News From LBD
 November 2009 Vol 1 Issue 9
 Network Your Way to Bigger Profits

     Can networking really lead to more business? Yes! Unfortunately, many business owners and salespeople have been to events and done a poor job of networking, leading them to believe that networking is a waste of both time and money. However, when done correctly, networking can bring you in a wealth of business for a minimum time investment.
What are the biggest mistakes people make when networking? Either they are too shy and spend the entire time sitting in the corner doing nothing, or they are too self-centered and only talk about themselves-they don't try to initiate a relationship or take an interest in the other person. Both of these scenarios lead to poor networking results. If you want to earn business at networking events, consider the following points.

Create partnerships
Those who are networking savvy go into the meeting with the intention of creating partnerships rather than simply getting business. While a quick one-time sale is fine, true success comes when you create lifelong customers or referral sources. Therefore, don't go into a networking meeting with the sole focus on making a sale that instant; rather, try to meet those who can be an advocate for you in the future.

Talk to strangers

Your parents may have taught you never to talk to strangers, but that advice does not apply to networking events. Resist the urge to sit with and talk to only those people you know. Make it a goal to meet at least three new people at each event. And while you certainly shouldn't ignore anyone you already know, politely tell them that you need to mingle, so you can expand your network. You might just inspire them to do the same.

If you tend to be shy, get involved with the networking group by volunteering your services. Spearhead a committee, nominate yourself for a board or officer position, or help
people check in at the door. When you act as an "employee" of the group doing a particular job, it's much easier to talk to those you don't know and get "face time" with new people.

Find the right group

Not every networking group is right for every person. Just because "everyone" goes to a local event doesn't mean it's the right venue for you to grow your business. Remember that it costs time and money to attend networking events, so only attend those meetings that bring you business, either in actual clients or in referrals. You may need to visit 20 or more groups until you find the three or four that work for you. Additionally, once you find a group that brings you business, commit to that group long-term so you are perceived as one of the group's leaders.

So can networking work for you? Yes! When you use these tips, networking can be a fun and profitable endeavor for any business.

Source: Joyce Weiss www.JoyceWeiss.com
What Leaders are Reading

Full Speed Ahead and Take the Ride of Your Life by Joyce Weiss.

Joyce is a world renowned certified speaking professional and facilitator on employee performance and group dynamics. She's captivated countless listeners on radio talk shows, motivated more than 50,000 people in over 500 businesses, written for hundreds of publications and authored Full Speed Ahead and Take the Ride of Your Life!
The Book of Questions: Business, Politics, and Ethics by Gregory Stock.

Ask yourself. Ask your family. Ask your colleagues. Ask your best friend, or a stranger. This book enables you to ask those things that seem so easy to answer - until you put yourself in the middle: dilemmas of freedom, justice, power, honesty, money, principles, and trust.
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Top Ten Networking Blunders

1. Only talk about yourself.
What a bore. Remember the networker credo "how can I help you?" Be a giver of qualified leads and referrals and help your fellow networkers make connections. This will have a positive effect on your reputation.
2. Schedule a meeting immediately.
A networking event should not be viewed as an opportunity to fill up your calendar.
3. Monopolize their time.
  Be considerate and spend only two to five minutes with each person, then move on.
4. Name Drop.
Bragging about people you know turns others off.
5. Interrupt conversations.
Nobody likes a "butinsky."
6. Ask "personal" questions.
  Keep the mood light and interesting.
7. Give everyone your business card.
  Business cards should serve as an extension of your business and be selectively distributed.
8. Three is a crowd.
  If two people are facing each other and engaged in conversation, don't disturb them, but make a mental note to approach one or both of them later.
9. Look around the room.
  Don't look around the room while engaged in conversation.
10. Tell inappropriate jokes or use offensive language.
No one thinks it is funny or cute to tell a blonde joke or swear like a sailor. In business, your image is everything. 

Source: Louise Yates

John Branstad
John Branstad


"More business decisions occur over lunch and dinner than at any other time, yet no MBA courses are given on the subject."

Peter Drucker
John Branstad