Networking HQ BLOG with Larry James

Monday, March 31, 2014

And the Survey Says…

Filed under: Collaboration,Networking,Referrals/Leads,Time Management — Larry James @ 7:30 am
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Recently I conducted a survey of “former members” of networking groups. I personally spoke with about 89 people who once belonged to business networking groups but eventually dropped out.

I wanted to know why they dropped out and how much time they dedicated to actually looking for qualified business referrals for others in the group?

SurveySaysThe results: 9 out of ten former networking members admitted that they did not consistently dedicate their best efforts toward looking for and “giving” qualified business referrals to other members!

Sadly, I was not surprised. Networking only works for those who “give” business referrals to others. Once you become known for giving, that’s when other members will trust you enough to begin giving qualified business referrals to you.

I also asked how many members they invited to join their groups. Only 2 out of 89 said they had. It’s no wonder the others didn’t want to share their group with their friends. It’s impossible to get excited about your group when you think it isn’t working. They blamed the group, but I pointed out that the person they should blame is the one that looks back at them in the mirror every morning.

Another question was, “Did you note the meeting day and time on your weekly schedule?” and “Out of 10 meetings, on average, how many did you miss?” These answers were also disappointing. I believe that many times it’s better to schedule your business appointment with your client around the day and time of your networking meeting! (Do I hear a few groans?) For me, if that was not possible, my next suggestion was to invite them to my networking meeting and get together with them after the meeting. I also believe it is important for your business clients and customers to get a better picture of who you are, what you do to attract new business and that when you make a commitment to attend a networking meeting, you do everything possible to keep your commitment. Along the way, I actually recruited a few new members that way.

You may notice that I seldom talk about business leads anymore. Business leads often come as a last minute effort to give a lead at the meeting because the member forgot to focus on looking for leads for other members until the last minute. They are casual or random referrals. It’s usually just a name and maybe a phone number with no previous contact… just a name. It’s like a cold call. These leads are usually “time-wasters!” If you mention the person’s name that it came from, they may or may not know them. These kind of referrals are pretty much worthless, low quality and rarily work out.

That is another reason networkers drop out!

Networking members must learn to collaborate with other members. Make time to visit other members outside of the meetings to get to know them better.

Smart networkers schedule time to arrive early and stay later at networking meetings and events. The benefits to being early include exchanging business referrals with other members, getting to know them better, discussing new ideas, scheduling a breakfast or lunch with another member and much more. I like to stay late to have the opportunity to introduce myself to those who were attending the meeting for the first time and – if they were someone I saw as a good connection – I might even set up a time to get together outside of the meeting. Your primary intent should be to solidify business relationships with other members. Arriving early and staying late demonstrates the value you place on your time and the time of others.

For those who say, “Better late than never,” I say… “Better never late!”

I understand that there are times when being late is unavoidable, and I also understand that if being late is a consistent problem, being aware of the problem will help you look for and implement a solution.

BONUS Articles: “Qualified” Referrals – The Currency of Successful Connections!
Demonstrate Your Commitment to Networking ~ Here’s How
How Much Time Do You Spend Looking for Referrals For Others?
A Networking Referral Unraveled

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!”

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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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Saturday, January 19, 2013

Why Attending Networking Events Won’t Change Your Business Overnight

Filed under: Follow Up,Networking Video,Time Management — Larry James @ 7:45 am
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Andy Lopata, Guest Author

Know how much time you can commit to networking without burning yourself out or letting your business suffer. Don’t forget to factor in the time spent following up. Then prioritise the most important actions.

Networking may seem time consuming at first but, if you approach it in the right way, your network can potentially save you a great deal of time and money in the long run.

andy

Copyright © 2013 – Andy Lopata. Reprinted with permission. Labeled “Mr Network” by The Sun, Andy Lopata was called “one of Europe’s leading business networking strategists” by the Financial Times. The co-author of two books on networking, Andy is a featured columnist the US magazine “The National Networker,” as well as being regularly quoted in the national press. Previously, Andy was Managing Director of UK network Business Referral Exchange. Andy has since worked with companies from one-man bands to organisations such as NatWest Bank, Merrill Lynch and Mastercard to help them realise the full potential from their networking. He is a former vice-president of the Professional Speakers Association. Visit Andy’s Website and BLOG.

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
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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Schedule 30 Minutes a Day for In-Office Networking Activity

Filed under: Network Training,Time Management — Larry James @ 8:00 am
Tags: ,

Networking doesn’t stop when the meeting is over. Ideally you need to be spending at least 50% of your networking time maintaining the relationships within your network. It’s a wise choice to allocate at least 30 minutes each day for networking tasks and to strategize your next moves. Here are a few suggestions that have worked for me.

manatdesk• Follow up with people you met at a previous networking event.
• Call people you haven’t spoken to in a while.
• Tweet a networking tip to your network. If there already is a hashtag in place for the event you will be attending, use it! It’s a great way to connect with people. Don't know what a hashtag is? Google it.
• Answer questions on networking forums.
• Revise your 30-second connection to be compelling and to fit several different networking occasions. Communicate your uniqueness – Rehearse it.
• Schedule your next networking event/meeting in your day-timer. Plan to get there early.
• Comment on networking blogs.
• Send articles of interest to the people in your network.
• Add new members to your contact database.
• Visit the Websites of networking events you plan to visit to help plan your strategy.
• Come up with some new ideas to start conversations with others at networking events.
• Plan to have a breakfast or lunch meeting with someone new in your network.
• Buy a new book about business networking. Never stop learning. – Remember to share it with your network.
• Post a networking tip on your Facebook page (or send someone a link to this Networking blog). 😉
• Target someone in your network to give a business lead – The more you give, the more you get.
• Prepare your marketing material and be ready to go to your next meeting. Business cards & a pen? Check. Information packed handout? Check. Name tag? Check. Wear you name tag on you right shoulder so they will see it when you shake hands.
• Review the networking events you have been attending – phase out the ones that are not working.
• If you haven't made a presentation about your business, call the group leader and request a spot on the agenda.
• Review the business cards you collected at your last event and plan a special way to follow-up.
NetWomen• Write down your strengths, attributes and special skills. Keep these strengths in your head in order to boost your confidence and remind yourself of why people should be talking with you and listening to what you have to say.
• Put your camera by the front door. Take it to your next meeting. Take lots of photos. When you return to your office it will help you identify some of the people you want to follow-up with.
• Make connections by calling a few people before the event. Arrange to meet them. It’s a huge confidence booster to see some familiar faces when you first arrive.
• Meet often with other expert networkers to discuss ways to improve your networking skills.

When you actually schedule simple tasks like these, you will always be better prepared for your next out-of-office networking meeting or event. Being better prepared boosts your self-confidence. Never stop developing your networking skills.

Networking is not just about showing up and collecting business cards. Focus on the search for people that will fit nicely into your network of support. Developing long-term business relationships is the key.

Suggestion: Print this list and keep it close to your desk as a reminder.

Larry’s Note: A special “Thank you” to Heather Townsend, The Efficiency Coach for her contribution to this article.

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.

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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
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Friday, June 29, 2012

Don’t Have Time for Business Networking?

Filed under: Choosing a Group,Networking Tip,Time Management — Larry James @ 7:00 am
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Shame on you!!

Let’s get straight to the point.

If you are in business you must make time and and take time for networking. Period.

If you are a regular reader of this networking blog, you should already know that networking IS worth it.

wastingtimeWe are all given 24 hours in a day, so what sets the average business person apart from the highly successful business person is their ability to prioritize the 24 hours they are given.

Many people waste a lot of time trying to attend every networking meeting or event that they get notice of and as a result not much gets accomplished. It’s important not to burn out by trying to attend a lot of different groups. That doesn’t usually work. Don’t waste time!

It’s best to pick one group and focus all your attention and energy on developing relationships with the members of that group. The most effective groups meet about once each week. Put the meet up date on your business calendar and never make any excuses for not being there. Consistency is one of the keys. Other members need to see you there on a regular basis. Go early and stay late. There is no such thing as being “fashionably late” when networking. Some of the most effective networking is accomplished after the meeting is over – just hanging out with other members and getting to know them better.

You cannot make “long-lasting’ business relationship when you are jumping from one group to another.

Attending one major event perhaps once a month is okay too. However, I have found that there is not to much networking going on there. There are lots of people, most of which will push a business card in your hand and do their best to get to to buy their products and services. I don’t know about you but I seldom, if ever, do business with anyone I just met and especially someone who is only interested in themselves.

ticktockThe biggest percentage of people in smaller groups demonstrate their interest in you. They focus on building the relationship first – the right way! Remember that you get to choose not only which relationships you want to nurture, but also how close each relationships will be and how you will stay connected. Choose wisely.

Carefully choose the relationships in which you invest your precious time and energy to ensure that your success isn’t slowed and so that you experience a positive return on your investment.

Other than the one meeting a week, the rest of your time should be focused on your business, following up with one-on-one meetings with customers and clients and the members of your group and other business activities that are important to your success. Networking in but one part of your business – it is not the only thing.

Tick, tock, tick, tock!

Don’t let not having enough time stop you from building a strong network. You DO have the time. Prioritize and use your networking time wisely.

BONUS Articles: Networking Events are a Waste of Time…
Choosing a Networking Group
Shop for a GREAT Networking Group… Then STOP!
Breakfast or Lunch? Getting the Greatest Bang for Your Buck!

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.

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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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Saturday, February 18, 2012

80% of Your Referrals Come From 20% of Those in Your Network!

Filed under: Networking Tip,Time Management — Larry James @ 8:00 am

The Pareto principle (known as the 80–20 rule, the law of the vital few, and the principle of factor sparsity) states that, for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes.

Vilfredo Pareto

Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto observed way back in 1906 that 80% of the land in Italy was owned by 20% of the population. A very striking number. Pareto further developed the principle by observing that 20% of the pea pods in his garden contained 80% of the peas.

He didn’t name this principle however, business-management consultant Joseph M. Juran was kind enough to do this. You may not have known its origins, but Jurans advice is as solid as a rock. Mr. Juran popularized “80% of your sales come from 20% of your clients”.

The same is true for referrals. The 80/20 Rule means that in anything a few (20 percent) are vital and many (80 percent) are trivial.

So… where do you focus most of your networking energy? This principle reminds us to focus on the 20 percent that matters.

The problem is that many of us spend too much time beating a dead horse; romancing the 80 percent, when we should be giving referrals to and cultivating long lasting business relationships that matter from the 20 percent. Remember, 20 percent of your activities produce 80 percent of your rewards.

Who are the 20 percent? They are the active go-givers, the people in your network who you like and trust, who do their best to get to know you and your business better so they can know what kind of referrals that would benefit you the most. Notice I said “active.” They are willing to meet with you for a “get better acquainted” breakfast or lunch outside of the networking meeting.

Be one of the 20 percent!

Got the message?

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/

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