Networking HQ BLOG with Larry James

Friday, June 27, 2014

Do Actions Speak Louder Than Words?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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Friday, March 7, 2014

10 Quick Tips for Successful Networking

Filed under: Networking Tip — Larry James @ 7:30 am
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Be prepared

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

quick-tipsClear your mind before entering the event

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

Set goals before you go

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

Make a great first impression

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

Remember to follow up

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

Talk to people who are standing alone

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

Repeat your contact’s name

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

exchangingCardsAct as a facilitator for others at the event

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

Personalize your encounters

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

Network, Rinse, Repeat

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

BONUS Tip: One-on-one networking

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

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

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

netHQ

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

Subscribe to “Networking HQ BLOG with Larry James” and receive a fresh networking article or tip every 4th day by e-mail. Click on the “Email Subscription” link on the right under the “search” box. You can unsubscribe anytime!

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

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

letsbefriends2

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

Wednesday, 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/

Sunday, February 28, 2010

What’s Important When You Refer People?

Filed under: Guest Author Articles,Networking — Larry James @ 6:00 am
Tags: , , , , ,

Ivan Misner, Guest Author –

I just finished a survey of over 12,000 business people from all around the world on the subject of networking. One of the questions we asked the respondents was “Which of the following is most important to you when referring business to others?” The choices were:

ivanmisner

1. Knowing a person’s character.
2. Knowing a person’s level of competency.
3. Using the person’s product or service myself.
4. Knowing a person’s success.

Notsurprisingly, “knowing a person’s character” ranked as number one in the survey. Interestingly, “using the product or service myself” ranked third out of the four choices! This is important to understandwhen buildingyour own personal network of people referring you becauseit shows that people are definitely looking at more than just the quality of your products and services when they think about referring you to other people.

Often times, we think that the best source of referrals must be our clients, customers, or patients. Although they definitely are a good source, they are notour only source. In fact, based on this survey,personally usingand experiencing another person’sproduct or services before referring business to that person was not as important to the respondents as other factors.

What this means to you is–you need to build your credibility with people who know you (whether they’ve used your business ornot). If people trust your character and competency, they are likely to refer you regardless of whether they’ve actually used your products or services.

This is an important paradigm shift for many people. It means that many of your referrals may actually come from people other than your clients – if you learn how to network effectively.

netHQ

Copyright © 2010 – Ivan Misner. Reprinted with permission. 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.

Larry 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! Visit ” 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

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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

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Avoid Common Networking Crutches!

Filed under: Networking,Networking Article — Larry James @ 7:48 am
Tags: , ,

Don’t arrive too late. Arrive 15 minutes early.

Don’t be a wallflower. Don’t let shyness hold you back. Introverts CAN come out of their shell. If you need some networking skills, find a coach.

Don’t leave too early. Stay and network, but don’t overstay your welcome.

Don’t drink to much alcohol. Networking requires that you keep a reasonably clear head. Consume conservatively and make sure to eat something before you show up to help lessen the chances of getting tipsy. If you cannot trust yourself to do this, do not drink at all.

Don’t spend so much time talking about yourself. Don’t oversell yourself. Focus on others. Networking is more about listening than it is about talking. Never be aggressive. Don’t push your product or service. Networking and direct selling are two very different things.

Don’t gorge at the buffet table. Stop and get a sandwich before the meeting so you can spend all your time focusing on networking.

Don’t speak negatively about others, even if what you are saying is true. You never know how that can come back to haunt you. Don’t be a gossip! If someone is being overly chatty on a subject you feel is inappropriate, be courteous and excuse yourself or change the subject.

Don’t use suggestive language or tell off-color jokes.

Don’t stay huddled in groups with people you already know. That’s a BIG “no-no” in networking. Focus! Meet “new” people.

Don’t show up just to be seen. And never show up with a “what’s in it for me” attitude! That’s a BIG networking no-no!

Don’t slouch! Look people in the eye when talking to them. Keep your head up and walk with a sense of purpose.

Don’t wear your work clothes. Dress up. Ditch the shoes with a scuffed toe! Brush your teeth and use a breath freshener.

Leave your cell phone in the car. The Mingling Maven®, Susan RoAne, says, “Turn off all electronics, except your pacemaker.”

Expand your horizons. Move past your fears. Networking won’t get you the results you’re looking for if you’re afraid to ask for help.

Bring your enthusiasm with you, and have fun.

Remember, you never have a second chance to make a good first impression!

Networking works! And you must work it!

Networking isn’t about using people. It’s about creating mutually beneficial relationships, helping others, meeting a wide variety of interesting people and creating long-term relationships.

My professional speaking business is now nationwide because of networking. All three of my relationship books have received endorsements from celebrity authors, therapists, professional speakers and is now available in most major book stores. My very first book, “The First Book of LifeSkills,” from which parts of this article was adapted, was revised and republished as “Ten Commitments of Networking” and sold more than 100,000 copies in the first eight months all because I was networking.

I know networking works because I work it. . . consistently!

Those who take networking seriously; as an art to be learned; as a skill to be fine-tuned; and who stay connected to those people who count, can generally find out what they want in three to six phone calls to those in their network.

Be prepared. When you understand the concept of networking, create a plan of action, and commit to work that plan, you can experience a new kind of momentum that will put your career and your life on FAST FORWARD!

netHQ

Copyright © 2009 – Larry James. Larry 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! Can’t find my book in your bookstore, order a signed copy from Larry James. Visit Larry’s “Networking HQ” Website; articles, tips, networking books and more!

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

Add Larry James 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

NOTE: All articles and networking tips listed in this BLOG 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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