We network for many reasons:
- To meet our next customer.
- To meet our next boss.
- To meet our next soul mate.
- To get a free meal.
Looking around the room at a recent networking event, I realized everybody was selling something. There were no buyers. Seventy five sales reps all dressed up with no one to sell to; but they sold anyway.
I’m a full service financial planner and I can make you money.
I’m a full service painter and I can freshen up your home and office.
I’m a full service mortgage specialist and I can save you money.
I’m a full service marketing agency and I can find you clients.
I’m a full service sales coach and I can Heat Up Your Sales.
Please stop with the “Full Service.” When I hear that, I want to ask you to check the oil and wash my windshield.
Second thing: stop selling and start listening. While you are selling, the person you’re talking to is thinking about what they can squeeze into 30 seconds, and when your mouth stops moving… blah, blah, blah.
Do Less Talking and More Listening
Listen to the financial planner. She provides investment advice, retirement planning strategies and her focus is on women’s financial strategies. She was also just named, “Woman of the Month.” She might not be your ideal lead, but do you think she might know two or three contacts you should meet? Are you listening?
Listen to the painter. He’s been painting homes and businesses for 19 years. He might not be your ideal lead, but do you think he might know two or three contacts you should meet? And, oh by the way, you might need a painter some day. Unless you’re out of work, under employed, or a documented miser, hire a painter.
Why Do We Network?
Listen to the person in your face. Ask them some questions about their business and networking activities. Find out what is, and what is not working. Think of how you can help them. Invite them to coffee to explore ways to help each other. This just might be the start of a lifelong friendship and a successful business partnership.
No one likes to be sold to, but everyone loves to buy. (Gitomer)
We network because it’s not who you know, it’s who knows you. They will soon be talking to someone closely resembling your ideal client.