I’m a BIG believer in the power of relationships.
Not only do relationships give extra meaning and fun to our lives, they’re essential for sales success.
After all, people buy from people.
Face-to-face interactions secure better awareness of the market & your position in it (personally and professionally), and identify immediate opportunities.
NOT meeting key contacts for coffee, or even simply attending carefully selected networking events, is a big mistake.
BUT what if just the thought of networking makes your palms so sweaty and mouth so dry you’d hate to meet someone new anyway?
What, if like so many others, you experience:
• Fear at the thought of walking into a room of strangers?
• Dread at the thought of representing your company?
• Stomach-churning anxiety at how to shake off networking bores (politely!)?
The reality is that whether you love or loathe networking, it remains an essential part of business today.
So why not focus your energies upon embracing, and dare I say it, even enjoying networking?
To give you the confidence that you’re getting off on the right foot, here are 2 NO-NOs to avoid.
No-No #1 Thinking That Networking Is About Selling
So many people make this mistake, that I think it’s one of the biggest.
It’s also why so many people understandably (and unnecessarily) hate networking.
If you network thinking, “I must sell,” you’re more likely to fail than to succeed. Sarah Hughes
Because networking is about making connections to see if there’s a mutually rewarding fit between what you offer and what others need.
Otherwise, you’re more likely than not to receive a social form of a red card!
It’s important to relationship-build and ‘give forward,’ to be helpful and provide value to your contacts and network.
Using Robert Cialdini’s Principle of Reciprocation means that when you help other first, they’re far more likely to help you later.
And anyway, it’s a great feeling to help people!
If you network with the view that the people you meet MIGHT become clients or referrers, it’s a more realistic, empowering and less-pressured objective.
Allow the right people to buy from you, rather than sell to them. Sarah Hughes
No-No #2 – Fail To Plan, Plan To Fail
Whilst networking can be a ‘free’ form of marketing, its major cost is your time and focus.
So be thorough with your research and HIGHLY selective about which events to attend.
Whilst it can be useful to attend events full of your peers, if your #1 objective is lead generation, prioritise events where you’ll meet prospects, referrers or intermediaries.
You wouldn’t set out on a journey without a destination and route in mind, so why should networking be any different? Sarah Hughes
5 Top Tips
- When you’ve found relevant events, make friends with the event organiser, find and invite them to connect on LinkedIn
- Call in advance, be friendly and ask that a participant list emailed to you to ensure the right people are attending
- Circulate the list to colleagues so they can identify anyone of interest
- And if you can’t attend, you have a prospect list to add to your database
- Whilst event organisers won’t always email you a list, often they will.
My motto in life is ‘Never Ask, Never Get.’ Remember, a warm and friendly manner often works miracles!
Like This Article & Love Further Networking Tips?
I’ve written a Guide I’d love to share with you, ‘Be a Confident and Effective Networker by Side-Stepping The 5 Biggest Networking NO-NOs.’
When you read the Guide, you discover 3 additional NO-NOs to those listed above, including the:
• 3 Essentials to take with you when networking
• And what I believe is the BIGGEST networking mistake.
Message me to get your hands on a copy!