Networking HQ BLOG with Larry James

Friday, May 29, 2015

Oh, No! Another “Weekly” Networking Meeting!

Yep! I said, “Weekly!”

If you haven’t already found a group that suits you, visit as many groups as possible that spark your interest. This may take some time to determine your interest in them and their interest in you. Take all the time needed. Your choice will play a major part in your success later. I never recommend joining the first group you visit.

NETWeeklyMeetingsFind a networking group that meets weekly, is highly structured and hold their members accountable for building relationships with each other and who encourages active networkers to actually look for business referrals for other members. BNI is one such group.

The goal of your networking group of choice is to bring together a group of business owners and professionals who are truly best-in-class in their respective business categories, and create a sense of responsibility for each member’s growth and success. The members should make every effort to learn about each member’s business, gain trust and confidence, refer high quality referrals and enthusiastically promote each other whenever possible. These ideas would be a great mission statement for any effective networking group.

Are their meetings at breakfast, lunch or evenings? People who get their day started on a positive note with a breakfast meeting are often the most serious networkers. Lunch is next on my list and evenings are way down the list. I’ve noticed that people who are not doing well, seem to gravitate to the evening meeting and will often head to the bar and are really not that serious about networking… but more interested in selling. There are exceptions, so choose the time that your group meets carefully.

Notice the tone and attitude of the group. Mix and mingle with as many members as possible. Do the members of the group demonstrate a support for one another? Does the leadership appear competent? How often do they meet? (Weekly is always BEST). Ask lots of questions from lots of people there to get a feel for the group. This means questions that ask who, what, where, when, and how as opposed to those that can be answered with a simple yes or no.

KenBlanchardSuperstar networkers will occasionally show up at large networking events which are usually held monthly or quarterly. They quickly discover that these events almost always yielded no fruit. Why? Because meeting only a few times a year doesn’t support developing long-term relationships. They are fun to attend once in a while but I’m frequently put off by so many uninformed networkers who shove a business card in your hand and ask you to buy their product or service.

Weekly meetings demand commitment. I love being around totally committed people! You must adjust your schedule to attend every meeting every week and stand by your commitment. It is much easier to build a relationship with someone when you see them every week.

In this video (4:15), Ivan Misner supports the “weekly” meeting idea. He details his response to a gentleman’s proposition of monthly, as opposed to weekly, networking meetings – in other words, his suggestion that networkers should have a “Networking Light” option as opposed to going for the “Full-Calorie Networking” system.

Suffice it to say, opting for “Networking Light” has never done anyone any favors, and his secret to success in business and life (which he shares in this video) has a lot to do with never cutting corners or skimping when it comes to his daily recipe for goal achievement.

BONUS Article: 3 Essential Questions to Ask for Your Networking Plan

Video Copyright © 2015 – Ivan Misner. 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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netHQText Copyright © 2015 – Larry James. Larry 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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Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
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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
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
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Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Networking: Passive Business Strategy or Proactive Marketing Tool?

Ivan Misner, Guest Author

The word “networking” has become so overused that some business professionals can no longer define it. Many people think that networking is attending social or business after-hour events, shaking a few hands, collecting a few cards, and, of course, giving away a few cards of their own. Sadly, they actually believe that’s all there is to networking. To be fair, we could say they’re engaging in social networking. That’s never to be confused, however, with business networking.

NetDefinedBusiness people tend to fall into one of two groups when it comes to their views of networking. For many, the current mind-set is that networking is a passive business strategy, not a proactive marketing tool. This attitude results in a scattered, often ineffective networking approach that consequently wastes the business owner’s time and money.

Not surprisingly, when people feel they’ve been wasting their time and money on something, they’re understandably not going to continue that activity.

On the other hand, some proprietors do consider networking a proactive marketing tool for their business. How can you tell? They make it a significant part of their marketing and business plans. They have networking goals. They may even have a budget line item for networking. Most importantly, they practice it and live it every day.

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.

As you feel more comfortable with this process, you’ll find it easier to sit between strangers at business meetings or strike up a conversation with people at the spa.

Which view do you take?

BONUS Articles: What is Business Networking?
Are You a Superstar Networker?

MisnerCopyright © 2015 – Ivan Misner. 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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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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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 Pintrest Page @ http://www.pinterest.com/larryjames2012/networking-blog/!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Do You Have ‘Cliques’ in Your Networking Group?

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

Ivan Misner, Guest Author

As you take a look at the networking groups you may be participating in, think about the relationships you have formed with the individual members. Do you have strong relationships with a select few, but disconnected and detached from others?

NETcliquesIt’s time to get serious about developing stronger relationships with each and every member of the networking groups you participate in. This includes people who you don’t think have the contacts you might want or perhaps are in a business that’s not exactly symbiotic with yours.

Have you ever thought to do one-on-ones with those people as well? Spend the time to do one-on-ones with each and every active member of your network – it helps you develop a longer and stronger network.

Larry’s NOTE: It’s very easy for cliques to form in networking groups. A clique is a small group of people, with shared interests or other features in common, who spend time together and do not readily allow others to join them.

A clique does serve networking groups well. It’s important to have good relationships with everyone in your group. As Ivan said, “This includes people who you don’t think have the contacts you might want or perhaps are in a business that’s not exactly symbiotic with yours.” Guess what? Networking is not only about getting leads for yourself. When you put “helping others” before getting referrals for yourself, you can more easily work the entire group. That will open up other possibilities. Those people you have been avoiding may know others that you need to know or can help.

If you see a clique forming in your group, do anything you can to break it up. Encourage networkers to sit with someone they don’t know very well. Encourage those in your group to have one-on-ones and report about it the following week. cliques are never a good thing when it comes to networking.

MisnerCopyright © 2014 – Ivan Misner & Larry James. 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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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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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/
Follow Larry’s Wedding Pinterest Page @ https://www.pinterest.com/larryjames2012/networking-blog/

Sunday, December 28, 2014

ATTENTION: Networking Leaders…

“When you are the leader of a networking group, it’s important for you to provide activities that get people to actually network. I have found that people tend to be like water – they tend to seek the path of least resistance. Without some structure at networking events, they will often do what is easiest, instead of what is best. This is why it’s very important that you offer activities & exercises which will remind them that it’s not called “netSIT” or “netEAT; it’s called “netWORK”.” ~ Ivan Misner

NETactivitiesAlmost 60% of Americans say they feel shy and unsure about what to say in a variety of business and social settings. Structured networking with group activities helps your networking group avoid some of the tension associated with networking. It takes about six conversations with someone before he/she knows who you are and has some idea of your character and competence. It’s called building relationships. It’s important to design creative activities for your group to keep things moving and to encourage members to actually network.

Networking leaders must take the initiative to actually lead, not just conduct a meeting. If you’re waiting around for someone to tell you what to do to make your networking group work better, then you aren’t being a leader, you’re waiting for a leader. The best way to look like a leader is to actually lead by example. It’s important for Network Leaders to use at least one networking activity at every meeting to encourage involvement and commitment to the process of networking. One such activity can be to have each person who give their “30-second connection” (or elevator speech) to describe the value they received and the connections they have made by being a member of your group. This is especially good for newer members to hear.

Encourage all members to wear their name tags after they enter the meeting. Easy-to-read name tags are essential for a successful meeting. If you print them out on a computer ahead of time, use a very large font size for the first name. If you ask people to make name tags as they arrive, encourage them to write their first names big. Name tags are easier to read when worn high on the right shoulder.

As a leader, make certain that everyone knows each other. Make a special effort to introduce new members to others in the group that might be someone they need to meet.

Appoint someone to be in charge of keeping a list of “current” attendees. List their names, business classification, e-mail, and contact information and make them available to every member. Have copies of the list in a prominent place and remind people to pick one up. Encourage them to carry this list with them as they go about their daily business. That way they can be ready to give a referral to some of their clients.

Encourage members to plan to meet other members outside of the meeting to get to know each other better. Ask for a brief comment from members who did this each week. What did they learn that they didn’t know about the member they met with? Asking your members to report their network activities can lead to some new ideas being passed around. When members know they will be asked to report on their network activities, they tend to become more active.

Invite someone who’s comfortable in front of a crowd and whose enthusiasm will be contagious to lead special activities. Don’t automatically assume that the President of the group should lead the activity. He/she has lots of other responsibilities. Look for a new face or invite someone whom you’d like to be more involved. The success of these activities depends, in large part, on the personality and energy of the person who leads them.

Each week choose someone special to act as a greeter. Position them at the door to welcome everyone. Their job is to warm up the group and improve the quality of networking that goes on. Advantage: each greeter gets to know individual members more intimately. Part of their responsibility is to:

• Arrive at least 15 minutes before the meeting begins.
• Greet people near the door.
• Introduce yourself.
• Shake hands with everyone.
• Show people where to find their name tag.
• Introduce the person you’ve just greeted to at least one other person before you leave to welcome another new arrival.
• Be on the lookout for people who may be shy about participating or who might be left out when there’s a group activity.

Always remember, leaders are responsible for enlisting the help of certain members to help create an exciting and highly valuable networking experience each week. You may want to have a special outside meeting with a few of the more outgoing members to discuss new and exciting ways to keep the members active during the meetings as well as outside of the meetings. Always focus your attention and energy on the people who are eager to participate. Makes notes at each of these meetings and no matter how far out the idea may be, spend some time reshaping it so that it fits your group.

I once asked members to face the person to their right, each member takes 5 minutes to talk about anything BUT business. Two of the members discovered that they had common outside interests and not only did they get to know each other better but used their new found knowledge to develop a unique way to give each other referrals. The group loved this idea and about once a month would feature this activity. Another idea was to take turns telling your partner the 2 truths and a lie about yourself. Listen to their 2 truths and a lie and then have a conversation in which you try to figure out what’s true and what’s not. You can learn a lot about someone with this activity. I also asked them to share something new that they learned.

Some groups have a member speak about their business each week for 10 or 15 minutes. I would often ask the members to sit with someone that they need to know better and instead of having a speaker, have them turn to that member and talk about their businesses for 10 or 15 minutes, then ask several members to talk for 2 or 3 minutes about something they learned about the person they talked with. Discourage members to always sit with the same people. I’ve seen several groups break apart because some of their members became involved in cliques. When you see this happening… it’s a red flag and you need to design something to get everyone involved with each other.

Another idea is to invite an outside speaker to talk about various business strategies, or invite an author to talk about their book. About once each quarter I would invite 3 business people outside of the group to participate in a panel discussion where members could ask questions. I called it, “Meet the Pros!” This would usually take about 30 minutes. Tell the pros to make their time with your group strictly educational and never sales-oriented. Be sure to introduce them and tell about their business before the panel discussion begins.

I don’t think its a good idea to ever not have members give their 30-second connection at the beginning of the meeting. By the way, many of you know that I have written a book about networking and would be happy to speak to your group. Call me for details: 480-205-3694.

As a leader, with the tone you set and the activities you lead, your networking members are sure to make networking an art.

Interested in learning more activities for networkers, Google “activities for business networking!”

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Copyright © 2014 – Larry James. Adapted from Larry’s latest book, Ten Commitments of Networking: Creative Ways to Maximize Your Personal Connections! Larry James is a Professional Speaker, Author and Networking Coach. He presents networking seminars nationally and “Networking” coaching by telephone or one-on-one. Something NEW about Networking is posted on this Networking BLOG every 4th day! Visit Larry’s Networking Website at: “Networking HQ!”

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.

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 Pintrest Page @ http://www.pinterest.com/larryjames2012/networking-blog/!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Always Wear Your Name Tag When Networking!

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

Ivan Misner, Guest Author

Always wear your name tag!

We’ve heard every possible excuse not to wear name tags, and all of them can be rebutted:

NETname-tag“Name tags look silly.” Yes, they do. But, remember, everyone else is wearing one, too.

“Name tags ruin my clothes.” Not if you wear them on the edge of your lapel, or use cloth-safe connectors, like lanyards and plastic clips.

“But I already know everybody.” No, you don’t. You may think you do, but people join and leave businesses and organizations all the time.

“But everyone already knows me.” No, they don’t. Even the best networkers know there’s always someone new to meet.

Your name tag is your best friend for several reasons. First of all, a person’s name is the single piece of personal information most often forgotten – and people are less likely to approach you if they don’t know (or have forgotten) your name.

Second, it’s free advertising for you and your company. Third, name tags encourage people to be friendly and more approachable.

Larry’s TIPs: Always place your name tag on the right side of your clothing. That way, as you shake hands, the line of your arm draws the other person’s attention directly to the name tag. Emily Post’s Etiquette Daily website agrees with my friend from Texas that the name tag should be worn on the right so that it’s easier to read. When you meet someone new, call them by their name right away. This will assist you in remembering their name.

If you can, avoid “hanging” name tags. The length is hard to estimate and therefore the tags usually end up somewhere close to your belly. It’s embarrassing if you’re already supposed to know the person and you’re looking at their belly for a prompt to remember their name. If name tags are provided at an event, use them. Don’t be a name tag snob. They really are there to make meeting and greeting others easier. They reduce potential awkward moments and help you remember names gracefully.

NOTE: The name tag image above shows my networking business card. The front side usually has my first name in large letters and my last name in smaller letters under my first name and business cards stashed behind my name tag to keep them handy.

BONUS Article: Seven Deadly Sins of Ineffective Name Tags

Larry’s NOTE:  Need a “last-minute” name tag for you networking meeting?  Fill out a FREE Designers template for a temporary name tag or badge insert at:  http://www.layoutserver.nl/

MisnerCopyright © 2014 – Ivan Misner. 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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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.

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

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Storytime with Ivan Misner

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

Ivan Misner, Guest Author

I’d like to share with you a story that I originally heard from one of my BNI directors, Art Radtke: “Whoopee in the Cornfields…”

NETStoryTimeA farmer in Nebraska won the state fair four times in a row with his corn. Nobody had ever done that before, so the paper sent someone out to interview him.

The reporter asked, “What is your secret? Do you use special corn seed?”

The farmer said, “Absolutely. I develop my own corn seed, and that’s an important aspect of it.”

“Well, then, that’s your secret,” said the reporter. “You plant a type of corn that’s different from your neighbors.”

“No, I also give it to my neighbors,” said the farmer.

“You give it to your neighbors?” asked the incredulous reporter. “Why in the world would you give your award-winning corn to your neighbors?”
The farmer said, “Well, you’ve got to understand how corn is pollinated. It’s pollinated from neighboring fields. And if you’ve got fields around you that don’t have this top-quality corn, your field is not going to grow top-quality corn either. But if my neighbor’s field has this really strong corn, I have awesome corn. And that’s how I’ve won at the Nebraska State Fair the last four years in a row.”

This story is a great metaphor for how networking works. Put simply, if you’re going to be an effective networker, you need to go into networking with a commitment to helping other people because that is how you’ll be helped in return.

Larry’s NOTE: Amen to that!!

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

MisnerCopyright © 2014 – Ivan Misner. 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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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.

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/

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Do You Speak With Emotion & Passion?

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

Ivan Misner, Guest Author

emotion&passionWhen you speak for your business, does your message come from your head or from your heart?

When the message comes from your head, it’s intellectual and unemotional; it’s just facts, figures and features. However, a message from the heart is filled with emotion & passion.

Which type of message would set you apart from others in your industry?

Which would attract people to you as if you were a motivational speaker?

If you were on the receiving end, which woud you prefer?

Which approach would inspire you to pass the message along to someone else?

MisnerCopyright © 2014 – Ivan Misner. 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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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.

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/

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Two Keys to Finding the Right Networking Partners

Ivan Misner, Guest Author

I once received an interesting e-mail from a man who read an article I wrote about collaboration and working together. He said, “The type of networking you talk about describes the way things should work, but in the real world most people seem to have an attitude of what’s in it for me.” He asked, “How can I prevent wasting my time and efforts on people, only to find that they have this kind of attitude?”

TwoKeysThe short answer to his question is this – stop hanging out with the wrong kind of people and start actively seeking out the right kind of people. Trust me, I’ve been there and done that when it comes to getting stuck with the wrong people and in order to move beyond that and build the kind of network that wants to help YOU (knowing that you also want to help them) is a journey – not a destination.

I have two suggestions to make finding the right networking partners easier.

First, look for some of the signs relating to people who fit the profile of good networkers. They include:

• People who ask how they can help you or what they can offer you (and mean it), before they ask anything from you.
• Individuals who show that they are willing to work on creating a professional relationship over a period of time because they understand that they must develop credibility with you before asking for your business or your referrals.
• Those who make the time to go beyond the normal business interactions with those from whom they want to be able to ask for support.
• Professionals who understand that networking is more about farming than hunting and show it in their actions by making the effort to get to know you outside of the business environment whenever possible, knowing that the more of a friendship there is between you, the more expectations you can both have from each other’s networking efforts.
• People who do what they can to bring business and contacts to you and their other networking partners, who share pertinent information with you, and invite you to business meetings that’ll position you favorably with others you need to get to know.
• Individuals who give of their time and knowledge in order to help their referral sources succeed.

Second, immerse yourself in the process of relationship building.

A network that is a mile wide and an inch deep is not a strong network. Create a personal network that is both wide and deep. Meeting with people regularly is the key to making this happen. Participate in networking groups where you are going to see the same people on a regular basis. This will help you develop relationships and screen out the “what’s in it for me” networkers.

Think about your current networking partners… who is one of your most trusted, most valued networking partners? I’d love to hear the story behind how you met this person and how you formed such a trusted, mutually beneficial networking partnership. Please share your story in the comments section–thanks!

BONUS Articles: A Network Relationship Takes Months to Build, Not Minutes
The Key to Success? Relationships!
Who Are You Talking With?

MisnerCopyright © 2014 – Ivan Misner. 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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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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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/

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Avoid a Common Networking Disconnect

Ivan Misner, Guest Author

At a networking event not too long ago for which 500 people attended, the speaker who was on stage directly before my presentation asked the audience, “How many of you came here hoping to do some business today, maybe even make a sale?” The overwhelming majority of the people in the audience raised their hands. Then he asked, “How many of you are here hoping to buy something today?” Not one person raised a hand.

Business people communicating with each other against white backgroundThis is what I call networking disconnect. I find it ironic that people are so “disconnected” about a process that’s intended to be about connecting people. This kind of disconnect leads to poor results, which in turn leads people to believe that networking doesn’t work. From what I’ve experienced over the past 26 years, along with the results I’ve witnessed with hundreds of thousands of people around the world — networking works just fine.

My advice: Do not confuse direct selling with networking. Of course, there is always someone out there who says, “But, Ivan, I’ve made sales before by attending a networking event.” I’m not saying it doesn’t ever happen, but it occurs about as often as a solar eclipse. You’re crazy if you think the odds are in your favor to “sell” at a networking event.

So why go to a networking meeting? You go because networking is more about farming than it is about hunting. Sometimes you go to increase your visibility and to connect with people you have never met. Sometimes you go to establish further credibility with people you know. And sometimes you may go to meet a long-time referral partner and do some business. In any case, the true master networkers know that networking events are about moving through the relationship process and not just about closing deals. Visibility leads to credibility which, with time and effort, leads to profitability.

no-sales-pitchIn order to make your networking efforts work, you need to embrace a “relationship networking” mentality. Here are five things to remember when attending networking events:

1. Don’t go there to sell, go there to connect.
2. Have meaningful conversations with people you meet.
3. Follow up with people you found interesting or who you can help in some way. Don’t follow up to sell them something.
4. Meet these people in a one-to-one setting, learn more about them, and ask them: “how can I help you?”
5. Go for the long-term relationship, not the short sale.

MisnerCopyright © 2014 – Ivan Misner. 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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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.

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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