Networking HQ BLOG with Larry James

Thursday, October 10, 2013

The Networking Personality Examined

Diana Bourgeois, Guest Author

In networking events all across the country, from Chamber After Hours to professional luncheons to business mixers, there are always those people to meet and greet everyone. Often referred to as the “movers and shakers,” the truth is these people are in possession of the networking personality. You know, the networking personality is that set of charismatic characteristics that turns everyday business people into born promoters and marketers to help grow their contacts and enhance their connection based.

NeverFailFollowUpWhile this may seem like good fortune for those lucky few, the truth is the networking personality is only a matter of practice of these few simple rules:

THIS IS NOT PROM – GET OVER YOURSELF: This is perhaps the hardest rule for people to overcome. Many people stand on the outside of groups during networking events waiting for someone to come up and speak to them. In truth, the only person who ever talks to them is the servers passing around food or drinks. The purpose of a networking event is meet people. It is expected. Every time you approach someone and extend your hand, you are taking a risk, but most people receive an approach very well and appreciate the effort.

“NO” CAN BE GOOD: In most people’s minds, hearing NO is the ultimate failure in networking; however, in some cases, hearing NO can be a ground breaking opportunity to disengage early and move on to an introduction that will lead to businesses. In this case, it is very much like buying a house. You will know quickly if the person in front of you is a good contact for you. There is no tragedy if both of you disengages and moves on to new connections. Be professional, ask for their business card, and move on!

TAKE INSTEAD OF GIVE (Business cards): There are two problems with giving out a business card without being asked. First, you are spending money with every business card you give. Save your business cards for the people who are great leads. Second, if you give someone your business card, this means they are responsible for the contact. Receiving a business card gives you the opportunity to stay in contact and makes your responsible for the correspondence. Even in cases where the person is not a good contact, ask for a business card for net-weaving (see below).

PRACTICE NET-WEAVING: INTRODUCE (3) AND CONNECT (2): At any business event, the goal is always to make connections and introduce yourself to other decision makers. Net-weaving is a great way to keep your placement in the minds of those who are currently contacts as well as make new contacts by connecting people around you. At every event, make it a habit to introduce three current connections and connect two new connections to others. Why? It is simple – when you are interested in other people’s business you stay in their mind.

YOUR NAMETAG IS YOUR FRIEND: There are three very common mistakes to wearing a nametag. First, most people with pre-printed name tags tend to forget to wear it. Just like wearing a shirt or shoes to a networking event, your nametag should always be in the right place. The second most common mistake? Putting your nametag on the wrong side. Your nametag should always be on the right shoulder because people’s eyes travel up your arm when you extend your hand to shake hands. Third and final note about your nametag? Invest a few dollars in a pre-printed nametag. Often times, writing your name on a white tag is hurried and looks unprofessional as you try to squeeze your name and company into the little 5×7 sticky paper. It is worth a few dollars to have a clean, branded nametag that is easy to read and associate.

BE KNOWN FOR SOMETHING – A DISTINCTIVE SIGNATURE: Establishing a moniker for your appearance or a staple that people can lock in their mind is vital to the networking personality. In a place where everyone is wearing a golf shirt with khaki pants or a simple black dress, it is easy to be “the person who always wears __________.” For women, it might be a scarf or a hat. For men, it might be a bowtie or a cleaver shirt pattern. Either way, connecting something about your person to your brand makes people remember you all the more.

NETpurseIF YOU JUGGLE, YOU LOOK LIKE A CLOWN: Over and over again, business struggle with the presentation of their materials. Especially true of women with purses or bags, digging for a business card or, worse, giving someone another person’s business card is incredibly unprofessional. If you have to dig for a clean, crisp business card, then it says that you do not have your act together. HINT – keep your business cards in your right pocket and the business cards of others in your left pocket. With this habit, you will automatically be able to produce a business card at moment’s notice.

SOCIALIZE LATER – MEET THE PEOPLE YOU DON’T KNOW: It is easy to fall back into the waiting friendships of people who you know and feel comfortable with at a networking event; however, socializing is not the goal. Your goal is to get out there and meet the people who you are not connected. Take the time to gather your senses and really get comfortable with those who are not in your business circle while using those opportunities to connect with familiar people through net-weaving.

EVERYTHING IN YOUR HANDS ARE OBSTACLES: At many networking event, food and drinks are supplied as part of the entrance fee. Although this is done with goodness to allow people to relax, everything in your hand presents an obstacle to shaking hands, giving business cards, and interacting with others. If you have set down a drink or ask someone to hold a plate of food, then you are not presenting the most positive professional appearance before those people who are thinking of doing business with you. Clear your hands and streamline your interactions.

THE BIGGEST FAILURE – FOLLOW UP: Many times, when people leave networking events, the handful of business cards end up on a desk or thrown away. The most important thing about the networking personality is the plans for how you will connect with the leads you develop during the event. All of the dynamic character and outreach of the networking personality will be wasted if you do not follow up immediately with people while you are fresh in their minds.

There are many reasons to work on building the networking personality. If the cliché is true about first impressions being the best impressions, then creating a dynamic lasting connection relies on claiming a unique presence in the mind of each person encountered at the event. After all, there is no point going to a networking event if people don’t remember you have been there.

BONUS Articles: At a Networking Event, BE the Host!
The Art of the Follow Up! ~ 19 FREE Articles

DianaBourgeoisCopyright 2013 – Diana Bourgeois. Diana Bourgeois presents Marketing – That includes everything from social networking to blogging to articles to web design. We call it “Leave Your Mark” Marketing. Every where that your company is… that is where you leave your mark for others to follow you back. It’s marketing that works smarter… not harder. Visit Diana’s Website!

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

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, October 29, 2011

Top 11 Women Networking Mistakes

Filed under: Guest Author Articles,Networking Tip,Women Networking — Larry James @ 9:00 am
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Dawn Billings, Guest Author

Many women ask me, “What are the biggest networking mistakes women make when trying to market their products and services through networking?” Here is my list of the top 11:

1. Not networking. The biggest mistake women make around networking is simply not networking. Business Networking is one of the most effective ways to expand your circle of influence and create community recognition. People cannot choose to do business with someone they don’t know.

2. Reach for the stars. Women usually feel more comfortable with their peers. We can sometimes be timid about stretching and getting to know the stars in our community. Shine bright and join the full galaxy of talent in your community. Become someone worth meeting.

3. Say “NO” to negative self-talk. Take actions and make choices that strengthen your belief in yourself. Quite the negative self-talk. That critical voice in your head is motivated by fear. Don’t listen. Bring your best to your business networking events and leave the negative self-talk at home.

4. Market as hard as you work. Don’t just work hard, Market hard as well. Most women I know are very hard workers, but it does you no good to have a great product of service and work your tail off if no one knows about you. You have to be willing to market as hard as you work. Hard work alone is not enough.

5. Network with integrity. Be who you say you are, and do what you say you’ll do. Do not over promise and under deliver. Over-booking yourself can damage your reputation and your relationships when you don’t follow through.

6. Networking is professional. Don’t take it personal. Just because someone doesn’t choose to do business with you immediately, be graceful. Don’t take things personally. Networking is about being a professional. Just keep your head up, and keep at it. It works, if you are willing to keep working it.

7. Be consistent. Networking is not about immediate gratification. Marketing is about consistent touches. It is about you keeping your name in front of people who can refer you and use your services themselves. Attend your business networking events consistently. Let people know they can depend on you.

8. Be interesting. People love interesting people. Read, learn, grow. The more interesting you groom yourself to be, the more interested others will be in knowing and referring you.

9. Remember you are your best advertisement. How you look and how you present yourself are very important. People make snap decisions about who you are. Look your best, but not only that, get a coach to help you when you present your products of services. Use your words well. You often only have a minute of two to communicate who you are.

10. Emulate greatness. Find someone you admire and emulate his or her greatness. Examine what makes them great and copy trait. Great people often surround us. Learn from them how to become great.

11. They don’t listen. One of the biggest mistakes women make when they network their business is that they are desperate to tell people about what they do and the products and services they love. My recommendation is to listen first. Being a great listener makes you stand out. Once people feel like you have listened to them, they are more interested in hearing about you.

BONUS Article: Networking: A Woman’s Contact Sport

netHQCopyright 2011 – Dawn Billings. Dawn Billings,CEO & Founder of The Heart Link Women’s Network, with 150 women networking locations in US and Canada, and TROVA Business Network, business networking for ALL small business professionals. Visit Dawn’s Website!

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.

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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/

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Networking: A Woman’s Contact Sport

Filed under: Networking,Women Networking — Larry James @ 12:00 pm
Tags: , ,

Making the right contacts in business is extremely important to your success.

The truth is, no one really has cornered the market on networking as a contact sport. Networking is too big a sport for anyone to ever get a corner on it. For those of you who are successful, however, it’s more than a favorite pastime. It’s a way of life.

Most successful business women that I know are active networkers. Women excel in networking. Ask me, I know. I know a professional networker when I see one. I have built my professional speaking and publishing career by networking.

Meeting people is a must. It’s not only “who you know,” it’s “who knows you.” Meeting the people who count has to be a top priority. Meeting the right people gets you noticed and gets you places. If you have a desire to work smart, networking is one way to effectively do that.

Successful women in networking are not shy. Nancy Siegel, owner of Nancy Siegel Insurance Agency, Inc.,, Broken Arrow, OK, says, “Don’t be afraid to be the first one to speak to a stranger. Most people feel as uncomfortable as yourself and are usually glad to have someone to talk with after the ice is broken.”

It has been my experience that women seem to have a special knack for networking. Perhaps it is inbred in our culture. Women always seem to intuitively understand where to go or who to contact for just about anything they need or want to know. There are many men who are very successful at networking, however, when it comes to being creative with contact talents, women get “thumbs up” from me.

Let’s put networking in the right perspective. For the purpose of this discussion, let’s work with a definition of networking that has served me well.

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

Now, lets take a moment to think about that. Is that a belief system you could buy into? Read it again.

It is estimated that 65 – 75% of those people who are actively engaged in networking are women. People who network keep score by how many business leads they give others, not by how many leads they receive.

Kathy Holt, owner of Forget-Me-Not Gift Baskets, Inc., Tulsa, says, “If you really network right, with a commitment to only helping others, you will get back twice as much and make lifetime friendships.” She should know. Kathy experienced a 38.6% increase in business in five months after she joined The Tulsa Business Connection, a group I founded in 1985. She also recommends joining and getting involved with the Chamber of Commerce.

You won’t find people who take the easy way out actively participating in networking groups. Experienced networkers can spot someone who is only in it for themselves a mile away. People who want something for nothing do not succeed at networking. They fade in and drop out.

We erroneously call these people losers. They are not losers, they have yet to understand that to be successful you must first have integrity and second, commitment. They seldom stay with a project until its completion. Therefore they don’t do well when networking because networking demands both integrity and commitment. People who know the truth behind my definition of networking know that when you help others get what they want, you ultimately get what you want.

High achievers consistently are looking for a way to better themselves and to assist others in the process. They know that by participating in someone else’s success, they become more successful. You can’t be afraid of hard work and effectively network.

Networking works. And you must consistently work it. Rose Mary Winget, former sales manager at McCaw Communications, Tulsa, (and wife of professional speaker, Larry Winget) once told me, “Don’t say you don’t have time. You don’t have time not to network.” Her entire sales staff is actively involved in networking groups. She also hired me to present my networking seminar, Networking: Making the Right Connections, to her group.

Rose Mary’s experience has taught her that networking gets quicker results than prospecting. When you prospect, you are looking for potential customers and clients. When you network, you capitalize on the alliances you have developed with others in your network; they do your prospecting for you.

It makes sense. You can multiply your own personal effectiveness by the number of people you know, who believe in you, like you, trust you and are committed to refer business leads to you. Isn’t it a better use of your time to develop close personal and business relationships with people who are on your side and will help you succeed?

Many salespeople never get down to business. Their only interest is “busy-ness.” I don’t know about you, but busy-ness has never made me any money. To be successful, you must do what counts. Focus on what matters. Networking is building supportive personal and busines relationships; it’s meeting new people and making new friends; it’s helping others help themselves.

Marilyn Minter, a former Tulsa real estate agent started her own networking group, “Tulsans Networking Tulsa” (TNT) in March, 1991. Marilyn says, “Networking has given me the opportunity to make contact with literally hundreds of people. I never would have met those people without networking. The heart of my real estate business came from the personal referrals acquired while networking.” Her advice to women who are considering networking, “Get started. Be patient. Believe in yourself and never quit.”

Within the concept of networking is a blueprint for change. With change comes new ways of thinking. If you always do what you’ve always done, you will always get what you’ve always gotten.

There is only one way to keep your career growing. YOU must keep growing. Ask the women who network about the personal growth they have experienced. Ask them about how much better they feel about themselves now that they are doing more of what the pros do.

In meetings that are specifically designated for networking, each person is asked to give their “30 Second Connection” as a way of introducing themselves and their business to the group. After her first networking meeting, Vicky Olsen, who was visiting the group to fill the banker slot, confided in me that standing up to give her “30 second connection” to the group was very scary and she wasn’t sure she would return.

I asked her what her goals were for her advancement at the bank. She told me. I then explained that if she ever expected to achieve her goals, one of the most important elements of her success would be networking. To overcome her fear, I suggested that she take the Dale Carnegie Course. She did and later became one of their top “graduate assistants.”

I also told her that as far as presenting her “30 second connection” was concerned, if she followed the guidelines, she couldn’t get it wrong because no one in the audience knew what she was going to say anyway. I also suggested that she take an active part in the leadership of the group.

Less than a year later, she was the Treasurer of the group and served two one-year terms. Each week she stood unafraid to give the Treasurer’s report. And now the good news: Vicky was promoted to Vice President of the bank.

It takes courage to network; do put yourself “out there;” to consistently move toward something better; to become the someone you look up to. The more you network, the more courage you receive. Be courageous and you will discover more courage!

Unless you are committed to doing more than you’ve done before, you will feel some discomfort when becoming involved in networking. This is natural. You will be in the presence of doers. You, who are not doing, may be confronted by this. Thus, you may feel uncomfortable.

People who do more get results! They are actively engaged in activities that feed their enthusiasm for their calling. For them, backward in not an option. They are on “fast forward.” They get things done. They make every minute count when they are networking. They are aware of the “net” result. They know that what you put out to the universe, always comes back to you. They are dedicated to doing good for others.

How many successful people do you know? Network to get to know more. The energy they dedicate to helping others is infectious. Listen to their success stories. Listen for the opportunity that a fresh perspective presents. For me, it’s a lesson in inspiration; inspiring me to be the best I can be.

For a horse, one inch farther often wins the race. In networking, you never know when the next contact you make may be the one inch that puts you in the winner’s circle.

I met Gregory J.P. Godek — America’s Romance Coach — while networking. Greg is the best-selling author of 1001 Ways to Be Romantic. We sat at the same lunch table at a National Speakers Association meeing many years ago. He referred me to his book distributor. Five days later, I had a three year contract for them to distribute my relationship books to all the major book stores. This was a big break for me. We have since become great friends. He mentions my work in the relationship area in his books; I mention his work for the “romantically impaired” in my books.

Networkers play too! When they play, they have fun. They know that the time they devote to social and recreational activities with family and friends pays off with a sense of having recharged their batteries. After 11 years of networking, Nancy Siegel advises: “Know when to stop and recharge. Learn how to say “no” to please yourself instead of “yes” to please others. when you network, network! Whey you play, play!”

Remember too, the energy level of successful people operates above average because they love who they are and what they do.

Above average people network for above average results. They know a good thing when they see one. They stick with it. They are the above average women who have discovered a wonderful contact sport called “networking” and are still making new and exciting personal and business contacts after “all these years.”

Did you know?

• Women are starting businesses at twice the rate of men.
• One out of every 11 American women owns her own business.
• Currently there are over 10.6 million women-owned businesses employing 19.1 million people and generating $2.5 trillion in sales.
• Women make or influence over 85% of all purchasing decisions.
• Business growth is the #1 concern of business owners.
• By 2010 women will have the majority of wealth in America.

Source for “Did you know?” – Linda Hollander @ http://www.WealthyBagLady.com.

netHQ

Copyright © 2009 – 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! Visit ” 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.

Add Larry James 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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