Networking is a skill...
especially on video!
The 3 biggest mistakes people make when networking are:
trying to sell
trying to sell and
trying to sell!
When I was new to being in business, I definitely fell foul of this cardinal rule - and it doesn't work.
Networking should instead be about building relationships so that people know how to introduce you to others - you become each others sales team.
You might also be a good fit for each other and that may lead to a sale - just don't make that your focus.
If you are at one of those networking events where you have the opportunity to 'pitch' to the room, or a table, full of people for a few seconds - typically anything from 10 seconds to a minute - you need to use that short time effectively.
All too often people stand up with little preparation. They say their name, the name of their Company and what they do. Then they think about what to say and discover that their time is up. What a waste!
Craft an interesting, relevant and compelling short positioning statement
Deliver it with confidence and credibility
You never know
who knows who
Focus on these three issues:
Build relationships - take a bit of time to get to know the other person and their business
Be able to describe what you do, what problem you solve, clearly and succinctly - giving the benefits you provide and the customer or client you deliver them to
Be interested and be interesting - 'small talk' before business
Wallflowers and Roadrunners!
Wallflowers and Nervous Nellies won't be able to build relationships or get their message across.
Neither will Roadrunners - 'working the room' and dishing out business cards looking for their next sales target.
Instead, just have an interesting conversation. Talk about business without being 'salesy'. Or don't even talk about business - at least maybe not straight away. It depends on how well you 'click'.
Whether or not there is a likely sale to discuss, follow-up and meet for coffee (or tea, in my case!) - you never know who knows who.
This is part of your business - it's marketing. It's also nice to meet people!
I can help you get it right.
'Sales' is not a dirty word
No-one likes to be 'sold to' - you don't need to be all 'salesy' and sleazy. In fact, you should never be!
If you focus on identifying the needs and wants of your potential customer or client then you help them buy your solution to their problem - well, that's not selling at all, that's just problem solving.
Be clear who you are selling to - and the language that you use. In my view there is a very real difference in how you 'sell to' a Customer or a Client. More accurately, there's a difference in how they buy.
Helping People Buy
To help you remember just HOW important it really is to NOT try to sell, I have created the STOP Methodology.
The best way to find out if someone needs and wants what you can provide is to be good at asking great questions - to have a curious mindset, to be interested.
Oh and it really helps if you can be interesting too! That's easy - just ask lots of questions (though not like a lawyerly cross-examination!).
So, in any 'sales' situation or conversation, even a sales 'pitch' opportunity, ask yourself this - constantly. Are you:
T hinking of the
The RELISH™ Sales Conversation Formula
E xplore (question, probe, understand)
I nterested and interesting
S ignals, signposts and stepping stones
H andshake, go home or halfway house
All too often people dread having sales conversations.
Probably due to the fear of being pushy or salesy.
Why not relax and enjoy it. You could even 'relish' the challenge and actually enjoy helping people!