Networking HQ BLOG with Larry James

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Networking and Socializing – Never Confuse the Two

Filed under: Networking Defined,Networking Tip,Show Up! — Larry James @ 7:00 am

“If you’re confused about networking, you’re not alone. Men and women sometimes equate networking with socializing, when in fact the two are quite different. There’s no doubt that online networking has a social component. But generally, when they talk about the value of networking, career experts are referring to professional interaction.” ~ Paula Santonocito

twitter_bird_learningThere is a lot of interest in social networking on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. The key word is “social.” Social networking will never replace the idea of a face-to-face connection with live people. Just because 3,642 people on Facebook “like” you doesn’t really accomplish the same thing as meeting people up close and personal. I won’t lie. I do it too, however, I have yet to receive more than a dozen business leads that have actually turned into real business.

Unfortunately as a Networking Coach I find far too many networking groups and events where the emphasis seems to be on socializing. Far too many people replace real networking with professional socializing. Of course there is always a little bit of that wherever you find groups of people, however that is not only what networking is about.

Professional socializing is connecting with people to be social rather than to drive sales. Socializing is often thought of as hanging out with no purpose and often results in nothing productive happening. It’s fun to be with friends for a drink and some light conversation, however, light conversation often doesn’t get you anywhere. Meaningful conversation does.

connecting2The most productive networking is with people who are likely to be close to the people you want to meet – people who you can help and those who are in a position to help you. You talk about meaningful stuff and the focus is on helping each other. Great networks are those in which people help each other get where they want to go.

“My definition of business networking is this: 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, author of “Ten Commitments of Networking: Creative Ways to Maximize Your Personal Connections!

I once heard someone say, “Two things to have on you at all times: breath mints and business cards.” 😉 Not a bad idea. That way you are always prepared to make some good connections. Remember, networking is not about YOU! It’s about helping others and nurturing long-term relationships. Always ask them what they are about and what they might need from others in their network. Really listen to the other person and ask questions in response. If you first show an interest in them, they will usually be interested enough to ask about you.

“Networking with a purpose is connecting with people with a goal in mind, and that goal is to help them get where they are going, and to ask them for help in getting where you want to go. When you attend a meeting filled with prospective customers, you are marketing yourself (I hope) and developing prospects. When you attend a meeting with few customers, your goal should be to find those who are influential and connected to the customers you want to reach.” ~ Tony Signorelli

netHQ

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

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

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

letsbefriends2

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

Friday, December 16, 2011

You Can’t Network If You Are Invisible…

Filed under: Networking,Show Up! — Larry James @ 9:00 am

“Eighty percent of success is showing up!” ~ Woody Allen

invisiblemanIf networking is going to work for you, you must aspire to be places that count. Did you know that you can learn to show up in the right place at the right time? It takes some effort. Anything that pays off with great rewards usually isn’t effortless.

Decide what places are important to you, find out who else will be there and show up. Go where opportunity is knocking. Where do the people who are making it hang out? What meetings do they attend? Learn to show up to schmooze.

To achieve maximum benefits while attending any function where the opportunity for networking exists, it is important to have a clear understanding of networking. You will notice that my definition of networking has two parts. #1 – Helping others, and #2 – Helping yourself. In that order.

To use networking as an effective business tool; to use it to help you make productive business links, you must first grasp the concept and engage in it relentlessly. Networking is a universal principle of giving and receiving – a lifestyle rather than a technique. It’s about turning the contacts you make into the connections you need and who need you. It’s about giving and not keeping score.

The first place you must show up is where you work. Be committed to be the best you can be at what you do. Show up early and stay late. Do whatever needs to be done. Then do some more. Let your boss see you doing more than he or she expected. What do you get for doing this? First, you get to keep your job. Second, the possibilities for additional income and position advancement increase. The more you do for others, the more you get for yourself. Give more than is expected and you will get more than you expected.

If you are one of those people who are just “putting your time in” until retirement, get off your butt. If you think you have reached a dead end, it could be that you are sitting on it. Get excited about what you do or decide to do something different. “How do I get excited about something I don’t like?” Why would you stay in a position that you don’t like? Weariness follows routine. Being some place you don’t want to be will drain your energy. You will almost always go home tired. When you are excited about what you do, your body floods you with energy. Excitement releases previously dormant energy. You need less sleep. You become more conscious about taking care of yourself. When you are excited about what you do, you do much better work and you are in a much better position to be an effective networker.

Attend workshops and seminars. These events are a great way to learn about a special subject or improve on some of your skills. Not only will you educate yourself but also you will meet professionals in a unique learning environment. Take this opportunity to network with the speaker or company producing the workshop. Many workshops designate time for networking either before or after the educational segment. Stand out in the crowd. Take this time to work the room.

Many workshops cater to a particular individual or industry so you will have a good idea of the kinds of people you are meeting. You will meet a variety of individuals such as executives, entrepreneurs and service providers. People of many different skill levels attend.

Attend cultural events. Many of the museums and art galleries regularly put on wine and cheese parties to show off their exhibits. These parties are a great chance to meet some of the cultured professionals in your area. They are often fund-raisers and are very social and fun.

Attend trade shows. A trade show is an easy way to meet people with similar interests. Exhibitor or not, trade shows are a great place to meet other people in your industry. Take advantage of some of the educational seminars because you will be able to network with some of the attendees before and after the presentation. stand-out-in-the-crowdTalk with some of the exhibitors about their companies and what they have to offer. Only take business cards from people who interest you or might have an interest in your product or services.

Here are a few other groups to consider.

Business meetings
Professional meetings
Chamber of Commerce “After Hours”
Civic clubs
Community service clubs
Conventions
Association meetings
Fraternal organizations
Political organizations
Church or Synagogue

Opportunity is everywhere! Be visible at a variety of places.

netHQ

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

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

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

letsbefriends2

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

Thursday, May 26, 2011

There’s No Business Like “Show Up” Business!

Filed under: Networking,Show Up! — Larry James @ 7:00 am

“Eighty percent of success is showing up!” – Woody Allen

“I don’t have the time!” Oh, really? You don’t have time to be places that could make a difference in your career, your relationships and your life? You never have time to do the things you don’t want to do.

Look at the benefits. People buy benefits. You do nothing unless there is a benefit in it for you. Right? You will show up when you decide that the benefits far outweigh the reasons you think you don’t have the time.

Some of the benefits of showing up are:

Visibility
Making new friends & meeting interesting people
Contributing to others
Allowing others to make a contribution to you
Networking
Exchanging new ideas
Social or personal reasons
Learning more about your business
Learning more about other people’s businesses
Recruiting employees
Discovering something new
Personal and professional development
Sales opportunities
. . . And the list goes on.

Never be too busy to show up. Schedule time for showing up. Have you ever heard the comment, “If you want something done, give it to a busy person.” Have you every wondered why that is? Perhaps it’s because they have learned to plan their day, set priorities and faithfully work their plan. There is a lesson to be learned here. If successful people can find the time to do the things that are important, consider that it might also work for you.

Many people use business meetings, Chamber “After Hours,” conventions, association meetings, trade shows, Junior Chamber of Commerce meetings, civic gatherings, etc., as functions at which to prospect; to look for new customers. That is never my priority, although you will often find me at those meetings.

It has been my experience that a much better way to maximize your networking efforts is to use this time as an opportunity to develop important new business contacts, not prospects, although often prospects show up where you least expect them. The emphasis must be on developing new business
connections. Think of networking as word-of-mouth marketing. It is creating buzz that creates biz. It is a lot more cost effective than buying expensive gifts for your clients, radio commercials or Super Bowl tickets.

“Never bother going anyplace where they won’t remember you were there!” – Raquel Welch

Are you getting the idea? Show up. Be seen. Be places that count. Choose those places carefully. Show up where there is the possibility for a “win-win” situation.

its-not-who-you-know-its-who-you-get-to-knowWherever you show up, be friendly. Smile. Acknowledge others. Don’t be selective. Say hello to people you don’t know. Do it everywhere. Go out of your way to cheer up a sour puss. Be a bearer of “good” news. Cheer people up. Offer a few words of inspiration. Say nice things to people. Be a crowd pleaser.

Show up at networking groups. This kind of group used to be called tips clubs, leads clubs, etc. Don’t overlook this group. It can be a very profitable group in which to be active. Networking groups usually meet for breakfast or lunch on a weekly basis for the primary purpose of exchanging business leads. There is only one real estate salesperson, one attorney, one insurance salesperson, one printer, one accountant, etc. With only one person in each classification, you never have to divide your loyalties.

Your local Chamber of Commerce or library may have a list of networking groups. Choose this group carefully. These people will become some of your best resources for business leads. Building effective personal and business alliances through networking will enhance your bottom line.

Here are a few other groups to consider.

Business meetings
Professional meetings
Chamber of Commerce “After Hours”
Civic clubs
Community service clubs
Conventions
Trade Shows
Association meetings
Fraternal organizations
Political organizations
Church or Synagogue
Networking Phoenix

BONUS Articles: Building a Case for LARGE Networking Events!
Choosing a Networking Group
Breakfast or Lunch? Getting the Greatest Bang for Your Buck!
Networking Events are a Waste of Time. . .

netHQ

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

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

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

letsbefriends2

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

Blog at WordPress.com.