionals – especially women – in a fun, entertaining way. She specializes in topics of interpersonal communication, productivity and personality type, and how to apply them effectively for marketing, sales, networking and team-building. Visit Michelle’s Website and BLOG!

netHQLarry 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! 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/

Monday, March 7, 2011

Five Tips to Avoid a Common Disconnect at Networking Events

Filed under: Guest Author Articles,Networking Article — Larry James @ 7:00 am
Tags:

Ivan Misner, Guest Author

At a networking event not too long ago for which 500 people attended, the speaker who was on stage directly before my presentation asked the audience, “How many of you came here hoping to do some business today, maybe even make a sale?” The overwhelming majority of the people in the audience raised their hands. Then he asked, “How many of you are here hoping to buy something today?” Not one person raised a hand.

This is what I call networking disconnect. I find it ironic that people are so “disconnected” about a process that’s intended to be about connecting people. This kind of disconnect leads to poor results, which in turn leads people to believe that networking doesn’t work. From what I’ve experienced over the past 26 years, along with the results I’ve witnessed with hundreds of thousands of people around the world – networking works just fine.

My advice: Do not confuse direct selling with networking. Of course, there is always someone out there who says, “But, Ivan, I’ve made sales before by attending a networking event.” I’m not saying it doesn’t ever happen, but it occurs about as often as a solar eclipse. You’re crazy if you think the odds are in your favor to “sell” at a networking event.

So why go to a networking meeting?

You go because networking is more about farming than it is about hunting. Sometimes you go to increase your visibility and to connect with people you have never met. Sometimes you go to establish further credibility with people you know. And sometimes you may go to meet a long-time referral partner and do some business. In any case, the true master networkers know that networking events are about moving through the relationship process and not just about closing deals. Visibility leads to credibility which, with time and effort, leads to profitability.

In order to make your networking efforts work, you need to embrace a “relationship networking” mentality. Here are five things to remember when attending networking events:

1. Don’t go there to sell, go there to connect.
2. Have meaningful conversations with people you meet.
3. Follow up with people you found interesting or who you can help in some way. Don’t follow up to sell them something.
4. Meet these people in a one-to-one setting, learn more about them, and ask them: “how can I help you?
5. Go for the long-term relationship, not the short sale.

ivanmisnerNOTE: To order a copy of Ivan’s newest book, “Network Like a Pro” click here!

netHQ

Copyright © 2011 – Ivan Misner. Reprinted with permission. Called the father of modern networking, Dr. Ivan Misner is the Founder of BNI and the senior partner for the Referral Institute. He has written nine books, including his New York Times best seller, Truth or Delusion? Busting Networking’s Biggest Myths.

Larry James is a Professional Speaker, Author and 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/

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Networking Isn’t New!

Filed under: Networking Article — Larry James @ 7:00 am
Tags:

Rick Frishman, Guest Author

A number of recent publications have heralded networking as the new wonder drug that will enable you to thrive in either a slumping or a booming economy. They give the impression that simply by following a few relatively easy steps, presto chango, you can propel the smallest, most obscure business straight to the top of the Fortune Five Hundred list. Or you could meet the perfect partner, get the ideal job or otherwise strike the mother lode.

netwrking_magicFirst, lets clarify that networking isn’t new; it’s been around as long as our species. Until recently networking was referred to as being “well connected,” having “contacts” or a great Rolodex. It’s something we’ve heard about all of our lives, but with different names.

It’s an age-old process of exchanging leads, referrals, tips and recommendations; it’s mutual support alliances. Whenever someone recommends a restaurant, a travel agent or a book, that’s networking. Networking isn’t new and it isn’t some miraculous potion that you can gulp down at night before bed that will cure whatever ails you by the next morning.

Undeniably, networking is a valuable tool. Reports claim that over 80 percent of all jobs are obtained through networking. Clearly, networking can boost sales and increase profits. It can help you find a wonderful place to live, a great caterer and an endless stream of supportive services that will lighten your load. However, these benefits are little more than byproducts that emanate from something substantially larger and vastly more important.

The essence of networking is surrounding yourself with outstanding, caring and helpful people. It’s building mutually supportive relationships with those who will happily help you, it’s the process of making and spending time with close friends. Networking is more than a career, marketing or social tactic, it’s a way of life. And it doesn’t occur overnight!

New York attorney Richard Solomon put it best when he said, “The object in life is to be rich in the resource of people.” And we agree! Nothing is more important or will enrich your life as greatly as forging close personal relationships, which is what networking provides.

BONUS Article:Networking Defined!

netHQ

Copyright © 2011 – Rick Frishman. Reprinted with permission. Rick Frishman, the founder of Planned Television Arts, has been one of the leading book publicists in America for over 30 years. Rick is Publisher at Morgan James Publishing in New York. He is the co-author of ten books, including national best-sellers GUERRILLA PUBLICITY and NETWORKING MAGIC. More tips at http://www.RickFrishman.com.

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! 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!” Larry James provides “Networking Coaching” one-on-one and to networking groups!

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, February 11, 2011

Is Your Hype the Truth?

Filed under: Networking Article — Larry James @ 7:00 am

The honest truth is that before you will ever be able to do business with anyone in your networking circle of friends they will have to like you and trust you. PERIOD!

If there is any hint of unproveable hype, you will blow your chances. Part of your job is to instill confidence in what you do and how you might be able to help others in your network. People have to be able to trust you. Trust is the foundation of a good relationship. Being honest is much easier than constructing fabrication.

In networking. . . keeping your word and telling the truth are paramount! There are many positive benefits of telling the truth. When you tell the truth you don’t have to worry whether what you’re saying now is consistent enough – or too consistent – with what you’ve said in the past.

hypeWhen someone tells you something, you need to know that you’re hearing what they believe to be true. People who tell the truth expect to be believed. When a person attempts to tell a lie or hype their product or services, a number of physio-psychological reactions kick in which are very difficult to hide or suppress, such as nervous ticks, elevated heart rate, increase sweating, tendancy to execute small physical “tells” such as scratching the head or face, averting the eyes, rapid blinking, etc.

You will never receive the full support from others when you stretch the truth, tell a fib, exaggerate, embellish or tell a “little white lie.” You quickly become someone who is dishonest, shady, unreliable, undependable and more.

Some salespeople may engage in self-delusion concerning the value of his or her product or service. Getting rid of the hype and being known for telling the truth you are more persuasive. To be persuasive, you need to be believable. To be believable, you must be truthful.

truthwinsoutHere are a few consequences of not telling the truth:

• Incessant worry of being caught in a lie
• More frequent failures/frustrations in life
• Being distrusted by others
• Lack of self-esteem/self-confidence
• Dysfunctional interpersonal relationships
• Iinability to self-correct
• Stress of many kinds

“There’s an awesome power in personal authenticity and accuracy. When we express ourselves genuinely, we’re choosing freedom and happiness over the prison and pathos of lies. Being present in our truth is more effective, helpful, powerful, safe and loving than living unconsciously in lies.” ~ Keith Varnum (Read: “The Advantages of Living Out Loud“)

I believe that most human beings are mostly truthful, but obviously some people get carried away with the hype and begin to add to parts of the story that are simply not true. They become deceptive. This often occurs with they are not doing well at their job or business and feel the need to make it sound better than it really is. In the long run. . . this never works!

Let’s face it. Some people are habitual liars. Eventually, habitual lying gets you so wound up in a web of dishonesty and deceit that it is difficult to escape into the freedom of honesty again.

Tell the truth to yourself about yourself. Never lie to make yourself look better in the eyes of others. If you have a low self-image and you know it, get help. Not feeling good about yourself can often cause you to stray from the truth.

Telling the truth is part of your character. Telling the truth is the best way to build new relationships, and keep existing ones. If you are to rely on the cooperation and acceptance of your peers, you must always be truthful. Best of all, always telling the truth characterizes you as trustworthy. When people can trust you, you earn their support. You need the support of others to reach your networking goals. Relationships are lost because of deception. In business and in life, the truth is your best friend.

If you are going to evangelize yourself and your business. . . forget the hype! Tell the truth to everyone about everything. Integrity eventually earns you respect and esteem in networking. There is nothing to be gained by settling for anything less than the wisdom of honesty from others and from ourselves.

Remember the story of “The Boy Who Cried Wolf!”?

Nobody believes a liar… even when he is telling the truth!

netHQ

Copyright © 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! 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!” Larry James provides “Networking Coaching” one-on-one and to networking groups!

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/

Monday, February 7, 2011

With Wallet or Purse in Hand. . .

Filed under: Choosing a Group,Networking Article — Larry James @ 7:00 am

. . . if your networking group assesses a fee for belonging, please pay your dues on time. They depend on a certain influx of dollars to sustain the kind of networking environment you need in which to network.

Let’s face it, some groups are worth it, others are not.

group_excitementMy own personal belief is that most are – provided you are in touch with the accepted rules of networking engagement. So, in other words, the groups you attend are only as effective as you are. The fees for belonging to the group increase the investment you put into the group and usually correlates with the effort and intensity with which you participate in them. That’s called ROI (return on investment). Membership fees should be budgeted and are simply a cost of doing business. Some group will waive the first month’s dues as a member incentive. Others charge a small door charge for each meeting to offset charges incurred for the meeting.

Dues are one thing, however there are other commitments that are required. For any group to be successful, it must depend on their members for other paybacks. There must be effective activity. By that I mean each member has a responsibility to stay true to the group and its member by continually contributing to its success by actively referring business leads to each other and helping members connect to others in and outside of the group. It all contributes to the groups success. It’s a support system for your own business.

mixBeleive it or not, the networking groups I tend to frequent less are the huge groups where anyone can attend and that sponsors tend to support by their product and services donations. These groups generally attract lots of people but there seems to be less emphasis on developing long-term relationships.

I am disgusted with the “meet” market mass hysteria that seems to follow very large networking events. Avoid this schmoozefest. And. . . nothing irritates me more than having a “Networking Nancy” or a “Networking Ned” shove a business card in hand and say, “What do you do?” and before I can answer, they interrupt with their unsolicited pitch without waiting to see if I care. Like they care? It doesn’t feel like it. Like I care? Hardly. No one cares about your opportunity until they know how much you care. This sort of nonsense is called “premature solicitation.” It gives networking (and you) a bad name. Please don’t do it.

I find that the small groups of 30 to 60 members are much more productive, the members are frequent attendees, know each other well and are known to provide more networking education, professional support, information and exchange business leads more often. Your RIO is often much higher. Membership dues often become irrelevant based upon the amount of business you receive.

Smaller groups are serious about business, but also love to have fun! It’s not ALL about business!

These groups are the ones that must have your financial support to because they often have to pay for a meeting room and some offer breakfast or lunch which are covered by monthly or yearly fees. Membership fees are often very affordable. Other associated costs may include website hosting, website management, newsletter preparation, and autoresponder system to keep in touch with members and more. The goal of smaller groups is to promote the networking group and the individual member businesses. They encourage “one-on-ones” with other members.

Smaller groups have more rules and expectations. Members must attend 80% (varies) of the meetings. Some allow infrequent substitutes in case of emergency but others may not. A meeting with a client or customer usually supersedes attending a networking meeting and may be considered an emergency. Some limit membership to persons at the corporate level, others do not. Most smaller groups are more selective about who is invited to join and most require a recommendation by another member. Some have a “1 vote against” and you’re not invited to join because of a possible conflict with another member. Often you will find only one person in each business category; e.g., one Realtor®, one banker, etc. Some offer New Member Orientations (a great idea, by the way). Referrals are aften checked at the following meeting to verify that people are sending good referrals to each other. (another great idea).

Aways write the meeting times of the group you choose on your calendar, and make the commitment to participate at every meeting. That’s the kind of commitment it takes to get the most for your money!

Bottom line. . . always support the networking group that supports you best. Remember, ROI. Also remember that you get out of a networking group what you are willing to put into it.

BONUS Articles:Networking Events are a Waste of Time. . .
Shop for a GREAT Networking Group… Then STOP!”

netHQ

Copyright © 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! 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/

Next Page »

Blog at WordPress.com.