Networking HQ BLOG with Larry James

Friday, April 4, 2014

Don’t be a Networking Wallflower

Filed under: Overcoming Fear,Self-Image,Shyness — Larry James @ 7:30 am
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If networking is to work for you… there is no time to be shy! It’s a social phobia you cannot afford!

WasllflowerWallflowers can blossom even in networking meetings. Some adults are truly crippled by timidity. They blend in with the wall. Others I call, “shy extroverts.” They are the shy people who push ahead and even though they may be a little fearful or anxious, make themselves known by masking their shyness by putting their hand out there, offering a firm handshake, and introducing themselves to strangers. Many are anxious because they are afraid they won’t meet expectations of others in some way. At extremes, anxiety can cause palpitations, excessive sweating and an occasional panic attack.

The networking jitters when you are on wallflower duty can cause your nervous system to ruin your career. Put yourself out there. This seems obvious – the best way to meet people is to actively seek places out where you can meet people! Here are a few tips that may help.

Stop saying your are shy! That is the recommended first step. It’s debilitating and often causes the situation to be more negative than it really is. You must change your mantra. Recite positive messages to yourself before engaging in situations you dread. See yourself being calm and in control.

Take a moment to look at yourself. Do you look like someone who others would like to meet? Some professionals recommend that you Wear brighter clothes by brightening up your wardrobe.

Remember to breathe. Take an oxygen break. Taking deep, measured breaths before you enter the networking meeting or event can help you to literally calm your nerves long enough to stay focused and in control. I recommend breathing in your your nose and out through your mouth. Breathing this way has a calming effect because it short-circuits your brain and causes you to think about something other than what you’re nervous about.

One of the most important aspects of shyness and social phobia is to focus your attention outward… not on yourself. Always be interested and interesting by paying attention to others. If you see something or someone that you can compliment sincerely, say so.

Look for others that may be standing on the sidelines. Dare to strike up a conversation with them. Most likely they will welcome the company. Share a few personal things about yourself, e.g., hobbies or something interesting that you have done, etc. Avoid controversial political issues or your resent divorce. Such topics are too emotionally charged to make for productive small talk. Need some ammunition? Be up on local issues or the latest score of the Arizona Diamondback game.

My friend, Susan RoAne, another networking professional and author of “How to Work a Room” says, “I’ve heard so many people denigrate small talk but small talk is how we learn about the little things that help us decide whether or not we want to pursue a relationship with someone.” Small talk often results in bid rewards.

Begin the conversation by asking questions. “How may I help you?” is a good one to ask after you’ve commented on the hors d’oeuvers and introduced yourself. Be more assertive and be approachable. Always wear your best smile. People tend to avoid people with a sour expression on their face.

What do you do in your personal life to bolster your confidence? You can overcome shyness. The quickest way is to feel the fear and do it anyway! Join Toastmasters or enroll in the Dale Carnegie course. That will help you to come out of your shell and be more at ease.

BONUS Articles: “How Can I Help You?”
Do You Fade Into the Wall?
Networking for Introverts – Video
How Will They Remember You?

Larry’s NOTE: A special “Thank you” to Lisa Cahn for contributing ideas to this article.

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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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Thursday, February 27, 2014

Who Are You Talking With?

There is opportunity to network everywhere. Always keep your eyes and ears open. Wherever you are, look and listen for people who are on the cutting edge of their business. My experience has been that those who are the most successful are the ones who are most willing to share their expertise with others.

Start@theTOPIf you are thinking… “They would never want to talk with me,” then fear is your enemy. Be bold and unafraid. Successful people love to share their success. If you act like the typical networker and approach them trying to pitch your product or service, you will most certainly get a cold shoulder. They are likely to quickly move on. However, if you’re smart and focus all your attention on learning more about how they got to where they are, you are likely to find people who are committed listeners, people who will give you the time to get to know them better. Success rarely come to you… you must go to it. You will be amazed at what you can learn from that.

Be alert. Watch for signs that they may be too busy to take time now, and offer to arrange a time to get together some other time to learn more of their success secrets. It’s important to learn to know the right moment to approach them. Be fearless. The point is to ask lots of questions and focus on them – never on you.

The truth is that some people don’t take the time to even think about being considerate of someone else’s time. If you are going to be successful at networking consideration is a prerequisite. Never allow your lack of self-confidence to show when you are networking. That usually puts the brakes on and stops you in your tracks.

I am reminded of a young friend, fresh with his degree, who sent an e-mail to the President of a company requesting 15 minutes of his time to learn more about his road to success. (Sometimes you have to start at the top!) It worked!

His polite aggressiveness and fearless approach caught the attention of the President who referred him to HR, who – in his first interview – hired him on the spot. I’m sure that being referred by the President probably helped, but it was his sincere interest in learning more about being successful that was the clincher.

There is nothing wrong with jumping into a huge networking event with lots of opportunities to connect with and engage with new people. But it’s more than that. I’ll say it again: Networking is always and only about building close business relationships. That what makes it work best. Smart people know that it takes time. Business networking is no quick fix for someone who needs to make their sales goal this week.

You wouldn’t walk into a Chamber of Commerce meeting and expect that all 150 people in attendance would run up to you and order your product or service. You have to mix and mingle, have conversations, exchange business cards, request time outside of the event to get together and begin to develop a relationship.

At any networking event it’s important to begin to circle successful, relevant people, get to know them, share interesting information, provide value, demonstrate expertise, have conversations, and grow connections. Along the way we learn (provided we are circling smarter people than ourselves – and we should), we grow, and in time we will get high quality, qualified business referrals.

BONUS Articles: Referrals vs. Recommendations
“Qualified” Referrals – The Currency of Successful Connections!
Is It a Lead or a Referral?

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
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Thursday, April 26, 2012

7 Keys to Help You Turn Up Your “Burn!”

Filed under: Network Training,Personal Growth,Self-Image — Larry James @ 7:00 am

I’ve been thinking lately about people who complain that networking really doesn’t work for them. I’m thinking that perhaps it’s really them who is not working at their business as effectively as they could. I’m also thinking that many of those people I meet have lost the spark that drives their business. Their flame for what they do is but a flicker. They have become discouraged, disappointed and are not quite sure what they should do about it.

openyourmindIt’s time we change that. Turn up your “burn!” Light a fire under yourself! Give yourself a good kick in the pants (or panties), get off your butt and do what is necessary to get back in the game. There are many effective proven ways to regain the burn. Doing nothing is not one of them.

Discouraged, disappointed or whatever, you have to take the first step while you are floundering around in the dodo. It’s call starting fresh. Beginning again. Starting over. You must rediscover the desire to excel. The desire to excel is an amazing flotation device. It keeps you from going down for the third time. The uncertainty of discouragement and disappointment can take its toll.

You have to learn to be a trail blazer again. To get excited about the career path you have taken or jump ship and do something different. Get back the sparkle in your eyes. Move forward on instinct. Never let them see you sweat. Demand that extraordinary become mandatory!

How do you turn up your “burn?”

1. Unclutter your mind. Let go of those thoughts that keep you stuck. How do you do that when you are discouraged and disappointed with the way things are going? It’s simple. . . not easy. You change your thoughts to what you want instead of staying on the destructive path that leads you in an endless loop – getting you nowhere. It’s important to have clearer thinking if your want to be successful in business networking. Think something different. Make it a habit to change your thinking to what you want whenever you catch yourself backsliding.

One of the biggest obstacles your business faces is the way you think. Never say, “This isn’t working!” Instead focus on a solution instead of the problem. This take strong mental discipline. Are you afraid of failure? Ask yourself, “What would I do if I were not afraid?” then do that! Or, “What would I do if I knew I could not fail?” Give yourself some brain food – fresh thoughts that make you feel good and help you to move forward. Quiet your mind – think only of what you want. Test some positive thoughts. If things have been stagnate for a long time, this won’t happen overnight, but you must stay on track.

2. Go back to school. Maintain your brain. Begin to study the success traits of those who are doing what you want to do. Find a mentor. Follow a leader in your field. Read a good book that energizes your mind and stimulates your thinking at least once a month. My friend and professional speaker, Larry Winget, reads about 50 books a year. You’ve probably seen him on A & E, and national television or heard him speak somewhere in the U.S. If he can do all that and keep as busy as he is, so can you. Never say, “I don’t have time to read a book!” Perhaps you may want to consider “making” some time to read. If you only devote 15 minutes to reading everyday you can read no less than 15 books a year (you probably spend that much time in the bathroom each day). A commitment to read everyday takes strong mental discipline. When you stay focused your attitude changes from one of self-defeat to one that has you begin to feel good about yourself. It jump starts a good attitude. And you know what they say, “Attitude is everything!”

tellthetruth3. Improve your relationships. Studies show that your relationship with your significant other or spouse has a corresponding effect on your business relationships and your success. What happens in your day-to-day private life, especially your close relationships has the potential of intruding subtly, and often not so subtly into your daily working lives. When it comes to the workplace, in the past many managers have tended to ignore the personal, and private emotions of their staff in situations of conflict at home.

Novus Card Services (the Discover Card people) hired me twice to come in a talk to their people about the importance of having a good relationship at home. The HR person told me that “if things weren’t working at home it was noticeable in their productivity at the office.” Bravo for Novus! The stress of conflict at home follows you to the office. It’s important to do damage control when things at home get out of balance – and do it quickly. Express love for family and it spills over into your business relationships. If you are bankrupt in the relationship department at home, your business relationship may follow suite.

4. Truth rocks! Maintain a high level of integrity. Treat others with honesty and respect. The Golden Rule of Engagement is: Always tell the truth. It sounds simple, and it’s really important. If the customers trust you, they will come back. If others in your network trust you amazing things happen. Honesty pays great benefits. Winston Churchill once said, “A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to put its pants on.”

5. Hang with the right people. If you don’t you are susceptible to boredom. Successful people associate with people who are like minded, focused, and supportive. Like attracts like. Smart people usually hang out with other smart people. Be a smart person. (See #2 above). People who are smart are fun to communicate with. I admit that not all of the people I hang out with are smart (you know who you are… ;-)) however most are not into trying to impress me with who they are. Smart people usually don’t do that. Half of being smart is knowing what your dumb at! If you have been in the business for any length of time you know that many people around you are content to live mediocre lives. Not me! The point is: you can learn a lot from people who are doing what needs to be done. They are disciplined and decisive. They focus on being productive, not just being busy. Most work outside of their comfort zone. They take calculated risks. They maintain a positive outlook as they learn from their mistakes. You can learn from that.

6. Love what you do. It is important to “love” what you do. If you don’t love what you do you should find something else to do. Doing what you love doesn’t feel like work. There is a sign in my office that reads, “If it feels like work, you must be doing something wrong!”

“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle.” ~ Steve Jobs, Apple

repent7. Repent! Forgive yourself for all your past bad business and networking habits and begin again. There is no shame in starting over. Turn over a new leaf. Make some new choices – choices that you promise yourself to maintain. No excuses. Green lights and straight ahead!

Money is often the center of conflict if things aren’t working at work. (Note: To me, that pretty much proves that, “What happens in our day-to-day private lives, especially our close relationships has the potential of intruding subtly, and often not so subtly into our daily working lives.” Interesting isn’t it?

One of my mentors, Keith Belknap, (Tulsa, OK) used to say, “You gotta have a burn!” Be on fire with what you are doing. Following the guidelines above will help you make the adjustments needed to get you back on track money-wise, networking-wise and help you to move yourself forward to more success that you can imagine. It will help change your way of looking at the world and, most important, your attitude about yourself and business networking. It will also help to to be inspired to do and be better in all that you do.

Okay! It’s time. Give yourself that “kick in the pants (or panties)” and get busy!

howcanihelpnetHQ

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!”

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/

Monday, July 25, 2011

Mind Your Networking Manners

Here are a few things to keep in mind when you attend networking events! Good manners engenders goodwill and trust from others, and makes it more likely that others will want to work with you.

gluttony

Don’t talk with your mouth full! 😉

Don’t chow down at the food station. Never talk with your mouth full. No one likes to talk with someone who is more interested in chomping away at the hor dourves. Did you come to eat or network. I usually eat before I arrive so I can spend more time networking.

Never stand on the sidelines. Get into the game.

Wear your name tag on your upper right shoulder, which is the natural place for people to look when they shake your hand. Never wear it hanging from your neck or upside down or with someone else’s name.

Never give your business cards out randomly. Be selective. Only give your card to someone with whom you have an interest in following up with.

It is not politically correct to arrive late. Always be on time. Show up early and stay late.

Don’t butt in when others are talking. Interrupting tells them you were not really listening or not interested. And don’t be a time hog. In other words, pay attention to what they are saying (you might learn something) and don’t be so quick to talk only about YOU. If you want others to pay attention to you, pay attention to them. Be patient. Conversation is a two-way street. Try not to be so set on your talking points that you miss what the other person has to offer. Listen more than you speak.

Dress to impress. Your image is what people see first. Present the “best” image of yourself. Business casual is the uniform of the day – depending on the event! Sloppy dressers won’t get referrals from me. Cut-offs and sandals are out.

Demonstrate your own self-confidence. Maintain a positive attitude about yourself and your accomplishments. Talking about yourself positively is not the same as bragging. Confidence attracts people.

Never text, Tweet, send e-mail or make phone calls during events or networking meetings. Be respectful of others. Turn your cell phone off or at least set it to vibrate. Place all your focus on the reason you chose to attend in the first place. If you must take a priority call, be sure to excuse yourself before you answer and step away from the area or – better yet – go outside where you won’t disturb others.

thinkbeforeSpeakingIntroduce yourself but be careful not to bore people with a 30-second connection when informally meeting someone. Your so-called “elevator speech” or 30-second connection is usually intended for smaller group meetings where everyone is given an opportunity to introduce themselves. Develop a one-liner that tells them your name and clearly tells what you do and do it before you ever get to the event.

When you stumble on someone who you think you might like to follow-up with or include into your own personal network, show an interest in them. When receiving a business card, take the time to look it over and make a comment about it. Make notes on the back of their business card so you can remember something about them when you follow up. Allow them to see you do this. It demonstrates that they have aroused an interest in them.

Always remember, networking is all about building relationships. Relationships are built on trust. Building trust is generally not built in a single meeting. The trust part will develop when you are authentic in your relationships.

Keep your word! It you say you will follow-up, do it. If you say you will call, call.

The person standing right in front of you should always take priority. While at a networking event, never be caught looking over the shoulder of the person you are talking to for someone better to talk with. If they are a bore, give them the courtesy of a polite exit and then move on (e.g., “I need to refresh my drink, perhaps we will run into each other again later.”) Always exit conversations politely.

On the other hand, if they start to fidget, look around the room or use noncommittal words like “okay,” “interesting,” and “hmmm,” they are probably finished talking to you. Bring the conversation to a quick conclusion and move on. Another exit strategy is to excuse yourself shortly after someone else joins the conversation. I once saw a friend and decided to stop and say hello. He quickly introduced me to the person he was talking to and left. After spending a few minutes with the one he introduced me to, I realized why he left. It wasn’t long before I moved on. 😉

Be friendly, share a smile and make good eye contact. Intense eye contact can make you appear confrontational or confused. Too little contact can make you appear rude and disinterested. Be memorable, not just another face in the crowd. I often will say, “My name is Larry James, the guy with two first names” to help them remember me.

“When you call, leave a message. They know you called. Almost everyone has some sort of caller ID which will show that you did call. If you don’t leave a message, they won’t know if it’s an emergency or not. I mean they’ll probably know it’s not an emergency, but just do them a favor and tell them so.

Second. Leave your number. Twice. Leave it once at the beginning of the message and then once more at the end. At the very least, leave it at the beginning. That way, when they try to write it down, they don’t have to wait through the entire message a second time to make sure that they got it right.” ~ Greg Peters, The Reluctant Networker

Nobody likes a phoney! You can spot them across the room. Keep it real. There is nothing worse that being a fake for the sake of gaining contacts. Be yourself.

If you are holding a cold drink, hold it in your left hand. Icy fingers don’t work well when you shake hands.

Be a giver. . . not a taker. Never make a sales pitch at a networking event. Offer assistance to those you meet. If you know someone that they should know and you feel comfortable enough with them to namedrop. . . do it! An easy way to touch base with someone in your network is to clip out an article that you think might interest them and mail it to them – not e-mail – use a stamp!

When you receive a lead from someone, send them a hand-written thank-you note – not e-mail – use a stamp! Include your business card.

I often will ask someone I meet for networking advice. It does two things: I find out how much they know about networking and I might learn something. It’s also a good conversation starter. Ask: “Been networking long?” “What works best for you?” “What is the best technique you’ve discovered while networking?”

Make it a goal to do something for the people you meet. Doing something for someone without expecting anything in return is a very quick way to allow people to warm up to you.

Don’t substitute technology for face-to-face conversation. Small talk breaks the ice and puts others at ease. An occasional e-mail is okay, however, be sure to send e-mail without abbreviations and grammatical errors. It’s tacky and unprofessional. Spell-check email and re-read email before pushing the “send” button. Phone calls are better, and face-to-face meetings are best.

I know, it goes without saying, but I’m going to say it anyway. Always remember to say please and thank you.

There are many other dos and don’ts for networking. You are encouraged to comment on some of the ones you have found to be effective.

BONUS Articles: When You Shake Hands. . . Really Shake Hands!
Breaking the Ice at Networking Events
Business Etiquette: 5 Rules That Matter Now

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!”

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/

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Give Your Brand Personal “Curb Appeal” at Networking Events!

Filed under: Attitude,Business Cards,Dress for NetSuccess,Proper Dress,Self-Image — Larry James @ 7:00 am

Making a great first impression is important if you want to be successful in business, especially when it comes to networking events. People form permanent opinions of those they meet within a few minutes of setting eyes upon them. Making a great first impression can be tricky to say the least. Our words, appearance, actions, facial expressions and body language play an important part of how others perceive who we are.

Every point of contact with your personal brand should reflect the impression you want to make on your potential customers, clients and friends. There are many key differences between top-producing salespeople and low performers. Both show up at networking events and you can spot the losers from across the room. They stand out. . . AND so do the winners!

If you show up in attire in which you are comfortable but less dressed up than the event demands, are you being authentic (true to yourself) or disrespectful of other networkers/clients? You are being disrespectful of other networkers (clients, etc.) and it is tantamount to hurling an insult, because it shouts “my comfort is more important than impressing you.” People get it when you dress to impress and they smile inside with delight.

networking2Do you demonstrate a memorable impression? Attitude should be at the top of the list! It’s a quality that makes people say “wow,” when others first see you. It’s your own personal “Wow Factor.” If you are depressed or have had a bad day, stay home! Don’t spread that attitude to others. Veg out on TV and give yourself some time to bounce back.

How does your smile measure up on the smile-o-meter? No one likes a sour-puss. When you greet someone, Leil Lowndes, author of, “How to Instantly Connect with Anyone: 96 All-New Little Tricks for Big Success in Relationships,” says to use what she calls a “slow-flooding smile.” Leil says, “Instantly switching to a 100-watt smile can make you seem phony. Instead, let your smile slowly when you make eye contact. This sends the message that there is something about this person in particular that you like.”

I’m sure you probably know someone whose dress, behavior, or body language, makes you want to avoid them. When attending business networking events, dress like a business person. Over dress rather than under-dress. Dress appropriately for the occasion, of course, but always appear a little more polished than everyone else. The way you dress and carry yourself makes a difference. You don’t have to be on the “best dressed” list for the year, but dress for success, and at least dress up for the occasion. People with bad grooming habits and a crummy outlook on life detract from their personal curb appeal.

buildyourbrandMaintain eye contact long enough to determine the color of their eyes. No stalker-staring. People are inclined to like and trust those who make strong eye contact rather than someone who is constantly looking over their shoulder to see if they can find someone more interesting to talk with.

Face people directly when talking with them. Even a slight turn away signals your lack of interest and can cause the speaker to shut down. No slouching. If you want those you meet to talk more, slightly nod your head up and down as if agreeing with them. This sends a message of acceptance. Research shows that people will talk three to four times more than usual when the listener nods in this manner.

It’s important to be mindful of the nonverbal communications you are sending to your networking friends, to potential clients and other people you meet. You ARE your “brand.” Bring your personal touches and creativity to each event. Make sure you wear your brand in the most favorable way.

When someone hands you their business card, (whether you want it or not), treat it with respect. Take a few intentional moments to read it, comment on it, if appropriate, then put it in whatever pocket you’re putting the “possible future contacts” cards in or the pocket that contains all the contacts that you are sure you have no interest in contacting. Never just shove it in your pocket or purse.

Never invade someone’s personal space. Standing too close or too far away may make them feel uncomfortable. On an average, if anyone is closer than 18 inches, you may find them backing up or looking for an excuse to move on.

Be a “committed listener.” If you have a sincere interest in the person you are talking with, listen for clues that might help you keep the conversation going. Leil Lowndes, tell us, “If you can spot these words and topics, you can redirect dull, forgettable small-talk conversations toward things that people actually want to talk about.”

Overall, the perception of untrustworthiness, cleanliness (bad breath and body odor), lack of charisma and more is what detracts from your brand’s personal curb appeal. Be interesting. Be noticeable. Be friendly and personable.

Ineffective brand curb appeal undermines success! Jazz up your personal presentation of you!

Your curb appeal doesn’t matter what YOU think about it. . . it only matters how others perceive you.

BONUS Articles: When You Shake Hands. . . Really Shake Hands!
What About Business Cards. . .

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!”

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