Networking HQ BLOG with Larry James

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Be a Network Volunteer!

Filed under: Networking,Volunteer — Larry James @ 8:30 am
Tags: , , ,

I have long been an advocate of volunteering… especially as it relates to business networking. One of the first steps toward networking your business is to become more visible in the the group and community the group services. It will help connect you with other members who share your passion for networking. By building these trusting relationships with other successful members, you essentially gain publicity for yourself and your business.

One of the smartest moves I ever made was starting my own networking group – The Tulsa Business Connection in 1975. Within 7 months, we had 47 members all in different business classifications. By the end of the year we had 65 members, 45 to 50 of which attended nearly every weekly lunch meeting we had. Dues were $40 per month, not including lunch. No one complained because they are all busy promoting themselves and our group and everyone was actively “looking” for business referrals for other members.

NET-VolunteerAttendance and dues are seldom a problem if everyone is doing their job; bringing at least one business lead every week and if they didn’t 25 cents went into the connection can. At the end of the meeting there was a drawing for those who did bring leads. Whoever’s card was chosen, won the “Connection Can Cash!” What a powerful group. The first year we exchanged nearly $2,000,000 in business leads for our members.

Anyone who had been a TBC member for more than 3 months knew that to volunteer to do something for the group was almost imperative. Those who didn’t volunteer were not that visible and as a result got very few referrals and eventually dropped out. We had many committees with about 5 members each who were responsible for various projects the group had chosen to support. Several were philanthropic. Our most popular committee was in charge of our “Quarterly Connections!” 4 time a year we would plan outside social events just for fun. Nearly member was involved in some kind of group activity.

I taught everyone to reach out to the community. Those who volunteered demonstrated their commitment to our group without concern for personal gain – and that was there too. Volunteering will always present new opportunities to help you spread the word about our group, your products/services and build affinity for our networking brand. Once our new President told me that she was have difficulty trying to do everything that was expected of her. The next meeting I asked for a volunteer to be assistant to the President and 14 hands went up. TBC was the largest, most active and most productive networking group in Tulsa for more than 15 years.

Several times we had special meetings and invited another networking group who was not doing so well to come and visit TBC to see why our group was doing so well. There was a substantial fee if they wanted me or someone deeply involved in our group to visit their group for one quarter to help them get on track and be more productive.

The Tulsa Business Connection established the first “Runaway Hot Line” with Tulsa Youth Services to help parents find their children who ran away. That news made the Tulsa World newspaper, every TV and nearly every radio station in town. We were all over the news and people were calling to join TBC.

For more info, click the book cover!

Volunteers quickly learned that they had to invest something into our group in order to get something out of it. Once the members knew the value of volunteering, hardly anyone said no when asked to help out with a group function. Here are a few of the ways they could volunteer:

• Registration Attendant to sign in attendees
• Greeter – This was a great position. You got to meet and greet everyone who attended
• Quarterly Connections – Party & social time – no networking
• Photographer – Photograph our special events
• President’s Assistant
• Printer – Volunteer to print TBC forms, weekly newsletter
• Videographer – Video our special events
• Special Seminar for newbies – once each quarter we would review our bylaws, help member design a “30-Second Connection” and offer tips that help them better network
• Volunteer Recruiters – Members who were assigned to recruit specific people thought to be good for our group
• Event Managers – Helped plan our special events
• Service Providers – Various professional service providers would come to an event and provide services to the attendees as a way to make the events better and showcase their product/service
• Spokesperson/Interviewer – For media interviews –
• Radio Broadcaster/PR – Helped prepare news releases, etc.
• Exit Interviewer – Our bylaws allowed for asking members who just came to the meetings and never offered business referrals to begin to do so (30 day warning) or they were very nicely asked to allow their business classification to be filled by someone else. (This may sound harsh, however, it was one way we kept the group full of savvy networkers and eliminated the leaches).

“Invest time in a cause that you care about. Volunteering puts you directly in touch with people who share the same values and passions – which can be a good foundation for working together or referring one another. Volunteer for an organization that you really care about. You’ll find new contacts and be making the world a better place at the same time. You may even be able to help your favorite charity with your business. Donate consulting time or manage a project pro bono and you’ll reap multiple benefits – new contacts, a project for your portfolio and contributing to a cause you care about.” ~ Ruben Gamez, Founder of Bidsketch.

Network group leaders: Design some ways you can help people in your group to volunteer to help your group. I promise it will make a terrific impact on the group and the attitudes of your members!

BONUS Article: Want to Stand Out in Your Networking Circles? Get Involved!
Volunteer and Become Visible
Community… Not Just a Buzzword!
Does Your Networking Group Have a “Community” Presence?

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.

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/
Visit Larry James on LinkedIn
Follow Larry’s Networking on Facebook: https://www.Facebook.com/NetworkingHeadquarters/timeline
Follow Larry’s Networking Pinterest Page @ http://www.pinterest.com/larryjames2012/networking-blog/!

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Friday, August 21, 2015

The #1 Contact Sport

Business and personal networking is the #1 contact sport for people on the move. Networking is about building supportive personal and business relationships; it’s consistently meeting new people and making new friends, sharing ideas and having lots of fun in the process.

It is the reciprocal process of exchanging, leads, recommendations, and other valuable information, through networks of established relationships, in an effort to make business processes easier and more profitable.

NETContactSportIt helps to establish referral networks, bolster name reputations and business branding, gain recognition and credibility, and strengthen relationship assets. Networking fuels business growth and can help further your career.

It also assists you in benefiting from who you know by leveraging your relationships to increase business opportunities, advance your career, make new contacts, and much more.

Power networkers effectively use “word-of-mouth” strategies in creative ways to attract new customers and meet new people. Word-of-mouth marketing works because it is initiated from trusted sources and shared through a network of friends, family and acquaintances. It’s also called “creating Buzz.”

Referrals and recommendations are the most effective and the least expensive form of developing new business and obtaining quality business referrals. To be effective in networking, you must be an investor in relationships. This Networking Blog will help you master the skills necessary to effectively utilize existing connections and cultivate new ones.

You would be wise to accept the following definition of business networking as your guide:

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

Successful business networkers are “go-givers.” They give without the expectation of getting! They know that unfulfilled expectations always cause problems; disappointment, anxiety, frustration and sometimes, intense displeasure. To avoid these maladies, they give up their expectations and focus on giving to help others!

Your contact list is your greatest off balance sheet asset. It doesn’t take an investment of a lot of money in developing this asset, but you do need to put forth time and effort and be consistent in acquiring a robust and every-expanding business network of like-minded people. Creating and maintaining these strong connections must be one of your highest priorities. I promise this will pay dividends far beyond what you can imagine.

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

BONUS Articles: Your #1 Networking Priority!
7 Most Common Networking Mishaps
Think You Know HOW to Network?

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.

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/
Visit Larry James on LinkedIn
Follow Larry’s Networking on Facebook: https://www.Facebook.com/NetworkingHeadquarters/timeline
Follow Larry’s Networking Pinterest Page @ http://www.pinterest.com/larryjames2012/networking-blog/!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Susan RoAne, “How to Work a Room”

Filed under: Networking,Video — Larry James @ 7:30 am
Tags: , , ,

SusanRoAne“How to Work a Room” is the classic bestselling book on improving communication and socializing skills, and using them to create and leverage connections. This Silver Anniversary Edition is fully revised and updated to include the role of technology and social media in networking, as well as Susan RoAne’s proven tips for using digital strategies to your advantage—plus practical hints for starting conversations and strengthening rapport with strangers.

“How to Work a Room: The 25th Anniversary Edition” is a vital tool for business professionals, job seekers and career changers of all ages. Susan lays down the fundamentals for savvy socializing, whether at a party, a conference, or even communicating online. RoAne clearly shows how to overcome the five roadblocks that keep most people from making new contacts; mix chutzpah and charm to start and end conversations smoothly; know when to use humor – and when not to; and follow simple rules of etiquette.

Incorporating years of feedback from hundreds of presentations, as well as anecdotes from around the globe, RoAne keeps “How To Work A Room” fresh and on target. New chapters include: strategies starting, maintaining, and exiting conservations; and advice on commutating effectively in today’s tech driven world.

Larry’s NOTE: Susan speaks about “once in a lifetime opportunities” and I would like to say that hearing Susan speak is, for some, a once in a lifetime opportunity. She – in my opinion – is the Guru of Business Networking. This video is 58 minutes and 14 seconds. Some may want to bookmark this page and save it for watching later. Don’t miss this opportunity.

Copyright © 2014 – Susan RoAne. Susan RoAne is a speaker and author who has worked trade shows, conventions, planes, and the bleachers at Wrigley Field, and taught others to do the same. Her latest book, How to Create Your Own Luck: The You Never Know Approach to Networking, Taking Chances, and Opening Yourself to Opportunity, is out and her other books include How to Work a Room and The Secrets of Savvy Networking. For further information: www.SusanRoAne.com, or e-mail @: Susan@SusanRoAne.com

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netHQLarry 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

Sunday, May 23, 2010

3 Secrets to Networking Success

Filed under: Networking — Larry James @ 8:00 am
Tags: ,

Longevity

If you see potential in the networking event you attend. . . stay with it. Even if you just joined today, you too can have longevity. Staying power works. It will help you guarantee the longevity of your business. The more others see you and get to know you, the better networking will work for you!

Consistency

Show up on a regular basis. When you’re consistent, you become trusted. People want to do business with people they know, like and trust. The most important aspect in my eyes when it comes to trusting someone involves their consistency. Consistency in their follow-up and consistency in their attendance. They have to see you around to get to know you. To busy to network is to busy. For networking to prove affective, you MUST make time for it.

Visibility

Networking gives you and your business the visibility it deserves. Sign up for a committee. Become part of the leadership. In other words, get involved! By joining a committee you become visible to the entire membership of the network. Write an article about networking and use it as a handout. Attach your business card. Do things that call attention to yourself and your business in a tactful way. Visibility + Credibility = Profitability!

nethq2

Copyright © 2010 – 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

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

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.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Getting Motivated to Network

Beth Bridges, Guest Author –

One challenge that I’ve seen in several different forms is being motivated to network or having the desire to attend events.

This is a tough one because if you don’t want to go, you will find many excellent and legitimate reasons to avoid networking events. There is so much to do, we’re so busy doing so many things, that you could fill every hour with important work which will keep you away from networking.

You are not going to be successful at networking unless you want to do it. And yet you know networking is important to business success, so you sort of want to, but you just can’t get motivated enough to quite make it to an event.

My friend, Dr. IWannaWanna, says it’s not enough to “want to” do something, but you have to “want to, want to.” I take it as meaning that we all “want to” do stuff like be successful, have a lot of money, etc. but that’s not enough. We have to “want to” take some actual action to make these things happen. Dr. IWannaWanna has a very good point. What’s funny is that one of the things he doesn’t wanna do is network! And I don’t think I could talk circles around him fast enough to convince him.

But I don’t have to convince him. I don’t even have to convince you. You have to do it. So how do you make yourself want to network? I have several methods of convincing myself to do things:

• Get to the root reason why. Networking for the sake of networking isn’t going to be very inspiring unless you already love it. Networking because your boss told you to isn’t going to make you like it either. But, do you networking because you want to grow your business, because you have a young family you want to support? Providing for your children is a compelling reason.

• Trick yourself. This is how I get in a lot of exercise. I tell myself, “just five minutes and then you can quit.” By that time I’ve gotten warmed up and feel like doing a little more. Tell yourself, “I’ll just talk to one person and then I’ll leave.” Next thing you know, they’re cleaning up around you.

• Reward yourself. Allow yourself to stop at and see your favorite barista if you go. Let yourself come to work 30 minutes late because you networked late. Treat yourself in some way for putting in the effort.

• Team up with a friend. Your friend will be counting on you to meet them there. And, if your friend is shy or introverted, you’ll be helping them out by being there to introduce them to people. Having someone else involved keeps you accountable.

• Have a specific goal or reason. Just going for the sake of attending isn’t going to be as appealing as “looking for a new supplier” or “finding out who’s renting the new commercial space.”

• Get results and keep track of them. Nothing is more motivating than when you start to see the fruits of your labors. And, keep track of your results because its easy to forget them when the days get long and the memory of the great connections gets pushed aside by your busy days.

netHQ

Copyright © 2010 – Beth Bridges – Reprinted with permission. Beth Bridges is the Chief Networking Officer of the Clovis Chamber of Commerce (Clovis, CA) and The Networking Motivator. Over the last 7 years, she has attended more than 1,850 networking events and interacted with tens of thousands of people. She shares her enthusiasm for networking with others through her insights, tips and networking stories to help them get themselves out there more. Subscribe for free to her weekly Networking Motivator Newsletter for encouragement, ideas and more stories at www.theNetworkingMotivator.com.

bethbridges

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

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

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.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Think You Know HOW to Network?

If you’re not really sure you know the “ins and outs” of business networking, don’t pretend to know. That just makes you look stupid. Do everything you can to learn all you can before you jump in the deep end of the networking pool.

Read networking books from those who have learned the fine art of networking and are willing to pass along their secrets. “Ten Commitments of Networking: Creative Ways to Maximize Your Personal Connections!” is a great book to start with. Bob Burg’s, “The Go-Giver: A Little Story About a Powerful Business Idea” is another great networking book. Many more networking books are available in my book store.

NET-How2NETworkAttend networking seminars and workshops. Pay attention at the networking meetings you attend. Observe others who are outgoing and are wearing a smile. Hire a networking coach. Do a Google search for “business networking BLOG” and begin your studies. (The word “business” helps a little to distinguish between IT networking and the kind of business networking I am talking about). Most of all, continue to work on you. Your own personal development is of utmost importance to your business success.

Do you spend time TALKING about networking and never seem to get around to it? Get out of your pajamas, walk out the door and do it anyway. Staying in your comfort zone will get you nowhere.

A commitment to progress in learning networking skills is important. Most successful networkers are not born that way. They learn the skills of networking, because they know that the rewards will be increased business and connections that will help them build their business. The rewards for networking can be enormous!

You may say, “But it takes so much time and that’s something I have little of.”

Oh, really? You have all the time there is. It’s what you decide to do with it that will make the difference in your life. If networking is so hard to do and takes so much time, why invest the time and effort? Because it really works! Believe me, learning the skills for effective networking is worth the time and energy it requires. I am where I am today because of business networking!

Effective networking does take time. You need to attend meetings, connect with people over lunch or after work and carve precious minutes out to talk to them on the phone or e-mail them one at a time.

Networking is one of the most valuable and inexpensive forms of marketing. Networking is a skill that can be learned. Many successful business owners are master networkers who can walk into a room full of strangers, make a connection and handily attract a new client, partner or investor.

If you feel nervous about entering a room full of strangers at a networking event you’re not alone. One survey showed that about 75 percent of people feel uncomfortable at business and social events.

Business networking should consume about 75% of your marketing time and budget, according to Tom Peters, author of In Search of Excellence. Make lots connections with people. Think of every place you go as an opportunity to meet people.

Too shy or self-conscious to schmooze?

“Your ability to be intimate with others is the core of networking,” says Ken Ferrazzi, author of “Never Eat Lunch Alone.” “Shy people know at their core that they’re lonely and long for more intimacy. They just don’t have the courage and the confidence to achieve it.”

Take the initiative and brush up on your conversational skills. Always be learning about things that can help you when you network. Many people find it difficult to strike up a conversation with a complete stranger just to expand their business network. People who are shy and self-conscious tend to be a lot more open and talkative when they’re doing or talking about something they’re deeply interested in. Ask lots of questions. The person who is asking the questions is in charge of the conversation. Become a better listener. Ask a question and then be quiet until you hear the answer.

handshakeThe most successful networkers are charismatic people who make the person they’re speaking to feel special. Look other people in the eye, really listen to what they have to say and guide them to topics they want to talk about.

Strengthen your existing connections. Begin with familiar faces; the people you know. Getting in touch with old friends, distant relatives, and people you went to school with can be a good stepping stone because you’re reaching out, but you’re not approaching complete strangers. Get involved in the committees of your favorite organization, or volunteering. Make sure the networking group you attend has a “community presence.”

As you continue to network, you’ll find that some people are much better at it than you are. At networking events look for the extroverts. They already know everyone and will be the ones most liking to help you learn the skills needed to be more successful at networking. Ask for introductions to other successful networkers and business people. Remember there’s nothing phony, lame or desperate about asking for assistance. Never apologize when asking for a favor or help. It can signal a lack of confidence and professionalism.

In the course of networking, you may encounter people who can’t or won’t want to help you. Don’t take it personally and don’t dwell on it. It’s all part of the process. Some people are completely clueless about networking and are protective of their so called business secrets. They have yet to realize that networking is about sharing ideas and “helping others help themselves.” Silently shout, “Next!” and move on.

When you meet someone new, say their name (out loud) in conversation. People like to hear their own name. Dale Carnegie once said, “A person’s name is the sweetest sound to that person.” So when you meet someone, as you talk with them, use their name often. This is the first step in remembering names. Doing so also makes the other person feel more comfortable, like you really know them and they know you.

Remember to thank your networking partner immediately after they offer help and confirm that you will stay in touch. Few people actually do this. Saying, “Thank you” will help you stand out and be remembered. Send a note or send an e-mail but always say thank you.

Read: “How to Network With Busy People” by Steve Pavlina.

netHQCopyright © 2010 – 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.

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/
Visit Larry James on LinkedIn
Follow Larry’s Networking on Facebook: https://www.Facebook.com/NetworkingHeadquarters/timeline
Follow Larry’s Networking Pinterest Page @ http://www.pinterest.com/larryjames2012/networking-blog/!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Networking Defined!

When you attend networking events, it is important for you to walk through the door with the following definition of networking in mind.

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

Remember, networking and selling DO NOT mix! Think of yourself as a solution-finder, rather than a sales person. Be of assistance to others. “How can I help you?” is a great question to ask everyone you meet.

Not everyone can use your product or service, but the people you meet can often refer you to friends and colleagues. Aim to build long-term relationships that lead to a bigger circle of customers and friends.

netHQ

Copyright © 2010 – 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! Can’t find my book in your bookstore, order a signed copy from Larry James. Visit Larry’s “Networking HQ” Website; articles, tips, networking books and more!

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

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

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Building Your Network

Brian Tracy, Guest Author –

Brian Tracy photoWe live in a society, and as a member of that society, it is likely that every change in your life is strongly influenced by other people in some way. The courses you take in school that shape your career are often at the instigation of a friend or counselor. The books you read, the tapes you listen to, and the seminars you attend are almost invariably the result of a suggestion from someone you respect. The occupation you select, the job you take, and the key steps in your career are largely determined by the people you meet and talk to at those critical decision points in your life. In fact, at every crossroad in your life there is usually someone standing there pointing you in one direction or another.

According to the law of probabilities, the greater number of people you know who can help you at any given time, the more likely it is that you will know the right person at the right time and in the place to give you the help you need to move ahead more rapidly in your life. The more people you know, the more doors of opportunity will be open to you and the more sound advice you will get in making the important decisions that shape your life.

Dr. David McLelland of Harvard did a 25-year research study into the factors that contribute most to success. He found that, holding constant for age, education, occupation and opportunities, the single most important factor in career success is your “reference group.” Your reference group is made up of the people with whom you habitually associate and identify. These are the people you live with, work with and interact with outside of your work. You identify with these people and consider yourself to be one of them. They consider you one of them as well.

When you develop a positive reference group, you begin to become a member of the in-crowd at your level of business. The starting point in this process is to develop a deliberate and systematic approach to networking throughout your career.

People like to do business with people they know. They like to socialize and interact with people with whom they are familiar. And they like to recommend people they trust. Fully 85% of the best jobs in America are filled as the result of a third party recommendation. The best networkers are never unemployed for very long.

One of the biggest mistakes that people make when they begin networking is scattering their time and energy indiscriminately and spending their time with people who can be of no help at all. Even if they attend organization meetings, they often end up associating with people who are neither particularly ambitious or well-connected.

When you network, you must be perfectly selfish. You want to become all you can over the course of your career. You want to rise as far as you can. Any success you could ever desire will require the active involvement and help of lots of other people. Your job is to focus your energies and attention on meeting the people who can help you and the only way you can do this is by staying away from the people who cannot help you at all.

When you network, your aim is to meet people who are going places in their lives. You want to meet people who are ahead of you in their careers and in their organizations. You want to meet people you can look up to with pride. You want to meet people who can be friends, guides and mentors. You want to think ahead and meet people who can help you move into your ideal future more readily. For this reason, you must sort people into categories: helpful vs. non-helpful, ambitious vs. non-ambitious, going somewhere vs. going nowhere. Remember, your choice of a reference group in your networking will determine the success of the process.

You begin your networking process at your place of work. Look around and identify the top people in your organization. Make these people your role models and pattern yourself after them. One of the best ways to start networking is to go to someone you admire and ask for his or her advice. Don’t be a pest. Don’t tie up several hours of their time. Initially you should ask for only a few minutes and you should have two or three specific questions.

When you talk to a successful person, ask questions like, “What do you think is the most important quality or attribute that has contributed to your success?” and, “What one piece of advice would you give to someone like me who wants to be as successful as you some day?” You could also ask, “Can you recommend a particular book, tape, or training program that would help me move along more rapidly in my career?”

There is a law of incremental commitment in networking. It says that people become committed to helping you, or associating with you, little by little over time. In some cases the chemistry won’t be right and the person with whom you would like to network will really not be interested in networking with you. Don’t take this personally. People get into, or out of, networking for a thousand reasons. However, if there is good chemistry, if you like the person and the person likes you, be patient and bide your time. Don’t rush or hurry, just let the networking relationship unfold without over-eagerness on your part. If you try to go too fast, you will scare people away.

Instead of asking your superiors for more money, ask for more responsibility. Tell your boss that you are determined to be extremely valuable to the organization and that you are willing to work extra hours in order to make a more important contribution.

There is nothing so impressive to a boss as an employee who continually volunteers for more responsibility. Many people have the unfortunate goal of doing as little as possible for as much money as possible. But not the winners. The winners realize that if all you do is what you’re being paid for today, you can never be paid any more in the future. The person who continually volunteers for extra assignments and does more than is expected gains the respect, esteem and support of his or her boss.

Whenever you do something nice or helpful for others, they feel a sense of obligation. They feel like they owe you one. They have a deep subconscious need to pay you back until they no longer feel obligated to you. The more things you do for people without expectation of return, the more they feel obligated to help you when the time comes.

We have moved from the age of the go-getter to the age of the go-giver. A go-giver is a person who practices the law of sowing and reaping. He or she is always looking for opportunities to sow, knowing that reaping is not the result of chance. You will find that successful people are always looking for opportunities to help others. Unsuccessful people are always asking, “What’s in it for me?”

The surprising thing is that the more of yourself you give away with no direct expectation of return, the more good things come back to you in the most unexpected ways. In fact, it seems that the help we get in life almost invariably comes from people whom we have not helped directly. Rather, it comes from others who have been influenced by people whom we have helped directly. Therefore, since you can’t control where your help or assistance is coming from, you must establish a blanket policy of giving with complete confidence that it will come back to you in the most wonderful ways.

Whatever your job or occupation, there are trade and industry associations, business associations and service clubs that you can join. Excellent networkers are among the best known and most respected people in the community. To reach that status, they followed a simple formula. They carefully identified the clubs and associations whose members they can help and support and who can help and support them in return. And then they joined and participated.

When you look at the various organizations you should join, you should select no more than two or three. Target the ones with the people that can be the most helpful to you. When you join, your strategy should be to look at the various committees of the organization. Volunteer for the committee that engages in the activities that are most important to the organization, such as governmental affairs or fundraising. Then get fully involved in your chosen responsibilities.

You will find that the members of the key committees are usually key players in the business community as well. By joining the committee, you create an opportunity to interact with them in a completely voluntary and non-threatening way. You give them a chance to see what you can really do, outside the work environment. And you contribute to the committee as a peer, not as an employee or subordinate.

Remember, in any committee 20% of the people do 80% of the work. In any association, fully 80% of the members never volunteer for anything. All they do is attend the meetings and then go home. But this is not for you. You are determined to make your mark and you do this by jumping wholeheartedly into voluntary activities that move the association ahead. And the key people will be watching and evaluating you. The more favorable attention you attract, the more people will be willing to help you when you need them.

Networking fulfills one of your deepest subconscious needs — getting to know people and being known by them. It fulfills your need for social interaction and for the establishing of friendly relationships. It broadens your perspective and opens doors of opportunities for you. It increases the number of people who know and respect you. It makes you feel more in control of your career. And it can be one of the most exciting and fulfilling experiences of your life.

netHQ
Brian Tracy photo

Copyright © 2010 – Brian Tracy – Reprinted with permission. Brian Tracy is the most listened to audio author on personal and business success in the world today. His fast-moving talks and seminars on leadership, sales, managerial effectiveness and business strategy are loaded with powerful, proven ideas and strategies that people can immediately apply to get better results in every area. For more information, please go to: www.BrianTracy.com.

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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

A Referral Is a Referral, Right? Wrong!

Ivan Misner, Guest Author –

A referral is better than a cold call because you have the name of the prospect and, if you’re fortunate, you can use the name of the referral source to open the door. What more could you hope for? Actually, there’s quite a bit more you can expect from referrals that have been properly developed by their sources.

ivanmisnerYou see, all referrals are not equal. Referrals come in many different grades and they vary in quality according to how much involvement your referral source has invested in preparing the referral for you.

Here are the first three levels of referrals:

1. Name and contact information only. This isn’t much better than having just a name to call. It only indicates that your referral source has done just enough work to provide you with a phone number, address or some other way of contacting the prospect.

2. Literature, biography and company information. When a referral source offers to give a contact your marketing literature or other information about your business, all you can be certain of is that the prospect will see the materials. The prospect’s interest in your product or service will depend solely on the impact of your marketing message.

3. Authorization to use name. Once a referral source has authorized you to use her name, you can feel fairly certain that you’ve established a good level of credibility with her. By allowing you to say that she endorses your product or service, your source has given you valuable leverage with the prospect; however, the problem with this level of referral is that the burden of developing the prospect still rests on you. Once you’ve conveyed that your referral source recommends you and your business, the task of selling really begins.

Think about the referrals you’ve gotten over the past couple of months. Now, think about which referrals fall into each of the three categories above.

The more time and effort your source puts into qualifying, educating and encouraging the prospect before you become involved, the higher the quality and level of that referral. In level 4 through level 6 referrals, the quality of the referral is higher than level 1 through level 3 referrals. Here’s why . . .

4. General testimonial or letter of recommendation. Getting a referral source to say or write nice things about you is a major accomplishment. His willingness to communicate positively about you and your business shows that you’ve built a moderate level of trust with him. Of course, testimonials and letters of recommendation are fairly common in the business world, so their impact on the average person is limited.

5. Letter of introduction and promotion. This is the first level of referral that truly involves a modicum of effort on the part of your referral source. Unlike the letter of recommendation, which requires little more than a written endorsement, the note or letter of introduction implies a more substantive relationship between you and the referral source, and it usually includes background information and a description of your product or service as filtered through the lens of the author. It also implies that the prospect will be hearing from you.

Adding the element of promotion increases the effectiveness of your referral source’s effort on your behalf. Promotion is advocacy–an outright recommendation of your product or service with a description of its features and benefits.

6. Introductory call and promotion. Another level up in terms of effort is the referral source who makes a personal phone call on your behalf. It takes preparation and effort, but a telephone call from your source is more effective than a letter for paving your way to communicate with the prospect. Including a promotion makes it even more favorable.

If you’re given a level 1 referral, you still have to do 95 percent of the work to close (which is not much better than a cold call) so the referral levels listed above are definitely more desirable than level 1, 2 & 3. However, what you really want to get is a level 9 or 10 referral because with those, the person giving you the referral has already done most of the work for you.

One thing we know about referrals is that it’s easier for your referral source to close the deal than it is for you because your source already has a relationship of trust with your prospect. A referral where your referral source has already closed the deal for you before you even contact your prospect is the absolute best kind of referral you can get; it’s considered a level 10 referral.

7. Arranged a meeting. When your referral source arranges a meeting, she moves beyond the role of a promoter to that of a facilitator, taking the responsibility of working out the details of getting you and the prospect together. This is a big-time referral effort.

8. In-person introduction and promotion. At this level, your referral source is making a serious commitment of time and energy in support of your business. By agreeing to serve as an intermediary in a face-to-face introduction, your source becomes an active business agent. This demonstration of deep trust in and approval of your product or service substantially raises the referral’s effectiveness with the prospect. Adding promotion further enhances its power, because your source is then actively engaged in selling your product or service instead of just facilitating a meeting.

9. Assessment of need and interest. In this level, your referral source has done the work of assessing the need a prospect may have for your product or service and has gauged the prospect’s interest in learning more about it. This enables you to focus your selling effort on needs you know the prospect has an intention to fill, and it allows you to select or tailor your products or services to provide specific benefits.

10. Closed deal. At the top level, the sale has been closed before you even contact the prospect, soley on the strength of your referral source’s efforts. Nothing else is required from you except to deliver the product or service and collect payment

netHQ

Copyright © 2010 – Ivan Misner. Reprinted with permission. Called the father of modern networking, Dr. Ivan Misner is the Founder of BNI and the senior partner for the Referral Institute. He has written nine books, including his New York Times best seller, Truth or Delusion? Busting Networking’s Biggest Myths.

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Thursday, November 5, 2009

Networking: A Crash Course in Personal Development

There is a multitude of things you can learn about yourself, others who network and personal growth when you are an active networker. How is networking a crash course in personal development? If you pay attention, you can learn to be a better you. You can also learn from others how “not” to network.

Your business will only grow as fast as you grow! If you have spent some time on your personal growth, you learn very quickly to look for a solution to a problem rather than giving up. Personal growth is about expanding your horizons and enjoying what you do so you can achieve more of what you want. Personal development and growth is rarely thought of in terms of business, but this is changing.

Personal growth is not something that can be rushed. It is not a technique or tool to make a quick fix. Personal growth is the attitude you have that you are constantly improving your life. Personal growth is driven by your desire to constantly improve yourself and to become the person that you were meant to be.

Many people think business networking is just about mailing out brochures or circulating around a meeting room and handing out business cards, but it is really about building long-lasting, personal relationships over time. Because networking is about building and maintaining relationships, credibility is a key element. Helping others is one sure-fire way to establish credibility. New contacts won’t necessarily start sending business your way or give you referrals until they know you better. Networking will teach you patience. Networking like personal growth cannot be rushed.

Networking requires you to grow personally and get out of your comfort zone. I challenge you to hold in high regard the value of personal development.

Becoming the best you can be so as to accelerate with impact your business and personal growth should be high on your priority list. The brief ideas listed below will assist you to fulfill several objectives to improve the quality of your life and to help your achieve maximum results when networking and. . . we have only scratched the surface.

I suppose we could begin by saying that you must treat others like you like to be treated. Networking and personal growth are intertwined. One supports the other. The better person you become, the better the odds of being more successful, not just in networking but in relationships and everything.

What you seek with these methods of personal development is to create a new way of living. To be happy. To make new connections and to grow your business. But your mind deceives you. It convinces you to stop trying to create change because its happy in it’s misery. It knows that cherished self deceptions will have to be released. The process of personal development and growth will help.

Networking with other people is a powerful process, and can be an integral part of your success. I believe it is important to seek out groups that not only give you the opportunity to network but offer educational opportunities as well as support from other members. Does your group encourage personal growth?

Get the support and validation you need. Find a mentor; someone who will take you under his/her wings and teach you the networking ropes. Book a breakfast or lunch with someone who has been effectively networking for a long time and pick their brain. Learn the do’s and don’ts from the experts. Without the necessary support, it’s very easy for individual differences and preferences to come in, thereby diluting the correct way to network and even corrupting it. Hire a networking coach.

He that won’t be counseled can’t be helped – Benjamin Franklin

Look for the people in the group who lean more to the positive side. As my friend, Zig Ziglar said, “Beware of those with stinkin’ thinking!” It is no longer possible to deny the fact that positive thinking benefits everyone, regardless of their goals. If “know how” is one of your weaknesses, follow people who know how. People who complain, who are always looking at the dark side of things eventually will pull you down to their level. Not good.

Watch how the “movers and shakers” network. Emulate their style and actions. It may feel awkward at first, however the more you hone your skills the better you will become at accomplishing what you need to do to be an effective networker. By the way, contrary to popular belief, practice does not make you perfect. It only makes you better.

Build rapport by connecting with people when you don’t need anything. It makes it easier to be as ease when talking with them and will help you develop a much closer business relationship. Not good at building rapport? Learn how. Watch others. Read books about it. Do a Google search for “How to Build Rapport” and see what comes up. After you’ve met someone knowledgeable and interesting, send a quick e-mail or a handwritten note saying how much you enjoyed meeting them. If you want to learn more from him or her, propose lunch or coffee and remember to follow up.

Many years ago the Dale Carnagie course taught me that if you do the thing you fear the most, the death of fear is certain. Some say it takes 21 to 30 days to develop a new habit. Afraid to speak in public? Get over it. Feel the fear and do it anyway. When networking you “must” learn to speak in public! You need to tell how you can assist others, talk about your business and more or you are likely to become a wallflower and nothing good will happen.

Develop a good “30-second connection,” often called an “elevator speech.” It’s a brief summary of who you are and what you do professionally. Practice in front of a mirror until you feel comfortable enough that you can deliver it without stumbling, becoming distracted or getting off track. When given the opportunity to introduce yourself, jump up first. Put yourself out there. The second time you introduce yourself in this way will be a little easier.

Learn how to recover from your mistakes. Everyone makes them. Just remember to never put yourself down when you do. Look for a solution that will make it work next time. Mistakes can be the very things that lead you in the new direction that turns out to be the better way than you had previously believed. What is inspiring about life is that we always have the choice to learn from our past mistakes as well as our successes.

Be creative. Ask yourself, “how can I make networking fun?” then go about coming up with creative ideas to make it fun and make others smile. Look for the funny side of things and reward yourself with laughter. Laughing opens up both your mind and your heart and restores the quality of your thinking.

If you have not quite got the hang of setting effective goals, begin now. Set some networking goals. Occasionally revisit your “why.” Why am I doing this? What do I want to accomplishment? How many new friends can you make in 30 days? Having a specific intention makes it easier. The very concept of intention implies that you are intent on doing something. It’s a statement of fact to our own subconscious mind that you are ready and willing to take action. New directions unfold when you exercise the power of intention. Getting clear on who you are and what you really want is a requirement for business and networking success.

“To understand the Heart and Mind of a person, look not at what they have achieved already, but at what they Aspire to do” – Kahlil Gibran

Learn persistence. If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Learn the difference between being persistent and being aggressive.

Master self-confidence. If you continue to loathe and belittle yourself, others are going to do and believe likewise. Personal growth is not “just” about achieving confidence, although that is a big part of this process. This new freedom and confidence are like a snowball that keeps growing as you continue to roll it. You will start to see personal development in many other areas of your life. You will begin to appreciate yourself and as a result and others will appreciate you. There’s no quick fix. Be patient. Do something everyday that will help you to build your self-confidence.

When you’re feeling insecure, write down a list of things that are good about you. Identify your successes. Then read the list – out loud – in front of a mirror to yourself. Watch yourself smile! Everyone is good at something, so discover the things at which you excel. You will be surprised at all the good stuff you can come up with. Recognize your insecurities. Work to overcome them. Remember, no one is perfect. Even the most confident people have occasional insecurities. If you don’t believe in yourself, find someone who does and hang around them until what they have rubs off on you.

When you’re following your passion – what you truly believe in – not only will it have a therapeutic effect on you, but you will feel special, unique and accomplished, all of which can help build your self confidence.

“Don’t wait until everything is just right. It will never be perfect. There will always be challenges, obstacles and less than perfect conditions. So what. Get started now. With each step you take, you will grow stronger and stronger, more and more skilled, more and more self-confident and more and more successful.” – Mark Victor Hansen

Accept compliments gracefully. Don’t roll your eyes and say, “Yeah, right,” or shrug it off. Learn to say say “Thank You” when someone says something good about you. Never say, “Oh, it’s nothing. Anyone could have done that?” Practice accepting praise sincerely without adding excuses. A simple “Thank you” will do.

If you’re smart you will find that networking will sharpen your listening skills. Opportunity isn’t always obvious. Watch for it and listen for it. Stop talking so much and begin listening more.

Read good books. Not a reader? Become one. Don’t just read books about your business. Read networking book, books on self-promotion, marketing, personal development and more. If you only read for about 15 minutes each day you can read at least 15 average sized books a year. Don’t tell me you can’t spare 15 minutes a day to become a better you. Reading will help you develop a strong belief system. Become a self-help junkie!

You can listen to tapes, CDs, read articles, watch videos of people who may inspire you and motivate you. The internet has an abundance of books and videos you can watch and read for free. Do a search on YouTube.

If you watched “The Secret” DVD a few years ago, you would know something about the Law of Attraction. Some think this is “woo-woo.” I know it works. The law of attraction states “that which is like unto itself is drawn”. This means we all get whatever we think about, whether it’s something we want or something we don’t want. If you read more about this law and learn more about getting what you want, this could lead you to becoming more successful in all areas of your life.

If you think that business networking is all about the money, think again. Most of those who have succeeded in networking find that they gain more from learning new skills and meeting new people than anything else. Personal growth will make you a better and more confident person who feels comfortable with yourself. Once you feel comfortable with who you are then you will start to attract those people who will help you and support you in building your business.

And finally, reflect often on your successes. It helps develop your sense of well being.

BONUS Article: Read, “Personal Development and Growth for Business and Higher Pursuits.”

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! Can’t find my book in your bookstore, order a signed copy from Larry James. Visit Larry’s “Networking HQ” Website; articles, tips, networking books and more!

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