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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Follow Larry’s “Relationship BLOG” at: http://CelebrateLove.wordpress.com/
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Saturday, February 15, 2014

Don’t Wait Until You’re Drowning to Reach Out For Help!

Likewise… don’t wait until you are desperate for business before you begin networking.

The odds against instant gratification are slim when you begin. You probably ought to get use to delayed gratification because networking will teach you patience.

drowningSo many people I talk with wait until they are at wits end to get involved in business networking expecting others to shower them with referrals.

SPOILER ALERT: It doesn’t happen like 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

Remember, networking and selling DO NOT mix! Think of yourself as a solution-finder, rather than a sales person. Be of assistance to others. “How can I help you?” is a great question to ask everyone you meet.

If you are serious about making business networking work for you, you must build relationships. That’s really what makes networking work! Developing close relationships take time. Seldom will anyone risk their reputation by giving you a referral or referring you after first meeting you. My friend, Tom Hopkins reminds us that people do business with people they like and trust. I may like you upon first meeting you but trust is quite another story. That takes time too.

It’s important to “make” time to really get to know the people in your network. Book breakfasts, lunches, visits to each other’s places of business. Spend time with them. Ask lots of questions. That’s how relationships begin. When enough time passes you will learn more about them as a person, their business, their likes and dislikes and you will begin to know them well enough to make some headway with referrals.

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.

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/

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

If it Ain’t Broke… Fix it!

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

Take fast. And make it faster. Take smart. And make it brilliant. Believe that no matter how well you do something – especially business networking – and you can always make it better. And chances are you will, but only if you are committed to learning all the latest techniques others in your network can teach you.

Take business networking. And do it smarter!

3d people - man, person with a wrench. Businessman and builder. Fix itThere is a networking benchmark and it keeps getting raised. Are you prepared for that raise.

Take business networking training. Why? To be more thorough and efficient. And to be a network achiever!

Hot Tip: To gain the maximum benefit from networking, look at everyone in your network as a coach; someone who has something to teach you. Lots of people resist this idea. How sad. It takes practice and is not easy to do especially if you think you know everything there is about networking and continue to resist training. You must humble yourself and listen for that special tip that will push you toward what you want to gain from networking. It’s important to nurture these special relationships. Getting ahead requires access to opportunity, and access comes through great relationships with others. Neglect this and you put your career plans in jeopardy.

It takes belief! Belief is the foundation of all activity. Successful activity requires a certain amount of inertia. Inertia has a lot to do with networking success. If you are moving in the right directions, inertia helps you maintain what you have and helps you get to where you want to go faster. Caution: If you are going in the wrong direction, inertia helps you get there faster also.

It also requires that you hold yourself accountable. When something you are doing works… share it and take the credit. When it doesn’t work… take the heat and consider change.

Give up “Me, me, me!” Point your focus on others. Here is the magic that happens when you learn to do this; when we focus our attention on others, we call attention to ourselves in a positive way. People remember those who go the extra mile to assist them. The tendency is that they will more likely do something to help you in return. When meeting a networking contact for the first time, spend most of your time on the conversation asking questions about them and their business. They like this. They want to talk about their business… let them.

Business networking is as much about personal growth as it is about cultivating business relationships. We don’t talk about that as much as we should. When you consistently work to improve yourself, the more successful you will be. The most important discovery for me was really finding myself in all the myriad of ideas swirling around in my head that I thought I knew about networking. I was wrong. I discovered hidden potential and a new enthusiasm for networking that I did not have before. Doing this made my whole life better. It wasn’t totally broken… and I fixed it anyway by immersing myself in networking seminars and books about networking. WoW! I even wrote a book about networking of my own. What a difference that made.

Every positive relationship begins with a healthy self-image of the persons involved. Likewise, effective networking begins with positive self-feelings regardless of the setting – social, business or recreational.

We all need to better learn how to recognize opportunity when it shows up. Do your best to live your life as if everyone with whom you connect has a contribution to make to you. I know that when you are open to be coached, you will be more open to notice what people are saying that may have value to you. The “C” word – commitment – comes into play. So does the “L” word – Listen! You must be committed to become a better listener. Networks can give you access to information that you might not be able to obtain otherwise. Be prepared to offer something in return for the help you received.

My advice: If it ain’t broke… fix it! AND if it IS broke… fix it! Learn more and watch your networking efforts put you on the fast track.

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
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Follow Larry’s “Relationship BLOG” at: http://CelebrateLove.wordpress.com/
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Monday, February 3, 2014

9 Tips for Building the Strength of Your Network

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

Periodically it’s important to take a few minutes and re-assess what you are doing that contributes to building a powerful network. Here are a few tips to help.

1. Periodically take inventory of what’s working and what is not working as you network. Your needs, priorities, values, and contacts may change. What is suitable and important at one time in your life may become obsolete at another. Be aware of the changes and adapt your networking skills accordingly.

LearningMoreNET2. Keep a professional address book in your computer and update and weed out as necessary. Keep names and numbers of current contacts. Delete from your address book those with whom you have had not contact in a year. Saving old addresses for a rainy day is not a bad idea either.

3. Collect business cards and systematically file them in an accessible place. Write your reactions and notes on the back of each card to remind you of opportunities, your reactions at the time of introduction, interesting points of conversation and interest shared.

4. Follow up the initial meeting with contacts such as phone calls, notes or lunches. Take the initiative; show interest. All of us like to be on the receiving end of invitations and are complimented by another person’s genuine interest in us.

5. Keep yourself fresh in people’s minds. Maintain contact with periodic notes, calls and cards. Holidays are a great time to re-establish contacts.

6. Make it a challenge to add four or five quality people to your network every month. Keep your antennae out and consciously make an effort to establish and maintain new relationships. Networks do not come ready-made. They are developed over time and with conscious effort. People are everywhere. Be alert. Start random conversations with random people.

7. Increase connections by joining professional organizations and attending seminars and workshops. When you listen you can learn new techniques that will help. This will put you in touch with others who may have similar goals and interests. The benefits of extending yourself in new arenas are additional contacts, stimulation and personal growth. We can all use more of that.

8. Compare notes and share resources and contacts with others in your network. You must give as well as take. Being a resource for other people adds depth and dimension to your own life.

9. Remember to thank those who help you and to give them positive feedback. Never, ever be a user.

Larry’s NOTE: I ran across these tip among some of my writings from many years past. Not sure of the source to give credit.

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
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Follow Larry’s “Wedding BLOG” at: http://CelebrateIntimateWeddings.wordpress.com
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Monday, November 25, 2013

FREE Networking Coaching for 1 1/2 Hours!

SORRY! This offer has expired!

For some time now I have been concerned about some of the people I meet at Networking events. They seem to drift from one person to the next collecting as many business cards as they can. I wonder what happens to those cards, so I started asking people. Most said that they would be contacting them in the next few days to offer their services to them or send them details about their product. Hmmm. Follow-up is great, however networking is not about selling… it’s about building long-term business relationships.

I often wonder why these people don’t know any better. I’ve decided to do something that I have never done before.

I’m giving awayOMG, this is going to sound so egotisticalME for 1 1/2 hours… FREE! 😉

I’ve been networking before they called it networking! I started my own business when I was 10 years old. I have taught several hundred networking seminars and delivered hundreds of keynote addresses across the U.S.A. I’ve been a professional speaker/trainer since 1987. If you need help networking, I can help!

NETtraining1Between now and the end of December, 6 people will have the opportunity for a 1 and 1/2 lunch with me (a small price to pay) along with a chance to pick my brain about networking. That’s not all. I will also give you a signed copy of my Networking book, “Ten Commitments of Networking.” You can ask me any questions you may have about networking.

There is only one catch. You get to buy my lunch at a nice restaurant in Scottsdale, AZ! I will select one person each week for 6 weeks. If I select your name you will receive a call from me and we will discuss the day and time and where we will meet. You will have 2 weeks to make the lunch happen or I will pick the next person on the list.

Why am I doing this? I believe it is so important to keep on learning. I also love to eat and… I love to talk about networking. Smart people who network know the value and benefit of continuing to learn as much as they can about something that will help them be more prosperous in their lives and business.

If you are someone you know needs to know more about networking, winning is as easy as 1, 2, 3! Here’s what you need to do:

1. To be elegible: Send e-mail to Larry James. Please put “Networking Lunch” in the subject line.
2. Give me your name, what kind of business you are in, the name of your business, your address, Cell and office phone number and e-mail address.
3. Tell me why you would like to be one of the 6 in 50 words or less.

There is no obligation to buy anything. And I promise not to add you to any mailing list without your permission, however, I will expect us to be friends on Facebook.

That’s it.

Hurry! This opportunity expires at midnight on December 31, 2013.

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!”

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!

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/

Monday, November 11, 2013

Another SECRET to Successful Networking

Filed under: Accountability,Network Training — Larry James @ 7:30 am
Tags:

Do you hate your job but keep on networking hoping everything will get better? If you don’t LOVE what you do, consider doing something that you DO love!

Do you complain about how bad your business is but keep on networking hoping everything will get better?

NETsuccessDo you whine about not getting business referrals, give very few but keep on networking hoping everything will get better?

I’m curious. What makes you think that everything will get better?

People who hate their job, complain and whine usually have their minds so pre-occupied with things other than networking that they are usually the ones that try to “get” as much as they can (“giving” very little) and after a time, dropout and say that networking didn’t work for them.

I am convinced that when you have “a genuine love of people” networking cannot fail. People who love people do everything they can to offer assistance to others in their network when needed. They actively seek out referrals to give to other networkers. They know that for networking to work they must first “GIVE” and when they do that… they also know that they will receive even if it is not from the once they gave to.

The people who hate their job, complain and whine, most certainly need an attitude adjustment. Sometimes I just want to shake them and say, “Haven’t you learned yet that networking is about giving?” They usually have their mindset cast in stone. In other words, they think they are right and keep doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result. I’m sure I don’t have to tell you that that’s crazy. They come across as desperate and thing that networking will solve their problem quickly.

Networking doesn’t work that way. Effective networking requires a long-term commitment. It takes time to build relationships – the kind of relationships that fosters trust between members. I don’t know about you, but when someone I just met comes up to me at a networking event and asks for referrals or attempts to give me their sales pitch… I want to get out of their presence as quickly as possible. I used to have more patience. 😉

NETCallMeI started 10 networking groups when I lived in Tulsa. A requirement to be admitted to the group was at least an hour and 1/2 of networking education… going over the groups bylaws, stating the groups purpose and the 10 commitments of networking, a list of do’s and don’ts, and much more.

When they left this session they were about 30 steps ahead of most people who never pause long enough to get themselves educated about the do’s and don’ts of business networking. Our group was had about 65 high energy members. Only one member in each classification, eg., one Realtor®, one banker, etc. Our meetings were held over lunch every Wednesday and almost everyone attended because they knew that it was a group that meant business and they didn’t want to miss out on anything.

We often had contests with really great prizes and other exciting things happening that encouraged everyone to work together. Enthusiasm was our buzzword! I taught our members that networking should be FUN! Every member was held “accountable” for bringing referrals… at least one each week. No referral – you got a “good natured” fine of 25¢. Every quarter we held a drawing and gave the winner the kitty. If you didn’t bring a referral on the day we had the drawing, your name did NOT go in the hat. In our first year, our members exchanged more than $2,500,000.00 worth of business. Is that a group you might like to be in? It worked so well with the first group that we had people clamoring to join so I started nine more groups in different areas of town.

This might be an idea that you may want to pass along to your group leaders. I have been actively involved in networking for more years than I care to remember. If you work it right and play by the rules – give… and then receive (and be patient in the process) you will reap rewards that you cannot imagine. It’s called netWORKing for a reason! I am always happy to receive phone calls from leaders of networking groups to discuss how I might be able to provide this training, to help you start a new networking group or to schedule a one-on-one for networking coaching. Serious minded leaders can call my Cell at 480-205-3694. I live in Scottsdale, AZ.

Love people, actively seek referrals to give to others and just do what’s right! That’s a big part of what makes networking work.

BONUS Articles: Does Your Networking Group Have a “Community” Presence?
Community… Not Just a Buzzword!
25+ Articles about Networking Training

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!”

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!

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/

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Belief is the Foundation of All Networking Activity

Belief has everything to do with setting your networking goals – belief in your work and in yourself.

You can always sell something you believe in. When you believe in yourself and your abilities, you can sell yourself. Now it’s time to sell yourself on the benefits of setting networking goals and on the benefits of the goals that you set.

networking3“When your belief in the benefits of the goals you set is stronger than your fear and equal to your courage, you can have anything that you decide to have.” ~ Larry James

Important: Never limit your idea of what will be by what has been! Keep looking forward. You will never get to where you are going until you have come from where you have been.

Undefined goals are unreachable. Defining your goals takes some work. First, you have to get past the concern about whether you think you can accomplish them. It is so easy to be too quick to judge what can be done. This kind of concern comes from your history. Now is not the time to recall the things that didn’t work yesterday or last year. Don’t worry about that right now. If you get bogged down with worry, you will never get started. Blueprinting your life requires that you make some changes in the way you are currently doing things.

I’m talking about networking goals. If you are currently in a networking group that does not support you in learning the specifics of business networking… you are probably in the wrong group. Every successful networking group I know has an occasional meeting that is devoted specifically to networking training. One group I know of has one member spend about 5 minutes each week talking to the group about something that they are doing that has contributed to their success. Some groups devote one meeting a month to have an outside speaker skilled in networking techniques to speak for about 20 to 30 minutes specifically about business networking.

One group asked me to speak to their group about networking. They were having a membership drive. I suggested that they invite 2 or 3 other networking groups join in and to allow their members to participate in the meeting. It was a great success and every group recruited additional members for their group and everyone learned more about how to be an effective networker.

Whatever you do, encourage the members in your group to always be setting networking goals with the number one goal to get more training on the specifics of networking. One group I spoke to bought every member a copy of my book, “Ten Commitments of Networking,” however, each member had to earn it by bringing a qualified lead to another member that ended in closed business. This encouraged the person referring the lead to follow-up with the person that gave the lead to and required the person receiving the lead to report back to the referring member – something that is missing in many groups. It’s called accountability!

NETtraining1Reading books and attending networking seminars is another way you can learn more about networking. Go to my Networking Book Store at TenCommitmentsofNetworking.com to see a list of books that I recommend. The newest book I’ve read about networking is, “The NEW Elevator Pitch” by Chris Westfall. I highly recommend it.

Learn more by purusing the over 310 networking articles on this blog. Click here for the articles menu. These articles explain how to make the most of your networking time, what the different types of networking groups do, and how you can use the contacts you meet at networking events to grow your business.

Remember, just showing up each week at a meeting and listening to everyone give their “30-second connection” – sometimes called an elevator speech – is not networking. That’s just another meeting to attend. Networking is more than just attending Chamber of Commerce meetings, going to local business association mixers, trade shows, expos, or joining a group. I’ve been networking since 1972 and I am always on a quest to learn more. Networking has helped me get to where I am today! It’s important to develop your business networking skills, confidence and belief about networking.

In the current economic climate, there’s never been a more important time to become an effective and confident business networker. You will find it much easier to network effectively when you support your belief in networking by being consistent in setting goals that will keep you learning more and more about business networking.

netHQ

Copyright © 2012 – 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!

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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Friday, July 27, 2012

What to Do With the Business Card of a Loser

Let’s face it. At major networking events we often end up with a business card from someone who shoved it in your hand, spoke only about doing business with them and had no interest in us. They don’t know that passing out business cards is not considered networking. Collecting business cards isn’t networking either.

stackBUScardsI may ask, “What type of businesses are you looking to connect with, maybe I can help with networking,” to get the conversation going in a better direction. If that doesn’t get me anywhere, I put their card in the pocket reserved for losers. When you become the connector of two businesses, you create an opportunity for reciprocity, seldom before.

Not much chance of ever doing business with them or establishing a business relationship with them, right? Hmmm. Let me think… maybe.

Most of the time those business cards end up in my trash basket. At least, that’s what I have done in the past. Recently after tossing a stack of business cards I received from people who have no clue about how to effectively network, I reached into the trash and put them back on my desk.

followUPI decided to practice what I preach – Follow-up!

I designed an e-mail to be used as a a template to send to people like them that does several things.

1. Follow-up. Following up is what the pros do. By doing this I want to demonstrate to them that follow-up is important.

2. Teach. It contains several links to several articles (on this blog) that might be of help in the future.

3. Give them an opportunity to connect with a pro. I invite them to link to my social networks. I add another link that lets them know I am available for networking coaching and a way to subscribe to this blog for free.

I know, it’s a long-shot, however, it takes only about 1 minute per card. I have no expectations about whether they will respond or that I will ever receive business from the contact. It’s just something to do when you have a few extra minutes. I keep the cards for at least 2 weeks just in case “they” do follow-up. If not, they go in the trash for good.

The first time I did this I received four e-mail thanking me for the links. Networking has helped to make my businesses a success. Yes, I made lots of mistakes when I first began networking, but thanks to great networkers like Anne Boe (deceased), Bob Burg, Donna Fisher and more, they helped me get on the right track.

My intention with this new follow-up e-mail is to truly help others to see what a terrific advantage effective networking gives them over their competition.

How about you? Can you spare a couple of minutes to help someone?

netHQ

Copyright © 2012 – 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 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 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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