As salespeople, we tend to not do the things that we know we need to do and networking is one of them. Unfortunately, many people are scared of doing it because they do it the wrong way or they just don’t know how to do it. Networking is a tool for you not to sell, but to build relationships to get tremendous amounts of sales opportunities later on.
Today’s guest is Tiffanie Kellog and she’s going to teach us a thing or two about generating new business for our pipeline. She talks about how she was actually able to do this as a small business owner so you too can glean insights from her.
Here are the highlights of my conversation with Tiffanie:
One of Tiffanie’s challenges while starting out:
- Not knowing how to get business
Tiffanie tried cold calling and eventually found networking to be very effective for her. As you can see, there are many avenues for you to grow your business.
Benefits of Networking:
- Makes the sales cycle shorter by involving others in the process
- There’s a room full of people that could potentially be referring you business and bringing people into the buying process
The Networking Disconnect
Most people go to a networking event thinking how many people in the room they could sell to.
Networking is about creating relationships.
Tips for choosing networking events:
- Who will be at that event?
Is your ideal client going to be there? Or is somebody who can refer you business going to be there?
- Talk to others in your network.
If you have somebody in your network passing you a decent amount of referrals, ask them which groups they belong to and ask them to take you along with them. Find out from clients you love what groups they’re a part of. This could be a chamber of commerce, a meetup, a social group, or an alumni association. It’s not just limited to the business. It’s about finding out where your ideal clients and your ideal referral sources hang out.
- Check out Google.
Search on Google or ask your friends on Facebook about possible networking events you can go to.
- Don’t give out your business card to everyone.
If you’re giving your card out to everyone you meet, it’s called in-person spamming. And nobody wants that. Instead, only give out cards to people who ask you for them. Wait till they ask you for your card or till they have a curiosity.
- Set a goal of connections you want to make from that meeting.
Set a goal for how much time you have in your calendar for follow-up meetings
- When you schedule your networking event in your calendar, also schedule your follow-up time in the calendar.
Doing this will help you determine how many people you want to meet. It’s good to meet a bunch of people but if you never follow up or get in touch then you’ve wasted your time.
Results Tiffanie saw after implementing these networking strategies:
- Spending less time at networking events
Because Tiffanie had a goal and a purpose, she could just get in and get out of the event.
- More focused on her followups
Instead of looking at that stack of cards on her desk from two months ago, she has already taken care of it the next day or within two days of the event
- Tiffanie was able to start building those relationships
Networking is not enough for people to come to you. Rather, it’s just a stair to get you closer to the relationships you need for them to pass on those referrals.
As a result of effective networking, Tiffanie now has two business: Fast Break Marketing, a promotional products company which her husband now runs and a consulting business where Tiffanie works with entrepreneurs to create referrals to lead to amazing business.
Tiffanie’s Major Takeaway:
As you go to a networking event, create the intention of exactly what you’re looking to get out of the event. Remember, it’s not about selling. It’s about creating relationships. How do you do that at the event?
Check out Tiffanie’s book, 4 1/2 Networking Mistakes
Join our online workshop, 5 Strategies to Increase Your Win Rate
Get a free audiobook download and a 30-day free trial at audibletrial.com/tse with over 180,000 titles to choose from for your iPhone, Android, Kindle or mp3 player.