Simple Sales Tracking Blog

Top Eleven Networking Tips

As business people many of us see networking as something you just have to do. It means we can tick the box to say that we have been out and about drumming up contacts for future business.

However it is vitally important to make the most of your time at networking and referral group events. We have to consider that the time spent is taking us away from other important business activities, or if outside business hours family and recreational time. Therefore the more efficient we are at making the most of these events, the better.

Here are some ideas to make the most of your networking time.

  1. Don’t try to talk to everyone!
  2. Treat networking at referral groups as you would any other social interaction, don’t just focus on the business side of things, be friendly and useful first.
  3. Don’t dismiss anyone! You may think you do not need to know or meet this person, but you don’t know who they may know, or where they may be in the future, give everyone the time and respect they deserve.
  4. Your first goal at every meeting is to help someone else, build the trust first, help another, and eventually they will reciprocate.
  5. Be more interested than interesting!! its not all about you, no one wants to listen to someone else talk about themselves and their business for 15 minutes, they will be looking at their watch and making excuses to sneak off to get more canapes.
  6. Introduce people who have similar interests and may benefit from the relationship, help someone else first.
  7. Always follow up! Be prompt and follow up when you say you will, people will appreciate your punctuality, it says I value your time and I come through when I say I will.
  8. Never sell at a networking event!! There are many reasons for this, just don’t do it.
  9. Ask good questions in order to get a strong idea of what the other person’s business offers, only then are you in a position to help them.
  10. Be clear when introducing what your business offers, people are not interesting in in depth explanations of your products and services, use case studies of how you have helped others to explain what you offer.
  11. Add value! This goes with the previous statement, when discussing your business make it about them not you, how can you help them? This could be as simple as updates on current regulations if you are in the health and safety industry, or changes to tax laws if you are an accountant.

Finally, be picky, don’t be the person who goes to every networking event who talks to everyone but never makes any strong connections. Have a purpose at each event, make the most of every interaction. You need to get a return for the time invested.

Hayden Burgess

Hayden Burgess  is a Programme Developer and Facilitator for Sales Impact Group.

Filed under: Sales Techniques and Strategy, , , ,

How Many Networking Opportunities Have You Wasted?

In this article I continue with the sins of networking theme from my last article.

The next sin is failing to establish a connection.

Effective networking means actively making a connection with the people you meet.  Your goal is not to meet everyone at the event.  You are better off having one or two meaningful conversations than collecting 10 business cards.

Malcolm Gladwell in his book “The Outliers” talks about “super connectors” – these are people who know a vast amount of people and keep in regular contact with them – an example of a super connector was Paul Revere.

In 1775, Paul Revere made his famous ride to spread the word that the British were coming.  He rode North West to warn the settlements and local militaria.

His colleague fellow revolutionary William Dawes rode south.

Because of his many connections Paul was taken seriously by the townspeople he spoke to and the British met fierce resistance in the North.  While in the south they met virtually no resistance and believed the townspeople were actually loyal to them.

As Paul had developed so many contacts he was well known and trusted.  The opposite was true of William Dawes.

The message – get connected and just as important stay in touch on a regular basis!

One last point on being connected comes from the book “The Luck Factor” by Richard
Wiseman.    It was found one of the key traits of “lucky people” was they kept regular contact with a large number of people.  In meeting more people it increased their chance of opportune meetings.

The next sin is inability to articulate your unique selling proposition (USP)

Have you ever met anyone, had a conversation about their business and at the end were no clearer about what they offered in their business?

This has happened to me on more than one occasion.  We need to be able to clearly state what we do for our clients and what an ideal client for our business would look like. Stating “anyone would be a good prospect” is far too broad.  The more specific we are about what we offer and about who we are looking for the more chance we have of getting a qualified referral.

At the next event you attend consider some of the key points we have looked at in this article – put them into practice – and look for the results.

Quote of the Day:

It isn’t just what you know, and it isn’t just who you know,
It’s actually who you know, who knows you and what you do for a living.

                                                                                                                         Bob Burg

Brett Burgess is a Sales Trainer and Programme Developer for Sales Impact Group.

Filed under: Sales Techniques and Strategy, , , ,

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Simple Sales Tracking is web-based sales CRM software for the tracking, analysis and forecasting of individual and team sales pipeline and contacts.

Built with simplicity at its core, focus is kept on key sales tasks, while eliminating unnecessary ones, helping to ensure buy-in of the entire sales team.
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