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My Secret to Successful Networking

My Secret to Successful Networking:

How I went from a monthly reach of thousands to millions in less than a year.
By: Allison H Larsen
People are constantly asking me how I became such a successful networker. How did I, a mother of four living in small town Idaho, accomplish a reach of millions in just a matter of months? After all, I never went to business school or had any formal sales training. In the beginning I wasn’t even consciously trying to be a “good networker.” I was just being me. And it took me a while to pinpoint why I connected so easily and efficiently with others. In the end it all came down to one very important thing. One very simple skill. So simple in fact, that much like the Israelites with the bronze serpent, many have dismissed it thinking it is too easy to be the key to success. But, those who have heeded my advice are constantly calling me and thanking me for sharing my secret, having often doubled or tripled their client and joint venture base in a relatively short period of time. You too will experience greater connections if you choose to implement what I am about to share with you.
What is my secret to successful networking? It is the Art of Listening.
Just think for a moment. When is the last time someone was trying to sell you something and they talked your ear off? They were so engrossed in giving you their sales pitch that they never asked you about your business or your needs. All they did was talk about how great they were or how their product or service could change your life. How did you feel? What were you thinking? Did you want to listen to them or work with them? OR, were you saying a silent prayer that the fire alarm would go off or sending a ESP to one of your friends to call you, rescuing you from this person’s unapologetic sales pitch?
I spend a lot of time talking with people at events or on follow up calls. The other day, I was on a call with someone who talked about themselves for 27 minutes straight before I finally had to interrupt them to end our call for an appointment I had scheduled. I literally had the phone on mute for almost half an hour. There wasn’t one question about me or my business during that time. There wasn’t even an acknowledgment that I was still on the phone. In the end, after I expressed that I only had a few minutes left to talk, the person on the other end asked me to host a webinar for him. “Do you even really know what I do or who my audience is?” I asked. “No,” he replied, “but I am sure they would love my product.” I couldn’t believe it! After the call ended I found myself wondering how this guy had ever had any success in sales. And, in case there is any question, I did not agree to the webinar.
To be successful at networking you must listen to people. When you meet a potential client or partner at an event, you must first find out about them, figure out what their needs are and what they are looking for in their business before you present yourself as the solution. This is accomplished by listening. Here is a fun challenge I give myself. When first talking with a potential client of partner, I P.E.G. the person’s potential before I talk extensively about myself or my services. The acronym P.E.G. stands for Passions, Experiences and Gifts. Let me explain.
PASSIONS: I ask them questions that let me know what they are passionate about. A really simple one is “So,what are you passionate about?” Easy enough!
EXPERIENCES: The next thing I ask about are the experiences that the person has had that led them to do what they are doing. Almost everyone has had a life altering experience or two that has led them into the line of work they are in.
GIFTS: As I am talking, I notice any gifts that the person has with whom I am speaking. For example, maybe they have a great smile or a way of talking that makes me feel comfortable. I compliment them on this.
Once I have all this information I may answer some questions about myself or share a bit about what I do. Notice I said bit. This way the other person knows that I am listening but feels that they are part of a conversation and not playing 20 questions.
After I  P.E.G. their potential and share a bit about me, I ask where they would like their business to be in a year and what they need to reach their goals. After I have listened to their answer it is as simple as letting them know how I can help. They really feel at this point that I care, which I do. After all, I have taken the time to listen about them, their goals and their needs.
Bottom line is that we all want to connect with and work with people who care about us and our business. I don’t know of anyone who is excited to work with someone who seems to care more about their own success than that of their clients. It can be so easy to get excited about talking to someone about your product or service that can improve their life or business BUT, they have to know that you care about them before they want to work with you. You have probably heard this quote that proves my point. “Nobody cares how much you know until they know how much you care.” How can you let them know you care? Practice the Art of Listening and you will have greater connections and more success at your next networking event.

Start 2018 Right with this 3-Day Challenge

Are you looking to start 2018 right? Try this simple 3-day challenge and start improving your year just a day at a time! Begin to change your outlook on life and bring a little more positivity into the new year.

Day One: “Think success and it will happen.” Thomas D. Willhite

Before you get out of bed in the morning, smile and think, “This is the best day of my life!”

Before you do anything else take the time to meditate or pray. Express gratitude for the blessings in your life.

Imagine how you want your day to go. How do you want to feel? Who are you going to help? What do you want to accomplish?

After your meditation or prayer, write down your intention for the day. Pick one specific thing you would like to have happen that day (i.e. today I will not yell at my children).

During the course of the day, reflect on who you want to be and what you want to accomplish. This will be especially hard, but very helpful, when you find yourself in a less than desirable situation that puts you to the test.

Before you go to bed, take time to reflect on your day. This can be done through prayer or meditation.

Day Two: “The unthankful heart discovers no mercies; but let the thankful heart sweep through the day and as the magnet finds the iron, so it will find, in every hour, some heavenly blessings!” Henry Ward Beecher

Repeat all the steps for day one and…

Notice all the good things that happen to you throughout the day, however small they may be.

Before bed, record in your journal all of the good things that happened that day.

Day Three: “You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.” Buddha

Repeat all the steps for days one and two, plus…

Pray to be able to see yourself as God sees you. Then…

Sit in front of a mirror for ten minutes without thinking any critical thoughts or finding any flaws. You may only extend mental compliments and love to yourself. Only positive thoughts are allowed. If you want a real challenge, every time you criticize yourself, start over!

Make a list of all the good things you accomplished during the day.

You can repeat this challenge as often as you’d like. Put your own spin on it and continue to push yourself to your full potential! Make 2018 the best year yet.

 

Redefine Yourself

There are two ways to go about living and life in general. You can react to whatever is thrown your way, become your challenges, and be defined by your defeats. Or, you can decide who you are and who you want to become and then act like it regardless of the challenges life may present you. Will you let your ailments or trials in life define who you are? Or rather, will you define yourself despite the struggles you may be facing?

When Labels Define Us

Oftentimes when we allow a label to define us, we don’t even realize who we are once that identity is gone. One may even subconsciously cling to an illness or trial because it has become a part of their identity. They are being held hostage by something negative. Something that has become attached to them like a leech, sucking meaning  and purpose out of life. There are a multitude of other labels that we assign ourselves such as being a “bad mom” or a “lazy father”. These titles we give ourselves turn into self-fulfilled prophecies, thus we become the very thing that we think and tell ourselves we are.

When We Remember Who We Are

If you are letting your behaviors, your situations in life, and your reactions to them define you, then you are giving up your power to create the life you want. You will go through life without living up to your full potential. If you choose to remember who you are and act as the divine being that you were created to be, no matter what life throws your way, you will be able to tap into your soul intuition and come out on top knowing you did your best and lived life to the fullest.

Action Steps: The Patterns Walk

Think of a negative label, undesirable emotion, or a behavior you’ve been struggling with recently. Ask yourself the following questions to recognize how you got there. Carry your thought from the previous question to each new one.

What is the environment you’re in before experiencing the undesirable emotion or behavior?

What emotion do you feel?

How do you react to that emotion?

What’s the payoff or defense for this behavior?

When behaving this way how do you label yourself?

How do you feel about your spirit connection to God at this point?

Now walk through using God’s way instead of the world’s way.

Knowing how God feels about you, how would you label yourself?

What’s the payoff from knowing who you are and how God sees you?

How will you behave knowing who you are and how God feels about you?

What emotions do you feel now?

The environment may be the same but you aren’t!

Use this exercise to remember who you are or have the potential to become, act accordingly and you will have the ability to create the life you’re meant to live.

Taken from chapter 10 of Soul Intuition by Allison H Larsen.

Lighthouse or Sponge: The Art of Influencing Rather than Being Influenced

We all find ourselves in negative environments or situations. We can choose to react to situations or to act on them. When we react we give up our ability to live up to our potential and greatness. Choosing to act in these situations empower us to become an influence and help others. You can choose to be influenced or choose to be an influence.

Do you ever feel like you’re a sponge, absorbing all the ick in the world around you, being influenced by the energy in your environment? If a family member or friend is upset, you get upset. There is nothing wrong with feeling sympathy or even empathy. However if we take their feeling upon ourselves, absorb their ick, all we’re doing is magnifying the stench, much like an old sponge. What a lot of power we give up when we let someone’s negative attitude become our bad day.
The design of a lighthouse allows a small light to be magnified and become a bright beacon that shows others the way. Each of us has a light, a purpose, a calling in life if you will. It may not be the same for everyone, but if we choose to find a way that we can make a difference and magnify our light, we will be able to influence many people.
Want to know how to become a lighthouse and shine? Follow these simple action steps to make a daily difference in your life.
Action Steps:
-Each morning when you wake up, decide how you want to feel and act that day. Come up with one emotion word to describe it, such as “happy.”
– Keep a pen and paper by your bed. After you determine your word for the day, write it down along with one thing that you can do to radiate or magnify that emotion in your life and the lives those around you.
– Throughout the day think of your word and notice when you are being a sponge and when you are being a lighthouse. The first step in change is to recognize the problem.
– Before bed take a moment to record what you accomplished and how you felt throughout the day. This is an opportunity for reflection, not self-judgement or criticism.
From Chapter 5 of Soul Intuition by Allison H Larsen.

The Secret of Happy Successful People

In a training once, Zig Ziglar shared a story about a man seeking his help to be “successful” like the man’s boss. Zig had him list several categories down such as work, income, family, and friends. Next to each category he had the man give a score of a “PLUS” or a “MINUS” for how well his boss was doing in those areas. When he completed the grading the he realized that the only thing his boss had that he wanted was his wealth, and that the boss was quite poor in all of the other areas of life. That’s when he knew he didn’t actually want to be like his boss, and that being successful was so much more to him than just money.

We all want success and that for most of us, success means financial wealth/stability and feeling happy or contented at the end of each day. Unfortunately, most of have this tug-of-war inside of us where we seek higher income but then hold ourselves back because we fear it will drive us from our other goal to be happy. And it’s understandable, how can you achieve both when you don’t know how.

Of all the different principles, habits and techniques listed out there about what successful people do, some can be spot on, but most can leave you miserable because they focus purely on financial success. There are many things “successful” people do, but what can you do to be like those people on top, who are both happy and financially well off?

I want to share with you two things that the happy successful people in life do.

1. The first thing that truly successful people do are they choose to be happy.

That might sound ridiculous, maybe even dumb, but it’s actually a key to their success financially and emotionally. Here’s what I mean:

Most people look at their goals and they say, I will be happy WHEN I reach this goal. And when they fail to reach their goals(which are normally unrealistic and high), they get discouraged and give up. Because their present state is completely determined by a future circumstance, they will always fall victim to their circumstances.

Contrast that to people who choose to be happy now. It’s how they choose to be happy and find happiness in their journey that completely transports their thinking and habits from victim-like to heroic creator-like.

So, what does choosing happiness right now look like when these successful icons do it?

Choosing happiness right now means choosing to give time and mind to those things that also matter, like family, friends and health. They never forgot to live a life outside of their work. -Living like you can give all time and attention to your goal is a sure formula for burnout.

Choosing happiness right now means taking your goals seriously without taking yourself too seriously.

Choosing happiness right now means setting small goals along the way, and dreaming up new big ones to keep yourself inspired and motivated. Tunnel Vision leads to blindness- you will literally lose sight of why you’re doing what you’re doing, which always spells disaster.

Choosing happiness right now means choosing to smile and finding things to smile about.

Those who are happy are brighter, and that sort of presence attracts business, connections and opportunities.

2. They take time to celebrate their successes.

Successes come in large and small ways. For some reason, most of us think like we have to downplay the successes we’ve had and ignore the things we do right, as though we fear that doing so will scare off the end result we want to attain. When you choose to do this, you are literally shutting your brain off to emotional satisfaction (aka happiness) and incoming opportunities.

Celebrating successes also boosts your motivation and commitment to put forth your 110% effort into your work. The truly successful people, all along their journey, are willing to acknowledge and celebrate in some form, the successes they are achieving.

Here’s what you have to do. Celebrate when you know you’ve made a win, even if it’s small. Don’t ignore the win you know you made. As you grow in success and make a lot of wins frequently, you might not notice as many of the small wins which is fine. But, most important to celebrate the ones you see and especially when you feel yourself exhausted from all the work, when it feels mundane or new things aren’t seeming to come your way- that’s when you need to celebrate most.

Celebration isn’t going out and spending lots of money on clothes, food, party materials, etc. Celebration means getting excited; it means treating yourself or sharing with an associate or friend (someone who won’t get jealous or mock you) what you’ve done.

I know, this may all sound so hippy-dippy but it’s not. One self-made millionaire told me he would go out to his car and do a sort of dancing and cheering session where he would yell, whoop, and even do some bragging to himself for doing even small and simple things, especially when the small and simple things at work felt hard to conquer. This, he said, made all the difference for him to keep from spiraling into complete stagnation of thought and energy. He attributes much of his financial and emotional growth to his habit of celebrating his successes. To this day he still takes time to celebrate.

 

As you strive to become successful, remember that it’s possible to have both wealth and happiness, and that you should seek to make that your true meaning of success. Through practicing the habit of choosing happiness and celebrating, you will keep yourself emotionally and financially rich!