Networking HQ BLOG with Larry James

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Two Keys to Finding the Right Networking Partners

Ivan Misner, Guest Author

I once received an interesting e-mail from a man who read an article I wrote about collaboration and working together. He said, “The type of networking you talk about describes the way things should work, but in the real world most people seem to have an attitude of what’s in it for me.” He asked, “How can I prevent wasting my time and efforts on people, only to find that they have this kind of attitude?”

TwoKeysThe short answer to his question is this – stop hanging out with the wrong kind of people and start actively seeking out the right kind of people. Trust me, I’ve been there and done that when it comes to getting stuck with the wrong people and in order to move beyond that and build the kind of network that wants to help YOU (knowing that you also want to help them) is a journey – not a destination.

I have two suggestions to make finding the right networking partners easier.

First, look for some of the signs relating to people who fit the profile of good networkers. They include:

• People who ask how they can help you or what they can offer you (and mean it), before they ask anything from you.
• Individuals who show that they are willing to work on creating a professional relationship over a period of time because they understand that they must develop credibility with you before asking for your business or your referrals.
• Those who make the time to go beyond the normal business interactions with those from whom they want to be able to ask for support.
• Professionals who understand that networking is more about farming than hunting and show it in their actions by making the effort to get to know you outside of the business environment whenever possible, knowing that the more of a friendship there is between you, the more expectations you can both have from each other’s networking efforts.
• People who do what they can to bring business and contacts to you and their other networking partners, who share pertinent information with you, and invite you to business meetings that’ll position you favorably with others you need to get to know.
• Individuals who give of their time and knowledge in order to help their referral sources succeed.

Second, immerse yourself in the process of relationship building.

A network that is a mile wide and an inch deep is not a strong network. Create a personal network that is both wide and deep. Meeting with people regularly is the key to making this happen. Participate in networking groups where you are going to see the same people on a regular basis. This will help you develop relationships and screen out the “what’s in it for me” networkers.

Think about your current networking partners… who is one of your most trusted, most valued networking partners? I’d love to hear the story behind how you met this person and how you formed such a trusted, mutually beneficial networking partnership. Please share your story in the comments section–thanks!

BONUS Articles: A Network Relationship Takes Months to Build, Not Minutes
The Key to Success? Relationships!
Who Are You Talking With?

MisnerCopyright © 2014 – Ivan Misner. 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.

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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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Saturday, May 12, 2012

Do You Vet Your New Networking Members?

Filed under: Screening New Members,Vetting New Members — Larry James @ 7:00 am
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No new members of networking clubs, leads or tips groups, etc. should be un-vetted!

business-networking-internallyVetting; Verb. – Pertaining to an investigation. Vetting is a process of examination and evaluation, generally referring to performing a background check on someone before offering him or her employment, conferring an award, etc. A thorough and diligent review of a prospective person or project prior to a hiring or investment decision. Investigate (someone) thoroughly, especially in order to ensure that they are suitable for a job requiring secrecy, loyalty, or trustworthiness.

Never recommend a new member (or a business) unless you know them and trust them. Finding talented people to include in your network is a talent unto itself. This hunt should be energizing, exciting and inclusive of many different people to serve all the member’s needs.

If you are going to take business networking seriously, then all members should be screened and vetted. How can you truly support or refer someone you don’t know very well (or trust)? It wouldn’t hurt to talk to their past customers, and business associates. Why so picky? There is so much at stake. Why? Because every time you refer someone in your group to someone else you stake your reputation on their performance. Never underestimate how bad performance reflects upon you. A vetted connector is a powerful connector and powerful connectors network better together.

meetingRather than leaving it to chance, you’re much better off vetting your new members. Form a special committee of three or five members to screen the applications of new members. Develop some guidelines and stick to them. Trusting your fellow networkers helps you establish solid business relationships which helps in the development and exchange of quality business referrals.

The comprehensive nature of vetting will sometime include private investigation services and social networking monitoring to ensure an accurate profile and honorable reputation of the person being considered for membership. What is their reputational capital? Vetting requirements give the group the ability to make the claim that their members are honorable and trustworthy.

From a new member’s point of view vetting will cause them to think twice about using techniques that might be frowned upon by the group. It demonstrates the groups reliance on professional standards. It helps weed out the losers. When you make it a little harder to join the group, in general, people become more interested. Very few groups go to the trouble of vetting new members. That’s exactly why your group might want to consider doing it. It will help develop dedicated business bonds with others in your group.

A close alliance with all members – not just the new ones – that reduces rogue behavior and benefits many should be what you are looking for. The objective is to protect, support, serve and reassure your members that the reputations of all members are checked before they can join the group.

To me it’s a selling point when I refer someone to my friends. I can honestly say, “I work with a network of trusted, vetted and elite business professionals whose integrity is assured.”

I know to some this may seem extreme. Why is vetting important? Because we want to know that the new member is who they say they are. I started 10 business networking groups when I lived in Tulsa many years ago. All of our members were vetted before they could join – they had to provide references which were all checked before their membership was accepted and approved. What that meant to the group was that every single member could be trusted and recommended with complete confidence.

BONUS Article: How Do I Build My Professional Network?
Evaluate Your Business Networking Group

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

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

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

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

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