Tips on how to turn business networking into new accounts
The easiest sale to make is one where a trusted advisor recommends you. Business networking is a great way to meet people who could become those advisors for you. Salespeople complain that they spend a lot of time networking with nothing more than a stack of business cards and a bar bill to show for it. No trusted advisors, no business just a delusion that some how one of these connections will lead to new accounts.
Here is a surefire way to make business networking a profitable use of your time.
The reality is that meeting someone at a networking event who happens to need your services at that precise moment in time is very unlikely. And the chance of a salesperson making such an amazing impression in a two-minute meeting that will cause them to be remembered three months from now is zero.
Sales training to make networking profitable for you
Put yourself in that other salesperson’s shoes. That person just like you, is looking for a warm introduction into a real business opportunity. This strategy is a great way to make that happen for them and for you.
No matter what your industry is there are complementary industries that sell to the same customer base. Before you go into a networking event have a clear idea of who these complementary industries are. When you come across these people spend some extra time getting to know them. Make sure this conversation is about them and not about you because you want to make sure you can help them get new contacts. Since they are a complimentary industry the more connections you have for them the more leads their Rolodex will hold for you.
Asked them about a particular solution they provided where they went above and beyond the call of duty. This makes them feel good about themselves (builds rapport) and it gives you a deeper insight to what makes them and the company tick. Is this someone who you want to recommend?
The magic phrase
“Tom, what types of companies are you trying to do business with?” Since Tom is in a complementary industry your Rolodex contains a lot of companies that could do business with Tom. And vice a versa. “Let’s set up a time to grab a coffee and I’ll bring my Rolodex with me and make sure you get a least three introductions to customers who can do business with you. And make sure you bring your Rolodex so you can help me get connected to three opportunities as well.”
To make this a real value add for Tom make sure you don’t just give him a name and a title. Make sure you do a powerful introduction for him and expect him to do the same for you. The beauty to this type of networking is that it leads to strong relationships with your new networking buddy. Both of you have an excuse to reconnect to share the results of the introductions.
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