- Do not sell or talk too much about yourself at networking meetings. Your goal is to build your sphere of influence by meeting new people who will educate you and become solid resources for your clients and pillars. This is not the time or place for a sales presentation.
- The best way to get something from networking is to give something. Do not expect to get leads when you never give others leads. Networking is like any relationship: You get out of it what you put in it.
- Listen and ask the magic questions, “Susan, who is a great prospect or referral source for you? How can I succinctly describe what you offer to others?
- The people you meet are either: A- Potential clients or B- A source of referrals. Realize that not everyone will be a prospect. Networking is more than prospecting. It is also finding people who could lead you to potential new customers or other referral sources.
- Networking is more like farming than hunting. It takes time to cultivate and harvest. However, once the harvest season starts, you will be well compensated. We all have seen professionals come only once or twice to a group’s events and then give up because they did not receive a lead. They do not realize that they are being tested and judged by the longtime members as to their “staying power”.
- Did you miss me or am I just another number? Remember the first date you went on? You waxed the car. You put on your best clothing, shaved or put make-up on. You opened the door for the other person. You paid him or her a compliment. But after you see them a few times, the extra efforts are gone. Keep all your meetings like the first one!
- To quote Martien Eerhart, “Remember, it is net*work*, not net*eat* or net*play* or net*drink*. It takes energy and effort to make networking work for you.”
- Volunteer to be on the membership committee for trade groups of your best group of referral sources. Give of yourself and people will find a way to send you business.
- Keep track and take care of your “Super Pillars”: those who have sent you 2+ leads in your life. With enough individuals in this category, you will be set for life.
“Dave Rothfeld is a sales consultant in Florida and I enjoyed his latest sales tip on reaching out to a laid off customer’s employee” Chris Curtin
When a customer does layoffs, keep track of where everyone goes.
We sell to moving targets. There are fewer gold watches given out than ever before. That dynamic means that we should have a means of tracking our industry contacts. When someone is hit between the eyes, they always appreciate a kind word. We who are in the business know how to take hits. That is not a common trait, especially among the buying versus selling fraternity.
The person who would not return your phone calls, rescheduled or canceled appointments, and generally made your life miserable, will now join you for lunch on an hour’s notice. Make the call. Make their day in as positive a way as possible. Because you are professionally out and about, you have the industry knowledge that cubicle dwellers do not. Share that perspective. It will cost you nothing but a lunch to demonstrate a little humanity. The circle of life is much larger than many small people think it is. Widen their world a bit.
Brightening someone’s day will do wonders for your own positive mental attitude while at the same time being an excellent business practice.
Now, go out and have your best week ever!