How to Network with the Best

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 anywhere.

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 or services either now or at some point in the future. Whilst they themselves may not become a customer, 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 what benefits 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 unexpectedly, or 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 explaining your 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.

Take Counsel

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 much sooner.

Define your goals

Define clear, specific, measurable and achievable goals for yourself and stay on track to 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. Organization is 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 can work:

  • Keep your desk in order –hunting for an elusive pen while speaking on the phone is 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 being scheduled
  • Sync your electronic diaries to avoid confusion and missed opportunities
  • Set reminders on your phone or electronic device so that you can’t forget

Social media

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 business profile 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 handwritten thank you card?

People still buy from people, and by adding that personal touch to your business dealings will 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 questions thrown 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 pitch, mistakes 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 difference.
  • People can tell if you are smiling on the phone even if they can’t see you.
  • A smile will make you more approachable, trustworthy and will make you appear more positive.
  • 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 should already be confident with meeting new people and adding them to your circle of network contacts.