I’ve been asked to speak on this topic for a small business group this month. A topic near and dear to my heart, networking has taken a back seat during covid and is trying its best to emerge from the ashes. Regardless of whether you’re still doing online or have started to dip your toe back into in-person networking, here are the things you need to avoid so that your networking actually results in sales meetings:
The Number One Networking Mistake
Believe it or not, most businesses don’t know where to network. They ‘think’ they know and there’s certainly a wealth of places for them to do so, but their ROI speaks for itself. Most networking that doesn’t have a niche target goes nowhere. That’s why you need to first figure out strategically who your target buyer is. Then, you have figure out where they network and how to get in to those coveted circles. My clients and I call this circle the buyer’s ‘Sun’ and it’s the view of the buyer’s world and where they hang out. If you’re not hanging out with the right crowd, your networking efforts will be fruitless.
Strategic Referrals From One on One Networking
Not all networking is in groups. Sometimes the most effective ones are the kind that you ask to have one-on-one with a prospect. In my program, my clients and I have a strategic process to identify which buying groups are our best target. Then, in the first 2 weeks of the program, the client reaches out to a small number of those target decision makers in their networks. Then, they have an informational discussion about the prospect’s pain points and other buying journey criteria. It works so well that, last week, one client got $53K in sales after talking to only 3 people using this approach.
How To Never Have To Do Follow Up After Networking
Yes, the dreaded follow up after a huge networking event is often the most neglected part of a sales rep’s agenda. Fear not, I have a fool-proof way of never having to do follow ups that still get you the sale. Even though I agree with my mentor that “There’s a fortune in follow up”, that’s a whole different strategy and programming that I design separately. To avoid having to call a bunch of cards on hand after an event, I simply make sure that I’ve made appointments with interested prospects on the spot AT the event. Then, the only follow up you have to do is to make sure that they accept your calendar invite. How easy is that?
Networking can add life and sales volume to a business in a very short amount of time. After all, it’s how I got my first ever sale. So follow this advice and don’t waste this very valuable tool for your business.