Networking used to be about meeting as many people as you can, in as short a time period as you can, and giving out as many of your business cards as you can. That practice is so outdated and the results… well there never were many good results from that practice.
Networking, done right, will be fun and will result in more sales!
Not the traditional methods. The “new networking” is a different style. It focuses on the other person instead of you. There’s an idea!
It is obvious to all who think accurately that no man ever attains a high degree of enduring success without the friendly co-operation of others; nor does any man ever attain enduring success without helping others. – Napoleon Hill
The friendly co-operation of others is required for enduring success. You need a network that works for you. Providing that co-operation to others is also essential for success. You get that network by working for others.
Successful networking requires that you pay attention to what other people want. Strangers are usually eager to talk to people who want to help them.
You have to understand the network economy. It works like this: “If we exchange dollars all we have both have is a dollar, but if we exchange networks we both have two networks.” Two networks instead of one dollar.
Rules for networking that will ultimately result in sales:
Meet fewer people. Your goal at a networking event is to meet 3 or 4 quality contacts. If you do that you’ll be free to listen better. You won’t be scanning the room for the next conversation. You’ll also effectively eliminate the “glad-handers” who are there to meet as people as they can. In this way you begin to build a network of people committed to the relationship of mutual exchange.
Follow up immediately. Before you go to any networking event you should plan your follow up strategy. You should always ask those people you meet, “What it is the best way for me to stay in touch with you?” Don’t assume you know. Adjust your follow up methods accordingly. Your strategy should include providing something of immediate value to the other person. Use articles pertaining to your conversation or the subject of the event where you met.
Meet one-on-one with clear objectives. This one-on-one meeting will determine where your relationship will go. You should have clear objectives focused on a mutual benefit to each other. You need to be prepared for this. You need to know exactly what you offer and what you need. You need to be prepared with specific questions about the other persons goals, interests, skills, and their existing network(s).
Introduce your new network partner(s) to your existing network. You need to commit to introducing the other person to your network. You may not be able to help your new contact, but you will have in your network someone who can. Make a commitment to make introductions or whatever else is required.
I’ve been to networking events and seen people for the first and last time. When you ask them why they didn’t come back, the answer is always the same “I didn’t get anything out of it.”
You build your network like this and sales will grow. Over the years I’ve met people who have become business partners, clients and trusted resources. Those relationships remain to this day. This kind of network will ultimately result in enduring sales success.
Make the Most of Your Networking Activity…
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