Networking HQ BLOG with Larry James

Monday, November 9, 2015

Don’t Stop Networking! Just Start Doing It Right.

Ivan Misner, Guest Author

When I ask an audience, “How many of you are here hoping to possibly sell something?” almost everyone raises their hands. When I ask that same audience, “How many of you are here to possibly buy something?” nobody raises their hands.

Ever. Not one person.

NET-DontSTOPThis is what I call the networking disconnect. Too often, people show up at networking events wanting to sell something but nobody ever goes wanting to buy something. This is how networking can be done badly.

So, it didn’t surprise me when I recently read an article entitled “Stop Networking.” It went on to explain how the process of networking is so “mercenary.” The problem is that every example the author gave about how networking doesn’t work was an example of really bad networking! The conclusion was to stop networking. Instead of networking, the author said you should do these five things:

1. Focus on relationships, not transactions.

2. Don’t ask for something before you give something.

3. Don’t make the process about you.

4. Strive for quality, not quantity, in your relationships.

5. Volunteer for leadership roles in organizations you belong to.

Hello! Does anyone notice that the emperor has no clothes? I would argue that all five of these strategies are, in fact, all about networking – but about networking done the right way. In this article, bad networking tactics were presented as the reasons that people should stop networking altogether. Networking can certainly be done badly, but networking itself isn’t bad. In fact, when it’s done right, almost everyone agrees it’s the best way to build a business.

Don’t stop networking. Just start networking right:

Relationships, not transactions ~ The key for networking events is to make solid connections with individuals so they will remember who you are when you do follow up with them. You want them to be interested to meet with you for coffee or lunch. If you go to networking events with the intention of just trying to sell to people, they won’t want to meet with you later because they know you’re going to pitch to them.

Invest in some social capital ~ If you want people to be eager to meet with you after networking events, the key is to find ways to help them. Think back to the people in my audience. Think about all the relationships that had the possibility of forming and how many of them most likely didn’t. If everyone focused on learning who they could help, as opposed to who they could sell to, imagine the relationships that might have been. Good networking is all about investing in some social capital before asking for a withdrawal.

Be interested, not interesting ~ It’s not all about you. Do you want to make a connection (especially if you are networking up to someone more successful than you)? If so, be interested in what they are doing. Don’t pitch them the moment you meet them. But wait, it never hurts to ask, right? Wrong! Contrary to popular belief, it is does hurt to ask for business before there’s any kind of relationship.

Quality over quantity ~ The only thing more important than the size of your network is the quality of your network. It’s a people puzzle, not a numbers game. It’s about finding out about the people you’re meeting with. It’s not about collecting as many cards as you can. If your network is a mile wide and an inch deep, you’ll never have a powerful personal network at your disposal.

Become engaged in the groups you belong to ~ If you really want to stand out in a network, volunteer and become a leader in it. It is amazing how much exposure you can receive when you are helping to run a group that you are active in. However, remember two things. First, just being a leader doesn’t mean you’ll get business. At some point, when you have developed a relationship, you do have to let people know that you’d like to do business with them. Second, whatever you do, don’t step down from a leadership role and then immediately quit the group. That really makes it look like you were there for only one reason (and the wrong one at that). Being a leader in a group is about giving back. The secondary benefit is that you can build great credibility.

I’ve built a global company with offices in more than 60 countries and I’ve done almost all of it by building relationships, networking, and getting referrals. My advice to you is, don’t stop networking. Just start networking right.

BONUS Articles: The Real Secret to Success Isn’t Really a Secret
Networking Is a Contact Sport
Be Self-Aware, Be Selfless, and Then Be Selfish

MisnerCopyright © 2015 – Ivan Misner. Adapted from “Avoiding the Networking Disconnect” by Dr. Ivan Misner and Brennan Scanlon. 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!”

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, 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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Follow Larry’s “Relationship BLOG” at: http://CelebrateLove.wordpress.com/
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Thursday, February 26, 2015

A Few Beginner’s Networking Tips for Review!

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

When you attend a large networking event, there are a few rules that are good to review now and then. Often we tend to get aways from the tools that really work.

Watch: “How to network and make a great impression with good manners and business etiquette.” Simi Sara, host of CityTVs Breakfast Television Vancouver interviews Kimberly Law, AICI CIP Vancouver Image and Etiquette expert on How to Mingle like a Pro.

BONUS Article: You Need More Than a Cardboard Connection
Are You an Overly Assumptive Networker?
How Long Has it Been…

Copyright © 2015 – Kimberly Law. Since 1999 Kimberly Law, AICI CIP founder of Personal Impact Image Management in Vancouver BC, has helped women, men and corporations across Canada and the US, redefine their image to succeed in today’s ever competitive, image-conscious environment. Visit her Website: http://www.PersonalImpact.ca/

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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
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Follow Larry’s “Wedding BLOG” at: http://CelebrateIntimateWeddings.wordpress.com
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Friday, June 27, 2014

Do Actions Speak Louder Than Words?

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

When you are networking… the answer is, “Yes!” There are things you must “DO” before you attend a networking event.

Before you attend a networking event, your first action should be to do your homework. Assess the event to decide if you will benefit from it. Is there a sponsor you should meet? Who will attend. Will it be fun? Can you make it fun?

NETActionsThere are so many meeting you have to go to, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy yourself. Focus on the value of meeting new people, exchanging pleasantries and getting the business cards of those who impress you as someone you should include in your network.

Don’t hangout in the hallway. That may look to some that you are scared to come in. Glance around, checking the layout of the room. Where are the people who look like they know what they are doing congregating?

Don’t be shy. Initiate conversations – “with people you do not know.” Networking events are not times to visit with your friends. That doesn’t mean you ignore them. You can always talk to your friends at another time. Once you are in the room walk up to someone new and start talking. Lead with questions that cannot be answered with yes or no. Chat for a while and move on to someone else. Initiating conversation sometimes feels like you might be setting yourself up with rejection, however you attend these events to meet new people and you cannot afford to be a wallflower. I often look for someone who is standing alone to the side observing, clutching a drink and looking uncomfortable. They usually welcome your conversation because you saved them from anonymity. Check ’em out.

Another action… remember to bring your business cards. Not everyone should have your card. The exchange of business cards should follow a conversation in which rapport has been established. If you want to give your card to someone, but they have not asked for it, ask for theirs first. Most people will respond in kind, especially if you make your card available, obviously read to trade.

Do be an effective networker, you must take action to prepare yourself for whatever happens, including your small talk. Silence is downright boring. Topics might include the purpose for which you are meeting, business news happenings, and even the weather. You already have something in common because you are attending the same event. Ask about the successes they have had while networking. Being prepared will allow you to keep the conversation on a positive note if talk begins to go south.

NeverFailFollowUpThe action of a smile can mean a lot when networking. Make eye contact. Shake hands like you mean it. When you say “it’s nice to meet you,” be sure your face matches your words. Speak sincerely. People can very quickly spot someone who doesn’t know that networking is about building relationships, not trying to sell someone something that you just met. Make introductions to people you think may be helpful to someone you’ve just met. Always remember to tell people what you do that might benefit them. Prepare! Speak it in a way that will have them ask more questions. NEVER begin a networking conversation with, “What do you do?

Don’t get bogged down with talking to one person. Learn to gracefully move on to someone else. You’re there to make new acquaintances. To make your exit easier, take this action… wait until you are finished talking, smile and say, “Excuse me, it’s been nice talking with you. I hope you have a great evening.” If you choose to follow up with them, you may want to tell them you will give them a call to arrange a time to get together to get to know each other better. If they are receptive… remember to keep your word. Want more about “follow up?” Click here!

Remember to wear a smile and remember the reason you are there! Have a good time.

BONUS Articles: Do You Fade Into the Wall?
Mind Your Networking Manners

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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.

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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/

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Networking Events: 10 Quick Tips

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

Allison, Guest Author

Networking events are a great way for you to meet other professionals in your area, but it can be exhausting to keep up with a busy calendar, and make the most out of each event. And, for those who are more introverted, meeting a lot of new people at one time can seem daunting.

10QuickTipsWhether you’re a networking pro or need a little coaxing when it comes to putting yourself out there, these 10 quick tips will help you master networking events!

1. Clear your mind before entering the event. ~ Many networking events take place in the early evening, after you’ve most likely had a long, arduous day at work. Be sure to check your negative energy at the door, or others might sense it! Even if you feel so tired you wish you could back out, go in with an open mind. Focus your mind on the task ahead of you – meeting new people and establishing relationships.

If you can, try to give yourself a bit of alone time prior to the event to re-charge whether this is listening to your favorite music driving over, or stopping for a quick coffee prior to the event and enjoying it while checking out some blog posts or recent news from the day.

2. Talk to people who are standing alone. ~ Ever feel a bit awkward at a networking event? Everyone has at one point or another! If you see someone standing alone, strike up a conversation. They’ll be happy to have someone to talk to, plus you won’t have to worry about breaking up a group’s conversation by approaching multiple people mid-way through and introducing yourself.

3. Repeat your contact’s name. ~ While you’re speaking with someone, repeat their name back to them a few times during the conversation. It helps you to demonstrate that you’re paying attention to what your contact is saying, and you’ll remember names better that way. Two or three times per conversation should do the trick!

4. Act as a facilitator for others at the event. ~ Welcome others into your conversations by introducing the people you’ve spoken with to others. Try it by introducing each new person you meet to at least one other person, and soon you’ll know a lot more people! Also, by being the one who connects others, people will see you as resourceful.

5. Personalize your encounters. ~ The exchange of business cards is fairly standard at networking events, but you can make yourself more personable (and memorable) by writing your personal contact information on the back of your card and a quick note such as ‘Please be in touch!’Your new contacts are much more likely to reach out to you through your cell phone number or personal email address than they are a main company phone line.

6. Be selective about your events. ~ Choose networking events where you know you’ll have something in common with the other people attending. Many local networking events may not be industry-specific, so try to filter out the events that are most worth your time. Check out the WeddingWire World Tour schedule to see if we’ll be coming to a town near you, or be on the lookout for an email from us when we’ll be near you for a Mix & Mingle, Networking Night or Workshop!

7. Make the first move. ~ If you’ve been to a lot of networking events, you’ve noticed that attendees tend to polarize. Some people are extremely social and will spend the whole time proactively making conversations with others. The other types of people tend to sit alone, waiting for other to approach them. They’re often on their phones trying to look busy. Approach those people and make the first move! You’ll be helping them break the ice and begin a conversation. It’s great for your network, and it’s a kind deed you can do for others to ease their tension.

8. Be yourself. ~ Although you’re at a professional event, don’t be afraid to show some personality! It can be stressful and draining to keep up an overly-stiff façade while at networking events, and as a result it can make the whole ordeal much more unpleasant than it has to be. Honesty and authenticity are great traits, and they’ll shine through if you’re being yourself. Don’t worry about trying to keep your personal life separate (unless you want to!). Be yourself and you’ll make both friends and professional contacts.

9. Pull, don’t push. ~ The conversations you have with other wedding and event professionals is the whole reason to attend networking events. When you’re engaging in a conversation with another Pro, be sure to pull the conversation in a certain direction without pushing a topic. You can pull the conversation by asking questions about the other person and getting to know them. Don’t push the conversation by talking about yourself and forcing the topic.

10. Reward yourself. ~ If networking isn’t your thing, make it easier to on yourself by providing an incentive! If you meet your goal of attending an event and walking away with a few good connections, be sure to reward yourself afterward. Whether your reward is a weekend getaway or even just a nice dinner, give yourself a pat on the back for breaking out of your comfort zone!

Copyright © 2014 – Allison. Allison is a staff writer for WeddingWire.com‘s ProBlog.

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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

Friday, May 30, 2014

Five Warning Signs That Your Networking is NOT Working!

Here’s how to turn it around…

Jennifer Benson, Guest Author

Regardless of the need you may have, the purpose of networking is to connect with other people that you can help and that can help you. Networking connects you to resources you need to make the sale, connect the friend, promote the agenda, or just share ideas. From time to time we may begin to question whether our networking efforts are paying off.

WarningSignsHave you ever wondered if your networking efforts are worth the trouble? Perhaps wondering if it is working is the biggest indicator that your networking is not working. Here are five more warning signs that your networking is not working.

1. You have not received a referral this week. If you are providing service to others and you do not receive referrals all the time, something is wrong. You should receive at least one referral each week.

2. You have begun to consider cutting back on networking and spending more time cold calling. There is nothing that says desperate more plainly than the thought that you would much rather make cold calls than go to a networking event. Yet this decision is made every day by failing networkers. It is a result of not understanding danger sign number one. You should expect referrals.

3. You have a stack of cards on your desk but really cannot recall when you got them or why. Ah yes, the stack of cards that validates your attendance at numerous events. When in doubt you will take a look at that stack and remind yourself that you are networking. Unfortunately it just isn’t working for you. Maybe you don’t get referrals because you don’t follow up. Ya think that matters? (Uh, yes it does)

4. You decide which events to attend by the food and drink that will be served. This is akin to the trainer throwing in the towel when his fighter is punch drunk. (No pun intended. Of course we’re going to all the events with an open bar.)

5. People don’t recall meeting you when you call them. You aren’t remembered because you are not memorable when you tell people about you. The only way to be memorable is to be different. Like everyone else, you concentrate on telling everyone you meet about you and your company and fail to ask any questions.

If you believe your networking may be in trouble, there is good news. Turning things around is not as difficult as you might expect and the mere fact that you are thinking about becoming more successful means you have what it takes to do so. The first step in becoming a more successful networker is to begin by thinking of others first.

Most networkers fail because they focus on their needs rather than the needs of others. Begin thinking about how you can connect others and soon others will be thinking about how they can connect you. Some call this pay it forward. Others call it The Golden Rule. Treat others as you would have them treat you and you will reap a great harvest.

BONUS Articles: Two Top Networking No-Nos!
What to Do With the Business Card of a Loser
You Must Be Out of Your Mind…
ASK! – Always Allow Your Friends the Opportunity to Help You!
Making the Networking Follow-Up Call

Copyright © 2014 – Jennifer Benson. Jennifer Benson specializes in business development, leadership, entrepreneurship and finance at: Financenk.com

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

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

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

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Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
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Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Networking Quick Takes…

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

No matter how impressive your resume looks, getting ahead still depends a great deal on the truth of the saying, “It’s not what you know, but who you know that counts!” Making the right connections – networking – is a vital element in a person’s success. While some people are naturals at it, others often find it very difficult.

If rubbing elbows with people makes you feel awkward, here are some networking quick takes (tips) to help put you at ease when you have the chance to make some valuable business contacts.

NetQuickTakesBetter business networking introduces you to new inspiration, ideas, innovation, problem solving, more referrals, a better top and probably bottom line, and business growth. The goal of networking should be to help other people.

• Never leave your home without a supply of business cards – and don’t be afraid to ask another person for his or her card! Don’t hand your cards out to people you’ve just met. We all know the person who shoves his/her business card down your throat immediately. It’s a turnoff, and not a very polite way to engage a new contact. Offer your business card after having a conversation – and before asking for the other person’s card first.

• Don’t stay on the sidelines at professional functions or networking events. Mingle!

• Carry something in your hands – a book, a brochure, a videotape, even a cup of coffee – to help you feel less self-conscious.

• NEVER “sell” while you are networking. It’s your goal to meet people, not close a business deal. I repeat, NEVER sell at a networking meeting or event. If someone corners you and you do have the opportunity to mention your business, always keep your pitch short – let it be catchy and to the point.

• Attend networking functions with a friend who can introduce you to others in attendance.

• Dress up for the occasion. “You never get a second chance to make a good first impression.” ~ Will Rogers

• Ask lots of questions. Don’t be shy. You’ll make a better impression than if you keep the entire conversation focused on yourself and how great you and your business are. Ask questions that are much deeper than, “What do you do?” Get to know them and attempt to find commonalities. Engage them in a real conversation. They will tend to remember those conversations best. Networking is about being genuine and authentic, building trust and relationships, and seeing how you can help others.

• Listen more than you talk! People love to talk about themselves, and you can’t learn about the other person if you’re doing all of the talking.

“Be unconventional. Use those pesky waiting lines at the DMV to strike up a conversation with someone else in line and see if it makes sense to mention your business. Other great places to start a dialogue include on an airplane or even at your local grocery store. Be friendly, outgoing and talk to the people around you. You never know what connection you might make for your business.” ~ Pamela Springer

• The effectiveness of face-to-face networking is hard to measure, so how do we know when we’ve succeeded? Never leave without a second date. In other words, if you don’t plan to meet with someone you just met after the meeting or event, you’re making a big mistake. Follow up is key!

• Follow up with a “nice to meet you” note, which is also a good opportunity to enclose another business card, brochure, sales piece, or even a newsletter if it will give someone a better idea of your talent and abilities. Since most people don’t do this, you will stand out from the crowd. No contact after the networking event = No chance for a business relationship!

• Keep a contact file. Organize the business cards you bring to your office so you can call on people from time to time as necessary. Focus on building trust. Stay accountable to yourself first and foremost and then to the people you build relationships with.

• Always arrive early; you’ll get the opportunity to have meaningful discussions and people will remember you before they meet 100 others at the event.

• Give business referrals or referral other vendors new contacts may find interesting. Your new contact will remember you for it. Ask them what they need. Then try to provide it by connecting them with someone you know and trust.

learnmoremakemore• Don’t forget your current contacts. Networking doesn’t necessarily mean actively pursuing making new relationships. Cultivate those you have already and invest in those relationships first.

• Learn as much as you can about business networking. Read the networking articles in the articles menu of this blog. As of May 6, 2014, there are more than 430 articles about Networking available – all FREE! Read networking books. Watch others who are already successful to see how they network. As a matter of fact… you can never learn too much about networking!

“Don’t expect anything! The fact that you reached out and made contact with someone does not put them in your debt. No one is required to “pay you back.” Instead of approaching networking with the goal of gaining favors, try reaching out with curiosity. Contact interesting and relevant people and see what happens. Some of them will respond and some of them won’t. Learn about the people that follow up. Find out what makes them interesting and how you can help them – and don’t expect anything in return.” ~ James Clear

Networking can work to your advantage for many months – even years – to come. Who knows? A casual acquaintance you make today may be vital to your success tomorrow. If you wait to build your network when you need it, your desperation will show through. Just remember that when the opportunities arise, be yourself, show a genuine interest in the people you meet, and follow up new contacts to get to know them better.

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

netHQ

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.

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Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
Follow Larry’s “once daily” Relationship Tweet at: http://www.Twitter.com/larryjames
Follow Larry’s “Relationship BLOG” at: http://CelebrateLove.wordpress.com/
Follow Larry’s “Wedding BLOG” at: http://CelebrateIntimateWeddings.wordpress.com
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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

How to Avoid Networking Overwhelm!

In today’s business landscape a networking plan must be carefully managed or it can very quickly become overwhelming and non-productive. You don’t have to attend every known networking event to be successful. I’ve found that if you “focus on a few,” you will be much better off and avoid networking burn-out.

AvoidNEToverwhelmThere is no simple formula to answer this question: “What is the best networking group for me?” The question boils down to this: How much time, money and commitment to you have to give? How can you expose yourself to the widest segment of the business community?

This could include; a weekly referral group, industry associations, Women’s Groups and a local Chamber of Commerce. Also in the mix are online communities, service clubs and a possible charity.

Choose a mix that gives you the broadest exposure, suits your passions and utilizes your talents. Never ever over commit.

You will get more out of your networking efforts is you arrive 15 minutes early for meetings. If the group has name tags on a table as you enter, look over the name tags for anyone that looks interesting and approach them or sit with them at the meeting.

Approach events as if you are the host rather then a guest. Carry an ample supply of business cards. Have a pen handy to make nots on business card you get from people you think you might like to follow-up with outside of the meeting.

Spend time with a few people rather than rushing madly from person to person collecting as many business cards as you can.

Follow-up the next day with a phone call to anyone you feel you might be able to help.

Always remember, it’s not what you know, but who you know that counts. By making the right contacts, networking can be a vital element in your success. Some people are naturals at networking, however, most are not. If rubbing elbows with people you don’t know makes you feel awkward, you may need to brush up on your people skills.

Networking can work to your advantage for years to come if you do it right. You never know when a casual conversation you have today may be vital to your success tomorrow. Just remember when the opportunities arrive, be yourself, show a genuine interest in the people you meet and follow up with any significant contacts. You will never regret having made the effort.

netHQ

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.

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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, March 27, 2014

Save Time Networking: Focus on Your Gold Dust

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

Jacky Sherman, Guest Author

As a fellow business person some things about you I know you know. You know you never have enough time for everything. You know that referrals are a great way of winning business and you know networking to get those referrals takes time.

GoldDustI also know that most people in your network are not referring to you. I know this because if they were you wouldn’t have time to read this.

Now some people simply can’t refer you, they don’t know the people you want as clients. What about the rest? The reality is that even if you invest your time in them many of these people will never refer you.

Don’t give up! Focus your efforts on the remaining people who, given the right information and motivation will refer you. Wouldn’t it make great sense to identify who they are BEFORE you invest a lot of your time in them. Here’s a little chart that can help you decide who to focus on.

Make a list of all the people you know who have access to the kind of people you want as clients. Plot them on the chart above.

How do you know where to place them on the chart? You can work it out by watching their behaviours and asking a few key questions to them and others who know them.

SKILL: Are they skillful at relating to and influencing other people in order to gain referrals?

A skilled referrer has a track record of giving good referrals that turn into real business.

• Who has referred you to one of their contacts?
• Does it usually turn into a real business opportunity?
• Who has a good reputation for referring to other people you know?
• Who gets mentioned in the thank you slot at your networking groups?
• Who has referred one of their contacts to help you?
• Who goes that extra mile to ensure you or others are best positioned to win the business?

A skilled referrer spends time getting to know their network contacts well.

• Who has proper conversations when networking rather than just making a sales pitch?
• Who initiates one to one meetings with members of their network?
• Who knows a lot about other people outside of their business interests?
• Who can tell you about the services others in their network offer?
• Who knows who wants to meet who?
• Who won’t accept “anybody” as the answer?

A Skilled referrer gives good information that helps other refer them in return.

• Who gets lots of referrals?
• Who shares information that helps others get to know them as a person?
• Who can explain their business succinctly?
• Who can tell you who they want to meet?
• Who can tell you how to spot an opportunity for them?
• Who can tell you how to introduce them?
• Who has other people referring them to you?

WILL: Are they willing to invest time in helping you?

• Who has referred you in the last 6 months?
• Who has initiated a one to one meeting with you recently?
• Who seeks you out at networking events?
• Who invites you to events?
• Who gives you their full attention when talking to you?
• Who has introduced you to others in their network who might help you?
• Who is generous with their knowledge in helping you?
• Who delivers what they say they will do for you?
• Who has explicitly said they will help you?

WILL: Are they willing to improve their referral marketing generally?

• Who attends training sessions offered to your networks
• Who can tell you about workshops or course they have been on?
• Who was on the last training course you were on?
• Who can talk about books, articles or speeches that have influenced them?
• Who is willing to try different approaches to promoting you and others?

Referral Marketing tips

1. As your time is precious focus your referral marketing around networking with your gold dust. They are the people who are already skilled and motivated to help you.
2. For those with high skill but seem to lack the will to refer to you, check out which box they would put you in right now. Are you presenting yourself as Gold Dust or “not worth it?”
3. If your contacts have high will but lack the skill they are likely to be frustrated about their own results. They may thank you for recommending sources of knowledge or training.

If you would like some help in becoming Gold Dust for your referral sources, Jacky would be delighted to have a conversation with you.

ReferralInstJackyShermanCopyright © 2014 – Jacky Sherman. Reprinted with permission. This article is adapted from Jacky’s blog @ http://blog.ReferralInstitutenn.co.uk. Jacky is the Franchise owner for The Referral Institute, Northampton, England. The Referral Institute is an International Consulting and Training company 100% dedicated to Referral Marketing. She offers a wide range of workshops and coaching to business people who want to generate amazing business through identifying and collaborating with the gold dust in their network. Contact Jacky Sherman, Jacky@referralinstitutenn.co.uk. http://ReferralInstitutenn.co.uk

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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/

Friday, March 7, 2014

10 Quick Tips for Successful Networking

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

Be prepared

Attending networking events is great for your business, but knowing how to conduct yourself to maximize the contacts that you make, and being ready to positively convey your business to other Pros is important. Do your research beforehand to find out the types of businesses in attendance, the seminars or sessions you’d like to attend and the general atmosphere of the event. If it’s a more formal event, you might want to prepare an “elevator” pitch of sorts. If it’s a less formal event, be ready to chat casually with other professionals to see how you could possibly work together.

quick-tipsClear your mind before entering the event

Many networking events take place in the early evening, after you’ve most likely had a long, arduous day at work. Be sure to check your negative energy at the door, or others might sense it! Even if you feel so tired you wish you could back out, go in with an open mind. Focus your mind on the task ahead of you – meeting new people and establishing relationships. If you can, try to give yourself a bit of alone time prior to the event to re-charge whether this is listening to your favorite music driving over, or stopping for a quick coffee prior to the event and enjoying it while checking out some blog posts or recent news from the day.

Set goals before you go

People attend networking events for a variety of reasons – you could be looking to get recommendations from your peers, expand your network of referrals or identify potential partners. Setting goals for your business before the event helps you focus on building the right types of relationships. When you get the opportunity to look at the other attendees, set your goals for who you’d like to talk to and what you’d like to get out of the event. You’ll have a clearer path to getting the most benefit out of the event.

Make a great first impression

At any sort of professional event you should be trying to present yourself as someone you’d be interested in meeting. While what you say is important, body language plays a large role in how you present yourself and your business to both clients and peers. Making eye contact, giving a strong handshake and standing up straight convey confidence and interest. Try asking questions that require more than a “yes” or “no” answer to engage people and give them a chance to share more about themselves. These strategies will help you be memorable so your new contacts will remember you fondly after the event!

Remember to follow up

As time passes between the event and when you actually send your follow-up emails, attendees could potentially forget who you were and that they gave their email address to you. Be sure to stay top-of-mind with potential new business by following up with new contacts in a timely manner! Whether you decide to send a one-to-one email or choose to connect via LinkedIn with a personal note, remind the contact who you are and what the two of you spoke about at the event. State your intentions so the contact knows that you are serious about a potential relationship and ready to take the next step.

Talk to people who are standing alone

Ever feel a bit awkward at a networking event? Everyone has at one point or another! If you see someone standing alone, strike up a conversation. They’ll be happy to have someone to talk to, plus you won’t have to worry about breaking up a group’s conversation by approaching multiple people mid-way through and introducing yourself.

Repeat your contact’s name

While you’re speaking with someone, repeat their name back to them a few times during the conversation. It helps you to demonstrate that you’re paying attention to what your contact is saying, and you’ll remember names better that way. Two or three times per conversation should do the trick!

exchangingCardsAct as a facilitator for others at the event

Welcome others into your conversations by introducing the people you’ve spoken with to others. Try it by introducing each new person you meet to at least one other person, and soon you’ll know a lot more people! Also, by being the one who connects others, people will see you as resourceful.

Personalize your encounters

The exchange of business cards is fairly standard at networking events, but you can make yourself more personable (and memorable) by writing your personal contact information on the back of your card and a quick note such as “Please be in touch!” Your new contacts are much more likely to reach out to you through your cell phone number or personal email address than they are a main company phone line.

Network, Rinse, Repeat

Networking can often be a lot like dating, so practice makes perfect! If this networking event went well, just think how many more contacts you’ll receive each time you attend another event. Networking events are a great way to grow your business and identify other vendors who could make great partners, and future friends. Keep going to events, and try to learn something new each time you attend an event to keep improving your networking skills and expanding your network!

BONUS Tip: One-on-one networking

Meeting individually with another Pro can be one of the most effective ways to make a new friend within the business. A private coffee date or lunch meeting is a great opportunity to “talk shop,” and can give you the chance to show off your portfolio and/or learn more in-depth about the other person’s company. Often, over time, a friendship will grow – I know I count other wedding industry folks among my very closest friends, and I find there’s something special about people who really understand the industry, given that it’s such a huge part of my life.

Larry’s NOTE: Remember that networking is always about building business relationships before anything else!

Thank you to the people of the Education arm of WeddingWire.com for helping to compile this list of networking tips.

netHQ

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.

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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/

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