Networking HQ BLOG with Larry James

Thursday, June 18, 2015

“Just Makin’ Some New Friends…”

I was at a large networking event recently and someone walked over to me and said, “How are you doing?”

I surprised her by saying, “I’m really glad you asked because it makes me aware of how grateful I am to have the life I have, to be in good health and feeling terrific, and you?”

NETmakinFRIENDSShe smiled and said, “Me too.” We talked for about four minutes before she asked, “What do you do.”

The magic happened when we both showed a “genuine” interest in each other – not necessarily talking about what we do, but just getting to know each other… makin’ a new friend.

Remember the song: “Getting to know you, getting to know all about you…”?

I now have a new friend to add to my network of support. It was a connection at first sight.

While my response to her question may have invoked an interest, the four minutes we spent in “small talk” was the key. I was relieved to talk with someone who without knowing what I did for a living was interested in just making conversation.

“The fundamental element that defines the quality of your life is the people you surround yourself with and the conversations you have with them.” ~ Landmark Education

The “follow-up” was a nice quiet lunch where we talked about our businesses, ways to help each other and then a tour of her offices. ✔︎ Are you taking notes?

Networking success doesn’t depend on talent or hard work alone. It also depends on how we interact with people.

That, my friends, is today’s Networking Lesson!

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.

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
Follow Larry’s Networking on Facebook: https://www.Facebook.com/NetworkingHeadquarters/timeline
Follow Larry’s Networking Pinterest Page @ http://www.pinterest.com/larryjames2012/networking-blog/!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Don’t Push! – Pull

Filed under: Attitude,Networking Tip,Personal Growth,Rules of Engagement — Larry James @ 7:00 am

I’m sick and tired of pushy people at networking meetings. Why can’t they understand that networking is NOT about selling?

“Business people attend networking meetings to get introductions to meaningful people, in particular, prospects. But there are no prospects at networking meetings, only salespeople.” ~ Level 7 Un-Networking

netImageTo pushy people, networking is an uncontrollable compulsion to offer services to total strangers (usually other salespeople who are doing the same thing) while ingesting small blocks of cheddar cheese on a five-inch circular foam dish. They focus on asking people to buy their product or service and push a business card into the hand of anyone who will take it rather than take the time for quality relationship building. As a result they think that networking must be “hard sell.” Many are already in “panic” mode because they waited to long to learn the skills required to network and suddenly realize that their business is on a downward spiral – by then, for most, it’s too late.

Because your numbers are down and your boss is on your back is not a good reason to get out there and start networking. If you would have done it right the first time, you would already have enough prospects to sell to. Prospects don’t come to networking groups. People do. People who should be more interested in developing close business relationships rather than viewing a networking group as a room full of prospects.

Networking is not just about schmoozing; it’s not just handing out business cards, selling, marketing or small talk. Those activities are part of networking, but unfortunately, many people’s misunderstanding of the term and it causes them network ineffectively.

Most are what I call, “serial networkers.” They are networking tarts, card collectors, and braggers who seem to be everywhere, networking with everyone. They attend a networking meeting nearly everyday and belong to 3 or 4 groups and wonder why no one gives them referrals. They push people away rather then pull them closer into a relationship that just might work if they would learn why this is happening. They are professional networking wannabees. They want the results and the kudos of the professionals but as yet have not undertaken the education that builds up networking skills.

Let me repeat part of that. They have not undertaken the education that builds up networking skills. They hear about network and dive headlong into the deep end of the networking pool without really knowing what the heck they are doing.

“Networking wannabees turn up for one event and claim that networking is not for them. ‘I tried it once and I didn’t get any business!’ They don’t commit to the necessary building of visibility and credibility. As a result, they should not be surprised when the results of their networking amount to a big fat nothing!” ~ Rob Brown

thePastPerhaps it’s time for you to let go of the past; those things that you have tried when networking but don’t get you the results that you would like. Perhaps it time to focus on re-educating yourself to the ways of networking that really work! Just perhaps.

Here is the truth! If you really want to be successful at networking you must take the time to learn how to do it without pissing everybody off! Opps! Did I just say that? 😉

Learn to build the relationship first, then offer assistance that will gently “pull” others into your network of support. They will want to get to know you better because they see that what you are doing apparently works and they would like some of that. That is what a network is… a network of people who take the time to work to support each other. A successful business network is designed around mutuality. As my friend, Bob Burg says, “Givers get!” That is, I will help you and you help me – and as a result we work closely together to build a strong connection with each other that works mutually to help each other.

How do I know this? As a result of my networking book, “Ten Commitments of Networking,” and my many years of effective networking I am frequently asked to join various networking groups and then I explain that I’m a networking coach and would rather visit the group to teach others what I have learned that makes networking a valuable asset to my business. I am where I am today because of networking. Believe me, it works. If you think you can bypass the learning curve you are mistaken.

Some of you know that I lived in Tulsa, OK for 23 years before moving to Scottsdale in 1995. I have traveled nationally for many years presenting my networking seminar to associations, business groups and Fortune 500 companies. One of the most productive ideas I ever had for the group I formed, “The Tulsa Business Connection,” was to have my group sponsor a city-wide networking training event. We invited every networking group in Tulsa to attend. The fee for this half-day event was low so everyone could afford to be there. It was a great success. It was a great way for “The Tulsa Business Connection” to call attention to itself. Because my group was the sponsor, we received a multitude of newspaper, radio and TV coverage. People were talking about it for months. The productivity of my group alone was phenomenal.

So many groups have meetings, everyone gets a time to do their elevator speech (I call this a 30-second connection), each week a specific member gets 5 or ten minutes to talk about their business, they exchange business cards, everyone hangs out for a few minutes after the meeting and everyone splits. There is seldom any genuine focus on teaching people the correct way to make networking work. I am of the opinion that networking education should be one of the groups highest priorities.

What say you?

netHQ

Copyright © 2012 – Larry James. Adapted from Larry’s latest book, Ten Commitments of Networking: Creative Ways to Maximize Your Personal Connections! Larry James is a Professional Speaker, Author and Coach. He presents networking seminars nationally and “Networking” coaching by telephone or one-on-one. Something NEW about Networking is posted on this Networking BLOG every 4th day! Visit Larry’s Networking Website at: “Networking HQ!”

Subscribe to “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!

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/

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Network With Confidence – Not Cockiness!

First of all – you don’t know everything there is to know about business networking. Admit it. Nor do I, or anyone for that matter. The first thing you need to know is that business networking is a professional contact sport! Notice I said, “professional!” Professional networkers are always learning how to do it better. They check their ego at the door and get down to the business of exchanging ideas, information and helping others.

confidenceNext, you must present yourself in your best possible light at all times, every time. Present yourself with poise, professionalism, and ease. Confident, but never cocky!

“Always walk into a room like you OWN it.” ~ Starla West (a lesson learned from her cat)

Starla also says, “One of the keys to boosting our personal magnetism is using our appearance, behavior and communication skills to create a comfortable environment where others are made to feel important when interacting with us. The more we do this, the more others will want to be around us.”

When you make your appearance with confidence people tend to trust you more than someone who appears to be timid and unsure of himself. Don’t “act” like the host, “be” the host. Introduce the shy people to others you know that might be in a position to help them. If you’re going to be a player, you must act like one. No one is out of your league.

Your level of self-confidence can show up in many ways: your behavior, your body language, how you speak, what you say, and more. Be brave and talk with people who appear to be doing very well. Self-confidence is about balance. At one extreme, we have people with low self-confidence. At the other end, we have people who may be over-confident. Always strive to be somewhere in the middle. If you need help, find an expert that can help. Networking with confidence is at the top of the list of the professional’s ways to be.

Never be afraid to talk to strangers. A few minutes with them can quickly tell you whether they are someone you may want to spend time with.

Learn the art of working a room. Don’t just show up. Ask lots of questions, exchange business cards with people you will like to get to know better, and request additional introductions to people you want to meet.

Communicate like a pro. My friend, Don Hutson says, “If you can’t say it with, ‘Blah,’ don’t say ‘Blah, blah!'” Your posture, your self-introduction, your handshake, starting a conversation and exchanging business cards all make an impression and open the door for future networking. Making the first move to communicating with others is a demonstration in self-conficence. Maintain good eye contact. Make sure the conversation is mostly about them.

Dress the part. First impressions are everything. Dressing well helps to position yourself as an expert. People do judge you by your looks and you never know who you will run into. Your unconscious mind takes only about 10 seconds or less to form an opinion – positive or negative. Ask the event host about dress code. When in doubt, business casual is your best bet. No blue jeans and t-shirts. If you can tie it in with your branding, like a Mary Kay representative wearing pink, or perhaps a dress shirt embroidered with your business logo, all the better. Well groomed is good.

There’s no such thing as being fashionably late to a networking event. Get there early – greet others as they arrive and stay late.

When you get a few minutes, watch the following video by my friend, Andy Lopata. (Approximately 42 minutes)

netHQ

Copyright © 2012 – Larry James. Adapted from Larry’s latest book, Ten Commitments of Networking: Creative Ways to Maximize Your Personal Connections! Larry James is a Professional Speaker, Author and Coach. He presents networking seminars nationally and “Networking” coaching by telephone or one-on-one. Something NEW about Networking is posted on this Networking BLOG every 4th day! Visit Larry’s Networking Website at: “Networking HQ!”

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

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

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, April 6, 2012

Listen Before Joining the Conversation

Filed under: Networking Tip,Rules of Engagement — Larry James @ 8:00 am

Have you ever been to a networking function and noticed several interesting people in conversation and wished that you could be in on what they are talking about?

netgroupHere is a tip. Take your time. Stand close by and listen. Don’t rush. If you determine that this is a group you would like to participate with, move a little closer. Usually the group will open up and before you know it, you will be standing close as part of the group. Listen. Observe. Notice the direction of the conversation. If it doesn’t appeal to you or you have nothing to contribute… move on.

If you like what you hear… say nothing until you have something that contributes to the conversation – then speak up when you have the opportunity.

This is an effective way to contribute and be contributed to. Often others will begin a conversation with you to indicate that you are now noticed as part of the group.

If the group doesn’t open up to include you, don’t take it personal, be on your way.

netHQ

Copyright © 2012 – Larry James. From the chapter, “Be Coachable!” in Larry’s latest book, Ten Commitments of Networking: Creative Ways to Maximize Your Personal Connections! Larry James is a Professional Speaker, Author and Coach. He presents networking seminars nationally and “Networking” coaching by telephone or one-on-one. Something NEW about Networking is posted on this Networking BLOG every 4th day! Visit Larry’s Networking Website at: “Networking HQ!”

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

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

letsbefriends2

Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
Follow Larry’s “once daily” Relationship Tweet at: http://www.Twitter.com/larryjames
Follow Larry’s “Relationship BLOG” at: http://CelebrateLove.wordpress.com/
Follow Larry’s “Wedding BLOG” at: http://CelebrateIntimateWeddings.wordpress.com
Follow Larry’s “Authors & Speakers” BLOG at: http://www.AuthorsandSpeakerNetwork.wordpress.com/

Monday, September 19, 2011

Welcome to Adventure Land!

Filed under: Networking Tip,Relationships,Rules of Engagement — Larry James @ 7:00 am

Large networking events are like taking a trip to “Adventure Land!” You never know what (or who) will show up! Or… what will happen. Unpredictable is a word that comes to mind. 😉

If you want to push the envelope on your personal comfort zone you must – at least once – attend a gigantic networking event.

group_excitementI go to visit with my friends and “people-watch” because very little serious networking occurs at these events. People are milling around – with a fist-full of business cards – handing them to everyone who catches their eye. Others stand on the sidelines in awe of the crowd, not really knowing where to begin. Some people stay for awhile then leave, disappointed that they didn’t land any new customers.

The biggest percentage of the crowd haven’t a clue as to what the real rules of engagement for effective business networking are. Are you listening?

A very small percentage of those attending really get it! What do they get? They understand that networking is about building long-term relationships and they know that cannot be done by attending one meeting.

Let’s review my definition of networking:

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

So. . . what’s this about expecting nothing in return? Often we expect people who we help to help us. That would be nice. And it doesn’t always work that way. Some people are in better positions to help some than others. Part of the adventure for me is giving. Just give. That’s the key! Just give to help others. Willingly.

For your own peace of mind take some networking lessons. Read some networking books. Attend a Dave Sherman networking seminar. Dave knows networking! He presented an hour long networking talk before the last “NetworkingPhoenix” event which everyone should have attended. Attend a Bob Burg Networking seminar. Ask me to speak to your networking group. I’ve been networking since before we called it “Networking!”

Set aside some time each day to read the more than 185 (as of today) networking articles and tips in the Networking Article Index. Something new about networking is added every 4th day. Pass the links to this Networking Blog (http://NetworkingHQ.wordpress.com) and my Networking Website (http://www.TenCommitmentsofNetworking.com) to your fellow networkers.

You owe it to yourself to educate yourself on the intricacies of business networking and help to educate your friends in your network of support. That what a networking group really is. A place where we all support each other. If you don’t you are spinning your wheels! That will get you nowhere!

BONUS Article: Networking Events are a Waste of Time. . .

netHQCopyright © 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/

Monday, August 22, 2011

Networking’s “#1 Rule of Engagement!”

Filed under: Networking Tip,Rules of Engagement — Larry James @ 7:00 am

How we go about networking is important because in the end result, if networking isn’t effective, there is little reason to continue doing it. Networking has many rules of engagement. To ignore them and to try to reinvent the networking wheel is frivolous; it’s high-risk behavior that can leave you wondering why networking isn’t as productive as you thought it might be. Here you will learn the #1 Rule of Engagement.

engagement2“Networking is the process of developing and maintaining quality relationships that enrich our lives and empower us to reach our goals. It’s about giving first and realizing we can learn from everyone we meet.” ~ Andrea R. Nierenberg, Million Dollar Networking

With this one rule you will have the knowledge to know just what to do when attending a networking event. Here is the first rule of engagement and the most important one:

1. NEVER attempt to SELL anyone anything the first time you meet them, especially at a networking event or meeting. An “authentic” relationship must be established first. One that is there because you genuinely care about having them as a person in your network of support. Be there to serve not sell.

This #1 rule must be understood and followed if you are going to be successful at networking. Networking is not about selling anything to anyone! PERIOD!

It’s about relationships. It’s about surrounding yourself with people who become your friends and are committed to working with you to exchange business referrals, and to help each other become more successful. Seldom does anyone buy from someone who approaches them at a networking event with a pitch to buy their product or service.

Networking is mostly about giving. It’s about doing something for someone. Are you adding value to others? This is where the “giving” come in. It’s about exploring all possibilities and discovering together ways you can help each other. Annoying someone with your “sales” pitch will get you nowhere.

My friend, Tom Hopkins says, “People like to do business with people they like and trust!” Not one or the other – BOTH “like and trust.

Always keep your networking on a professional level. For the best results, invite only trusted friends and colleagues to join your network. Be selective. If possible do some research to verify their credibility and trustworthiness.

Trust “must” be earned! You “must” get to know each other FIRST! Be transparent. Allow people to see who you really are. If you feel you must “pitch” your product or service, do it somewhere else – NOT at a networking event or meeting – UNLESS you are requested to do so. (That isn’t likely!)

Perception is reality. If people see you as someone to be avoided because you appear to not know this most important rule, you will find disappointment in your networking experience.

Let’s review my definition of networking:

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

netHQCopyright © 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/

Blog at WordPress.com.