Networking HQ BLOG with Larry James

Monday, July 20, 2015

Networkers: Let’s be More Technical and Smart!

In order to be a master networker, you must always maintain a positive attitude no matter what. To me that’s the easy part, for others, not so much. Negativity runs rampant among many networkers who are not doing so well, who are more interested in making a sale than building a relationship that will eventually deliver their biggest return on investment.

NET-PrerequisitesSome of the signs that tip us off is the tendency to become more aggressive and persistent. The hard sell is dead. They chase away prospects using that approach. It doesn’t work when networking. You’ll be much more likely to make the sale once you’ve established a relationship. They’re not there to make friends. And they’re certainly not interested in developing mutually valuable relationships.

Some of these people just like to complain about everything. They quibble about not getting any referrals and often their quibbling has a profound effect on others. They either need to learn more about what works when networking or just quit. Not changing their attitude will keep them stuck. I think it’s time for a major shift in thinking as it relates to business networking.

Let’s all focus on shifting from aggressive and persistent to more technical and smart.

I’m sure you may have noticed that the more aggressive and persistent you become, the more frustrated you get. Being enthusiastic and motivated are part of the technical and smart way of networking. I suppose being technical is becoming familiar with networking ideas that really work and working smart is putting your own spin on how you network. Technical is not about iPhones, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. It’s about using networking tools that work and also about enjoying being someone who helps people. Someone who enjoys being a supportive friend. To me that is one of the top prerequisites. Others are to be self-less and generous. Enthusiasm is important too. Be interested in people first… business come second!

“Master networkers don’t let any opportunity to work their networks pass them by. They manage their contacts with contact management software, organize their e-mail address files and carry their referral partners’ business cards as well as their own. They set up appointments to get better acquainted with new contacts so that they can learn as much about them as possible so that they can truly become part of each other’s networks.” ~ Ivan Misner

That’s another thing. The people who are aggressive and persistent about their aggressiveness generally “only” network at the networking meeting or at specific networking events. Where is that written? To be a master networker you must be networking and thinking networking all the time! Always being on the lookout for people you can help. To me networking is a way of life and a extremely good way to do business.

The idea Ivan Misner wrote about above about carrying their referral partners’ business cards as well as their own wherever they go is a hot idea! I carry my referral list with me when on appointments. The closing conversation always gets around to me asking them if they need any help in any areas of their business. When they need a DJ for a wedding, I can give them several names with complete contact info. I also want to know if they would like a personal introduction. If so, I will call one of the DJs and tell them I have someone interested in their business and turn the phone over to them. You will become known as a powerful resource for others.

Networking does not come natural to most people. Some have a knack for it and others stumble until they learn better ways than being aggressive and overly persistent. A good way to get started is by learning from your mistakes. It’s important to keep in mind that networking is about being genuine and authentic, building trust and relationships, and seeing how you can help each other. Networking is not for those who are caught up in the “if I don’t make this sale, I’ll be up the creek!” mode.

If you’re going to networking events focusing on getting clients, you’ll miss out on what you could find: Connections! Focus on getting to know people instead. They may not buy your product today, or ever, but in time they may send numerous people your way who could – but not unless you develop a relationship with them. You’re find networking opportunities in places like elevators, busses, supermarkets or parks not just networking meetings or events. Networking is a fundamental tool to the success of any business provided you use the right tools effectively.

There is a time and a place for networking – it’s called “anytime, and any place!” Just bring your best attitude with you!

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, March 20, 2013

How to Be a Red Ferrari in a Sea of Silver Cars

Do you have the “WoW” factor suitable for business networking? If you want to be noticed, you need to be different; you need to stand out in the networking crowd. Networking is less about meeting new people than having them remember you after you have told them who you are. It’s not just about making a great first impression, it’s about making a “lasting” impression.

Your assignment – if you choose to accept it – is to become a red Ferrari in a Sea of silver cars!

red-ferrariYou have to bring sizzle to the table. Be bold. Turn up the charm. Take a stand for who you are and what you represent. Don’t use buzz words or jargon. Plain English isn’t boring. It’s clear. It’s precise. Be clear.

Effective networkers are less concerned about what they might “get” in return for attending an event. They focus on helping others first! If you are more concerned about your ROI (return on investment) then you are missing the point. Getting yourself noticed expands your credibility and puts you in a better position to be a resource for assisting others. Networking is about helping others. Always ask, “How can I help you?

Professional networkers name names. When you meet someone, say your full name loud and clear, and try to use word association. I make it easy for them by saying, “Hi Joni (got her name from her name tag), I’m Larry James, the guy with two first names.” I’ve had people I’ve met track me down because they make the connection with “names” and “James.” Some get it wrong and call me Jim or James. I’m okay with that because I know they are trying to remember. When someone tells you his or her name, repeat it in the conversation as soon as possible. It demonstrates that you’re interested and it helps you to remember their name.

“First impressions are critical. When you stand out in the crowd, your status is elevated, you attract people to you, and you begin relationships in the way that ultimately increases the likelihood of people buying from you, hiring you, and refering to you.” ~ Larina Kase, PsyD.

Make a dazzling 30-second connection! Making your introduction all about you is dull and boring. Yawn. Ho-hum. Change it up. Insert humor (if it’s really funny!). An offbeat but memorable “elevator pitch” will help you stand out in the crowd. Beyond just giving a run-down of what you do in your 30-second connection, you should talk about something that makes you stand out or that might make someone interested enough to learn more about you. Your job title, e.g., “I’m a life coach” or “I’m a Realtor®,” will not set you apart from your competition or get you remembered! You must learn to captivate them with your words. Set yourself apart. Be the only person like yourself in the room!

Be well-dressed. The first thing that they will notice is your physical appearance. Clothes reflect yourself and your brand.

Engage others. We often evaluate people based on who they know. Instead of thinking about who you want to meet, think of who others want to meet and be their connector. This will assist you in becoming a powerful resource to others.

Be unique. Be sure you keep your word. No news spreads faster than the fact that you may be presenting yourself in a less than honest way. Just because you are unique does not mean that you are useful. Stand and deliver. No hype or stretching the truth. No telling half truths or misrepresenting facts in any way. Mean what you say and say what you mean. Speak only the truth. If you want respect, you must earn it!

Confidently share who you are with others. Be authentic. Push the envelope. People will be impressed with someone who is passionate about what they do. Amateurs tend to talk more than they listen. Don’t be a chatterbox! In networking, you should take the time to listen as much as you take the time to speak. Good relationships are rarely built when only one person dominates the conversation. Go back and forth. Ask good questions that do not require a yes or no answer. “Where else do you network?”

Whenever possible seek to be the speaker. When you have an opportunity to present yourself at a networking event or meeting, never let their minds wander while you are speaking. Be interesting. And for goodness sake, speak up. Pump up the volume. Face the people you are talking to. If you are holding a microphone hold it about 2 inches from your mouth and speak “clearly.” It is frustrating to try to get excited about someone who mumbles. If you want people to hear what you say you need to speak loud enough so everyone can hear you. Keep your listeners on track with short phrases like: “Let me explain why.” “And now comes the best part.” “Not only that…”

Stand tall, shoulders back, open posture, eye contact, and wear your best smile. Never fidget, sway or shift your weight repeatedly, jiggle change in your pocket, tap your foot, or scan around the room. Don’t talk all the time about your product, your service, your business. Because nobody’s that interested. Focus on which problems you can solve for them. How can your business provide a solution for what’s ailing them. Where is their pain? How can you fix it?

panel discussionNever insult your listener’s intelligence by stating the obvious. When everyone knows you are a Realtor, say it no more. It’s time to give them the latest info on the market or offer a tip about preparing their home for sale that blends with your marketing efforts. Talking only about your products bores your listeners. Talking about their problems grabs their attention. Talk about the hassle you prevent; the headaches you cure; and the glitches you can help them avoid. Don’t be clever. Be clear. No gobbledygook.

Discover ways to let others know you are there. You need every edge you can get. Always have some small bit of information to pass along that will help others. Share an article or a link to a Website you think they might like; one that may help them promote their business or introduces them to a new social media idea.

“Make a list of exciting things you can share with others throughout the event – like interesting clients or projects you’re working on or the fantastic book you just read. You don’t want to throw all of them out rapid-fire to everyone you meet, but having a few interesting points prepped will give you some talking points as your conversations flow organically.” ~ Susan Blond, The Daily Muse

Panel discussions are a great way to be in front of the people who count. Seize the moment to be on one. Know what you are going to say. Or, when listening to a panel discussion, stand tall, introduce yourself confidently, and ask a question of one of the panelists.

Never use profanity. Profanity grabs attention, but for the wrong reason. Be smart.

Don’t brag. If you’ve had many years of specialised experience or have won a prestigious industry award of excellence say so with humility. Go slow. Think before you speak. Be prepared. This “no brag” idea takes some practice. Consult with your closest friends in your network to get some ideas. Asking the advice of others also calls attention to yourself.

Be a souped-up Ferrari. Go faster, make more noise, stand out, and attract attention in a polished sort of way! Now, when someone at a networking event asks you who you are, you can proudly proclaim, “I’m a Red Ferrari!”

BONUS Articles: 6 Things Every Small Business Can Learn From Lady Gaga
It’s Really Okay to “Toot” Your Own Horn…
How to Brag About Yourself Without Turning Others Off
Do You Have an Effective “30 Second Connection?”

netHQ

Copyright © 2013 – 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!

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, March 4, 2013

Decent Exposure

Filed under: Networking,Self-Promotion,Stand Out in Your Group — Larry James @ 7:30 am
Tags: ,

If you want decent exposure to the people in your network of support… you must go out of your way to spread the good news about business networking.

speakingSpeak to networking groups. Not just networking groups, but any group that may allow you to speak. Don’t talk about your business. Let the person who introduces you do that. Write your own introduction. Be a guest speaker! It really is an effective way to get exposure for you and your business quickly.

If you’re not comfortable with public speaking, then try easing it into it with a small group like a networking mixer or luncheon. Try not to let the fear of speaking, networking and positioning yourself as an expert in your field, scare you.

What will you talk about? Prepare a 10 to 15 minute talk that goes info detail about the “Top 5” things that have benefited you the most when you network. If you have more time, present the “Top 10.” When you’re talking about something you know and are passionate about, public speaking and networking isn’t as bad as it sounds. It’s actually quite exhilarating!

Always hand out quality marketing materials – brochures, business cards, etc. – to those in attendance, complete with your contact information. If they want to contact you they will have everything they need. Meeting planners frown upon speakers who use their speaking time to promote their own business. Stick to your topic and give lots of tips.

Want to know a secret. This is how I started my professional speaking career. I spoke to any group that would have me. By the way, most groups are always looking for speakers. After a year or so, larger groups, Chambers of Commerce, Civic groups, Associations, etc., began to call me to be their featured speaker.

Always be friendly and prepared when speaking to someone who books you as a speaker or a journalist. Even if you don’t have much experience in media relations, simply being polite and offering the information a reporter needs can carry you through. Make friends with the media. Your connections will go a long way in helping you to obtain the media exposure your business needs.

speakingprogramWhile you may not want to be a professional speaker, speaking to business groups is always a decent way to get exposure for you and your business. It’s a great way to get your business noticed. Once you get proficient in presenting your talk, the next step is to volunteer your talk to radio talk shows. Blog about your networking tips. Use Twitter and Facebook to get the word out.

It works best if while offering your talk or your tips online to not try to sell YOUR services but freely give information that will help others. Keep sentences short, verbs vigorous and phrases fabulous. And keep it brief. Many pitches to media “gatekeepers” — meeting planners, journalists, TV producers or radio hosts — are done by e-mail. Contact the local media with a good story angle.

Not a speaker? Do it anyway. Over time you will perfect your talk and your confidence will grow. Afraid to talk before a group?

Dale Carnegie once said, “Do the thing you fear to do the most and the death of fear is certain!”

Once someone asks you to speak to their group do everything you can to help publicize it. Send e-mail, make calls, post your speaking engagement on Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and Twitter. Turn a little exposure into more press to help perpetuate a better reputation for you and your business.

With time, luck and the right tools, a small business owner can attract the attention of the local media and enjoy the benefits of good publicity.

netHQ

Copyright © 2013 – 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!

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, February 4, 2013

3 Easy Networking Questions to Stand Out from the Crowd

Filed under: Networking Tip,Stand Out in Your Group — Larry James @ 8:00 am
Tags:

Brian Hillard, Guest Author

Pop quiz time!

Question: At a networking event, how do you get a potential client to remember you from everyone else she’s met?
Answer: By standing out from the crowd.

Question: How can you stand out from the crowd at every networking event?
Answer: By asking the right questions.

helpfultips2Not sure what to ask when meeting someone for the first time? Let’s take a look at a few of my favorites:

So where else do you normally network?

This is one of my favorite questions when I first meet someone because it accomplishes two goals. Not only does it help break the ice during that sometimes awkward period just after you’ve introduced yourself, but it also gives you a chance to talk about something you both know a little bit about.

Another reason I like it is because it gives you the opportunity to make an “instant connection” with that other person. How? By providing valuable information they might not have had before. And as we all know, one of the keys to creating a solid business contact is to make a connection with that individual.

As an example of this, I was at a networking event one morning when I asked the gentleman I was speaking with where else he normally networked. He told me that as a matter of fact, he didn’t know of too many other places around town because he just moved to the area.

Well that was music to my ears, because as someone who’s lived in Atlanta for almost five years, I like to consider myself somewhat of an expert when it comes to local networking events. So I gave him the names of a couple of groups off the top of my head, and I mentioned that I would shoot him an e-mail when I thought of some more. You could almost see the relief in his eyes. He was genuinely grateful that I was helping him out with that information.

And that’s what I mean when I talk about creating a connection with someone, and developing a solid business contact. If that were you, would you remember me after that event? You bet!

BrianHillard

Click cover for info!

What do you like best about what you do?

This is another good question I like to ask early in the conversation because it’s a little “fresher” than the old approach, “So what do you do?” Everyone’s been asked that one before, and the new question gives you another option for getting that same information.

One caveat though: About 40 percent of the time I ask this question, people turn it right around and ask me the same thing. So don’t say I didn’t warn you!

Oh I see. So what got you started in that direction?

This is a great question to ask during the latter stages of the conversation, and in my mind, really solidifies the exchange. Now you’re getting to know this person better because she’s providing some information that she probably hasn’t shared with very many people.

In other words, you’ve subtly moved the conversation from being strictly professional, to a more personal level. The end result will be a more engaging, thought-provoking discussion that will keep your name at the top of everyone’s list.

Copyright © 2013 – Brian Hillard – Reprinted with permission. Brian Hilliard is a motivational speaker, consultant, and author of the book, “Networking Like a Pro!” As founder of Atlanta based Agito Consulting, Brian specializes in providing individuals with actionable techniques they can use right away. Brian has also published a CD entitled, “How to Talk So Others Will Listen,” and he’s best known for delivering dynamic, thought-provoking sessions that keep people coming back. To learn more, please visit our website at www.AgitoConsulting.com.

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/
Follow Larry’s “Wedding BLOG” at: http://CelebrateIntimateWeddings.wordpress.com
Follow Larry’s “Authors & Speakers” BLOG at: http://www.AuthorsandSpeakerNetwork.wordpress.com/

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Do You Stand Out in Your Networking Group?

Filed under: Networking Tip,Stand Out in Your Group — Larry James @ 7:45 am
Tags:

Do You Stand Out in Your Networking Group? First impressions are critical. Amp up your personal style and you will capture attention and establish your brand. People who stand out in their networking group…

Do You Stand Out in Your Networking Group?

PUT Text HERE

• Are present at every meeting
• Puts new “spin” on their 30-Second Connection (often called Elevator Speech or Audio Logo) to keep it current, exciting, offbeat and memorable
• Volunteer to run for an Officer position
• Actively pass business referrals to others in the group
• Always perform speedy follow-up to business leads received
• Get involved in your networking group
• Often act as a greeter at a meeting so they can meet everyone
• Schedule meetings with other members outside of the group to get to know them better & to build better relationships
• Share with other members what works best based on their own experience
• Follows business etiquette
• Dresses to impress
• Consistently works to improve their networking skills by attending networking seminars and reading networking books
• Always remember to put helping others before selling themselves – Seeks to help others!
• Share new information or make a new introduction to someone else in the group
• Listens more than they talk
• Remember to say, “Thank you,” in special ways
• Always carries business cards and has extras in the car
• Keeps their conversations positive and upbeat
• Sits with someone they would like to get to know better at meetings
• Always keep their word
• Wears a name tag or company tag
• Let’s everyone know they are approachable
• Volunteer to be the speaker at a meeting

Your perception will shift from one of being a networker (perceived as wanting something from others) to being a valuable resource. Connecting people also elevates your status because we evaluate people based on who they know. If you want to increase your visibility and improve your networking return on investment (ROI), get involved in the leadership of your favorite group.

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

Networking is about making connections and building enduring, mutually beneficial relationships.

netHQ

Copyright © 2013 – 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!

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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