May
01

5 Powerful Insights, Best Practices and Healthy Thinking For Greater Success When You’re Networking For Business – Part Two

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A lot of networking isn’t in making new contacts but following them up and developing the relationship.

Are you getting results from the time you spend networking? Wish your networking brought you more business, more referrals?

No doubt about it. Networking is the most effective way to generate new business. But unless it’s done properly it can be a waste of time and even counterproductive.  In this article we will cover the final 5 real-world tips to help you turn your networking efforts into bottom-line results.

1. When someone introduces themselves to you, repeat their name immediately. This will help you to remember names easily. Continue to use first names as often as realistically possible. not only when you’re speaking with people in person, but also when communicating with them via email or on social media sites. No doubt about it. Using people’s names helps you build rapport them.

2. Those who drive sales/business growth frequently want to know how to close the deal faster and more often. They often overlook the reality that “prospects/buyers” need to close themselves on the “seller” first before they will buy from you. That means, before YOU can close the deal, your prospect first needs to be sold on the following steps:

  • Do I like you ?
  • Do I trust you?
  • Do I believe that you/your product can do the job for me?
  • Do I believe you understand my business/situation/issues/concerns?
  • Do I have a need for your product/service/expertise?
  • Do I want your product/service/expertise?

handshake3. Don’t lose contact with people who are important to you. Send an e-mail or a text saying something like, “Wondering how you are travelling”….”I was thinking about you today and wondering how you are”….”where does the time go?”…. “It’s been too long since we last caught up for a chat”. “Love to catch up. Are you up for a cup of coffee anytime soon?”…. “I just wanted to touch base to see if you’d like to catch up for a cup of coffee and swap updates on what we’re both doing. Let me know if you’re keen.”…. “We haven’t talked in a while?….I thought it was about time I gave you a call…..It’s been a while between drinks. Just wondering how you’re doing/what you’ve been up to since we last talked? I’d love to/Be good to hear from you when you have the time.”…. “Just a quick update. I/We had a win today (briefly explain). Any good news at your end?”…. “Just rang to see how things are going for you”…. “Just saw your name in my contacts folder and thought to myself it was high time I touched base to say hello. It’s been too long between drinks (person’s name). How’s life treating you? Keeping well, I hope. How about we catch up for a coffee/beer sometime to swap updates on what’s going on in our worlds? Let’s know if you’re keen.”……..”How are you? I feel terrible that I have left it so long. Fancy catching up next week?”…….”This is just a catch-up call. I hope you’re well and busy plenty of business/work coming in for you. If you feel like a chat/If you’d like to have a chat, give me a call”…..”It’s been a while since we’ve seen each other and I thought it would be good to catch up for a coffee and chat. Are you free on (date) at say, (time) in (suburb)? If not, please suggest a couple of alternative times and I’ll try to be as flexible as possible.”  

Allocate time for this important activity. Make it part of your regular routine.  

Now here’s a task for you. Go through your contact list and find 4 people you haven’t been in touch with for a while and send them an email or text inviting them for lunch or coffee. Think of something to say that personalises your message and use the same or similar language above to tee-up a 121 in-person meeting. Commit to sending messages like this to your key contacts on a regular basis. You’ll be glad you did.

4. Don’t hand out/collect hundreds of business cards. We have all been at events and meetings where someone rushes up and thrusts a card at you. They barely caught your name or introduced themselves when they start waving a card. Whatever you do, avoid this kind of behaviour. Collecting masses of cards from people you can barely remember is not effective/productive use of your time. Take the time to connect with each person you meet. Ask genuine questions about them and their background. Spend 20 minutes or more with someone you really enjoy and, in the end, a true connection will be established. Suggest there and then that the two of you meet for coffee or breakfast to learn more about each other. After that meeting send an email saying that you enjoyed catching up with them and invite them to meet again to establish a pathway for building a relationship. Remember it’s quality, not quantity that makes your networking work for you.

5. Don’t call someone after you just met them to ask for a favour. Successful networking is about helping others first. It’s about relating and working with others that you share a mutual interest. Don’t squander the connection. Rather, foster it by inviting him or her for coffee, lunch or a drink after work and get better acquainted. Find some way to connect on a personal level. Don’t sell. Or at least don’t sell hard. Pay the bill, thank the person for coming and stay in touch. Build the relationship and let it develop over time. (What’s the best way to build a relationship? Help the person.) Look to do some kind of favour for your contact first before you call on them to help you. Nothing is a bigger turn-off than the person who calls you after you just met them and wants to pitch something to you. Typically, the receiver of the pitch wants to hang up or run away and usually stops returning messages.

Looking for more networking tips? Read part one here

Happy networking. Maybe we will see each other at a networking event some day.

Referred to as “That Networking Guy” by many organizations, Ron Gibson provides in-depth networking training and coaching, focusing on business growth and development. Get Ron to speak at your next conference or sales meeting about how to bring in more business, more consistently and more often.  Ron can be reached on mobile 0413 420 538 and email gonetworking@iinet.net.au

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