Hi everybody, Julie here, The Sales Ace, bringing you a sales tip to help skyrocket your business.
This week, I am talking to all of you that are in a front-line selling role, and I'm going to talk a little bit about networking.
Now, networking can work! It is a good way of generating business, but for it to work, there needs to be a strategy. You can't pitch up to a networking event, shake a few hands, give out a few business cards, eat your breakfast, go, and then expect some business to be rolling in.
It doesn't work like that: there needs to be a little bit of strategy. And there's one thing that you also have to bear in mind as well: networking isn't a quick hit to generate business. It takes a little bit of work, and the reason behind that is in order for networking to work, you have to build relationships.
So, let me talk to you a little bit about the strategy that I use when I go networking. Because I realize that it's about building relationships and it's about building “know, like and trust”, the one mantra I have is I never sell to the room. I'm not there to sell to the people within that specific room. If they buy from me, that's fantastic. That's a byproduct of going. But for me, what I'm there to do is to forge alliances with people that might have very similar target markets to mine. It's about building relationships with those people so that I get a “know, like, and trust” element. And we build up that relationship with each other, and then they will refer me business.
So, as I'm sat around the table watching people stand up and give their 45 or 60 second presentation (depending on whichever networking event you've gone to) I'm really looking and thinking about who in that room would have the same target market as mine? Now some of the industries that I have identified that are really good referral partners for me (referral partners is where you are referring business to each other) is people who are in a different market sector, but we have alliances. So, for example, marketing, accountants, HR consultants are really, really good people that I can refer business to because of the nature of what we do, and similarly, they can refer business back to me.
So that's Part 1. In next week's sales tip I'm going to talk a little bit about places to network, but this is about building this relationship.
Now, how you really effectively do it: book a one-to-one, have a coffee, get to know them, have lunch, whatever it is that floats your boat, but it is about getting outside the room. It's about sitting down with somebody. It's about really nurturing that relationship and it won't come from just one cup of coffee either. It's something that you do have to work at, but once you've done that it's really lovely because if you think about it, you’ve got five or six people that you've built these really close relationships with who are going out into the market and seeing their clients, and they’re referring business, and you're referring business to them. It's a really lovely way to source business.
And here's the thing, here's the one thing that I'm going to add to the end of this video: referral business? Well, those are virtually qualified leads, and one of the easiest pieces of business to be handed to you.
So do have a think about that. I hope that this has been useful for you, and next week I'll talk a little bit about the places to network.
So I'll see you then!