Increase Your Sales Using These Six Networking Tips
Tip 1: Extend grace to others whenever possibleHave you ever had a bad day? Or perhaps your day started off well but a bunch of little events soured your mood? It happens to everyone. And unfortunately, sometimes we cannot shake off a bad mood and we inadvertently leave a bad impression on others.
So if you meet someone who may appear grumpy or mean, give them the benefit of the doubt. Obviously, do not let anyone bully or intimidate you. But at the same time recognize that everyone is not intentionally trying to be a jerk. Most people are not intentionally mean or rude to strangers, especially those in business networking events.
Extending grace means to not be easily offended or irritated by the words or actions of others. If someone says something you do not like, remind yourself this key fact:
Everyone who comes to a networking event wants to network with others. Do not take things too personal. Besides, you do not want to ruin a potential business friendship because you misinterpreted something they said in your first meeting.
Tip 2: Form your own conclusions about a contact
Have you ever asked a friend or business associate this question, “Tell me what you think about (insert person’s name).” We trust the opinions of our friends and close associates. They know what we like and furthermore, we value their opinion of others. It is part of our human hard wiring to verify through the recommendation of others.
But in the business world, you also need to form your own conclusions.
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Tip 3: Network with purpose
I want to meet new people at networking events, but I also want to connect with new business leads. That is why you need to network with purpose. Ask questions that make sure you are able to discern whether a new contact could lead to a sale or connect you with new business opportunities. Below are some questions which may help you to make the right connections:
- Who is an ideal client for you?
- Which industries or professions do you frequently collaborate with to generate new leads?
- What is your sales strategy? Do you rely on your network or do you use ads?
- How much time are you able to devote each month for business networking?
- Which character traits do you need in a business ally?
Tip 4: Let Others Talk!
As much as we want to talk we and ask questions we also need to listen.
Make sure when you speak with others, you allow a 60/40 spilt of the conversation. (i.e., you let someone speak 60 percent of the time and you speak the other 40 percent.)
Why let someone speak for the majority of the conversation? You do this for multiple reasons:
- You want to qualify if this person is worthy of future conversations. You cannot make this discernment if you are dominating the talk.
- When you let people talk more, you might learn something new.
- Understand the purpose of why they are attending a particular networking event. This goes back to character analysis I mentioned in the first point. Someone who says, “I am looking for sale leads,” is someone you do not want to associate with professionally. How can they help you or others if they are preoccupied with themselves? When someone talks with you, do not just hear them, listen for key words or subjects they are talking about. Why waste your time with someone who is not interested in you?
Tip 5: Get their contact information AND preferred mode of communication
Imagine you had a great conversation with a new contact. Not only do you vibe well, but you believe that it would be mutually beneficial to continue communicating after the networking event. Now is the time to get their contact information.
But more importantly, you want to make sure you are not sending messages to an email black hole. You know, the email address where they rarely, if ever, respond too. Or you do not want to text a phone line that is never maintained. Verification is the simplest way you can ensure the lines of communication will remain open. As soon as you get new contact information, simply ask, “Which is the best way to contact you?”
Tip 6: Email/Call/Text with a new contact within 36 hours
Regardless of whether you meet someone at in-person or a virtual networking event, you need to followup with them as soon as possible.
Why is this important?
Because like you, they have a thousands other things grabbing for their attention and you do not want to be ignored. 36 hours is a great window of time because most likely they will remember you (if the conversation was meaningful).
I hope these tips help you in your next networking event. Got a question or comment? I would love to read it. Please let me know in the comment section below.
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