Networking That Gets Results

 


LESSON 12

Networking That Gets Results


You can get everything in life you want if you’ll just help enough other people get what they want.

—Zig Ziglar


When I met freelance copywriter Stu Kamen in the fall of 1990, it set off an incredible chain reaction that would forever impact my business. Let me share with you what happened.

   In 1992, Stu was a contributing writer with Think &Grow Rich newsletter. At Stu’s suggestion, that newsletter ran a front page story about me — and how I went from being a lawyer to a motivational speaker. At the same time, I entered into an agreement with that newsletter where they would sell my “Attitude is Everything” merchandise through their publication. Thousands of items were sold.

   Think & Grow Rich newsletter also began to run some of my own articles in their publication. As a result, I got calls from their readers and was hired for several speaking engagements.

   I also got a letter from one of their subscribers named Jim Donovan, who lived in New York at that time. We became good friends. Jim referred me to INTI Publishing & Resource Books, the publisher of the book you’re now holding in your hand. By the way, Jim went on to write two great self-help books of his own— Handbook To A Happier Life and This Is Your Life, Not A Dress Rehearsal.

If you re positive and enthusiastic, people will want to spend time with you.

— Jeff Keller

   And all of these great things happened because I tapped into Stu Kamen’s network... and then the Think & Grow Rich newsletter’s network... and then Jim Donovan’s network. The power of networking is nothing short of awesome!

   If given the choice, wouldn’t you like to succeed sooner rather than later? Well, networking is a way to leverage your own efforts and accelerate the pace at which you get results. After all, the more solid relationships you build, the greater your opportunities for success.


The Benefits Of Networking

While your success certainly starts with you, it grows to higher levels as a result of your associations and relationships with people. Simply put, you can’t succeed on a grand scale all by yourself.

   That’s why networking is so important. For the purposes of this lesson, let’s define networking as the development of relationships with people for mutual benefit.

In the business arena, networking has the following benefits:

• generates new clients or business leads

• increases employment opportunities

• helps in finding the right people to fill critical positions

• provides valuable information and resources

• assists in solving problems

In the personal realm, here’s what networking can do for you:

• enhance your social relationships by introducing you to new friends

• help you to become acquainted with people of varying ethnic, cultural and philosophical backgrounds

• provide valuable information and resources

• contribute to your spiritual growth 

   Now that we know what networking can do, the question is: What can we do to enhance the effectiveness of our network? Let me pass along 16 techniques that I’ve found productive. To simplify matters, I’ve organized them into four separate, but related, categories: 1) attitude and action; 2) referrals; 3) communication; and 4) follow-up.


ATTITUDE AND ACTION

1. Project a winning attitudeWhen it comes to networking, attitude is everything! If you’re positive and enthusiastic, people will want to spend time with you. They’ll want to help you. If you’re gloomy and negative, people will avoid you, and they’ll hesitate to refer you to their friends and colleagues.

2. Participate actively in groups and organizations. Effective networking and relationship-building takes more than paying dues, putting your name in a directory and showing up for meetings. You must demonstrate that you’ll take the time and make the effort to contribute to the group.

What kinds of things can you do? For starters, you can volunteer for committees or serve as an officer or member of the board of directors. The other members will respect you when they see you roll up your sleeves and do some work. They’ll also learn about your people skills, your character, your values and last, but not least, your attitude!

   Let’s get back to Stu Kamen for a moment. He wanted to build contacts within advertising agencies, so he joined the Long Island Advertising Club in 1994. Stu immediately began to attend the group’s meetings. When they asked for volunteers for various projects, Stu raised his hand. He got actively involved!

   Within six months after joining, somebody approached him and said, “We hear good things about you. You’re a hard worker and very energetic. Would you like to join our board of directors?” As you might guess, Stu gladly accepted. And within a few months, he began to see a significant increase in his business. In early 1999, Stu told me that well over 50 percent of his current business can be traced to people he met through the Long Island Advertising Club — proving that people can get big results in a short time by networking effectively.

3. SERVE OTHERS in your network. Serving others is crucial to building and benefiting from your network! You should always be thinking, “How can I serve others?” instead of “What’s in it for me?” If you come across as desperate or as a “taker” rather than a “giver,” you won’t find people willing to help you. Going the extra mile for others is the best way to get the flow of good things coming back to you.

Getters don't g e t - -givers get.

— Eugene Benge

   How can you serve others in your network? Start by referring business leads or potential customers. In addition, whenever you see an article or other information that might be of interest to someone in your network, forward the material to that person.

   When I think of effective networkers, the first name that comes to mind is Mark LeBlanc. Mark gives presentations to business owners who want to grow their business and to salespeople who want to sell more of their products and services. I’ve referred many people to Mark. Why? He’s a talented, service-oriented person who has gone out of his way to encourage me... and to help me build my business.

Mark has put me in touch with people in his own network who are in a position to help me. He distributes my materials at his presentations. Mark is one of those people who just keeps giving... and giving... and giving. That’s why people want to help Mark — and that’s one reason why his own business is growing!

As the Bible says, “Give and it shall be given unto you.”

That’s the truth!


REFERRALS

4. If you refer someone, make sure that the person mentions your name as the source of the referral. Be explicit. Let’s assume you’re about to refer John Smith to your graphic designer, Jane Jones. You might say to John, “Give Jane a call, and please tell her that I referred you.” In some instances, you may even call Jane and let her know that John Smith will be contacting her.

   Then, the next time you see or speak to Jane, remember to ask if John called and how it turned out. You want to reinforce in Jane’s mind that you’re looking out for her and helping her to grow her business.

5. Be selective. Don’t refer every person you meet. Respect the time of those in your network. Referring “unqualified”

leads will reflect poorly on you. Ask yourself whether or not a particular referral is really going to be of value to your network partner. Keep in mind that the key is the quality, not quantity, of the leads you supply.


C O M M U N I C A T I O N

6. Be a good listener. Have you ever been speaking to someone who goes on and on about himself and his business — and never takes a moment to ask about you? We’ve all run into the “Me, Me, Me” types — and they’re the last people you want to help.

   So, in your conversations, focus on drawing other people out. Let them talk about their careers and interests. In return, you’ll be perceived as caring, concerned and intelligent. You’ll eventually get your turn to talk about yourself. Sure, this is Dale Carnegie 101... but it works!

7. Call people from time to time just because you care. How do you feel when someone calls you on the phone and says, “Hey, I was just thinking about you and was wondering how you’re doing?” I’ll bet you feel like a million bucks! If that’s the case, why don’t we make these calls more often?

   Every now and then, make it a point to call people in your network simply to ask how they’re doing and to offer your support and encouragement. That’s right. Call just because you care — and because that’s the way you’d like to be treated.

   Every December, I pick up the phone and call certain clients I haven’t spoken with for a long time. Many of these people haven’t ordered anything from my company in years. My call is upbeat and my only agenda is to be friendly. I don’t try to sell them anything. I appreciate the business they’ve given me in the past, and I just want to hear how they’re doing, personally and professionally.

You can succeed best and quickest by helping others to succeed.

— Napoleon Hill

   If business comes from these calls, that’s great.

   If business doesn’t come from these calls, that’s great.

   Year after year, I do get business as a result of making these calls. Someone will say, “I need to order more of those Attitude is Everything lapel pins” or “Our company is having a sales meeting in six months, and they may want you to do a presentation.”

   Please understand that this isn’t manipulation or a sales tactic on my part. I’m not expecting these people to give me business. I really care about how they’re doing. Business is simply a by-product of re-connecting with them.

8. Take advantage of everyday opportunities to meet people. You can make excellent contacts just about anywhere — at the health club or on line at the supermarket. You never know from what seed your next valuable relationship will sprout.

   When I go to the gym on the weekends, I always wear an “Attitude is Everything” shirt. It’s a great ice-breaker and people will come up to me to talk about attitude. It gives me an opportunity to learn about them — and to tell them about my company.

9. Treat every person as important — not just the “influential” ones. Don’t be a snob. The person you meet (whether or not they’re the boss) may have a friend or relative who can benefit from your product or service. So, when speaking to someone at a meeting or party, give that person your undivided attention.

   And please promise me that you won’t be one of those who gazes around looking for “more important people” to talk to. That really bugs me. You’re talking with someone and then he notices someone out of the corner of his eye — someone he deems more important than you! So he stops listening to you... and abruptly breaks away to start a conversation with that other person. Don’t do that! Treat every person you encounter with dignity and respect.

10. At meetings and seminars, make it a point to meet different people. Don’t sit with the same group at every gathering. While it’s great to talk with friends for part of the meeting, you’ll reap greater benefits if you make the extra effort to meet new faces.

   In 1994, I was in Washington, D.C., to attend the annual convention of the National Speakers Association. At lunch, instead of sitting with some friends, I sat down at a table where I didn’t know anyone. Sitting at that table was a woman named Joan Burge — and we struck up a conversation. Her company, Office Dynamics, conducts excellent training programs for administrative office professionals.

   It turned out that Joan is also a big believer that attitude is everything! And, for the last five years, she has ordered my “Attitude is Everything” lapel pins and distributed them to some of the participants in her training programs. In addition, Joan often displays my literature at her programs, which has generated thousands of dollars in business for me. Most importantly, Joan has become a wonderful friend.

   I’m sure glad I didn’t sit with my friends that day, as I would have missed out on a tremendous opportunity!

11. Be willing to go beyond your comfort zone. For instance, if you have the urge to introduce yourself to someone, DO IT! You might hesitate, thinking that the person is too important or too busy to speak with you. Even if you’re nervous, force yourself to move forward and make contact. You’ll get more comfortable as time goes on.

12. Ask for what you want. By helping others, you’ve now earned the right to request assistance yourself. Don’t be shy. As long as you’ve done your best to serve those in your network, they’ll be more than willing to return the favor.


F O L L O W - U P

13. Send a prompt note after meeting someone for the first time. Let’s say you attend a dinner and make a new contact. Send a short note as soon as possible explaining how much you enjoyed meeting and talking with him or her. Enclose some of your own materials and perhaps include information that might be of interest to this person (such as the name of a trade magazine and a subscription card). Ask if there’s anything you can do to assist this individual.

   Be sure to send the note within 48 hours after your initial meeting so that it’s received while you’re still fresh in your contact’s mind.

14. Acknowledge powerful presentations or articlesIf you hear an interesting presentation or read a great article, send a note to the speaker or writer and tell him or her how much you enjoyed and learned from their message. One person in a hundred will take the time to do this — be the one who does!

Treat every person you encounter with dignity and respect. 

— Jeff Keller

   I’m not saying that speakers and writers are special people who deserve to be worshipped. The point is, speakers and writers often have developed a huge network of people covering a variety of industries — a network you can tap into!

15. When you receive a referral or helpful written materials, ALWAYS send a thank you note or call to express your appreciation. Follow this suggestion only if you want to receive more referrals and more useful information. If you don’t acknowledge that person sufficiently, he or she will be much less likely to assist you in the future.

16. Send congratulatory cards and lettersIf someone in your network gets a promotion, award or celebrates some other occasion (for example, a marriage or birth of a child) write a short note of congratulations. Everyone loves to be recognized, yet very few people take the time to do this. Being thoughtful in this manner can only make you stand out. It’s also appropriate to send a card or memorial gift when a family member dies.


Building Your Network

The networking suggestions offered above are merely the tip of the iceberg. You should be able to come up with several new ideas of your own. How? By going to your library or bookstore and seeking out the many excellent books on networking... and by noticing what other people are doing and adapting their ideas in a way that suits you.

   Remember that networks are built over time and that significant results usually don’t show up immediately. So be patient! Build a solid foundation of relationships and continue to expand and strengthen them. You’ll have to put in a lot before you begin reaping the big rewards.

One final pointGreat networking skills are not a substitute for being excellent in your field. You might be a terrific PR person, but if you aren’t talented at what you do — and constantly learning and improving — your efforts will yield disappointing results.

   Now, go ahead! Select a few of these networking techniques and implement them right away. Get to work serving and improving your network. Then you will truly have an army of troops working to help you succeed!



      CONCLUSION

Change Your Attitude and You Change Your Life


To change your circumstances, first start thinking differently.

—Norman Vincent Peale



November 16, 1998. Manila, Philippines.

   I just finished giving a presentation to people from more than 20 countries. What an incredible privilege! Dozens of people in the audience came up to introduce themselves and to thank me for coming to Manila to share these life-changing principles with them.

   When everybody had left the room, I was about to gather up all my things. But for some reason, I paused for a moment. I looked around this empty auditorium... 8,000 miles from my home. And I had to pinch myself... just to make sure I wasn’t dreaming.

   I flashed back to 1985, when I sat in my den, negative and depressed. I hated my job as a lawyer and hadn’t the slightest idea how I’d turn things around. Now, here I was in the fall of 1998 in the Philippines, giving a motivational seminar to people from all over the world! “How did this happen?” I thought to myself.

   The answer came to me loud and clear. I changed my attitude.

   You see, when you change your attitude, sparks fly in the universe. You’re energized. You begin to see new possibilities. You move into action. You achieve extraordinary results. That’s why I say when you change your attitude, you change your life!

   Now I’d be kidding you if I told you the last 14 years were just a string of successes. Far from it. I’ve had my share of defeats and setbacks along the way. But the success principles I’ve discussed in this book are what have given me the courage, the guidance and the strength to keep moving forward.


Take Control Of Your Life

I applaud you for taking the time to read this book. It shows that you’re truly interested in developing your incredible potential. Yet, reading this book is only the first step to living the life you want to live. When you focus on these ideas — and take action to implement them — you’re on the way to creating some exciting breakthroughs in your life.

Act as if it were impossible to fail.

—Dorothea Brande

   You may have seen statistics that only about five percent of the population reaches a high level of success. Why is that? After 14 years of research, I’m convinced it comes down to this:

   It’s the rare individual who applies the success principles discussed in this book on a daily basis.

   It’s the rare individual who consistently maintains a positive attitude, knowing that his thoughts will become his reality.

 It’s the rare individual who watches the words he uses, knowing that he’s programming his mind for success, mediocrity or failure.

   It’s the rare individual who has the guts to confront her fears, because that’s where her potential will be developed — by doing things she’s afraid to do.

   It’s the rare individual who looks for the silver lining in every dark cloud.

   And it’s the rare individual who makes a commitment, follows through with a positive attitude... and has the persistence to get the job done.

   I challenge you to be one of those rare individuals.

   You have the potential to become more than you ever dreamed. You have greatness within you... and your attitude is the key to unlocking that potential. Changing my attitude changed my life. And if a better attitude can work miracles in my life, it can work miracles in yours!

   I’d like to share with you these words from Dr. Charles Swindoll, who captured the essence of attitude — and how it dominates the direction of our lives:

   “The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company... a church... a home.

   “The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past... we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude.

“I am convinced that life is 10 percent what happens to me and 90 percent how I react to it. And so it is with you... we are in charge of our Attitudes.”

   Pretty powerful words, aren’t they? Do what Charles Swindoll suggests and “play on the one string you have” — your ATTITUDE.

   Now is the time to take control of your attitude. Now is the time to start creating miracles in your own life.

   Go ahead — believe in yourself. Have the courage and persistence to follow your dreams. And above all, never, never forget that... Attitude is Everything!

   May God bless you on your journey.



About Jeff Keller

   Jeff Keller, President of Attitude is Everything, Inc., works with organizations that want to develop achievers and with people who want to reach their full potential. Jeff is a speaker, seminar leader and writer in the area of motivation and human potential. For more than 14 years, he has delivered his uplifting presentations to businesses, organizations, groups and educational institutions.

   Jeff communicates with sincerity, clarity and impact in a way that touches the minds and hearts of those in the audience. Each presentation or seminar is specifically designed to meet the needs of the business or organization being served.

He is the author of two highly acclaimed publications -- 

Attitude is Everything Newsletter and the FREE monthly e-mail newsletter, “Here’s To Your Success.”

   Jeff is a member of the National Speakers Association and lives in New York.

   For more information on Jeff Keller’s motivational presentations, products and publications, please visit his web site at http://www.attitudeiseverything.com/

   For an instant download of Jeff’s best-selling audio program, Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life go to:

http://www.mp3motivators.com/. See the special electronic coupon below to save $5.00 as a preferred Attitude is Everything reader. Special Electronic Coupon Saves $5.00 on Instant Download To collect discount enter this code in the referral box: AIE




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