Networking HQ BLOG with Larry James

Friday, August 21, 2015

The #1 Contact Sport

Business and personal networking is the #1 contact sport for people on the move. Networking is about building supportive personal and business relationships; it’s consistently meeting new people and making new friends, sharing ideas and having lots of fun in the process.

It is the reciprocal process of exchanging, leads, recommendations, and other valuable information, through networks of established relationships, in an effort to make business processes easier and more profitable.

NETContactSportIt helps to establish referral networks, bolster name reputations and business branding, gain recognition and credibility, and strengthen relationship assets. Networking fuels business growth and can help further your career.

It also assists you in benefiting from who you know by leveraging your relationships to increase business opportunities, advance your career, make new contacts, and much more.

Power networkers effectively use “word-of-mouth” strategies in creative ways to attract new customers and meet new people. Word-of-mouth marketing works because it is initiated from trusted sources and shared through a network of friends, family and acquaintances. It’s also called “creating Buzz.”

Referrals and recommendations are the most effective and the least expensive form of developing new business and obtaining quality business referrals. To be effective in networking, you must be an investor in relationships. This Networking Blog will help you master the skills necessary to effectively utilize existing connections and cultivate new ones.

You would be wise to accept the following definition of business networking as your guide:

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

Successful business networkers are “go-givers.” They give without the expectation of getting! They know that unfulfilled expectations always cause problems; disappointment, anxiety, frustration and sometimes, intense displeasure. To avoid these maladies, they give up their expectations and focus on giving to help others!

Your contact list is your greatest off balance sheet asset. It doesn’t take an investment of a lot of money in developing this asset, but you do need to put forth time and effort and be consistent in acquiring a robust and every-expanding business network of like-minded people. Creating and maintaining these strong connections must be one of your highest priorities. I promise this will pay dividends far beyond what you can imagine.

There is a time and a place for networking – it’s called “anytime, and any place!” Always bring your best attitude with you!

BONUS Articles: Your #1 Networking Priority!
7 Most Common Networking Mishaps
Think You Know HOW to Network?

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!”

the-archives2Click for Archives! ~ commentSubscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateLove.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com and CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

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

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

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Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
Follow Larry’s “once daily” Relationship Tweet at: http://www.Twitter.com/larryjames
Follow Larry’s “Relationship BLOG” at: http://CelebrateLove.wordpress.com/
Follow Larry’s “Wedding BLOG” at: http://CelebrateIntimateWeddings.wordpress.com
Follow Larry’s “Authors & Speakers” BLOG at: http://www.AuthorsandSpeakerNetwork.wordpress.com/
Visit Larry James on LinkedIn
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Saturday, July 4, 2015

Your #1 Networking Priority!

Always prioritize helping and giving to others ahead of taking and receiving for yourself. That really is (or should be) your #1 networking priority!

That is often difficult for people who are new to networking because most were told that when you join a networking group you will get lots of referrals. That’s true AND it rarely happens as quickly as they expect.

NET#1PriorityEffective networkers are less concerned about what they might “get” in return for attending an event. They focus on helping others first! If you are more concerned about your ROI (return on investment) then you are missing the point. Getting yourself noticed expands your credibility and puts you in a better position to be a resource for assisting others. Networking is about helping others. Always ask, ““How can I help you?”

When I give a business referral, I give it knowing that my own reputation is on the line. Bad leads reflect on you. Good referrals will get you noticed and attract others to you and your business. Good deeds and helpfulness tend to produce positive effects. They are usually remembered and often repaid. The giver builds reputation and trust. Referrals tend to be the result.

By the way… let’s stop calling business networking groups “leads” groups! I recommend calling them “referral” groups. There is a distinction that networkers must learn. There is a BIG difference between a lead and a referral. It’s very important to know the difference if you want to be a successful networker.

When someone in your network gives you a lead they are giving you a name to call, not a referral. As we help each other to find more business, why would we want to send our valued referral partners into the dark abyss of leads that most likely will never work out? It’s basically not much better than a cold-call. You don’t need them for that. You could purchase a random source of leads and get basically the same thing. You can get leads from the newspaper, the phone book, or the computer, etc.

A referral is the opportunity to do business. Referrals are much stronger than a lead in that this prospect has talked to your mutual acquaintance and is generally expecting your call. The best kind of referral is when someone gives you permission to use their name to get in the door. Those are the kind of referrals that have the highest closing rate. The referring networker has already set up some level of trust and rapport by recommending the person they’re referring. Those are “quality” referrals.

Successful business networking requires a commitment of time; time to develop the relationship. That takes time. Networking is about creating and enhancing long-term relationships and you can’t do that if you never give the relationship time to develop.

I will rarely ever give a referral to someone I just met for the first time. I want to know that if I take the time to offer them a referral that they will take care of the referral in a professional and timely manner. When I tell my referral that Joe Smith is the best plumber, Joe better do a terrific job contacting them immediately and doing his very best to fulfill their needs.

You must think of networking as primarily a way to connect, develop relationships, and help other people. By focusing on them you will benefit much more than if you are more interested in having them focus on you.

Helping others FIRST is your #1 networking priority! You look for ways to offer assistance to other members in your network of support. That may be referring them to someone they need to know, offering a tip that has worked well for you, or… in other words, find a need and fill it!

“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

BONUS Articles: Is It a Lead or a Referral?
“How can I help you?”
How Much Time Do You Spend Looking for Referrals For Others?
Are You Helping Others in the Same Way You Want Them to Help You?

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!”

the-archives2Click for Archives! ~ commentSubscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateLove.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com and CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

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/
Visit Larry James on LinkedIn
Follow Larry’s Networking on Facebook: https://www.Facebook.com/NetworkingHeadquarters/timeline
Follow Larry’s Networking Pinterest Page @ http://www.pinterest.com/larryjames2012/networking-blog/!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Give Generously and Graciously

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

Whether you are new to networking or an old-timer when it comes to networking… perhaps one of the most important points to remember is based upon giving generously and graciously.

NETGiveGenerouslyAlthough reciprocity is important, learn to give without expectation of return; people will notice. Learn the definition of networking and adopt it as your guideline:

“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

Never be put off by the fact that others in your network of support may not be as generous as you – just keep on giving generously. When others notice that you give so generously, you will certainly be acknowledged for being a great giver.

Others will automatically be drawn to you to simply be associated with you. They will introduce you to other great, gracious givers and this is when it gets serious… your network will truly begin to grow. Those relationships will be deep and meaningful. Believe me, that is how networking works.

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.

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.

You should also realize that the fruits of networking don’t happen overnight; in fact they take a lot of time and energy. When you stick with it, the magic really will occur.

BONUS Article: Are You a Superstar Networker?
Networking and Socializing – Never Confuse the Two
Reciprocity – The Implied Promise of Networking

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/
Visit Larry James on LinkedIn
Follow Larry’s Networking Pintrest Page @ http://www.pinterest.com/larryjames2012/networking-blog/!

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Referral Tips: Do You Have Sex On The First Date?

Jacky Sherman, Guest Author

It may have been a while since your last first date. If it is then think back into the mists of time. Ahh the memories; but I digress. Having sex on the first date is a high risk strategy if you are looking for a long term relationship rather than a one night stand.

NETengagementCan you trust them? What are they like? What will they want to do? What if you or they decide halfway through that you’ve made a mistake?

It takes time to get to know someone. If you want to take the relationship forward, you need to take some steps towards intimacy by the end of the date.

Can we apply any of this to networking? Well, I’m not suggesting that you pucker up at your next networking event! Let’s examine what happens when you agree to meet up with someone you’ve just met networking. Here are three common mistakes people make:

1. Treat your network group like a Swingers party. No, you are not expected to refer everyone just because they are in the same group as you. Equally they don’t have to refer you either.

2. Fumble with their clothes before you’re even through the door. Don’t give a full on referral during that meeting even if they offer a service someone you know needs. You have no idea if they’re any good.

3. Get on really well but neither of you makes a move to take things further. Perhaps the most common mistake of all. If you got on well then before you part, agree what you are going to do for each other. So many people don’t take the initiative. So nothing happens!

NETpartnerMy Referral Tip this week is this: If you want to take the relationship further then end your meeting with the equivalent of a kiss. Make it something small that you can do for each other. Maybe an invitation? A promise of an introduction?

You go 90% of the way to make this happen! Just remember to let them come forward that last 10% by themselves and it may just be the start of a beautiful relationship!

Larry’s NOTE: Read the full unabridged article here!

BONUS Articles: Is It a Lead or a Referral?
How Long Has it Been…
Are You Helping Others in the Same Way You Want Them to Help You?
A Networking Referral Unraveled

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.

letsbefriends2

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

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Up Your Networking Referrals

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

What is your commitment to giving business referrals to other members in your networking group?

OR… are you only in it for you?

UPyourReferralsSuccessful networking requires commitment. Hopefully you know by now that seldom does it work unless you are consistently meeting new people and making new friends. But that’s not all. It takes a commitment to do whatever you can to assist other members by providing others with business referrals.

I attend a lot of networking groups as a guest or special speaker and am often disappointed to hear that very few business referrals are given. Networking is more than just showing up at a meeting.

If you have a commitment to networking, it really only takes a few minutes each week to focus on a single member to give business referrals to. One of the top priorities of a networking group is to encourage member to participate fully by exchanging business referrals with other members.

Here is your assignment for the coming week: Single out at least one member that you have never given a referral to, call them and arrange a time to get together to discover how you can help each other. Once you find out what kind of business referrals they need, do everything you can to bring them at least one referral at the following meeting.

Commitment requires you to remember the reasons you are networking. Some people have admitted that they get so wrapped up in their daily activities that they don’t remember to look for referrals until they are on the way to the meeting. There are things you can do to help you remember.

Ever hear of PostIt® notes? How about a DayTimer®? If you can’t remember, I would question your commitment. When we are committed to something, we do everything we can to remember what is important to us. Write things down. Put notes everywhere. Put one on the rear view mirror of your car. When you are making your appointments, look for opportunities to help other members. I carry a business card holder with the cards of everyone I network with. Carrying it with me is a constant reminder to actively look for referrals for my friends.

If you want to Up Your Referrals… start giving more referrals. It’s just that simple!

BONUS Article: Demonstrate Your Commitment to Networking ~ Here’s How
Is It a Lead or a Referral?
How Much Time Do You Spend Looking for Referrals For Others?

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/

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Is It a Lead or a Referral?

There is a distinction that networkers must learn. There is a BIG difference between a lead and a referral. It’s very important to know the difference if you want to be a successful networker.

leadsVSreferralsWhen someone in your network gives you a lead they may tell you that they told someone about you (and that is good) however, it is not a referral. It barely qualifies as a lead because you have nothing to followup on.

As we help each other to find more business, why would we want to send our valued referral partners into the dark abyss of leads that most likely will never work out? It’s basically not much better than a cold-call. You don’t need them for that. You could purchase a random source of leads and get basically the same thing. You can get leads from the newspaper, the phone book, or the computer, etc.

“However, a referral is the opportunity to do business with someone in the market to buy your product or service who’s been told about you by a mutual friend or associate and who then gives you their contact info for followup. In other words, when you contact them, they already know who you are and what you do. It is stronger than just a lead because the prospect has talked to your mutual acquaintance and is generally expecting the call. Hence, they are referred.”

A referral is the opportunity to do business. Referrals are much stronger than a lead in that this prospect has talked to your mutual acquaintance and is generally expecting your call. The best kind of referral is when someone gives you permission to use their name to get in the door. Those are the kind of referrals that have the highest closing rate. The referring networker has already set up some level of trust and rapport by recommending the person they’re referring. Those are “quality” referrals.

So many networkers are guilty of scrambling around at the last moment trying to come up with a name to give you as a lead when they are on the way to the networking meeting. Those are the worse kind. You NEVER want to hand out a referral until you’ve had a conversation with the person that you are giving as the referral. I want to know if the person’s name they are giving me knows who I am, how I might help and is expecting my call.

Ivan Misner goes into much more detail in his article, “What’s Better: A Lead or a Referral?” I highly recommend that you read it to get the “rest of the story.”

Another example of a failed lead or referral is when someone in your network tells you, “I gave someone your name.” That’s nice that you were thinking about me, but am I supposed to be happy about that? They have my name and I don’t have their name and have no way to follow up.  Don’t do me any favors! They called you to get help. If you can’t help them, pass the referral to someone you trust who can.

If you’ve done your job by talking about me and setting up some level of trust, how about giving them my number and telling them, “Larry James is one of my trusted friends, I’m sure he will serve you well. I’ll tell him about you and give him your name and contact information so you two can get together.” I never ask if I can give someone their name, I just do it. If they ask me not to, I honor their request. If not, I pass the referral  – with complete contact info – along to someone I trust. In my wedding business, brides and grooms often hire the first person who calls them, so it’s imperative that I have their contact info. Next, give me their name and contact info so I can follow up immediately.

followupThen… there’s the follow-up! This is where most networkers drop the ball. You’ve all heard people say, “Strike while the iron’s hot!” This adage alludes to the blacksmith’s forge (late 1300s). “Make hay while the sun shines” is another. That means that when opportunity shows up, you take advantage of it while it’s available. As soon as you receive a referral… that’s when the iron is hot. “As soon as possible” is best and certainly within 24 hours is a must.

BONUS Articles:
Referrals vs. Recommendations
How Long Has it Been…
How Much Time Do You Spend Looking for Referrals For Others?
Are You Helping Others in the Same Way You Want Them to Help You?

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. Visit Larry’s Networking Website at: “Networking HQ!”

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

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/

Friday, November 15, 2013

Are You an ACTIVE Referrer?

My Networking message to you today is short and to the point!

NETreferrals

I hear from people who network nearly everyday that are asking why networking doesn’t work for them. My first question always is, “How many referrals to you give to the people in your network last week? Sadly, for most, the answer is none. Hmmm. And you wonder why networking isn’t working for you?

If you are someone who complains about not getting referrals… perhaps things will work better for you if you “ACTIVELY” spend some time each week actually looking for referrals to pass along to the people in your network! No give… no receive!

“Be a Referrer. Take every opportunity you can to refer business to others. Remember those people that do business with your customers before or after you? Refer your customers to them. If you start by GIVING – you will get in return.” ~ Butch Bellah

BONUS Article: Train Your Referral Resources
How Much Time Do You Spend Looking for Referrals For Others?
Are You Helping Others in the Same Way You Want Them to Help You?
How Long Has it Been…
NEVER Give Referrals to Crazy People in Your Network!

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.

letsbefriends2

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

Monday, September 16, 2013

How Much Time Do You Spend Looking for Referrals For Others?

…OR are you a selfish networker who only goes to networking meetings to “get” whatever you can?

I thought networking was about giving business referrals to other networkers. However, when I speak to networking groups I usually ask two questions:

1. How many of you are here to get business referrals for your business? Almost everyone raises their hand.

2. How many of you brought a business referral for someone in this group today? Usually 2 or 3 hands go up or none.

referralsThat pretty much says it. Many networkers seem to be more interested in generating referrals than “giving” referrals. Not good. The way to make an impact – and in the process – call a lot of attention to yourself as a active resource is by giving.

“We must work hard for others if we want others to work hard for us. We should lead by giving.” ~ Pamela Ryckman, author of STILETTO NETWORK: Inside the Women’s Power Circles That Are Changing the Face of Business

We may have stumbled upon the main reason that many networking groups fail. If everyone comes to the meeting hoping to receive business lead but everyone forgets to spend a little of their time trying to find referrals to give to other members… can you see the problem? Those networking groups are a complete waste of time… it becomes more of a social gathering.

The number one rule of helping people should be to find out what’s actually valuable to them. It’s important to discover what they need. If you really want to endear yourself with someone, then talk about their business and ask how you can help. This usually allows others to open up to you. Every time I talk with a client, I spend a few minutes asking them if I can help them with anything. I do my best to find a need and fill it. Often they don’t always have anything come to mind.

I let them know that I am very well connected and am willing to make introductions to any of my networking friends and that I am willing to share my many resources and all they have to do is ask. I encourage them to describe the profile of the referral they need to meet. Simply ask what they want and need. This is a simple question that many people find hard to answer. By asking a few questions I can usually find something to keep in mind when I see an opportunity later to help. The more personal you get, the better you understand the person and build on your relationship with them.

I often will carry a “card-holder” that contains the business cards of someone they may need to know. Several times I have called that person while with my client and arranged a time for them to get together.

This takes some pre-planning. You have to schedule time to see others, then make notes to remind yourself to see if they might like for you to help by referring them to some of your trusted friends. Your intention to help must be consistent. You may even inspire others to do the same thing. A big part of your intention when networking should be to become known as a “great resource” to your networking friends. It gives you expert status and builds trust. This will help keep you in the loop with other networkers. Tell them how you can help them and at some point roll the conversation back to what it is they need. Networking is about creating value for others. I am willing to share all my contacts because these are the people in my network of support that I like and trust… with an emphasis on “trust.”

Value-of-ReferralsWhen questioned, many networkers I know admitted that the only time they think about giving a lead is on the way to a networking meeting. Those referrals are seldom ever really high-value referrals. Becoming a great networker is like everything else. You have to work at it.

I hope you noticed that all through this article I refer to “referrals” rather than business leads. You can buy various leads from many vendors and online. You usually get what you pay for. What I’m interested in giving is a high-value referral – that is, a warm introduction that means my networking friend will almost certainly get the meeting, if not get the assistance they need.

Can you imagine if everyone in your networking group would actually look for ways to help others, then return to your group with several business referrals to give to others?

I am convinced that if all networkers would make it a habit to look for referrals each week, the results would be amazing. They have been for me. When you make a new commitment to actually look for high-value referrals for others, you will elevate the trust-level in your relationships very quickly and start seeing reciprocity very soon.

Always remember: “Give and You Will Receive!” (in that order!)

BONUS Article: 5 Reasons Why You Should Give Referrals: How it Creates the Best Leads You’ve Ever Had
Are You Helping Others in the Same Way You Want Them to Help You?

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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Sunday, July 14, 2013

Are You Helping Others in the Same Way You Want Them to Help You?

headinthesand2Ivan Misner, Guest Author and Larry James

If your personal referral network isn’t working the way you expect, it’s time to turn things around. Are you helping them in the same way you want them to help you? The best way to get your network motivated is to be motivated yourself.

Before you blame your network for the lack of referrals, ask yourself:

• Have you followed up with the referrals? ~ Networking: Here’s a Novel Idea!
• Have you educated your network about your business? Your job is not to close a sale, but to train a sales force. ~ Evaluate Your Business Networking Group
• Have you made it clear who you’re looking for as clients? If you’re looking for vice-presidents of major corporations, say so. ~ “Qualified” Referrals – The Currency of Successful Connections! and It’s Really Okay to “Toot” Your Own Horn…
• Have you built up the trust that encourages people to refer their own best clients to you? ~ Plant Some Networking Seeds!
• Are you holding your network accountable? ~ Don’t Join an Easy Crowd

In the beginning of the article, Ivan asked, “Are you helping them in the same way you want them to help you?” I’ve been helping to train networkers for more than 26 years. I find that the people who complain the most that networking isn’t working for them are really the guilty ones. They are not giving referrals or leads. Time to read, “Happiness in Networking is YOUR Problem…

As of July 14, 2013 there are more than 360 FREE articles about business networking. Check our Networking Article Index. No excuses! Get busy reading several articles each day and stop complaining that networking doesn’t work. It works AND you have to work it.

MisnernetHQCopyright © 2013 – Ivan Misner. Called the father of modern networking, Dr. Ivan Misner is the Founder of BNI and the senior partner for the Referral Institute. He has written nine books, including his New York Times best seller, Truth or Delusion? Busting Networking’s Biggest Myths.

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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.

letsbefriends2

Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

How Long Has it Been…

Filed under: Business Cards,Leads,Referrals/Leads — Larry James @ 7:30 am
Tags: , , ,

Most networkers will agree that they got involved in business networking to “get” leads from others that will increase their business. That makes sense, but that’s really not the most important reason to network. The real reason you should be networking should be based upon my definition of networking. Read it slowly and let it sink in.

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

leads2aI speak at and attend a lot of networking meetings and the biggest complaint I hear is, “I never get any leads/referrals.” My first question is, “Are you ‘giving’ any leads/referrals?” Please understand that networking is first about building long-lasting business relationships that – after the relationship is established – the leads will come.

The best way to create attention to yourself is to bless someone else in your group with a lead.

Many people attend their weekly networking meeting, talk to a few other networkers, leave the meeting and only think of networking when it is again time to attend another meeting. And you wonder why networking is not working for you and you never receive any leads? Really?

How long has it been since you took some of your valuable time each day to focus on doing your best to bring “at least” one business lead to the meeting next week?

leadsIf you do not have a specific intention of actually looking for business leads for your networking partners… you will most likely be the networker who complains the most that you never get any leads. Does that make sense?

Suggestion: Purchase a nice looking business card holder. Put at least 3 t0 5 business cards of each of the members from your group in it and carry it with you wherever you go during your busy business week. I set this precedent as a mandatory rule for all members of the Tulsa Business Connection when I started the group many years ago. Virtually every member carried it with them. And nearly every member received as least one business lead each week from someone. Our 60 members (one from each business classification) generated more than $2,000,000 in business leads between members in our very first year!

Networking only works if you work it! You must consciously be looking for business for others before you can expect to receive leads and referrals for yourself.

I can tell you for sure, that if your networking group would adopt the idea of carrying the business cards of every member of their group in a handsome business card holder with them on their sales calls, appointments, etc., business leads would begin showing up at your meetings and the entire focus and dynamic of the group would change for the better.

If you don’t look for business leads for others, you won’t notice them when the show up.

Larry’s Note: If your group needs some inspiration or perhaps a kick in the seat of the pants that will help them to get off their butts and to network the way that works, perhaps you may want to invite me to speak to your group.

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.

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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