Building a strong, expanding network of contacts can be the key to continued
sales success but
how is it done?
Below are some helpful hints to help you become a master at networking.
Keep on track
As time goes by and you hone your skills it will become easier for you to
identify quickly which
prospects are good leads and which are not. Begin your network with people who
are relevant to
your business as there is no time to waste with leads that are not going
Your network should be composed of:
- Potential Leads
- Already connected people
Potential leads are just that. People who have the potential to buy your goods
either now or at some point in the future. Whilst they themselves may not become
developing networks of already connected people who know people and companies
that could become
customers is worthwhile.
At the end of the day, no matter how much you may like a potential prospect, if
there is no
likelihood of gaining their business, move on.
Master your pitch
Be able to sum up in a short introduction about what it is you are offering and
there are to the potential client in a sentence or two.
Make this accurate, quick and to the point. This way this introduction can be
your standby pitch
if you ever find yourself needing to deliver a synopsis of what you are about
in a limited amount of time.
If you are unable to master the short introductory pitch in a couple of
sentences, perhaps you
don’t understand what it is you are offering as well as you should and further
effort is needed.
Useful tips include:
- The power of 3: ‘This will benefit you because of A, B and C’.
- Avoid long-winded, complex sentences and excessive use of jargon – thus
business in a couple of sentences is a good exercise.
- Ask for feedback such as “How does that sound?” or “What questions do you
have for me?” near
the end of your discussion. This will also help you identify whether your
message has been
taken on board or not.
There are great benefits to be gained from successful people who have more
experience than you
or have been through similar situations before. Learn from their failures as
well as their
success. Taking the initial step of asking advice may be daunting at first but
can lead to
valuable knowledge and insight that will help you become a master networker that
Define your goals
Define clear, specific, measurable and achievable goals for yourself and stay on
attaining them. If you don’t manage to hit a target that you set, review what it
is that stopped
you; often, unachievable or unrealistic goals have been set. If not, did you
really do all that
you could have done?
When setting goals, everyone wants to do the most, be the best, sell the most,
be number 1 etc.
Remember continually setting unrealistic and unachievable goals dooms you to a
life of missing
targets and defeat. Challenge yourself to the maximum, but remember – however
high you think you
can jump, you can’t ever touch the moon.
It should not be underestimated just how essential it is to be organized.
critical to successful networking so that you are always up to date with the
who, the where and
the when. Even the small details can make a huge impact on how effectively you
- Keep your desk in order –hunting for an elusive pen while speaking on the
distracting and means your full attention is not on the call
- Don’t try to keep important information in your head. Write down
appointments as they are
- Sync your electronic diaries to avoid confusion and missed opportunities
- Set reminders on your phone or electronic device so that you can’t forget
It goes without saying that social media is pervasive in today’s business world.
Professional networking and social media sites are an integral part of a modern
and up to date information is a core aspect of networking these days with
billions of people
using it. You now can interact directly with business leaders and influential
people by using
services such as LinkedIn or Twitter.
A personal touch
In today’s modern, hi-tech social media dominated world, a handwritten note or
card shows you
have taken the time and effort to go that extra yard. Who does not appreciate a
thank you card?
People still buy from people, and by adding that personal touch to your business
make you more human, approachable and show the recipient that you value them.
Practice…but don’t overdo it.
It is always a good idea to run through your pitch or presentation beforehand to
ensure a smooth
delivery and double check that your information is current.
Over-reliance on a practiced presentation may lead you to be unable to react to
at you from left field, as always happens. Allow yourself some flexibility in
your pitch as no
one is interested listening to a robotic presentation.
Embrace your success and failures.
No matter how organized you are, how much you have practiced and rehearsed your
and mishaps will still happen – no-one is perfect. Learn from your mistakes and
put them down to
experience gained. Mistakes are human and sometimes an imperfection will endear
you to your
audience and prevent you appearing like just another sales machine!
On the other hand, learn to embrace and celebrate your successes. Think about
what it was that
led you to succeed and try to replicate it in future situations.
When networking, you will come across many differing personalities but always
remember that some
actions are useful everywhere.
- A simple smile is always effective in making you human and always makes a
- People can tell if you are smiling on the phone even if they can’t see
- A smile will make you more approachable, trustworthy and will make you
- A smile puts people at ease.
- A smile encourages other to smile.
Don’t make networking more complicated than it is. It is simply making a
connection with people
that have similar interests or lines of business. As a seasoned salesperson, you
be confident with meeting new people and adding them to your circle of network