Networking HQ BLOG with Larry James

Monday, September 14, 2015

Who is the Most Interesting Person in the Room?

Is it you?

It should be.

The most interesting person in the room is the woman or man who easily commands a wider range of business and networking knowledge. Who confidently moves the conversation forward with a little-known fact of knowledge. It doesn’t necessarily have to be about business. Or someone who illuminates a truth. Or know what the people controlling the ropes and pulleys of the meeting are doing and thinking.

NET-InterestingPersonThe world’s wealthiest and most powerful business leaders find ways to keep score on who’s up, who’s down, and how their ideas, companies and technologies are changing people’s lives. It’s not just about always looking for business referrals.

Networking isn’t all about business, however it is an investment in your future. It’s time for us all to be a perfect example of effective collaboration and entrepreneurial thinking. How can we work closer together to deepen our understanding, improve our communication and connect better to make everyone’s business work better?

Networking provides insights and ideas that can propel both companies and careers. It is an unrivaled source of inspiration, tools, and techniques that are critical to success and survival in today’s business arena. It will sharpen your ability to identify problems, formulate solutions and adapt to and manage change. Your success and survival is no longer a given. Networking helps you stay ahead of the game.

Of course, I must not fail to mention the importance of building relationships with other interesting people in the room. With the right networking group you’ll discover how you can accelerate your visibility and your company’s recognition. You’ll tap the ideas and strategies of other business thought leaders. You will also gain vital intelligence to outflank, outthink and outperform your competition. You will move ahead with purpose and focus.

Another thought about competition. Hear me good. To me, there is no competition. Only collaboration, communication and cooperation. I’ve found that if I worry about the competition, I often become distracted from collaboration, communication and cooperation. It works for me.

So, how do you become the most interesting person in the room. One way is to learn everything you can about the technology of business networking. So many people go to meetings expecting for everyone to give them business referrals and I say… they are focusing on the wrong thing. Building relationships is the key!

KidsQuestionsI spent two and a half hours meeting with someone who is in a position to send me a multitude of business referrals today. Not once did I talk about receiving… only giving. And talking about how we could work together and make what we do together mutually beneficial. She talked. I listened. (It is important to not hog the conversation) And then I talked and she listened. We both asked each other lot of questions. We talked about the each other’s interests, in business and other things. Did I get to know her? Did she get to know me? Absolutely. She and I both were generous with speaking openly about many things. She was brave to speak about the struggle she had when she first started her business. Did we both walk away from that meeting with a promise to work together? I repeat… absolutely. Why struggle to guess what most people might find generically interesting? Ask people what they’ve been up to or what their hobbies are. We both found interests that had nothing to do with work. Then we talked about that.

“To be interesting, be interested.” ~ Dale Carnegie

Ask questions, listen closely, ask more questions. This is the real key to becoming a good conversationalist and also becoming more interesting. Engage people in talking about their passions. Remember you have two ears and one mouth. Use them in this order.

I highly recommend that if you are someone who is only looking for referrals, that you shift your focus on getting to know the people you network with much better then saying, “Hi!” at the meeting. My most effective networking is rarely ever at the meeting. It’s the time I invest with those that I have determined I can assist and who are in a position to to assist me. Together we can be the most interesting people in the room.

Perhaps you now know that it is time well spent to be with people who are “in a position” to provide what you need and who are someone with whom you can feel comfortable with sharing your connections, connections that may be in a position to help them. Those are the people you should want to get to know! They are the movers and the shakers. If they are not the people you are connecting with, you are probably barking up the wrong tree!

BONUS Article: Networking is a Blueprint for Change!

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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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

14 Networking Tips from 14 Networking Experts!

Networking is about sharing what you know about networking with other networkers. Here are 14 tips from 14 of the most successful networkers I know.

“You can abuse the members of your network only once – after that you may find that they make themselves unavailable to you. Share your information gladly, without always questioning, ‘And now, what’s in it for me?’ If you give of yourself only because you expect something in return, you leave yourself open for disappointment and can cause ill will between you and other members of your network.” ~ Anne Boe

NET14tips“A distinguishing characteristic of self-made millionaires is that they network everywhere. Most important, they do it all the time – at business conferences, at the health club, on the golf course or with the person sitting next to them on a plane. This fact alone should motivate you to place yourself in situations where you can meet new people.” ~ Ivan Misner

“The most successful networkers (think of those you’ve met) are good at making other people feel special. Look people in the eye, repeat their name, listen to what they have to say, and suggest topics that are easy to discuss. Be a conversationalist, not a talker.” ~ Jacqueline Whitmore

“Anything… I repeat, ‘anything’ that propels you forward like networking can requires an in depth study of how to do it correctly! To master the art of delayed gratification is a prerequisite for effective business networking. You must also be dedicated to doing whatever it takes to make networking work and to “helping others.” If you are only in it for yourself, you are doomed to fail!” ~ Larry James

“Ask questions. Specifically, “feel-good” questions. These are questions designed to put your conversation partner at ease, and begin the rapport-building process. These are not intrusive, invasive, or in anyway resembling those of the stereotypical salesperson. Feel-good questions are simply questions that make your new prospect/potential referral-source feel good; about themselves, about the conversation, and about you. Vital, because “all things being equal, people will do business with, and refer business to, those people they know, like and trust.” Asking feel-good questions is the first step to accomplishing that goal.” ~ Bob Burg

“Never be afraid to ask others in your network of support to help you reach others who can benefit from the services you provide. With a little encouragement individuals will help you spread the word to others throughout the network community. Does your community really know about the value and benefit of your services? If not, they need to and it is up to you to get the word out. You can initiate a word-of-mouth grapevine that creates positive visibility and exposure. Creating this type of visibility is critical – it is the way that the people who want and need what you have can find you.” ~ Donna Fisher

“Networking is 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.” Rick Frishman

Caution: Don’t build a network that looks just like you!The power is in diversity, so diversify – starting with age. When you’re just starting out, the older members of your network are likely to be in much better position to give you a leg up than your peers. When you get to be a geezer, you need the younger members to give you a sense of what’s ‘in’ and what’s ‘out.’ The same goes for the benefits you’ll receive by adding different gender/religion/education/race/income level interests to your network. If everyone in your network is the same as you… it isn’t a network, it’s an anthill.” ~ Harvey Mackay

“You’ve had 1,000 of the finest, most eye-catching business cards printed. Keep them in your pocket, purse, briefcase, and wallet, on your desk, and at the reception area of your office. Leave some in your car. Always have them on hand so you can introduce yourself to new people when the moment is right. They should be a necessary part of your routine before you leaving home every day. When checking for your wallet and keys, check for a stack of business cards too. Keep replenishing your supply.” ~ GreatFX Business Cards

netdefined-1“Let’s face it. There will be customers you cannot help because their needs don’t fall within the scope of the services you provide. It’s a given. There will also be customers you don’t want to work with (which is why the initial consultation is so important). Regardless of why you won’t be working together, provide a reference to someone else who might be able to help if you can. This simple gesture continues to position you in a place of value.” Lisa Manyon

“The best way to motivate yourself to follow up on those contacts you’ve made is to consider why you need to make that call. We are all charged with a business development remit these days. It doesn’t do your career or your pay packet any harm at all to win more business for the firm. The follow-up call keeps you in touch with possible future clients ‘outside the transaction’, which is vital to build the trust that will lead them to buy you and your services. Although they may not need you now, when they do, you want to be in pole position. Remember also that you are in a brutally competitive market, and if you do not make the call, other professionals will. Also you must know that circumstances change in business. People retire, die, move up or move on. Budgets and strategies change. You must keep yourself ‘front of mind’ to be considered when that change happens.” ~ Rob Brown

“Your handshake is just one of the ways you can build a positive first impression. It’s interesting to note that a study by the Incomm Center for Trade Show Research has found that if you shake hands with people, they are two times more likely to remember you than if you didn’t shake hands. Psychologists have found that if you take the initiative and move forward to meet and greet a person, their impression of you will be more favorable than if you waited for them to make the initiative.” ~ Heather Townsend

neverfailfollowup“Each successful referral you receive, where you have kept them in the loop, will further build the trust your Champions have in you. Make sure they enjoy a positive experience when they refer you and they will do so again. You’ll see a move from unqualified to qualified referrals and to more and more business from the same source. When you first meet people and the relationship starts to grow they may test you out personally or with small referrals at first. As their confidence grows then the quality of the referrals may get better or the flow gets steadier. As long as you do the right things, there will always be a stronger chance of referrals in the second year of a relationship than the first. If you want people to refer business to you, you have to get to know them first and win their trust.” ~ Andy Lopata

“Although we live in a 24/7, online, digital world, the ability to interact and connect “real time” and in-person is increasingly important. Why? Because being able to do so has become increasingly rare. As more people circumvent face–to–face opportunities, those who capitalize on them will stand out from the crowd in both their professional and social lives. You can be one of them!” ~ Susan RoAne

BONUS Articles: Learn As Much As You Can “Before” You Begin to Network!
Your Chatter Matters!

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!”

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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Saturday, March 14, 2015

Two Important Networking Tips…

Filed under: Networking Tip — Larry James @ 8:30 am
Tags: , ,

Resist the urge to arrive late to your networking meeting. It’s almost counter-intuitive, but showing up early at a networking event is a much better strategy than getting there on the later side. As a first attendee, you’ll notice that it’s calmer and quieter – and people won’t have settled into groups yet. It’s easier to find other people who don’t have conversation partners yet.

NET2TipsDitch the sales pitch. Remember, networking is all about relationship building. Keep your exchange fun, light and informal – you don’t need to do the hard sell within minutes of meeting a person. The idea is to get the conversation started. People are more apt to do business with – or partner with – people whose company they enjoy.

If a potential customer does ask you about your product or service, be ready with an easy and quick description of your company and what you do. Before the event, create a mental list of recent accomplishments, such as a new client you’ve landed or project you’ve completed. That way, you can easily pull an item off that list and put it into the conversation.

Copyright © 2015 – Colleen DeBaise. Colleen DeBaise is special projects director at Entrepreneur.com. Read more tips from Colleen at http://www.Entrepreneur.com/article/223468.

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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!”

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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Monday, October 13, 2014

How Do You Find the Time to Network Effectively?

One of the biggest challenges for people trying to network effectively is managing the time to do so. Business Networking Strategist Andy Lopata meets with Simon Phillips, author of “The Complete Guide to Professional Networking,” to discuss what he learned through writing the book and Andy asks for his advice on managing your time when networking. 2:40.

BONUS Articles: Don’t Have Time for Business Networking?
Schedule 30 Minutes a Day for In-Office Networking Activity

andy

Copyright © 2014 – 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.

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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!”

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/
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Monday, September 15, 2014

Are You Letting Hurtful Words Sabotage Your Success?

Michael Hyatt, Guest Author

We all know our words are powerful. We can slice someone to pieces with just a few syllables. That’s bad enough, but what happens when we turn that power on ourselves?

As a young man, the writer Peter Leonard showed a short story to his famous father, novelist Elmore Leonard. Instead of encouraging his son, Elmore Leonard wrote a lengthy critique saying his characters were flat and lifeless.

NETsabotage“I didn’t write another word of fiction for 27 years,” Peter recalled. But as sad as that story is, we do the same thing to ourselves, don’t we?

How many potential writers, artists, athletes, speakers, and performers have chopped themselves off at the knees with self-criticism?

Not long ago, I was playing golf with a friend. Every time he hit a bad shot, he berated himself. “Ugh,” he said when he really duffed one, “I’m such an idiot. I never hit it straight.”

What do you think that did for his game? Exactly! It got worse the longer we played. It got so bad in fact, I started paying more attention to his words than the game. They were:

Accusatory: “You can’t hit anything!”
Abusive: “You idiot!”
Self-defeating: “I knew I was going miss that.”

Thinking about the game now, I’m stuck on this question, and I wish I had stopped things long enough to ask my friend: “Would you ever talk like that to one of your children?”

Maybe some, like Peter Leonard’s father, would. But we usually strive to protect our kids. We recognize that words like that are harmful. So why don’t we protect ourselves the same way?

Some self-criticism is useful. But accusatory, abusive, and self-defeating criticism is useless and destructive. If we wouldn’t say it to our kids, it’s best to steer clear of saying it to ourselves.

Proverbs says that “Death and life are in the power of the tongue.” Our language reveals our thinking, and if it’s the deadly kind, we need to change the way we address ourselves.

There are some pretty deep psychological and spiritual reasons for this, but it also affects practical questions of accomplishing our goals. Our words can set us up to fail if we’re not careful.

Here are three steps I’ve found helpful in my own life for controlling my words:

1. I record disempowering words and sentences I catch myself using. Awareness is crucial to controlling our words. Whenever I catch myself saying something negative, I make a note of it. If there’s a pattern, I can address it.

2. I craft words and sentences to use in place of negative ones. We all know the best way to eliminate a bad habit is to replace it with a good one. It’s the same here. When I default to a negative thought, I now have phrases and affirmations I can use instead. It makes a huge difference.

3. I ask an accountability partner to call me on it. I felt odd calling my friend on his words when we were playing. I was’t invited to. Instead of letting that stop someone in my life, I’ve let certain people know I want them to hold me accountable for my words. Sometimes it hurts, but it’s worth it.

Our success is too important to allow hurtful words—especially our own—to derail us. We have to learn how to do for ourselves what Elmore Leonard was unable in that instance to do for his son: Use the power of words to encourage and give life.

Language shapes our perception of reality. It’s a powerful tool we can use for good or bad. It only makes sense that we would give ourselves the best advantage imaginable with the words we use.

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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Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
Follow Larry’s Relationship Tweets 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

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Are you a Network Dabbler?

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

When you first begin to network, it’s okay to dabble… short-term. It can fuel your creativity. This sense of curiosity is important as you test the waters and begin to check out what networking is about and how it can work for you. Dabbling is simply a way of gathering new information and experimenting with new ways of doing something with it.

Clarity comes from engagement. Dabbling is a form of engagement. You get to look at and try out a variety of ways to network – some work – others don’t and watch how others do it. Dabbling long-term is a mistake.

NETDabblerIt is wise to focus on the successful networkers – never the ones who hand you their business card (whether you asked for it or not) and solicit your business. They have no plan other than to meet people, tell them what they do, and see if that person may want to buy something. That is not the path to building a long-term, networking relationship.

It takes time for networking to begin to work. It requires an investment of time. Time to learn the ropes. Time to make new friends and develop new relationships.

Don’t be a quitter. Many people carry dabbling in networking to an extreme. They continue to just dabble and never quite move out of that stage. If you never begin to take networking seriously, you may be like many others, who start networking and eventually quit because they have not learned the discipline of finishing what they start.

Many never begin networking until their boss is on their butt to produce more sales. They come across as desperate – and most often they are – and to other networkers appear to be only a taker not a giver. To them networking is a hopeless sense that the situation is so bad as to be impossible to deal with. They describe their networking activities as unproductive, uncomfortable, a waste of time. And they quit!

Strategic networking offers you a way to change that, increasing your rewards, success, adding more meaning in your business and your life.

Networking is the art of connection. It requires the discipline to get out of your comfort zone and learn the techniques that successful networkers employ. There is much more to networking than attending a meeting, and collecting stacks of business cards. I repeat, it takes time to build a network. Your goal cannot be instant gratification because you will not find it when networking.

Smart salespeople who network don’t do all the talking, they have learned to ask questions and really listen to the answers. They get to know the person they are talking with by listening and internally thinking of ways that they can help them. That is the beginning of a new relationship.

If you’re creative and ambitious you will be a few steps ahead of others because you understand the concept of expecting good things to happen and have a knack of discovering ways to make things happen.

Education about networking can never be over emphasized. It is critical to your success. Study every networking tool. Expand your network. Learn from the networking leaders, read networking books, enroll in networking training and make it a habit to learn something new about networking every week. (If you are smart, you will share what you have learned with others in your network). Stay focused. No excuses. I have been actively networking for many years and I will admit that I do not know everything there is to know about business networking. I promised myself years ago that I would continue to learn and pass what I learned on to others interested in networking.

Although dabbling can lead to incredible innovation, it only works when you exercise your creativity and take what you have learned and do something different with it. You cannot continue to dabble in networking. If you do, you will see little to no results. People will assume you are either not serious, and are only there to make a quick buck, or forget you entirely.

You cannot continue to be a dabbler and succeed. Either do networking all the way, or don’t do it at all!

Once your dabbling days are done… it’s time to get serious about learning all you can about networking. Don’t just test the networking waters… jump in and make some waves! When you see other networkers doing great, let that drive you. Let that build your belief in knowing that you can do the same thing.

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
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

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Networking Relationships Begin With “Hello!”

When I first began to actively network I was sometimes intimidated by and hesitant to talk to the movers and shakers. No longer. I have since discovered that people in networking who know the rules and are very successful are the people you really need to get to know. In fact, some of the most successful people I know have contributed a large part to my success (Mark Victor Hansen, Tom Hopkins, W. Steven Brown, and others).

NetHELLOWhen it comes to meeting new people, one of the biggest obstacles for most people is simply building up the courage to approach a stranger and start a conversation. When you’re around accomplished people, be quick to say, “Hello!” Don’t hold back. Introduce yourself to begin the conversation. Make an observation or compliment. Make small talk. Asking questions exhibits a genuine interest in them. It’s also important to know when to shut up.

We are all coming from the same place. Most find it hard to just walk up to a stranger and begin talking. We get anxious and overthink the situation. At first, we are all at least a little nervous. We all wonder where and how we’ll fit in.

Think about how many opportunities you have allowed to pass because you were too slow to make a move to say, “Hello.” You’ll never know what you missed out on unless you put yourself out there. If this is you, it’s high time you step out of your comfort zone.

When is the best time to approach someone you want to know? The answer is: Within the first 3 seconds you see them. Don’t allow yourself to be distracted.

3SecondRuleHave you heard of “The 3-Second Rule?” Originally this concept appeared in a book about how to pick up women. I have found that it works very well when networking too. The rule is simple: When you see someone interesting to talk to, you have three seconds to walk up and say hello. Wait longer and you’ll either overthink it and screw it up or overthink it and never approach. I’ve been there and done that. With only 3 seconds, you don’t have enough time to let anxiety get the best of you. It’s a very simple rule, and extremely effective.

Not sure what to say? It really doesn’t matter. Anything is better than nothing, because it takes you from being a no-name in a sea of faces to being an actual person with a story who had the courage to say hello. I suggest that you ask lots of questions; about them and their business. Determine if there is anything that you can do to help them.

If it’s someone you’ve always wanted to meet, you’ll at least be able to open by thanking them for their work and how it’s impacted you. The 3-Second Rule isn’t just for people you recognize. Use it to talk to anyone and everyone who looks interesting. In the beginning, apply it to everyone you see. It’s just like warming up for a race or big talk. It helps to build your self-confidence and overcome your social anxiety. Do that by saying hello to anyone you can, especially when there’s nothing at stake.

When networking it’s important to view everyone as friends you haven’t met yet. Then simply say, “Hello!”

Larry’s NOTE: A special “Thank you” to Scott Dimsmore for introducing me to “The 3-Second Rule.”

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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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Musical Seats, Anyone?

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

When you attend your networking meeting, where do you sit?

Have you noticed that many of us tend to sit in the same seat each week or with the same people? There is still no substitute for face-to-face connections at meetings. Do not just stick with the people you know. Since networking is about making new relationships… reach out. Don’t fall into the trap of sticking together with people you already know. Sit where you know no one, you have more to gain.

If you need an introduction to a new member or someone you don’t know, talk to the leader of the group and ask for what you want. It’s important to un-clique. It may be comfortable to stick with known friends at networking events, but challenge yourself to meet new people and you may be rewarded with a new friend, mentor or future referee.

MusicalSeatsCould we be limiting our ability to get better acquainted with other members as well as guests? Perhaps it’s time to carefully pick a seat next to someone new! Before you attend your next meeting, show up early and consciously decide to sit with someone new. You’ll get more out of the meetings. Make it your mission to move around the room and sit next to someone different every week. Your friends are already your friends. It’s time to make some new ones.

Remain standing until the meeting is about to begin. Make the first move. When someone you do not know or a guest walks into your meeting and everyone is sitting down, they usually feel very uncomfortable and unwelcomed. You’ll be helping them break the ice and begin a conversation. Be the host. Welcome them and sit next to them.

Breaking the ice can be as simple as commenting on the venue, someone else’s 30-second connection (elevator speech), the program or the food; asking people where they’ve traveled from or whether they’ve been to the event or place before; or expressing an interest in why they are attending.

When they give their 30-second connection really listen. Ask questions for clarification. Ask open-ended questions. These are questions that ask who, what, where, when and how – as opposed to questions that can be answered with a simple yes or no. Use these encounters to your fullest advantage. Discover what areas where they may need help. Always get a business card from them and follow-up before the next meeting. Stay in touch with your new connections. Look for a business lead to specifically give them at the next meeting.

How many of you would be willing to sit in a new seat next week, next to someone you haven’t sat with before?

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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Follow Larry’s “Relationship BLOG” at: http://CelebrateLove.wordpress.com/
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Saturday, June 7, 2014

Networking Events: 10 Quick Tips

Filed under: Networking Tip — Larry James @ 8:30 am
Tags: , ,

Allison, Guest Author

Networking events are a great way for you to meet other professionals in your area, but it can be exhausting to keep up with a busy calendar, and make the most out of each event. And, for those who are more introverted, meeting a lot of new people at one time can seem daunting.

10QuickTipsWhether you’re a networking pro or need a little coaxing when it comes to putting yourself out there, these 10 quick tips will help you master networking events!

1. Clear your mind before entering the event. ~ Many networking events take place in the early evening, after you’ve most likely had a long, arduous day at work. Be sure to check your negative energy at the door, or others might sense it! Even if you feel so tired you wish you could back out, go in with an open mind. Focus your mind on the task ahead of you – meeting new people and establishing relationships.

If you can, try to give yourself a bit of alone time prior to the event to re-charge whether this is listening to your favorite music driving over, or stopping for a quick coffee prior to the event and enjoying it while checking out some blog posts or recent news from the day.

2. Talk to people who are standing alone. ~ Ever feel a bit awkward at a networking event? Everyone has at one point or another! If you see someone standing alone, strike up a conversation. They’ll be happy to have someone to talk to, plus you won’t have to worry about breaking up a group’s conversation by approaching multiple people mid-way through and introducing yourself.

3. Repeat your contact’s name. ~ While you’re speaking with someone, repeat their name back to them a few times during the conversation. It helps you to demonstrate that you’re paying attention to what your contact is saying, and you’ll remember names better that way. Two or three times per conversation should do the trick!

4. Act as a facilitator for others at the event. ~ Welcome others into your conversations by introducing the people you’ve spoken with to others. Try it by introducing each new person you meet to at least one other person, and soon you’ll know a lot more people! Also, by being the one who connects others, people will see you as resourceful.

5. Personalize your encounters. ~ The exchange of business cards is fairly standard at networking events, but you can make yourself more personable (and memorable) by writing your personal contact information on the back of your card and a quick note such as ‘Please be in touch!’Your new contacts are much more likely to reach out to you through your cell phone number or personal email address than they are a main company phone line.

6. Be selective about your events. ~ Choose networking events where you know you’ll have something in common with the other people attending. Many local networking events may not be industry-specific, so try to filter out the events that are most worth your time. Check out the WeddingWire World Tour schedule to see if we’ll be coming to a town near you, or be on the lookout for an email from us when we’ll be near you for a Mix & Mingle, Networking Night or Workshop!

7. Make the first move. ~ If you’ve been to a lot of networking events, you’ve noticed that attendees tend to polarize. Some people are extremely social and will spend the whole time proactively making conversations with others. The other types of people tend to sit alone, waiting for other to approach them. They’re often on their phones trying to look busy. Approach those people and make the first move! You’ll be helping them break the ice and begin a conversation. It’s great for your network, and it’s a kind deed you can do for others to ease their tension.

8. Be yourself. ~ Although you’re at a professional event, don’t be afraid to show some personality! It can be stressful and draining to keep up an overly-stiff façade while at networking events, and as a result it can make the whole ordeal much more unpleasant than it has to be. Honesty and authenticity are great traits, and they’ll shine through if you’re being yourself. Don’t worry about trying to keep your personal life separate (unless you want to!). Be yourself and you’ll make both friends and professional contacts.

9. Pull, don’t push. ~ The conversations you have with other wedding and event professionals is the whole reason to attend networking events. When you’re engaging in a conversation with another Pro, be sure to pull the conversation in a certain direction without pushing a topic. You can pull the conversation by asking questions about the other person and getting to know them. Don’t push the conversation by talking about yourself and forcing the topic.

10. Reward yourself. ~ If networking isn’t your thing, make it easier to on yourself by providing an incentive! If you meet your goal of attending an event and walking away with a few good connections, be sure to reward yourself afterward. Whether your reward is a weekend getaway or even just a nice dinner, give yourself a pat on the back for breaking out of your comfort zone!

Copyright © 2014 – Allison. Allison is a staff writer for WeddingWire.com‘s ProBlog.

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netHQLarry 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

Friday, May 30, 2014

Five Warning Signs That Your Networking is NOT Working!

Here’s how to turn it around…

Jennifer Benson, Guest Author

Regardless of the need you may have, the purpose of networking is to connect with other people that you can help and that can help you. Networking connects you to resources you need to make the sale, connect the friend, promote the agenda, or just share ideas. From time to time we may begin to question whether our networking efforts are paying off.

WarningSignsHave you ever wondered if your networking efforts are worth the trouble? Perhaps wondering if it is working is the biggest indicator that your networking is not working. Here are five more warning signs that your networking is not working.

1. You have not received a referral this week. If you are providing service to others and you do not receive referrals all the time, something is wrong. You should receive at least one referral each week.

2. You have begun to consider cutting back on networking and spending more time cold calling. There is nothing that says desperate more plainly than the thought that you would much rather make cold calls than go to a networking event. Yet this decision is made every day by failing networkers. It is a result of not understanding danger sign number one. You should expect referrals.

3. You have a stack of cards on your desk but really cannot recall when you got them or why. Ah yes, the stack of cards that validates your attendance at numerous events. When in doubt you will take a look at that stack and remind yourself that you are networking. Unfortunately it just isn’t working for you. Maybe you don’t get referrals because you don’t follow up. Ya think that matters? (Uh, yes it does)

4. You decide which events to attend by the food and drink that will be served. This is akin to the trainer throwing in the towel when his fighter is punch drunk. (No pun intended. Of course we’re going to all the events with an open bar.)

5. People don’t recall meeting you when you call them. You aren’t remembered because you are not memorable when you tell people about you. The only way to be memorable is to be different. Like everyone else, you concentrate on telling everyone you meet about you and your company and fail to ask any questions.

If you believe your networking may be in trouble, there is good news. Turning things around is not as difficult as you might expect and the mere fact that you are thinking about becoming more successful means you have what it takes to do so. The first step in becoming a more successful networker is to begin by thinking of others first.

Most networkers fail because they focus on their needs rather than the needs of others. Begin thinking about how you can connect others and soon others will be thinking about how they can connect you. Some call this pay it forward. Others call it The Golden Rule. Treat others as you would have them treat you and you will reap a great harvest.

BONUS Articles: Two Top Networking No-Nos!
What to Do With the Business Card of a Loser
You Must Be Out of Your Mind…
ASK! – Always Allow Your Friends the Opportunity to Help You!
Making the Networking Follow-Up Call

Copyright © 2014 – Jennifer Benson. Jennifer Benson specializes in business development, leadership, entrepreneurship and finance at: Financenk.com

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netHQLarry 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

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