Networking HQ BLOG with Larry James

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

14 Networking Tips from 14 Networking Experts!

Networking is about sharing what you know about networking with other networkers. Here are 14 tips from 14 of the most successful networkers I know.

“You can abuse the members of your network only once – after that you may find that they make themselves unavailable to you. Share your information gladly, without always questioning, ‘And now, what’s in it for me?’ If you give of yourself only because you expect something in return, you leave yourself open for disappointment and can cause ill will between you and other members of your network.” ~ Anne Boe

NET14tips“A distinguishing characteristic of self-made millionaires is that they network everywhere. Most important, they do it all the time – at business conferences, at the health club, on the golf course or with the person sitting next to them on a plane. This fact alone should motivate you to place yourself in situations where you can meet new people.” ~ Ivan Misner

“The most successful networkers (think of those you’ve met) are good at making other people feel special. Look people in the eye, repeat their name, listen to what they have to say, and suggest topics that are easy to discuss. Be a conversationalist, not a talker.” ~ Jacqueline Whitmore

“Anything… I repeat, ‘anything’ that propels you forward like networking can requires an in depth study of how to do it correctly! To master the art of delayed gratification is a prerequisite for effective business networking. You must also be dedicated to doing whatever it takes to make networking work and to “helping others.” If you are only in it for yourself, you are doomed to fail!” ~ Larry James

“Ask questions. Specifically, “feel-good” questions. These are questions designed to put your conversation partner at ease, and begin the rapport-building process. These are not intrusive, invasive, or in anyway resembling those of the stereotypical salesperson. Feel-good questions are simply questions that make your new prospect/potential referral-source feel good; about themselves, about the conversation, and about you. Vital, because “all things being equal, people will do business with, and refer business to, those people they know, like and trust.” Asking feel-good questions is the first step to accomplishing that goal.” ~ Bob Burg

“Never be afraid to ask others in your network of support to help you reach others who can benefit from the services you provide. With a little encouragement individuals will help you spread the word to others throughout the network community. Does your community really know about the value and benefit of your services? If not, they need to and it is up to you to get the word out. You can initiate a word-of-mouth grapevine that creates positive visibility and exposure. Creating this type of visibility is critical – it is the way that the people who want and need what you have can find you.” ~ Donna Fisher

“Networking is an age-old process of exchanging leads, referrals, tips and recommendations; it’s mutual support alliances. Whenever someone recommends a restaurant, a travel agent or a book, that’s networking. Networking isn’t new and it isn’t some miraculous potion that you can gulp down at night before bed that will cure whatever ails you by the next morning. Undeniably, networking is a valuable tool. Reports claim that over 80 percent of all jobs are obtained through networking. Clearly, networking can boost sales and increase profits. It can help you find a wonderful place to live, a great caterer and an endless stream of supportive services that will lighten your load. However, these benefits are little more than byproducts that emanate from something substantially larger and vastly more important.” Rick Frishman

Caution: Don’t build a network that looks just like you!The power is in diversity, so diversify – starting with age. When you’re just starting out, the older members of your network are likely to be in much better position to give you a leg up than your peers. When you get to be a geezer, you need the younger members to give you a sense of what’s ‘in’ and what’s ‘out.’ The same goes for the benefits you’ll receive by adding different gender/religion/education/race/income level interests to your network. If everyone in your network is the same as you… it isn’t a network, it’s an anthill.” ~ Harvey Mackay

“You’ve had 1,000 of the finest, most eye-catching business cards printed. Keep them in your pocket, purse, briefcase, and wallet, on your desk, and at the reception area of your office. Leave some in your car. Always have them on hand so you can introduce yourself to new people when the moment is right. They should be a necessary part of your routine before you leaving home every day. When checking for your wallet and keys, check for a stack of business cards too. Keep replenishing your supply.” ~ GreatFX Business Cards

netdefined-1“Let’s face it. There will be customers you cannot help because their needs don’t fall within the scope of the services you provide. It’s a given. There will also be customers you don’t want to work with (which is why the initial consultation is so important). Regardless of why you won’t be working together, provide a reference to someone else who might be able to help if you can. This simple gesture continues to position you in a place of value.” Lisa Manyon

“The best way to motivate yourself to follow up on those contacts you’ve made is to consider why you need to make that call. We are all charged with a business development remit these days. It doesn’t do your career or your pay packet any harm at all to win more business for the firm. The follow-up call keeps you in touch with possible future clients ‘outside the transaction’, which is vital to build the trust that will lead them to buy you and your services. Although they may not need you now, when they do, you want to be in pole position. Remember also that you are in a brutally competitive market, and if you do not make the call, other professionals will. Also you must know that circumstances change in business. People retire, die, move up or move on. Budgets and strategies change. You must keep yourself ‘front of mind’ to be considered when that change happens.” ~ Rob Brown

“Your handshake is just one of the ways you can build a positive first impression. It’s interesting to note that a study by the Incomm Center for Trade Show Research has found that if you shake hands with people, they are two times more likely to remember you than if you didn’t shake hands. Psychologists have found that if you take the initiative and move forward to meet and greet a person, their impression of you will be more favorable than if you waited for them to make the initiative.” ~ Heather Townsend

neverfailfollowup“Each successful referral you receive, where you have kept them in the loop, will further build the trust your Champions have in you. Make sure they enjoy a positive experience when they refer you and they will do so again. You’ll see a move from unqualified to qualified referrals and to more and more business from the same source. When you first meet people and the relationship starts to grow they may test you out personally or with small referrals at first. As their confidence grows then the quality of the referrals may get better or the flow gets steadier. As long as you do the right things, there will always be a stronger chance of referrals in the second year of a relationship than the first. If you want people to refer business to you, you have to get to know them first and win their trust.” ~ Andy Lopata

“Although we live in a 24/7, online, digital world, the ability to interact and connect “real time” and in-person is increasingly important. Why? Because being able to do so has become increasingly rare. As more people circumvent face–to–face opportunities, those who capitalize on them will stand out from the crowd in both their professional and social lives. You can be one of them!” ~ Susan RoAne

BONUS Articles: Learn As Much As You Can “Before” You Begin to Network!
Your Chatter Matters!

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!”

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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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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

It’s Important to Diversify

Harvey Mackay, Guest Author

Caution: Don’t build a network that looks just like you!

NETDiversityThe power is in diversity, so diversify – starting with age. When you’re just starting out, the older members of your network are likely to be in much better position to give you a leg up than your peers.

When you get to be a geezer, you need the younger members to give you a sense of what’s “in” and what’s “out.” You’re sure not going to get it from the Guy Lombardo (“Who’s he?” you ask) crowd.

The same goes for the benefits you’ll receive by adding different gender/religion/education/race/income level interests to your network.

diversityYou’re not going to have much of a reach if your networks consist of nothing but clones.

If everyone in your network is the same as you… it isn’t a network, it’s an anthill.

Larry’s NOTE: I recently spoke to a networking group and was asked, “What is your opinion of having people outside of your own group to network with?” First of all it is important to have loyalty to the members of your group. If you have others outside of your group that you network with and they do not conflict with the members in your own group, by all means network with them. Better yet, invite them to be a part of the membership of your group. The point of diversity in networking is to develop a network of support that includes people from all areas of business.

MackayCopyright © 2014 – Harvey Mackay. Adapted from the book, “Dig Your Well Before You’re Thirsty: The Only Networking Book You’ll Ever Need” by Harvey Mackay. His books are among the top 15 inspirational business books of all time, according to the New York Times. In total, Harvey’s books have sold 10 million copies worldwide, been translated into 37 languages and sold in 80 countries.Harvey is a nationally syndicated columnist for United Feature Syndicate, whose weekly articles appear in 52 newspapers around the country, including the Chicago Sun Times, Rocky Mountain News, Orange County Register, Minneapolis Star Tribune and Arizona Republic. Visit Harvey’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!”

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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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Sunday, October 5, 2014

What Isn’t a Network?

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

Harvey Mackay, Guest Author

One day a salesman driving on a two-lane country road got stuck in the ditch. He asked a farmer for help. The farmer hitched up Elmo, his blind mule, to the salesman’s car. The farmer grabbed a switch, snapped it in the air, and yelled, “Go, Sam, go!” Nothing happened. He snapped it again. “Go Jackson, go!” Still nothing happened. Then he flicked Elmo. “Go, Elmo, go!” And Elmo pulled the car out of the ditch.

“Hey, what’s with the ‘Sam’ and the ‘Jackson’?” asked the driver.

WhatNETisn't“Look, if he didn’t think he had any help, he wouldn’t even try!”

We all need help. Being part of a team is one way to get.

But a network is different than a team. Networking is not teamwork!

The easiest way to explain the distinction is to start way down the food chain.

An anthill is a marvelous example of teamwork. Each any has a role to play, sometimes several roles. Some ants go out every morning and forage for leaves. Other ants digest the leaves and convert them into a kind of manna used to feed the entire colony. Others spend the day in the anthill, feeding and caring for the young or doing maintenance work. Still others groom and care for the queen ant. In some ant societies, there is even a standing army that specialized in raiding other colonies. They bring back prisoners to serve as slaves and perform menial chores. (Hey, this is sounding a lot like human society.)

An ant colony is a perfectly ordered, self-contained society. Every ant has its duties and performs them, without variation or complaint, until it dies. There are no better team players in nature.

But anthills are not networks!

No ant has ever put down his leaf, waled back to the nest, and said to another ant he happened to grow up with, “Hey buddy, I’m sick of spending every day carrying around ten times my own weight in leaves. And you must be bored to tears doing nothing but sweeping out the nest. Maybe it would be good for our morale if we rotated these jobs. What do you say that if I can arrange a little extra manna for you, we could switch gigs?”

That would be networking, and ants do not network. They do what they do as part of the team and that’s it.

Most corporations do not network. They are organized into tightly contained departments that function like silos. Information is accumulated vertically but never flows horizontally to other departments that might need it. R&D never talks to sales, sales never talks to customer service, and so on.

Orders go down the chain of command. Obedience comes up. The folks who work there are like ants, they’re on automatic pilot.

DigYourWell

Click book cover for info!

Those organizations that do network, such as General Electric and 3M, are exceptions, and as a result, they are exceptionally successful. These companies try to break down the barriers between departments and the not-invented-here syndrome that goes with specialization and hierarchical systems.

They create cross-functional teams. They organize around serving customers instead of around serving themselves. They encourage individual initiative. They reward networking. THey are not anthills.

Jack Welch, General Electrics’s CEO, is so determined to promote networking he has even invented his own networking buzzword: “boundarylessness.”

“In business, what is worse than having departments?” asked Welch in Fortune Adviser in 1996. “They don’t talk to each other. You have to make open behavior something that is rewarded… Boundarylessness says that every time you meet somebody you’re looking for a better and newer and bigger idea. You are open to ideas from everywhere.”

Unfortunately, most people do not network. When it comes to shaping their own careers and their own lies, they are team members, no individuals. They cut their leaves, sweep their nests, punch their clocks, and duck their heads.

So, look around. If the only people you’re interacting with on a day-in, day-out basis are the other drones in your anthill, it’s time to make some new connections.

MackayCopyright © 2014 – Harvey Mackay. Adapted from the book, “Dig Your Well Before You’re Thirsty: The Only Networking Book You’ll Ever Need” by Harvey Mackay. His books are among the top 15 inspirational business books of all time, according to the New York Times. In total, Harvey’s books have sold 10 million copies worldwide, been translated into 37 languages and sold in 80 countries.Harvey is a nationally syndicated columnist for United Feature Syndicate, whose weekly articles appear in 52 newspapers around the country, including the Chicago Sun Times, Rocky Mountain News, Orange County Register, Minneapolis Star Tribune and Arizona Republic. Visit Harvey’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!”

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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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Monday, November 15, 2010

Do you Quack or Soar? – Be a “Wally!”

Filed under: Customer Service,Guest Author Articles — Larry James @ 7:00 am
Tags:

No one can make you serve customers well. . . that’s because great service is a choice. Harvey Mackay tells a wonderful story about a cab driver that proved this point.

Harvey Mackay, Guest Author

Harvey was waiting in line for a ride at the airport. When a cab pulled up, the first thing Harvey noticed was that the taxi was polished to a bright shine. Smartly dressed in a white shirt, black tie, and freshly pressed black slacks, the cab driver jumped out and rounded the car to open the back passenger door for Harvey.

He handed Harvey a laminated card and said: “I’m Wally, your driver. While I’m loading your bags in the trunk I’d like you to read my mission statement.”

Taken aback, Harvey read the card. It said: Wally’s Mission Statement: To get my customers to their destination in the quickest, safest and cheapest way possible in a friendly environment.

This blew Harvey away. Especially when he noticed that the inside of the cab matched the outside – spotlessly clean! As he slid behind the wheel, Wally said, “Would you like a cup of coffee? I have a thermos of regular and one of decaf.” Harvey said jokingly, “No, I’d prefer a soft drink.” Wally smiled and said, “No problem I have a cooler up front with regular and Diet Coke, water and orange juice.” Almost stuttering, Harvey said, “I’ll take a Diet Coke.”

digyourwellHanding him his drink, Wally said, “If you’d like something to read, I have The Wall Street Journal, Time, Sports Illustrated and USA Today.”

As they were pulling away, Wally handed Harvey another laminated card, “These are the stations I get and the music they play, if you’d like to listen to the radio.”

And as if that weren’t enough, Wally told Harvey that he had the air conditioning on and asked if the temperature was comfortable for him. Then he advised Harvey of the best route to his destination for that time of day. He also let him know that he’d be happy to chat and tell him about some of the sights or, if Harvey preferred, to leave him with his own thoughts.

“Tell me, Wally,” Harvey asked the driver, “have you always served customers like this?”

Wally smiled into the rear view mirror, “No, not always. In fact, it’s only been in the last two years. My first five years driving, I spent most of my time complaining like all the rest of the cabbies do. Then I heard the personal growth guru, Wayne Dyer, on the radio one day. He had just written a book called “You’ll See It When You Believe It.” Dyer said that if you get up in the morning expecting to have a bad day, you’ll rarely disappoint yourself (you sure will have a bad day.) He said, “Stop complaining! Differentiate yourself from your competition. Don’t be a duck. Be an eagle. Ducks quack and complain. Eagles soar above the crowd.”

“That hit me right between the eyes,” said Wally. “Dyer was really talking about me. I was always quacking and complaining, so I decided to change my attitude and become an eagle. I looked around at the other cabs and their drivers. The cabs were dirty, the drivers were unfriendly, and the customers were unhappy. So I decided to make some changes. I put in a few at a time. When my customers responded well, I did more.”

“I take it that has paid off for you,” Harvey said.

“It sure has,” Wally replied. “My first year as an eagle, I doubled my income from the previous year. This year I’ll probably quadruple it. You were lucky to get me today. I don’t sit at cabstands anymore. My customers call me for appointments on my cell phone or leave a message on my answering machine. If I can’t pick them up myself, I get a reliable cabbie friend to do it and I take a piece of the action.”

Wally was phenomenal. He was running a limo service out of a Yellow Cab. This story was told to more than fifty cab drivers over the years, and only two took the idea and ran with it. The rest of the drivers quacked like ducks and gave all the reasons they couldn’t do any of what was suggested.

Wally the Cab Driver made a different choice. He decided to stop quacking like ducks and start soaring like eagles.

How about us? Smile, and the whole world smiles with you… The ball is in our hands! A man reaps what he sows. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up… let us do good to all people.

Ducks Quack. Eagles Soar.

Have a nice day, unless you already have other plans.

Larry’s Note: As someone who networks. . . you have an obligation to offer exceptional service to your customers. Be a “Wally!” Give more than is expected. Lagniappe ((pronounced /ˈlænjæp/ LAN-yap) is a Cajun word meaning “and then some.” In other words, give always give exceptional service “and then some.” Giving beyond what the customer expects will always create the kind of buzz that makes for great word-of-mouth referrals!

Copyright © 2010 – Harvey Mackay. Reprinted with permission. Harvey Mackay is the author of the New York Times #1 bestsellers Swim With The Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive and Dig Your Well Before You’re Thirsty: The Only Networking Book You’ll Ever Need. Both books are among the top 15 inspirational business books of all time, according to the New York Times. In total, Harvey’s books have sold 10 million copies worldwide, been translated into 37 languages and sold in 80 countries. Visit Harvey’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
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