Growing Your Sales using Networking
One of the many methods we can use to grow sales and promote the business we represent is face to face networking. This topic fits nicely in the series of topics that deals with growing sales and revenue in general which I have written about in previous blog postings and shared some of these ideas already; today my blog topic is using networking as a mean to growing your business
Every one of us is looking for ways to grow his or her sales, and respective business we seem to always hear mentioned around us that Networking is a great way to grow our book of business, generate leads, market and promote our ideas, services and products. It’s a great approach; so now let’s discuss what is networking and how can it help you grow sales/ business?
What is networking?
Networking is the face to face connection you establish with individuals whom you meet the first time or you already know from previous events. Also networking is a way of establishing and maintaining relationships for receiving information and resources to help your business grow. The focus of networking should be to build rapport and long term relationships. Networking gives you access to a variety of information and resources. A piece of advice, don’t walk into a networking event remembering your boss’s words (how much did you sell today???) this is a networking killer attitude. Remember networking is planting the seeds for future harvesting.
Some think negatively of networking thinking the emphasis is on, “What can you do for me?” (Remember my comment earlier about the boss) However, successful networking is about being genuine and authentic, building mutually beneficial relationships. It’s not just about what others can do for you, but what you can do for others. Consider these questions: “How can I be of help to others? What can I contribute? What kinds of resources do I have access to that I can share? What type of support can I offer?” Choose a group that will help you achieve your goals and is supportive of one another.
Your task is to motivate and educate your network
I would always keep in mind when I attend a networking event the following statement: What am I doing to compel my network to refer you? Are you interested in what they do and do you refer them to your customers? The basic philosophy here is if you start by offering help, you will receive support, referral and business will grow trust me on this one. Try it sometime.
Make sure you always ask yourself and re-evaluate this question, what have you done to educate your network about what your business? Have you kept them informed of new products and services? Have you given them succinct information about your business, such as business cards, brochures, web-based information, so they can also educate others they know?
You should set a goal for yourself, to become known as a powerful resource for others; people will remember you and turn to you for suggestions, ideas, referrals, etc. Follow through quickly and efficiently on referrals you receive. When people give you referrals, your actions reflect on them. Respect that and your referrals will grow.
Authenticity and Networking
Following up with business contacts you meet at a networking group is great. However, be sure your follow-up is authentic.
Recently I attended a networking function and received a hand-written, hand-addressed piece of correspondence from a business owner who also attended. I was very impressed to have received a hand-written follow note from this business owner. It certainly left an impression on me to receive a hand -written note. A hand-written note often has greater value than a follow-up by email.
However, I found out later that this business owner outsources the job of sending out these notes because he meets too many people each month to be able to do it themselves. The personal note was not authentic. I felt let down and I wasn’t inclined to pursue a business relationship
Always you need to find time to be authentic with your response to a referral this is your reputation online, be genuine always.
Ethics in business is absolutely important that’s what should be your differentiator factor, not just your superior products and services, once you become know for your authenticity and your ethics you will have more referral…if you doubt this theory, let me run this by you, who do you think get more referral, a not so honest mechanic or the honest one? Think about that….
Until next time…please keep reading my blog