By Wazobia Staff
There is a dirty word running around the business world and it needs to stop right now. That word is… NETWORKING. Now networking is not a bad word, but it does have a bad reputation. Most people who do not like networking have the wrong impression of what it means or have been taught the wrong way to do it.
When you walk into a networking event, do you see it as an opportunity or a marathon? What is your frame of mind as you make your way around the room? Just like with anything you do in life there is the wrong way, the right way, and the way that works best.
“I go to networking events looking to find new clients.”
If your only purpose of going to a networking event is to gain new clients then you have already made a big mistake. Don’t miss a great opportunity to connect with people. Focus on getting to know what they are interested in so that you can build a strong business relationship. You never know where your next lead will come from and this relationship may be just the one that sends multiple business your way.
“For every event, I get a fresh box of business cards and try to pass out as many as possible.”
Going to a big networking event calls for a lot of other business cards being in your pocket. Now think if you can remember half of the people that gave you those cards. If you don’t make an impression, your business card will end up in the trash with all the advertisements from the event. As you get to know the person you are talking to, bring out your card only if you start to make a connection with them. That way they will remember you and associate you with your card, which means they are more likely to keep it.
“Standing around talking to people is a waste of time. I prefer to tell people what I have to offer as soon as possible.”
As human beings we like to talk about ourselves; in this case, let them. The more they talk, the more things you have to relate with them about. The name of the game is to build a relationship and in a room full of people trying to sell, you will be a breath of fresh air.
“With every person that sounds interested in my product, I try to make a sale right then and there before they get away.”
Imagine going to a car dealership and the sales person forces you buy a car you don’t want. That is what hard selling is like to someone you just met, selling them something they don’t want or didn’t ask for. That is the quickest way to run off potential prospects. After allowing that person to talk about their work, then you can talk about yours. Because you have already made a connection, you will know if what you have to offer will be beneficial. If the person does seem interested in your product, schedule an appointment where you can give a full sales pitch.
“Every card that I received I followed up with them. Before I closed I made sure to tell them again how good my product is and they still declined or didn’t respond to my email.”
Your follow up call or email is just that, a follow up. This is not the time to start pushing your product. This is the time you want to solidify yourself in the mind of your contact. I can’t say this enough, you are building a relationship. Make a point to reference your conversation with them and even offer information that may help them in their business.
Always think ‘relationship’ and your next networking event will be a stress free pleasure that you will learn to love. If you learn this way of networking, you will reap the rewards of your newly formed relationships.