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!”

Subscribe to “Networking HQ BLOG with Larry James” and receive a fresh networking article or tip every 4th day by e-mail. Click on the “Email Subscription” link on the right under the “search” box. You can unsubscribe anytime!

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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Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
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Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Your Networking Credibility is Earned!

Heather Townsend, Guest Author

Credibility is an intangible quality which is difficult to define accurately as it means different things to different people. I personally define someone who is credible as a person who has developed a reputation as someone who “walks the walk and talks the talk” and delivers on all their commitments. Ivan Misner, founder of BMI, defines credibility as “the quality of being reliable, worthy of confidence.”

Before someone is willing to risk their reputation by recommending you to someone within their network, they want to know that you are credible, i.e., committed, will conduct yourself appropriately and will be able to deliver on something they put you forward for.

CredibilityRobin, a coach, had a friend called Steve who was a committee member of two local photographic clubs. Both clubs were small but had different kinds of members. One had a long, extensive history and an older membership; the other was much younger and had a good mix of ages. Steve was treasurer for one and secretary for the other “because no one else would volunteer.” But holding committee posts in two clubs was adversely affecting his credibility. You may be wondering why.

His credibility was low because both clubs saw he had divided loyalties. Robin asked him, “In your heart of hearts, what do you want to be doing?” Steve said, “Taking good photos.” “So, which club is going to provide you with the best stimulus for that?’ “The younger on,” “So what are you going to do” “Resign from the other club!” Steve did that and his photos are now being critically acclaimed around the world. One photo has been viewed 21,000 times in its first weeks on the Internet.

Until you get the opportunity to actually win business or get and interview, like Steve at the photography clubs, your credibility is built up via the perception of your personal brand, and your behavior and attitudes. For example, if you want to be seen as “credible” when networking, you need to:

HTownsend

Click book cover for info!

• do what you say you are going to do, e.g., phone people when you say you are going to
• arrive on time to meetings and events
• share client and customer success stories and testimonials
• have business cards with your contact details, plus details of your personal associations and memberships, professional qualifications and any awards won
• keep your messages consistent over time
• focus on building the relationship rather than selling
• find simple ways to help the person you are meeting, for example connecting them with someone in your network
• get introductions to people you want to meet from “credible” people within your network.

I found my first coaching client, who was not an employee of my old employers, as a direct result of a recommendation from a partner within my old firm. This trusted recommendation helped my credibility and was a key factor in the client’s decision to first talk with me and subsequently hire me as his coach.

Make sure that when you are out networking, you are focused on finding out “who you know” rather than the heinous crime of selling. There is nothing quite damming for your credibility than a sign on your forehead that says “I am desperate for business” or “I am selling.”

Your credibility is normally tested after a networking event or after meeting someone. Why? Remember that your credibility is directly linked to your ability to “walk the wal and talk the talk” and deliver on all your commitments. Potential clients or employees are always looking fr someone who is keen and eager to work with them.

It may only be something small, such as sending a short e-mail saying you enjoyed meeting the, but the small and often inconsequential stuff is taken as evidence of how you may behave if they hired or employed you. I was amazed, when I started face-to-face networking in earnest, how few people actually did follow up after a networking event. On the basis of my personal experiences, I can promise you that a simple e-mail or handwritten note stating how much you enjoyed meeting someone will make you positively stand out from your peers.

heatherTCopyright © 2014 – Heather Townsend. From the book, “The Financial Times Guide To Business Networking.” Heather helps professionals and firms become the Go-To-Expert. Unusually for someone with an Engineering Degree, she accidentally became a writer and used her knowledge on social media to write the current best-selling and award-winning book on networking, “The Financial Times Guide To Business Networking.” (75+ five star reviews on Amazon). She is a widely published writer, international speaker, Executive Coach and a referral marketing expert. Visit Heather’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/
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Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Do You Have Contacts or Genuine Connections?

Filed under: Guest Author Articles,Networking — Larry James @ 7:30 am
Tags: , ,

Heather Townsend, Guest Author

My personal network numbers into the thousands. Indeed with over 5000 twitter followers I can genuinely claim a network of over 5000+ people. However, not everyone in my network is created equal – and we often fool into thinking that we have a strong network, when actually we have many contacts rather than genuine strong connections.

5-level-relationship-model-e1344326352853-300x259Here is a five level system, in which you can categorise the state of your relationship:

Level 1: “Identify” ~ At this level, you have just become aware of this contact. Maybe, someone has mentioned them in conversation, perhaps you have seen a tweet of them. Or perhaps they are on an attendance list of an event you are attending.

Level 2: “Connect” ~ At this point you have physically or virtually met a contact, and started a one or two way conversation, i.e. you have connected. For example, you may have talked to them at a face to face networking event, or exchanged some tweets or posts within an online forum.

Level 3: “Engage” ~ At this point, you have taken a conscious decision to strengthen the relationship, and move beyond small talk. This means that you have taken the time to have a one to one meeting with them, whether in person, or by phone.

Level 4: “Collaborate” ~ The trust has built within the relationship to the point where you have agreed to help each other, pass referrals, and potentially actively looking for ways to work together.

Level 5: “Inner Circle” ~ The relationship is now such that you have worked together, and regularly recommend each other’s services. There is a strong possibility that your relationship has moved from a purely professional relationship into a personal friendship.

Think about people in your network who you consider to be your A-listers or potential clients. Your relationship needs to be at least at Level 3.

heatherTCopyright © 2013 – Heather Townsend. Heather helps professionals and firms become the Go-To-Expert. Unusually for someone with an Engineering Degree, she accidentally became a writer and used her knowledge on social media to write the current best-selling and award-winning book on networking, “The Financial Times Guide To Business Networking.” (75 five star reviews on Amazon). She is a widely published writer, international speaker, Executive Coach and a referral marketing expert. Visit Heather’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.

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/

Monday, April 29, 2013

Why Your Handshake Could Be Damaging Your Reputation

Filed under: Guest Author Articles,Handshakes,Networking — Larry James @ 7:30 am
Tags: ,

Heather Townsend, Guest Author

What’s worse? A palm-shattering, bone crunching handshake? Or, a being offered a hand which feels more like a limp fish?

NEThandshakeOriginally handshakes were used to prove that we came in peace and did not have a weapon. Nowadays, we use handshakes all the time – but particularly when meeting and greeting someone.

Handshakes are a sign of trust and help build strong relationships. As a busy professional, it is important that you make a memorable positive impression when you are out networking or meeting potential new clients.

heatherTownsend

For info, click cover!

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 favourable than if you waited for them to make the initiative.

However, handshakes mean different things in different cultures. In today’s global marketplace, you could find yourself doing business with people from Africa, Japan or America. Where as in the US, a firm handshake equals self-confidence, but in Africa a limp handshake is the way to do it. In Africa, expect to be shaking hands for as much as a couple of minutes. In the US expect to get some very strange looks if your handshake goes on for more than a few seconds.

I’m guessing that many people don’t know the full impact of their handshake – and don’t even give their handshake a moment’s thought. My suggestion is you need to be aware of the first impression that your handshake portrays. That’s right, I’m suggesting that you practice your handshake on friends and family and ask how it comes across. Sounds embarrassing? Better that you know about a problem, before it impacts on your career or potential to win new business.

BONUS Article: When You Shake Hands… Really Shake Hands!

heatherTCopyright © 2013 – Heather Townsend. Heather helps professionals and firms become the Go-To-Expert. Unusually for someone with an Engineering Degree, she accidentally became a writer and used her knowledge on social media to write the current best-selling and award-winning book on networking, “The Financial Times Guide To Business Networking.” (75 five star reviews on Amazon). She is a widely published writer, international speaker, Executive Coach and a referral marketing expert.

ljspacer

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.

letsbefriends2

Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
Follow Larry’s “once daily” Relationship Tweet at: http://www.Twitter.com/larryjames
Follow Larry’s “Relationship BLOG” at: http://CelebrateLove.wordpress.com/
Follow Larry’s “Wedding BLOG” at: http://CelebrateIntimateWeddings.wordpress.com
Follow Larry’s “Authors & Speakers” BLOG at: http://www.AuthorsandSpeakerNetwork.wordpress.com/

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