Networking HQ BLOG with Larry James

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Networking QuickTakes…

Filed under: FUN!,Networking Tip — Larry James @ 8:30 am
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Here is a mixture of several networking ideas that will help you be more comfortable when networking.

Networking is NOT prospecting! You can always prospect, but good networking opportunities for developing new business contacts are rare. Use the Ten Commitments of Networking to assist you in making lots of new friends and business contacts at your next function.

handshakeWhen you show up avoid common crutches. Observe proper netiquette. Don’t arrive too late. Don’t leave too early. Don’t drink too much. Don’t gorge at the buffet table. Remember, you never have a second chance to make a good first impression. Do not gossip.

Don’t stay huddled in groups with people you already know. When holding a cold drink, hold it in your left hand to avoid cold handshakes. Remember, networking is not about swooping into the room, collecting lots of business cards, or tossing them like confetti, then doing a vanishing act.

What should you say? Asking, “What do you do?” is a mistake. That brings up a topic you most likely know nothing about. Do some research. Be tuned in to what’s happening in your city. Read the paper, look for humorous articles or movie reviews you could talk about. Develop some preplanned, interesting conversation starters.

You can greatly increase your conversation confidence by developing specific questions to help you begin and by designing answers to the questions most frequently asked about your business. Trust your instincts. Be yourself.

How about letting the other person speak first. Then ask questions. The person who is asking the questions is in control of the conversation. Knowing what the other person is all about will help you tailor your message and deliver it with more relevance.

Identify possibility in every conversation. When you intentionally look for it, you will almost always find it. Communication enables people to connect. Keep the conversation on a positive level at all times. It opens people’s minds to opportunity.

NetFUNMake observations. Share some trivia. Listen for things you have in common. Make small talk. Remember your purpose is to look for people with which to develop mutually beneficial, long-lasing relationships. Make your first hello upbeat, positive and friendly. If you don’t like your line of work, don’t talk about it. Be prepared. They will generally get around to asking what you do. Have your 30-second connection ready.

Have fun. Smile and talk to lots of people. Do not play it safe by mixing only with business colleagues and good friends. Make good eye contact. Mix and mingle. If you have “minglephobia,” get over it quickly by doing what you fear. Relax. Remind yourself that you are not the only one at this event who may be a little nervous. Expand your horizons. Move past your fears. Speaking positively helps you conquer self-doubt and energizes your spirit.

Practice the art of slipping effortlessly into conversations. When you approach a group of people who are talking, slowly step a little closer to the group. Usually someone will notice and the group will open up to include you. Listen. If you have something to add to the conversation, chime in.

Show respect to people’s comfort levels. Standing in their space is not good. Keep the distance to at least 18 inches to 2 feet when speaking face-to-face. Anything closer and they will usually back away. Be alert.

netHQ

Copyright © 2013 – Larry James. Adapted from Larry’s latest book, Ten Commitments of Networking: Creative Ways to Maximize Your Personal Connections! Larry James is a Professional Speaker, Author and Networking Coach. He presents networking seminars nationally and “Networking” coaching by telephone or one-on-one. Something NEW about Networking is posted on this Networking BLOG every 4th day! Visit Larry’s Networking Website at: “Networking HQ!”

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

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Sunday, August 11, 2013

Top 10 Tips to Make a Stellar First Impression

Kari @ WeddingWire.com, Guest Author

First impressions matter! In the wedding and event business, creating a lasting and positive first impression can make or break landing your next big booking, and can also determine how you are perceived in the industry.

FirstImpressionsOften, a new contact forms an opinion about you within the first few minutes of interaction, so knowing how to make strong first impression can be very impactful for expanding your business.

First impressions are comprised of two elements: your message and your body language.

While what you say is important, your business expertise and service offering are not the only elements of a successful first meeting. Body language is a key in any interpersonal interaction, and plays a large role in how you present yourself and your business to clients, other Pros and your colleagues!

In fact, research has indicated that body language can impact your first impression by up to 80 percent, so it is very important to not only focus on what you are saying, but also what your body may be conveying!

Top 10 tips for establishing favorable first impression:

1. Stand or sit up straight, keep your head raised and make eye contact while introducing yourself to a new contact. This portrays confidence and makes them take notice!

2. A full, firm handshake is not to be underestimated! Remember to introduce yourself to all new people you meet, and say your name and business with assurance.

3. A sincere smile breaks the ice and expresses a likable, relaxed demeanor.

4. Start a conversation with a simple question to get the conversation started. Asking questions gives the other person an opportunity to contribute his or her thoughts. When in doubt, ask about them! People are comfortable talking about themselves, and this shows you are invested in getting to know them better.

5. Always be ready with a relevant “elevator speech” for the meeting. A less than 30 second concise, but well articulated introduction for yourself, your company, or your experience sets the tone for a positive interaction. Be sure to end with a pause and a smile to allow the other person to ask any follow up questions or move on to asking them a bit about themselves.

badfirstimpressions6. Leaning slightly toward the speaker is inviting and shows that you are involved in the conversation. It also gives the indication you are a good listener – which is very important in this business!

7. When they are speaking, nod your head slightly on occasion to show understanding while the other person is speaking. This shows that you are listening, and are interested what they are saying. It also coveys an agreeable nature.

8. Stay positive and interested! A good attitude is important to be likable at a party, at a job interview or working an event. People gravitate to those who are happy, flexible and personable.

9. Address all those present with respect. Any time a new contact joins a conversation, be sure to introduce yourself, welcome them to the conversation and make eye contact with all those there (even if they are not the focus of your meeting). You never want to isolate anyone, or appear insincere.

10. Use your hands confidently. A little hand motion helps to describe something or add weight to a point you are trying to make, but overuse can become distracting so try to only use occasionally.

Review these tips to evaluate your first impression, and find areas of potential improvement! At your next meeting, make a conscious effort to address any areas you can work on. With a little awareness about your first impression and some practice, be prepared to wow at your next business meeting, industry event or client booking!

Copyright 2013 – Kari @ WeddingWire.com.

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

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

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

letsbefriends2

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

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