Power Prospecting Through Networking
The purpose of networking is the exchange of information, advice, and referrals, using the method of asking questions and not telling.
WHAT IS NETWORKING? –
Networking is the exchange of information and ideas among people with a common profession or special interest, usually in an informal social setting. Though the setting may be social, do not mistake this time for friendship. Yes, you may become friends with some people that you meet. Your number one goal is to find opportunities to give and get referrals. Finding a referral partner is why you are there.
We often forget that this is a casual and typically more enjoyable way to do business, which it is, but it is not a night out to ‘meet people’ without a purpose.
Top 5 Networking Tips
Networking is a necessary part of building a business. It is also one of the most intimidating tasks. It shouldn’t be. Here are some tips to help you build your business and really enjoy networking!
Use these simple tips to gain success and remember, networking is NOT for prospecting!
- Join the right organizations.
A common comment I get when talking about networking is, “ I go to everything, I network all of the time. Go to everything in town” besides being exhausted and collecting more business cards than a bowl at a trade show, you aren’t really accomplishing much.
- Be Choosy. Be selective about where you network. Of course, there are some obvious places that make sense; the chamber, a trade organization, a charity volunteer opportunity and a leads group. Our chamber has great ones and there are also organizations like BNI that are excellent and set up just for that.
- Set Goals. Go to a networking event with a purpose. Always set goals when you are networking. I would recommend setting up just one or two Strategic Alliances at each event.
- Understanding what a Strategic Alliance is. A strategic alliance is a person who represents a company that you either call on the same clients or similar clients but don’t compete with each other. This is your true purpose when you are networking. NOT selling!
- Let Google do the work! Google does lots of great things. One of the best ones for salespeople is Google Alerts. You need to have a Gmail account and when you do go to ALERTS. List all that you would like to learn about and let google send you that information daily. Some examples- Your top clients and prospects, information about the industries you sell into, your competitors, etc. This is a great way to stay in front of your clients and prospects without just sending them stuff about you!
Try these and you will be well on your way to creating some true long-term clients! We work more hours than we don’t these days so let’s make it a bit easier and of course more productive!! There is nothing wrong with having fun while you work!