The Art of Networking for Business & Sales (2.0)

andy-training

Another one of our classic blog posts gets the revamp treatment with a great update from practical experience using Linkedin to connect with people after a networking event.  Thanks to Ian Preston, one of our team for sharing this tip *).

First – revisit Andy’s original blog; then scroll down to get our bonus tip to improve your relationships, connections and results!

Mary

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Why is it people just jump into marketing and sales without learning how to do it properly, effectively, dynamically, profitably etc etc etc ???

I haven’t met anyone who took up accountancy, law, teaching, medicine and didn’t study to become experts so why don’t business people treat marketing with the same enthusiasm and learn the skills?

One of my “bibles” that I urge anyone to read is Michael Gerber’s “The E-Myth Revisited – Why most Small Businesses Don’t Work & What to Do About It”

It’s the same with networking. Nowadays so many people go networking to generate leads and business and yet most - in my opinion :) – don’t do it effectively, professionally or profitably! When you ask them why they do it the expectation is that they need to, to generate business. It’s often the people / professions that are not best at marketing and think that by just going to events they will get business.

How often do you see the accountants, lawyers, “techies” stood in a corner at a networking event?  And how often are they to be found talking to their peers  because they are more introverted, uncomfortable and not confident in talking to strangers in a crowded room?

There is a “mindset” / confidence issue and yet there is also a simple skill set about how to network effectively that can also help with the former.

You need to learn how to:

  • Introduce yourself to others
  • Engage in meaningful conversation and gauge the other person’s needs
  • Position the value of what you do and get permission to follow up and speak with that person after the event
  • “Park” that person (ideally with someone else they are interested in) so that you can meet others at the event
  • Follow up effectively  (* more on this from Ian’s system later . . .  Mary )

My “Networking Bible” is Nigel Risner’s “You had me at Hello” 

That & the E-Myth are given to all our Franchisees in their pre-induction pack and a whole section of their induction training is given to Networking.

I now do about 50% of the physical networking that I did a year or so ago. I believe that Linkedin is “an on-line networking platform” that helps me leverage my time massively. I can avoid travelling time and find, connect & engage with my ideal prospect in a fraction of the time . The same rules apply, though, as with physical networking – you must learn/know how to do it professionally !!!

There is and always will be, a need for physical events because people like people and meeting and seeing the whites of their eyes and “pressing the flesh”.

Recommended Books:

Here are the links to the books you need to  read, commit to memory and ACT UPON:

You had me at hello: The new rules for better networking (Nigel Risner)

The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It (Michael E. Gerber)

 

* BONUS TIP – the tried, tested and proven follow up model:

As recommended by us at 3degrees Social and actively used by a number of our team including the aforementioned Ian Preston.

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  • Before you go networking, make sure to block out some follow up time in your diary afterwards.  The networking isn’t over when the last person leaves.  That’s just the start of the follow up sequence.
  • If there is a list of attendees – make sure you get a copy.
  • When you get back to base, follow up with the people you met and add them to your database/CRM/follow up systerm
  • Send them a personal message that relates to where you met.
  • Connect with them on Linkedin (if you aren’t already) – and personalise your connection request!
  • Then follow up – and connect – with the people you didn’t meet.  If they registered for the event then they are looking for more business.  Again, personalise your message.
  • Make sure you have a ‘keep in touch’ system – whether that’s an email; a telephone reminder system . . . whatever it is . . . and USE it.
  • Start building those relationships . . . have interesting conversations that inspire people to want to keep in touch with you.  Be interested in them, what they want, what they are looking for and find ways to help them.

And if you want more help on exactly how to do this and develop your own Keep In Touch system then talk to us or one of our team, we have a range of ways to help you.

 

 

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