There has always been a misconception about networking. The saying goes, “it’s all about who you know.” Reality is, “it’s all about who knows you and what they think about you.”
Much of my personal business/life success has been based off of my network and the doors that opened through it. Regardless of how large your network is there is always opportunity to find your way into networking situations. In order to make the right impression, here is a quick list of dos and don’ts.
- If you are at a conference or a place where there is great potential in meeting many new professionals we often find ourselves looking for comfort. Don’t spend too much time with one person, or you will defeat the purpose of networking. Remember the more people you meet the more prospects you bring into your sales funnel. If you spend three minutes with a prospect, that gives you a possibility of 20 contacts per hour. Spending five minute with each person reduces that to 12 contacts and so on. Network Smart.
- Just like you are there to sell yourself, it is safe to assume that others are there to sell to you. Do give others the chance to sell too. At any networking event, everyone is looking to sell. You may have to play buyer to get a chance to be a seller. Who knows, sometimes what they may have to sell can be advantageous for your business. After all, you are in business as a solution provider and so are they.
- Often times it is better to sell your product or service in a non-traditional form. Do know about the kinds of problems you can solve rather than using facts and case studies. Discuss the benefits you bring to the table. At the end of the day, your prospect only cares about what you can do for them, not what you did for someone else… Those case studies come after you spark interest.
- Be prepared. You would be surprised how many business owners do not have a one-minute elevator speech about what they do. Be ready to describe your business in one short, but rather interesting sentence that informs and intrigues.
- One of the things that turns off most professionals is negativity. Do not be negative. You never know whether the prospect you’re talking to has some connection, interest or affiliation with the people, company or product you are slamming.
Remember those five simple Dos and Don’ts and harness the power of networking that can open tremendous opportunities.
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