I’ve heard some hopeless excuses. “I haven’t got time for networking; I’m too busy.” Too busy to make new local contacts? Really? “But I’m not good at mornings” – Get good! Get up and go for a run, then you’ll be ready. “I don’t like cold, wet, winter mornings.” Brave the winter then look forward to the summer!
You must commit to be involved in networking. Mix it, take an interest in everyone over time and, if they’ve demonstrated that they’re good, look out for opportunities for them and they’ll do the same for you.
‘Give first’ is the best motto. As you’re better known in the group, when you’re having coffee, call across the room, “Hi, John, I may have a lead for you.” That will help you.
Don’t measure – if you count who owes you what favour, you’re on the wrong plain. Just get to know and help quality people. The rest will take care of itself.
Be prepared. As we said last week, take 30 business cards. It’s pretty feeble to run out at a networking event, isn’t it? Take an appointment book, too. Arranging to meet someone later is the main reason you are there.
Decide why you are going. Don’t just turn up. What is your message? What will interest others? How can you make a difference to others in the room? Take an unusual object, if you can, that arouses curiosity. If it explains your product or shows what you do, great.
Sales IS public speaking. Get good at it. Shyness in business does not win the day!
If you’re new and you don’t know anyone, remember that people want you to succeed, they really do. You often hear, “I’m really not good at public speaking.” Once you’re there, remember that Networking is not the time to be sheepish.
- You don’t have to be RADA trained. Just speak clearly, be heard and know your subject backwards.
- When someone asks you an insightful question, roll with it and tell them it’s a good question. Then offer an objective answer.
- Be yourself. Pretentious, loud people who ‘over laugh’ are annoying at best!
The meeting will probably start with 60 seconds introductions. If you start with, “I’m Joanne and I’m a IFA,” you’ll lose them right from the start.
The purpose is rather obviously to explain what you do. But, you may have only 40 or 60 seconds to say your pitch. So it needs to work. Remember the song, “It’s not what you do, it’s the way that you do it – and that’s what gets results!”
Think about something catchy so start with something that involves them, like “You’re probably thinking…” or “Have you ever stopped to think about ….”
There’s no time to be seen as a sheepish, so, don’t bowl in unprepared. Think it through and plan it.
People understand in different ways… so, if you can, show something. A product or metaphor. One woman recently offered sales training and took a baseball bat with her as a metaphor for what to do if your sales team are not performing.
Finally, plan your own body language.
Call us to talk through how you’re networking- we do want to help your business to be a success. Also, check out previous blog on Sales.